If your small business is built around shipping products to clients, there are a number of areas in which you’ll need to excel. Developing a reputation for late shipments, damaged products or miscommunications is unlikely to help you retain customers or generate positive word of mouth. While the occasional snafu is unavoidable, keeping most clients happy and coming back doesn’t have to be an arduous undertaking. With the following pointers at your disposal, you should have no trouble pleasing your client base and earning repeat business.
Find Dependable Shipping Partners
Dependable shipping partners are essential for any business that regularly sends out orders. When shopping around for the right shipping partners, look for companies that have ample experience transporting the types of products your business specializes in. This is particularly important for businesses that ship items that are fragile and/or temperature-sensitive. Furthermore, limit your choices to companies that have received consistently high marks from clients across a variety of industries. On the flipside, shipping services with a reputation for mishandling deliveries, damaging shipments and/or missing delivery deadlines should be avoided at all costs.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to part ways with shipping partners who have regularly disappointed you. In some instances, business owners that have cultivated solid relationships with unreliable shipping partners will opt to continue those relationships out of professional courtesy. While it’s true that ending such relationships can prove awkward, doing so ultimately stands to refine your shipping services and increase client satisfaction. So, if a particular shipping partner has consistently let you down in spite of receiving multiple chances for redemption, don’t hesitate to seek out more dependable alternatives. There’s virtually no benefit in continuing a business relationship from which your enterprise derives no advantage.
Utilize Advanced Tracking Tools
When working to refine your shipping practices, advanced tracking tools are sure to serve you well. Such tools will ensure that you’re able to stay abreast of a shipment’s location at all times, enabling you to provide clients with up-to-the-minute delivery updates. Knowing the exact whereabouts of your shipments can provide both you and your clients with tremendous peace of mind, so any small business that does a fair amount of shipping should consider the benefits of accurate RFID tracking devices.
Make Special Arrangements for Temperature-Sensitive Cargo
A shipment’s sensitivity to certain temperatures should be taken into careful consideration when preparing it for travel. Many types of items – food, for example – are sensitive to extreme heat. This often facilitates the need for cooling aids to be placed inside of shipping containers. Additionally, certain items should only be shipped in delivery vehicles that are designed to maintain specific types of temperatures. Failure to make the necessary arrangements for temperature-sensitive cargo is likely to result in damaged – if not outright destroyed products – and extremely unhappy clients. Furthermore, when seeking out the right shipping partner, keep an eye out for companies that specialize in accommodating items that are sensitive to extreme temps.
Keep Clients Informed
In the age of instant tracking, most people like to know where their shipments are relative to their homes or places of business. This makes the shipping process seem less mysterious and enables clients to plan ahead for deliveries. Unsurprisingly, people also like being kept in the know regarding delays. So, if it looks like a shipment will miss its projected delivery time and/or date by a wide stretch, make sure the client is made aware of this delay. While they may not be happy about it, they’re likely to appreciate being kept in the loop and thus being able to alter their plans accordingly.
Many small businesses revolve around shipping products to a wide assortment of clients. As is the case with any type of shipping-related venture, there are numerous client expectations such businesses need to meet. For example, in addition to ensuring that shipments arrive in a timely manner, you’ll also need to take every possible measure to keep cargo safe. Although these can seem like perilous waters to navigate, any enterprise is capable of embracing smart shipping practices. So, if your small business’s approach to shipping leaves a lot to be desired, put the previously discussed tips to good use.