Triangle Management Services, the specialist services provider to the global mail and express industry, has just released the 2014 edition of the ‘UK Domestic B2C Express Parcels Distribution Survey’, and finds that negative social media comments about the parcels carriers they use is emerging as an argument for shippers to change carriers.
In 2014 Triangle conducted some 495 in-depth telephone interviews with B2C shippers, and collected a total of 646 benchmark service ratings for the two main carriers used for home deliveries. Whilst looking at current carrier usage, Triangle also investigates any instances of shippers deliberately stopping usage of any carriers. Over the previous 12 months (i.e. largely during the course of 2013), only 4% of shippers had stopped using a carrier, compared with 6% in 2012, so a fairly low churn rate. Shippers do not change their main carriers frequently; over the last two years’ surveys, Triangle has found that, on average, around 35% of carrier users have been customers for over five years. Although there are variations by carrier.
So, when Triangle asked B2C shippers how likely they were to change carriers due to negative social media comments, the response was a resounding ‘Highly Unlikely’. However, what is interesting is that 15% said that it was ‘likely or highly likely’ they would change carrier because of social media. One in four respondents did not use social media, but of those who did, the majority said that they were unlikely to change carrier on the basis of what people were saying in social media. Interestingly, the pattern varies slightly according to the main carrier used, and in future surveys, Triangle plans to track the strength of social media as an influencing factor on carrier choice.
It is well known that the UK’s express market is extremely competitive, and shippers are increasingly well informed, with rising expectations of high service levels and value for money. Triangle’s annual survey benchmarks the carriers on ‘Overall level of service’, ‘Competitive price’, ‘Customer service’, ‘Image’ and ‘Provision of information’. There are also fourteen other key service description factors on which the carriers are rated, such as: ‘Collects on time’, ‘Delivers on time’, ‘Rarely damages parcels’, ‘Offers sufficient alternative delivery locations’, ‘Collection of Returns’ and ‘Solves my problems’. In addition, since 2013, Triangle’s study has started to track shipper usage of specific alternative delivery solutions (e.g. parcel shops and unattended lockers), as well as goods returns levels.
Carriers benchmarked in the survey include the major global integrators TNT Express, UPS and FedEx, along with home delivery experts Hermes, Yodel and Royal Mail, plus Parcelforce Worldwide, DPD, Interlink, APC Overnight, City Link, UK Mail and freight parcel specialists DX Freight. In total, thirteen carriers offering UK domestic home delivery services are rated by their customers, and compared against each other in this study.
Triangle’s ‘UK Domestic B2C Express Parcels Distribution Survey’ was first published in 2008 and is emerging as the industry standard benchmarking study for the home delivery sector. Its status reflects the way in which subscribers, principally the carriers themselves, use the survey to benchmark themselves against their competitors, whilst also judging their own company performance in all the important customer interface areas and the success of new initiatives.
Express Director at Triangle, Robin Parr-Davies, commented “having produced the Triangle B2C survey now for seven years, we know and understand the value of the UK Domestic Express Survey programme to our clients. The home delivery sector is changing rapidly and this latest report continues to highlight areas for improvement that the carriers must address in order to retain customers and remain competitive.”
Triangle Management Services Ltd, founded in 1984, delivers a unique range of business services to leading companies and senior executives managing and shaping the mail and express industry. Triangle’s extensive portfolio of services includes high-level conferences, online and print media, industry specific research, strategic consultancy and recruitment, and provides access to the senior players in the sector worldwide.
Souce: Triangle Management Services