Service design in the time of Coronavirus

A collection of improvements (or adaptions) by companies dealing with the Coronavirus impact. I hope that some of these will stay with us even after this whole pandemic has passed.

Australia Post have introduced “contactless delivery” to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus. This means signatures are no longer required for all parcels, whether you’re collecting from a Post Office or at home.

I reckon Domino’s were first in promoting their “Zero Contact Deliveries”. The Driver (Domino’s call them “Delivery Experts”) will place your order in front of the door, or on a safe surface, before moving back to a safe distance. They will then contact the customer by phone to let them know they have arrived.

This was already part of the Coles Online offering, but I’ve seen it introduced also for TotalTools and Bunnings, where you can simply call the shop when you arrive, and they will bring the order to your car.

Bunnings’ version of Contactless click&collect.

The discounter has started an online queuing system that limits the number of users that can be on its website at a time. When a shopper attempts to access the site during a time of high traffic volume, they will instead be taken to a “‘waiting room“, be informed that they are in the queue to shop on the website and given expected wait times.

Unfortunately, they don’t offer any distraction here for people waiting — this could have been a perfect opportunity for a light content play.

The virtual queue by Kmart. Nothing else to do other than to stare at this screen…

Australia Post has teamed up with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to deliver medicine via a contactless pharmacy home delivery service. It comes after the government announced it would allocate $25 million to fund home medicine services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pharmacies are able to offer customers free monthly delivery of under 500 grams of medication and other essentials using the Australia Post Express Post network.

The Community Pick up service is available to vulnerable customers who have applied for Priority Assistance. They can place an order for Pick up at 700 locations in Australia for a community member (including friends & family) to pick up the order on their behalf.

At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, people stormed supermarkets and stockpiled essentials. Woolies created the Woolworths Basics Box to help provide meals, snacks, and a few essential items for those in genuine need. For $80 AUD, the box includes 23 items (such as pasta, flour, toilet paper), packaging, handpicking and packing, as well as delivery. Australia Post will deliver within 2–5 business days. in two separate boxes to make it easier to take the order inside.

The Woolies Basics Box.

This was introduced by all major retailers, firstly to give vulnerable members of the community the opportunity to buy essentials. It was later extended to give healthcare and emergency services workers time to shop as well. That means all doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital and ambulance staff, police and firefighters can access the exclusive shopping hour.

Coles Community Hour is now open to carers, friends and neighbours of vulnerable customers 7am-8am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Carers, friends and neighbours simply need to present the eligible customer’s government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card, Seniors Card, Disability Card, Health Care Card or proof of age when entering the store. Source

In April 2020, banks and card companies doubled to $200 the amount you can pay with a contactless card, without entering a PIN, although only for a three-month period. This one is not really a service design change, but it will definitely help us to move to an even more cashless society. In 2019, 63% of all payments were already via a debit or credit card (Source).

I live in Melbourne and design user-centric solutions for large Australian companies.

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