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Yodel announces launch of Inflight

New features allow customers to change delivery options up to one hour before the delivery is due

Independent parcel carrier Yodel has announced the launch of Inflight, a new set of features that will allow customers to amend their delivery preferences online or via the Yodel mobile app, up to an hour before delivery is due. The service, introduced as part of Yodel’s ongoing innovation programme, is designed to improve the customer experience. The service has been piloted over the summer and will be rolled out in full in the New Year.

Inflight has been designed to work with Yodel’s Xpect service, which already provides customers with a two-hour delivery window. The new features, which can be tailored by client, will give customers the ability to easily send the carrier instructions after they’ve left the retailer’s check out environment.

Yodel will send a notification to the customer as soon as their parcel is received into its network, advising them of the Inflight options available to them, including:

  • Select a safe place where parcels should be left if no-one is home
  • Nominate a neighbour to receive parcels (as well as advising which neighbours not to disturb)
  • Change the delivery address
  • Redirect the package to one of over 7,000 CollectPlus Points nationwide, where it can be picked up at the customer’s convenience
  • Choose a different delivery date
  • Keep the parcel at the nearest Yodel customer delivery depot for collection
  • ‘Hold, I’m On Holiday’ feature, which instructs the depot to keep the parcel for up to three weeks before attempting delivery.

Customers can then change their instructions up to an hour before the delivery is due, allowing them to flex their delivery around their diary. 

Also included in the service is an updated driver tracking feature, co-branded with the retailer, which shows a live map of their driver’s route, the time slot for the delivery, and a stop countdown, so customers can see how many deliveries will be made before the driver reaches their address.

The services have been developed by Yodel’s Innovation Lab, in conjunction with three of Yodel’s major clients; Argos, Virgin Media and Shop Direct, using customer feedback gathered through the carrier’s feedback programme, Have Your Say.  Over 1,000 shoppers took part in the pre-development survey, with 59% saying that they would like the ability to divert their parcel to a safe place if they go out and 44% wanting to nominate a specific neighbour for their order to be left with if they are not at home.

Results of the pilot have seen a positive uplift in both customer satisfaction levels and Net Promoter Scores across all three clients, according to feedback received via Yodel’s Have Your Say programme.

Neil Ashworth, chief commercial officer at Yodel and CEO of CollectPlus, said: “The launch of Inflight is an exciting milestone for the business and reflects our ongoing commitment to improving our service and the customer experience. Inflight offers customers greater flexibility than ever before and is designed to meet the needs of our increasingly busy lifestyles. We are providing functionality that offers customers control of when and where they can receive their delivery.  In particular, the option to re-direct packages to one of over 7,000 CollectPlus Points across the country offers the customer genuine convenience and helps to differentiate Yodel’s service.”

Commenting on the new service, Phil Hackney, group operations director at Shop Direct – the operator of Very.co.uk and one of the retailers which took part in the pilot, commented: “We’ve been trialling Inflight over the summer and the feedback from our customers has been hugely positive. The features increase the rate of delivery success on the first attempt and lower the number of calls into our contact centre, helping us improve customer satisfaction and be more efficient.”

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