Case Study

Improved Customer Focus Helps ParcelCo Grow Share and Reduce Costs

Understanding the needs of its full customer base leads to operational efficiencies and higher wallet share.

A 15-30 point increase in NPS can boost revenue by 7-15%.

A 15-30 point increase in NPS can boost revenue by 7-15%.

The Story

When a European provider of mail services, inspired by the boom in e-commerce, saw a significant growth opportunity in parcel delivery it faced an entirely new competitive reality. Its customers—the companies shipping goods and the consumers eager to receive them—expected fast, flawless service, and there were several well-known firms ready to meet that need.

Over the previous 10 to 15 years ParcelCo* had made progress, with parcel delivery growing from about 10% of its business to more than half today. Despite its success in becoming a market leader, however, the entrance of international players and local insurgents was creating new competitive pressures and eroding the company’s market share. We were asked to help ParcelCo diagnose the situation and get growth back on track.

Key to this effort was our expertise in logistics and the Net Promoter System®. Across numerous client engagements we have found that a 15–30 point increase in Net Promoter scores (NPS) results in a 7–15% boost to revenue. In fact, NPS is the leading indicator of profitable growth. Happier customers stick with you and recommend you to others. Higher NPS scores also correlate to lower costs, because steps taken to improve the customer experience address inefficiencies across many core aspects of operations, from the supply chain to contact centers. 

We applied three distinct types of NPS analysis—competitive, journey, and relationship—to understand ParcelCo’s situation and map a plan for transformational improvement.

Competitive NPS zeroed in on how shippers and end-user customers perceived the company compared to other delivery services. This analysis revealed that ParcelCo was lagging on key “moments of truth” that are critical to fostering customer loyalty.

A focus on the moments that matter

Journey NPS analysis drilled down on three key “moments of truth”: parcel pick-up at the source, last-mile delivery, and customer service. We linked this customer experience (CX) data to operational data to identify specific areas of improvement. For example, e-commerce players prefer it when delivery services pick up in the middle of the assigned time window: They don’t have to rush to accommodate an early pick-up, and don’t want to wait around for a driver who shows up at the end of the anticipated timeslot. We showed ParcelCo how missed pick-up times affected NPS scores, and how those correlated to lower share-of-wallet.

Customer service was another area ripe for improvement. It’s rare that a package goes missing, but communication to resolve the issue of a mislabeled or mishandled shipment could often stretch over weeks and entail numerous calls to a contact center. We worked with ParcelCo to reimagine this process, with a focus on proactive communication to customers to assure them the issue was known and was being actively investigated. This is an area of particular concern for large-volume shippers, who measure total cost of delivery, including calls to their customer service centers. By communicating clearly and quickly on any delivery issues, ParcelCo would be well-positioned to maintain or increase share of wallet with those sophisticated clients.

Addressing big customers’ biggest concerns

While the Journey NPS analysis showed what the majority of customers regarded as important, we were particularly keen to learn what ParcelCo’s biggest customers valued. A Relationship NPS analysis, which included interviews with senior leaders at ParcelCo’s 15 biggest clients, and a select group of the clients’ customers, found that strategic collaboration (e.g., creating a joint strategic agenda and/or pursuing co-innovation with cross-functional teams made up of operations, IT, and customer groups), last-mile delivery, and sustainability were top issues for this group. For the latter concern, we showed ParcelCo the value of tracking and simulating CO2 emissions per parcel (e.g., how CO2 emissions could be reduced by making larger, less frequent pick-ups) and how CO2 reduction initiatives might be commercialized with large customers. On last-mile delivery, we helped ParcelCo facilitate more premium delivery options for large clients’ customer-loyalty programs, improve their track-and-trace capabilities and delivery-time predictability, and provide more proactive personal communication to consumers.

All told, we identified 15 improvement actions across five major themes that can boost ParcelCo’s NPS score by 15-20 points. This expected improvement is in keeping with our analysis of nearly two dozen incumbent and insurgent delivery and logistics companies across Europe, which found a marked correlation between NPS improvement and revenue growth.

It’s important to note that, as valuable as NPS analysis is in identifying competitive gaps and helping companies focus on specific actions that can greatly enhance the customer experience, it must be linked to transformational improvements. Conducting surveys will raise customer expectations, and if companies don’t translate those efforts into meaningful change they will further erode customers’ perceptions.

To make sure NPS drives the desired outcomes, leaders focus on a four-step approach: Develop a clear ambition and strategy; run closed-loop relationship programs within account teams; run continuous inner- and outer-loop improvement programs and digitally redesign customer journeys; and deploy the right change management systems and tools to ensure the improvements stick. By putting NPS and its associated focus on customer experience at the heart of its strategy, and basing investment decisions on it, ParcelCo is on track to maintain and extend its winning edge.

We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real. 

Net Promoter®, NPS®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, Net Promoter System®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ is a service mark of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.