When we talk about the coronavirus, there’s one refrain that continually comes up in conversation: “These are unprecedented times.” But there’s truth to the cliche – never before have ecommerce brands had to continue operating their businesses while a dangerous virus continues to spread globally. Despite these challenging circumstances, shoppers still expect prompt delivery of their online purchases. In order to be competitive with corporations like Amazon, independent sellers need to be able to offer fast shipping. So, ecommerce brands must find a balance and keep warehouse staff and temporary personnel safe, yet still fulfill orders in a timely manner for satisfied customers.
For customer service teams, answering questions about COVID-19 can be tricky.
If there’s a coronavirus outbreak in your warehouse, you’ll end up with unexpected delays, since your staff will need to quarantine.
In order to keep messages to online shoppers consistent, it’s necessary to craft a template for an apology letter that your customer service teams can use to relay to customers. Here are some sample letters that show best practices for answering customers’ questions about COVID-19 shipping delays.
Customers may be disappointed when their orders are delayed, but by assuring them that the delay stems from a genuine need to keep both staff and shoppers safe, customers may be more patient. This approach leaves your customers on a positive note, too. Here are some sample letters that emphasize safety during the coronavirus pandemic. When adapting these, you can add your company name and offer coupons for their next purchase if you're able.
Option One: We offer our sincere apology for any late deliveries and inconvenience this has caused. Due to new procedures and safety policies as a result of Covid 19, we are experiencing processing and shipping delays. These new policies are to keep our warehouse staff safe and you safe. All shipping partners that we use have also implemented new and rigorous safety procedures. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work hard to ensure your safety as well as the safety of our staff.
Option Two: The health and safety of all our team members is our number one priority. Recently, procedures and policies have been put into place as a result of COVID-19 that results in slower handling time. We appreciate your patience while we keep our warehouse and shipping partners safe. Please allow some extra time for your order to arrive as we have been advised by our shipping partners.
Option Three: In light of COVID-19 and for the safety of our customers and employees, we’ve made necessary changes to our receiving processes and inventory operations that have resulted in limited availability of some popular items. We’re doing everything in our power to avoid these shortages, and I want to personally apologize for this inconvenience.
Given the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, customers may be more understanding about late deliveries. But, if you promise unrealistic shipping times, you risk alienating future customers. So, a best practice for customer service is to offer a condolence, take full responsibility, and assure shoppers that they will receive email updates, an order number, and a tracking number to help them know when to expect their merchandise. In extreme cases, you can even offer customers a coupon for their next order.
Option One: We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Due to COVID-19 our warehouse is only operating 2-3 days a week as stated on our website. Once is it fulfilled and shipped an email will be sent to you with your tracking number. Again we apologize for any inconvenience.
Option Two: Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee delivery dates at this time. UPS is extremely backlogged at the moment due to the pandemic and they are prioritizing emergency supplies. You’ll receive an email confirmation as soon as it’s on the way!
Especially during the holidays, online shoppers may ask a lot of questions about when their order will ship. With Chatdesk Teams, you can select a team of experts who can match your brand voice and help you respond faster to customers on social media and email. If customers have follow up or further questions about their order, Chatdesk Teams can help manage that, too.
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