Tips to Communicate Shipping Delays to Customers
Posted by Julie-Ann Dizon on Dec 3rd 2021
Are you getting a lot of complaints about shipping delays?
Your customers rely on you and expect your products to arrive on time – and they will be disappointed if they do not come on time.
So here are the ways to communicate with your customers on how to deal with shipping delays.
1. Set clear delivery expectations
If you want to avoid customers being disappointed due to late deliveries, the best place to start is before they've even placed their order. Customers may make an informed decision about when and how they want to buy with you if you set clear expectations for them.
For example, if there is a product shortage or a storm, notify customers of the delay immediately and tell them when to expect their shipments. Nobody is happy about receiving late deliveries, but if you inform them ahead of time that delivery will be late, they will be less dissatisfied and more willing to forgive the issue.
If you have a website, provide a shipping policy particular to your delivery business. Set yourself up for success in conveying any delivery delays by outlining potential challenges, answering questions before they arise with a comprehensive FAQ, and thanking your consumers for their patience. A good shipping policy should contain information on average handling and processing times, shipping rates and choices, as well as return and exchange policies.
2. After an order has been placed, provide regular updates.
Send a follow-up after you've sent the initial order confirmation to let them know when their order has begun the fulfillment process. Customers should also receive a shipping confirmation and notification when their order is ready for delivery to prepare for it.
If a shipping carrier issue causes the delay, contact the customer and provide them with the most up-to-date information you have. As a result, if something goes wrong, treat it as a new task and set aside enough time to follow up on the entire shipment.
Check in with the shipping company regularly and keep your consumer updated to resolve the problem this way. It will be noticed and appreciated by the customer. So, instead of a one-star rating and a negative review, you can get at least four stars and a thank-you note from the customer.
3. Keep in touch with your customers as soon as possible.
It would help if you took the initiative as soon as your team noticed a late delivery. It should include the following in your acknowledgment of the delay:
- Take full responsibility.
- Apologize for the inconvenience.
- Describe the cause(s) of the delay.
- Tell them how you'll deal with the matter.
It's critical not to make any misleading promises about when their order will arrive. It will worsen the matter by giving the impression that your company is trying to deceive clients.
Instead of leaving your customers hanging, let them know when you'll be back to provide them with another update. Nothing worsens delivery stress like inconsistent communications once an issue has been found.
4. Provide a viable solution to the issue
You can give the customer options or multiple solutions rather than sticking to one way of handling the matter.
Customers feel valued when they have some control over their experience. Don't take it too far, and don't give them too much power. Keep overall control in your hands, and be receptive to customer comments and options.
For instance, if you are experiencing a shipping delay, you can state,
"Hello, Rachel." I'm sorry you haven't received the package yet. It will be delivered next Tuesday, according to the most recent update from the shipping company. If you prefer to refuse the order, I may refund it and arrange for the package to be returned at no cost to you. If you could please wait until next Tuesday, I may offer you free shipping on your next order as a thank you for your patience."
By providing various options to your customer, you're allowing them to restore control in a situation when they may feel powerless. It is the key to regaining their trust in your brand and convincing them to make another purchase.
5. Provide real-time tracking options
Order-related queries can quickly overwhelm your customer support team, making it impossible for them to resolve issues quickly. You may avoid this by providing your consumers with a real-time tracking tool that allows them to track the status of their order from processing to delivery.
Share the tracking number with your customers. Your customers will be able to check the delivery status and know where their package is. The worry and annoyance that comes with delays can be reduced by using a shipping method that allows you and your customers to access real-time tracking information.
Shipping delays are distressing for everyone involved: the seller, the shipping partner, and, most importantly, the customer. Analyze your system to see where shipment delays happen or are most likely to happen. When shipments are delayed, it's vital to communicate early and often to understand the issue and the solutions your partners are implementing.
You may avoid the inconvenience and expense of dealing with delayed shipments by spending time and resources in system efficiencies, as well as selecting suitable suppliers and logistics service providers. After all, in today's environment, retail relies on speed and trust.