November 28, 2017
Hermes is a leading parcel courier in the United Kingdom and is committed to always being the first choice among U.K. consumers. Doing so requires a deep focus on improving the customer experience (CX) in which Hermes extensively measures the entire journey of both its customers and each parcel to ensure its providing a highly satisfactory experience that translates to business success. We sat down with Lee Houghton, head of Customer Experience and Development at Hermes, to learn more about the company’s approach to CX.
And for more about how Hermes is a best-in-class VOC leader, watch our interview with Lee via the video below.
Why is it important for Hermes to measure customer experience?
Ultimately, we want to be the courier of choice for all consumers in the U.K., which fundamentally means customer satisfaction has to be the way that we measure ourselves going forward. Historically, it’s been about, “Have we delivered the parcel?” Going forward, it’s going to be about, “How have we delivered the parcel?”
If we don’t measure and understand what our customers think of us, we won’t achieve our ambition. Delivering parcels isn’t the most exciting of industries and we need to find our ways to differentiate ourselves from competitors.
How do you make sure you capture, measure, and improve the entire customer experience, wherever customers interact with your brand?
At Hermes, we’ve been on a journey since 2014. We started with the website measure, when people can come to track a parcel or to ship a parcel to another consumer. We saw the value of that data and then started to roll-out [measuring] the entire parcel journey. We have 12,000 service providers, people that deliver parcels, and that’s fundamentally the bread and butter of what we do. We are becoming more and more intelligent about what we do, and each of the different touch points. [Based on that data, it’s only recently] that we can start to see the [changes] we need to make to become the courier of choice for all U.K. consumers.
What are the biggest issues that your industry faces that CX Intelligence can help solve?
We deliver 265,000,000 parcels a year and have 12,000 service provider [contractors] that deliver these parcels for us on our behalf. The biggest challenge is having the ability to understand and influence what they need to do (in their interactions at the doorstep) to improve customer satisfaction. Having 12,000 variables (aka the service providers) [is] quite a challenge. The data that we see with ForeSee allows us to pick the actionable insights to influence their behaviors where possible.
What ForeSee products do you use and why?
Hermes uses the ForeSee web measure, which is what we started with. Since seeing the value of the data it provided, we’ve now got a “Final Mile Delivery” or collection measurement in place. We’ve just turned on a “Parcel Shop” (in-store) Measure, as a customer has the opportunity to drop a parcel off to inject it into our network at a local shop, and can also collect a parcel from that same location. Because we want to become the courier of choice for all end consumers, it was important that we work with our customers [to measure satisfaction of the entire customer journey, both shipping and receiving.]
Can you talk about any specific results or outcomes that ForeSee helped Hermes with?
Using ForeSee, we’ve been able to identify the actionable insights to influence a courier’s behavior, where possible. We know that if we can set a customer expectation that we are going to deliver a parcel at a particular time, on a particular day, then satisfaction is increased.
Historically, we’ve measured speed of service, so, how quickly do we deliver a parcel? Now, as mentioned we are moving to “how have we delivered that parcel?” We understand that interaction on the doorstep is vital to providing customer satisfaction, [and plan to] launch a campaign to advise the couriers on what they need to do. (It’s a, “Say hello and smile campaign,” ultimately.) Without [ForeSee], we would have never picked up on how the courteousness of the courier at the doorstep is something we need to focus on to forever improve our satisfaction scores.