In addition to the numerous anxieties e-commerce marketers and business owners are now facing, providing exceptional customer service is one of the most pressing concerns. The current coronavirus pandemic has impacted supply chains, leading to higher demands, and making timelines with third-party logistics companies uncertain.
While it may be a confusing time for businesses and consumers alike, it does not mean shoppers should be confused about if, or when, they will acquire the items they ordered from your organization.
To appease customers’ inquiries, there are strategies that can be adopted before, during, and after a customer places an order. This will ensure your company is offering complete transparency that customers are familiar with and lets them know when they can expect their shipment to arrive.
Irrespective of the logistical, operational, and supply chain challenges your business is currently tackling with; you can still make this experience special.
1. Deal With Known Issues On Website
If there are upcoming shipping delays, the most important thing a company can do is to update its website, ensuring this information is reflected. Numerous brands are making use of a bar at the top of their website to communicate any irregularities, backups, and shipping delays.
For instance, Clif Bar has a banner that informs online users that they are experiencing higher than average order volume and, as a result, they may experience delayed deliveries. In this message, Clif Bar included a link that users can go to and read more information regarding ordering, along with customer support contacts if they need to get in touch.
2. Update Transaction Emails
What is the general rule of thumb for this? No email automation should go out without proper scrutinization – including transaction emails.
If your company has automation or campaigns scheduled that have not been updated since the start of the year, now is the time to give them a second look and confirm that these messages comprise of all the information your company wishes to convey to its customers right now.
The two critical emails you need to update are order confirmations and shipping confirmations. The former typically triggers immediately when a shopper makes a purchase to alert them about their order being successfully placed. The latter lets customers know when their order has shipped.
Often, there are few details worth mentioning in your order and shipping confirmations, like shipping address, estimated time of arrival, and a receipt. And given the existing circumstances, you may want to convey extra details.
Smash + Tess, a clothing brand, did a brilliant job with their emails by including an out-of-delivery notification, shipping confirmation, order confirmation, and order delivered communication as part of their suite of transaction emails. Plus, each of these messages features typical information expected to be included in a transaction email, like an easy way to contact support, and information related to return and exchange.
When it comes to customers’ purchases, a company can never over-communicate, especially during this time. Offering transparency along every step of the way makes sure customers will never question the status of their orders.
3. Communicate Delays To Customers
If a company is sure that its customers will experience delays, add certain messages to the suite of transaction emails to acknowledge the backup and let customers know their order is still in progress. Companies can also use a package tracking software system for this purpose.
Having this additional communication will be meaningful to shoppers who are dealing with long wait times. It will let them know that their shipment is underway, even if it is scheduled to arrive after a little delay.
Chewy is one brand that has been doing this well. While they are experiencing huge demands and corresponding shipping delays, Chewy has been interacting with its customers about the status of orders with usual transaction emails, in addition, it uses additional emails as an apology for any delays to let the customer know that their order is still on its way.
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Remember, Communication Is Key Amid Delays
It is an unprecedented time for consumers, marketers, and business owners alike. However, there are some communication tools businesses can use to ease the anxieties of customers, thereby displaying empathy, even in moments as small as transaction email automation or checkout processes.
Optimizing transaction communications and a buyer’s journey to reflect the existing circumstances is not just essential for peace of mind of customers, but also for business owners. By optimizing transaction communications, companies can divert attention to finding ways of improving the experience of its customers for the time being and the future as well.