There is perhaps no other industry in the world that has been pulled to different directions by the coronavirus pandemic than the courier industry. On the one hand, the shipping, delivery, and courier industry received an influx of orders and inquiries. Small business owners turned to courier companies to deliver their goods. Big businesses such as Amazon further expanded their shipments because of the pandemic.
Yet, on the other hand, they also suffered due to massive delays, border closures, and lack of manpower. Many of them couldn’t keep up with the influx of orders. The market has changed, and so does the demand for these companies.
Expanded Volume of Online Sales
If you are a small business that has to suspend its operations during the height of the outbreak, you should have an online store set up by now. People are now relying on online shopping. There is no reason for your business not to adapt to these new demands. Ordering online is the perfect solution to consumers’ retail needs. In fact, online retail sectors said there was a 74% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.
Online Stores Coping with the Demands
The rise in the number of shipments every day disrupted the operations of couriers and freight companies. With people staying more indoors, it also means they are less patient when it comes to waiting for their orders to arrive. They want instant gratification. While they understand that they need to stay away from physical stores, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to wait five days to get their hands on a new blouse they bought online.
The role of a company then is to find solutions to these shipping problems. The first order of business is to find what is the best shipping software. Shipping software will compute the cost of shipping, coordinate the orders, print labels, and schedule the pickup of the goods. Some of these software programs can also integrate inventory management software for better monitoring of the stocks.
Addressing the Delays
Even if your business has no experience of shipping delays lately, it is best to address this issue on your website. Most e-commerce stores use a banner at the top of their pages to inform customers that there might be delays in the shipment. The customers can “read more” to know about how the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the flow of operations. They can also find customer support contacts in case they need to get in touch with the company.
Some companies also decided to display the notifications on the checkout page. This means the customers have already added items to the cart before they are to know that there will be delays in shipment. But what these amounts to is a certain deceitful manner that your customers will not appreciate. They may end up abandoning their carts, or if they do check out this time, they will not be returning anytime soon. They won’t also recommend you to their friends and family.
This message should be in your transactional emails, too. When you confirm their orders, make sure to note that there will be some delays in the shipment of the items. Explain why this is so. It is because of border closures or because of disruptions in your production process?
Customers are bound to complain no matter how much you try to explain to them that these are uncertain times. So, how can you address these complaints? First, you have to deal with them the moment you receive a call, text, or email. If there’s one thing that customers hate the most, it’s the neglect of their concerns.
Second, don’t get exhausted, trying to explain these difficult times. Customers know what they signed up for when they checked out the products. Yet, some of them complain, anyway, thinking that it will force the company to expedite the shipping of their orders.
Handling customer complaints should be part of your office culture. If you trained your employees well to address their concerns immediately, then they shouldn’t have a hard time dealing with customers during this time. Remind your employees about the policies your company follows when handling complaints. And in the meantime, you can also assign a person specifically to reach out to customers who have complaints.
Even with the best intentions, courier companies are having a hard time fulfilling their obligations on time. The pandemic is forcing businesses to digitalize, so it means an influx of orders coming from online stores. These delivery systems are grappling with the demands of new and emerging markets.