As a company that ships, you know that you can get everything right with an order, but a customer's satisfaction depends on the shipping experience.
If the item arrives late, a holiday can be ruined. If it arrives broken or doesn't arrive at all, you have fees and replacements to handle. In a world where merchants are increasingly competitive online, success depends on perfecting the customer order process from start to finish in order to keep and grow your customer base.
Ultimately, customers want their order at the best price, delivered on time and as promised, to the destination of their choice. It's your challenge to make that process as seamless as possible.
Here are some steps that companies need to take to perfect the customer order process.
First, it's important to understand the challenge from both the customer and merchant perspective. Allison Manetakis of NetSuite recently wrote in Achieving the Perfect Customer Order: Where Does It Begin? that merchants are challenged by accomplishing the task of perfecting orders while optimizing costs and efficiency."By achieving the perfect order, merchants will delight customers with the ultimate, omnichannel experience of buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere and return anywhere and operate an efficient and profitable business. Unfortunately, too many retailers don’t possess these capabilities," says Allison.
So what does a company need to do in order to perfect the process?
- A centralized order management solution that spans all channels
- A shipping and fulfillment solution that can easily access your inventory and order information
- A complete carrier network with multiple options for your customers
These items of course depend on having an efficient and well trained team, but providing them the right resources is critical to success. Products like Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) are important to merchants so that they can manage the order lifecycle. Allison points out in her article that ERPs are necessary for companies to support complex order and shipping processes in a cost-effective manner.
While the ERP is responsible for many functions, the shipping solution is a critical link that many merchants don't think about until shipping becomes too complex or costly.
With enterprise-level platforms like Pacejet, merchants are able to seamlessly integrate shipping of not only parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS, but also regional and freight carriers. They have the benefits of things like real-time carrier quoting, automation of labels and documents, and one interface that combines the ERP and shippng experience across multiple business locations and workstations.
It is easy to perfect the order process when businesses are small and shipping a few packages per day. But once you are an enterprise shipper, ensuring that each customer has the perfect order experience becomes much more challenging. While it is a daunting task, merchants can't afford to ignore inefficiencies with order management and shipping and fulfillment.
Allison points out that "Manual processes are the death knell of order management. A cobbling of legacy, channel specific systems and spreadsheets and the manual steps to connect them all create duplicate data riddled with errors. For the merchant, this is a costly system to manage that hinders growth and squeezes the bottom line. Customers suffer from late and/or wrong orders, and the inability to offer convenient, low-cost and fast fulfillment options will drive them to your competition."
At the end of the day, companies only benefit from ensuring customers have the perfect order experience. Inventory will move faster, shipping will cost less, you'll need fewer man hours to manage the process, and your customers will be happier. This is exactly what is needed to help your business grow to the next level.
To learn more about how Pacejet's shipping software complements ERP systems like NetSuite or others, check out a video with one of our current customers who has made it their mission to perfect the order process.