Of all the sectors in the study, Logistics improved the most, in all pillars of customer experience. Its Net Promoter Score (indicating customer willingness to recommend a brand) rose by 10 points on average. The sector is currently the third best, surpassed only by Restaurants and Fast Food and Non-Grocery Retail. The Logistics sector stands out chiefly in the personalization pillar.
Logistics companies are expanding services and innovations. The most noticeable shift is towards private individuals/households being able to send shipments through privately-run logistics companies. Some new features are invisible to customers yet have an impact on efficiency and thus potentially the price of services. For instance, DHL deploys vast numbers of LocusBots, autonomous mobile robots, for distribution warehouses. So far, it is applying this innovation in North America only, but in the coming years, the firm intends to do so in Europe and the Czech Republic.
Mergers (Uloženka and In Time) and the formation of partnerships are occurring in this sector (AlzaBox used by Zásilkovna customers). But sometimes, this can be a risky venture, as Zásilkovna experienced when it had to cease cooperation with USPS for shipments to the USA.
Leading the sector is Zásilkovna, which recorded an above-average score in all pillars of the customer experience. In particular, customers value the delivery speed, updates on the dispatch process and very favourable prices. The delivery service continues to expand in the Czech Republic and abroad. By the end of 2020, Zásilkovna intends to exceed the threshold of 3,500 pick-up points in the Czech Republic. Additionally, it provides a delivery service in Europe and the USA. Plans are also afoot to launch in the Middle East.
“I use Zásilkovna if I can. We’ve got several pick-up points where we live. It’s fast, you don’t need to wait and, most of all, it’s cheaper.” (Woman, 55)
“The PPL driver gave me a nice surprise – when he couldn’t deliver the package by car because of a traffic jam, he delivered it on foot.” (Woman, 68)
DHL: “It delivered my order to me, and arranging a time with the courier when I’d be at home worked out perfectly.” (Woman, 76)
Maintaining its position, PPL comes second but is improving, and breathing down the neck of Zásilkovna. In the overall rankings of all brands in the study, PPL jumped 47 places, a fantastic achievement. Besides, it had the best-rated response to COVID-19 in the Logistics sector. The brand is introducing innovations, such as investing in a web application and making it possible for private individuals to send parcels on a cash on delivery basis.
Česká pošta serves as a noteworthy illustration. Although it has not yet reached the Top 100 brands list, the postal service has improved significantly in the overall rankings, moving up 33 places. Its coronavirus response score far exceeds its overall rankings. In the eyes of customers, the mobilization in the spring boosted Česká pošta. This positive achievement can be built upon but also easily lost.
COVID-19 posed a significant challenge to Logistics. Unlike other sectors, which mostly had to address a sharp drop in demand and a slowdown in activity, the need for delivery services shot up as customers switched to online shopping. However, complications arose in the form of many closed pick-up points, the need to comply with increased hygiene requirements and the sudden restriction on cash payments. The last of these obstacles in particular inconvenienced many customers:
“I’ve got no issues with this company. On the contrary, everything works great, and they send e-mails and text messages about the shipment location. And they also tell you when you’ll get it, whether it’s at the collection point now, and when you can pick it up. My only problem is having to pay by card. I get paid in cash and don’t have a bank account. This arrangement restricts my freedom unnecessarily and shouldn’t be there. Cash is real, and I don’t like this limitation. It’s like I was demanding to pay in bitcoins or another crypto-currency and forcing others to do the same.
Conversely, what did customers like about logistics corporations? Česká Pošta and PPL delivered masks for free. Zásilkovna introduced Zásilkovna Drive, enabling shipment without customers having to get out of their cars. For the first time, Alza opened its delivery lockers to another firm by enabling Zásilkovna to use AlzaBoxes. Again, the aim was to give customers the option of contactless shipment pick-up.