There are plenty of ways to delight your customers during the holiday season. Often it’s the little things — like convenience and reliability — that make the biggest difference. This year, retailers have told us that offering a delivery option has been a successful tactic, even for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
When choosing to provide shipping options this holiday, it’s more important than ever to offer timely delivery. With widespread supply chain issues and shipping delays this year, superior shipping services are a great way to increase customer satisfaction. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shipping holiday orders.
Create a system
If you’re new to shipping orders, it will be important to set up a system first. Start by reviewing the functionalities that your e-commerce website or POS system offer.
Then, determine who on your staff will be responsible for shipping, what kind of packing materials you’ll need to order, and what shipping service you’ll use. It’s also a good idea to determine how and where orders will be packaged.
The more organized you are, the easier it will be to get shipments out the door.
Set clear expectations
How long does it take you and your staff to package and ship an order? When is the last day you can accept orders that will arrive in time for Christmas? These are key questions that you’ll need to ask yourself so you can set expectations with your customers.
Once you determine reasonable timeframes, publicize this information as clearly as possible in your email marketing and on your website. The more transparent you are about shipping times, the more confident your customers will feel when ordering for their loved ones.
Be aware of shipping delays
This season, it will be important to stay in-the-know when it comes to domestic and international shipping delays. There have already been widespread delays in shipping this year due to weather, natural disaster, COVID-19, and the U.S. election. Try to stay apprised of current events that affect your shipping provider, as that will affect your customers as well. We recommend frequently checking service alerts online from USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
Update your customers
Build meaningful, personable relationships through clear communication. Set up shipping confirmation emails that contain tracking information so your customers have insight into their orders.
Further, if there’s an unexpected delay in shipping an order, reach out to the customer as soon as possible. Offering direct, upfront transparency as part of your holiday customer service strategy will build trust and increase the likelihood that they’ll shop with you again.