This has been the week of discussions about shipping providers. In fact, taking a solid look at providers seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Shipping plays a particular importance in a business, because the shipper acts as an extensions of their business and can make them look bad or good depending on the quality and speed involved.
Update:
You have to watch this movie, because it drives home the point.

Here are 3 reviews of the same company, FedEx.

Opinion 1 – Unfavorable

As far as I am concerned FEDEX is the biggest rip off in the shipping
business!!!!! They are the worst!!!! Why?

I have had a number of packages shipped through them where I paid
for quick shipment and it took days or weeks to finally get there. They
never made good on the fact that I paid to quick ship these even though
the seller paid them to ship them to me. I wanted a refund as I paid
for quick delivery. Their response? If you read the fine print, they are not
responsible to the person receiving the package. Basically, I was told
to read the fine print. And it happened multiple times, and they did nothing
even after I filed a claim.

I had large package shipped to me from Colorado. FEDEX LOST the package.
Yes, can you believe it? They lost it. I had to write a letter filing a claim and
they basically said too bad and did nothing. I was at a trade show in NYC
at the Javitz center. And as the trade show was ending, we came out
to the FED EX Kiosk booth inside the Javitz center with stuff we picked
up at the show that we wanted shipped home. It was stuff that fit in a
small shirt box. The “sales” reps could not have been more indifferent
or non caring. They ignored us for a long time. Then they basically forced
us into a larger box, which we did not need, and forced us to pay more. I
think all they wanted was a tip. Horrible service!!!!!

Around here, they have this spin off service. I think its called FED EX
Home or something like that? Apparently FEDEX contracts out for these
services. It looks like FED EX, but its run by low level contract delivery
people. I had a delivery guy here that would wait till like 7 p.m. or later
in the evenings to deliver packages. His game was to try to make people
think he was going out of his way to deliver the package late at night
so he could get a tip. He tried to make people think he was working hard.
What a Joke!!!!!!

They are the WORST overnight shipping company out there. I go out
of my way to NOT use them!! Horrible!!!!!!!!!!

- Blaine http://www.blainesworld.net/

Opinion 2 – Favorable

A consumer products busines has tried various other shipping companies for a mail/ecommerce business. They have switched completely to FedEx because:

  • FedEx supplies them with computers, bar code scanners, printers, scales, and labels.
  • They helped integrate FedEx shipping into their ecommerce system eliminating unnecessary double entry.
  • An account rep calls them on a regular basis making sure they have everything they need and aren’t having any problems.
  • Any issues are resolved in a timely manor and there have been very few.

Opinion 3 – Very Favorable

I was just talking to a client yesterday who was singing many praises to FedEx and said he would never go back to another shipping company. Why?

  • He has never lost a package he has shipped with FedEx.
  • He can see where his package is at any step in the process. As a settlement/abstract company “in the mail” isn’t good enough.
  • He gets a copy of the signed recipient slip faxed him as soon as the FedEx delivery person has delivered the parcel, not days later like USPS.
  • Their service reps are all US based, friendly, and speak clear English.
  • The phone system has the best voice recognition of any, making it easy to the person you need in the fewest steps possible.
  • They pay their employees the highest salary and most benefits in the industry.

My Thoughts

These examples point out how important customer service is in the perception of a business. I am reading a book called fresh Customer Service by Michael D. Brown, which points how a companies growth is tied to its front-line customer facing employees. He says, “Treat the employee as #1 and the customer as #2 and you will get customers for life.”

I had almost given up on a local fast food restaurant in the area. The reason being the low moral and problems delivering the food that was ordered despite the quick food prep time. This time it was a complete turn around. The employees were having fun, spending time interacting with customers, and getting the orders right. The place had 4 times the amount of customers to the previous time. FedEx and other delivery companies need to realize that their success depends on how they train their employees and that good employees to need to serve every customer, not just the biggest ones.