Trish Roberts, NZ Post Voice of Customer Programme Manager says the last two years have been a whirlwind of ups and downs in the logistics sector. Trish breaks down key initiatives the state-owned enterprise has taken to deliver six parcels per second over the pandemic.
Since being at NZ Post I’ve tried to immerse myself in not only the receiver experience, but what it’s like to work in our depots, retail outlets and in our Customer Care Centre. This means I’ll listen into calls and even deliver parcels to better understand the customer journey. Each of those experiences has taught me something new about this fast-paced and exciting environment, and I’d like to think every day I learn a little bit more.
Here’s a snapshot of a recent CX initiative we undertook at NZ Post to improve experiences for our customers.
New Zealand Post Designed An Experience Improvement Program From the Ground Up
Before launching an experience program, NZ Post had limited visibility on the kinds of delivery experiences it provided, and the impact on customer satisfaction. While NZ Post could see courier performance metrics like scanning and on-time delivery, the business couldn’t see the quality of those deliveries.
Two years ago, NZ Post teamed up with InMoment to create and execute an experience improvement program. The business wanted to create a data-driven environment where it could recognise the importance of delivery metrics, balanced with more qualitative metrics to see the full picture. This program was carefully designed to listen to what customers were saying, with the ultimate goal of making customers happy while saving costs across the business.
NZ Post needed a program that could help them make sense of customer feedback, discovering opportunities to make the parcel delivery process faster, seamless, and consistent. And when it comes to delivering items like perishable food, these are really important factors.
Since 2020, we’ve gone from one touchpoint to 12+ customer journey touchpoints, and still growing! One of these is the experience of the parcel receiver. Similar to other delivery organisations, in most cases we don’t own the relationship with the end receiver but the success of our business strongly relies on the service and experience they have, and how that translates into value for our partner businesses. So we’re continually looking for ways to deliver the best for them.
Improving Experiences Through Successful Meal Box Delivery
Take, for example, meal delivery boxes. Many consumers across the globe take advantage of meal delivery services—but have you ever thought about what goes on behind the scenes to make sure your food box is delivered on time, to your door, and still fresh?
When COVID hit, meal delivery boxes were a key delivery for NZ Post. When deliveries went to the public, NZ Post saw a substantial amount of feedback coming through—and what we noticed was that this experience was different from getting a new outfit delivered. When it comes to food, people wanted to feed their family safely, and NZ post knew we could support that just by listening to customer instructions.
Like many corporates at NZ Post, I’ve spent some time delivering boxes for customers, and I even found it tricky to read delivery instructions. There are different labels, different positioning, sometimes on the scanner (sometimes not), dealing with confusing authority to leave, and more. Knowing how anxious I felt, I could hear the same anxiety coming through when speaking to our delivery contractors who do this every day.
Diving into the data, we understood that the core reason customers were unhappy was that sometimes we didn’t follow delivery instructions as well as we could have, and customers knew their property better than us—they knew where it’s sunny for the longest period of time, where it’s sheltered from the rain, and more.
Solving the Challenge By Improving Courier Experience
How did NZ Post solve this challenge? We started making it easier for our couriers to read individualised instructions.
Shortly after this initiative was rolled out, we saw an immediate recognition from customers. Overall, the NPS jumped up 57 points, their delivery instructions satisfaction scores increased 89%, and customers immediately started calling out the positive experience they were now having.
Tips for CX Professionals
How can you apply these tactics to your own brand?
Tip #1: Strive to Build a Culture of Taking Action. NZ Post is a huge organisation—our team can’t be there to handhold every project and generate the ideas or the solutions, we’re just not best placed to do so, so it was really important that we operate through a decentralised model where our business champions can dip in, get information and work on providing the best. I think we’ve actually got a really great culture of innovation at NZ Post. Ensure people have the correct insights to drive those initiatives forward.
Tip #2: Take the Time to Understand Your Customer Feedback. At NZ Post, we took some time to truly understand what customers think of us, bringing customer snippets to life wherever possible. Quite quickly stakeholders were able to put themselves in the shoes of the customers and think about how strong their emotions were tied to their family safety. Walk (or run!) a mile in the shoes of your own contractors to understand any delivery pain points for them, which flows on to our receivers.
Tip #3: Tie Your CX Initiatives to Financial Results. We were able to show that when customers have a higher NPS, they are more satisfied and complain less, which saves costs at NZ Post. We could also tie this back to our strategic pillars which was to make our people feel valued for the work they do, focus on long lasting relationships and partnerships we have, run a network that is renowned for excellence and customer choices we provide, while anticipating our customer needs and delivering an experience that makes us the first choice.
To learn more, check out InMoment’s webinar on Enabling CX Transformation in Logistics