Empower Your Customer Support Team to Stay on Top of Holiday Delivery Issues

Customer support is one of the most critical functions of retail businesses. When your support processes function smoothly, they inspire the confidence of your customers and contribute to increased retention and lifetime value. 

This is particularly true during the last-mile-delivery phase. Quality support, especially in the last mile, helps demonstrate the robustness of your organizational processes, boosts profits, and contributes to an increase in the perceived credibility of your brand.

One of the most pressing concerns for support teams at this time is the lack of visibility into last-mile shipping events. The lack of last-mile visibility means support reps are often in the dark and not in the best position to proactively respond to critical shipping situations. They end up learning about delivery issues from angry customers who have probably already made the decision to switch to a competitor for their next purchase. 

Additionally, a support nightmare situation is created by those customers who choose to vent on social media. These poor reviews end up dissuading your prospects from purchasing from you.

The challenges of support in the holiday season

The holiday season is the most challenging period of the year for support reps. Shipping volumes are at their highest, and there are delivery issues aplenty that require speedy redressal. 

This year, retail spending during the season is expected to touch a whopping $1.035 trillion. Needless to say, like every year, parcel shipments are going to face significant delays. What this means is that, in this period of shipping chaos, support reps need to be empowered to proactively respond to critical situations in the last mile.

However, with powerful technologies, your support reps can bid the delivery-related concerns that plague your holiday strategy goodbye. 

How to tackle the most common support issues in the holiday season

There are some specific issues that support teams encounter not just during the holiday season but year-round. We’ve put ourselves in the shoes of a customer support representative and suggested fixes that will make a difference to their processes, so read on, especially if you are in a customer-facing role.

  • I am a customer support rep. I am often required to respond to anxious and angry customers whose parcels have been delayed. If there were some way for me to be aware of issues before customers knew of them, I would be better able to handle such situations.

This is a problem of visibility. Having a hands-on approach with each parcel that is dispatched is the ideal way to overcome it. “Prevention is better than cure” might sound clichéd, but it holds true in this context. Track each customer’s parcel and work toward dealing with last-mile issues before customer impact. 

However, if your scale of shipping is large, a parcel-tracking algorithm that predicts delivery issues even before they occur and creates support tickets on your ticketing software’s account is probably what you need. This will help optimize your time as a support executive and also allow you to reach out to customers quickly if needed.

  • I am tasked with ensuring parcels reach customers on time. However, I struggle to handle relatively uncommon situations like weather-related exceptions because I am unable to inform specific customers in time that their parcels will be delayed.

Dealing with uncommon or unpredicted issues like weather-related delivery exceptions presents a unique challenge to support teams. This requires a personalized and empathetic approach. 

A support solution that allows you to send customized messages to specific customers or a specific group of customers with delivery status updates is what you need under these circumstances. But this needs to be done within the promised delivery window rather than after it. This is where pairing a predictive tracking algorithm with your help desk ticket tracking software can give you a time advantage. 

At the end of the day, preemptively reaching out to a customer whose parcel is delayed for reasons outside your control can help you win their trust and ensure retention for the organization.

  • I am a support rep and I receive a ton of WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls from anxious customers who are clueless about the whereabouts of their parcels. I would be able to focus on more critical support tasks if there were a scalable way to keep customers informed about parcel status. 

The delivery process can be quite a stressful experience for customers. They await their parcels with what can only be termed “a combination of expectation and impatience.” 

The average customer tracks their parcel 6-8 times after checkout on the tracking page of shipping carriers like FedEx & UPS. That’s why sharing the tracking numbers of parcels with customers so that they may track them on the tracking pages of shipping carriers is a common practice among eCommerce businesses.

Additionally, from a customer support standpoint, make use of a tool that sends automated delivery notifications to customers on the completion of standard shipping events like “Shipped,” “Out for delivery”,  “Attempted,” and “Delivered.” 

This will help ease customers’ last mile anxieties and drastically reduce the volume of calls about parcel whereabouts that your team has to answer.

Firepower for Your support team

Every one of the issues we’ve discussed so far is capable of making a dent in your retention and ultimately bottom-line. At the end of the day, the solutions you are able to implement organizationally make all the difference.

LateShipment.com and Freshdesk have joined forces to offer a solution that will help you stay ahead of last-mile challenges. This is an integration of a last-mile delivery platform whose algorithms have tracked over 100 million parcels for retail customers and a support giant.

What You Can Do With the LateShipment.com–Freshdesk Integration 

  • Automatically trigger delivery-related tickets to be preemptively pushed to Freshdesk from LateShipment.com before delays even occur.
  • Send personalized messages to customers from Freshdesk based on LateShipment.com-generated tickets*.
  • Setup automated email notifications within LateShipment.com for shipping events like “Shipped,” “Out for delivery,” “Attempted,” and “Delivered.

Additionally, this partnership paves the way for your business to save up to 20% on shipping costs through a human-guided automated shipping refunds process and provides the ability to host a branded parcel-tracking page to ensure a brand-consistent tracking experience and improve brand recall and retention.

*Freshdesk provides the ability to change email IDs associated with support tickets.

Final Word 

Holiday shipping can be a complex process, especially because of the tremendous increase in the volume of packages shipped during the season. Shipping carriers struggle under the surge and often make unforced errors. Shoppers are however unforgiving with their demands, and this can contribute to a multitude of challenges for retailers of all sizes.

But let’s change that…

A helpdesk tool combined with a delivery management platform can help you overcome the challenges we’ve discussed here, particularly during the holidays, when businesses struggle to grapple with shipping & delivery complexities.

The Freshdesk–LateShipment.com integration will strengthen the hands of your support team and help you stay in control of the last mile. Ultimately, a business that is in control of its last-mile will have a competitive advantage when it comes to both delighting and retaining its customers.