Demand and Speed - Customer Service Perceptions

July 2018

For any retailer to be successful online and offline, positive customer perception is essential. This helps build brand loyalty, customer retention, and your company’s reputation. Perceptions of customer service will impact whether a consumer uses your services in the first instance and also if they return.

There are many qualities that can shape customer service perceptions. Increasing demand from consumers, especially for faster deliveries and other services, plays an important part and can’t be ignored by eCommerce and online retailers.  

The Importance of Customer Perception

A company’s own perception and how customers perceive them can vary greatly. This can make customer perception difficult to measure unless a thorough survey is undertaken of both new and existing customers. Being aware of your customer perception is vital as it can make or break a brand in many cases. If you have a positive customer perception then maintaining this will be the aim, whereas should it be mostly negative then turning this round will be the goal.

Customer perception isn’t just about getting great value though, so simply cutting your prices or offering free delivery is unlikely to change much. There are all sorts of little things that can affect and improve customer service perception, such as a demonstrative caring attitude, making special exceptions or simply meeting your promises.

Growing Demand and Delivery Speed Expectations

Consumers have become a lot more demanding in the modern age, with eCommerce and online retailers competing to offer the best service and gain the greatest customer perception. If their demand for a product is not met, not only will customers go to a rival, but they may build up a poor perception of the business.

This could be purely circumstantial too, as your business may have just run out of stock for a certain item with it due to being replenished the next day. For this reason, having a website that links to your inventory management system to displays what date products are likely to be available again when they’re out of stock is incredibly useful.

Speed of deliveries is also important for shaping customer service perception, as more and more options are now available at online checkouts. From same-day, tracked parcel deliveries and time-specific deliveries, consumers expect and demand a lot of delivery choices. Slow delivery accounts for around 16% of shopping carts being abandoned, which not only results in lost sales but also a worse customer perception.

This can lead to negative referrals if lost customers tell their friends and family about a poor experience. The flip side is that providing fast, reliable delivery that meets consumers’ needs should create natural referrals which build a positive perception as they’re not informed by advertising or marketing strategies. 

Building a Supply Chain

To work towards a positive customer service perception, meeting growing demand and speed requirements is vital. Therefore, when choosing suppliers, delivery, and distribution services to work with, it is important that you do plenty of research. During the supply chain is where there can be potential breakdowns that lead to delivery deadlines being missed or issues that affect supply, so demand can’t be met.

Fulfilment services from Whistl can provide strong support for companies who require flexible solutions, from inventory management and product storage to despatch, returns, and more. This can help your business meet the speed and demand required to keep consumers happy and customer perception levels high while working towards an efficient supply chain.

Full-Service Fulfilment Process, from Whistl

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