A vital part of the customer experience is delivery. Unfortunately, traditionally shipping has been a sticking point for both customers and business because of the time, effort, and costs involved. The good news is you can delight your customer with the service you provide by improving your shipping process. Read on to find out how.
Use cheap or free delivery
Customers hate having to pay an extra fee on top of their order to get an item delivered. They feel that they are being gouged unfairly for even more money, even when that isn’t the case. Indeed, many businesses have picked up on this and offer delivery for free.
Of course, it’s not free, in that those businesses are making a loss; it’s just they make sure that the cost of delivery is covered by the ticket price of the item. This then presents a clear single price to the customer with delivery included and helps them to feel like they are getting the best deal possible.
Deliver it faster
There are many ways to get your product from the warehouse to your customer’s doorstep faster. Indeed, in this instant gratification culture, we live in, having the ability to offer lightning-fast shipping is what will get your business chosen over your closest competitors.
The first way you can achieve faster deliveries is to improve your internal processes. In particular, this means using digital stock tracking that allows you to know precisely how much of any item you have at any point. The value of this type of tracking is that you can display these numbers on your website and provide the information on likely delivery times customers will need to decide to buy.
Another way that you can make your deliveries faster is to ensure that your fleet of vehicles is well maintained, a process you can click here to read more about. Keeping your vehicles working at maximum efficiency will avoid breakdowns that can cause deliveries to your customers to be delayed.
Finally, to speed up your shipping process, you can optimize your warehouse layout. This means positioning items on racks and the racks themselves in the most efficient way. To that end, having your best-selling lines closest to the start of your aisles and at eye level can help those picking and packing items find them faster, and ship the order out in a more timely fashion.
There is even a high-tech version of using automated packing robots in your warehouse to consider. These robots work by automatically selecting stock based on a QR code and then transporting them to loading stations or bays. Although, it is worth noting that unless your business is dealing with a very high order volume, the investment in this tech may not yet be cost-effective.
Setting up a digital tracking system for your packages is great for both your business and your customers. It’s good for your business because it can dovetail easily with your stock tracking and help you always know how much and where all your products are.
For the customers, tracking lets them know when to expect their package and so manages their expectations. This removes a great deal of anxiety about when their parcel will arrive, which is particularly useful with next-day delivery. After all, customers usually opt for next-day delivery when they have a pressing need for the product, and providing this service to them can improve the whole experience.
Offering delivery rescheduling
While the market for products ordered online and delivered to people’s homes is huge and still growing by all accounts. However, most folks still leave in the morning to go to work and don’t see their home again until evening. This means that deliveries can easily get missed or go uncollected, adding extra time and hassle to the process from both the customer’s and your logistics department’s point of view.
The good news is all this can be avoided by offering a delivery rescheduling service. Such service works by supplying the customer with a text or email as to the expected arrival time of their package. This then provides them with the information they need to determine whether they will be at home or not. If it’s the latter, they can then use the link in the message to be taken to a redelivery page where they can book another time. Some of these services also offer safe pick-up where the customer tells the driver to leave their parcel in a safe place if they are not there, such as a porch or neighbor’s house. In this way, they get their package on the day they expected it, even if they aren’t at home, and so are likely to be much happier with the service.
Review the packing you use
Last of all, you can make a good impression on your customers by reviewing and changing the packaging you use to ship your products. There are several approaches to this to try as well.
The first is making sure that the majority of your packing is eco-friendly. This means ditching the plastic wherever possible and opting for recycled and recyclable paper and cards instead. Packing peanuts need to be biodegradable, or you can use insulation made from sheep’s wool that can be reused. Finally, be sure to get rid of all those miles of plastic sticky tape and opt for a strong by recyclable paper packing tape instead.
Another way you can approach your packing is to provide boxes and envelopes designed to always fit through a mailbox slot. After all, haven’t we all had the frustration of going to the depot and collecting an item that could have easily been put through our door if in different packaging? Of course, this isn’t always practical for larger items, but where you can make it as easy as possible for your customer to receive their item will make sure you stay in their good books.