Customers & innovation

Becoming Provider of Choice is one of the three core objectives of our Group strategy. We regularly conduct customer satisfaction surveys, quantify satisfaction levels using key performance indicators (KPIs), and pursue clearly defined targets.

> 25,000

First Choice initiatives

Our First Choice methodology – based on Six Sigma and Lean – provides us with an effective tool for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Using First Choice we systematically and continuously improve our own processes, services and products, and work together with customers to further optimize solutions. Since introducing the methodology in 2006, we have implemented well over 25,000 improvement initiatives, trained more than 29,000 executives and employees in applying the methodology, and involved over 100,000 employees in the program through dialogue formats. The dialogue formats convey not only knowledge of the First Choice method, but also help employees become more aware of improvement potential with regard to processes and quality standards in their immediate working environments. This promotes a culture of continuous improvement and lays the foundation for effective innovation management that responds to the real needs of our customers.

We use systematic surveys to measure satisfaction levels among our customers. Since launching the First Choice program, we have already commissioned and analyzed over 170 customer satisfaction studies. Customer complaints also provide us with valuable input when analyzing optimization needs and improvement potential.

Kunden & Innovation

Customers confirm service quality and reliability


Deutsche Post DHL Group customers expect us to provide fast, reliable and high-quality products and services. To measure customer satisfaction levels, we utilize tools adapted specifically to each division’s field of activity – several examples of which are presented below.

Post - eCommerce - Parcel
External surveys confirm that 94% of the domestic letters posted in Germany are delivered to their recipients the very next day. Around 99% reach their recipients within two days. This puts us above the statutory requirements. The external measuring system is audited and certified each year by TÜV Rheinland for compliance with EN 13850 requirements. Transit times for international letters are determined by the International Post Corporation. Here, we rank among the top postal companies. As a rule, parcels sent within Germany reach their recipients the next working day. Our internal system for measuring parcel transit times has been certified by TÜV Rheinland since 2008.

Facts & Figures: Mail and parcel business

Facts & Figures: Mail and parcel business

As in the previous year, our approximately 27,000 sales points were open for business an average of 53 hours a week. The annual survey conducted by “Kundenmonitor Deutschland”, the largest consumer study in Germany, also indicated high acceptance levels among customers with regard to our exclusively partner-operated retail outlets: 93.8% of customers were satisfied with our quality and service.

As a global network operator that applies standardized processes, we continuously improve our service to keep customer commitments, respond specifically to their wishes, and always deliver the best possible quality. We make sure to leverage customer complaints and criticisms to drive continuous improvement; we constantly track ever-changing customer requirements and have managers personally contact unsatisfied customers. 

We work together with government authorities to regularly review operational safety, compliance with standards, and the quality of service at our facilities. Some 290 of these facilities – over 100 of which are in Europe – have been certified by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), one of the world’s most prestigious organizations promoting logistics safety and security. Our Express division facilities have been ISO 9001:2008 certified since 2013. In addition, in specific regions and countries we were certified or re-certified in the areas of environmental protection and energy management.

Facts & Figures: DHL business units

Facts & Figures: DHL business units

Global Forwarding, Freight
In the Global Forwarding business unit, we apply a systematic customer feedback approach to further improve our offering. Once again the steady stream of customer feedback gained through our surveys provided us with valuable input and recommendations. In 2016, we expanded the content of our survey and implemented the approach in over 50 countries. 

With the goal of providing the industry’s best customer experience, we piloted our Freight website, focusing especially on its accessibility for customers and partners, especially with regard to mobile devices.

Supply Chain
We aim to be the quality leader in contract logistics. Through the use of standardized processes and solutions, and with the support of quality experts at every site, we make sure we meet or exceed the expectations of our customers. 

In the reporting year we replaced our yearly telephone-based customer satisfaction surveys with shorter and more frequent online surveys. In addition, our Operations Excellence program defined uniform operational standards and introduced a performance indicator for service quality which regularly measures whether our sites and facilities are fulfilling our service level commitments.

Please refer to the 2016 Annual Report for more detailed information.