How to Build a Loyal Customer Tribe With Memorable Delivery Experiences
While most businesses focus all their efforts on getting prospective customers to buy their products, they unwittingly ignore customer experience post checkout. 1-in-3 customers won’t shop again with you after a negative delivery experience. Worse, many customers will leave you bad reviews online (especially on social media) that will deter prospective customers from purchasing from you. Also, it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. This makes it critical that you do everything to delight your existing customers post checkout.
Positive emotional triggers post checkout can have a meaningful impact on brand perception.
Simply put, strong influencers of a positive post-purchase customer experience, from a delivery standpoint, are:
- Getting notified about order dispatch and subsequent shipping events
- Receiving an order within the promised time
- Getting appropriate after-sales product support
- Flexible return options
While providing a memorable post-purchase experience is a noble endeavor, it is not without its challenges.
Challenges in providing a memorable post-purchase experience
The foremost challenge in providing a quality experience after checkout lies in the fact that although your last mile is handled by a shipping carrier like FedEx or UPS (a third party), your customers expect you to be responsible for their parcels reaching safely and on time.
If a parcel were to be delayed or damaged during delivery it would have an impact on your business in a number of ways:
- Brand reputation: Your brand’s reputation would take a hit in the eyes of the customer. They would take to social media channels or forums to vent their disappointment with your brand.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): A customer who has a poor delivery experience at your hands is less likely to purchase again from you. This would reduce their overall lifetime value in dollars to your brand.
- Retention: A poor delivery experience has a direct impact on the retention rate of your brand. A customer who has a less-than-satisfactory last-mile experience with you has a high likelihood of switching over to a competitor who can provide a better delivery experience.
- Acquisition cost: As competition in your vertical increases, so does the marketing and sales spend required to acquire new customers. Typically, the expenditure required to acquire a new customer is 5 times more than that required to retain an existing customer. An unsatisfactory delivery experience increases the likelihood of existing customers switching over to a competitor.
- Cost of replacement: A damaged or lost-in-transit parcel needs to be replaced. You will need to spend on both reverse-shipping the defective or lost product and on shipping out a replacement for it. Too many parcels getting damaged or lost can lead to you incurring significant expenditure.
As if to add insult to injury, shipping carriers often fail to provide the quality of service they claim. Parcels often reach their recipients late or damaged due to unavoidable reasons. Add to this the fact that these carriers are notoriously opaque with information on last-mile exceptions that often occur.
This means you are severely handicapped in providing your customers a quality delivery experience that can boost retention, and ultimately your bottom line.
With shipping carriers not being helpful, it falls upon you to take decisive measures to provide your customers a positive last-mile experience and shield your business from the negative effects of the 50+ service failures shipping carriers could commit.
How to provide a memorable post-purchase customer experience
Thankfully, every touchpoint in the delivery phase provides your business with a valuable opportunity to engage meaningfully with customers and make a positive impact on them.
After all, one of the basic tenets of business is to build customer relationships.
Leverage every opportunity to display your commitment to your customers. This will amplify customer loyalty and earn you customers for life.
Here’s how this can be done:
1. Use an automated solution to track your parcels in real time
An automated third-party parcel-tracking solution will help you gain visibility into your in-transit packages in real time. Using such a solution, you will be able to get an unbiased and granular view of every parcel in the last mile.
Typically, the information provided on the tracking pages of shipping carriers like FedEx and UPS is limited. A third-party solution can provide you in-depth visibility into more than just standard shipping events. Making use of such a solution, you can obtain a clear picture of critical transit events like delays due to congestion on networks or at hubs, generate comprehensive reports, and do much more.
2. Empower your support team to proactively respond to delivery issues
The customer support team is the prime orchestrator of an excellent post-purchase experience. Strengthen their hands and enable them with the information they need to efficiently handle customer issues.
Keep them on standby to be responsive at all times. A proactive and empathetic support team can set you apart from your competition and foster shopper trust.
3. Set up automated updates to be sent to customers on completion of shipping events
eCommerce shoppers are, by nature, an anxious lot, so sending them email updates for shipping events like “Shipped,” “Out for delivery,” “Attempted,” and “Delivered” will allay their anxiety and reassure them that their parcels are safely on-the-way or delivered as promised.
4. Communicate with customers in the last mile
Many businesses make the mistake of not communicating with customers after checkout. Engaging your shoppers during the delivery process will demonstrate to them that you value them. Also, make it a point to keep customers informed of issues that arise in the last mile. The last thing you want is to hear back from an angry customer who is disappointed they weren’t informed of something like a weather delay.
5. Provide customers an on-brand tracking experience
The average customer tracks their package at least 8 times after checkout on the tracking page of shipping carriers like FedEx and UPS. This indicates a high level of anxiety over parcel whereabouts.
Having a custom tracking page exclusively for your business lets you tap into this anxiety. It also gives you an opportunity to keep your brand in front of your customers and upsell to them.
Taking these measures will help you boost shopper confidence in your brand and ultimately your bottom line, which is why Freshsales and LateShipment have joined forces to allow you to do just that!
Freshsales & LateShipment: delivery experience management for a better last mile
The Freshsales–LateShipment integration came about because of the gap that exists in providing a post-purchase delivery experience that inspires customer loyalty. With this integration, you can now engage with customers at every phase of the last mile.
LateShipment is a smart logistics solution that provides automated parcel tracking and granular delivery experience management capabilities. Its algorithms have tracked over 100 million parcels and provided unprecedented visibility into and control over the last mile for thousands of retail businesses worldwide.
This integration provides a host of enhanced capabilities to Freshsales users. With customer contacts enriched with order tracking information, you can:
1. Track your parcels in real time
The integration allows you to track all your parcels across 40+ carriers on a unified interface.
Your parcels are intuitively categorized based on status. This lets you enjoy a broad view of the parcels in transit for the day. “Today’s Expected Deliveries,” “Predicted Delays,” “Failed Deliveries,” and “In Transit with Delays” are some of the categories.
Freshsales offers a 360° view of the customers, including social profile, past conversations, and website history. The LateShipment interface also allows you to get as granular as desired and view tracking information for specific packages.
2. Trigger automated updates to customers
LateShipment lets you send real-time updates that are triggered when standard shipping events like “Shipped,” “Attempted,” and “Delivered” are completed. This way you can be confident that your customers are always kept informed of parcel status. Since you already have your customer database within the CRM, the lateshipment integration facilitates easy communication of status to the customers in your database.
3. Send custom email messages to customers
Some uncommon last-mile exceptions (like poor weather) require a personalized approach on your part to reassure customers.
This integration gives you the ability to personally communicate with specific customers whose parcels are facing uncommon delivery exceptions. Since Freshsales has all your customer data within the CRM, you need not toggle between tools. Use this feature to shed light on the reason for a delay and maybe even offer the affected customer a discount for their next purchase.
This will actually help you turn a tough situation around and maybe even impress your customer!
Additionally, this capability is also available within LateShipment.
4. Host a branded order tracking page
One of the most exciting capabilities this integration brings to you is the ability to host a fully-customizable branded tracking page. This way, your brand will be in front of customers even after checkout, thus improving brand recall.
Even more exciting, your branded tracking page can also be used to promote products to your customers, paving the way for repeat purchases.
Beyond last-mile delivery experience management, the integration allows you to tap into LateShipment’s automated parcel audit capabilities. LateShipment audits your shipping invoices, automatically claims refunds for 50+ service failures, and credits them into your account.
This efficient workflow can help you save up to 20% on shipping spend and hold your shipping carrier accountable for service quality. All this at zero out-of-pocket cost!
Delighting your customers in the last mile may seem a herculean task because of the lack of visibility on the part of the shipping carriers, but as is now evident, it is possible if the right measures are taken.
The Freshsales–LateShipment integration allows you to not just gain visibility into your last mile but also engage with customers up to their doorsteps and beyond. Effortless delivery experience management is what this partnership promises.
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