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SMEs make tough calls to keep customers happy

SMEs make tough calls to keep customers happy
SMEs make tough calls to keep customers happy

It’s not easy to start a new business in this current economic uncertainty. Dropping the ball… (or should I say parcel) can also cause far reaching reputational damage.

According to Internet Retailing 90% of e-commerce start-ups end in failure within the first four months.

Customer service, time and costs are the three most important trackers to keep in mind when focusing on customers, hoping to improve their overall experience.

It’s hard to measure customer experience, up until you receive a notification about an unhappy shopper who graffitied your review page on Google or other social media platforms, to express their dissatisfaction.

Salesforce questioned over 6 000 customers about their expectations during online shopping. The survey found 91% of the recipients are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience. More than 70% of those questioned indicated that they made a purchase decision based on experience quality.

Locate2u’s CEO Steve Orenstein believes it’s not a complicated system, as long as you keep the customer at top of mind.

Be proactive in resolving complaints

Orenstein started in business shortly after finishing school. At the age of 19 he was already running an IT support company called SMO Technologies. Many years later, he runs successful companies thinking about “are my customers happy.”

But making this task even harder, is how do one measure if a customer is happy before the bomb bursts on social media platforms? “If they had a poor experience you want to know about it immediately so you can fix it,” says Orenstein.

“You don’t want to be waiting until they contact you and tell you a parcel has been damaged. You want to be able to be proactive in the approach. You want customers to receive an email or SMS notification the moment the parcel is delivered. You want to ask customers what their first reaction or experience is.”

Orenstein says as a small business owner you want to create a connection with your customer, to create an open-door policy. “You want them to tell you about it before they go online and write the public review. I think that’s really important. Customers’ satisfaction is number one.”

First impressions last

No one likes waiting for a parcel, especially when there is an expectation on the estimated time of arrival. Orenstein says delivery speed is crucial for any delivery business. “If your customers have to go to your local post office or ring that courier company and have that product delivered, that will be a really painful experience.”

First deliveries impressions last. Orenstein says it all comes down to the notifications given to customers. “When that order gets placed, the customer knows when that product is actually going to arrive. Do they have a time window when the product is going to be there? And is it going to match the time window that you set at the point when you actually did the checkout? At the point of checkout you want to be thinking about giving the customer certainty. This way they will know when the product is actually going to arrive rather than estimating it’s going to be there in 5 days.”

Value for money

A recent study found that most shoppers are concerned about the current unstable economic climate. Close to a third of all the consumers surveyed prioritized value for money over many other decision-making factors.

Orenstein says giving customers value for money is just as important. “Think about your costing. How does the average costing look like per order basis and make sure that the cost of the delivery makes sense for the order that you are purchasing.”

Not all delivery options will be fitting for any type of business, says Orenstein. “Different costs may make sense for different types of orders.So if you are a customer that’s actually spending a large amount of money, you could actually upgrade that order and get it to that customer faster than what they are expecting.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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