August 21, 2018

Create Better Customer Experiences for the Always on Consumer with 24/7 Posts

Postal, Technology

People pay for convenience.

You don’t have to look any further than your smartphone to know that it’s true. Ride-share services, online grocery shopping and eCommerce are all highly profitable and available at the tap of a finger – but more importantly, accessible at any hour of the day or night.

It’s a business model that was previously unimaginable for Posts – though the industry is now getting a helping hand from technology. Self-service kiosks, consumer apps and Pick-Up/Drop-Off (PUDO) locations are enabling Posts to deliver 24/7 customer convenience.

24/7 Posts are Increasingly Valuable

Traditional services don’t always fit our busy schedules. It’s one reason why customers are willing to pay so much for food delivery services. Business models that thrive on delivering meal kits, groceries or take-out are yielding a premium that can reach upwards of 25 percent just for the convenience being provided, according to Lux Research.

While the world of 24/7 Posts is still young, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think that Postal Operators could realise similar returns by providing products and services when customers need them most – outside of regular business hours. It’s a novel idea that saw Canada Post win a Retail Innovation award in 2017.

At the heart of the location’s design was a self-service kiosk that offered 24/7 access to Postal services which enables consumers and business to send mails and parcels nationally or internationally.

 Canada Post's Concept Stores provided busy consumers with easy access to functionality, for example sending last minute packages. The reassurance that services are available when they fit your needs is key to developing a strong brand image and gaining customer loyalty.

Optichannel Strategies are the Key to 24/7 Posts

Keeping the doors open to every Post Office around the clock isn’t a practical solution. Blueprints for 24/7 Posts rely on optimizing channels of access – or in other terms, building an optichannel strategy.

The consumer journey for Posts has transformed over the years. Various touchpoints allow customers greater access to more services at a quicker pace. But it’s their strategic positioning along the product lifecycle that ultimately drives ROI.

The optichannel approach uses data analytics to uncover customer behaviour on how and when they interact with Posts. What time of day are services most active? Or what touchpoints are they using the most? With these actionable insights, organizations can develop ways to meet customer demand, away from the physical Post Office or on-site.

Technologies Leading the Way for 24/7 Posts

Three solutions stand out as key to helping to create 24/7 Posts: self-service kiosks, consumer apps and PUDO locations.

Self-service kiosks serve as the foundation of the 24/7 Post Office. They are highly configurable and can be programmed to provide access to a large list of products, services and functionalities at any time, day or night. They play a fundamental role in extending operating hours on-site by adopting the responsibilities normally carried out by staff.

Consumer apps extend the footprint of Posts to mobile devices, allowing services to be accessed from the comfort of a person’s own home or on-the-go. Users can manage their account in a variety of ways; from topping up their digital wallets to tracking their loyalty rewards or managing deliveries – all from their phone or tablet. These apps offer people the ability to handle postal tasks at any time, instead of being forced to visit the physical location during hours they can’t meet.

PUDO locations provide a variety of areas that customers can – as the name suggests – pick up and drop off mail and parcels. Through leveraging an already existing network, Posts can greatly expand delivery and collection options, and extend its hours. As technology progresses, automated parcel lockers will be critical to providing 24/7 convenience.

The future of Post isn’t bound by traditional operating hours. Find out how to give your customers access to service at any time of day by contacting Escher Group today.