Consumer preference has indeed shifted retailers’ priorities. In the past, shipping was mainly an afterthought for businesses that don’t offer document, product, or food deliveries. Nowadays, not giving the option to have the product or service sent to your buyers’ doorsteps may come with a price.
However, simply having a delivery option isn’t enough—being timely and accurate is also important. In a survey of 500 respondents by Voxware, 69% said that they would probably not buy from a retailer again if they fail to deliver their purchased items within two days of the date promised.
Another 16% claimed that will not repurchase if they received an incorrect delivery once, and 14% will do the same if they experience late delivery.
When your courier service or in-house delivery fail to deliver quality shipping, your business is in danger of experiencing these adverse effects.
In today’s digital world, there’s more than one way to ruin your business’ reputation. The internet and social media have been beneficial for entrepreneurs, but it’s also one platform that customers have utilised to make or break a company’s image through bad reviews.
While not all reviews are bad, the reality is that customers are more inclined to share this kind of experience than a good one to caution their fellow buyers. Research by Zendesk proved this, finding that those who had a terrible experience with a company are 50% more likely to talk about it on social media than those who had positive experiences.
In addition, customers cannot differentiate between the brand they bought from and the shipping company. If you end up with an incompetent partner that often commit delivery mistakes, customers are more likely to blame your company, not the courier.
If you want to build a positive brand image in the eyes of your customers and bring success to the company, satisfy their demand for on-time delivery, which you can do so by hiring a reliable courier team or partner.
Weak Customer Relationship and Loyalty
For many businesses, especially those based online, delivery is the first direct interaction they will have with a customer. This makes late or inaccurate deliveries impactful on your relationship with them. A disappointing experience can drive a new customer to other companies who may do better than you, while you may find it challenging to retain older, returning customers (if you’re lucky to have them, at all).
The lousy impression will not only affect customer relationship and loyalty but also ruins the buyers’ experience with your brand. If a customer had a great time navigating your store and ended up liking the product they purchased, their overall experience can still be ruined by faulty delivery. Your business, meanwhile, is at risk of losing a customer forever.
Great products and services should go hand-in-hand with on-time delivery to turn potential customers into true-friend ones.
Decreased Customer Confidence
No one likes committing the same mistake more than once. As proven by the survey above, a single, poor delivery experience is enough for a buyer to stop supporting a retailer, perhaps because they know that trusting them again despite a past, unfavourable experience is a risk they’re not willing to take. They’ve already lost confidence and will forever remain sceptical of your brand.
Sticking to your promised delivery schedule will not only help you gain customers but will also help you achieve their trust in the long run.
Disorganised Internal Process
Delayed or inaccurate deliveries may reflect the internal struggles of the company. It could mean that the supply chain is not optimised and that there could be delays early in the process of completing a customer’s order. Use your resources efficiently and streamline processes so you can have equally efficient deliveries.
Understandably, when customers stop patronising your company due to your shipping errors, you will see a decrease in revenue soon enough. Research suggests that companies lose 71% of their customers on poor customer service. A good customer relationship and confidence can help promote your business, and as a result, increase your profits.
How to Improve Customer Experience Through Timely and Accurate Deliveries
There’s still hope for businesses struggling with courier services, though. These steps can help save your business from the consequences of your past delivery errors.
Manage your customers’ expectations
The problem with other companies is that they overpromise their shipping capabilities, resulting in high customer expectations. You can correct this by informing them right away that despite your best efforts, a delay is still possible due to unforeseeable circumstances, or by giving an ETA based on your standard delivery days plus a few additional days for the predicted delay.
Hold your shipping carrier accountable
You can do this by asking your customer’s help to make sure that the shipper pays for their fault in delivery. It would also help to continually update your buyer that the shipper has already acquired the item for delivery from you, so they can easily see that the delay lies with the courier and not with you.
Get tracking software
It’s easy to lose a package when you regularly ship out a considerable volume of items daily. You can implement an automated real-time tracking software not only to check each package’s journey but also so your customers can manage their expectations. It will also alert you of any detour in the shipment’s path.
Appease customers with freebies and discounts
Calm disgruntled customers by offering freebies and discounts. It doesn’t work all the time, but it shows buyers that you understand their disappointment and recognise your shortcomings.
Get a new courier partner
Having a competent companion on your side to do the deliveries for you means one less thing to worry about. Hand over your items to your courier partner, provide details about the delivery, and they will take care of the rest. However, know that you still need to keep an eye on things even if you decide to get a third-party courier for your business.
Whether you choose to have an in-house team for deliveries or a trusted courier partner, it’s the buyers’ satisfaction that you should aim for. Remember that a satisfied customer is your key to making your business flourish.