How Chatbots Help Customers With Shipping And Delivery

Learn the benefits of using chatbots in your customer service strategy.
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Last update:

July 17, 2023

What is so special about delivery chatbots? Focusing on resolving problems specific to the logistics industry, they are designed to help businesses and customers making the journey from order to delivery as smooth and satisfactory as possible. 

The logistics industry is on the rise. Its global market reached $9,9 trillion in 2022 and is forecast to grow steadily further.

Such growth is primarily due to the increasing popularity of online shopping which is enjoying wider adoption with every passing year.

Humankind has recognized the convenience of eCommerce, the enormous time-savings it ensures, and the virtually boundless geography of online stores available to a shopper.

The COVID-19 pandemic boosted eCommerce even further by locking people up in their homes and restricting them from shopping offline.

And even now, when the pandemic subsided and many restrictions have been lifted, people continue shopping online enjoying the flexibility and easiness eCommerce offers.

Striving to cater to its growing and increasingly demanding audience, the logistics industry is adopting various technological solutions that allow businesses to streamline and simplify their flows and increase customer satisfaction. Besides using shipping discount software ShipSaving, Chatbots are one of the points where logistics meets advanced technology.

What are chatbots and what can they do today?

Probably, everyone has encountered a chatbot at a certain point. If you ever opened a little “Need help?” widget at the bottom of a website and clicked through options, talked to Siri, or played with ChatGPT – that was a chatbot. 

Nowadays, chatbots come in many forms, from the simplest ones that communicate based on predefined rules to AI-powered that can maintain an almost human-like conversation. Some chatbots hold text chats, recognizing your keywords and supplying the corresponding responses. Others can “understand” spoken language and speak to you in return.

Different types of chatbots may be useful in different use cases. In the majority of customer service and support applications, a text bot may be the perfect solution. If the situation requires a quick and hands-free operation, consider a voice bot, which provides the fastest communication among all chatbot types.

In the context of delivery chatbots, use cases may range from the simplest to the most complex, but the main challenges can be handled by implementing a rule-based chatbot that communicates through text messages. 

How a chatbot for delivery business can help to resolve challenges of the logistics industry

Let’s see how you can make a chatbot work for a logistics company.

Automated customer inquiry handling

A chatbot can be programmed to answer the most frequent questions customers ask.

This way, it takes over a large part of customer communication, leaving only the complex issues to agents, thus boosting your customer support

For this purpose, a simple rule-based chatbot can be just the thing. If you connect it to your knowledge base or the FAQ page, the chatbot can handle more than half of customer requests.

Chatbots can complete as many as 68.9% of chats without human intervention. The key thing is to supply it with the correct information.

For example, see how the chatbot of Americold greets customers. It offers to select one of the main categories from the list and then provides the corresponding information.

The selection covers all the basic questions customers might have.

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text messageDescription automatically generated

You can also use a more sophisticated chatbot that allows free-format text requests and recognizes words.

For instance, this is how FedEx’s chatbot works. It processes the question and returns an answer consisting of both explicit guidelines and links to website pages.

Order processing and updating

You can include an order form in your chatbot for customers to make or amend delivery orders. After authentication on your website, they can create new orders, changing or canceling the existing ones.

If the change does not trigger any special conditions or require manual handling, such order management requests can be processed by the delivery chatbot independently.

Of course, to be able to process orders, the chatbot must be connected to the company’s database.

This way, only complicated order management cases will have to be handled by managers and agents. For simple cases, the procedure for customers will be as easy as booking or changing an airline ticket.

Shipment tracking

 A parcel tracking option is available when it comes to ship packages. If you purchase shipping labels from ShipSaving, ShipSaving includes a tracking number with delivery updates. However, allowing customers to track their deliveries via a chatbot may be a good idea too. From the order number or other reference, the chatbot can pull up the entire route of the package and provide an estimated delivery time.

Moreover, if you use your social media pages as another eCommerce and marketing channel, you can use the integrated messenger chatbots to send delivery notifications and reminders to customers. 

Fleet and resource management

In your delivery chatbot strategy, you can consider not only external customers but also your employees.

Via a chatbot, dispatchers and managers can monitor the fleet's and employees' availability by tracking the number of busy, idle, standby, or in-service vehicles as well as people who are at work, on vacation, on sick leave, or on a day off.

Of course, to provide such information, the chatbot must have access to several of the company’s resources – its timetable, order distribution system, warehouse, garage management, and even the GPS tracking system in the vehicles. It is going to be a sophisticated setup, but it can make the lives of dispatchers much easier.

Customer feedback handling

Through a chatbot, you can gather insights about how your business is doing from the point of view of customers.

You can provide a form and make the chatbot ask customers to fill it in. You can collect feedback at different stages to get data on all aspects of your business:

  • After order placement or amendment. Ask the customer if they were satisfied with the procedure, and if they found it easy and intuitive enough.
  • After receiving a delivery. Ask for their opinion about the company’s performance during the delivery. 
  • After closing a refund or return request. Ask if the result and processing were satisfactory.

At the same time, you can use the chatbot to get feedback on its own performance. Add a simple rating widget at the end of the chat and monitor how customers like communicating with your bot.

From this data, you can get useful ideas on how to improve the bot’s functionality.

Wrapping up

Implementing a chatbot can bring benefits for both your business and your customers. You may see an improvement in the conversion and retention rates as well as an increase in your employees’ happiness.

What is more tangible, you may even see some real cost savings when the chatbot takes over a chunk of your team’s tasks. 

At the same time, customers expect technology to make their experience more convenient, which is what a chatbot is perfectly capable of. So, it’s a win-win situation.

Written on:

May 3, 2023
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