2020 was an incredible year for eCommerce despite the challenges of a global pandemic. But the massive boom in online shopping and delivery services overwhelmed shipping carriers and many fulfillment operations, leading to an increase in delays for consumers. On top of an increased need for inventory and labor because of the eCommerce boost, businesses are struggling to keep up with the massive shipping delays due to the overwhelmed postal service.
The best way to keep your customers satisfied with your business' delivery service is to effectively communicate shipping delays as they happen, even if they're unhappy, your clients will be more upset if you leave them in the dark on their shipment status. A level of transparency with your customers ensures trust, and that relationship will create brand loyalty and keep people coming back.
Keeping up with shipping delays is tricky, and communicating them can feel like walking on eggshells because nobody likes hearing that their package is late, but there are ways to communicate it that soften the blow for your clients and ensure customer satisfaction. Here are some tips from our 3PL order fulfillment experts.
1. Develop a Shipping Policy
Dedicating part of your website to a shipping policy specific to your company's delivery service is a great first step towards transparency. Outlining potential issues, tackling questions before they come with a thorough FAQ, and thanking your customers for their patience in this new market will set you up for success in communicating any shipping delays. A great shipping policy will include average handling and processing times, specifics on shipping costs as well as options, and will also detail return and exchange policies.
2. Track Your Outgoing Orders and Returns
If you have an idea of your outgoing orders, returns, and any shipping delays causing roadblocks, you'll be better able to support your customers through receiving their package. A great team of logistics specialists can help you manage your shipments so you don't have to juggle all the shipment details.
3. Address Known Shipping Delays Immediately
The sooner you handle your customer concerns, the easier they are to manage. Immediately addressing known delays prevents repeatedly apologizing to customers for delays that you're aware of.
4. Communicate Before, During, and After the Transaction
Having a constant line of communication between you and your guests is essential, and communicating delays during every part of the transaction is the key to helping your customers understand the state of delivery services right now. Many retailers have opted to add new messaging to their shopping screens, checkout pages, and in the shipment confirmation based off of known delays with the postal service because of increased demand.
5. Don't Forget to Follow up!
The worst thing you could do for your online business would be to write off a client as satisfied as soon as you ship your product out. To ensure no customer gets let down, be certain to follow up on their experience after their package has been delivered. Never send a request for a review before a product has reached the customer.
6. Set up an Automatic Email System
Automatic email systems that message customers based on their behaviors are proven to drive more revenue for companies. When you're communicating via email based on when customer orders are placed, processed, and received, you're guaranteed to retain more customers.
7. Be Convenient to Contact
The front lines of your business are your customer care representatives. Whether you respond to customers via email, phone, or social media, responding promptly is incredibly important to keeping customers happy. Just remember, poor customer service costs U.S. businesses more than $70 billion dollars a year. You can save yourself a ton of money by being transparent and responsive with your clients, and automated responses can ease the burden.
Setting up chatbots, automatic shipping notifications, and other Automated Intelligence tech to communicate with your clients is a great way to utilize new technology to adapt your business to the growing eCommerce economy.
8. Show Empathy in Messaging
Being engaging and friendly isn't enough in the evolving eCommerce market, brands have to have a level of understanding to their clients' perspective on the world beyond their product. 2020 was a hard year for everyone, and knowing that everyone from healthcare professionals to postal workers is just trying their best to make 2021 easier on the world is great to incorporate into your brand image. Thank your customers for their patience, your delivery drivers for their hard work, and let them know that you are here to support them.
9. Outsource Your Shipping
Adapting to a digital market is difficult, especially for a growing business. Logistics specialists can help you develop your delivery fulfillment strategy so you don't have to worry about staffing, maintaining delivery drivers, or warehousing. Leaving the deliveries to the experts speeds up your shipping and handling, manage your returns, and it can even manage your subscription services and kits. If you need help adapting to the growing eCommerce market, contact us to talk to a ShipNetwork fulfillment specialist about how we can save you time and money.