Are you making the most of your delivery process?

Posted in Shipping and product management.

Whether you are a large retailer or a small business, how you get your goods to your customers should be one of your top priorities. Neglecting this vital step in your sales process can often turn buyers away. Let’s look at some clever ways your delivery process can be made foolproof to benefit both your business and customer relationships.

Offer different options

When your sales rep starts to negotiate a new order with a customer, make sure they discuss delivery options with them. Having a one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer. Ask each new customer what would work best for them, then come up with a cost effective solution that would suit both of you. Remember to also check regularly with existing customers if they are still happy with their current delivery option.

Use tracking

Customers like to be kept in the loop when it comes to the delivery of shipments. They are just as eager to receive a shipment as you are to get it out the door. Use tracking services or an ordering app to notify customers when different stages of the order and delivery process has been completed. With a sales app, email confirmations get sent out automatically to customers, giving them peace of mind that their order is being processed.

Accuracy of delivery details

Make sure sales reps double check the delivery address. It is surprising how often this step gets overlooked, check delivery addresses against invoicing addresses, and that the two are not mixed up. It could also be a good idea to implement addressing software or a mobile sales app where customers’ details get updated automatically and easily. This way handwriting errors are prevented and costly (often embarrassing) mistakes, like when a shipment gets delivered to the wrong address, are avoided. Also, remember to regularly ask your customers if their delivery and billing addresses are correct as it has been entered on your system.

Get the most out of your preferred courier

Shop around when it comes to couriers. No matter how big or small your business is, it pays to look for a good deal. However, don’t think cheap is always best. Reliability comes first at all times. Your reputation as a supplier can easily be ruined if your courier fails to deliver on time. Similarly, don’t make delivery promises you know is simply not achievable.

Remember the little things

It’s always a nice idea to include a little something for your customers. Whether you handwrite a personal note to thank them for their business or include a free sample of your newest product, showing your appreciation will strengthen customer relationships. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even just slipping in a discount voucher for their next order will make a customer feel valued and keep them loyal for longer.

Feedback and after care

On-time delivery should be at the top of your priorities but so should customer service and obtaining valuable feedback once a delivery has been made. Give your customers the opportunity to rate your delivery process and ask if there are areas where you can improve. This is also the ideal opportunity to ask if they are satisfied with your products, and again, what can be done to further improve your service.