2016 Courier Services for Small Business
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Leave your deliveries in the right hands by comparing Australian courier services with our small business owner customer satisfaction ratings.
Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2016, published in September 2016.
StarTrack shoots to No.1 in courier ratings
If a small business is to prosper, its customers, clients and partners need convincing of its efficiency and reliability. If they can’t rely on that business to do what it promises it is going to do, and when, they’ll go elsewhere. That’s why courier services are so important to a great many small businesses in Australia. They provide an essential service that keeps the world of small business turning. But which courier service can businesses rely on to deliver the efficiency they need? That’s where Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings come in.
Each year, we survey hundreds of small business owners and key decision-makers across the country to find out how they rate the courier service they most recently used for business purposes. In 2015, it was a straight shootout between DHL Express and Australia Post, with the latter coming out on top for overall customer satisfaction. This year, the StarTrack brand was broken out in the awards, and shot to the top of the standings with a near clean sweep of five star reviews.
Who is StarTrack?
You may have seen its blue vans driving around your suburb, but you might not be too familiar with the story of StarTrack, so we’ll enlighten you. StarTrack is a wholly-owned company of Australia Post, having acquired the remaining 50% interest in it from Qantas in 2012, following consultation with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“The combined business brings together the premium service standards of StarTrack with the trust, reach and convenience that Australia Post is renowned for, to create the largest logistics force in the country,” StarTrack states on its website.
Despite their links, the two brands maintain their own identities, with StarTrack claiming the credentials and resources to tackle any logistics challenge. “As a StarTrack customer, you’ll have access to service that will make a real difference to the way you do business. Whether in eCommerce, retail or manufacturing, we understand the importance of creating the right supply chains,” StarTrack states.
The results of our research would seem to back-up StarTrack’s claims, having earned five-star ratings in seven out of eight categories. This is the first time that Canstar Blue has broken out the results for StarTrack and Australia Post separately. Last year’s ratings for Australia Post were based on the survey responses of customers who had used both brands.
What makes a good courier service?
Our survey of small business owners and key decision-makers identified reliability as being the most significant driver of overall customer satisfaction, but other factors such as delivery speed and value for money are also crucial. So let’s review this year’s ratings and see which courier services performed well in the various categories.
Reliability of service
Providing a reliable service is of the utmost importance regardless of what industry your business is in, but particularly so when your business is all about delivering items in a timely fashion. Almost one-third (31%) of survey respondents told us they have previously couriered an item that was not delivered. Just getting an item from A to B is the minimum requirement of courier services, but our ratings show some are more reliable than others. Australia Post excelled in the reliability stakes with a five-star rating, closely followed by StarTrack and Fastway on four stars. DHL Express and Toll both received three stars.
Value for money
Providing a reliable service is crucial – not many customers are going to stick with a courier that fails to deliver items correctly. However, small businesses also demand value for money when they courier an item. That of course means paying a reasonable price for delivery, but also receiving an overall quality service which justifies the cost. This could mean having a good website, tracking process, or friendly call centre staff. In terms of value for money, StarTrack, Australia Post and Fastway all received five-star reviews. DHL Express and Toll got four stars.
Speed of delivery
Time is money in the world of small business, so chances are the item you want couriered needs to reach its destination in a hurry. For speedy deliveries, StarTrack was the only service to record a five-star rating from customers. The rest received four stars.
The pick-up will likely be a customer’s only face-to-face contact with their courier, so it needs to go well. This means turning up promptly and portraying a professional image. Good customer service can go a long way. StarTrack was the only brand to get a five-star rating in this area, with Australia Post, Fastway and Toll earning four stars. DHL Express was given three stars.
While many courier services will be booked online, the call centre remains an important port of call for many small businesses. It’s also the first place you’ll turn when something is amiss – like a parcel! StarTrack and DHL Express both earned five-star ratings for their call centres. Australia Post received four stars and Toll three stars.
You can provide the best courier service in in the world but from time to time, things will always go wrong. If you’re the customer unlucky enough to be on the bad end of a problem, you’ll demand the courier handles it promptly. StarTrack and Australia Post both received five stars for problem handling, while DHL Express and Toll got three stars.
For many small business customers, a courier service’s website will be the first step on the road to an item being delivered, so it’s hugely important that a service can deliver an informative and easy to use website, in addition to other online tools. In this area, StarTrack was the only brand to receive a five-star rating, followed by Australia Post and DHL Express with four stars. Toll got three stars.
Don’t be taken for a ride
Just 59% of survey respondents told us they always use the same courier service, which suggests they don’t mind taking their money elsewhere – and rightly so. Small businesses shouldn’t settle for a below-par courier service. If you find you’re not getting a reliable service that represents value for money, you should consider your options.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 800 small business owners or decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have used a courier for work purposes in the past year – in this case, 485 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.