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Need to improve online reviews? Look no further than your logistics and fulfilment

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We all know that eCommerce sellers need to court reviews for their products and their services. However, what is rarely looked at is how logistics and order fulfilment companies contribute to  customer orientated care and can ultimately improve online reviews.

Customer reviews are proven to increase sales and help with SEO. Even negative reviews are an opportunity to demonstrate how great a company's customer services can be when something goes wrong.

The importance of online reviews is growing and this growth is accelerating.

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A lot has been written about how to gain reviews and their benefits. The majority of negative reviews focus on poor customer service. According to Marketingland.com 72% of the respondents blamed having to explain a problem to multiple people, while only 51% blamed a bad customer service interaction on the problem not being resolved. We have already looked at how real time order fulfilment can help improve customer service and therefore improve your online reviews.

This is fine but most people don't need to contact customer services until there is a problem. So where do these problems come from that cause the negative experience with customer service? And can we prevent those issues? There are two main reasons: issues with the products themselves, such as a technical fault, not a good fit (in the case of clothing) or the customer has changed their mind about the product.

The second reason comes down to the fulfilment of the order, including: late dispatch, non delivery, incorrect items in the order. Late delivery is a pain but this is nothing compared to the pain that is caused by the wrong items being delivered. This is the moment an angry customer reaches for the phone and if the customer service staff are not up to the task, negative online reviews are sure to follow.

What is the solution?

In the case of logistics and fulfilment there is something that can be done to improve online reviews!

Late dispatch

You have placed your order. You wait for it to arrive. You have paid for next day delivery and know that you will soon be opening the packaging with great excitement tomorrow. Yet when you login to your account at the webshop the order status is still at awaiting fulfilment. Now it is 11:30 pm and still it is awaiting fulfilment. With a sinking heart you realise the new video game/ Blu-ray/ Book/ Dress won't be with you in the morning. Your plans are ruined. It is not a huge thing in the grand scheme but disappointing nonetheless.

The best in class eCommerce fulfilment systems can manage peaks in demand that cause late dispatch from warehouses. Live feeds from shopping carts prevent order backlogs and bottlenecks. Our system easily flexes to meet increases in orders, wave picking ensures that when orders for the same items increase we can pick and pack more efficiently. Staff can be taken from non essential areas of the warehouse and moved to packing. As our software system runs in the cloud switching on more packing stations is as simple as turning on a computer, because that is all it entails.

In December 2014, James and James Fulfilment picked and packed more orders than ever before. The first two weeks of December saw order levels rise to 250-300% of those in November, and we can proudly say that the percentage of orders dispatched the same day did not drop even half a percent over the festive period. Our system calculates how long it will take to pack the orders received from the night before, and with a fair degree of accuracy how many more we will receive. Ensuring orders are always dispatched the same day and customers are happy.

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Non delivery

Where is my order? Must be the most asked question of any eCommerce customer service team. All carriers now offer a high degree of tracking and links are emailed or texted to the end customer to keep them firmly in the loop and in control of their delivery. However, deliveries can still go astray. While it is impossible to totally prevent this, the responsible fulfilment house can make every effort to ensure deliveries have the best possible chance of getting to their destination. Clear address labeling, automatic address checking and a cloud system that holds all the relevant information about every order ensures the end customer is happy and posting positive reviews. Even when orders fall into that 0.1% of non deliveries the proactive fulfilment house will ensure all the necessary steps are taken so that the issue is rectified as quickly as possible.

Order arrived damaged

This is a sure fire way to get a poor review. A good customer service response can quickly pacify a customer who has received a damaged item and turn a negative into a positive, most people understand that these things happen from time to time. However, if the damage is due to poor packing and the order fulfilment process does not improve, the risk is run of a customer receiving their next delivery damaged. This is much harder to bounce back from.

Damage will happen from time to time but every measure should be take to provide the best protection possible without being wasteful. By monitoring improvements in packaging and refining how items are packed, order fulfilment can strike the right balance between protection and waste.

Not what I ordered

This is the biggest problem for consumers. Not getting what you ordered means the pain of returns, waiting in for carriers to collect, going to the collect + point or the Post Office, endless phone calls and emails to customer service.

World class accuracy comes with some serious technology to ensure every delivery is perfect. Cloud systems are a fundamentally different approach to traditional systems. However, hard warehouse staff work, they still cannot achieve the results of the best cloud systems.

By using a cloud application as the backbone of internal processes, a complete view of what operators do, as they do it, is available. With cloud systems sharing pictures, linking orders to products to deliveries to purchase orders is as fluent as you’d expect from any web service. Rather than just relying on barcodes operators can see product images, a description of the item in words, the SKU number and much more. Weight checks can be used at the packing stage to ensure every pick is perfect and every order contains the right products. Staff can now focus all that hard work and energy on doing the best job possible without having to pretend to be a machine or make up for the shortcomings of a lesser system.

In summary, if you want to improve online reviews, focusing on your logistics and fulfilment can only help your cause.

To learn more about our pick and pack fulfilment service and improve online reviews for your products, contact us now

February 9th, 2015 by Hannah Newman

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