How to Recover from an Incorrect Address

Tagged in: ,

It happens all the time: customers accidentally provide incorrect addresses. Sometimes autocorrect on their phones or computers is to blame. Other times, it’s an honest mistake. Whatever the reason, most customers who enter incorrect addresses won’t realize their mistake. When their order doesn’t arrive as expected, they’re not going to be happy about it. Right or wrong, you’ll bear the brunt of the blame for delivery delays.

The best way to recover from an incorrect address is to catch and correct it before shipping the item or delivering a service. The two main ways to do this are:  

  • Calling the customer to confirm the address 
  • Using address validation software. 

Calling the Customer

Having your shipping clerk or delivery driver call the customer to confirm the address is good old-fashioned service. However, it takes time, requires the customer to actually answer the phone or call you back, and is sometimes not done for various reasons. 

Using Address Validation Software

Address validation software is a more efficient, completely automatic, way to verify and correct address information. Depending on the address validation API service you use, you can even get exact longitude and latitude codes to plug into your mapping software. You can also find out if an address is a business or residence, if it’s vacant, if it’s a general delivery address, and more.

Address validation software verifies and corrects addresses in real time, catching errors instantly. By using an address verification API, you can prevent delivery problems due to incorrect address information. 

Getting Back in Your Customer’s Good Graces after an Incorrect Address

What if you didn’t call the customer to confirm the address or use address validation software and the provided address was incorrect? You’re going to have an unhappy customer, and you likely won’t find out about an incorrect address until it’s too late. Use the tips below to get back into your customer’s good graces: 

  • Immediately correct the address in your system so the error doesn’t happen again.  
  • Accept responsibility, even if it’s not your fault. After all, address verification technology exists, and it’s readily available and affordable.  
  • Make it up to your customer. Start with a genuine apology, and then think of a way to make it up to the customer. Can you waive the shipping costs, ship the replacement package overnight rather than ground, offer a discount on a future order, or include freebies in the replacement package you send? If you’re not sure what to do to make it up to the customer, ask. Do whatever it takes to turn the situation around. Remember, it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to get a new one.  
  • Finally, start using address verification software so you won’t be in this position again. Not only will it prevent problems, it will help to improve productivity and customer satisfaction while also reducing costs associated with deliveries to incorrect addresses.