2017 Courier Services for Business

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2017 award for small business courier services

Most Satisfied Customers | Toll

Toll leads the field in our annual review of courier services for business. Toll achieved five-star ratings in most research categories, leading the way from Fastway, StarTrack, Australia Post, DHL Express and Couriers Please with five stars for overall customer satisfaction.

Toll delivers the goods for Aussie businesses

If a small to medium-sized 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 hugely important to many businesses across Australia. They provide an essential service that keeps the world of small business turning. But which courier services can businesses rely on to deliver the efficiency and reliability they need, especially when their delivery is time-critical? That’s where Canstar Blue’s business customer satisfaction ratings can offer some guidance.

Each year, we survey hundreds of small to medium 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 in terms of overall satisfaction. Then in 2016 we saw StarTrack lead a tough field of five major brands to take out top spot. This year, however, is a different story altogether, with Toll emerging victorious from an even larger field of six courier services. Brands must receive a minimum of 30 responses to be included.

  • Toll was the only courier service to achieve five stars overall, while also scoring top marks for its delivery reliability, pick up/drop off options, delivery timeliness, tracking services and booking process. It scored four stars for problem resolution and value for money.
  • Fastway and StarTrack both received four stars overall, with Fastway the only other courier to rate five stars in any area – problem resolution and value for money. Fastway scored four stars in all other areas, with StarTrack recording scores of three and four stars across the board.
  • Australia Post, Couriers Please and DHL Express all rated three stars overall. They all received three stars in most other categories, with just a couple of four stars between them.

This year’s ratings were determined by the feedback of more than 670 small to medium business owners and key decision-makers across Australia.

What makes a good courier service?

Our survey identified service reliability as being the most significant driver of customer satisfaction, but other factors such as delivery timing, pick up/drop options and value for money are also crucial.

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. More than a third (37%) 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. Only Toll rated five stars on reliability.

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 helpful website, tracking process, or friendly call centre staff to assist with your queries. It seems this is an area where most courier services could improve, with Fastway the only brand to rate five stars on value.

Pick up and drop off options

The pick-up will likely be the paying 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. You may also want your courier service to offer flexible pick up and drop off options, such as being able to leave parcels at another address, retail store or post office. Almost a quarter of respondents to our survey (24%) have used a courier-owned locker as a delivery option. The industry seems to be becoming more diversified in this regard, but for now Toll was the only courier to score five stars for its pick up/drop off options.

Delivery timeliness

Time is money in the world of business, so chances are the item you want couriered needs to reach its destination in a hurry. However, not all deliveries need to get from A to B in a flash – sometimes just turning up at the required time is good enough. Failing to make this time will lead to disappointment. Toll was the only courier to rate five stars in this area.

Tracking services

Being able to track your order once it leaves the safety of your business has become an important part of the overall courier service experience. A courier company that doesn’t offer some form of tracking is well behind the times. But the tracking also needs to be accurate and reliable. For tracking services, Toll once again came out on top with five stars.

Booking process

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 courier can deliver an informative and easy to use booking process, in addition to other online tools and over the phone support. Toll was the only courier to rate five stars for its booking process.

Problem resolution

You can provide the best courier service in the world, but from time to time things will always go wrong. If you’re the customer unlucky enough to experience a problem, you’ll want it to be handled promptly and seriously. You can forgive one mistake, but if it’s followed by the mistake of bad customer service, you won’t be happy at all. Only Fastway rated five stars in this area.

Don’t be taken for a ride

Just 57% of small businesses 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, yet 53% of survey respondents think they could probably get a better deal with another courier company. If you find you’re not getting a reliable service that represents good value for money, you should consider your options.

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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 last year – in this case, 672 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.