IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an old help article, but still relevant today.
Hello, fellow dropshippers!
Right now, you should take advantage of low advertising costs while a lot of big brands have lowered their ad spends temporarily. While people are on their phones and computers more than usual, there are more sales and more responsibilities. Shipping delays and inaccurate orders are contingent on the spread of the virus, so preparing for unpredictability is one of the biggest opportunities for top dropshippers.
With uncertainty in the market, uncertainty is also passed on to your customers. Keeping these customers happy can be challenging when orders are inaccurate or delayed, so we wanted to give you our six biggest tips on keeping customers satisfied post-purchase:
#1 Get More Personal
No matter how big or small your store is, you never want to lose the person-to-person feel. No one likes the “corporate feeling”. Now more than ever, you’re likely receiving emails from CEOs, COOs, CMOs and CTOs of mid-to-large sized brands.
There is a reason for this. Not only do they genuinely care, but they also know that in times like this, triggering genuine emotion and tapping into those neural pathways will develop much more trust than an automated email from customer support. As a consumer you feel more understood by human beings and will be more understanding of any inconvenience.
For example, this blog post is being written by me, Brad Loeffler. The COO of Zendrop. A platform with hundreds of thousands of orders being placed internationally. I have a lot to manage on a daily basis, but I know how important it is for all of you to hear this message. So, I set aside the time to write this, and provide as much value as I possibly can, in this time of need. It’s what genuine companies do, they care.
That's the big difference between dropshipping stores with single orders and organic repeat customers.
#2 Be Proactive In Communication
This is by far the most effective tactic when it comes to effective customer service for your brand. When customers are reaching out to you, they’re typically not overjoyed to be reaching out to a support email. They’ll be approaching you with some form of dissatisfaction, whether warranted or not.
If you are the one reaching out to your customers, they will be appreciative that you thought of them and care enough to keep them posted. If a package is delayed, their expectations will not be lowered, as they are aware of the delay already. So… your options are, have angry customers reach out to you, or reach out to them so they know you care! It will make a massive difference.
Here is a link to some emails that a top dropshipper uses for reducing requests for refunds:
#3 Offering Free Product For Their Next Purchase
This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your customers return to your store to make another purchase, at $0 cost! Offering a free product or gift with their next purchase by using a discount code that only works one time for a specific product is an easy, effective way to diffuse an upset customer. Everyone absolutely loves free stuff!
#4 Scaling Refund Options
This is another great way to mitigate the financial effects of potential delays in fulfillment. A typical rule of thumb that I’ve used in the past on my own stores is to use a scaled approach to offering refunds. When a customer first writes in to request a refund, it is best practice to let them know that their package is on the way, and we appreciate their patience. For their patience, we offer them a complimentary discount code they can use on their NEXT purchase.
This is a great way to have them feel good that their package is still on the way, and gives you a really good chance of getting them to make another sale on your store at no additional cost. The more eyes on your store, the more money you make!
After that, if the customer is still insisting on a refund we’ll typically start to offer them partial refunds to try and mitigate the financial effects of a full refund. Typically we’ll offer 20%, 50% and then a full refund if the customer still persists that their order is still on the way and they will receive it eventually either way.
You could also enact a no refund policy since the order has already been shipped, but this will definitely have to be stated clearly on your site before the customer made the purchase.
#5 Offer Gift Cards
Offering a gift card for a future purchase is also a great way to gain the trust of your customers and simultaneously thanking them for their purchase. Know your average profit per item so you can make sure there’s no net loss in offering this.
This is my favorite option to offer; it keeps them happy, and you lose no money.
#6 Fast Response Times
I may have saved the best one for last here. Well, maybe the second best. I truly believe that being proactive is the single most important thing you could do in a time like this. But, being fast to respond when customers do reach out is up there. It’s incredibly important.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you’re frustrated enough to reach out to customer support, you may forget about the problem initially but each time it pops back into your head and you still don’t have a resolution, you’ll become increasingly annoyed at the situation!
Getting a fast response and resolution provides the exact opposite effect. You are diffused, and more importantly that open loop in your head closes, and you can go about the rest of your day. One of the most important things you can do when people reach out is to provide a fast response and resolution.
In this strange and difficult time, it's important to remember that there is a lot of opportunity at hand. As long as you handle your communication properly, this is a time where huge brands can be built, and massive wins can be had! We thank you for using Zendrop and wish you the best of luck in this time.
On behalf of the entire Zendrop Leadership Team,