If your small business relies on shipping, you know how important it is to keep costs down while still maintaining efficiency and strong customer satisfaction. That can be difficult in today's world, especially when customers have so many business options to choose from. If your customers become dissatisfied with your services, they can simply stop doing business with you, which hurts your bottom-line. To keep your customers satisfied, without taking a hit on your budget, streamlining your shipping department is crucial. Here are three steps that will help you streamline your shipping department without jeopardizing customer satisfaction.
Choose the Right Supplies
When it comes to your shipping department, choosing the right supplies is crucial. Not only do you need them to be right for your materials, you need them to be right for the customers.
When choosing boxes for the products you'll be shipping, it's important that you choose the right size. Customers don't want to pay for shipping on a large box container massive amounts of filler, and one very small product. Make sure the box fits the product size.
If your business utilizes shipping tubes, you might want to consider color-coding them. Colored shipping tubes allow you to identify the size you need by the coloring. Not only does this save time, it also saves money on shipping costs since you'll be using the right size tube for the products you're sending.
If you're going to be using mailer envelopes for your products – which is helpful if you'll be shipping clothing items – be sure they can be reused for returns. Easy-open packages allow customers to place items back in the original mailer for return shipping.
Know Your Shipping Charges
When it comes to keeping your shipping budget intact, it's important that you know your shipping charges. The last thing you want to do is charge too much/too little for your shipping. Too much and your customers will become irate. Too little and you'll be losing money on the shipping costs. Prepackage some of your most popular items and have them weighed and estimated at your local shipping center. Once you know the actual cost to ship your products, you'll be able to properly charge shipping costs to your customers.
Handle Refund Shipping Carefully
If you're going to be offering exchanges and refunds for the products you sell, you'll want to handle those shipments carefully. Many customers will also want a refund on the shipping costs. One way to streamline your shipping costs is to provide free shipping for exchanges, and retain the cost of shipping for refund returns. This will give customers the incentive to request an exchange rather than a refund.
Don't lose time and money on your shipping. Use the tips provided here to streamline your small-business shipping needs.
Launching my own business was the biggest undertaking I've ever done. It was a long process of research, development, market analysis, and statistical evaluations. I was so overwhelmed by all of the details that I wasn't sure what to think. Once I got through all of the finer points, I decided that it was time to create a resource for others who wanted to do the same thing. My goal was to build a single resource that aspiring business owners could use to get started. I hope that the consolidated information here helps you to feel more empowered as you venture out into becoming an entrepreneur.