Provide A Best-In-Class Customer Experience With Full Order Lifecycle Support


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The days when high-quality “order support” simply meant optimizing your post-purchase experience and offering multi-channel options to receive order status notifications are over. With the growth of ecommerce and the dramatic shifts in consumer behavior brought about by the pandemic, standard order tracking is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of info-hungry shoppers. Comprehensive, full order lifecycle support has become a more urgent CX priority for retailers looking to win and retain customers who now value end-to-end visibility and engagement around their orders more than ever.

Here’s how retailers can realign and upgrade their order support approach to deliver a best-in-class customer experience from pre-purchase to post-delivery.

Move past basic order support

As mentioned above, basic order support just doesn’t get the job done anymore. Shipping and inventory variability and a growing preference for new fulfilment options like Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS), Reserve Online, Pickup in Store (ROPIS) and Buy Online, Ship to Store (BOSS) require greater customer support from the moment of purchase onward and increased communication and issue resolution at every stage of the order process, even after delivery. Customers now expect full order lifecycle visibility and the ability to engage at their convenience, including the option to modify or cancel orders, change shipping method or report an issue with their order after it’s received – all on their channel(s) of choice.

Prioritize clear, contextual communication

In an era of shipping disruptions, inventory challenges and a growing preference for emerging fulfillment options like BOPIS, ROPIS and BOSS, clear, contextual customer communication has never been more important. There’s a fine line between proactive customer engagement and intrusive outreach and the smartest retailers are able to walk it. They do this across the order lifecycle by first making the purchase experience as seamless as possible with built-in support like live chat that doesn’t disrupt the checkout process and options for the consumer to opt into order notifications and preferred channel as soon as the purchase has happened. Post-purchase, they proactively provide updates on any change to shipping and delivery and offer a guided, stress-free experience for shoppers using the emerging fulfillment options mentioned above. These retailers also prioritize post-delivery support to fix issues such as missing, incorrect or damaged items within an order. Above and beyond this, they design all of these touchpoints from an empathetic, adaptable, customer-centric point of view that allows the customer to shape the engagement based on the particulars of their needs and preferences.

Don’t forget fulfillment logistics

With growing flexibility around fulfillment, a successful order support strategy needs to account for the myriad ways in which customers are configuring their orders. This means being able to handle notifications and inquiries not only for “traditional” ship-to-home single orders, but omnichannel orders, combination orders, multiple destination orders and split shipments. Put simply, if you offer it as a fulfillment option, your order support CX strategy needs to account for it and to do so with a high-quality, consistent customer engagement UX across the order lifecycle, regardless of order complexity.

For brands that offer subscription or reorder services, those also require seamless CX, including leveraging automation to identify which items are eligible for auto-delivery and prompt customers to subscribe or sign up for auto-deliveries during the ordering process.

Start earlier and don’t stop at delivery

It’s time to go beyond the last mile. Successful CX doesn’t stop at the customer’s doorstep or curbside. Best-in-class order support now accounts for post-delivery issues that aren’t related to standard returns and exchanges, like missing, damaged or incorrect items. One option to deliver this is to implement a dynamic, digital make-good solution that allows you to quickly resolve issues related to your most-common reason codes without involving a human agent and ensures customer satisfaction to drive long-term loyalty.

Now more than ever, shoppers are hungry for more transparency and on-demand engagement and information at every stage of the order process from pre-purchase to post-delivery. The good news is that they’re also willing to reward retailers that prioritize delivering best-in-class order support with their valuable loyalty.

Durk Stelter
Durk Stelter is the Chief Revenue Officer at Linc, an award-winning CX automation platform helping businesses automate 85%+ of all shopper interactions to deliver best-in-class experiences through high-fidelity use cases. Heading up sales, marketing, and customer success, Durk’s primary focus is driving strategy, growth, and streamlining company operations. Prior to joining Linc, Durk was the Chief Revenue Officer for Pypestream. Durk has also founded several companies, including Swift Labs, and most notably Traverse Networks, leading them through a successful acquisition by Avaya in 2006. Dur


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