You’ve been to the spot. The place at the end of your eCommerce online shopping cart that says “select shipping.” The options are a litany of temptation: free shipping? Nothing beats free. Next day air? Expensive, but nothing beats speed. 2nd Day Air? Seems like a reasonable compromise. Click.
If you’ve been there and you run an eCommerce website. You can bet that your customer has been there too, which is why it’s absolutely critical that your shipping partner can deliver on whichever promise your customer picks. That’s what the selections in that little menu are—they are promises directly from your company to your customer. In a very real way, your reputation is on the line whenever a product is shipped. Global shipping giants like FedEx, Royal Mail, and UPS work hard to make sure your promises are kept, but sometimes they fall short … and when they do, it’s on you to make things right. Why?
Because shipping services are notorious for giving your customers the run around.
But nobody enjoys the real run around as much as a catchy 90’s pop tune. The real run around infuriates clients and ruins your reputation. Luckily, even when things are at their worst, you have a few tools at your disposal to rescue the reputation of your eCommerce store.
Issue shipping refunds. Nothing satiates an irate customer like a little more change in their pocket. No, it’s not your fault that the 2nd Day Air shipment didn’t go through in two business days. It’s the fault of that lazy, incompetent UPS driver, the bad seed in a field of hard working, blue collar individuals that bust their butts daily to make sure business runs smoothly around the globe. Still, issuing a quick refund (no questions asked) will soften the blow of your shipment not arriving on time.
Offer in-store credit. Think big picture and win a customer for life. People realise and appreciate your efforts to make things right and in-store credit along with that shipping refund could turn the tide of anger in your favor. It’s going to cost you some change. You’ll probably lose your profit on this sale, but what about the next?
Go the extra mile. If you want to win a 5-star review on Yelp!, this is the way to do it. Depending on the original shipment’s destination and the customer. Many customers who order expedited shipping are on their way somewhere. Maybe they want your shoes for a special evening on the town. Maybe they are headed out on a plane to destinations unknown. The best and most highly rated eCommerce businesses will offer to ship the same product to wherever that customer is traveling, sometimes even overnight. There’s no way around it: you’re going to eat it on shipping costs here. But throw in a return label for the first order, and you’ll be able to recoup some of the loses on the next sale. And you might just win rave reviews and a loyal customer for life.
Extra effort. Concern for your customer. Doing the right thing. They all go a long way towards restoring the promises you made when your customer checked out—even if you weren’t ultimately the one to break them.