PostNL App

“A post office in your pocket”

Brace yourself for high numbers. The PostNL app has now been downloaded 3.6 million times and was used by customers 34 million times in 2016. Maarten van Ierschot, product owner of the app, loves to talk about his baby. “The PostNL app is essential if we want to continue to be the irreplaceable link between the sender and the receiver.”

How did it all start?

The app is relatively new, Maarten says: “We started developing the app only two years ago. At that point, customer contact within PostNL was still very fragmented. We serviced customers through all kinds of channels and websites, and those channels were insufficiently aligned. We were one company, but did not present ourselves as such to the market. We also wanted to prepare PostNL for the future. So we concluded that we had to unite the channels.” That meant that the various PostNL websites were merged, and that the team started developing an app.

Maarten van Ierschot

Can you tell us a bit about the process?

“We laid the foundations in 2015. After that, we added several new services in 2016, like picking up a parcel at home, sometimes within an hour. And we added the Stamp Code, a nine-digit code you can use to frank a letter. This way you have a stamp at hand at all times. We were mainly led by the needs of our customers. And we develop in so-called agile scrum teams, in which we go through cycles of defining, building and then testing the desired functionalities. We keep developing further. A good service is always evolving. Every three weeks, we get together with a group of people to try out the latest updates on all kinds of different smartphones and other devices. We want to ensure our users enjoy the best customer experience.”

Didn’t your PostNL app win an award?

“Yes, we won a Dutch Interactive Award in the category Service for the app’s user-friendliness. We are very proud of that, because it’s a jury award. For us this was special because our work was judged by experts.”

The app gained lots of users in a very short time. When will you see the app as a success?

“We do have a lot of users. But for us, the measure of its success is mainly whether we offer relevant services. At this point, we’re mostly providing information: when will my parcel or letter be delivered? Our goal is for the users to do more with it: make sure they can actually do things using the app. Like change a parcel from being delivered at home to being delivered at work, or in the evening, or at a PostNL location. Or using the app, directly pay an invoice that comes in the mail.

And we want to move more and more towards personal delivery: which means a parcel or letter not being delivered to a certain address, but to the person’s current location. At home, on a terrace in the city or at your holiday home. You can indicate your delivery preferences via the app. There’s an advantage for you as the customer, but also for us as a company. As a customer, you get your shipment whenever and wherever you want, and as a company we know for sure that we can deliver it.

To return to your question: for us, the app will be a success once it’s become irreplaceable. Once everyone has their own post office in their pocket and uses it every day.”

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