If you are in retail or order fulfillment, there is a buzz phrase you will probably be hearing a lot this holiday selling season: WISMO, an acronym for “Where is My Order?”
WISMO is much more than a question. It is an important cost factor for your customer service operations. It is a logistical issue. It is a competitive differentiator. And it is something that can make or break your brand reputation, particularly during what promises to be the busiest holiday shopping season in history.
A short overview of WISMO
Once upon a time, in the distant pre-online era, customer expectations were simple – because they had to be. Customers sent your company an order and a check, products were packaged and shipped, and eventually they would arrive in the hands of the customers – hopefully.
Then trends ranging from ecommerce to 2-day Amazon Prime shipping to global pandemics quickly reset our expectations. Consumers expect timely delivery AND visibility on the status of their orders – and when their expectations aren’t met, they ping your website, email you or call your customer service reps to find out where their order is.
Nowadays, one source cites that 93% of customers now expect to receive updates on their orders. Another one notes that WISMO calls account for up to half of inbound customer contact center calls, and cost around $5 to resolve. Too much of this can eat into your profit margins, or more importantly lose customer loyalty. In fact, for 98% of customers, brand loyalty is tied in with their delivery experience.
The most effective strategy for WISMO
So what is the best strategy for managing WISMO: Better customer service staffing? Tools for order visibility? Customer status portals?
In fact, the very best tool for managing WISMO is to prevent customers from needing to ask about their orders in the first place, by combining proactive communication with accurate deliveries.
The first part is obvious: give customers a clear sense of when their order will arrive, both at time of order as well as key points such as shipping dates, and most customers will be happy. Fail at this, and many of these same customers will be off to see the WISMO.
Mitigating WISMO at the source
The second part is even more important – and we can help with it. Making sure that you have accurate, timely deliveries in the first place is the key to preventing WISMO.
A big part of this involves ensuring address data quality at the point of entry and key touchpoints through the fulfillment and shipping process. Our DOTS Address Validation products will verify, correct, and append your address data against up-to-date USPS, Canada Post, and international postal authority datasets. Other DOTS validation products can help ensure the integrity of your email, phone, name, and other contact data. All of these products feature convenient API interfaces that integrate easily with the most popular business automation platforms.
It isn’t too late to integrate simple validation APIs for this year’s holiday shopping season, and to keep WISMO under control. Contact us for a no-pressure discussion of how we can keep your shipments flowing smoothly and accurately, now and into the future.