Do you want to be the best supplier in your industry?
Of course you do. But do you have the best infrastructure for that?
When it comes to the online marketing and business world there are a lot of issues to consider, virtual customer-seller relationships are harder to manage and yet high standards of customer services are still demanded by the customer. When you don’t get their order delivered on time, then the customer will be unhappy.
Fixating On Price
It is common for business owners, especially on eCommerce sites, to concentrate their efforts solely on the price of supply. It is hard not to, with low margins on many products sold online to attract customers. Yet this might not be the best solution and could be a rather costly one.
Research has shown that it isn’t enough to just be the cheapest supplier:
Customers are more likely to leave a business because of bad customer service or failing to meet expectations than price.
Some research has claimed that 30% of customers who receive the wrong order will never order from the same company again.
The Logistical Partnership In Action
The problem is that your logistical supplier will have their own financial and non-financial resources and they will allocate those based on what they believe the demand will be. They will also not be as highly knowledgeable about your products as you are.
This can be a recipe for disaster with two main problems likely to arise:
- The wrong product is delivered to customers.
- Your fulfillment company being unable to deliver on time during peak seasons.
Both of these can upset customers. Yet working with your fulfillment partner isn’t just beneficial for you, it can help them grow too as you become more successful. So, how can you work in partnership with a fulfillment company?
One of the most fundamental aspects of partnership is communication.
When you don’t communicate with them and they don’t offer channels to speak to you, then the partnership is going to fail.
Imagine that one of your biggest customers places a large order but makes a mistake and calls you to rectify it. If you can’t speak to someone at the warehouse, then how are you going to get that order changed in time? Without a proper line of communication the order will go out wrong, you’ll have to pay for the return and the proper delivery, and possibly lose the customer in the long term.
This doesn’t just happen on wrong orders. It can happen during busy periods. Let the warehouse staff know when you have particular sales going on or you expect demand to be high. If they know in advance they can allocate additional resources to your contract and ensure that service levels don’t drop.
At the same time you need to educate your partner about your products:
- what it does
- the differences between versions
- how to package it safely so it doesn’t break
With these tips, then there should be fewer breakages during transport and your partner won’t accidently send the wrong product. It should also help them with their speed of delivery as they won’t have to check their records to ensure they are getting the right product.
When Things Go Wrong
If you do get a complaint about the fulfillment, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk with your partner, discuss what could have gone wrong and come up with a solution to prevent it from happening again. Don’t play the blame game either, this will only damage the partnership and make it harder to work together in the future.
Working with a fulfillment service is like having another partner.
They are invested in your success and your growth will help them grow. For this you need to develop strong lines of communication with them and educate them on your products. Helping to build those links will ensure mistakes are kept to a minimum and customer service remains high.
- Do you work in partnership with your logistics partner?
- Can you call someone at their office at a moment’s notice?
- Discuss with your partner ways to improve your relationship.
- Consider whether your partner is holding you back.
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