Customer Service Investigations (CSI)

Investigating customer requirements to parcel delivery

Sendle is a digital courier company that aggregates services of other courier companies and drives to offer an alternative network against the likes of Australia Post (AU), USPS (USA), and Canada Post (CA).


As the AU design lead for this project I led the design initiatives, working with product managers, developers, data analysts, support teams, UX writers and the leadership team (Head of Product, CTO)


  • UX & CX
  • Qualitative research
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Service blueprints
  • Prototyping & hand-off



  • Figma
  • Miro
  • Notion
  • Smartlook
  • Zendesk
  • Maze
  • Dovetail



Over Christmas in 2022 Sendle saw a record number of customer enquiries and support tickets where customers were chasing up parcels that were about to be delivered, running late, damaged, or lost. Responses to certain ticket types stretched to over multiple weeks, with some tickets still open well into February.


We understood the frustration experienced by our customers when deliveries didn’t go to plan, and how a poor support experience compounds the likelihood of them using our services again.


As the company grew, we knew we needed a more scalable way to approach the overall last mile delivery experience.


Example – Support dashboard for claims of lost/damaged parcels, some of these sat in the queue for 2+ weeks during peak season

Discovering opportunities

Understanding the issues

The product team, in collaboration with the Support team, undertook a series of discovery tasks:

  • Journey Mapping: Identified failure points in problematic parcel deliveries.
  • Service Blueprint: Created a blueprint for notification and messaging touchpoints.
  • Research Plan: Developed a plan to capture customer frustrations effectively.
Example – Customer communications mapping to highlight potential information blackholes in the delivery journey
Example – journey mapping a problematic delivery over the Christmas rush and subsequent support process

These tasks highlighted the need to focus on improving the customer experience during the parcel delivery journey.


From this work, we were able to learn the following:

Support tickets with the greatest issues were mainly from lost parcels (both customer and business)

  • This, in turn, costs the majority of support time – where they had to verify with both the courier driver and receiver that the parcel was dropped off, but lost

During the last mile of delivery, late parcels were generating a substantial amount of tickets

  • 98% of parcels may be 1 to 5 days late (75% of those arrive 1-2 days late)
  • But by the time our support team could jump on the ticket, which could be a day or two, the parcel would have been delivered – thus the ticket would be closed, but we would have dedicated resources into following this up



To address the issues, we selected two key areas for design focus:

Research Task: Signature on Delivery (SOD)

  • Pros/Assumptions:
    • Enhancing sender trust through signature capture.
    • Reducing claim costs by providing proof of receivership.
    • Matching competitors by offering extra services.
    • Increasing revenue.
  • Cons/Unknowns:
    • Customer acceptance of add-on services.
    • Potential impact on customer churn.
    • Pricing competitiveness.
    • Integration with reseller platforms.
    • Network-wide coverage and enforcement of SOD.

Design Task: Late and Delayed Parcels

  • Internal data revealed that parcel location inquiries accounted for a significant portion of support tickets.
  • Only 5% of parcels caused most of the support load, with 80% of them being delivered slightly late.
  • The goal was to introduce a late/delayed parcel status to proactively inform customers when their parcels might not arrive on time, reducing related support tickets.



Signature on Delivery (SOD):

The research findings revealed that SOD alone did not entirely resolve missed or failed deliveries for customers. They perceived SOD as a standalone feature with limited usefulness.


However, this led to the identification of a shared need for proof of delivery, more importantly Photos On Delivery (POD) – where couriers would take photos of parcel delivery locations when no one was home to accept it. According to the respondents, POD helps to give reassurance in 3 main areas:

  • When the parcel is dropped off, it gave receivers an idea of where to look (especially on larger properties)
  • It gives the senders confidence that the parcel was delivered correctly
  • It helps to mitigate claims for when the parcel goes missing, providing all parties (sender, receiver, support team) the evidence to being a search and confirmation on whether the parcel was successfully delivered

These insights contributed to the development of a feature implemented in the next quarter.


Late/Delayed Parcel status

For late/delayed parcels, we designed and tested an additional parcel status. When the backend system detected a potentially late parcel, the following actions were taken:

  • The parcel status changes on the tracking page for both sender and receiver
  • An appcue was designed and created to track customer ratings when they saw this message
  • Email + in-app notifications were triggered and delivered to both users
    • User settings were updated to allow control over these notifications.
  • Support team training materials were prepared.

We deployed the feature to a segment of users (targeted by route performance) and over the course of the rollout it contributed significantly to the decrease in support tickets, but more importantly the customer ratings suggests it had a positive impact to the delivery experience

It was later rolled out to all Australian customers by the end of the quarter.



The efforts to enhance customer service metrics at Sendle resulted in tangible improvements to the support experience. While the SOD idea did not meet customer expectations, it led to valuable insights that contributed to the development of a different feature. The introduction of the late/delayed parcel status proved highly effective in reducing support tickets and enhancing the overall customer experience. This case study highlights the importance of customer-centric design and data-driven decision-making in addressing complex challenges within a dynamic business environment.


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