Making the delivery experience a little more “e, e, easy”

Many home delivery experiences are often poor. Often you have to wait around all day for an expensive item, such as a couch or fridge, to be delivered, not knowing when it will show up. After waiting for ages, you go out to run an errand, and then you find out that driver has already been and gone. This is a story is about trying to make the delivery experience a little bit easier.

Clive Peeters is no longer in business, but it used to be a competitor to Harvey Norman, selling televisions, fridges, kitchen appliances etc. Clive Peeters was positioned in the market as as providing a more user friendly experience, and the advertising slogan/jingle was “so e, e, easy”. When anything went wrong, customers were happy to remind staff of this, sometimes even singing the jingle to emphasise the point. While at uni, I worked there part time. Towards the end of my Industrial Design (product design) degree, I did some research/design work for the store. This is a now 5 year old example that I share with you.

When a customer organised a delivery from Clive Peeters, they would recieve an invoice, as shown below (and not my design). Then on the morning of the delivery, the customer could call up the delivery service and be given an approximate delivery time, for example between 2 and 4 pm.

On the invoice (above), did you notice the sharp looking stamp ;) It contained the information for the number the customer needed to call on the day of delivery. As a solution it was ok, except that it was stamp, so often it wasn’t printed clearly, and it also lacked information on when to call. Some customers would try to call up from 7:30am, through to when the delivery warehouse opened at 8:45. Worse, staff members would simply forget to put the stamp on the invoice, resulting in the customer having no idea of what happens on the delivery day. Also, spend a minute to locate where the delivery date is printed on the invoice. So e, e, easy?

Deciding that there was an opportunity to improve the customer experience, I got to work. Below is the updated version of what a customer received when they had an item to be delivered.

The actual invoice couldn’t be updated, so any alternative had to work with this constraint. Rather than another stamp, the new design was a small piece of paper called the delivery attachment, which was stapled on top of the invoice. It was designed to address four key needs:

  1. The staff preparing the paperwork would staple eftpos/credit card receipts and extended warranty paperwork to the back of the invoice. The stapling of the delivery attachment was able to fit in with this existing activity and removed the extra step of having to stamp the invoice. This helped to ensure that customers left the store with the necessary delivery information. Sales staff were also particularly keen to ensure customers had the delivery attachment, for reasons outlined in points two and four.
  2. Many customers often called up the store, and needed to speak to the salesperson who they had organised the purchase with. The blue box (on the left), contained this information and highlighted where they could find their accound code on the receipt. This reduced the time it took customers to find this information, and the length of time staff spent on the phone helping customers locate it.
  3. With the new design, the instructions for finding out the time of delivery could be clearly outlined (middle box). This simple change was particuarly appreciated by older customers, a core demographic for the store, who found the instructions easier to read. Additionally, there was a small diagram to assist locating the delivery date on the invoice. Previously, many customers would call up to check what the delivery date was, not realising it was printed in tiny font near the bottom of the invoice.
  4. Customers having items delivered were often very valuable to the store, having just spent at least a couple of hundred, and up to ten of thousands of dollars. The third job of the attachment was to give the customer some money off their next purchase (the box on the right). Building in a small reward not only made customers happy (money off the next purchase, no questions asked!) but helped to ensure that in a cut-throat retail market, the customer would return to this store.

The change from a stamp to a small piece of paper improved both the customer experience, the staff experience and helped to return customers to the store. A successful design would not have been possible without taking time to understand the needs of the customers, the staff and the business, and then working through suitable ways to address those needs. It wasn’t revolutionary design by any means, but it helped to make a sometimes frustrating customer experience just a little bit more “e, e, easy”.