When hiring a courier service for your business, how do you choose the right one? Well, there are a lot of questions you need to consider.
Obviously, you’ll need to think about the cost. You’ll also need to know what services and delivery options the courier provides.
But how reliable are they? And how can you find out? We’ll tell you.
You’ll find out all the answers you need by asking the questions listed in this guide. Before deciding on a courier service, have them answer the following questions.
How Long Have You Been in the Business?
When shipping a personal package, you’re probably fine using whichever courier is cheapest. But when you need a courier service for your business, you need one that’s well-established and reliable.
Hiring a third-party courier service means putting one of the most important functions of your business in someone else’s hands. So, make sure you find out how long they’ve been making deliveries. Also, check their reviews on business review sites, like Google and the Better Business Bureau.
What Services Do You Offer?
Not all couriers offer the same services. Make sure the courier you decide on is equipped to handle all your present and future needs.
Are they available 24/7? Do they work on holidays and weekends? Do they offer different pricing plans and services for commercial shipping vs personal shipping?
Can you work with them online? Do they offer 1-day or same-day delivery?
Do they offer tracking or insurance? What technology do they use to track packages and how accurate is it?
Make a list of your needs/services your courier needs to provide to find one that works for you.
How Big Is Your Fleet?
If you only need to ship a small or moderate amount per month, you may not be concerned with how many trucks your courier has. But you should be.
The fewer trucks and drivers they have, the greater the chance your packages will be late, however few they may be. Make sure your prospective courier has enough trucks to meet their current demand plus yours.
How Good Are Your Drivers?
Unreliable drivers mean unreliable service. Here’s how to check the reliability of a courier’s driving team.
First, are they wearing uniforms? It may seem petty, but that uniform is a mark of professionalism. It’s a promising sign that both the company and their drivers take their business seriously.
Second, ask what kind of training the drivers have received. Are the drivers required to drive above and beyond what’s safe?
Also, are the drivers trained in customer service? This is a hugely important question that’s often overlooked. After all, these drivers may be the first, last, and/or only face your customers and business partners see when dealing with your company.
Lastly, check that the company is fully insured and that their drivers are background checked before employment.
How Safe Are Your Shipments?
With couriers, bad drivers aren’t the only thing to watch out for. In addition to good driving practices, how else are your shipments protected?
How are packages handled while sorting, loading, and unloading? Are they secured in the truck to prevent shifting?
Are the trucks insulated to protect shipments from the weather? How are you insured against damage from handling?
Find out what measures are taken to protect your shipments.
How Will You Communicate With Me?
Many businesses don’t think about this question until it becomes a problem. And what a problem it can be.
It’s not uncommon that an order or a delivery doesn’t go as planned. How will your courier contact you if the weather prevents on-time delivery?
What if an order, address, or some other detail is discovered to be incorrect? Can it be canceled? How does this work and under what conditions?
What is there standard response to such problems? Do they even have a standard response?
They better. If they have trouble with these questions, find yourself a different courier.
Are Your Deliveries Guaranteed?
Along these same lines, what kinds of guarantees are in place to assure that you are taken care of?
For example, what exactly do they mean when they say 3-day delivery? How accurate is this claim?
Does this mean the package will definitely arrive in 3 days or less? Or is it an estimate that could actually mean 4 or 5 days? Or does it mean 3 days, no more, no less?
You need to exactly how their delivery option timelines are calculated and whether they are guaranteed.
What Kind of Notification Options Do You Offer?
Furthermore, what other communication/notification options are available? Can you arrange to receive confirmation of delivery and other shipping status updates?
What communication methods are available? Do they have a mobile app?
Make sure you have a way to be kept in the loop so you’re not left hanging.
How Is Your Pricing Better Than Your Competitors?
All businesses offer competitive pricing in some way or else they won’t stay in business. What this means for couriers is that each courier service that exists is going to be the best price for a specific type of customer.
For example, some couriers offer a better price to customers who don’t care how timely their packages arrive. Others offer a better deal in the opposite way. That is, they cost more because they are very timely and accurate with their deliveries. You can find out the ideal type of customer your courier is priced for by asking the question above.
Surely the courier you’re looking into is the best price for someone. Let them describe why their prices are the best and you’ll find out who they’re best for.
Always Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Courier Service
Are they safe? Are they reliable? Are they worth the cost?
If you want the best possible courier for your needs, and for the price, you have to ask the right questions. Always ask these questions before hiring a courier service.
For related reading, check out our article 5 Important Industries That Need Courier Services.