How To Ensure Your Product is Delivered On Time
This holiday season, everyone was worried that gifts and merchandise would not arrive on time. In many cases things didn’t arrive as planned, and as a result, many small business owners were yelled at, received endless phone calls and emails, and may have lost a few good customers. If there are any lessons to be learned from these experiences it’s that, as a small business owner, you must have a good system in place to ensure your products get delivered on time, and here are a few ways you can do that.
Make Sure Your Trucks Are Up to Speed
If you have the kind of business where you do the delivering yourself then you must make sure your fleet of trucks is in full working condition. The first thing you need to do is to take all of your trucks for a tune up. After that, if anything is not working properly, have trucking professionals like M&L Truck Service take a look at your truck and make all the necessary repairs.
Once your trucks are fully operational, get them loaded up and on the road so that your products will make their way to your customers without any more delays.
Offer Package Tracking
If you are going to be using a third party shipper for your products, offer package tracking to your customers. A lot of small business owners may feel this is a tool that only puts more power in the hands of their customers, but in reality, this technology will help you by taking the guessing work out of the package’s location. Customers can just use the tracking number and see where their package is and how long it is going to take to get to them. This prevents unnecessary phone calls and emails to you.
Package tracking also serves another purpose, and that’s to prevent the package from getting lost all together. Customers can see if the package is going to the wrong location, contact you, and have the problem corrected before all is gone. Package tracking is like having an all knowing office assistant.
Offer Shipping Options
Upon checking out from your online store, give your customers the opportunity to pick which kind of shipping they want for their package. You can offer overnight delivery for an extra cost as well as one or two day shipping options. If someone needs something right away, it is at no extra cost to you. You can put their package together, go to your third party shipper, and have their package to them in the time frame they need.
When you are able to do this your customers will love you for it, and they will come to rely on you time and again because they know what they order will get to them as soon as possible, and that’s really all anyone wants.
Build a Streamlined Order System
Ever order from a restaurant and your food doesn’t arrive on time? That’s because when your order was sent, it was sent to a place that was not keeping track of their orders. Don’t be like those restaurants. Build a streamlined order system so that your customers’ orders will never get lost. Have a specific area of your business set up to receive orders. When they are received, have someone keep track of everything that is coming in and have all the orders filed.
Next, start assembling everything, packaging everything, and double checking labels and addresses. The key is to have a check and recheck system of making sure all orders match. This is something that is hard to do alone, so if you can create a team to help you out with this the better. A spreadsheet is also helpful to keep track of who chose what shipping, what locations everything is being sent to, and when those packages need to be sent out.
Manage Customer Expectations
The best way to manage customer expectations is to not promise something you can’t deliver. In other words, don’t advertise if something will come right away if it won’t. When a person orders something, it’s a good idea to pack the shipping within a day or two. That way, you can build in some days in case something gets rerouted or the shipping process takes longer than anticipated. If it arrives early, that is a bonus for you and you will gain a repeat customer.
Every company wants to boast that they can get you what you need as fast as you need, but mistakes happen, snow falls, and major events may prevent packages from getting through. Don’t get anyone’s hopes up. Be realistic about your delivery time and no one will be disappointed.
Work With a Shipping Company You Trust
There are so many delivery services you can use when shipping your products, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all. In the beginning, you will have to try a few to see which one works best, but if you hit on a reliable one right away, then stick with them. When you build a professional relationship with your delivery company, your packages will usually make it on time.
Reliability is so important when you hand your products over to someone to bring everything to where it’s all going. No one is going to get mad at the shipping company, they are going to get mad at you.
It takes a bit of hard work and a lot of organization to ensure that when people order products from you they are going to arrive on time. Timely deliveries can make or break a business. In a tense world, a lot of customers only give a company one chance to get it right. If they fail, people will shop elsewhere.
Do yourself a favor and get your shipping system down pat so that as orders roll in you can fill them, pack them, and send them without any bumps or hassles that could potentially ruin your reputation.