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Four secrets for postal organizations to engage their customers

Learn how postal organizations can counteract new competitive pressures and engage customers.

Overview

The postal industry landscape is changing dramatically. Indeed, from being largely monopolistic, postal organizations now have to compete with three types of private players—global integrators, new domestic competitors, eTailers and retailers.

With longstanding and efficient domestic last mile networks, postal organizations are unlikely to lose the delivery price advantage. Their challenge is related to the delivery experience and services consumers are starting to expect.

Positive and personalized customer experience is becoming a key differentiator to succeed in this postal market. There are many means at the disposal of postal organizations to address the needs and expectations of the postal consumer. Accenture reveals four secrets for postal organizations to not only engage their customers, but also counteract the threat of the latest competitive pressures.

Background

New Accenture research—Enabling Consumer Control—based on a survey of more than 13,000 postal consumers across 12 countries—Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States—revealed that 35 percent of consumers say their delivery experience is not a positive one; more than 9 percent called it difficult.

Consumer expectations and demands have evolved and now extend to the delivery experience. In a digital world, they want control of every aspect of their purchase—right up to the delivery of their parcels and packages.

Offering consumers far greater control over when, where and how their parcels are delivered is not only the stand-out issue for postal organizations who are now facing active threats from many competitors but also a great opportunity for them to engage and monetize theirs customers.

Analysis

Convenience is the common feature among services that consumers in our survey rate most highly. The lesson is clear—adoption for new service delivery depends on not only making the benefits clear to the consumer, but also making the customer experience easy and enjoyable.

By focusing on market demands and changing consumer expectations, postal organizations operators can drive both adoption and usage of these new services which is the key to defending and growing parcel market share. By adopting more sophisticated segmentation and tailoring product offerings, postal organizations can increase substantially their ability to connect with consumers.

Recommendations

Postal organizations need to offer consumers a new personalized and positive experience to counteract the threat of the latest competitive pressures. Accenture has identified four business conditions postal organizations have to meet to engage successfully with their customers.

Deliver to people not places. Postal organizations should change their delivery paradigm; it must be organized around the person, not just an address.

Combine paid and free services. Attracting a consumer community with free services is the first stage in layering incremental value. But postal organizations must tread cautiously in doing this.

Think delivery convenience, not “can we?” Adoption for new service delivery depends on not only making the benefits clear to the consumer, but also making the customer experience easy and enjoyable.

Aim for the best of both worlds. Digital technologies and the opportunity they provide for engagement make the merger of mail and parcels strategies easier to implement.


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