Demystifying Delivery

Making Sense of Delivery Options: Part 2

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The primary goal of any delivery service is to improve the customer’s experience at the lowest possible cost. In part one of our exploration of dry cleaning delivery, we described the different types of services that cleaners utilize: Unattended, Static, By Request, and Attended. Each of these aim to balance customer satisfaction and driver efficiency.

So which delivery type is right for your business, and how can technology improve your service?

Unattended vs. Attended Delivery

Unattended Delivery is convenient for the customer, who does not have to be home to greet your driver, and efficient for your driver, who can simply pick up or leave the clothing at the customer’s location in a matter of seconds. For cleaners servicing rural and suburban markets, Unattended is ideal.

Urban markets — where customers lack secure drop-off locations — are a different beast. While Attended Delivery addresses the “hand-off” issue, it used to be quite difficult and inefficient to coordinate the schedules of the cleaner, customer, and driver. Mobile technology has changed this, unlocking the urban markets for savvy cleaners.

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Customers can now schedule convenient delivery times or bundle deliveries with others in their building right from their phone. Automated customer SMS and push notifications ensure that customers are available and prepared when the driver arrives. And sophisticated routing technology enables drivers to maximize their stops per hour.

By Request vs. Static Routes

For years, Static Routes — where drivers stop at each customer regardless of whether they have an order — were the most profitable way to run a delivery service. Static Routes are convenient for customers because they do not have to call the store each week to place an order. Drivers like them because they can memorize and perform the same exact route day-in and day-out and do not have to plan their route each week.

But Static Routes have a major downside: they are terribly inefficient. In fact, 60-80% of Static Route stops do not even result in an order. Further, the driver becomes irreplaceable as the only one who knows the route.

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Technology has again changed the equation, making By Request Delivery the better option for many cleaners and their customers. Delivery routes can be automated each week based on which customers have placed orders, so drivers do not have to plan each route. Customers can be automatically reminded to place their weekly order in a couple taps of their smartphone. With this technology, By Request eliminates no-shows and the driver dependence of Static Routes.

Unattended Delivery will continue to be the best service type in suburban and rural areas. Advances in communications technology make it even better, enabling customers and cleaners to take advantage of By Request service. These advances have also unlocked urban markets by increasing the efficiency of Attended Delivery. No matter what delivery type you use, pair your service with technology to improve efficiency and customer experience.