Peak Planning - Customer Care and Communication

Peak Planning - Customer Care and Communication

Part 4 of our Peak Planning series covers how to best care and communicate to customers, how P2P, A FedEx Company does it and how you might adopt these methods before peak begins.

A key factor of ensuring you are equipped to deal with the peak period is your staff and capacity levels, increased online sales may require you to consider if temporary staff are needed. When doing this make sure you bring in new staff before the peak period hits as it will allow you to train new starters properly in turn preventing mistakes meaning a smoother customer journey.

Another element to consider is the increased stock you might need, with the peak period’s increased activity, it’s all too easy to run out of stock on a popular item, or conversely overstock for a promotion that doesn’t prove effective.

To prevent this, forecast well in advance, using your recent performance and sales metrics as a guide. Analysing your previous online retail sales and forecasting for the peak season will help minimise overstocking or understocking items. We support our online retailers when forecasting by using our own data to help predict increases more accurately. Finally, ensure your storage facilities are prepared to handle this greater volume.

With all the additional products you are sending out and visitors to your website, it’s important to think about the possibility of increased queries and implementing the best ways to allow your customers to contact you, in ways they are comfortable with. This can change depending on what country you sell the majority of your products in.

We spoke with our Client Experience Manager to gather top tips to help you prepare for Peak and understand how you could make your customers experiences easier and implement best practice in allowing them to communicate with you.

1. What’s important?

Giving your customers or retailers the means to communicate effectively through the channel and language of their choice, ensures the customers journey starts off as a pleasant one. The best way to achieve this is to look into the behaviours of your customers and how they like to communicate, things like live webchat, social media, email or phone being available on your site will ensure you met your customers needs. 58% of online US shoppers would like the ability to contact a live customer services rep.

2. Collect the right data

It’s essential your business is proactive in communicating effectively with your customers. I.e, should we receive a shipment with missing data or information, we’ll contact the customer before the parcel even reaches our warehouse, requesting that missing information ensuring the parcel can fulfil its journey without any delays. Retailers can prevent these kinds of quires by ensuring their website is optimised and set up to collect mandatory data at the start of the purchasing journey.

3. Predict your volumes correctly

Communication needs to be effective both ways, ensuring we have accurate shipping estimates from our customers ensures we can resource accurately. This means we can provide a better service to our customers which in turn means consumers receive a better journey from pre click to post click.

4. Communication is key

Clear, concise and effective communication is also paramount during a process or business change. Communicating change to your customers promptly and clearly, ensures your customers feel confident when experiencing this changed process and reduces unnecessary contacts into your department. Retailers can adopt this approach by giving information such as returns policies, delivery times, product information and duty pricing upfront which installs confidence and helps to set expectations.

In the lead up to Peak if you feel you could utilise some of P2P, A FedEx Company’s expertise to support you and increase your peak period, speak to one of our experts today.