DHL offers accessible deliveries with messaging apps

DHL Parcel UK is teaming up with post-purchase tech company HelloDone to offer accessibility options via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for customers with disabilities.

A study by Citizens Advice found that 39 per cent of people with disabilities, equal to more than seven million customers, experienced problems with deliveries in a single week last year. Common issues include parcels being left in inaccessible places, customers not having enough time to answer the door and goods not being delivered on time, or at all.

The partnership aims to tackle this by integrating messaging apps with DHL’s in-flight parcel tracking, enabling drivers to be updated throughout the “last mile.”

With HelloDrone’s conversational AI tech, customers receiving a delivery through DHL Parcel UK can update their driver about accessibility requirements for pick up and drop offs.

The technology includes a ‘Just a Minute’ (JAM) option that alerts drivers they may need to wait longer than usual at a drop off point, so customers with disabilities have time to get to their door.

The new integration also enables customers to message their driver instructions to leave their parcel in an accessible ‘safe place’ if they’re not going to be at home.

Traditionally accessible delivery options are added to the checkout stage, but HelloDone and DHL Parcel UK’s partnership enables consumers to ‘self-serve’ disability requirements. This means retailers can manage these conversations once a customer’s order is out for delivery, without the need to invest in webstore integrations.

“Our aim is to provide a high-quality, flexible service to everyone so we are delighted to be able to enhance our accessible delivery service through our relationship with HelloDone,” said Tracy Hodges, head of product, DHL Parcel UK.

Sean Sherwin-Smith, general manager, post purchase at HelloDone said: “Customers with disabilities and other impairments are continually faced with undignified and challenging delivery experiences. This disparity in the post-purchase journey has never been more apparent than during the pandemic, with more and more of us shopping online for goods and services.

Sherwin-Smith added: “We’re proud to be harnessing our proprietary AI technology to solve common delivery challenges for people with disabilities. Together with the team at DHL Parcel UK, we believe the new accessibility integrations will not only minimise anxiety for customers but support retailers to build trust and loyalty among this vitally important consumer segment – with considerable spending power.”

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