The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Ever have a bad experience with getting a package shipped? Maybe the right steps were not properly taken to ensure sufficient satisfaction. Well it is about more than just shipping orders.
Order fulfillment is a process that starts from the warehouse to when the customer receives his or her package. This infographic goes into 15 different steps that can help establish a company’s credibility, ensure repeat customers and take advantage of fulfillment management. When shipping a package, companies need to make sure that the necessary steps are fulfilled in order to satisfy the needs of their customers. Learn about methods you can implement in order to ensure these needs are satisfied. Check out how your company can improve the way you ship services and products to your customers and make sure that your customers remember you for the future.
This infographic created by Fifth Gear explains how companies can provide customers with delight in their services and how every step is important.
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15 Tips for Creating the Ideal Customer Experience
Order fulfillment is about more than shipping orders: it’s about delivering on the many promises to customers when they make a purchase. But the fulfillment process is also the perfect opportunity for retailers to exceed expectation, build loyalty, and create customers for life. Fifth Gear explores 15 ways to delight customers, starting on the warehouse floor and extending all the way to the moment the package is opened (and beyond!).
- Get the right products to the right person at the right time. Getting order fulfillment right is the key. This is the operational building block of customer experience for online retailers.
- Set expectations before the transaction takes place. Consumers want to know the nitty-gritty sooner than later, so share details early on. Then, let them decide if the terms of the sale are acceptable. Don’t assume they’ll be ok — tell them the deal up front.
- Ensure fulfillment accuracy with multiple checkpoints. Nothing can ruin a relationship more than opening a box that contains the wrong merchandise. 100% accuracy is the expectation so check orders again and again before sending them out.
- Do systematic shipping upgrades. Know when to upgrade shipping on your customer’s behalf to meet expectations. Be prepared to do a rate analysis to ensure the right shipping method.
- Over-communicate your brand strategy to operational teams. Attention marketers: Get your brand message into the hands of the people at the final touchpoint before a product lands on a consumer’s doorstep.
- Know what motivates your operations team members. If you expect everyone in your organization to own customer experience, you have to understand what an hourly warehouse worker feels they can contribute. Ask them for suggestions.
- Align product packing materials with your brand. The same level of thought should go in direct-to-consumer shipping presentation as goes into product packaging for the store shelf. Make delivery memorable.
- Determine what else goes in the box. Here is the opportunity to capture brand loyalty upon arrival of an anticipated order. Include targeted marketing inserts, loyalty items, product samples, etc.
- Insert offers based on buying history. Relevancy matters at the moment the box is opened too. Include offers that are actionable based on buying history or product segments.
- Explore services available in your warehouse today. Do you know about all the value-add revenue opportunities that your warehouse could support? Find out, and then offer up-sells to meet shopper demands.
- Share deliver information. Let consumers set shipping expectations and follow-up with proactive, real-time delivery status updates. Work with carriers to establish a feed of delivery expectations.
- Treat returns as an opportunity. The way you handle the returns process is an important part of the order lifecycle. From a service perspective, find ways to leverage the experience to turn disappointment into delight.
- Maintain performance during peak season. Peak season shoppers are critical. How well you do under pressure can make or break the customer experience. Spend the $$ to consistently deliver during your busiest season.
- Listen to employees in the warehouse. The warehouse teams prepare every product ordered. Ask them for input on how to improve efficiencies and give them ownership over customer experience.
- Make the fulfillment process part of your service strategy. Operations include much more than mundane, back-end processes. View order fulfillment as a brand strategy to achieve the ideal experience.
About the Author
Adam Perry created this infographic on behalf of Fifth Gear.