Customer Engagement Benefits | Equipment Hire | Descartes Routing UK

5 Benefits of last-mile customer engagement for equipment hire companies

Happy equipment hire customer


In the competitive world of equipment hire, providing a seamless last-mile delivery and collection process is a crucial differentiator.  

The complexities of the construction industry mean that visibility is essential. The recipient needs to be in the right place at the right time to attend the delivery or provide the goods for collection. Generally, equipment will need to be signed for and unloaded in an appropriate location. On completion, it’s essential to provide proof of delivery and condition.  

In this blog we delve into the benefits of a comprehensive customer engagement strategy for equipment hire companies. Keep reading to find out how order tracking software can improve customer experience, boost brand loyalty and increase efficiency around deliveries and collections.  


Why do you need a customer engagement strategy for the last mile? 

The last mile of delivery or collection is the point at which your service interacts with your customers. It’s therefore vital to provide an experience that customers remember for the right reasons. 

A late delivery or lack of communication will leave customers with a negative impression of the supplier. Increased visibility helps customers to plan their schedule around attended deliveries. This improves their overall experience of your business and contributes to higher customer lifetime value (CLV).  

By putting the customer at the centre of the last mile, tool hire companies can also generate efficiency savings. Proactive communication means fewer missed deliveries and collections, reduced calls to the contact centre, and less time wasted on site.  

Let’s expand on the benefits of a customer-centric last-mile delivery strategy for equipment hire. 


Upset equipment hire customer


Improved customer experience 

When customers don’t have enough information, they feel anxious, left in the dark, and as though their business doesn’t matter to you. What’s more, your driver might arrive on site to find that customers aren’t prepared to receive the delivery.  

Even if the delivery is completed, the uncertainty and inconvenience could result in customer dissatisfaction and potentially a lost client. 

Offering customers real-time notifications about their orders and deliveries — including ETA windows that are accurate to 15 minutes or less — will help ensure they’re ready and available for their delivery.  

Real-time tracking of the driver’s location gives increased transparency, ensuring that all parties are in the right place at the right time. By offering customers the chance to send a message to their driver, you can also make it easier to share gate access codes, way markers, or where to park. 


customer service staff


Time savings for branches and customer service staff 

Sending advance reminders and real-time updates throughout the day also saves time for branch employees. 

Firstly, there’s no need to spend time at the beginning of the day calling every customer about their delivery time. Secondly, customers do no need to call asking, “Where is my delivery and when can I expect it?” throughout the day.  

This results in freeing up time for branch employees or customer services to concentrate on other work which might be more beneficial to customer satisfaction and support. 


Descartes Customer Engagment


Increased feedback volumes 

A good last-mile strategy doesn’t end when the delivery part is over; delivery completion is actually the prime time for gaining insight and customer feedback that can help improve your business and operational strategies.  

By automating feedback requests based on the job status, you can collect timely, actionable customer feedback. 

Having a driver directly ask the customer they just served for feedback is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Instead, by automating the feedback process and sending a survey when a delivery has just been made, customers can offer honest thoughts while their experience is still fresh in their mind.  

Sending surveys immediately after a delivery can also result in a higher completion of surveys, compared to sending them in the evening or the next day. 


Staff retention  

Digital proof of delivery/collection makes things simpler for staff. No one likes paperwork, especially when their job requires being constantly on the go. Easing the burden on your staff and operatives with tools like digital proof of delivery will only make their lives easier in the field.  

Automating customer delivery notifications for deliveries will free up time and eliminate the need for employees to make a phone call to everyone who is expecting a delivery that day. Divers can rest assured that customers will be available for their delivery, allowing them to dedicate more of their energy and time into providing an excellent customer experience.  

Providing a clear overview of all the deliveries to be made, along with detailed delivery schedules and routes, makes employees’ lives easier and reduces stress. Creating a frictionless experience for staff at the back end will help reduce burnout and turnover. 

Job-based feedback allows managers to quickly identify and reward high-performing drivers, giving a boost to team morale. Real-time customer feedback also helps staff to focus on areas for improvement and resolve issues in a timely fashion.  


Increased sustainability 

Digitising the last mile is a great way to improve your company’s sustainability and environmental credentials. Electronic proof of delivery and delivery notes will mean less paper and ink going to waste via paperwork or receipts, and less printer ink being used to print those documents or copies for various stakeholders.  

Automated customer communication results in fewer missed deliveries and collections, reducing wasted dispatches and avoiding empty miles. By combining these tools with route optimisation software, businesses can achieve more efficient routes, generating a saving on fuel and reducing wear and tear on vehicles. In short, your fleet can deliver more for less. 


Using hired construction equipment


Getting started with customer engagement for equipment hire 

By embracing the trend for digital customer engagement, tool hire companies stand to increase customer satisfaction and drive operational efficiencies.  

Customers benefit from an experience that aligns with their expectations, giving them visibility and control of their schedule. Businesses benefit from increased first-time delivery and faster collections, freeing up staff to be more strategic and focus on great customer service.


Want to learn more about how Descartes can transform your equipment hire customer engagement? Use the below form to get in touch today.