Consumers are impatient. In the digital age, this trait has only been amplified. But, rather annoyingly, though consumers are used to purchasing items at the click of a button, they still have to rely on good old fashioned courier services to deliver them. And, until teleporters have been invented (maybe not as long away as you think!), this will remain the case.
Every delivery is an exercise in logistics, with each parcel needing to be driven, flown, sailed, and walked to the right address. A tricky process, to say the least. And since the success of this process is contingent on weather conditions, incredibly complicated pieces of machinery, and a lack of human error, it’s no surprise that some parcels arrive a little late. (A particularly big problem at busy times such as Christmas, when hasty delivery is of the utmost importance).
“Where is My Parcel?” complaints are one of the most common customer complaints. And even though they may not be your fault (they may be your courier’s), many of your customers will hold you responsible for them. This alone means that you need to take the problem seriously. In fact, 89 percent of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after receiving poor customer service. So it’s important you give yours no reason to get upset.
The truth is, having a plan to deal with “Where is my parcel?” complaints should be an essential part of your customer service process. And it’s best to deal with these in the right way the first time since it takes twelve positive experiences to make up for a negative one. On the other hand, 70 percent of customers will carry on using you if you effectively manage to resolve a dispute.
In this article, we run through some of six of the best things you can do to avoid “Where is my parcel?” complaints. Follow them and you can be sure that you have this important part of successful eCommerce down.
1.Communicate Delivery Times
It doesn’t take much to make an uncertain consumer and unhappy consumer. This is why you need to make it very clear when you expect their parcel to be delivered.
The worst “Where is My Parcel?” complaints arrive when your customers are getting impatient, and believe that their parcel should already be with them. To avoid your inbox filling up with these complaints, it’s important that you provide a reasonable delivery time and display it wherever possible. (Oh, and it’s best for your estimates to be dated, rather than “x amount of days” – no one likes mental arithmetic.)
Link delivery times in headers, mention them on product pages, in the checkout summary, and on the customer service page.
And, at busy times of the year (e.g., Christmas), it may be wise to add cut-off dates in order to avoid disappointing your customers. No sale is better than a bad sale.
2. Overestimate Delivery Times
Everyone likes a pleasant surprise. And receiving your parcel early is one of the best.
But you may have noticed that getting a parcel early is something that actually happens fairly frequently. This is due to good eCommerce operations adding a little buffer period to their estimated delivery times, just in case anything goes wrong.
If a product typically takes two weeks to arrive, provide an estimate of 17 days. Giving yourself a little elbow room like this is a great, proactive way to reduce complaints. It just makes sense.
3.Provide Order Tracking
Implementing site-wide order tracking can be expensive. But it’s also a great way to avoid “Where is My Parcel?” complaints.
By giving your consumers the power to check on the status of their orders, you cut the amount of work you have to do (with fewer people phoning to make inquiries) and simultaneously empower your customers. Simply seeing that an order is indeed on its way (that it’s been sent out or reached a particular checkpoint) is enough to prevent many consumers from making a “Where is My Parcel?” complaint. The more information they have, the less anxious they will feel.
Order Tracking is also a great way to divert some of the blame when a “Where is My Parcel?” complaints is called in. After all, customers should see that you’ve carried out your part and that the problem is out of your control.
4.Send an Email When an Item Ships
Consumers like to feel that their order is in constant motion. Communicating the fact that an order has been shipped gives your customers even more knowledge, and also engenders the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing that a parcel is on its way.
5. Allow Customers to Select a Safe Place to Leave Parcels
There have been horror stories about deliverymen leaving valuable items on doorsteps, or in other wholly inappropriate places. But the truth is, not many people are willing to sit in all day waiting for a parcel. Allowing customers to specify a safe place to drop parcels when they’re not there avoids the hassle of redelivery and keeps everybody happy.
6.Add a “Where is My Parcel” Section to Your Customer Service Page
“Where is My Parcel?” complaints are a fact of life. They will happen. So the more you can deal with them in a systematic fashion, the better. Upon experiencing delivery problems, some customers will head straight for your contact details – and that means emails, phone calls, maybe even letters.
Adding an easy-to-use self-service option, where customers can input the details of their problem into a template message, will allow you to isolate: where is my parcel?” complaints (and other complaints) so that you’re able to deal with them in an orderly, efficient manner.
“Where is My Parcel?” complaints are here to stay. But they can be managed. By following our six tips, you should be able to reduce the amount of “Where is My Parcel?” complaints you get, and the amount of damage they do to your business when you do get them.
Do you struggle with “Where is My Parcel?” complaints? If so, what are you doing to reduce the amount of them you get? And how do you make sure they don’t negatively impact your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so let us know with a comment.