How to effectively reduce WISMO

Customer experience continues to be a hot topic. Retailers who invest in creating enjoyable customer journeys stand out and are rewarded with loyal customers. Customers are no longer satisfied with the old normal, but instead have come to expect an Amazon-like shopping experience.

What is WISMO?

WISMO stands for ‘Where is my order?’ and is the most frequently received query for most retailers. These calls normally account for around 30-50% of all customer service enquiries and can reach 70-80% during peak periods.

WISMO requests take up valuable time for customer service agents that could be spent answering more critical issues. What is worse is that usually the agent does not have the tools to answer these questions and often have to direct the customer to the carrier’s helpline.

WISMO calls can be very frustrating for both the customer service agent and the customer themselves. Retailers therefore should be focused on reducing these wherever possible to encourage good customer experiences and loyalty.

Where can retailers receive WISMO requests?

Another issue with large volumes of WISMO requests is that customer service agents can receive them in a variety of places: email, calls, chatbots, live chat, SMS, social media… the list goes on. During peak periods especially these can be very hard to stay on top of and this can create a very stressful environment for retailers’ customer service teams.

WISMO has increased due to coronavirus

The current pandemic has severely disrupted delivery operations across all retail sectors. Most online stores have removed next-day delivery options and introduced strict social distancing measures in their warehouses. Some carriers are struggling to find enough staff to deliver packages, with many off sick or isolating, and as a result parcels are sat in distribution centres for days before they are able to be delivered.

It is not surprising therefore that retailers are seeing a massive peak in WISMO calls. This is further increased by the influx of online orders we are seeing in certain sectors, such as DIY, groceries, homeware and sports equipment. Businesses in thriving sectors are seeing 50-100% growth YOY, with little to no warning to prepare themselves or their carriers.

WISMO is currently accounting for upwards of 70% of customer service calls. These numbers are usually only seen at peak periods such as Black Friday and Christmas, when retailers hire temporary staff to help manage the increase. With retailers cutting costs where they can, this is no longer an option.

This influx is especially problematic when a vast majority of agents are working from home and therefore phones are offline. Retailers are working with reduced work forces and relying on email and social media to answer WISMO queries, leaving many unhappy customers with unanswered questions.

How can retailers reduce WISMO?

Retailers should always be working to reduce WISMO. However, it is more important than ever during these uncertain times to keep customers informed and happy. We’ve put together six handy tips for reducing WISMO:

  1. Proactive multi-channel post-purchase communication: By taking control of communication post-purchase, retailers can proactively communicate with customers at each stage of journey. Sending regular updates via SMS, email and also through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger means the customer is always in the know about their order, even if it’s delayed.
  2. Communicate delivery delays at checkout: Advertise prominently on the homepage, on all product pages and at checkout how many days the delivery is likely to take. If you are expecting delays but can’t predict how long, communicate this here too.  
  3. Keep shipping status up-to-date: Inform customers in real-time about the status of their order during the shipping process.
  4. Set up coronavirus FAQ page: Direct customers to the page from the homepage, product pages and tracking pages so they can have their questions answered easily, and without having to reach out to a customer service agent. Include queries about delivery status, times and stock.
  5. Direct support traffic to other channels: If you’ve had to limit your telephone support network for technical or resource reasons, direct customers to other channels such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Again display where customers should get in contact with you clearly on the homepage and tracking pages, as well as in shipping emails. It might be worth including a message to remind customers to only contact you after they’ve looked at your FAQs page first!
  6. Measure satisfaction using NPS: Measuring customer satisfaction using Net Promoter Scores or other review platforms is a great way to quickly recognize if something is wrong with your services. This review option can be implemented into shipping emails and tracking pages and should be monitored regularly to look for common themes. 

How can parcelLab help you reduce WISMO?

parcelLab enables retailers to take control back of their post-purchase communication. Retailers can direct customers to a white-labeled and integrated Track & Trace page, as well as sending proactive and branded shipping update emails.

parcelLab has helped retailers reduce WISMO calls by 25% instantly, as customers are kept informed about the status of their order. Read more about how here.

Customers are not only left feeling satisfied with their experience, but they are also more likely to return and make an additional purchase from the online shop.

The good news for retailers is that customers are currently very lenient when it comes to shipping times for their orders. However, due to the corona crisis and the shutdown of the majority of bricks and mortar stores, online retailers have to attract customers who would otherwise only have bought in store. Anyone who surprises customers with excellent service here has a good chance of turning unique occasional customers into permanent regular customers.

Anton Eder – COO, parcelLab

Please get in touch – we’d love to help!

About the Author: Katharine
Katharine is Head of Marketing Communications - EMEA. An avid shopper, Katharine is passionate about helping retailers understand the importance of efficient post-purchase communications. When she isn’t looking for the latest trends for our blog, Katharine loves discovering new restaurants in London.