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Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Business Chat - 6 tips to make you a shipping superstar

Isn’t it such a thrill to open your inbox and see that new order? Big happy dance! Now let’s ship that order out.
Packaging and shipping services are some of the best opportunities you have to communicate with your customers and remind them why they should continue to shop with you and not someone else. Clear communication and super cute packaging will give the customer nice warm fuzzy feelings, and happy customers are repeat customers. 
1. Make sure your shipping policies are very clear and very easy to find. Communication is key for online shopping. Your buyer should know the following:
  • are they purchasing the exact item or one similar that you will make when it is ordered, if so how long does it take to make
  • what method do you ship by, do they have a choice of shipping methods
  • how much is shipping to various countries
  • how long does shipping take
  • can they upgrade the shipping if they need it faster
  • what will the package look like
2. Let the customer know that you received the order. Although we all order online on a regular basis there’s still that tiny little doubt when you’ve sent your credit card number into space. Did it go through? Did they get my order? What happened? Give your customer piece of mind that yes, all is well. 
3. Let the customer know when the order has shipped, how it was shipped and when they can expect it. It only takes a minute to send an email with this information and that is the best minute you can spend. Not only are you letting the customer know that you’re on top of your business, you’re managing their expectations. We all know what it’s like to keep checking the mailbox daily waiting for a package, if the customer knows it won’t be there for 10 days then they won’t get so antsy. If you sell work that is made to order it’s a really good idea to send an email stating that you received the order and let them know the expected shipping date. When the work goes out the door, send another email letting them know it’s on the way.
4. Say thanks with a handwritten note. Your customer has chosen to purchase handmade work, keep the handmade connection going. And connections are what are really important. A handwritten note shows that there is a real person behind their purchase, it’s a nice touch.
5. Make sure all your contact information is included in the package. The buyer knows where the work comes from however if this is a gift you also want the recipient to know. Make sure they can find you again to purchase more!
6. Pretty packaging is important. Who doesn’t like to open presents? You only have one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one. If they open your package and get all excited and happy then they’ll associate those feelings with you in the future. I personally don’t decorate the shipping envelope as I have found that really well decorated envelopes go missing more often than plain ones. To make up for the plain outside I use lots of tissue paper and ribbons inside. It only takes a minute and costs pennies. Time and money well spent to make a customer feel special.

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