“Your customers no longer have to search for their orders,” Jeremy Mandon (Nomadia)

Online ordering has never been easier. All e-commerce websites have made great efforts to simplify and secure the online shopping process. On the other hand, the subsequent demand is not nearly as satisfactory to the customers. In the absence of clear and reliable information on delivery times and methods, customers become anxious or impatient, and turn to customer services with the eternal question: “Where is my order?”.

Via email or phone, these WISMO (short name for “Where’s my order?”) requests on average account for a third of requests processed by customer services for e-commerce sites, with a peak of 70%, and even 80% during periods of high activity such as celebrations End of the year or discounts.

These queries are problematic for two reasons. Processing it has a high direct cost because it mobilizes – at least – a third of the time of the resources devoted to customer service and this, while most e-merchants seek to shift their customer service from a “cost center” to a “cost center” a profit center. Its indirect cost is high. Equally.The mere fact that customers are prompted to ask themselves this question -and thus customer service -is seen as degrading the customer experience and generates a feeling of dissatisfaction.This is often reinforced by the difficulty or inability of customer service agents to respond quickly and accurately to such requests. .

Thus, frustrated consumers tend to turn to the e-commerce giants that are recognized as the most successful in managing subsequent orders. In other words, for e-merchants, the way WISMO orders are handled has a significant impact on revenue and profitability.

Inform clients transparently

So how can the number of WISMO requests be reduced? The surest way to limit their number is to ensure that customers do not need to ask themselves the question. There are a number of solutions to that. First, by transparently informing customers. The declared delivery time is a key factor in the purchase decision of the electronic consumer. If the rule of “always faster” seems necessary in all areas of e-commerce, you should never show a website deadlines that are impossible to meet. The only result of this practice would be to amplify the flow of WISMO requests and expose customer service agents to angry customers.

On the contrary, it is necessary to be transparent about the availability of the offered items and the actual delivery times. This information must appear clearly in product descriptions so that customers can place an order knowingly. Then, all e-commerce site management systems allow you to automate the sending of confirmation emails. By systematically reminding the expected delivery date, it makes customers understand that it is pointless to contact customer service before this date to find out the status of their order.

Should we go further to include an order cancellation link in our confirmation emails? Giving the customer the opportunity to change his mind until the last minute, i.e. before the order fulfillment process begins, may make more sense and less cost to companies than preparing and delivering orders that will eventually be rejected or returned.

Prioritize proactive information

Another key element is the fact that information is proactively preferred. Post-order is not limited to sending a confirmation email. It is easy to avoid many WISMO calls by keeping customers informed, usually by sending them an email or SMS at every important stage of the process of preparing and shipping their orders. These messages are all opportunities to provide more and more accurate information about the day and time of delivery and, if necessary, to ask the customer for additional information intended to secure delivery.

Here again, the dispatch of these messages can be easily automated thanks to the interaction between the different software on which final logistics are based: the inventory management system, the freight management system and of course the route planning software and the real-time tracking of deliveries.

Finally, e-commerce sites should develop “self-care” tools. Consumers are accustomed to finding the information they need on their own. Giving them access to self-service tracking tools, with all the information at their fingertips, will save them from calling customer service to see the status of their orders. All major logistics players offer solutions that facilitate the implementation of this type of service. By including a link to these services in all email and SMS communications for subsequent orders, customers will be encouraged to use them, without requiring them to enter their order number each time.

No matter the size of an e-commerce site, it’s easy to fit in with the champions of post order management by implementing a strategy that permanently frees customers and customer service from the burden of WISMO orders. With the ultimate goal of improving its brand image.

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