Tips for satisfying logistics clientele and why our family stays happy
But what strategies can you employ to encourage this type of repeat customer? When we talk about customer loyalty, the impact of logistics, while fundamental, tends to be forgotten in favor of product features, customer service, and after-sale communication.
Yet it really is one of the aspects of your business that can have a major, if not critical, influence on customer retention rates. Indeed 55% of customers who have had a bad shipping experience say they won’t order from that retailer site again.
The answer is simple: Tips for satisfying logistics clientele to produce happy customers, who will come back to your store, you must build an efficient and reliable logistics strategy. The good news is that these tips will help you do just that.
1. Preparation is key
Managing your inventory correctly and choosing reliable suppliers are the first steps in the logistics chain. It seems obvious but if you don’t have the items that you are advertising on your website in your warehouse, you will inevitably disappoint your customers. So, whether you manage your supply in-house or you outsource it, you need to have this under control.
The best way to do this? Tracking is really key – you need to master the art of supply and demand and that is no easy thing, but regular stock-taking will help no end.
Make sure to also regularly review your forecasts and commit time to calculate safety stocks – these are the first key points toward an accurate inventory.
Consider also implementing a live-stock counter on your store, activated when an item is low in numbers- this not only encourages conversion through scarcity but means shoppers are more aware of when a product might run out, preventing unexpected disappointment.
2. Be transparent on shipping prices and conditions
The loyalty of your customers begins (and sometimes, ends) with the trust they have in your business. Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, in his TEDtalk “Lessons from an ad man” states that with issues such as waiting times, it is not so much the length but the not knowing that causes frustration in consumers.
It is therefore transparency in key areas such as price and shipping that earn the loyalty of your customers. In order to achieve this make sure to specify your different delivery options (including any possible delays such as bank holidays), expected dates for delivery, associated costs, and return conditions. In other words, give the customer all the information they need to have realistic expectations and avoid unwelcome surprises.
Making those details easy to see and jargon-free will also help with this aim.
That said as much as being honest in your approach is an absolute necessity, it ultimately won’t win the hearts of your customers if what you’re showing them is too restrictive. Which brings me onto my next point…
3. Offer as many options as your customers need
As previously stated, transparency is an absolute must but flexibility is the cherry on top.
Customers nowadays are me-centric and they expect retailers to offer the options that fit in with their lifestyle and needs.
Again, this is particularly relevant in logistics and order fulfillment.
4. Choose the best shipping partners and logistic tools
Now, your customer generally doesn’t see a distinction between the carrier delivering their order and the company they are buying from; for them, it is all part of the same purchasing experience. This means your shipping partner will be a direct reflection of your brand. So choose carefully. A bad experience at this stage will undo all your previous good work.
The main factor when a business selects its partners is, of course, the price. But while important it should by no means not the only aspect you look at: you can and should search for information on a company’s successful delivery rates, delay rates, complimentary insurance, and statistics about their customer support.
Most of the time, the carrier will provide you this kind of information during their commercial presentations and negotiations but to truly check a company’s reliability requires some self-conducted research.
They have the advantage of providing you with offers from multiple carriers, and for some of them, a number of features will allow you to centralize and simplify your shipments.
5. Think about your returns policy
If your customer receives their order and isn’t 100% satisfied you will soon find that the item they bought is winging its way back to you.
While this is not an ideal situation for anyone involved it does pose an opportunity in relation to customer loyalty. 89% of shoppers declare that they would shop again after a positive returns experience and it is your job to make sure that is what they experience.
As we covered above, this starts before they have even bought the item – with a clear and easy-to-find returns policy. But what about the stipulations themselves? And the process that must be followed?
Flexibility and convenience should be the words you would choose to define the policy you craft if happy shoppers are what you are looking for. This starts with clear instructions and opportunities for support should they still have any questions.
Finally, and I know this one can hurt when you have already lost out on potential profit, but consider covering the price. This will help initially with conversion and then retention if they have to use it. It has also been consistently shown to be one of the things that matter most to customers, with 79% stating it to be something that they want.
I hope these tips help you craft an approach to logistics and sales fulfillment that will not only be good for your business but also your customers – improving their relationship with your brand and their satisfaction with your service. Because it is these things that make for loyal customers
Sourced originally: Nosto