**Warning: This story may hit close to home. The following account is a terrifying real delivery experience. All people and customers have been anonymized for their own protection.
The Delivery Appointment Nightmare
Sarah** bought a mattress and boxspring set from “Mattress & Co.” Since delivery men were supposed to haul away her old bed, she requested that the mattress and boxspring be delivered together. Mattress & Co. informed her she would receive a call when her mattress was nearby, and subsequently, she would receive a call to set a delivery appointment.
Two weeks later, she received a call from an automated machine telling her that her bed would be delivered the next morning. Despite needing to go to work on Saturday, Sarah called off in order to be home for the delivery.
When the delivery team arrived, they came in with the box spring, but no mattress. When Sarah inquired, they called the warehouse and discovered that the mattress would be delivered on the following Tuesday, another day that Sarah was supposed to work, but now had to take off. On Tuesday — when Sarah waited for her delivery team during her allotted appointment time — she received a call that her appointment had been postponed. This happened twice, forcing her to take off four days in total because of this delivery
Sarah felt extremely frustrated with the situation — she wasn’t informed of her second delivery appointment ahead of time, and the delivery now costed her four days of work, instead of just the initial white glove service fee from the company. The delivery team had not let her schedule the delivery at her convenience, and the retailer missed on its promise to relay her delivery information to them.
When interviewed about the catastrophe, Sarah said, “The whole ordeal just left me feeling like Mattress & Co. is not a professional company!”
Preventing Out-of-Control Delivery Appointments
Scheduling large-item deliveries is often a confusing and time-consuming process. For Sarah, it led to disappointment and frustration over the inability to choose her delivery schedule. In our consumer research, we have found that 53% of shoppers are not satisfied with their inability to change the date of delivery if they aren’t home, and on average, shoppers want to change their delivery appointment to fit their schedule at least 20% of the time.
“The whole ordeal just left me feeling like Mattress & Co. is not a professional company!”
Brands can certainly make the process of scheduling a delivery appointment more efficient by allowing shoppers to schedule at their own convenience — and they have incentive to do so! Even though carriers have the final hand-off with end-consumers, 94% of customers will still blame the brand — not the carrier — for the poor delivery experience. 7 out of 10 of customers who have issues in their delivery experience also not return back to that brand, creating a smaller lifetime value for that customer.
Making delivery appointment setting easier for brands, consumers, and carriers
While consumers expect their brands to take responsibility of the delivery from cart to door, this delivery appointment nightmare scenario is common. According to our data, over 20% of White Glove shipments lose multiple days of delivery because they need scheduling services, or because scheduling times are inconvenient for customers. In addition to added convenience to customers, carriers typically have to make multiple phone calls to customers — who don’t want to answer a random phone call. Manual delivery appointments made by carriers also leave room for error, resulting in incorrect addresses and services — as Sarah saw during her delivery appointment fiasco.
By letting customers choose their own appointment times, it allows them to choose a delivery window that works for them, reduces the chance for error in the data exchange, and it gives the brand more control over the delivery experience.