Customer loyalty increasing amongst B2B parcels shippers
The 2016 edition of Triangle Management Services’ ‘UK Domestic B2B Express Parcels Distribution Survey’ has found that B2B shippers are staying with their main domestic parcels carrier for longer. The findings come after Triangle conducted some 450 in-depth telephone interviews with B2B shippers, and collected a total of 566 benchmark service ratings for the thirteen main carriers used for deliveries to business premises in the UK. In the 2016 survey, Royal Mail was introduced as a B2B carrier for the first time.
The survey results show that the percentage of those shippers that stayed with the same primary carrier for over five years has increased from 43% in 2015 to 57% in 2016. Going back even further, loyalty levels are at a five year high as levels from 2012 to 2014 were around 40-45%. Meanwhile the share of shippers using their main carrier for less than two years (usually an indicator of intense sales activity and carrier churn) has fallen to a five year low, falling to 18% in 2016 and not reaching the 20% mark for the first time since 2012. This may also be indicative of favourable fixed price contracts or simply due to satisfactory performance.
There has been a perceived overall increase in carrier sales and marketing activities (whether visits, advertising or telephone calls) in the last twelve months. Recall of telephone sales calls was up 10%, sales visits up 16% and adverts also up by 16%. Although such marketing efforts may not have worked with those shippers that have a long standing relationship or fixed term contract with their carrier, maybe it did influence some decision makers to switch; some 8% did in the last year.
When analysing which factors are most important to shippers and that would motivate them to continue using a given carrier, customer service and quality of transport were key in the 2016 survey, whilst image and provision of information were of less importance. A pattern can be spotted going back to 2012 as the same two factors have been considered as most important by B2B shippers since then. Other factors such as competitive price, provision of information and image, are on the rise in 2016, yet their importance levels not being as high as in 2014.
Carriers benchmarked by the survey include the major global integrators, UPS, DHL, FedEx and TNT Express, along with Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, DPD, Interlink, APC Overnight, UK Mail, Yodel and freight parcel specialists DX Freight and Tuffnells.
Triangle’s ‘UK Domestic B2B Express Parcels Distribution Survey’ was first published in 1986 and remains the industry standard for the express sector to this day. Its status reflects the way in which subscribers, principally the carriers themselves, use the survey to benchmark themselves against their competitors whilst also judging their own company performance in all the important customer interface areas and the success of new initiatives.
Triangle Management Services Ltd, founded in 1984, delivers a unique range of business services to leading companies and senior executives managing and shaping the mail and express industry. Triangle’s extensive portfolio of services includes high-level conferences, online and print media, industry specific research, and strategic consultancy, and provides access to senior players in the sector worldwide.