David Grimes, CEO and Founder of Sorted offers some key tips to retailers on how to reduce high WISMO and WISMR contact rates while at the same improving the customer experience.
Online retail is booming like never before. Even with the easing of coronavirus restrictions and increased high street footfall, the UK online retail space grew significantly in April, with sales rising 10.2% YoY. While this is doing wonders for the ecommerce space, expectations for fast and transparent delivery are leading to a huge wave of customer queries and more pressure on contact centres.
More precisely, ‘Where is my order’ (WISMO) or ‘where is my return’ (WISMR) queries are often topping the charts, making up to 80% of enquiries. With 87% of customers saying being kept informed is the most important delivery factor, retailers need to take a step back and assess how they can reduce this influx of requests while simultaneously improving the customer experience.
The cost of WISMOs
When considering how long it takes to resolve queries and how many employees it requires to support customers, each WISMO or WISMR contact can cost around £4 and £6. That’s a pretty hefty price tag when you have hundreds of thousands, especially taking its toll on your bottom line during peak shopping periods.
Yet there’s also the cost that doesn’t immediately show up in your budget – the damaging effect WISMOs and WISMRs can have on customer loyalty and brand reputation. Today, roughly 50% of customers say they would switch to a new brand after just one bad experience. This could therefore mean high churn and serious revenue loss.
Alongside this, there’s a lot of power in online customer reviews. So every disappointing delivery experience or unresolved customer enquiry turns a promoter into a detractor. Negative reviews can stop an average of 40% of buyers from wanting to buy from a business.
Top 3 tips to reduce WISMOs
High WISMO and WISMR contact rates are clearly expensive problems to have, yet it’s not all doom and gloom. Everything retailers need to reduce them and achieve that 5* customer delivery experience is already within their business; people, tech and data.
1. Call deflection
Phone contacts are resource-intensive, costly and time-consuming. Too often, customers can be left in radio silence or on hold as operators jump from one ringing phone to the next. When we consider that it can cost five times more to attract a new customer, than it does to retain an existing one, communicating with customers should leave them with a smile on their face, rather than be a cause of frustration.
When we hear ‘call deflection’ we often think about dodging calls. But this isn’t the case, it’s just about working smarter, not harder, to connect with customers on the channel of their choosing. By leveraging tools such as live chat or WhatsApp, an agent can handle multiple enquiries at once, offering retailers the chance to gain a competitive advantage and utilise lower-cost channels rather than costly phone calls being default. For instance, by implementing post-purchase tracking, brands can automate delivery updates to customers through own digital channels, letting them self-serve queries and reducing customer contacts by 35%.
It’s not just live chat that’s a saving grace for retailers, brands can pick from an abundance of omnichannel options. Whether it’s chatbots, emails, SMS or social channels, retailers now need to be wherever their customers expect them to be.
2. Self-service and automation
Self-service tracking can immediately cut WISMO and WISMR contacts by giving customers the insights they need at the click of a button. Not only does this give shoppers greater autonomy over their post-purchase journey, but empowers them with the answers they need straightaway. Self-serve goes far beyond simply servicing tracking needs and reducing WISMO and WISMR contacts – it allows retailers to connect with customers and increase brand engagement at every touchpoint of the delivery journey.
Likewise, automation can be used to embed tracking updates directly into your digital channels, to get proactive with communication and stay one step ahead of the customer. With regular automated updates, the customer can know about any exceptions or changes to their delivery without customer services input. Today, 90% of customers say they would choose to shop again following a positive delivery experience, so improving the final mile is likely to skyrocket customer satisfaction and retention rates.
3. Informed and proactive teams
One of the most common causes of WISMO and WISMR contacts is a lack of access to delivery performance insights for teams, so much so that many brands only hear about issues when the phone rings. And it is this lack of visibility which negatively impacts both average handling time and first contact resolution.
By arming your teams with actionable, accurate delivery performance data all in one dashboard, teams can keep track of issues and performance to serve customers better. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that disruption is unavoidable. Yet when the unexpected does happen, more delivery visibility can allow retailers to spot issues quicker, make changes fast and proactively resolve problems before customers rack up a costly enquiry for you. So retailers can keep customer promise and protect customer experience, as your teams are ready with insight and prepared to deal with anything.
Connecting the dots
Customers want to be able to access delivery or returns tracking information, and if they can’t find this easily, an influx of WISMOs and WISMR contacts will be extremely damaging. To say goodbye to unnecessary customer contacts and allow agents to proactively resolve issues before they touch customers or NPS and CSAT scores; retailers need to join the dots across the whole delivery journey.
About the Author
David Grimes is CEO and Founder of Sorted, the delivery experience company. Sorted are harnessing the power of tech to transform the world of deliveries for businesses and consumers globally.