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Sharing is caring – how effective customer communication can help retailers reap real rewards

Our recent survey shows communication is one of the four factors that most impact customer satisfaction.


Keeping customers informed is key in any sector, but as we know, communications and engagement are particularly important for online retailers in ensuring a brilliant buying experience.

Developing and maintaining a strong and consistent communications channel with customers is vital and helps to keep them connected, informed and updated on their purchase journey, and reassured that everything is going as it should. This is why we offer messaging as standard, both email and SMS, keeping shoppers notified of when their parcel is out for delivery, delivered or delivered to a safe place or their neighbour.

Keeping customers in the loop

According to a recent survey we carried out¹, 96 per cent of customers find it useful to receive notifications when expecting a parcel.  We’ve also found that poor communication with customers can have a significant impact on Net Promoter Scores.

Our study showed us that communications is one of the four key factors that impact NPS ratings; when customers are dissatisfied with how they are kept informed, it can drag a potential  NPS score of +88 down to -44, a dramatic result that clearly illustrates the importance of this area to shoppers.

We’re firmly of the belief that sharing is caring and strive to ensure that we utilise communications channels that shoppers wish to be contacted through  to enable them to be part of the journey and understand when their parcel is due to arrive.

Communications channels are key

At Yodel we provide both email and SMS notifications as standard. The majority of customers- over 39 per cent of the people we surveyed- preferred to receive notifications by both SMS and email, this rose to 53 per cent for 18-24s. Therefore, ensuring that customers are being communicated to via their channels of choice is key to a great online experience 

People responding to our survey wanted to receive messages through both channels to ensure that they didn’t miss a notification. Receiving alerts via SMS and email, reassured customers who said they were concerned they might not be online to receive an email, or may not have a mobile signal to receive a text message.

Customers also said they liked the fact that SMS is instant, but email provides a written record that can be saved. However, if customers were to choose one channel, three quarters (76 per cent) would select SMS.  This increases to over 80 per cent for females and 25-34 year olds.

Clear messaging creates a smoother customer journey

As our insight has shown just how much communication impacts the customer journey, we have built a number of key messages to ensure that customers are kept in the loop throughout the delivery process.

These include our Out for Delivery Today notification, which 64 per cent of people want to receive and the Parcel has been Delivered notification, which 43 per cent of people surveyed responded positively to. Other popular options include Delivered to Safe Place and Delivered to Neighbour SMS and email notifications.

We also provide additional features on our tracking website, including courier telephone Number, A Parcel Countdown, and the option to nominate a Safe Place Location. These all help to make absolutely sure that customers are comfortable and confident about where their parcel is and have a good idea of when it is due to arrive.

Popular service options we have created to improve the customer experience include the estimated two-hour delivery window provided with our Xpect and Xpect Returns service.

A premium service, Xpect offers next day, two day or pre-12pm delivery, with a two hour window communicated to the customer on the morning of delivery.  It is available six days a week as standard, with both signature and leave-safe options. Over 94 per cent of our deliveries achieve the two-hour window. Our Xpect Returns service offers home collection within a two hour window.

Xpect meets the needs of customers who don’t want to be tied to the house for the day, as customer feedback showed us that a two-hour collection window was ideal for customers as it gives people the freedom to plan their activities around their delivery.  

Point of purchase information can make all the difference

The information we receive from retailers and the processes they have in place at point of purchase play a key role in helping us to tailor our service to customers and achieve best in class NPS scores.

Retailers can help by collecting correct customer contact information at the point of purchase and clearly explaining to customers what it will be used for. This should include both an email address and a mobile telephone number if possible.

Another area where retailers can help to improve satisfaction levels and deepen engagement is by proactively notifying customers if a parcel is due to be delayed. Xperience enables retailers to address this potentially negative experience by instantly informing customers of upcoming delays, ensuring they are able to plan ahead and are not inconvenienced.

Working collaboratively with retailers to improve guidance given to shoppers at point of purchase enables us to provide outstanding communications to customers.  It’s the small things that make a big difference and retailers that work with us on the customer journey reap the biggest rewards in terms of customer experience and NPS scores.

Enter your details on the right-hand side to find out more on how to keep your customers informed every step of the way during their delivery experience.



¹Yodel ‘Have Your Say’ customer survey, April 2018, 3600 responses.

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