Gophr is a marketplace made up of two sides: couriers and customers: supply and demand. Startups working in the on-demand delivery sector tend to be well funded enough that they only tend to think about keeping one side of the equation happy; the customers. Although we haven’t raised an insubstantial amount of cash, unlike some of our competitors we haven’t had enough to subsidise paying riders and drivers to be on standby. This has forced us to think about how we can deliver value to both sides of the customer/courier equation. Thankfully the traditional B2B courier space hasn’t generally done a terrific job when it comes to taking care of their couriers either. To get an edge on our competition we knew we had to make feedback loops an absolute cornerstone of our approach. What we’d discovered after a year of doing courier and customer interviews – before we’d even written our first line of code – drove this thinking. We spoke to customers who had companies of all shapes and sizes to understand what it was they found frustrating about dealing with courier companies. And on the other side of the equation, we interviewed lots of couriers to understand what it was that they loved (and hated) about their work to see how we could improve their day-to-day experience. This set out the overall direction and vision for the problems Gophr would solve on both sides of the equation.  However we also wanted to make sure we had plenty of opportunities to understand whether we were on the right track. This meant building lots of feedback channels to increase our chances of being exposed to insights that would drive product and service improvement. Today we have a number of different channels through which customer and courier feedback is gathered. It comes into what is effectively Gophr’s central nervous system – Slack (more on how we use Slack here). I’ve placed them all in one handy list:
  • Customer messenger chats or phonecalls: Intercom (or any other CRM system) is great for this. Both in terms of getting feedback  there and then through live chat or automatically prompting users to give you feedback via email. We tend to do this after thanking them for booking regularly. It’s a surprisingly great way to get nice responses. And again, having actual conversations with customers is a great way to get some deep insights into the product.
  • NPS: we use an app called AskNicely, it’s pretty expensive for what it is but we’re kind of locked in given the data we’ve gathered to date. Personally if I were to start over I’d just use an automated email with the ‘Pro’ version of Typeform. Cheaper and more or less does the same thing.
  • In-app feedback: easy one. This mainly comes in when a job is done, whether its been delivered or cancelled.  If a customer cancels we want to know why. Similarly, if a courier is given a low rating we want to be able to act on it
  • Google reviews: Pretty obvious, there for all the world to see
  • Trustpilot reviews: See Google reviews above
  • Courier chats: Either face to face or via messages. We’re very courier focused and they are brilliant for telling us whether there are any bugs or where we should go next. We’ve set up a private Facebook group for this too.
Once gathered the feedback is either dropped unfiltered as an idea in its own right, or it sparks an idea which is then shared with the team. Over time we’ll find that the same idea keeps coming back, or ideas start to group together as themes or projects. Over time these layers of ideas can build up into one ultimate solution, or can spark an entirely brand new approach to solving the problem. These new approaches tend to be of the ‘silver-bullet’ kind in that they kill many different problems with a simple or elegant solution. As opposed to a collection of ideas which can be quite big in scope. The sheer number of channels we have for gathering feedback gives us a very good idea of what jobs need to be prioritised next. Given that we are still a small team it’s also useful to have this additional layer of guidance. It helps to keep us focused even when it’s a struggle to prioritise at times (it all seems so damn vital!). I’d say the single biggest barometer of whether we are doing a good job are our NPS scores. They’ve never been lower than over twice the industry average for the parcel delivery sector (26) at any time (yes, including Christmas). The highest they’ve ever been is over three times that much (78.8). We’re aiming to permanently stay over that number for 3+ months at a time as we move forward. We’ll keep you posted on how we get on with that ambition. So here are some real-world examples of the stuff this feedback has produced:
  • Gophr courier app, specifically:
    • user interface
    • manifest (how the jobs are displayed and in what order)
    • dynamically rearranging the manifest based on location and time deadlines
    • ETA’s
    • sign-off screens
    • map functionality
  • Gophr customer webapp:
    • UI
    • Team functions
    • Live tracking
    • Multi-drops
    • Printing address labels (thanks Lovefone)
As ever, if you have any questions do hit us up in the comments section/tweet/live chat us and we’ll be more than happy to help in any way we can.

We’re very proud to announce our partnership with two highly innovative British Tech companies to undertake the largest air pollution research project ever to take place in London. Gophr is providing cycle couriers with CleanSpace tags and Inmarsat LORA moats to track air pollution levels across the city, enabling them to conduct the most detailed study of air quality levels ever undertaken in the city.

The partnership came about when Lord Drayson of Drayson Technologies and Freevolt – makers of the CleanSpace tag – and myself were introduced through a mutual friend who had the rather brilliant idea of us working together to this end. Inmarsat approached us separately within weeks. We invited everyone around to meet and decided to pool all our resources together to get the best possible outcome.

Results of the study will come about in September. More on that when it comes about. In the meantime if you’d like to take part you can always purchase a CleanSpace tag here, and if you cycle a lot of miles per week please get in touch with us to get involved. There are some pretty snazzy cycle jerseys up for grabs too (see below).

cleanspace-backcleanspace-front

About CleanSpace™

CleanSpace is an IoT sensor network to monitor air pollution. It uses a machine-learning network of connected smart sensors powered by Freevolt to create the world’s most advanced map of air pollution to enable people to “see the air they breathe” and to help enterprises and municipalities implement projects that improve air quality. CleanSpace was designed and built by Drayson Technologies and launched in the UK in Q4 2015.

For more information on CleanSpace please visit:

http://www.ourcleanspace.com

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).

For more information, please visit:

http://www.inmarsat.com

We’ve not done one of these in a while. Mainly because we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes building awesome stuff and getting ready for what’s coming. More on that in the coming weeks/months.

For now, suffice to say we’ve just released a major new update to our desktop booking app that gives you more access to info around your job and your courier than ever before, so you know exactly what your courier is doing and when.

We were told that this was a very bad idea, and would only result in more complaints and customer service issues. So we only released it to a handful of you, then 10% a week later all the way up to 50% last week. Given we’ve had only positive feedback we’ve decided to put it on general release …at least until the point that everyone starts kicking off as initially predicted, but we’re feeling pretty good about this not happening. If you need to get a hold of us just hit us up on Live Chat anyway.

So why is this update any good?

Well, everything looks a bit smarter for starters, but here are more details:

  • Total oversight on courier jobs: more info and context on what is happening with your courier, and their pick ups and deliveries. You also get a snazzy animation to show you their route and direction of travel.
  • ETA’s are back!: Now that we are giving you full oversight over your couriers pick ups and deliveries, we can now bring back ETA’s as it you now have context as to why ETA’s can jump up or down all of a sudden.
  • Improved menu drawer: so it’s a bit more obvious what section you are in. It also takes up less space so you can look at more of the map as well as our brand new…
  • Courier info drawer: we should probably have a sexier name for this feature but it is what it is. Snazzy new drawer on the right hand side which houses info on average acceptance times for vehicles on that day once you book, and then once your courier accepts you get all their contact details, as well as info on when your job was accepted, picked up and delivered. If you cancel a job we ask you why in here too. Helps improve the service and that.
  • More couriers everywhere!: We now display our couriers at all times. We’ve also improved the courier icons so they now no longer look like grey nipples. They look more like tyres …mainly because all our vehicles have them.

As ever, if you have any feedback do let us know. You can always hit us up on live chat. We love hearing from you.

Check out our new desktop app here

Okay. Let’s get straight to it. Shiny new website
  • ‘Get a Quote’ now pull through to booking so if you get a quote on the homepage you don’t have to enter it again on booking
  • new dedicated Business section in which we talk about our Commercial API and integration capabilities (sexy, we know)
  • the sexy video background with the drone shots that we used to get lots of compliments on is no more (booo!) It was a little heavy on data so we got rid
  • dedicated courier section
  New, improved booking site
  • The feature almost everyone has been asking us since day one: ‘Favourites’ is now live! Every time you book you can save an address, contact name or business as a favourite for later use direct on the booking screen
  • Minor improvements to the ‘Book a job’ flow. We’ve moved stuff around to make it more useful. We also added a label specifically for ‘floors’ within buildings as entering the floor number ahead of the address would make Google Maps freak out a bit.
  • Improved ‘Team’ section to bring it into line with ‘Favourites’ so it all feels nice and tidy and makes sense as a unified whole
  • Improved ‘Active jobs’ section so you can tab between active jobs and draft jobs
  • Improvements to ‘Job History’ section so you can get access to your invoices and reports more easily
  • Minor changes to the ‘Profile’ section that were annoying Seb so had to go – ‘Payment details’ section is now a lot tidier, particularly if you have lots of teams and lots of payment methods. No longer looks like a really long list of random letters and numbers
  How to use the new Favourites feature When you hit the ‘favourite’ star we’ll prompt you to define which category you want to save your favourite under. Next time you book simply type in the address you are looking for and your favourites will come in up in your list of options ahead of Google Maps search results. Your five most recently used favourites will also sit under the search bar for your use. That’s it! Dead easy. Let us know what you think by getting in touch at yo@gophr.com or by hitting the chat button on the site. We have more announcements coming over the next few weeks.

It’s been an exciting year at Gophr. We’ve raised money from our investors Yonder and Beyond, we’ve built the best business courier service booking system in the world (we think!) and we’ve assembled an incredibly capable and diverse team. Together with you, our couriers have performed thousands of deliveries. We’re now getting ready to carve a name out for ourselves in the industry.

We recently became the UK’s first and only Living Wage accredited courier company, which we’re incredibly proud of. The courier industry has been torn by wage and treatment disputes for years, cumulating in recent protests at some very large companies. We’re proud to put a marker down and say the industry deserves better. In fact, we’ve insisted on it since Gophr was first formed.

Until now, our deliveries have been carried entirely by pushbikes and cargo bikes. This has kept our delivery area relatively small. Our cargo bikes can take 70Kg of weight no problem, but we know this has restricted what we can carry tremendously.

Today, we’re announcing the introduction of our van couriers and motorcycle couriers! Since our launch in March, we’ve had daily requests to help you move bigger and bigger items and we’re pleased to say we can do this starting today.

Vans and Motorbikes

We’ll be introducing various sizes of vehicles including scooters, motorcycles and both small and large vans. We’re confident we’ll be able to take just about every item you might want to send by courier and for anything else, let us know and we’ll see what vehicles we can introduce to serve you in the future (speedboat on the Thames maybe?).

Going forward, you’ll be able to book vans and motorcycles through the same familiar interface you currently book push-bikes through. This time however, you’ll be able to select the most relevant vehicle to your package and we’ll adjust your quote and ETAs automatically. As you’ve come to expect, we’ll also made some small changes to our size/weight guidelines in our UI to help you gauge your package size and weight for the new vehicles too.

With the Christmas period coming up, we hope we’ll be your first choice for delivery. Got special requirements over the festive season? Drop us a line on our live chat button, or at yo@gophr.com and we’ll be happy to work with you as best we can to make sure your plans go smoothly. You can reach us via the above methods for any issues at all.

The Gophr Team

 

Two years ago I had an idea that would change my life.

At the time I never stopped to think how this thought would lead me to quit my job to go and work in an industry sector I didn’t have the first clue about. Nor that I’d end up doing a bunch of ancillary stuff I’d normally run a mile away from.

The idea was to build a platform for businesses to order a same-day delivery directly with the individual courier who would be doing the work. It was designed to spell the end for courier companies as they currently exist.

The burning desire to wipe them off the face of the earth came as a result of me taking time off work to wait for a package to turn up, only for it to miss its delivery window by hours. more

It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone can appreciate the feeling that you get when you eat something that’s really good. David, the co-founder of the Good Brownie company, has a distinct vision for how his brownies should be enjoyed and taste is only the start. more
So we’ve been hard at work for the last 5 months hiring, designing, building, smashing stuff up, going back to the drawing board, building again, testing, bug fixing, asking lots of questions, meeting couriers and businesses, people more