Picture this : You’re a retailer based in Chicago, dealing in apparel and your loyal customer John has ordered a tux for his high-school reunion from your store. If anything, John’s like me, a last-minute shopper and he’d need his tux in exactly two days. You pick it, pack it, and ship it via an expedited service from your shipping partner. Just when you relax, hoping that everything would go well, the order doesn’t reach John on time due to heavy storms. As fate would have it, your shipping carrier fails to inform you of it and John, couldn’t make it to his high-school reunion looking dapper in his swanky , new tux.
So much for paying your shipping carrier all those dollars. Your shipping carrier has not only let you down but has also given John, a reason to not shop with you again considering the bad delivery experience he has faced.
Shoppers today have zero-tolerance towards even the slightest frustration with their order delivery. They are extremely scrutinizing and sensitive. And a bad experience is nothing but a chance for your customer to put a full-stop to you and start shopping with your competitor.
On the contrary, providing a stellar post-purchase experience to your customer is your chance to increase Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores and rise above your competition particularly when companies like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay are rewriting the eCommerce playbook from a customer experience standpoint.
According to research conducted on 2,000 customer experience professionals, 18% of them have said that unresolved issues are the number 1 frustration for customers during their experience with the company.
Therefore, it is highly important that businesses take a strong resolve to handle delivery issues and exceed customers’ delivery expectations to stay ahead of the competition.
One of the ideal ways to handle delivery issues and drive positive customer experience is by resolving the issue proactively before customer impact.
What is Proactive Issue Resolution?
Proactive delivery issue resolution is all about monitoring your shipments in-transit and preemptively fixing last-mile issues (if there are any) that could lead to bad delivery experiences for your customers.
Being proactive in resolving delivery issues means getting to know the issues customers could face even before they are affected, giving you ample time to set things right.
By displaying your ability to proactively address customer issues and meaningfully engage with them to mitigate the impact of bad deliveries, you are showing your strong commitment to the high standard of customer experience you offer.
Issues You are Bound to Face in the Last-Mile By Being Just Reactive
Last-mile operations are complex. They include your order being picked up by your shipping carrier from your warehouse, sending it to multiple hubs and sorting facilities for processing, and finally dispatching it for delivery.
With this level of complexity, issues are inevitable irrespective of whether you are proactive or not.
However, as we pointed out earlier, being proactive gives you an edge over being just reactive to critical delivery issues. With proactive issue handling, you can resolve delivery incidents before your customers are adversely affected by them
But this just doesn’t end here. Let’s take a look at how last-mile issues can hurt your business in more ways than one.
1) Your Brand's Online Reputation Takes a Massive Hit
In this age of social media, shoppers wield a greater power to move the masses with their expressions of pleasure or displeasure over their experiences with brands.
@AmazonHelp why do you keep using @USPSHelp for deliveries when they continually deliver late (6 times in 6 mos) & send items to the wrong location making them even later? They clearly don’t have their stuff together & I’m gonna stop ordering from amazon if this continues. pic.twitter.com/ZSaxL2bb9s— Russ Sedam (@rrs0725) December 29, 2018
In the event of a failed delivery, an angry post on Twitter or Facebook or a negative review from a customer on sites like Google or Yelp.com can cause irreversible damage to your brand and far worse, demotivate their followers, friends, and family from shopping with you.
2) Lose Loyal Customers to Bad Delivery Experiences
One of the cornerstones of a positive customer experience is exceeding your shopper’s expectations in their post-purchase phase. Failing to meet their demand for on-time deliveries is one sure way to lose your loyal customers.
That makes it an awful gamble to not take proactive action towards resolving delivery failures.
It costs 5X more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one.
3) High Volume of WISMO Calls from Anxious Customers
In this age of instant gratification, customers expect to be kept in the loop of their order’s status at every stage of the delivery lifecycle.
Even if you’re confident of delivering packages to customers’ on time, customer anxiety while awaiting parcels leads to an increase in “Where Is My Order?” (WISMO) requests.
Shipping carriers often withhold information regarding parcels running late. Keeping this information from your customers can lead to
- Customers feeling aggrieved and helpless
- Anxious and angry customers bombarding your support team with WISMO calls, consuming all of the team’s time
- Your CSAT score taking a hit as your customers don’t feel satisfied with the delivery experience you offer
Worry not though. Being proactive helps you solve the issues we’ve discussed and gives you the ability to take control of your last mile and provide memorable delivery experiences.
How to Resolve Issues Proactively
1) Fix Last-mile Issues Before Customer Impact
By using third-party tracking solutions you can monitor all your parcels in real time, which in turn offers you real-time visibility and helps you
- Be aware of your customers’ shipment status all the time (even if they are potentially delayed)
- Take proactive action like letting your customer support intervene and fix issues before customer impact.
When your customer’s in-transit order is likely to go haywire, you can preemptively inform the customer regarding the issue and also offer solutions based on their expectations such as re-shipping the order via an expedited shipping option, offer a discount or a refund on their next purchase.
This fact is more than enough to show that your commitment to proactively handle delivery issues can improve your customers’ loyalty towards your brand and improve retention rates.
2) Keep Customers in the Loop of their Order’s Life Cycle
Engaged customers are loyal customers, and it should be your mission to engage them on every level
Instead of communicating only when there’s an issue, you can engage with them on a daily basis by notifying them of their orders.
By being in the know of how many of your parcels will be delivered during the day and how many are likely to be delayed, you can take proactive steps, where required by sharing this data with your customer-support-team mates and can keep your customer engaged across the last-mile.
By proactively informing them about the status of their order, you can notice a drastic reduction in the number of WISMO calls and an increase in your CSAT Score due to the frictionless post-purchase experience you are offering.
Why Proactively Resolving Issues Matter?
Here are a few reasons how proactively resolving issues not only provides you the ability to create memorable delivery experiences but gives your business a competitive edge in the last-mile game.
1) Makes Customer Support Reps Efficient
When you enable support teams to act proactively, you are not just benefiting the customer by helping them stay aware of their orders but helping your support teams as well by easing their work.
By keeping customers in the loop of their order’s delivery cycle, you are helping them to resolve delivery issues on their own and with less angry customers to face via emails and calls, support teams can efficiently use their time for other important things like tend to product-related concerns and upsell or cross-sell to customers.
Also, by empowering your support teams to be aware of issues before customers get to know them, they can get better at handling anxious and angry customers.
2) Builds Trust and Increases Customer Loyalty
An increase in your CSAT scores as a result of your ability to take proactive action and resolving issues with packages means, your customers are less anxious prior to order delivery are having a great post-purchase experience and would obviously choose your business once again over switching to your competitor.
Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your profits by more than 25%
Get Proactive With LateShipment.com's Delivery Experience Management (DEM) Suite
In spite of the sky-high costs, tedious process, and accumulated complications, last-mile delivery will always remain the decisive leg of the supply chain process.
Any retail business that seeks to scale up must optimize its last-mile delivery processes.
Make use of technology such as LateShipment.com to strengthen your business.
It also involves taking proactive action as required to correct issues in the last mile and constantly engaging customers to validate brand promises and optimize your last mile to the fullest.
Here are some of our DEM’s high impact offerings, which helps you resolve issues proactively:
- Dedicated customer support dashboard – With the ability to track all your parcels across carriers, geographic locations and predict delays in real time, LateShipment offers you a purpose-built, intuitive dashboard that predicts delays and lets your customer support team intervene and fix last-mile issues before customer impact.
When your customer’s order is facing weather-related exceptions, you can send customized notifications and proactive issue resolution to build trust and keep them engaged post-purchase.
- Automated email notifications – The average online shopper tracks their parcel around 8 times post-checkout on the tracking page of shipping carriers like FedEx & UPS. This fact is more than enough to prove that customers are always anxious about their parcel’s whereabouts.
Keep your customers informed of important updates on packages by sending automated and timely email notifications about their orders for last-mile events such as “Shipped”, “Attempted”, and “Delivered”, so that their anxiety is eased.
Send notifications on order delivery lifecycle, proactively handle delivery issues, get predictive alerts and send delivery-related tickets via our integrations to strengthen customer relationships and build rewarding delivery experiences.
The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action.
COVID-19 Note: To help tide over the current crisis, we are giving all businesses full and free access to our Delivery Experience Management Platform till June 30, 2020.
The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand.
It’s that simple!