Postal self-service exploded during the pandemic, facilitating contactless experiences at all hours of the day. And over a year later, customers and Posts have come to appreciate that self-service is appealing beyond safety一it’s both convenient and cost-effective.
With the right technology platform, customers can start a transaction online and finish it at the post office. They can download apps to track their parcel’s journey on their phone. If consumers are out running errands, they can drop off a return at a self-service kiosk. They can even swing by a petrol station on the way home from work to pick up their package from a smart parcel locker.
In this piece, we discuss how self-service is a major win for post offices and how postal organizations can capitalize on self-service now and in the future.
Much like many businesses, Posts spend most of their money on labor. To get the most bang for their buck, Posts are reevaluating the activities and roles assigned to staff with self-service as a way for Posts to handle the higher volume of customer transactions. Of course, some of the highest value work can’t be automated and this work makes the most sense for staff to do. However, it’s in the Post’s best interest to determine what can be delegated to self-service to help them scale. Parcel growth will only increase so investing in self-service will alleviate capacity constraints as transaction volumes increase, allowing Posts to grow revenues quickly and help ensure profitability. Posts will be able to handle higher volumes, and also offer a more convenient customer experience.
Besides greater efficiency, Posts collect a great amount of data regarding transactions and customer preferences. Self-service affords tremendous insight into customer transactions. With better data, Posts can develop strategies to provide customers with richer, more intimate experiences. If you expand this to the millions of customers, these data points will help inform customer loyalty programs, produce more relevant notifications, drive real-time engagement, relevant offers or promotions and more.
Digital interactions complement physical ones
Even though most customers prefer digital or self-service options, some postal services still require physical elements, like self-service kiosks or PUDO locations. Digital technology can help Posts become more customer-centric by allowing customers to define their own journeys. There are so many examples of this in the retail sector, from micro-markets where customers take what they need and use Apple or Google Pay on the way out, to self-service touch screen checkout monitors at the grocery store.
So many Posts are making plans now to adopt the same methodology. A simple example is a customer beginning a transaction from their laptop or smartphone, and then visiting a nearby self-service kiosk to complete the transaction by scanning the parcel barcode and then securely placing the parcel inside for delivery. Even this small example shows the potential for reduced contact between customers and postal staff, decreased operating costs, and frictionless, efficient experiences.
Customers have amazing experiences with large global brands and expect the same level of service from Posts. They want same-day delivery, real-time insight into the status of their parcels, and the ability to redirect deliveries already in flight. Keeping up with these demands means Posts need speed and adaptability.
Self-service empowers Posts to be more responsive and flexible, all while enabling new services at a lower cost. With greater accessibility, Posts have higher revenue potential and can keep their customers happy and their staff focused on the highest value or complex customer transactions. Self-service is a win-win for Posts and their customers, and luckily, it’s here to stay. Discover how you can adopt self-service technology with Escher’s Riposte Platform.