How to Manage Fulfilment Expectations During Peak times
Trying to manage fulfilment expectations for both customers, their audience and suppliers can sometimes feel like a weight on your shoulders, especially during a peak time! Whether it is a busy time for you as an individual, your business as a whole, or a national holiday the challenges you may face could be based on numbers of participants, turnaround times, delivery complications or stock issues to name a few. At Stream we have 11 years’ experience of running successful reward fulfilment programmes so here are some top tips to help you remain calm and in control whilst keeping everyone happy.
1. From the offset make sure you have allotted enough time to complete all the outstanding work. Whilst working to a strict deadline may motivate you, always allow enough time for any problems or setbacks that may arise. We like to say, ‘expect the unexpected’. There is always a last-minute order.
2. If you have data from last year or a similar campaign, use this to your advantage to predict trends that may re-appear. These trends may include volume of items ordered or when items were ordered during the campaign. This type of data can be invaluable in helping to anticipate another campaign following the same format.
3. Communicate with your customers to make sure they are aware of any delays or difficulties throughout the campaign. Personal direct communication will ensure the customer feels in control and is likely to result in higher customer satisfaction.
4. Keep in contact with your suppliers and provide them with an estimate of what they will be expected to fulfil. By giving them notice it will help them prepare stock, it will make the fulfilment process more efficient and it will help to avoid any disappointment caused by depleted stock levels. Remember you are working together so make sure communication lines are open, so you know of any issues as soon as they happen.
5. Finally, set deadline dates for orders and be very clear about them in all your communications. Setting these will establish a definitive date to work towards and allow you enough time to get these processed, especially if postal services or suppliers may not be operating at their normal full capacity at peak times.
Remember, complications are always to be expected. However, using these tips can ensure you remain in control, help you to stay calm during hectic times and allow you to deliver great customer service.