Panther takes giant leap forward with customer service offering

  • Two Hour Delivery Slots
  • Seven day a Week Operation
  • 10 p.m. Cut Off
  • Bank Holiday Collections

Trailblazing Panther Warehousing is storming ahead in its specialist home delivery of home furnishings, beds and appliances by offering exceptional and innovative customer service.

With its two-hour delivery slots, seven day a week operation, late 10pm cut-off point for orders, bank holiday and Sunday collections and flexible next day or ‘day of choice’ delivery, it has transformed the consumer experience.

One of the first to bring the immediacy of the high street to the delivery of bulky items, it has been increasing market share and grown from a £5 million turnover in 2010 to £55 million (check) today.

Putting consumers first has been at the heart of the Panther ethos ever since it took the decision to leave general haulage behind and specialise in the two-man, white-glove sector.

Colin McCarthy, MD of Panther, said: “We always try to imagine what more we can do for the end consumer to make their lives easier then find a way to do it.

“From the moment they place an order to the successful completion of a delivery we do everything we can to meet their needs and make delivery convenient to them.

“Times have changed, people are busy and they don’t want to be wasting time waiting for a delivery. If they can order something on Amazon and get it the next day, they want the same service for beds and furniture.”

The result is a seamless service that puts consumers first with a 99.4 per cent first time delivery rate. Panther has introduced a raft of new initiatives and service improvements that make its offering second to none.

Panther offers two-man, white-glove delivery to a room of choice, with removal of all packaging, and assembly on request. Consumers who want their old mattress taken away can have it removed for recycling – crucially at the same time as delivery, rather than on a different day.

The company also offers wet and dry installation of white goods and recently launched a one-man Solo service for smaller ticket items which has proven extremely popular.

With its ability to deliver the next day for consumers who order up to 10pm the night before, Panther gives its clients a competitive edge. Consumers are then sent a series of messages about their delivery, including a two-hour delivery window on the day of delivery, to keep them fully informed. Panther can send up to 14 different messages.

Drivers are expected to ring ahead within the hour of delivery to tell the consumer they are on their way – and Panther makes sure they do. The company has fitted an alarm to every driver’s phone that goes off if they do not make the call, and which cannot be switched off until they do.

After delivery Panther follows up with a call to the consumer to check how the delivery went and whether there are any further improvements they can make.

Recognising that consumers may want to plan ahead for their deliveries – for example, if they are refurbishing a room and want to wait until decorators have finished – Panther also offers a “day of choice” service that is also handy for those who have to juggle their busy lives to fit an appointment into their diaries.

Until recently Panther called all these customers to arrange the delivery but found that many people were too busy to take the call and had to ring back. Wanting to speed up the delivery process, it introduced a new app for smartphones that allows consumers to book in at their convenience.

The results have been spectacular, with 70 per cent of those opting for ‘day of choice’ delivery responding to the first message inviting them to book a delivery, compared with only 25 per cent who managed to arrange one over the phone on Panther’s first call.

Not only do consumers have a more convenient and stress-free experience, Panther’s clients also benefit from both the competitive edge and a reduction in the cost of each delivery of up to £2.95.

Another innovation is Panther’s returns service. Returns because of a customer being out are reduced thanks to Panther’s ‘day of choice’ service and two-hour delivery slots. Moreover, in the event of a return being made, it is swapped out at point of delivery and handled carefully so that it is kept in perfect condition, ready for sale to another consumer.

Underpinning its high standards of service is constant innovation and investment. Panther has invested £500,000 in a state-of-the-art call handling system at its UK call centre and has doubled its presence in the UK since 2014.

Panther is now one of Europe’s fastest-growing small and medium-sized businesses. Based in Northampton, it operates around 400 fully-liveried vehicles and employs a staff of between 300 and 750.

It was named this year in the inaugural FT Top 1,000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies list, and it also appeared in the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain list for 2016. It has twice appeared in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, in 2015 and 2016.

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