As we face economic challenges it’s more important than ever to make sure that you are in good standing with clients, and practicing good communication. Customers have been writing in recently, expressing frustration about items on their orders being unfulfilled. Many of them are unaware of what the store inventory currently looks like, which can lead to negative assumptions bestowed on the shopper. Setting realistic expectations with your clients, and preparing them for what to expect, is the key to a good experience during these challenging times. What’s the best way to set realistic expectations? Let’s dive into a step by step guide on what good communication looks like, and how it can help you retain your new, or current clients.
Before you shop the order
When your customer places an order, confirm that you received it and guide them through your shopping process. For example, share how long you think the order will take, how you will communicate replacements or out of stock items, and your expected ETA (even if it is the time they selected on your schedule). A good practice is to go through their list, and if there are any items that you anticipate having trouble finding (such as previous seasonal items or covid impacted items) give them a heads up. Next, let them know when they can expect to hear from you, such as when you are at the store. For example; “I’ll touch base when I am headed to the store so you know when to be available for any questions that may come up”
During The Order
Once you begin shopping the order, let the client know that you have arrived at the store and begun shopping. Now is a good time to make them aware of what you would like them to do if they need to add any additional items to their order and also make it clear that they should be on stand-by for any questions that you may have for them.
Communicating out of stock items is very important, so make sure to go over their options with them. Taking a photo of what is on the shelf, or asking if a similar item is an acceptable replacement (ie: non organic instead of organic), can be helpful.
If they cannot be available via phone or text during the order, it’s best practice to get their preferences ahead of time. This is to help ensure that they get exactly what they need, even if that means not replacing items at all. This critical communication can be customized based on the clients needs, for example, some clients prefer to be called at the end of the shop to confirm replacements instead of an item by item basis. If that’s the case, confirm all of the selections with them prior to check out- this is also a good time to see if there are any last minute items they need to add to their lists.
*Remember that currently the unavailable items do not display on the dumpling app only in the Boss app.
As you’re leaving the store
Once the items are tucked in your vehicle safe and sound you will want to make the client aware that you have secured their items and that you are on your way to deliver. It’s good practice to give them a more detailed ETA at this point, and confirm any delivery instructions (ie: gate codes, leave at the porch).
Upon delivering the order
You have made it through the order with excellent communication. Now you will take the final step in the order process and deliver the items per the client’s instructions. Make sure to give them their receipt, and remember to take a photo of the order if you are completing a no contact order.
After the order has been delivered
You may think the work is done once an order is complete, however, following up with clients is just as important as the steps above. The ultimate goal is to retain your clients, and a big part of that is growing as a business owner. Getting feedback on what their experience was during the order not only allows you to understand their communication and grocery preferences, but also makes sure that you are aware of anything that you can do better next time while also instilling trust within your shopper-client relationship. Best practice here is to send out a follow up message the day after the order is complete.
Once your relationship with these clients is established and the line of communication is open you may find that you are able to ease up on the quantity of messages, however when getting started frequent communication is highly effective in building a good foundation and preventing frustration on both sides of the shopper-client relationship.