Picture this: you're about to embark on an epic one-year journey. You’ll cross small peaks, lower valleys, and one massive summit. Your customer is your willing companion.
As you set off, you glance at the map—a map that can lead to flourishing relationships or perilous waters. The art of setting customer expectations is akin to using that map. An accurate read can ensure you not only meet, but exceed those expectations.
And in 2023, expectations are higher than ever.
- 97% of customers consider on-time delivery to be critical to their overall shopping experience.1
- Over 77% of shoppers say they are less likely to buy from a brand following a negative delivery experience. 2
- Customers expect their packages faster and on time with over half stating 5-7 business days is the longest they’ll wait. 3
According to industry analysts, customer service is the name of the game this year, noting that customer-focused brands who value their loyal customers will be clear winners. 49% of shoppers agree, claiming they make brand choices based on how appreciated they feel as customers. 4
But, how does a brand make customers feel valued? Start with a few proactive steps to meet customer expectations.
- Share the estimated delivery window with your customers, then share it again.
- Consider your communication channels: checkout, email, text messaging, social media announcements, and digital banners should be part of holiday campaigns to notify customers about realistic delivery windows.
2. Do not oversell or undersell transit speed.
- According to Jamie Rogerson, Director of Outbound Logistics at lululemon,
“We live in a time where our guests have grown accustomed to knowing when to expect the delivery, and receiving it on that day. So when that doesn’t happen, it degrades overall satisfaction with our brand, bottom line.”
- In order to keep customer satisfaction high, set expectations based on reality and prioritize delivering on those promises. According to Nate Skiver of LPF Spend Management,
“During peak, planning and execution to meet customer expectations should always be paramount over shipping expenses. Think about it long term - if you fail to meet those expectations, you are losing from a customer lifetime value perspective. It’s worth the investment during peak to hit those expectations.”
3. Provide alternatives to meet expectations.
- 78% of respondents say that they would shop with a retailer more often than others if they offered doorstep pickup for returns.5 Offering options that provide a layer of customer convenience can translate to customer loyalty.
- Companies like Veho help brands meet customer expectations through next-day and two-day shipping and doorstep pickup, providing even the last minute shoppers with peace of mind and a superior customer experience.
It’s important to continuously consult the map on your journey– but you must stay flexible. Track feedback and data through the season, and utilize this as fodder to adapt and improve your plans for next year. Consider working with partners like Veho, who offers customers the opportunity to rate their experience, providing brands valuable insights to help them navigate peak seasons to come.
Sign up today for a complimentary "Peak Customer Experience Analysis" with Veho to gain insights on how your customer experience stacks up against your competitors during peak. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. 10 tips to prepare for peak shipping season. EasyPost. (2022, June 14). https://www.easypost.com/blog/2022-06-14-10-things-to-do-before-peak-season
2. State of Delivery Satisfaction Report. Veho. (n.d.). https://get.shipveho.com/veho-state-of-delivery-satisfaction-report
3. Data from an internal Veho Holiday Shopping 2023 Report Survey of 1000 respondents
4. McKinney, J. (2023, August 28). Holiday 2023 guide: Seasonal trends to build your marketing strategy.
5. Retail Dive. https://www.retaildive.com/spons/holiday-2023-guide-seasonal-trends-to-build-your-marketing-strategy-1/691492/