Four delivery tips to avoid customer disappointment

  • Opinion
  • August 29, 2017
  • Scott Hedgman
Four delivery tips to avoid customer disappointment

A customer comes into the store to collect an item they had ordered into store. You search around the store but can't locate the item. Thankfully a quick check of the courier track and trace system shows that the item has been delivered to the store. But now where is it?

You can ask the person who received the item where they put it, but when you see the name signed in the track and trace system you don't recognise it. How do you help the customer?

For busy retailers, whether you receive the occasional delivery by courier or receive product 'just in time' means you need a courier service that works for you. Let's face it, no-one wants a drama with deliveries or receivables, and disappointed customers can be quite unforgiving

Setting up a good delivery process isn't quite as sexy as a fancy piece of technology, but as we all know successful business is about getting the fundamentals right. Get the process right, and the results take care of themselves.

From my time delivering to retailers as a courier driver, through to advising some of the country's largest retailers on courier processes in my current role, I've learned what works and what doesn't when it comes to receiving couriered goods. I'm going to share with you four easy tips to help you improve your process for receiving courier goods and avoiding tough situations with customers like the one described above.

First things first. People.

Courier delivery is a people business, and as successful retailers know, it's the relationships you build that really count. So get to know your courier! A friendly word makes the day go better, we all make a bit more effort when we feel we know someone, and they remember us.

Tip one: The signature matters!

Fix the problem before it becomes an issue, always sign legibly and print your name clearly when receiving courier deliveries. It sounds really simple but you'd be surprised at the amount of people that do not sign their name properly. Tracking information will display the name given to the courier who delivered the item. By ensuring you and your staff sign their name correctly and legibly, it is then very easy to see who signed for the item so you can ask them where they put it.

Tip two: Designated drop off.

If you have a particularly busy store, a designated delivery point makes life much easier. A designated pick-up or drop-off position in the shop or storeroom means the courier goes straight there, and with a staff member nearby to receive, everything runs smoothly. Simple and smart, just like that place you always keep the car keys - right!

Tip three: Barcodes are your new best friend.

Perhaps you already have a drop-off point, but staff can't always be there to sign for the delivery - but you still want the peace of mind and proof of delivery being made. Barcodes can save the day! Most courier companies offer some form of 'Authority to Leave' (ATL) barcode which can be affixed in a drop-off point. The barcode is linked to the courier computer system and is basically like another form of signature. When the courier delivers an item to the drop-off point, they scan the ATL barcode in place of getting a signature. So when you look at the tracking system, you can see that the item was successfully delivered to the drop-off location.

Tip four: Don't be afraid to ask for help!

One of the biggest sources of frustration for both receiver and courier can be a misunderstanding on what times the courier can access your store or premise. Talking with your courier about this can help determine a time that works for both of you. If your courier has limited flexibility with times, in some cases your courier company may be able to help find alternative solutions. It's all about asking the question!

Following these easy tips will help you keep track of your deliveries and stock, even when it all gets busy - so you'll have more time to focus on your customers and staff, and less wories about misplaced items.

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 750 June / July 2017

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more

Trends analysed at Chicago's International Home + Housewares Show

Each new year for retailers is another question mark in guessing what to present to consumers. Luckily in the world of retail, trade shows can ...


Shoptalk 2019: The city of lights delivers

Juanita Neville-Te Rito shares a sprinkle of retail magic from Las Vegas retail conference Shoptalk.

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit