How improving your eCommerce customer service relies on your fulfilment service

Remember that old saying about first impressions and how much they matter? Well, it is as true in e-commerce as it is anywhere else. Your customer sees your product, you grab their attention with that first impression, and then the customer stays happy until their order arrives. That is assuming, of course, that your fulfilment partner does their job correctly because they often hold the key to a good customer experience.

Let’s go back to the beginning and look at how the 3rd Party Logistics provider you use improves your customer service in three key areas.

It starts with your stock

When it arrives at your fulfilment partner’s warehouse, it should be checked physically and electronically and then located in the most appropriate place for the product. Not many people realise it, but there is quite an art to locating stock. Where the product is placed needs to be optimised for size, convenience, frequency of picking and other considerations to maintain an efficient process.

Synergy Retail Support Team Member

Customer service improvement:

Checked and correctly stored stock will identify any initial problems, reduce the potential for shipping delays and ensure speedy despatch. These all help reduce sale to delivery times and the number of costly returns due to error.

Pick, pack, and ship with real-time order processing

When your customer places their order, it should simultaneously appear on the system at your 3PL partner’s warehouse. They will then have a fast, integrated system in-house to deal with the physical picking from an optimised location. The product will then be quickly packed into suitable packaging and dispatched via your courier choice. Importantly though, it should be your choice of courier and not theirs. The delivery of your product should be in the hands of a service you trust. While all this is happening, your stock levels and the shipment status will be updated automatically.

3PL Logistics & Fulfilment Services Image

Customer service improvement:

Faster and more accurate shipping for your customers, utilising a courier you trust for peace of mind. Real-time monitoring also means total control over your stock levels, reducing the risk of overselling and disappointing your customers. 

Returns and Replacements

Nothing is perfect, and occasionally your customers will return a product. Returns are bound to happen at some point, so it is essential to know how to deal with them when they do. The role of your fulfilment partner is to make sure the return is handled correctly and promptly. Again, real-time monitoring is in place and, partly because of that initial process when the returned item arrives, the system will work to adjust stock levels and either return the item to the shelf, arrange for repairs or send it back to you for further examination. If a customer replacement is to be despatched, the same system should simultaneously process it while the returned item is being stored or sent on to you.

Customer service improvement:

This is all about the speedy resolution of a potential customer service issue because no one wants to be waiting weeks for a refund or replacement. A replacement is despatched, and the goods are returned for refund/investigation in the shortest possible turnaround space. Helping to reduce the admin time for you, rationalises your stock and resolves customer queries as quickly as possible.

The biggest customer service advantage of a great fulfilment partner

First impressions started during your sales process with the customer when they looked at your eCommerce offering and decided to purchase from you. That initial touch only happens once though. D2C repeat sales cycles are linked with customer confidence in your brand as much as they are in the product. If your fulfilment partner is not providing excellent service, they affect key sales opportunities because they could damage consumer confidence in buying from you again. 

The best first and last impressions ultimately rely on having a great fulfilment partner. If you cannot confidently say yours supports the great customer service described above, contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help.

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Gary Rees

Gary Rees

Gary Rees is the owner of Synergy Retail Support, one of the leading SME fulfilment centres in the UK. Having successfully grown the business for over 30 years and with relationships with most household brands, he now looks to partner with customers rather than just act as a supplier so that both parties can grow together. Gary has extensive knowledge in retail compliance, production technologies, shipping details and customer service.

Feel free to contact me personally if you’d like to discuss your business.

01604 412 290