I think we can all agree that at some point in our lives, we’ve patiently waited at home for a parcel to arrive. Maybe the parcel arrived on time; maybe they tried to deliver though you never heard the door; or maybe they never turned up in that window so you missed it. But have you ever taken a second to wonder what it’s like to be your local DHL courier?
Tasha, Suman, Asia and I recently had the opportunity to go out and ride-along with a courier for the day; everything from packing the van, to driving round their delivery area. Our aim was simple – to see how the couriers were living the DHL Promise, ‘Excellence. Simply delivered’, being the front-line brand ambassadors, what they thought about the training programs they’d been on, and step into someone else’s shoes for the day.
The DHL couriers we were with exemplified customer focus and professionalism at every step of the way. Here’s some reflections from our day out:
They don’t use Google Maps! All of the couriers we were out with knew their delivery areas inside and out, tiny side streets and country lanes included! It was extremely impressive to see them navigate the roads in those big vans with finesse. By knowing the roads so thoroughly, they can plan their routes down to the second (avoiding road works and typical traffic hotspots) in order to get your parcel to you on time.
They know their customers – on every route, they had regulars who they deliver to most days or everyday. Watching the customers light up when they saw their courier, and then having a good ol’ chinwag with them was so lovely. The couriers we met are incredible brand ambassadors, and genuinely love interacting with their customers. The simple human touch of asking how their holiday was or how their family are was thoughtful, and you could tell it really made an impact to the customers day.
It’s a very tiring day! They arrive at 7am to load their vans (even knowing whether a parcel is theirs or not simply by the address, no technology required!), then begin deliveries sometimes in and out of the van within minutes of each other. They are met again at midday by another driver with MORE parcels, before heading back to the service center to unload any undeliverable ones and debrief for the day. Phew!
The four of us had such a great time! The highlight for all of us was definitely having the opportunity to spend time with the couriers. We chatted about everything from politics, to their DJ careers, to travel, and music (for me the hour listening to Kisstory and debating old school garage was a highlight!). To see them interact with the customers, and take a genuine interest in their lives and wellbeing showed the great customer focus we expected from DHL.
I had never taken the time to think about what it’s like to be a courier. There are a lot of mental and physical demands of the job – from driving that much every day to always being the smiling face of DHL. They all did this with exemplary skill and expertise! Next time my courier comes, having navigated the busy streets of London, I will certainly take the time to talk with them and hope to cheer their day up, like they do for so many others!
Want your customers to speak so highly about your business? Let’s chat! If you want to know more about our work with DHL, check out the story here.