Best Way to Communicate Shipping Delays to Customers6 min read


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Maintaining a good relationship with your customers is of crucial importance; thus, you should make sure you handle and communicate the shipping delay in the most optimal way.

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How to respond to a late carrier delivery?

Evaluate how often do delays occur on a monthly basis and start tracking the carrier’s performance and. If you realise repetitive shipping delays, you can then decide whether or not you should continue the cooperation. Nowadays, there are many alternatives, and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can always look for other alternatives.

The situation may be pressuring, but it is always best to see this matter from other perspectives. Many other factors that can cause this delay, so, you should see how to best respond to the late carrier delivery after seeing the bigger picture. See if it was the carrier’s fault or some external factors that one cannot control. Getting a reasonable solution in a situation when more parties are involved may seem like a rather hopeless task. We understand that this may cause further distribution disruptions, but now you need to communicate this delay to your customers and see if you can agree on amicable terms.

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Communicating shipping delays to customers

We understand the troublesome situation you are currently in. Still, by calmly maintaining the communication with the logistics provider, you will be able to furthermore communicate the delay to the customers in the most efficient matter. You are now in a similar situation that your customer is at, only that you need to see how to handle the late delivery from the carrier.

You should let the customer know that you are involved in the process and that they do not need to communicate directly with the logistics company and handle this themselves. Try to approach more personally; call them by the phone and let them know why you get them. By choosing to call, instead of emailing your customer, you will be able to see their reaction and respond as quickly as possible.

How do you inform the customer for a shipment delay?

  • Be proactive and provide your customer with the available information that you have, so they know that you are dealing with this case, and monitoring it closely. Tell them when can they expect more information and by doing so, the customer will see that you are doing everything in your power to settle this.
  • Provide them with the reasons for the delay.
  • Be transparent with the customers and inform them about the issues you are facing and the steps you will take in order to resolve things – including changing the courier company if necessary.
  • Even though it may be limited, let the customer know they still have choices. Ask them how would they wish to furthermore proceed with this matter, if they still want the order, or should you reroute the shipment.
  • If possible, give them something in exchange for the wait, that would be beneficial for the customer.
  • Do not make false promises! Make sure that you can keep the promises you made if you want to communicate the delay with your customer in the most efficient manner. Do not promise a same-day replacement, or anything similar; if you cannot guarantee it.
  • Write an apology email. It may not be entirely your fault for the delay; nonetheless, the customer may be feeling frustrated. At this point, you can openly talk about the issue and sincerely apologise.

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How to solve late shipping issues?

The best start when handling with a shipping delay is to check the tracking status and see for any updates. Require from the carrier to accurately inform you regarding the current delivery situation, so you know how to communicate this delay to your customers. Once you understand what the reasoning behind this blockade is, you will be able to use this information and notify your customer for the new estimated delivery time.

Tips for better handling of shipping delays

  • You can always plan, try to predict several situations, and that way, prevent delays to your customers and amend the delivery times communicated to your customers, accordingly.
  • See that you do not always send the items last minute unless it is an exceptional case that you receive an order that needs an urgent delivery.
  • Partner up with a reliable logistics provider with a good reputation.
  • See that you always have up-to-date tracking information.

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How does a late shipment delivery affect me as a client?

As mentioned earlier, how do you respond to late delivery is very important for maintaining your company’s reputation. See that you do not have too frequent shipping delays as sometimes acquiring new customers may cost you a lot more than retaining the old ones.

Last modified: October 5, 2020

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