Customer expectations with regard to deliveries are increasing day by day. In order to stay relevant, businesses have to accommodate customer demands. While customers want faster deliveries, they also want the deliveries to take place at the time that’s most convenient for them. Time slot management comes to the rescue to meet such customer expectations.
If your business doesn’t offer customers the option to choose delivery time as per their availability, then you may lose out due to missed deliveries. Missed deliveries not only make your customers unhappy but also impact your bottom line. The importance of time slot management cannot be ignored.
In this blog, we’ll help you understand time slot management and how it can benefit your business.
What is time slot management?
Time slot management enables the customers to select the time window and the date that is suitable for them for receiving any delivery. It is then ensured that the delivery is executed in the customer’s chosen time slot. As competition is growing, offering customers the flexibility to choose the time slot convenient to them helps businesses stand out.
How time slot management helps your business?
- Improves the first delivery rate
First delivery rate is the number of successful deliveries made by a business on the first attempt. As the customers choose the delivery time and date, the chances of them being available at the time of delivery are higher. This helps in successful deliveries in the first attempt itself, thus improving the first delivery rate.
- Streamlines dispatching
Dispatch managers can plan the dispatches more efficiently, even on an hourly basis. They can schedule a sequence for the deliveries and have the staff and vehicles ready as per the time frames booked by the customers.
- Better resource planning
Delivery time slot management helps in planning for the resources in advance. By understanding the patterns in the preferred time slots the delivery managers can avoid excess or lack of staff.
- Tracking visibility
It enabled the managers to have more control over the delivery operations. With the dashboard view of the delivery process, delivery managers get higher visibility into the live location of the drivers, tracking the order status updates and accurate ETAs. In case of any delays due to unanticipated reasons, the delivery manager can get in touch with the drivers as well as the customers to ensure that the delivery is made on time.
- Saves costs
As the number of failed or missed deliveries is reduced, it helps in saving the costs of reverse logistics. It also reduces the inventory cost of missed deliveries and the cost of redelivering them to the customer.
- Improves customer satisfaction
Customers prefer having the flexibility to choose a time slot that’s convenient for them. Without time slot management, failed or missed deliveries can leave your customers frustrated as they have to coordinate again to ensure successful delivery. However, with time slot management as the customer themselves select a preferred time slot, the chances of them being available for receiving the delivery are higher. On-time and successful deliveries improve customer experience.
How Zeo helps you fulfill orders with time slot constraints?
While optimizing a route with Zeo route planner, you can add the customer’s preferred delivery time slots. The most efficient route will then be created taking the time slot constraints into consideration.
Steps to create a route with delivery time windows:
Step 1 – In the Zeo dashboard, click on ‘+ Route’ to start creating a new route. Add the route title, start location, start date, and time of the route.
Step 2 – Add stops either by manual entry or by importing an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet.
Step 3 – The Excel template has columns for adding the start time and end time for each stop which indicates the delivery time window. If you’ve not added the delivery time slot in Excel, you can also do so in the dashboard after importing the stops.
Step 4 – Once the stops are added, click on ‘Save & optimize’ to get an optimized route.
Zeo helps in ensuring that customers receive their parcels in the time slot provided by them which adds to customer satisfaction. It also provides you complete visibility into the progress of deliveries along with accurate ETAs.
Effective time slot management is crucial to achieving customer delight. By prioritizing customer needs and preferences, businesses can improve their customer experience, build loyalty, and drive revenue!