How-to: How to effectively reduce WISMO (Where is my order) questions

How-to: How to effectively reduce WISMO (Where is my order) questions
Published on: May 9, 2020
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Three out of four callers to an online retailer's customer service ask just one question: "Where is my order?" Yet the hotline could be largely spared this question. We know how customer service staff can be relieved of additional workloads and how shipping-related customer inquiries can be reduced.

What does WISMO actually mean?

WISMO stands for "Where is my order / Where is my order?" and is the most popular customer service request for most online retailers. These calls typically account for about 30-50 percent of all customer service requests and can even reach 70-80 percent during peak times.

WISMO inquiries take up valuable time for customer service representatives that could be spent answering more critical questions. Even worse, the customer service representative usually does not have the tools to answer these questions and often has to refer the customer to the logistics provider's hotline.

WISMO calls can be very frustrating for both the customer service representative and the customer themselves. Retailers should therefore focus on reducing these wherever possible to promote a good customer experience and customer loyalty.

Customer service representatives are constantly inundated with WISMO calls

Which channels can dealers use to receive WISMO requests?

Another problem with WISMO requests is that they can reach customer service representatives in many different ways: Email, phone, chatbots, live chat, SMS, social media... the list goes on and on. Especially during peak times, it can be very difficult to keep track of everything. Stress among employees is therefore pre-programmed.

WISMO has increased due to the coronavirus


The current pandemic has greatly disrupted delivery operations in all retail sectors. Most online stores have eliminated "next day delivery" options and implemented strict social distancing measures in their warehouses. Some carriers are struggling to find enough staff to deliver packages: Many are on sick leave or isolated, leaving packages sitting in distribution centers for days before they can be delivered.

It is therefore not surprising that retailers are now seeing a massive increase in WISMO requests. This is further exacerbated by the influx of online orders we are seeing in certain sectors such as home improvement, groceries, household goods and sports equipment. Companies in thriving sectors are seeing tremendous growth without being able to prepare themselves or their suppliers.

WISMO currently accounts for over 70 percent of customer service calls. These numbers are usually only seen at peak times like Black Friday and Christmas.

For example, About-You founder Tarek Müller recently reported in conversation with that he had to send his call center agents in the Czech Republic and Slovakia home and switch to email instead of phone. To be sure, customers accepted that without a problem. However, it still disrupted familiar processes within the company. What's more, some retailers have had to cut back on their hotline hours due to customer service staff falling ill or being sent into quarantine.

Online ordering has boomed in certain industries. Retailers are now struggling to cope with the increase in WISMO requests.

WISMO calls can be reduced by 25 percent with good shipping communication


Our internal figures show: 75 percent of all calls to the call center involve the question of whether the order will reach the customer on time, for example before Easter. The good news here is that these WISMO inquiries can be reduced to an absolute minimum with proactive and reliable dispatch communication. Here, it is important that every step of the shipping process is communicated to the customer via e-mail or other channels such as SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

1. Proactive multichannel post-purchase communication

Retailers should take control of post-purchase communication themselves and proactively communicate with customers along the entire customer journey. By sending regular updates via SMS, email, and even WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, customers are always aware of the status of their shipment, even if it is delayed.

2. Communicate delivery delays already at checkout


Advertise already directly on the home page of their store, on all product pages and in the checkout, how many days the delivery is expected to take. If you expect delays but can't predict them exactly, communicate this to your customers as well.

3. Keep the shipping status up to date


Keep customers informed of the status of their order in real time during the shipping process.

4. Put up a "Coronavirus FAQ" page


Direct customers to an FAQ page so they can get their questions answered easily without contacting a customer service representative. Include questions about delivery status, delivery times, and inventory.

5. Redirect your customers to other channels


If you've had to limit your support over the phone for technical or resource reasons, redirect customers to other channels like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Again, however, customers can be redirected to the FAQ page first before contacting your customer service team.

6. Measure satisfaction with the NPS tool

Measuring customer satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score or other review platforms is a great way to quickly identify if something is wrong with your services. This review option can be implemented in shipping emails or on the track & trace page and should be monitored regularly.

"The good news for retailers is that customers are currently very lenient when it comes to shipping times for their orders," knows Anton Eder of parcelLab. "However, due to the Corona crisis and the shutdown of the entire brick-and-mortar retail sector, online retailers have to win over customers who would otherwise have only bought in brick-and-mortar stores. Those who positively surprise here with excellent service have a good chance of turning one-time occasional customers into permanent regular customers Anton Eder, parcellab founder & COO

How can parcelLab help you reduce WISMO?

With parcelLab, merchants retain control of their post-purchase communications and do not pass on these valuable contact points to DHL, Hermes & Co. Online retailers can direct their customers to an integrated track & trace page in the company's branding, as well as send proactive and personalized shipping messages.

parcelLab has helped retailers immediately reduce their WISMO requests by 25 percent by keeping customers up to date on the status of their order. HERE there is even more information to read about it.

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