WHY YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS A LOCAL COURIER SERVICE
Updated: Apr 13
E-commerce makes your business accessible to the whole world. Yet, the customer base for many small businesses is local. Sure, you might get some orders from halfway across the country. At the end of the day, though, it’s the people living within a few miles who keep the lights on. The challenge becomes one of keeping those customers satisfied without putting a bullet in your profit margin.
If you rely on shipping companies or your employees for local delivery, a local courier service can offer a new way to reach that goal. Just as importantly, using a courier service can also benefit your business internally. Let’s jump in and look at some of the benefits for your small business.
Delivery times on mail in recent years isn't stellar. While that’s okay for an ad mailer or newsletter, it’s more of a problem for time-sensitive deliveries. If you expect your letter or package to arrive tomorrow and it turns up in three days, no one is happy.
A local courier service takes the question of delivery time out of the equation. If you say the package must arrive by 5 PM today, it almost always arrives by 5 PM.
Since couriers typically only deliver to one customer at a time, they don’t get held up with dogs or chatty homeowners on their route. They pick up the package and go straight to the destination. On of that, courier services often offer same day and after-hours delivery.
REDUCES VEHICLE MAINTENANCE COSTS
Run your own local deliveries? All that vehicle maintenance gets expensive, doesn’t it?
Even with the relaxed standards for oil changes, it doesn’t take long for a vehicle to rack up 5,000 miles when you make deliveries in it all day. Then there are filters, hoses, tires, and brakes. The brake jobs will kill you if your delivery drivers spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic.
All of that becomes the problem of your local courier delivery service.
It’s up to them to fold those costs into their baseline pricing. The upshot is that they can spread those costs out over an entire fleet of vehicles. They can buy in bulk and hire a mechanic for the actual work.
In the meantime, your vehicles only get used for crucial work.
CUTS OVERALL COSTS
Unless you happen to run a delivery service, odds are you don’t make deliveries all day. If you make your own deliveries, though, there’s a lot of costs involved.
You need vehicles. Those vehicles require fairly substantial insurance, just in case someone gets into an accident. You also must replace those vehicles periodically for safety and efficiency reasons.
Add the cost of employees to those numbers. It’s not just salaries, but benefits, vacation time, and worker’s compensation for all of the employees making deliveries.
Plus, someone must monitor those delivery drivers. You can always invest in some kind of fleet tracking software, but you’ll still end up paying someone to keep an eye on things.
LET’S YOU FOCUS
Following on from the last section, all the resources you dump into delivery are resources taken away from your core business. Since you’re probably not in the business of package delivery, it’s not a core competency. At best, it’s an operational drain.
Think of it like fixing the plumbing. Sure, a motivated do-it-yourselfer can handle a lot of plumbing repairs. The trade off is that the repairs generally aren’t as good and take a lot longer.
Your business situation is unique, so there’s always some number crunching to do. Still, many businesses will find that outsourcing deliveries costs less and frees up resources.
AVOID LOST AND DAMAGED PACKAGES
Let’s see if this sounds familiar. Tracking tells you that your package is on the porch. You go check and it looks like someone used it as a stand-in for a soccer ball.
Even more frustrating is when your package goes into a perpetual state of delay. Then, eventually, it just vanishes somewhere between you and the seller. It’s beyond frustrating. As a owner, you hate these situations as much as your customers do. You ship the item in good faith and still catch flack for the shipping company’s screw-up. Then, you end up replacing the item or refunding the purchase just to smooth troubled waters. A local courier service eliminates this problem. If the package leaves your store in good condition and arrives damaged, there’s no passing the buck. That makes couriers very conscientious about handling deliveries with care.
IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE
Better customer service is one of the key factors in customer satisfaction. While training can help, package delivery times are often a sticking point. Customers don’t like hearing that a package will arrive in 7-10 days. It may show up in 1-3 days, if they opt for the more expensive option, isn’t much better. Imagine how happy it will make your customers when you say, “I’ll send it over to your office this afternoon.” It also lets you distinguish yourself from your competition. Most businesses aren’t offering same-day delivery, even in their local areas.
Depending on what courier service you choose, many of them also offer regional or national services. Those additional services can help you expand your customer base by offering faster than average delivery times.
PARTING THOUGHTS ON LOCAL COURIER SERVICE
A local courier service isn’t just a way for getting packages from here to there.
If your employees ran deliveries, a courier service can save you money. You reduce costs on vehicle maintenance, salaries, benefits, and workers comp.
Some of those savings will pay for the courier services, but you also free up cash and employees for more valuable activities. You can refocus your efforts on core competencies instead of delivery.
Your packages arrive faster. Plus, you drastically reduce the chances of damaged or missing packages. It’s a direct path to improved customer service and customer satisfaction. Contact us today!
Content Credit: Harrisburg Logistics