In just about every industry, like any family, the holiday season means chaos with a capital ‘C’. Odds are your business is no exception.
Modern consumers have gotten pretty good at telling us what they want. In case of holiday package delivery, they want shipping information, a way to track their package and be informed of its whereabouts, delivery delay notifications and package arrival.
SMS delivery alerts are a great feature you can advertise on your website that can make them feel safer and at ease.
What do I need before starting?
First, you need your customer’s phone number. You can follow these simple strategies to get it:
- For your existing customers: send an email with a link to their account settings page, where they can edit their delivery alert preferences at any time.
- For your new customers: add two fields in the registration form on your website – one asking for their phone number, the other asking them to agree to receive SMS delivery notifications.
In some countries, like USA, Canada, France, New Zealand etc. you need to include a way to unsubscribe (opt-out) from receiving notifications. This is usually done by including an opt-out keyword. Please check this on the web page of your national telecommunications regulator.
Whether or not they have a smartphone or Internet access, SMS can reach them. There are multiple options that can help your customers and your business:
1. Send shipping notifications with automated SMS
Once the package has been shipped, you can automatically send an SMS message to notify your customer, as well as give them an estimated time of arrival. By implementing package delivery SMS notifications you will:
- Take a lot of pressure off your call centers / support (fewer customer complaints)
- Improve customer experience & satisfaction by keeping them informed
- Get feedback for service quality to improve your sales process
- Have more time to focus on your business
Sounds interesting? This is just scratching the surface of what you can do with SMS delivery alerts.
2. Enable package delivery tracking via SMS during holidays
To keep your users properly informed, you can set up delivery alerts to be sent a week, a day or an hour before the arrival of the package (or all 3), depending on preference. Being able to track the whereabouts of the parcel increases their trust in your company.
Imagine your customers from Russia waiting on a toy they ordered for their kid from the USA or Canada. There are two options to consider:
a) Interactive SMS status request using a keyword
An SMS could be sent to the phone number they specified when the package is first shipped, informing them of the time and date of the shipment – as well as providing them with a certain keyword (e.g. STATUS) they can reply with in order to check the status of their parcel any time.
b) Automated status delivery SMS notifications
The clients receive automated delivery alerts when the package reaches a different stage / touchpoint of the shipping process – for example, when it leaves the country it’s from, when it reaches the end-user’s country, when it’s in their county, city…
Any combination of these options works and keeps your customers informed about their Christmas gifts. Of course, if you want to do this right, you’d have to pick a provider that supports SMS in all the countries you have clients in, not to leave anyone out.
3. Deal with holiday delivery delay using SMS
SMS can also handle delivery delays – especially during the holidays when traffic gets hectic.
You can take it to the next level by also including information such as:
- Package delay reason
- New ETA
- Address of the pickup hub it might have been redirected to
- A notification when the package is on the move again.
- Link to the online form where the clients can confirm the new delivery time
4. Get feedback on customer satisfaction with SMS
There’s nothing more frustrating for a client than opening their package and not seeing what they ordered inside. To make sure they can get in touch with you and resolve this as fast as possible, you can do the following:
- Upon package delivery an SMS alert is sent to the customer, asking if they got the package they ordered and providing two options: YES or NO
- If they reply with NO, they receive a message containing a link they can use to report getting the wrong package.
After a successful delivery, you can send your customer a text message asking them to rate your service, on a scale from 1 to 5.
There are a couple strategies for you to get valuable information here:
- If they rated your service with “1”, send them an SMS with the link to the customer service page, so the issue can be smoothly resolved.
- If they rated your service with “5”, send them the link to your company’s Facebook page (which they can like)
By doing that, you can get more detailed feedback, improving your service and your brand’s image.
Holiday package delivery SMS notifications and delay alerts may seem like just a cog in a giant machine – but for a smoothly-oiled machine to run, every cog is important.
Make a difference for your business and have it stand out in the holidays crowd by using this simple & efficient solution.