Customer satisfaction

Continually optimising service and quality for our customers

(Photo: Hermes)

Hermes attaches great importance to high service quality and customer satisfaction. In order to be able to continually improve these, we carry out targeted investigations and analyses. A Germany-wide survey of parcel services shows us how the customer really experiences shipping, receiving or returns with Hermes – down to the last detail and in comparison to the competition. With this information we can work specifically on service aspects that can be enhanced to improve the customer's experience. This helps us to focus on improving customer satisfaction.

Among other things, we are working to further optimise the delivery process by improving means available to couriers and the delivery process itself. At the same time, we can inspire our customers and further improve our delivery rates – especially the rate of first deliveries, which is a decisive indicator of efficiency in logistics.

The focus is on the following objectives:

To continually increase customer satisfaction (greater customer centricity, by making the last mile more flexible and expanding digitisation, for example)Ongoing
To continually expand Hermes' European ParcelShop network.
For Hermes Germany: To increase in the number of ParcelShops in the medium term by 30% to 20,000 drop-off points.

Most pick-ups and deliveries take place in conurbations on the 'final mile'. This is where Hermes couriers and customers come together. The final mile is therefore crucial to success, both in terms of customer satisfaction and costs.

Given the scope of demographic change, we are having to face challenges and always have to have an ear for our customers because we do not often meet face-to-face during the delivery process. Cities are home to more and more single households and households in which both partners work or have a very flexible lifestyle. The first delivery rate is a factor that we are looking to improve on. Daytime deliveries at the first attempt are often not possible because the recipient is not at home. However, multiple deliveries are cost drivers and pollute the environment. In addition, they generate unnecessary and avoidable delivery traffic in urban areas that are already highly congested.

Customer-centric service and high first-delivery rates

An increasing number of customers are looking to have customisable shipping processes to ensure that their shipment reaches them directly, whether at home, in the workplace or even where they are on holiday. Through social media monitoring and our customers' comments on Twitter and Facebook, we know that speed, transparency and reliability are the most important factors influencing satisfaction levels for our customers.

In 2016, Hermes renewed its brand pledge under the motto "Because it's important to you, it's important to us."

The focus is on new services for parcel delivery. First amongst these is the Hermes App, which dispenses with the need for delivery notes and facilitates paper-free parcel delivery. it also keeps customers update on the status of their deliveries. Another example is 'Hermes request delivery'. This offers four service modules that link our clients and their customers even better:

  • Nominated day: The customer determines a suitable day for delivery.
  • Nominated neighbour: The shipment is delivered to a neighbour named by the customer.
  • Nominated ParcelShop: Delivery is made to a Hermes ParcelShop near to the customer’s home.
  • Nominated SafeDrop: The shipment is dropped off at a location requested by the customer (e.g. carport).

Hermes already achieves a first delivery rate of 96.3%. Everyone involved benefits from a higher delivery rate, customers and recipients just as much as our organisation and the environment.

The new fully digital route planning in Germany is helping to provide more efficient delivery and an improved service. For example, it is planned to reduce the delivery time band to 30 to 60 minutes throughout Germany. The new route planning software enables us to forecast a much more precise delivery.

This new route planning contributes to the goal of digitising and continuously improving the entire Customer Journey at Hermes. In the medium term, it is planned to replace the paper notification card with a digital counterpart. The current 15,000 ParcelShops have already been converted to a new generation of scanners.

ParcelShops: established alternative delivery addresses

Since 1999 Hermes ParcelShop has been combining customer centricity with sustainable service. This is a delivery option that conserves resources: direct delivery to the ParcelShop is an attractive alternative for customers who will not be at home during the day. A reason why then that our network has grown constantly over the years and has established itself as the alternative delivery address for distance selling.

Today, with 37,000 pick-up/drop off points in Europe, of which more than 15,000 are in Germany, we maintain the largest network of collection points in private parcel shipment. As this type of parcel shipment focuses individual delivery traffic at a central ParcelShop, it is particularly environmentally friendly. In addition, delivery of parcels to ParcelShops is particularly convenient for customers because shops such as newsagents, bakeries or petrol stations are highly flexible, often staying open for long hours. In large German cities, our customers are generally less than 600 metres from the closest shop. ParcelShops can be conveniently accessed – free of carbon emissions – by cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Thanks to our carbon footprint calculations, we know that ParcelShop deliveries result in up to 30% less CO2 being generated than results from deliveries to the doorstep. ParcelShop deliveries are not only convenient, they are also help customers reduce CO2 emissions.