DPD has become the first parcel delivery firm in Germany to provide an app for Amazon’s digital personal assistant Alexa.
Available on Amazon’s Echo and Dot smart speaker systems, Alexa can be asked to provide detailed information about expected parcels, including the day of arrival and 60-minute delivery window. 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. Users can obtain the voice-activated DPD app free of charge from Amazon’s Alexa Skills Store.
Michael Knaupe, director customer experience and communications, said, “Intelligent systems for voice control provide an extremely simple possibility for organizing our everyday activities. 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.”
To enable consignees to identify with specific parcels the DPD app is linked with the company’s Parcel Navigator, an online platform for the management of parcels. To take advantage of the full range of functionalities, users must first register with Parcel Navigator and be signed in. There are plans to update the app further in future, including commands to leave a parcel in a “safe place” or postpone the delivery date.
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,” added 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.”
May 2, 2017