Shipping complaints are not new to you. But this holiday season will be unlike any before. The pandemic changed our shopping behavior. We are shopping online more.
Customers who were early adopters to eCommerce were able to enjoy minimal shipping costs and speedy delivery. We are now in a transition period as infrastructure catches up to this increased demand.
I’ve confirmed that DHL Ecommerce is officially not taking on *ANY* new clients until volume “slows down” (i.e. remainder of this year). Their ops are already at capacity and they are expecting +30% through year-end.— mattahertz (@mattahertz) August 13, 2020
Increased demand has created longer delivery times. The demand will also increase carrier rates. These rates will either be absorbed by your business (COG/margins) and/or passed on to the customer.
With changes in delivery times and shipping rates, you will encounter customer service challenges this holiday season. Encourage customers to start shopping early for the holiday season. October isn’t too early this year.
The best way to get ahead of challenges is to anticipate them. Then create solutions with back-up options. Knowing with the best plans you still need to remain flexible.
Customer is frustrated with how long it is taking to receive their order.
To reduce customer frustration be proactive in your communication. Educate them on what to expect. Then remind them throughout their customer journey. They trust you to be their guide. The better your communication, the better the relationship. Great relationships increase customer satisfaction, referrals, and repeat purchases.
Track delivery times with different carriers. Then adjust your delivery windows accordingly. You may also want to build in buffer windows if you are waiting on your own supplies for fulfilling orders.
Use banners to educate customers about delayed delivery times. You can adapt your language to be positive, but it must be clear. “Due to increased shipping demands, delivery times are longer than expected. Please allow X-X number of days for delivery.” Using a window also gives you a cushion for the unknown. It’s better to have a package arrive sooner rather than later.
Add copy to web pages throughout the transaction to remind them of the delay.
- Checkout page
- Order confirmation page
If you don’t have it installed already, you can add a package tracking plug-in to your site. This allows the customer to input their phone number for shipping updates.
Add copy to transaction emails to remind them of the updated delivery window. “Please allow X-X days for delivery”
- Order confirmation
- Shipping confirmation.
This might seem redundant, but consistent messaging helps your customer remember.
While the customer is waiting for their order to be delivered use that time to strengthen the relationship. Share content that will educate, entertain, or inspire them.
- Care tips for extending life of clothing, jewelry, or furniture.
- Design tips for home goods.
- Recipes or shelf-life tips for food.
- Applicator tips for beauty products.
Customers are excited when they purchase from you. Keep the excitement going by checking in with them between purchase and delivery.
Plus you can use wait time (order -> delivery) to educate, inspire, entertain customer on how to use product.— Melissa K. Jones (@theCEOffice) August 8, 2020
Similar to callers in queue, you check in with them every 30 seconds instead of leaving them hanging. 😄
The trick is to not go overboard. Too many emails and you will seem desperate. The ideal number will depend on your delivery window and execution.
Resources for Tracking Packages
- Shop for customers
- Shopify App store
- USPS Informed Delivery for customers
- FedEx Managed Delivery for customers. Especially helpful for packages that require signatures.
What complaints do you anticipate for the holiday season?
Tell me in the comments below.