by Laura McLoughlin
We all had to adapt our business models in 2020. Much more companies are looking for supplies to keep the product flowing out of the store. In particular in industries such as beauty and hair care as well as do-it-yourselfers, online orders have seen a significant increase in contrast to online orders. Setting up your business the way it initially appears isn’t as easy, however, and there are a number of problems that can arise if you don’t have the right delivery policies in place. Remember that the first impression of your customer service is given by the package that arrives at the door and in what time frame.
That’s why we offer this delivery policy guide to help you avoid some common mistakes.
They don’t have a packaging system
If you ship a package or two a week, you can afford to keep up with the flow of packaging. When moving your business to a delivery model, you need to carefully determine what packaging and protective materials are required for which product.
The package that arrives in the customer’s hands is the first impression of your company. If the packaging is damaged and in poor condition, it will make a terrible first impression. Regardless of whether the product in the box or envelope is damaged or not, the customer assumes that it was exposed to stress along the way.
The first thing you should therefore determine for employees is which packaging should be used for which product. While this is not part of your customer-facing delivery service policy, it is an essential part of delivery management.
You do not maintain the shipping documents
Again, your customer may not necessarily need to see the maintenance of shipping documents in your terms and conditions. However, if there is any damage during delivery, there will be a dispute over who is responsible for covering the cost. Your customer definitely won’t expect to pay for something that arrives damaged, and you’ll feel hurt when they have to cover the amount as well.
By managing the shipping documents, you can keep track of where the damage occurred and who is responsible for the cost. Getting your product to your courier in perfect condition and having a signature stating this will help you narrow down where the fault lies.
They don’t offer shipping options
Another problem with setting up your shipping policy is limited options for the customer. While we’d all love to offer free shipping, the cost could be prohibitive, especially if you need extensive protective packaging. You can opt for cheaper delivery services, but they are not always the most reliable and you cannot guarantee when the item will arrive. Chances are you’ll spend a lot of time answering emails about possible delivery dates if you only offer free delivery but no set time.
As a result, you may want to offer this free option, but you may also want to provide a faster delivery service that can be guaranteed in a set window. They would of course offer this premium delivery for a price, and it’s up to the customer to choose. This decision to pay for delivery means that the customer expresses a desire to receive the item faster. When they choose the free option, they also realize they are waiting and dealing with frustrations.
An inadequate return policy
One of the downsides to more significant online shopping is a much more demanding customer base. Previously, the consumer may have read the Terms and Conditions for Returns Policy if and if necessary. Now that people are using more online stores, they expect to know your return policy beforehand. For some, having a successful return policy is essential to testing your website.
Therefore, you need to make known how you will handle returns from the start and put your customers at the center of this policy. For example, you might want a printable returns label on your website or a dedicated administrative branch of your company that focuses on returns.
The more expensive your product, the more open you need to be to return your product. It takes a lot of trust to get involved in online payments. Hence, you need to help people believe that this money is not going to be wasted.
No communication policy
Finally, you need to write your communication guidelines into your procedures. Your consumer postpones satisfaction in their decision to buy online. Therefore, you must inform them that the order has been received, then shipped and, if you can, an estimated date for delivery. The more proactive you are in this communication, the more likely you are to have loyal customers.
Laura McLoughlin is a digital PR experienced website editor and writer. Aside from the keyboard, you can see her bingt nature documentaries and making travel plans. Laura works with Glaze Digital in Northern Ireland.