Interview with Tobias Buxhoidt: Why retailers should manage the customer experience themselves
Published on: June 7, 2020
Updated: August 30, 2023
To stand out from the competition, it is important to offer customers an optimal customer experience: selling a product that satisfies the customer as well as responding to their request at the right time. The customer experience encompasses all interactions between a brand and its customers: Browsing the online store, sending the order, advertising on social networks, delivery of the product, contact with customer service… And finally, all the moments in which a consumer comes into contact with you. All these touchpoints allow customers to evaluate your brand positively or negatively. Therefore, it is important that this customer experience is perfect in every way, so that everyone who comes into contact with your brand remembers it positively. This customer experience is even more important when a consumer makes a purchase from your online store. It is therefore advisable to accompany the customer along the entire customer journey from purchase to delivery and even after delivery.
WISMO (Where is my order?) queries are the questions that your customer service team has to answer most of the time. These questions can be avoided especially by proactive shipping communication.
To learn more about WISMO requests, how to comply with them, and even how to avoid them, the E-Commerce Nation interviewed Tobias Buxhoidt, founder and CEO of parcelLab, whose mission is to provide the best possible shopping experience for every customer.
Customer Experience to Ensure Customer Loyalty
Can you describe what you believe is an optimal customer experience?
The customer must receive the same level of support online that they would expect in a brick-and-mortar store. This means that the entire buying process should be as pleasant and comfortable as possible for the customer and that they should be accompanied by the retailer throughout the entire process.
Communication should not stop after the order is placed, because that is where the most important part of the customer journey begins: waiting for the package! To provide the best customer experience, retailers need to proactively communicate with their customers after the purchase by using shipping emails and integrated Track & Trace pages. This ensures the best possible customer experience for each customer, answers questions ahead of time about when and by whom the package will be delivered, and most importantly, increases customer loyalty and retention.
How can you control the entire Customer Experience?
The most important thing is to focus relentlessly on the customer’s needs at every step. Many online retailers forget that the Customer Journey doesn’t end once the order is placed. Many don’t know that the Customer Journey is also a circle and that they always start over again. Therefore, the retailer must take care of the customer every step of the way to keep them coming back and ordering again.
Online retailers need to take a step back and review their entire Customer Journey to identify gaps they need to fill in order to provide the best possible shopping experience for their customers. Unfortunately, in most cases, communication with the customer breaks off as soon as they click the buy button.
Processing WISMO Requests
What are WISMO requests?
WISMO (Where is my order? or Where is my order?) describes inquiries in a retailer’s customer service that relate to tracking or the current location of the package. People want to know where their order is and when it will arrive. If you don’t know where the package is, call customer service. This greatly increases customer service work and could even be avoided.
What should be the best response to WISMO requests?
Indeed, the top priority should be to minimize WISMO requests and make them unnecessary in the first place. Of course, this cannot always be avoided. It is important to take these requests very seriously. Customers are concerned and want to receive their packages on time. If this goes wrong or the customer service does not take the customers’ fears seriously, it is very likely that customers will no longer order from the online store in the future and will migrate to the competition. It is therefore important to know where the package is and to communicate this proactively to the customer. However, since customer service often has no idea about this information, it is all the more important that online retailers take communication into their own hands during shipping and can react and communicate proactively in the event of a problem.
How can customer service best be facilitated in the face of these inquiries?
Thanks to proactive, reliable and personalized shipping communications that are managed and controlled by the retailer itself. If online retailers already proactively inform their customers about the status of their order, delivery delays, etc., they don’t even need to contact customer service.
Delivery: the crucial point of the customer journey
Why should you inform customers about the status of delivery?
Delivery is the most emotional part of the Customer Journey. Customers are looking forward to their new shoes, to the birthday gift they ordered at the last minute, or to their vital medication. This means that nothing can or should go wrong here. To ensure this, retailers must also communicate proactively with their customers in this phase and keep them informed at all times about the status of their delivery.
Moreover, in the current corona crisis, customers are much more concerned with tracking their package, so it is necessary to provide them with the information they are looking for and keep them informed about the status of their delivery.
How can parcelLab help retailers better inform customers about deliveries?
We communicate for the retailer in the branding of the online store and inform customers about every important step in the delivery process. We make sure that every customer gets the best possible customer experience. And most importantly, no technical integration is required to implement this process.
What are the steps to follow to integrate parcelLab into your store?
No technical integration is required.Merchants only need to provide us with their shipping details. The tracking number and customer information are sufficient, we will do the rest. We only need the customer’s tracking number, zip code, name, email address and destination country. Additional data such as the order number is optional. The data can be sent to us in the form of a BCC email, a daily statement (Excel file) or via the interface (Restful API). Our service can be easily integrated with any existing system, no plug-ins or add-ons are required. We also offer integrations with various CRM and customer service tools such as Zendesk, Shopware and Trustpilot.
What are the revenues of customers who have implemented the parcelLab solution for their online store?
We have over 450 satisfied brands in our portfolio that see significant success in their business processes once they start working with us. For example, when we implemented our solution at IKEA Italy during the containment of Coronavirus, they immediately saw a 25% decrease in customer service requests. As we all know, this is particularly relevant when we experience peaks, which is currently the case with a number of online retailers. In fact, we can see that online sales are much higher during this Corona crisis in almost all industries compared to the main events in 2019 (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Black Friday & Christmas).
Some of our other customers, such as Lidl and MediaMarktSaturn, have seen a significant increase in sales when implementing parcelLab.
HERE you can read all our Customer Success Stories.