Alexa tells you when your parcel will arrive
Alexa tells you when your parcel will arrive: DPD launches parcel service assistant for Amazon Echo
- Alexa informs consignees about the day and 60-minute time window in which their parcel will arrive, the remaining stops the parcel courier still has to make, and where they can find their nearest parcel shop
- Further voice-based commands such as price enquiries are in preparation
- Chatbots and more: DPD applies a multichannel strategy in customer service and the customer experience
Aschaffenburg, 2 May 2017 – DPD is the first parcel service provider in Germany to offer its own application for the cloud-based Alexa system on Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot. On request Alexa provides consignees with detailed information about the parcels they are currently expecting. For example, Alexa informs them about the day of delivery for the individual parcel and the 60-minute time window during which it will arrive. The intelligent personal assistant also provides information about how many stops the parcel courier still has to make before reaching the consignee's front door. Support in finding local parcel shops is also already available.
"Intelligent systems for voice control provide an extremely simple possibility for organising our everyday activities", explains Michael Knaupe, Director Customer Experience & Communications. "Amazon's Alexa is an ideal opportunity for DPD of enhancing the customer experience in parcel shipping even further, and extending DPD's market leadership in terms of digital innovations."
Alexa users can now obtain the voice-activated parcel application free of charge from Amazon's Alexa Skills Store. Such a voice command could, for example, be: "Alexa, ask DPD: where is my parcel?" Alexa's answer could then be: "The status of your parcel is: out for delivery. It will arrive today between 16:26 and 17:26". In the course of the delivery this predicted time window even runs down to 30 minutes. In order to enable consignees to identify specific parcels the DPD Skill is linked with the Parcel Navigator, DPD's online platform for the management of parcels. In order to use the full functionalities of the application users have to be registered with the Parcel Navigator and signed in. As an initial step registration via Facebook is necessary, and further login possibilities will be activated in the near future.
In addition Alexa answers questions such as "Where is the nearest parcel shop?", "What does parcel shipping cost with DPD?" or "How long does it take to deliver a parcel?" The features of the DPD Skill are to be extended continuously in future. There are plans, for example, for providing an authorisation to deposit ("Tell DPD that my parcel is to be left in the garage") or postponing the delivery day with a voice command.
Artificial intelligence: chatbots support parcel shipping
In addition to Alexa, DPD also intends to use other forms of artificial intelligence and voice recognition in future. For example DPD is working on using chatbots for obtaining information about parcels. Typical enquiries such as the delivery time for a parcel or the use of flexible options for the redirection of parcels could be implemented with automated text messages. In addition to a chat on the DPD website, possible options are links with the Facebook Messenger or the integration of DPD chatbots directly on the websites of e-commerce retailers. "We aim to be as accessible as possible to shippers and consignees", states Michael Knaupe. "With regard to the customer experience we operate a multichannel strategy, and wherever possible intend to be available on all channels which are important in people's everyday lives. In future innovations such as chatbots will play an important role in this, without of course replacing existing contact channels."
Digital parcel management across all touchpoints
On all mobile devices DPD offers customers and consignees a wide range of possibilities for the management and tracking of parcels. For example, the DPD app for Android and iOS is available not only for smartphones and tablets but also the Apple Watch. Proactive push messages provide continuous information about parcel status. On the day of delivery consignees can track their parcel on DPD's online map-based Live-Tracking function as it comes closer and closer to their front door. Thanks to a delivery forecast which is precise to the last 60 minutes consignees know exactly when their parcel will arrive. A range of flexible options enable the parcel to be redirected at any time - even during the delivery process. This all-round digitalised parcel management using the DPD app has already been awarded numerous prizes, including the eco Internet Award, the German Prize for Online Communication and the UX Design Award. DPD is working on expanding its digital innovation leadership on the parcels market with regular new features such as digital tipping of parcel couriers, service ratings and its latest innovation, the 'Return' button. In customer service, too, DPD is currently already using the full spectrum of digital channels corresponding to the requirements and lifestyles of parcel consignees – from communication on Facebook and Twitter right across to online chat with a contact partner in the company's Customer Service.
Image: Alexa helps consignees to manage their parcel deliveries: "The status of your parcel is: "Out for delivery. It will arrive between 16:26 and 17:26 today". (Source: Amazon)
Image available in print quality at https://www.dpd.com/de/Home/Ueber-DPD/Presse-Center/Pressemitteilungen.
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DPD Deutschland GmbH
Tel.: 06021 492-7066