Order fulfillment sets you up to wow your customers with fast, impactful service, but if you’re making mistakes, it has a long-lasting impact on your digital customer experience.
The digital customer experience is a reflection of what your customers think of your brand and services after interacting with you online. Both front-end services and back-office processes impact this opinion.
Slow and error-prone processes that lead to shipping delays, incorrect tracking numbers, and inaccurate inventory counts don’t just waste time, they cause your customers to lose confidence in your business.
Thankfully, the five most common pain points in order fulfillment can be easily fixed, saving you–and your customers–headaches.
1. Inventory Isn’t Tracked in Real Time
Nobody likes to be let down when an item they ordered turns up out of stock after they’ve already paid.
The negative impact of out-of-stock items doesn’t just affect customers, either. Out of stock items cost retailers 4.1 percent in revenue each year, and – combined with overstocks – cost retailers $1.1 trillion globally in lost revenue.
Unfortunately, this often happens due to manually tracked inventory. By leaving inventory management up to human workers, inventory often stays up online after it has sold out in the warehouse.
Each year, issues with inventory tracking processes and human error cost businesses $284.9 billion and $259.1 billion, respectively.
When an item turns up as out of stock, your customers feel tempted to use a competitor in hopes of getting what they order on time.
Instead of using manned teams for inventory management, integrate inventory software to automatically track and update inventory counts in a central database.
While nearly 30% of businesses report system integration issues as a challenge in order fulfillment, auditing your inventory processes to select a software that uniquely bridges your gaps will save time, money, and orders long into the future.
This software can be set up to immediately update your website when a product becomes unavailable or update your marketing team when product count is low so they can pause related promotions.
2. Your Payment Process is Too Complicated
You’ve proven the value of your product and service to your customers, but when they move forward to pay, a complicated payment process dissuades them from converting.
If your payment process involves more steps than absolutely necessary, you will lose the attention and patience of customers, causing cart abandonment and a frustrating digital customer experience.
However, if you improve your payment process by integrating services like PayPal, and streamline payment with a collection software, customers can breeze through the bottom of your funnel.
3. You Don’t Anticipate International Orders
International orders are always a great sign that your products and services are reaching more and more customers that need them. But with this new business opportunity comes new considerations that can hold up delivery if not proactively addressed.
24.4% of businesses report that international shipments are one of their biggest fulfillment challenges.
International shipping costs more, and these orders come with additional taxes, import fees, and longer delivery times.
In order to avoid issues and frustrations for customers, your international orders must be integrated into your order processing as well as your domestic orders, or you’ll waste time and money going out of your way.
Instead of addressing international orders on a case-by-case basis, create a robust central database of rules, necessary paperwork, and shipping and import fees for the countries you can do business with. This will speed up your fulfillment process by providing a central resource for your teams to refer to when setting up orders for shipment or communicating with customers.
Additionally, make sure to clearly display disclaimers on your website to let international customers know ahead of time about possible additional fees for their order. This decreases the likelihood of cart abandonment when the cost is higher than anticipated.
4. Your Orders are Managed Manually
When business starts out, having the personal touch of an actual person handling your order is a great thing. But as business – and volume – grows, the possibility of human error in your order management exponentially increases.
By holding fast to manual order management, you increase your risk for errors in packaging, shipping, and invoice generation when customer information such as addresses are manually processed.
When relying on human knowledge and experience alone, you open your processes up to a 10% to 30% error rate.
Replace your manual order management processes with an automated one, backed by software that can create robust databases of customer information exactly as it was entered.
5. Tracking Codes are Manually Handled
Tracking codes have become one of the most useful ways for your customers to stay up to date on their order status, but when they’re incorrect, they can become one of the largest pain points in your late-funnel customer relationship.
Like most manually managed processes, tracking code generation and distribution can be better handled by automating. For orders that must be manually handled – such as complicated custom orders or complex returns – make sure to check codes before sending to customers.
Accurate tracking codes actively reduce the delivery date challenges that 29% of retailers struggle with in their processes.
Additionally, software like VoiceSage’s logistics messaging solution helps to ensure that customers receive relevant information about their order and that products are delivered on time.
How VoiceSage Helps Improve the Digital Customer Experience
At VoiceSage, we know that streamlining your order fulfillment and investing in better customer relationship practices help to build a stronger digital customer experience.
With services like our direct to consumer SMS marketing, contact centre and customer care, and delivery and fulfillment communication services, we help you improve your productivity, customer satisfaction, and order fulfillment practices.
Contact us today or book a demo to learn more about how VoiceSage can help you improve your customers’ digital customer experience and your bottom line.
Published on: 22nd November 2018