Let’s face it: the current courier setup in the United Kingdom is a frontier of sorts. Each individual delivery service has its own way of doing things with very little official regulation on the matter. This is an advantage for couriers since government interference is minimized, but very problematic for consumers who may be left relatively powerless if their package is late, damaged or missing.
So why don’t you ease consumer concerns by coming up with a code of practice that will define how your delivery service does its job?
1. Formulate contingencies for problematic item deliveries
Late deliveries, damaged goods, stolen goods, absent recipients, claimants other than the stated recipient – these are but a handful of issues a delivery service will have to deal with. You need to come up with a valid and repeatable solution for each problem, like leaving a note stating that nobody was around to pick up the item and that said item has been returned for safekeeping.
2. Liability: define who is liable for what from the very beginning
Who will pay for what when the items you are supposed to deliver arrive damaged? What will you do when you or one of your couriers actually damages the item? Questions like these are not easy to answer, so you have to be very specific as to who will pay for what if the item in your care is damaged or defective. Seeking legal counsel from those skilled in consumer rights laws will be of great help in this situation. Just think up as many hypothetical situations as you can so you can make the most of your counsel sessions.
3. Professionalism: handle stressful situations with grace and tact
How will you or your employees deal with irate customers who are taking their anger out on you? How about customers who refuse to accept the package and threaten you with legal action? How will you train your people to deal with individuals claiming the package even if they are not the recipients themselves? Defining what you will do in situations like these – namely dealing with difficult or potentially fraudulent individuals – will be a key component of any delivery service’s code of practice.
4. Confidentiality: identify what information to share or withhold
Should you share the name of the sender and/or recipient with just anyone that asks for it? How will you check the legality of the items you are supposed to transport without breaking the trust of your clients? Areas dealing in confidentiality are never easy to answer, but having a general outline of what to do in cases like these will help you avoid trouble while still operating within the accepted norms of customer confidentiality.
Do note that these are but mere descriptions of the four cornerstones of a solid code of practice. Each business is different, and yours is no exception, so it will ultimately be up to you to fill in the gaps. Get it right, and you can use your newly-crafted code of practice to reassure potential clients and win over their trust – even if your competitors are offering dirt-cheap prices!