Many things go into providing excellent customer service. Friendly demeanor via email or telephone (or in person if you have a brick-and-mortar location), a good return policy, quality products, and outstanding order support are just a few of the most important. Believe it or not, proper packing at the warehouse can also go a long way toward reducing returns and improving your relationships with customers. Here’s how.
A Common Cause of Complaints and Returns
One of the most common causes of complaints and returns in the ecommerce sector has to do with products that were damaged during shipping. Though there’s no clear cut statistic that shows just how many packages are returned to ecommerce businesses every year due to mishandling by the shipper, you might be able to rely on your own personal experience. It’s no fun to open a box and find a single item bouncing around with very little (if any) protection. It’s even worse when that item arrives broken because of that lack of protection.
How Damaged Items Hurt Your Business
When customers order from you, they expect several things. First, they expect to get exactly what was described. Second, they expect to get it in a timely manner. Finally, they expect to get it in good working condition. If any of these three conditions are not met, it can have a drastic effect on your company’s reputation. One bad review leads to two, and the next thing you know, your company has a bad rap for failing to send out packages on time or packing items inside boxes haphazardly. Be sure that you aren’t letting these things slide, and if necessary, consider outsourcing your order fulfillment to a trusted partner to ensure every single package meets all these criteria.
How to Reduce Damage in Shipping
If you want to reduce damage due to mishandling by the shipper, the best way to do this is with a solid packing strategy. There are a few best practices to follow:
- Choose the right packaging. Just because it fits in an envelope, that doesn’t mean the envelope is the best packaging choice. Consider the fragility of the item, whether any liquids are included, and even whether bending can cause breakage. These things will all help you decide on the right packaging for the product.
- Pack items carefully. In a way, it’s a little like playing Tetris. You can put items inside a box together in such a way that they all protect one another by filling any voids in the box. Be sure to use bubble wrap wherever you may need to do so, especially when packing makeup or glass.
- Fill the empty space. If there’s empty space inside the package, every time the shipper’s truck hits a bump or every time that package moves from one vehicle to another, there’s a tremendous opportunity for damage. Fill in any void space to prevent the item from shifting inside the box.
Whether you’re packing orders for shipment on your own or you’re paying someone else to do it, it’s important that you follow these best practices. Failing to do so could have a negative impact on customer service, which affects your reputation and your company’s ability to grow.