ShipCompliant values excellent customer service. Our team’s purpose is to create an incredible experience for our customers (and our employees and partners and anyone we work with). Years ago we implemented NPS scoring for both customers and employees, and we monitor these scores every single day. We take our purpose seriously.
Over the years, we’ve watched companies, doing great work, begin to alter customer expectations. Through their support practices, companies like Zappos and Amazon have set a new bar for service, specifically for online and delivery services. It’s no longer enough for a business just to meet the needs of their customer — you must exceed the customer’s needs. There’s even a term for this evolution of consumer expectations, The Amazon Effect. The impact this effect has had drives more direct-to-consumer merchants (including wineries) to accommodate the new online purchasing and shipping expectations.
“55% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question; 77% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service,” cites a recent Forrester study on consumer expectations.
According to 2015 survey results from Dimension Data, “customers want a frictionless, easy, and immediate journey on channels of their choice. They want a connected omnichannel journey across channels.”
What Does This Mean for Your Direct-Shipping Program?
We know that you work hard to create an incredible in-person experience for your customers. It’s what you do best. Wine is a luxury product. Therefore, it should be accompanied by a luxury experience.
The challenge occurs when you have a direct-shipping program that involves several channels working together to sell your product. And it’s important to note that your product isn’t just a book or an order of paper towels like you might buy from Amazon — your product is wine, a deeply emotional purchase. Your customer is highly invested, both monetarily and emotionally in the purchase they’ve made, which makes it even more important to rise to your customer’s expectations.
But, we understand that it can be difficult. Now you not only have to consider the tasting room experience, but you have to ensure that the point-of-sale, e-commerce, email, website, mobile, and delivery experience all provide the same level of service as the tasting room.
This requires a lot of coordination, care, and sophistication.
Providing an Excellent Experience from Tasting Room to Table
There are several actions you can take to control the experience and delight your customers. One of the primary areas we recommend focusing on when assessing your direct-shipping program is the shipping stage.
Imagine the phenomenal experience your customer has at your winery — they try your wine, they love your wine, they build a relationship with your team, they sign up for your wine club and then what? The wine that they’ve carefully chosen is packaged up in a brown box and handed over to a carrier. The carrier is then an extension of your brand, and frequently these third parties don’t represent the brand that you’ve worked so hard to curate.
This is where technology can empower you to extend your brand through every stage, all the way to the delivery. Using delivery experience tools provides the ability to more closely track packages, take action, and personalize the delivery notifications.
But we’re not only talking about the delivery experience — there are several tools and strategies you can employ to improve the process for your customer. We’ll cover these in an upcoming webinar where we’ve invited Hall Wines to share their approach for exceeding expectations through events, mobile, education, outreach, and personalization.
Sign up for the webinar to hear from ShipCompliant’s Direct Product Manager, Sam Straka and Hall Wine’s, Direct Sales Director, Jeff Zeppelli.