Three Ways to Establish Good CX During Inevitable Shipping Delays


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We’ve learned a lot of new words and phrases over the past couple of years. Herd immunity. Omicron. Contact tracing. Flattening the curve.

But it wasn’t until last year when our packages stopped showing up on time that the term “supply chain” was elevated out of the logistics world and into public consciousness. The phrase hit peak popularity in October of last year, according to Google Trends, which should come as no surprise when looking more deeply at the supply chain’s impacts on our every-day consumption; according to new research our company just conducted of 1,000 American consumers, 80% saw at least one shipping delay in the past 12 months.

To say such chronic delivery delays hurt brands and their customer relationships would be an understatement. But every storm eventually gives way to a clearing of sunshine and brands — who are mostly without direct control over delivery delays caused by global macro forces — should take note of another critical finding: customers are much more forgiving of delays if they already associate your brand with good customer service.

Below are three key findings from our research into how CX impacts tolerance for shipment delays and takeaways for customer-centric businesses seeking to not only withstand supply chain disruptions but better prepare for their inevitability and, ultimately, thrive over the competition during them.

Finding #1:Americans are more likely to have patience around delivery delays with a brand they already associate with good customer service.
And not just some Americans…the overwhelming majority, 93%, say they have more patience if the brand has previously delivered good CX. A full 91% also say waiting for a delayed product is more bearable if the CX is good.

Takeaway: Establish and evangelize an ethos of good CX every day of the year. Doing so will build brand loyalty that is more likely to withstand whatever challenges, within or outside your control, that are thrown your way. When things are going smoothly is the time to prioritize ways of effective communication, establishing trust early on in the relationship and setting it up for ongoing success when uncontrollable circumstances arise.

Finding #2: When shipping delays hit, text messages that are timely and personalized matter the most.
Shipping delays may be out of your business’ control, but how, when and where you communicate updates to customers is. When asked how they want brands to communicate around delays, respondents said: Send follow up texts with regular updates (62%); contact them in a timely manner (57%); send personalized messages from a bot (51%).

Takeaway: Don’t call or email when a delay occurs! The tried-and-true text message/SMS approach to updating customers is their preference by far. When sent in a timely and personalized manner, SMS/text enables your customers to receive delivery delay updates on a channel they are comfortable with and, most importantly, open to read at high rates. The nature of delivery delay communications values timeliness and visibility over rich, dynamic or interactive content. Don’t over-think this one, prioritize text/SMS.

Finding #3: The gap between the level of CX Americans expect during delivery delays and what they say they receive is vast.
An overwhelming majority of respondents, 79%, said they expect brands to deliver more attentive CX when their shipment has been delayed than if it hasn’t been. Yet not all brands are delivering on these expectations; 61% of respondents said that for each shipping delay they experience, the customer experience is poor at least 20% of the time. And less than half (44%) believe brands try to provide better customer service to compensate for their shipment being delayed. In fact, 14% said the CX is worse.

Takeaway: The adage “no news is good news” doesn’t apply here. During delivery delays, zero or limited engagement really can be perceived as bad news. Shipment delays are not a time to pump the brakes or pause on communications with consumers. Double down on your customer engagement and communications during shipping delays, starting with text/SMS but deploying an omnichannel approach that leverages an array of channels — including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and more — to ensure worried customers know you care and are reachable on their channel of choice.

Shipping delays are often inevitable but that doesn’t mean they’re always or even often the fault of your brand. Focus on what you can control: how, when and where you communicate delays to your customers.

How? Timely and personalized. When? As soon as delays happen and as they evolve, real relationship-building takes place daily, well in advance of any delays, to establish a foundation and expectation of good CX. Where? Start with text/SMS, but ensure you can engage effectively across as many channels as possible.

The right technology investments enable the delivery of timely and personalized communications when brands and customers need it most. Deploying an omnichannel communication strategy prepares your brand to deliver the best CX when you receive the inevitable “where’s my package?”

Ramon Kania
As CTO of Mitto, Ramon Kania is responsible for the technology that makes the Mitto SMS Messaging platform both reliable and cost effective. Ramon has been coding since the age of 11 and has decades of experience designing and developing disruptive systems.


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