The festive time period is often the busiest for most brands and businesses. Using this increased demand comes an increased strain on the supply chain, potentially having a negative impact on customer experiences. So , so what can companies do to help the flow of products arriving off the shelves and coming to customers’ houses?
The Stakes Are High
According to Accenture, 57% of consumers will not store with a retailer again if they are let down this Christmas, yet 40% of shoppers have incredibly high expectations associated with fast and free deliveries. With this in mind, is there anything that businesses can do to ensure their customers are happy?
One of the main changes that a few make during the festive time period to relieve a bit of pressure, is to hire external shipping companies to help. Why not send offers straight from your door in order to theirs via courier? It is quick, simple and the process to get an account set up is relatively simple. That leaves you to basically pick and pack their own order and get everything ready for collection.
Utilizing a courier or several different types, will allow you to send different size boxes of different weights unexpectedly too. This could be very helpful and may also save you on costs, which is what we just about all want at the end of the day.
Other Ways You Can Deal With Demand
Another sure-fire way to make sure you have enough share in place for the Christmas hurry is to take a look at last year’s figures, if you have them. This can allow you to gage more precisely how much stock you will need and whether you need to increase your quantities.
Having more items readily available will also make sure you don’t have unhappy customers! There is nothing worse than scouring the internet, only to find that exactly what you’re looking for is out of stock, especially this time of year.
No matter whether you sell toys that will sit under the Christmas tree, bits and pieces for the home or something for the grownups, don’t let your delivery service be the downfall of the festive season. Get your ducks in a row now and watch your festive season become as plain sailing as it can be.
Communication Is Key
If your client doesn’ t receive an item from you by the expected time, and hasn’ t heard from you, it stands to reason that they’ re not going to become happy.
In the event that you’ re having trouble fulfilling an order, or understand it’ s going to be delayed then let the customer know. This gives them a chance to cancel their order and appear elsewhere or wait for their order to arrive.
While losing a customer for not being able to fulfil their order on this occasion isn’ t perfect, they will appreciate your credibility in reaching out to them and can know that you’ re somebody they can trust and will come back to you in the future.
There’ s nothing even worse as a customer than going through the process of choosing your items going all the way through the checkout process and then finding out that there are long delivery times.
Make sure that you let your customers know what your estimated delivery timescales are well before they get to the checkout process.
You might think that this may place some people off shopping – and it may indeed accomplish that – but customers that will choose to shop with you is going to be less likely to abandon their own carts half-way through the buy process.
Distribute an email reminding customers of your delivery schedule, add banners to the homepage/sidebar of the web site and place a reminder before the checkout so that people are conscious of how long their items will require to ship.
Invest In Customer Service
Finally, it’ s likely that you will receive a lot more communications from customers over the joyful period so you may want to consider adding temporary workers to manage your phone lines/email reactions so that you are able to deal with the increased volume in a timely manner.
If your budget can’ t stretch to additional man-power then consider including a dedicated Christmas FAQ area to your website which should cover the most typical queries. When a customer emails you, send an automatic response directing them to the particular FAQ, if they still have inquiries they can fill out a devote form that can be routed to a priority email address.
Also make sure to keep an eye on your own social media accounts as a lot of customers will contact you via Facebook and Tweets – again you can stage them to your FAQs page and have them fill out the particular priority contact form if they still have any questions.
Whilst customer usually expect a merchant to get their purchase right and delivered promptly, if you keep them informed they will appreciate your honesty. Not just does this build rely on with your brand it means that they can think about an alternative product exactly where necessary so that their Christmas isn’ t ruined – and believe it or not they will enjoy your for it. You may miss out on this sale but you is going to be fostering a relationship built on trust and that can be a long way in increasing brand loyalty.