1) Overview of WISMO (Where is My Order) in eCommerce
The journey of getting a customer to visit your eCommerce store, encouraging them to purchase your products, and then delivering a service to their utmost satisfaction isn’t a piece of cake. It involves a lot of processes, which are commonly divided into two stages - pre-purchase and post-purchase.
Pre-purchase processes include attracting netizens to visit your website, coercing them to add products to their cart, and finally helping them complete the purchase. In contrast, post-purchase processes cover everything that happens after the product has been purchased.
Speaking of post-purchase processes, once an order has been placed and shipped, most businesses let third-party shipping companies complete the rest of the customer’s journey. The shipping partners are then responsible for providing on-time deliveries, along with proper tracking facilities so that the customer is always aware of exactly where their ordered item is at what time.
Now although it’s the shipping partners’ duty to keep customers updated with the latest status of their orders, if a notification isn’t sent on time or if by chance a delivery gets delayed, the customer may come back to ask “Where is my order?” This crucial aspect of order fulfillment is what we’re going to discuss in this post.
2) What Exactly is WISMO?
WISMO is a commonly used acronym for “where is my order”, a question frequently asked by customers when waiting for order delivery. It’s understandable for customers to get a little anxious about their packages, especially if there’s limited visibility about their whereabouts.
Most carrier pages don’t provide clarity about order ETA, especially if the packages are delayed. This is where WISMO plays a role. According to research, WISMO calls make up for nearly 40% of all customer support queries, and customer service agents usually spend an average of ten minutes on every WISMO request.
On that note, let’s calculate what WISMO means for a business. Suppose your company receives 1000 WISMO queries in a week and your agents take about 10 minutes per ticket. That’s about 160 hours of customer service time spent just on WISMO calls. Now multiply 160 hours with the hourly wage your customer service agents are paid. That number is how much you could save per 1000 WISMO calls if you’re smart about how your orders are handled.
It’s not a small amount, and that’s why we're here to help you save this money and reduce the frequency of WISMO calls.
3) Evaluating the Real Cost of WISMO
Let’s be honest, WISMO calls can often be an unnecessary expense of time and resources. Unless you’ve got the right tracking tools, you can never be fully equipped to answer a million questions from your customers.
It’s also important to remember that customer service varies from industry to industry and company to company. So it isn’t wise to compare your business with another business. While answering inquiries, you as a retailer need to pay high regard to your customers’ expectations, especially in regards to the delivery. You need to keep in mind that all they want is to be kept in the know and be reimbursed correctly if something happens.
Now let’s look at this from the customer’s viewpoint. When it comes to delivery experience, according to consumers, most retailers are mediocre. This implies that consumers feel that they don’t trust the brand enough and aren’t receiving as much clarity on the delivery as they would like.
What this also means is that bad delivery could cost you brand and customer loyalty. Hence, your business must minimize the number of WISMO calls by providing real-time updates to customers about their orders so that in the long run, it doesn’t become a hefty cost to your company.
4) WISMO and the Pandemic
With the pandemic going on, delivery operations have been severely disrupted across retailers based in multiple locations. Several online stores have had to remove the next-day delivery option and have had to implement strict social distancing measures at warehouses. What’s more, many carriers are finding it difficult to keep staff on board, with people falling sick or isolating themselves. This is why packages have just been sitting at the warehouses, waiting to be delivered.
Due to this unexpected catastrophe, many eCommerce businesses have faced a steep increase in the number of WISMO calls. According to a survey, online retailers have reported that out of all calls they’ve received, up to 70% were WISMO calls, especially during peak periods of Black Friday and Christmas.
To help with the situations retailers have had to hire temporary staff, but despite this, hundreds of customers are left unhappy regularly.
5) An Effective 100% Working Strategy for WISMO
When it comes to devising the ideal strategy for WISMO, it’s neither order visibility tools nor customer status portals that make the cut. The real way to manage WISMO is to put an end to customers needing to ask about their orders. This can only be done by making deliveries more accurate and communication more proactive.
The customers must be provided with clear details of when their package will be delivered right at the time they place an order as well as when the package is dispatched. That’s the solo strategy of offering better customer service and creating a loyal buyer base.
Doing all that you can but still finding it a bit steep to handle WISMO calls? The next section covers a few handy tips to cut down on the incoming queries.
6) How to Reduce WISMO (Where Is My Order) Calls
6.1) Give realistic delivery dates
The thumb rule of business is to be honest, transparent, and realistic with your customers. That applies to delivery estimates as well. Try to make use of delivery experience management software to take into account any possible delays and then give the customer a realistic date.
Due to the pandemic, there can be more unexpected delays in logistics than usual, and thus, keeping the customer informed beforehand will help. Especially during the peak holiday season, it’s best to explicitly tell your customer that there could be delays in delivering their orders.
6.2) Stay connected through it all
It doesn’t stop at a confirmation email once the order is placed; you have to keep the customer informed after that as well. After the order has been packed and shipped, reach out to the customer and inform them of the estimated delivery date and provide them with the order tracking link. Even after this, send out regular updates and if there’s any delay you can foresee, let your customers know so that they’re not anxious. Additionally, in case of a major delay, reward your customers for being patient. This will also encourage loyalty towards the brand.
6.3) Provide real-time tracking service
Ensure that your website has an order tracking page that’s easy to navigate. Once the order has been shipped, send a tracking link to your customers and employ a chatbox of some sort on your store so that automated responses can link the customer back to the tracking page. By doing so, there will be a significant decrease in the number of WISMO calls as it will make it easier for customers to get the answers they seek without speaking with a human agent.
6.4) Branded order tracking system
Take your customer service to the next level by providing a branding tracking experience for your customers. This will improve the overall customer journey and allow you to leverage the post-purchase touch-up points, which in turn will increase sales. You could also run relevant campaigns and promotions on your order tracking package.
6.5) Feature WISMO on your FAQ section
Most customers try to reach out to your business via customer service because they’re not aware of the self-serve order tracking feature that you may be offering. This problem can be solved by including delivery related queries in your website’s FAQ section. This way customers will be able to track their orders and you’ll not have to reiterate it over and over again.
6.6) Equip customer service with the right details
Sometimes, even after providing a real-time tracking system for a package, customers may still reach out to customer service regarding the whereabouts of their package. Thus, ensure that your customer service agents can find the tracking information easily. You can integrate your help desk with the order tracking system to save time.
7) What you should expect from these tips
Once you have followed through with the above suggestions to reduce the volume of your WISMO calls, you can expect the following results:
- Customers will be able to track their orders without your assistance
- They will no longer be anxious about package delivery
- They will feel safe and confident about their packages
- Customers will leave the best reviews for your business and help build brand loyalty through positive word of mouth
8) Final Conclusion
“Where Is My Order?” or WISMO is a question every eCommerce business owner faces sooner or later. While it’s a genuine query from a customer, answering several thousand such queries can be very time and effort-consuming. Moreover, it’s unethical if every customer needs to come back with such a query after placing an order.
Hence, ideally, you shouldn’t let the customer feel anxious enough to ask this by offering them regular updates as well as options to self-track their packages. Reducing the volume of your WISMO calls can save you a lot of money and it will keep your customers happy. In challenging times such as the pandemic, maintaining one’s customer base is a tough task. Nevertheless, we hope that the information we’ve shared and the tips we’ve provided will help you get through.