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Tackling frustrations and lengthy back-and-forth communication cycles often involved in resolving ‘bad deliveries’ with carriers is a big deal. From lost or damaged parcels, to missing items and lengthy return processes, 85% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t order from a retailer again following a poor delivery experience.

Effective returns management isn't just about processing refunds or replacements, it's about nurturing customer relationships, protecting brand reputation, and maximising profitability. It’s clear that if these aspects aren’t well handled, the backlash for retail brands could be very damaging.

Unfortunately, ‘bad deliveries’ will always be a part of ecommerce, especially in sectors such as fashion and clothing and can act as a huge drain on resources. So how can retail brands ensure that they’re providing a positive customer experience, while keeping a track of where issues lie and resolving them quickly and effectively?

 

Delivery Assured

fulfilmentcrowd has developed a new suite of tools and services that automate investigation and communication processes related to poor deliveries. In turn, this will reduce cost to serve, speed up carrier claim time and ensure the best outcome for the customer.

Housed on one consumer-facing platform, the retailer’s Delivery Assured portal is specifically branded to ensure customer recognition and confidence. Once parcels are dispatched, fulfilmentcrowd sends a link to the delivery assured portal directly to the consumer, allowing orders to be tracked and managed without having to go through back and forth communication with the retailer to do so.

Should any problems occur, or they want to return an item, customers can report this directly in the Delivery Assured portal.

Customers can select items from their order to report any issues or to request a replacement or refund. It has the added benefit for retailers of being able to add custom problems, for example, issues they’ve had previously or want to keep a closer eye on, so they can gather further insights on that aspect of the returns process. Customers can then choose their preferred resolution, such as a replacement or a refund.

Though on the face of it, it acts as your typical returns portal, where it helps to remove the grit in the process is in the number of conversations required between the customer, the retailer and the 3PL. These can often take weeks and causes both delays, frustrations and lost money. Through the automated nature of Delivery Assured, this is eliminated.

Previously, all details of the delivery are captured and logged had to be logged manually so that a carrier claim can be finalised and reimbursed, now, through this technology, this process is done automatically and fault is quickly and easily uncovered.

For retailers, they have one holistic view of order issues and pending returns, getting the ability to approve or deny requests that are reported by their customers, maintain full control without having to complete numerous tedious tasks to manage their returns.

Returns efficiencies

Once a customer logs an issue, a retailer can review it and accept or deny the return. This automatically communicates with the customer to process the next steps, be it a refund or a replacement.

Retail brands may choose to deny the claim if the item is damaged and is better to be disposed of than returned at a cost and an unnecessary impact to the environment.

Where items can be prepared for resale, they will be returned to one of two returns centres – one in the UK and one in the EU. These consolidated sites make the process more sustainable by avoiding the need for items to be shipped back to the original warehouse they were dispatched from.

Conclusion

So, while the industry – and most certainly the consumers it serves – would love ‘bad deliveries’ to be a thing of the past, unfortunately that isn’t the case. However, if the experience can be improved and made more efficient for all parties involved, then that’s a huge plus.

By streamlining time spent on returns tickets, technology such as Delivery Assured can allow customer service teams to focus on other issues, close tickets quicker and offer better levels of support to customers in a more strategic way, offering a better level of service.

In turn, this may reduce a customer’s desire to talk badly about a brand to friends, family or even on social media, ultimately protecting the brand and improving the customer relationship.

 

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