First things first
40 years ago past August I started my first job (eek, so long ago now). It was in a telesales department at a drinks company and we handled the customer service as well as the promotions. At this time the phrase ‘the customer is always right’ was a thing. During my initial training this myth was dispelled. What we were taught was that we had to manage customer expectations, educate them with what was and wasn’t possible, to under promise and over deliver.
We were also told, if someone has a good experience, they will at most tell up to 6 people in their closest circle but if they have a bad experience, they will tell everyone who will listen to their story. Now 40 years ago, all those people they told about their bad experience were also in their family/social circle and immediate area. With the advent of social media that bad experience can now be told to thousands/millions of people, but they will still only likely tell a few people they know about the good experience. Cancel culture was born.
When I started Hedge Buddies four and a half years ago I had to do a lot of searching to find the right delivery service for someone operating a business in a rural area. At that time Royal Mail didn’t do a collection service and anything over 5kg was about £20 to send with them. Well that wasn’t an option was it! I spent hours comparing prices and trying to find a courier that would collect from me. Apparently Hermes collected but I still didn’t know that at that time. I found Parcel to Go and used whichever options came up that were the cheapest for the delivery I had but, and this is a big but, I had to take all my parcels to a drop off point 5 miles away.
Most of my orders are between 8 – 15kg and I’m not the biggest lady you ever fell over and also have back problems. As you can imagine taking a lot of parcels to a shop in the local town and having to carry them all the length of their car park to then wait in line with their other customers to drop off multiple parcels wasn’t good for man nor beast. I had to find an alternative. It was at this point I discovered that Hermes (not yet Evri) would collect the parcels from me at an additional cost. I started absorbing that extra cost and using their collection service. Once I had rectified a couple of packaging issues I have had zero issues with them. During the time I used the other service regardless of which courier was selected, there were issues but Parcel to Go were a complete nightmare to try to sort out issues with.
The first couple of times I had problems with Hermes, they were difficult to deal with. Since they changed to Evri, I can honestly say, if a parcel goes missing, I contact them, they investigate and if it’s lost they compensate me and I send out another parcel to the customer. This usually takes about 48 hours to get it investigated and resolved. I have had problems with less than 1% of my parcels, which in my book is a very good service. They are convenient, reliable and service small rural businesses in a way the other courier companies don’t. I know that Royal Mail now do a collection service but this isn’t always available. Their Website is sometimes hard to print labels from and they take up to 30 days to complete investigations for lost parcels and you can’t track the parcel through it’s system. This is why I use Evri.
So, who is the Evri customer?
Me, I’m the Evri customer because I have booked their service to deliver my products to my customers. There has been so much bad publicity about Evri but to be fair NONE of the courier services have scored over 2.7 for a satisfaction rating. Why? Because businesses are not managing customer expectations. Clearly on my ‘About‘ page I have details of how long your parcel could take to get to you. To contact me if your parcel does not arrive. It is then up to me to contact Evri and either resolve the issue with them or to resolve the issue for you. You have made a contract with me, not Evri, to have your parcel delivered to you. I will always go the extra mile to try to provide you with the best service I can (from my rural location).
Main Stream Media
Main stream could help a bit more by clarifying the situation as to who you should contact when something goes wrong. Your first point of call should always be the person/company you purchased the item from. Evri is not set up to deal with recipients, they are set up to deal with the retailers because we are their customers.
The main problem is that some businesses are not making it clear who to contact if the parcel goes missing. A lot of customer service people also seem to be unaware of the Consumer Rights Law 2015 where responsibility for goods remain the property of the company until they are delivered. As such, this means it is our responsibility to sort out the delivery issues for ‘you’ our customers. This is what true customer service is. As a sole trader, I contact my customers all the time about potential delays if something in my personal life is going to delay the despatch of their goods. There is nothing to fear about being honest. That’s what customers want when they deal with a business. Honesty and integrity.
In the last year Evri have delivered over 700 million parcels (source) and expect 90 million to be delivered over the festive period this year (Source). That is a phenomenal amount of logistics squeezed into a very short space of time. So, be realistic about what can be done. If you order something at 9pm while you are browsing with your cuppa, then you are not going to get a next day delivery. It’s impossible. I’ll give you an example. My neighbour works at a company that send out their own parcels and are also a drop off point for Evri. On a normal day they handle about 300 parcels. Last Friday (9th December) they handled 3000 parcels. If you were asked by your boss to suddenly do 10 times the work you normally do but in the same time frame as yesterday, how would you cope?
Please be mindful, your Evri courier might be self employed but contracted to deliver your parcels by a 3rd party contracted to Evri. They have a family and either rent or a mortgage to pay for and food to put on the table just like you. They are just you but doing a different job and trying to provide a service to you. There will be some bad apples, but they are not the norm.
Remember if you have had a great experience from a business you have used, be as quick to leave them a great review or take to your socials and praise them as much as you would to knock them down for bad service.
We are all just trying to get by in very difficult trading conditions and earn a living.