Interview: Mastering the Customer Experience from Purchase to Delivery

Originally published by E-commerce Nation.

To stand out from competition, it is important to offer an optimal customer experience to consumers: ensure the customer is satisfied with goods and respond to any requests as quickly as possible.

Customer experience includes all interactions that exist between a brand and its customers: browsing the online store, purchasing, advertising on social networks, delivery, contact with customer service. All these touch points allow consumers to assess your brand in a positive or negative way. It is therefore essential that this customer experience is perfect at all times, so that everyone who does come into contact with your brand is left with a lasting good impression. This customer experience is all the more important when a customer makes a purchase on your e-commerce site. It is then essential that you accompany the customer from purchase, through delivery and right through to returns.

WISMO requests ( Where Is My Order? ) are the enquiries that will flood into your customer service centre most of the time. These questions can be avoided by proactively managing delivery updates and communicating them to the customer.

E-commerce Nation interviewed parcelLab Founder and CEO, Tobias Buxhoidt, to learn about WISMO enquiries, how to respond to them or how retailers can actually avoid them. parcelLab’s mission is to offer each customer the best possible experience when they buy online.

Good customer experience helps build loyalty

Can you describe what you think an optimal customer experience is?

The customer should receive the same level of online support as they would expect in a physical store. This means that the whole purchasing process must be as pleasant and comfortable as possible for the customer and they should be accompanied by the retailer throughout.

Communication should not stop after the order, because this is when the most important part of the customer journey begins: waiting for the package! In order to provide an optimal customer experience, retailers must communicate with their customers proactively after purchase, using branded emails and integrated Track & Trace pages. This helps provide the best possible shopping experience for each customer, eliminates any confusion about when the package will arrive and who it comes from, and most importantly, increases customer retention and loyalty.

How do retailers master the entire customer experience?

The most important thing is to focus tirelessly on the needs of the customer at each stage of their journey. Many retailers forget that customer experience does not end once the order is placed. This journey is a circle and when the customer repurchases it starts again. This is why the retailer needs to take care of the customer every step of the way so that they will come back and order time and time again.

Retailers need to take a moment and review their entire customer journey to identify gaps that they need to fill in. Most often, it is after the purchase of the customer, because this is when communication with the customer stops.

Processing of WISMO requests

What are WISMO requests?

WISMO (where is my order?) refers to customer service enquiries from a retailer that relate to parcel tracking or the current location of the package. People want to know where their order is and when it will arrive. If they cannot find this information they will call the retailer’s customer service. This greatly increases calls to the centre which can often be avoided.

How should retailers respond to these WISMO requests?

The top priority should be to minimise WISMO requests and eliminate the need for them in the first place. Of course, they cannot always be avoided and it is important to take these requests very seriously. 

Customers are worried and want to receive their package on time. If this were to go wrong or if customer service did not take customer fears seriously, it is very likely that customers will no longer order from the online store in the future. Worst case, they will go to your competition instead. It is therefore important to know where the package is so you can help. Sadly, customer service often does not have this information, leaving frustrated customers and service agents.

With proactive communication, WISMO requests can be reduced or even better, avoided.

What’s the best way to reduce current customer service pressure?

Ensure you have proactive, reliable and personalised communication throughout delivery that is controlled by you, the retailer. If e-commerce retailers proactively inform their customers about the status of their order, delivery delays, etc., the customer does not need to contact customer service at all.

Delivery: the most important part of the customer journey

Why should retailers inform customers about the delivery status?

Delivery is the most emotional part of the customer journey. Customers are eagerly awaiting their new shoes, the last-minute birthday gift they ordered, or their essential medicines. For them, nothing can go wrong here. To ensure this, online retailers must proactively communicate with their customers during shipping and keep them informed at all times on the status of their delivery.

In addition, during the current Coronavirus crisis and the logistic issues it has caused, customers are more likely to track the status of their order. For this reason, it is necessary to provide them with the information they are looking for, otherwise they will likely contact customer service, which we are trying to avoid.

How can parcelLab help e-tailers better inform customers about delivery?

We communicate for the retailer, in the branding of the online store and inform customers about each important stage of the delivery process. We make sure that each client has the best possible experience. Plus, there’s no technical integration to implement this process.

This is what Track & Trace pages could look like with parcelLab.

How do retailers integrate parcelLab?

No technical integration is necessary. Retailers must send us their shipping data – a tracking number and customer information is enough and then we take care of the rest. We just need the customer’s tracking number, zip code, name, email address and destination country. Additional data such as the order number are optional. The data can be transferred to us in the form of a BCC e-mail, data transfer (Excel file) or via the interface (Restful API). Our service can be easily integrated into any existing system, no plug-ins or add-ons are required. In addition, we offer integrations with various CRM and customer service tools like Zendesk, Shopware and Trustpilot.

What is the feedback from customers who have implemented parcelLab’s solution?

We have more than 450 satisfied brands in our portfolio. Each sees significant results once they start working with us. For example, when we implemented our solution with IKEA Italy, during the coronavirus lockdown, they immediately saw a 25% decrease in customer enquiries. As we all know, this is particularly important when retailers are experiencing peak activity, which is currently the case. 

Indeed, we note that online sales are much higher during this crisis in almost all industries compared to the main sales events in 2019 (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Black Friday). For some of our other clients, such as Lidl and MediaMarkt, there is a significant increase in sales after implementing parcelLab. MediaMarkt, for example, saw additional sales worth 1.5 million euros over the Christmas month, after implementing parcelLab. You can see our other customer testimonials here

— Interview Ends —

To find out more about how parcelLab can help your online business during coronavirus, contact us below.

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.