Our guest post today is from Jagath Narayan, CEO/Co-Founder of Ordoro. Jagath has over 8 years of experience in supply chain management, helping companies become efficient with their order management and inventory management processes. Ordoro, his current venture, is a software platform that helps ecommerce merchants manage everything they need to do after an order is placed in their shopping cart. The Ordoro web-app is used by many BigCommerce merchants to manage orders and to keep stock levels in sync between BigCommerce and Amazon marketplace. Ordoro also offers shipping label printing, dropshipping and inventory management.
Contrary to what a lot of the get-rich-quick crowd would have you believe, running a web store is no simple task. One of the toughest parts of running a web store is dealing with eager customers who are unsure of their order’s status or have been waiting for a reply to their simple question for three days (we learned that one the hard way) or made an order only to find out that you’re out of the product they wanted. Well here are three things you, the ecommerce merchant, can do to delight your customers and avoid those unpleasant situations:
1. Notify your customers with a tracking number email as soon as you ship their order out.
It is hard to match the comfort and peace of mind that comes with knowing the item you purchased is making its way to your front step. Customers love being able to keep up with their order so when they receive an email that says “Your order is now shipped. Here is the tracking number,” they can rest easy.
BigCommerce knows this and they have made it incredibly easy to send tracking numbers to your customers. Just update the order status in your BigCommerce admin when the order has shipped and input the tracking number. BigCommerce will automatically handle the rest. It’ll inform your customers that the order has been shipped with a clickable tracking number.
If you are using a third party shipping system, make sure that your system is capable of automatically updating the order status and the tracking numbers into your BigCommerce account.
2. Reply to customers’ questions quickly.
This probably seems like a no-brainer, but when it’s 4:58 p.m. and you get an email on the tech support account asking about an order’s status, you might consider putting it off until tomorrow morning. What difference will 16 hours make, right?
We at Ordoro learned this the hard way. We released our shipping app, we received a call on our support line asking about how to resolve a bug one user discovered. Through an error on our part, the call was marked as “Resolved” and the case sat unanswered for three days. Outstanding customer service is something our company hangs its collective hat on, so three days for a simple fix like that was pretty outrageous.
How can you avoid a mistake like that? You should define a clear process for replying to customer support requests. You don’t need any fancy software for this; you could make do with free tools like Gmail. Keeping track of emails is especially easy when using Gmail because they allow the use of tags to indicate different categories of mail.
But, if you’re looking for something even more sophisticated to keep your inbox organized, look into a system like Assistly (now Desk.com). We use this system at Ordoro and it has worked wonders in helping us organize our customer support process. The system allows you to create all sorts of filters that ensure each and every case gets handled and nothing falls through the cracks.
3. Keep inventory up to date to avoid back orders.
It is in everyone’s best interest to keep your inventory up to date. In the unfortunate event that a customer orders something that you no longer have in stock, the customer loses because you have their money and they don’t have the item they ordered. Your company loses because that customer will inevitably become annoyed and make sure everyone who follows them on Twitter and Facebook knows that your company took their money. Things might not get that bad, but at the very least, they’ll be much less likely to buy from you in the future.
You can avoid this kind of headache by making sure you have an effective inventory management system in place. A good inventory management tool will help you maintain accurate inventory levels and avoid these unpleasant stock-out situations. Whichever tool you pick, make sure that it is fully integrated to your BigCommerce store and can update the stock levels automatically.