Transactional Feedback Benefits | Last Mile Delivery | Descartes Routing UK

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Benefits of transactional feedback for last-mile delivery

Transactional Feedback


The delivery experience can have a big influence on consumer perceptions of your brand. 

If deliveries aren’t up to scratch, it’s important to identify the issue as quickly as possible. Equally, it’s essential to know what’s working well so that your team can reinforce best practice.  

Here’s why real-time transactional feedback should be part of your last-mile delivery tool kit. 


Relational versus transactional feedback 

Broadly speaking, there are two types of customer feedback. 

  • Relational feedback: Relationship scores are measured by surveying customers at regular intervals. Questions assess the customer’s overall sentiment about your business.  Common metrics include Net Promotor Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score. 
  • Transactional feedback: Real-time feedback is triggered by an event, such as a delivery or service interaction. This provides an instant insight into customer experience at a particular touchpoint. 

The ideal mix of feedback allows you to measure the health of customer relationships while optimising specific interactions in the customer journey.




Limitations of relational feedback 

Many businesses lean on relational statistics for insights about the customer experience. But when it comes to tracking last-mile performance, these methods have limitations. 

  • Biased results: Feedback may be from a random sample of customers, and is often collected hours, days or weeks after a delivery. Customers may struggle to recall what happened, leading to survey abandonment. Scores are distorted as only customers who had a memorably good or memorably bad experience will respond, known as the halo and horns effect. 
  • Not tied to specific experiences: Customer satisfaction scores may reflect the client’s overall impression of your brand. While this is a useful metric, it can be difficult to extract granular insights about a specific delivery or driver and what influenced satisfaction. 
  • Not actionable: Most feedback is too general and collected too late to assist with service recovery. Results are designed to give a broader picture, rather than to address specific problems or highlight good performance. 

Real-time transactional feedback tackles these problems by getting customer feedback quickly after a delivery.  


How does real-time delivery feedback work? 

First, you’ll need a system that registers when a delivery is completed. This could be when the driver clicks a button in their mobile workforce app, or when they leave the geofence of the job.  

Completion can trigger an email or SMS to the customer. SMS is recommended as customers tend to open these more promptly – especially if they are receiving order tracking messages.   

The SMS can link to a branded feedback portal where the recipient completes a short survey.   

Some businesses allow customers to rate different elements of their experience separately. For instance, the driver might have been exceptionally professional, but the items were not correct.   

customer receiving a delivery notification and tacking her order

After the rating, customers can answer simple questions about their delivery. 


Transactional survey example for deliveries 

A good transactional feedback survey will open by telling customers why they should submit feedback.  

The form will then collect quantitative feedback such as a rating, and qualitative feedback from open-ended questions.  

The rating system should be intuitive for customers and align with your brand. You might opt for a star rating, a number rating, or an emoji scale. 

To minimise form abandonment, it’s a good idea to ask for a rating first, before displaying up to five key follow-up questions.  

Here’s an example survey: 

Please take this quick survey to help us improve our delivery service: 

  1. Please rate your driver today: [Customer can select a star rating]
  2. Please rate your overall experience today: [Customer can select a star rating]
  3. What went well? 
    [Checkbox] Driver was professional 
    [Checkbox] Delivery arrived on time 
    [Checkbox] Tracking and ETA were helpful 
  4. What could we improve on? 
    [Checkbox] Driver was unprofessional 
    [Checkbox] Delivery did not arrive on time
    [Checkbox] Items were missing or damaged 
  5. Tell us more: [Customers can type their response] 


How to use real-time feedback 

Once you’ve collected timely feedback, the next step is to ensure that it quickly ends up in the right hands.  

For example, negative feedback can trigger an alert to a customer service advisor. This allows your team to act on the issue before it escalates and often good follow up can make it a positive experience for the customer. 


Customer service call center

Positive feedback can be used to identify good performance and share best practices with drivers. 


Benefits of transactional feedback for deliveries 

Transactional surveys help businesses to collect feedback that’s representative, accurate and actionable. Here are just some of the benefits: 

  • Higher response rate than traditional feedback methods: By surveying each customer while the experience is top-of-mind, companies make it easy to respond.  
  • Operational savings: Automated surveys are more cost-effective than contacting each customer manually after the event. Support staff can focus on those who need assistance. 
  • Accurate, representative feedback: Customers respond after the driver has left, but they still remember their experience. Granular detail: Feedback can be used to measure satisfaction specifically related to the delivery experience. Responses are linked to individual orders and drivers, so it’s easy to pinpoint where things have gone wrong – or right! 
  • Actionable insights: Your team can act on negative feedback and prevent an unfavourable experience from escalating into a complaint or negative public review. 
  • Employee satisfaction: Since positive feedback is tied to specific jobs, your team can identify and repeat what’s working.  It's easier for supervisors to recognise drivers’ efforts, improving the employee experience


Limitations of transactional delivery feedback 

While deliveries can have a large impact on customer sentiment, there are many other pieces to the puzzle. It’s important to collect a mix of feedback including regular NPS or CSAT surveys to track customer satisfaction over time.  

By taking this mixed approach, businesses can continuously improve delivery performance while keeping one eye on customer relationship trends.  


Adding real-time feedback to your last-mile tech stack 

A satisfaction survey shouldn’t be the first time a customer hears from you after they place an order. Customer engagement software can be integrated with routing, mobile and telematics solutions to provide end-to-end communication. 

For instance, changes in order status can trigger real-time progress updates via SMS. Location data can then be used to provide a live tracking map of the driver’s arrival. By the time a delivery arrives, customers are ready, waiting, and primed to provide feedback. 


Get in touch with Descartes today to find out how you could improve customer satisfaction on deliveries through accurate and timely feedback.