One-to-One with Frazer Wood @ Gophr

When did you take up your position with the company and what does your role involve?

I joined Gophr back when the “app” was just a white page with some blue text. From the outset, my role at Gophr has always revolved around the growth of the company. I’ve worked in sales, account management, operations and closely with our development team to turn all of the feedback into new functionality to improve conversions and customer experience.

Now as Head of Expansion, my job is to replicate all that Gophr has achieved in the capital across the rest of the United Kingdom. I’m aiming to do this particularly via new approaches to engage courier fleets and enabling Gophr to bring its standard of same day delivery for retailers to more consumers that have not been able to engage in this way before.

Who else is in the senior management team besides you?

We’re always driven forward by our Founder and CEO Seb Robert, who’s unfaltering ambition and continued self-improvement consistently raises the bar for everyone in the company. As a company, we harbor a strong belief that we can be game changers in the industry and bring new delivery experiences to millions.

Krzysztof Worsa, our Co-Founder and CTO, has spent many years working in IT security and the finance sector, building market leading technology; much of which we were told could never be built.

Our General Manager, Hugo Santos, pushes Gophr forwards by keeping us on track in the pursuit of success. Through his time spearheading AnyVan for business, he has learned what it takes to achieve disruption and industry-leading innovation. What’s more, Graham Smith, our Head of Delivery Partnerships, has brought his expertise in Pharmacy to home deliveries to Gophr, as well as his rich experience in logistics and network of industry professionals.

How big is your organisation today?

Gophr is composed of 23 employees; a number that we often regard with pride considering some of our recent competition have, at times, held teams 5 times that number while looking to achieve similar successes that Gophr has been experiencing.

We currently work with around 1000 transport providers and we’re increasing this rapidly. We’re looking for new courier partners across the country right now, so any small and medium fleets should reach out to us if they want to get on board and benefit from the national relationships that we are operating.

What’s your USP that sets you apart from other companies?

Since the beginning, Gophr has always strived to give both the courier and customer value. We listen closely to the needs of our users and set out with an open mind to meet their needs. This means that our clients can be confident that we will be able to act perfectly in line with their brand and customer expectations.

For our couriers, we are quick to act on their feedback and provide weekly company updates, so they feel truly valued and listened to. In doing so, we find that they strive to provide the best service they can because they know they will feel the benefits themselves.

Can you tell us in more detail about what technology you use?

Our services are available to customers and couriers through desktop and mobile (Android and iOS) and we offer integration with API for some of our clients. We take pride in the fact that all of this technology has been developed by our experienced in-house development team.

Technology is at the very heart of Gophr. We have spent years learning, testing, and listening to feedback to help improve our platform. Particularly in the early days, we understood that we didn’t know best and that we had so much to learn from our users. Still to this day, we hold regular sessions with customers and transport partners to find out how to provide value to both.

Feedback sessions have proved particularly effective in building our courier app. We’ve spent many hours collecting feedback in late night courier sessions to understand how we could provide them with the best technology. By adding various features to the app i.e. more information, ways of managing time and customer expectations, it has enabled Gophr’s transport providers to perform complex deliveries with relative ease. This has resulted in industry-leading customer satisfaction rates.

Can you talk us through how clients use your services?

With Gophr, it has never been easier to understand precisely what service you are purchasing. Once a user has entered their delivery requirements, our platform will suggest the best vehicle for the job and will automatically propose the job to the optimal courier. They benefit from full transparency over their parcel’s whereabouts with access to real-time tracking, estimated time of arrival and courier contact details.

Our business is very much two-sided, so we aim to provide all of the same understanding and value to our couriers also, who get the autonomy to choose the work they want to do and have the tools to do it well.

What do you see as the biggest external factors currently driving demand for your services?

With Amazon Prime setting the bar for fast and efficient delivery, consumer expectations are on the rise. At Gophr, we’re able to cater to these demands by providing a speedy and optimised same day service.

What’s more, many courier companies use incumbent technology or no technology at all, resulting in an increase in demand for smart solutions which we believe we can offer at scale. We are collecting a vast amount of data which we are using to drive our tech forwards to meet consumer demands and to create the smartest tech platform in the UK.

What are the key elements for the business in achieving a positive customer service experience?

Currently the parcel delivery sector is the second worst performing industry sector for customer satisfaction, with an average Net Promoter Score of 0 in the UK; people are increasingly frustrated by the lack of information given to them about their parcel’s whereabouts. Today, we’re sitting at an average of 67.5 due to our commitment to transparency, honesty and understanding.

We aim to get rid of delivery frustration by setting expectations up front and giving unparalleled oversight on every delivery, with the option to contact couriers directly. Additionally, our customer service team is fully trained and monitor each delivery to significantly reduce error rates. If ever there’s an issue, someone will be in touch; we aim for an immediate resolution.

Another trend in business is for everyone to want integrated, seamless, joined up information. What are you offering in response?

We offer our clients full oversight over the operations here. We are currently focusing our efforts on communicating to the highest standards to ensure they are always kept informed. We’ve paired our focus on communication with an innovative tech solution for HelloFresh customers and have seen some fantastic results.

We implemented a new, innovative enhancement to HelloFresh’s customers push notifications in cases where items that were ‘left safe’ might not be as secure as the consumer might hope for. We saw an immediate reduction of almost 50% in the number of missing deliveries. Their consumers are now more at ease with providing a leave safe option, which improves first time delivery success rates, reduces thefts, refunds and complaints and also provides a small service to the environment by reducing food wastage.

Gophr also provides one of the most flexible and detailed API options for businesses to plug into. This function allows businesses to receive location and delivery updates on their parcels that they can use internally and to communicate to their own clients.

What opportunities and challenges have you been presented with in recent times?

Same-day delivery is evolving very fast, even a few years ago same-day retail delivery and ecommerce was just emerging and the demand for faster, more considered services is growing. Being agile in this market is something that we think can be of great benefit to Gophr.

As previously mentioned, Gophr strives to provide as much value to the courier as we do to the customer. An ongoing challenge has been balancing courier expectations. Through a recent courier forum, our best performing transport providers felt they should be rewarded for their top performance rates; we agreed. In doing so, we’ve started to gamify the platform by implementing an incentive-based scoring system. While this has its benefits, we are working hard to make this as fair as possible, to avoid putting other couriers on the platform at a disadvantage.

How important is energy efficiency in your business and have you made any investment into energy saving recently?

This is very much at the forefront of Gophr’s agenda. From our establishment, Gophr’s platform has suggested the most environmentally-friendly vehicle for our users to choose. However, we know there is so much more we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and have plans this year to achieve these goals.

Gophr are working towards helping self-employed couriers to get access to electric vehicles. What’s more, we’re close to launching a service that will be supplied 100% by 0 emission vehicles, and we’ll be looking to encourage clients and couriers to get involved with these operations as much as possible. So, stay tuned…

Are you taking part in any exhibitions over the next few months, to get your message across?

We have recently been nominated for a few awards, with the most recent at the 2020 Metapack Delivery Conference, and are always looking to push our message and brand out at the relevant events. We’ll be attending a few events coming up, including the supply chain conference and our CEO Seb Robert will be speaking at the Post and Parcel summit in Copenhagen in March.

Any plans for acquisitions or investments?

We are always looking to invest in research and innovation of our technology and our offering. We will be investing into machine learning and AI this year as well as growing our operational footprint in the UK which may or may not include any acquisitions.

If you could send a message to the Transport Secretary, what would it be?

I would ask that Infrastructure to aid the transition to electric vehicles is given a boost. Particularly also thinking about the benefits this will have for self-employed workers who don’t have their own infrastructure, would struggle to finance it, or have access problems.

Where do you see the company going from here?

Gophr is now looking to offer its services to far more couriers and consumers across the country, with national expansion as a key component this year.

We’re also looking to offer our software to fleets across the country. This will enable them to stay up to date with fast developing tech to help them provide the best service to their clients. In addition, we’re looking to provide more benefits to self-employed couriers and small courier fleets to help them to grow their businesses and create the smartest network of couriers in the UK and then we’ll hope to quickly bring Gophr to new markets on an international scale using a honed methodology of growth.