Receiving customer complaints is an inevitable part of running a business - whether it be due to long shipping times, items being out of stock, orders being cancelled, product quality, or a number of other things. Though you can’t eliminate receiving complaints, there are steps you can take to make the process better for your customers, and hopefully lessen the complaints that come in in general. Keep reading if you want to learn more!
Let’s start with tips you can implement to make the order process better, so that some common complaints don’t come in to begin with.
Not knowing how long shipping will take, or not receiving updates on where your package is can be frustrating as a customer, so I would suggest being transparent about as much info as you can when it comes to this! This also establishes trust between you (the shop) and the customer. Here are places you can add shipping info:
On the product page :
On the shipping page :
Aside from these places, I would also suggest making a Shipping FAQ page for customers to visit.
Once you have made the shipping estimate clear to customers, you will also want to update them on the process throughout the delivery. That begins with sending them a shipping confirmation email which includes tracking info. Check out this article from the Oberlo help docs that walks you through how to update your email to include tracking.
As an added bonus, you could add a sentence in your shipment email letting customers know you are dropshipping, and that products may arrive in separate packages (if they ordered more than one item).
Next on the list is quality! If your shop is a niche shop and you sell only a few items, I would suggest ordering in some of your best sellers to your location. That way you can assess the item quality to be sure it is up to your and your customers standards. This also allows you to take your own product photography, which makes the product look unique to you as well as lets you style the photography to your own brand - so that is an added bonus!
Especially where you are dropshipping items, and don’t get to see the item first hand, this ensures you are selling products which you feel meet your shop standards.
If you do receive a complaint, start by offering fast support! The worst thing, as a customer, is when you have an issue and are waiting days to hear back about a solution. Make sure to be on top of your emails, and check them frequently - if dealing with an issue, be sure to reply back with next steps as soon as possible.
Along with offering fast support, be sure to be prepared for the types of questions you might get and how you would answer them. You’ll want to be sure to have a clear policy that you follow, which makes the process easier and quicker for you and your team.
To name a few things to be prepared for:
- issues with product quality
- refund / return requests
- shipping delay inquiries
Now for customer retention! Repeat customers are the best customers, so the goal is to turn these upset customers into customers who will come back again. Trust me, it is definitely possible!
After sending the customer a speedy reply, letting them know you are looking into their issue, depending on the situation, you can offer the customer a few things:
Discount code - if it’s appropriate you could offer the customer a discount code to use in their next order. This way they would need to come back to your shop in order to place another order, and they will have the discount to use at this time.
Refund - again, if applicable, you can offer them a refund for their order. As mentioned previously, ensure you have a clear refund policy which you abide by, but if applicable you can accept a refund. Use this as an opportunity to have the item sent to your location to take product photos/ create content for marketing. If you want a suggestion on how to handle refunds, check out this awesome article!
New Item - another option to explore is sending the customer a new item if there was an issue with it. The cost of sending them a new item, even though you may break even with the profit, is sometimes worth the happy customer. As mentioned, return customers are the best customers so if you can make a customer happy by sending them a new item, it just might be worth it.
Free Product - even if your customer is keeping their product, it might be worth sending them a small free gift. You can find items from suppliers for a few dollars and free shipping, so if the situation seems appropriate, that may be an option to explore too!
I hope that sparks some ideas on ways you can limit customer complains, and win back the customers who still do.
Please share below any tips you have on how to handle these situations below. We can all learn from each other on this!