Every year, more than 627,000 small businesses open their doors. No matter what industry they’re in, they all have one thing in common: at some point, they’ll need to place an order.
While large chain delivery services are always an option, working with local business courier services gives small companies better control over their deliveries, pickups, and shipments.
If you’re like most business owners, finding a courier you can trust feels a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Before you choose a courier, ask them these essential questions.
1. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Courier services may seem simple on the surface. But the truth is, they’re incredibly complex.
Drivers and coordinators work together to ensure that packages get picked up and delivered quickly to the right people. Any slip up means costly delays for you, their client.
Always check to see how much experience the company has. The longer they’ve been in the industry, the more likely you are to have a good experience. Remember, experience may cost more, but inexperienced providers won’t give you the quality service you’re looking for.
2. What Types of Services Do You Provide?
Your shipping needs change and that means you need to find a courier that offers different services. Before hiring a company, make sure they offer the types of services you need.
Look at the types of packages you need to be delivered. Then, look at how frequently you make those shipments and the average turnaround time you want to have.
The right company will provide the exact types of services you’ve been handling on your own.
For example, if you’re worried about making frequent and consistent shipments, look for one that provides scheduled pickups and deliveries. If you need a company to handle large-scale shipments, find one that offers freight services.
The more services they offer, the easier it will be to manage your deliveries and your business’s growing needs.
3. Are You Fully Insured?
As a business owner, you have plenty of risks to worry about. But if you’re not careful, you could end up liable for accidents that happen when your delivery drivers are on the road.
Choosing a courier service that’s fully insured protects you from any liability. If they get into a fender bender, business insurance covers the cost of repairs and any medical treatment required.
You won’t have to worry about costly liability suits. And if you choose a company that offers insurance on your packages, you won’t have to worry about those damages either.
Every reliable courier service will provide you with proof of their insurance policies if you ask. If they refuse, keep looking.
4. How Do You Hire and Train Your Drivers?
There’s more to making deliveries than hopping behind the wheel. And trustworthy companies put their drivers through an extensive training process in addition to requiring commercial driver’s licenses before they ever get in the driver’s seat.
The company should screen their drivers carefully before bringing them on the team. Drug offenses and extensive histories of traffic violations should bar them from getting hired in the first place.
Once hired, the drivers should get taught how to drive without disturbing their cargo, how to carry packages and boxes safely, and how to manage their delivery schedules to stay on time.
But every company’s training program will differ. Ask for clarification before you hire a service. If the company hires drivers off the street with no background checks and doesn’t prioritize training its team, find a different company.
5. Who Should I Speak to If I Have a Problem?
The best delivery companies have a clear chain of command that makes resolving customer concerns clear and easy. That means you should have the name and phone number of a live person to speak with anytime a problem comes up.
If a company offers you a general customer service line or outsources its customer service, proceed with caution. These companies often operate at such high volumes that it’s impossible to address problems quickly.
Choose a company that provides stellar customer service every time and you won’t be disappointed.
6. Do You Have Size or Quantity Limits?
Some trucks just aren’t built to carry oversized loads. If you’re planning on shipping large or exceedingly heavy orders, ask about size limits before you agree to work with them.
Every courier should be able to explain their restrictions long before you agree to work with them.
7. Do You Have Materials Restrictions?
Just as some companies lack the required equipment to ship large loads, others may not be able to ship the products you want.
It all comes down to liability. Shipping hazardous materials like flammable goods, human waste, and medical devices often requires additional training. Without that training, they put their drivers and customers at risk.
Before signing any contract or handing the packages over, make sure they’re able to handle the shipment. Ask for their restrictions and make sure none of your items fall on that restricted list.
If they do, you’ll need to search for a different company.
8. How Can I Place My Order?
Some companies expect you to call them when you need to schedule a shipment. Others take a more technologically advanced approach.
But the point of any delivery service is flexibility. Their ordering system should be simple, efficient, and easy to use. And they should accommodate multiple methods.
The best companies allow you to schedule pickups by phone, online, or a company app. This way, you’ll be able to choose the method that’s best for you at that specific time.
Hire the Right Business Courier Services
Finding trustworthy business courier services you can depend on doesn’t have to be a struggle. You just need to do a bit of research to find the right one for your company’s needs.
At ASAP Courier, we believe that every business deserves a delivery service that makes on-time deliveries a priority. Contact us today to get a free quote for a single delivery or schedule a consultation to arrange for scheduled shipments.