If you want to have a successful fulfillment process within your ecommerce business you need transparency and effective communication to be built in early on. Otherwise, you could suffer from numerous problems across your business that could ultimately lead to its demise.
So what are the main reasons why your need transparency and communication built into your fulfillment process?
1. Customers Demand More Personalized Products
There is a move by consumers to have more personalized goods.
Whether this is in the form of unique images on their mugs or a product in numerous varieties, good communication is required by your fulfillment team to ensure that your packaging team send the right product to the customer.
The wrong product can anger customers and becomes costly when you have to pay for returning the item and sending out the correct one. Yet with good communication, the number of these incidences can be minimized.
2. Customers Expect Deliveries On Time
Customer don’t necessarily care about how long it takes for a product to arrive, there are various options from same day delivery to specific dates in the future.
What customers want is for you to stick to your initial delivery estimates and ensure they arrive on time.
Late deliveries are a cause of customer complaints and customer service calls so you must be transparent and only give delivery times you know can be guaranteed.
3. Employees Are Confused By Poor Instructions
If you don’t label exactly what the customer ordered or don’t provide clear communication, the productivity of your staff will suffer as they seek clarification.
The whole fulfillment process has to be speedy in order to be profitable for your business, so any delay caused by poor communication will adversely affect your profit margins.
4. Customers Don’t Mind Problems, Unless You Hide Them
From time to time there might be an issue that adversely affects the service customers can expect.
When you are upfront and honest about the problem, the customer will be happy – especially if you highlight how you are solving the problem.
Customers may feel deceived if you don’t inform them of problems. This can create serious problems for your reputation and damage the chance that they will order from you again.
Trust is a significant part of your business’ relationship with customers.
5. Customers Like To Know When Items Are Out Of Stock
If you don’t have an item in stock, customers shouldn’t be able to order it – especially when you can’t get it back in stock quickly.
This transparency is essential if you want to maintain a professional reputation and avoid problems further down the line.
This requires two-way communication between your fulfillment team to your sales and marketing department. Better still, most ecommerce platforms allow for APIs and plugins, often–like with Floship–you can have realtime updates of inventory levels and send sales to be fulfilled via a fully automated system once your customer’s have completed their checkout in your shopping cart.
As an aside, for order fulfillment automation, Floship currently has an API and dead simple plugins for Shopify and Magento, along with a connector for Aftership.
6. Vendors Have Bad Opinions Of You
If you don’t have a good relationship with your vendors they won’t provide you with the best service and may refuse to serve you altogether. Additionally, they can’t supply you with goods unless you provide accurate stock predictions.
This all requires communication about several different aspects of your business from account management (paying them) to marketing (what you’re advertising) and sales (what demand you expect).
You need to be honest too – don’t say you expect to order 200 units if you know realistically you’ll only order 50.
7. Preventing Problems Is Cheaper Than Solving Them
If you know there could be an issue somewhere in your fulfillment process, it is better to prevent it than to solve the issue afterwards.
For instance, sending the wrong product just so the customer receives something is not the right way to solve an out of stock issue. This would only mean that you are paying for the item to be sent back and a replacement to be sent later.
Instead, it is best to contact the customer, explain the item is out of stock and provide them with a new delivery estimate.
Transparency and communication are two fundamental aspects of your fulfillment process, keeping suppliers and customers happy and maintaining profit margins. This supports your reputation and business growth.
- How do you build communication and transparency into your fulfillment process?
- What issues have you had in the past?
To find out how Floship can enhance your fulfillment process, get in touch here.