The Importance of Getting on Top—and Staying There—in Delivery Express Service
If you want your business to grow to be head-and-shoulders above similar businesses, you have to have a competitive advantage—something special about your overnite courier business that the competition doesn’t have. Whether your advantage is exceptional white glove service or accurate, overnight express delivery, it has to be quantifiable, and it has to be sustainable; after all, what good is it to be on top today if your customers don’t know it, or if you’re trailing behind tomorrow?
There are a lot of resources and opinions when it comes to what makes a good competitive advantage. A case study done by the British manufacturer of modular buildings Portakabin titled The importance of quality in creating competitive advantage, outlines four universal ways to gain an edge in business, quoted verbatim here:
• Offering lower prices
• Offering clearly superior products at above average prices
• Delivering products more quickly
• Offering superior customer service, including after sales service
Being able to offer any one of these is a good start, but to really put your brand ahead, you need to strive towards offering two, three, or even all of these things. For example, if you’re a shipping company, you can offer all four attributes like this:
• Offering a price for expedited delivery express service that is lower than other same-day or overnight services
• Offering superior delivery times to the average company with only a moderately higher cost
• Using technological advantages like shipment tracking software to deliver your products more quickly with less overhead for you (giving you your price advantage)
• Giving clients meticulous “white glove service,” e.g. access to resources like GPS-updated tracking information, estimated delivery times, and readily available customer service representatives to answer questions and resolve issues
Quality service is a great way to start, but without consistency, you will have a difficult time building brand loyalty (i.e. turning one-time customers into repeat customers because they are impressed with your service). For example, if you are using a delivery express software to make your courier service more efficient, you need to be sure that the application—and the hardware that it’s used on—is consistently reliable, and that technological support is readily available when needed. All it takes to damage a client’s trust in your brand is one sub-par experience—even if what is subpar by your standards is still above-par by another’s.
Make It Sustainable
A competitive advantage that can’t be sustained for an extended period of time is going to have very little long-term benefit for your brand. Some businesses make mistakes like investing in a solution that isn’t cost-effective for them, i.e. the cost of operating is not properly recouped by profits. For a good return on your investment, you want to invest in a solution that can reduce your operating costs elsewhere.
The perfect example again is delivery-tracking software, which lets you deliver more parcels more quickly, while using fewer trucks, fewer drivers, and experiencing less downtime in all services including overnite courier deliveries. The initial cost of implementing such a system pays for itself very quickly, the profits far outweigh maintenance and subscription fees, and you are able to maintain a high quality of white glove service that gives you a competitive advantage. Just remember to keep staying ahead of the curve!