Managing Customer Expectations During COVID-19By James Barnes, April 22nd 2020
Many businesses have upped their ecommerce efforts in the COVID-19 lockdown. With more orders being put through the courier network, couriers are facing a challenging time. In this article, we discuss how to approach the delivery aspect for your ecommerce business, making it the best it can be for you and your customers.
If you can provide an exceptional service whilst the world is a strange place, you sure will when we've come out of the other side. So how do you go about this?
Manage Customer Expectations
This isn't anything out of the ordinary and even in these extraordinary circumstances, there's no change. You should set your customers' expectations from the beginning of their buyer journey and meet them; you could try and exceed them to give your reputation a boost.
Update Your Website & Marketplaces
It's likely that the delivery times of your items are affected at the moment. Update your website and marketplaces with new ETAs so your prospective customers are in the loop before buying with you. The delivery time could be very important to them, and you don't want negative feedback for something that is easily avoidable.
Use Tracked Delivery Services
Help manage your customers' expectations by using tracked delivery services. Your customers will be able to see where their item is and when it's going to arrive. You could give your reputation an extra boost by using a service that gives SMS delivery slot notifications.
Sign up to Despatch Bay, and choose from a range of tracked services, delivered by the UK's best couriers.
You may need to prioritise your orders or even your products, depending on what you sell, and who you are selling to.
You can manually review orders, ask people to fill in a date of birth field (if you're prioritising older customers during this pandemic). But, there are other factors you need to consider to make sure you're meeting customer expectations.
Location of Delivery
Delivery locations have been impacted during COVID-19; most countries are in total lockdown preventing all deliveries, and many UK courier depots are temporarily closed, which is delaying deliveries in the UK.
Keep an eye out for updates from couriers so you can continue updating your customers, and perhaps stop orders to certain locations should you need to.
Delivery Choice Time
Not everything has changed in the ecommerce industry. There will always be people that are willing to pay extra for quicker delivery time, and others that are happy to wait if it means that their delivery is free.
Number of Orders
If you can't fulfil 150 orders per day, don't accept them. Put a limit on the number of orders people can place and update your website and marketplaces with the amount of stock you have left. You don't want to disappoint your customers by not delivering on time, or not having the product they've just ordered in stock.
Returns are part and parcel of ecommerce, and making it as easy as possible for your customers is very important. It could be the difference between them shopping with you again, or not.
Returning items is going to be a challenge for your customers during COVID-19 so extending the length of your return policy will be appreciated. And, you need to ensure your customers are as happy as can be when returning an item.
Work With a Number of Couriers
No matter what time of year, it's always positive to work with a range of couriers. You can offer your customers a choice of delivery options, it gives you a back up plan if things happen to go wrong and ensures you can meet both your own and your customers' expectations. But, it's also important that you can easily manage them.
With Despatch Bay, you can easily manage your ecommerce orders and choose from 100+ delivery services. You'll be amazed at how much time you can save! And, returns are hassle-free. The required information is pre-populated for you, and you simply hit a button for it to be emailed to your customer.
Hopefully, by implementing the things we have discussed in this article, you will be able to manage your customers expectations and carry this forward to the future.
Combine all of your ecommerce orders into a single location and then choose the best delivery option for you and your customers!Learn More