No customer wants to receive the news the product they want to buy or thinking of buying is on backorder. It is a two-way thing because for you as a store owner, you lose sales and gift your competitors your customers. It is dreadful news for most customers, and as an eCommerce store owner, you need to do everything possible to avoid such a situation.
Reordering points and reviewing your inventory level are two essential strategies you can implement to avoid any backorder, along with the frustration it brings. Regrettably, no eCommerce business is exempted or immune to backorders. It is an inevitable situation you have to face at one point.
However, understanding how to communicate and respond to customers when your product is out of stock is essential. That communication would determine if your customer base will reduce or increase. To help new eCommerce businesses, here are some customer service tips you can implement to maximize satisfaction during the backorder period.
Pre-emptive communication is key
When you have a backorder situation, communicate to customers on the front end of your website. To ensure transparency, include the shipping expected date. However, if the customer has already bought the item before the backorder occurs, you can communicate to them about the latest update. Every customer deserves to know when a purchased item isn’t available.
Immediately you notice or receive information about a backordered product. You need to contact the customer either by email or phone. Whether the situation, provide an estimated date of arrival and keep updating them about their order status.
Further reading: 4 tips to avoid backorder cancellation.
Offer to provide a similar product
At times, customers are unaware of similar products that might be better than the one they want. Before you contact a customer about a backorder, collect relevant information about similar products and present it to them. Depending on the medium of communication, you can provide photos to accomplice these options. However, some questions might not like this option, but it is worth giving them an alternative to consider.
Offer a partial shipment as an option
In most situations, a backordered product is a collection of different products that a customer has ordered. When this happens, you can offer them the option of making partial shipment of the items to allow you to restock your inventory.
Depending on your location, this works perfectly well. People who live in the United States are interested and willing to wait for their ordered items. Nevertheless, if the customers live in a different country, they might not consider this option because of the additional shipping costs.
Provide frequent update about backorder status
Keeping a frequent communication flow with your customer is essential to your business growth. It doesn’t matter what the news might be; it is critical to provide updates about the status of their ordered items. Furthermore, frequent communication helps you to solidify the trust of your customers in your brand. Once they can have confidence in your business, they can eagerly wait because you provide relevant and frequent updates.