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3 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Delight Their Customers Learn how to create a memorable delivery experience and keep customers coming back for more.
Finding customers is difficult. Keeping them happy and coming back for more is even harder. Simply put, increasing competition and innovation on products and services from large companies have limited the number of areas where smaller businesses can effectively compete.
But that doesn't mean it's an impossible task. "One of the areas where smaller companies can stand out is in creating outstanding, personalized experiences for their customers," says Michael Botti, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Pitney Bowes. "Finding ways to create these experiences on a regular, consistent basis will delight your customers and keep them coming back."
One critical yet often overlooked ingredient in the recipe to getting customers coming back again and again is shipping. "How the package arrives at a customer's home or office leaves a lasting impression of your brand with the customer, both positively and negatively," Botti says. "Consistently delivering on and exceeding the expectations on delivery times and communicating status effectively are key to keeping your customers satisfied. Coupling that with finding ways to re-enforce your brand promise such as unique packaging with branding or eco-friendly material will create a memorable delivery experience."
Here, Botti shares his three best tips for delighting customers by over-delivering on shipping.
1. Always overcommunicate delivery tracking/status.
We all lead busy lives. It's no wonder then that customers increasingly want to know where their packages are in route and exactly when they'll be delivered. For instance, 27 percent of Millennials say they'll check the tracking status for a package multiple times per day. This sounds like a lot but, really, it allows them to better plan their time if they need to be home to accept delivery.
Botti recommends that businesses send communications on shipment status, either manually or through automation. "Provide tracking numbers for shipments whenever possible and always communicate if there's a delivery delay," he says.
With a shipping solution like SendPro Online from Pitney Bowes, you can send email confirmations with tracking numbers as you process the shipment through the system. You can also set up a delivery notice email to be sent when the package is delivered to the shipping address, automatically letting the customer know that the package has arrived.
2. Find a way to deliver on fast, free shipping.
Customers want the packages they order to be delivered fast. Most say they expect their shipments to be delivered in three days or less.
While smaller companies are given a little extra leeway for delivery time in customers' minds, being able to meet a three-day expectation can help you stand out among the competition. This may sound impossible, but it's not. Utilizing a shipping solution that gives you the ability to pick the right delivery option each time for your shipments can help get your shipments delivered fast.
SendPro Online, for example, enables business owners to compare rates across the three major carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) to easily select the best rate and delivery option. "You also get access to discounts you can't get at the Post Office for USPS Priority Mail, allowing you to potentially save money on every shipment," Botti says. "One California retailer was able to save hundreds of dollars a day in Priority Mail shipping costs, allowing them to pass those savings onto their customer as well as invest in their own business."
3. Ensure that shipments become a positive extension of your brand.
Botti says investing in high-quality packaging that ensures your product arrives undamaged can help your brand stand out and delight customers. "A product that arrives damaged due to poor packaging sours the experience and can turn customers away from your brand," he says.
Because high-quality packaging can add extra costs to your shipments, it's important to accurately weigh packages to make sure you aren't over-paying on postage. With SendPro Online, you can enter package weight to the ounce rather going to the nearest pound. This lets you accurately weigh packages, meaning no more guessing or rounding up and wasting precious money.
"A high-quality package can turn an infrequent shopper into a frequent one by creating a memorable, lasting experience," Botti says.
Click here to learn more about how SendPro Online can simplify the process of sending packages and help you keep customers happy.