When will these supply chain shortages end? For right now, no one really knows what’s going to happen. An article at Newsweek predicts it’s most likely that this disruption will continue at least until 2023 because demand continues to outpace supply.
Your customers understand you may not be able to get them the product they want to a degree. But ultimately, they want what they want when they want it and must be able to get their hands on most of the product they need.
So how do you keep them happy so they stay with you? Don’t worry! We have you covered.
Here’s what to do:
- Prevent Supply Problems From Happening
You can’t perfectly control this, but you can certainly mitigate the extent to which the problem affects you and your customers. While the supply chain is the slowest it’s been in many decades, you can still order earlier and get more product than normal so you have the inventory your customers want.
It gets complex and may cost more, but you may want to diversify your number of suppliers so you have more access and further reduce the risk of delay.
- Communication Tips
If you can, make sure your online customers understand your stock status when they visit your website. They need to know if a product is “backordered for 3 months” or that you only have “10 left.”
Also, make sure they can sign up for a notification email (without the additional pain of logging in) so they know the moment you have their product back in stock.
This is small stuff, but it goes a long way in preserving your customer relationships. And many of your competitors don’t offer these conveniences.
- Prepare Similar Alternatives
Like Amazon, your website should suggest related products. In-store, your co-workers should have intimate knowledge of similar products to direct your customers to.
Customers really don’t want to hear any reason why you don’t have what they want — even if it’s totally valid. However, you may be able to preserve the relationship by coming close to their expectations.
- Give Your Co-Workers Power to Make Customers Happy
Sometimes, you’re just not going to have exactly what your customer wants. There’s no way you will be able to navigate this chaotic supply chain to perfection.
For all those situations that arise, give your co-workers the decision-making power they need to keep a customer happy. Perhaps they offer free shipping, a free gift, or a 2-for-1 deal. You get the point.
The important thing is that they don’t have to escalate to a manager for most customer service issues. That frustrates your customer because of the additional time it takes to address their concern.
- Know Your Own Supply Chain
You have to stay updated on the status of your supply chain as close to real-time as possible. This allows you to make the best decisions so you have the most product available to keep as many customers happy as you can.
It’s easy to talk about doing this. And a whole different matter to actually execute. But it’s something you must commit yourself to because these supply chain issues could even go beyond 2023.
Hopefully, those strategies will help you keep your customers happy during even the worst supply chain shortages. Which of these stand out most to you?
It can be difficult to navigate supply chain issues, even with these tips. Contact Pollock Orora today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen in your company.