Providing a top-class delivery service where everything arrives with consumers, customers and other business partners on time and in good condition is essential for any company. With small businesses looking to build up an excellent reputation this is even more important, helping to retain your existing customer base and attract new ones. Even if your product is world class, should the delivery regularly encounter problems it can result in lower sales. Thankfully there are various ways your small business can improve its deliveries.
Communicate with Customers
From the moment customers place an order to the second it arrives at their door, it’s important to keep them in the loop. Don’t bombard them with five-minute text updates but if there is a delay for any reason, let them know as soon as possible. Providing a well-estimated delivery date is best, as research has shown over half of online shoppers want an estimated delivery date before placing an order. Letting customers know when their delivery is about to arrive or is at its destination can be helpful as well.
Offer Delivery Choice
Free shipping is a big perk for many shoppers, with a lot admitting to adding extra items to their cart to qualify, so it can be worthwhile offering if the financial aspect fits within your business model. Otherwise, providing plenty of choice in terms of deliveries can also be a good way to retain customers. Next day, same day and time specific delivery slots are highly valued by many, so you need to provide as much choice as possible.
For small businesses especially, it can be best to outsource many services to save time and money. Deliveries are one area where it’s best to use a professional firm. Not only will they deliver a quality job and save you time to focus on further growing but if there are any issues most of the accountability will remain with the delivery firm. The likes of National Pallets are one such company for excellent large delivery services.
Use Electronic Data Interchange
The secure and automated exchange of documents through electronic data interchange (EDI) is a great way to speed up and make your delivery process more efficient. It gets rid of a lot of paperwork while enabling large volumes to be processed at the same time. Many large organisations use it to trade with their supply chains, but the same benefits will apply to small and growing companies too.
These tips should provide a good starting point for your small business to improve its deliveries, customer service and overall consumer experience.