Logistics, the shipping, is one part of operating your business that is partially out of your control.
You may have it picked up for delivery on time and specified its needs to arrive on a certain date through certain means but even the most reliable logistics companies can make mistakes. Mistakes like delivering to the wrong address or–not your fault–getting smitten by an act of nature, thus delaying the delivery.
When a logistical issue arises it’s up to your business to make amends with the customer to ensure their satisfaction. In fact, one of the best, possible customer experiences you can deliver stems during this time when the package leaves the business and arrives at the customer’s doorstep.
To deliver this exceptional experience, you have to utilize all available logistical opportunities.
Part 1: The Box
Imagine you are the customer.
You place an order from a business you recognize through name and brand. The product you are ordering has a specific look and feel that is unique. The service was easy and enjoyable. When the box arrives it’s bare, blank, and basic. There has been a disconnect from the buying experience.
To remove this disconnect, a business should consider custom shipping boxes. Custom boxes can be tailored to the specific product to ensure they add to the branded experience and protect the item while in transit. The use of these custom boxes costs just a fraction more than the bare bone options but in terms of PR they do absolute wonders for building upon the brand and likelihood the customer will share their experience.
The box can be just as much as part of the product experience as the actual product. The mere act of unboxing a product can create excitement; this is an emotion that can easily create an opportunity to get customers to share their experiences, which leads to referrals, reviews, and more business.
Part 2: The Transit & Delivery
The time between the box going out the door and getting to the doorstep can cause a range of emotions for the customer because it’s a time when the experience is out of their control.
It’s recommended that during this time of transit, your business provides:
- Tracking numbers to place the customers’ mind at ease
- A double confirmation to ensure the customer had ordered exactly as they wanted
- Open dialog to break the silence between purchase and delivery (creates assurance)
A simple phone call (or email) can keep your customers informed and also be used to create excitement for when the product arrives.
The logistics company you provide to your customers will ultimately be part of the experience, which is why it’s important to choose those who pride themselves on the best service. It may even be worthwhile to go the extra mile and pay out-of-pocket the expenses to upgrade the logistics options (free of charge to the customer) so their product arrives sooner and in the best possible condition.
To put it into perspective: shipping options were among the four most likely reasons people buy products online (according to Walker Sands’ 2014 survey) which means that it’s a defining factor of commerce that should not be overlooked and set aside.
Part 3: The Follow Up
To close the deal on this attempt at exceptional customer service, it’s advised that you make time to conduct a follow up call (or email). By reaching the individual to ensure they had a wonderful experience between the time they ordered and the time they opened the package, you gain the ability to:
- Encourage them to leave feedback that can aid in improving your logistics
- Encourage them to get active on social media and share their experience (great for PR)
- Encourage them to repeat business by showing your appreciation and their value
A friendly message, at the right time, can make all the difference in promoting your brand, sealing repeat business, and encouraging word-of-mouth referrals.
Did you think you’d suddenly reassess your logistics when you finished this article? What do you think you’ll now do differently to ensure quality customer experience from the box to the doorstep?