An annual survey conducted by Deutsche Post DHL has revealed the new European rankings of costs of sending a letter. While the majority of domestic letter rates in Europe rankings remained the same, the Royal Mail’s 30% increase of its first class letter rate has resulted in the UK jumping up ten places from 16th among the top 29 European markets to 6th.
Britain’s postal rate leapt from EUR 0.54 last year to EUR 0.69 this year, placing it significantly ahead of the current European average of EUR 0.55. Whilst the UK isn’t the most expensive country from which to send a letter, the dramatic price hike this year is likely to result in customers expecting an even higher level of service to reflect the increase – and businesses are less likely to tolerate having to pay more than once to deliver letters and parcels that were initially sent to the wrong address. Therefore, now more than ever, businesses are under pressure to deliver first time to the correct recipient, and should prepare accordingly.
One way in which businesses can meet this challenge is to create coherent systems throughout the entire delivery process, smoothly integrating the public-facing front-end to the back-end fulfilment systems. It is, however, worth highlighting that businesses risk their efforts being rendered fruitless if the address data inputted by the customer in the initial phase of the process cannot be relied upon.
While the increase in postal prices will undoubtedly result in an increase in customer expectation, businesses cannot afford to simply feel daunted and outraged by the situation and just bury their heads in the sand. Implementing cheap and unobtrusive technologies, such as address look up software, will create delivery efficiencies that will mitigate against the postal price hike.
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