Smart Shipping Practices for Small Businesses
If your business derives most – or all – of its income from shipping products to assorted clients, it’s imperative that you put genuine thought into your shipping practices. As any seasoned entrepreneur can confirm, a business’s approach to shipping can say a lot about its customer service and dedication to quality. If products arrive damaged, destroyed or well past their projected delivery dates, the consequences can be swift and far-reaching. Unsurprisingly, companies with reputations for lackluster shipping practices often have trouble attracting new clients and retaining existing ones. Businesses looking to refine the way they ship merchandise will be well-served by the following tips.
Work with Reliable Freighting Companies
In the quest to perfect your business’s shipping practices, a reliable freighting company can be an invaluable ally. Although most business owners seldom stop to consider how vital they are, freighting companies play a critical role in determining when shipments reach their destinations and the condition in which they arrive. However, as is the case with any type of enterprise, not all freighting companies are equally obliging. To ensure that you don’t get stuck with a lemon, make sure to do your homework before committing to do business with a certain company. Not only should the company you choose have a proven track record for client satisfaction, they should be experienced in transporting the type of products you wish to ship. For example, if your business frequently ships computer equipment or heavy machinery, it pays to work with a freighting company that’s accustomed to delivering fragile cargo.
In addition to seeking out dependable freighting companies, you should avoid sticking with companies that have proven themselves less than reliable. Just because you’ve been doing business with a certain freighting company for a long time doesn’t mean you should continue this relationship out of a sense of obligation. While the occasional delivery slipup is unavoidable, you should promptly part ways with any company for whom mishaps become a habit.
Invest in Shipping Monitor Devices
Any business that’s serious about helping products reach their destinations unscathed would be wise to invest in shipping monitor devices. As the name implies, these devices are designed to monitor shipping conditions and ensure that freighting companies are taking the appropriate cautions with your merchandise. Impact monitors, for example, keep track of any bumping, shaking or jostling shipments endure throughout their journey. Additionally, temperature monitors serve to log temperatures and can be particularly helpful when shipping items that are climate-sensitive.
Not all damage that occurs when a shipment is in transit is immediately noticeable. In fact, the effects of transport-related mishaps may not become apparent until long after a shipment has arrived at its destination. This is where the aforementioned monitoring devices enter the equation. The right monitoring tools will provide you, your preferred freighting company and clients with an accurate accounting of the conditions your shipments endure while en route to their destinations. These tools are affordable on virtually any budget and serve to provide all parties with peace of mind.
Accept Responsibility when the Situation Demands it
While no client relishes receiving late or damaged shipments, your reaction to such slipups can make a tremendous amount of difference. For example, if you refuse to accept any degree of responsibility for products arriving late or in less-than-ideal condition, many clients are liable to take their business elsewhere. As anyone with a history in customer service can attest, complete abdication of responsibility is not a good look. Even if a particular problem is entirely the fault of a freighting company, it behooves you to be as apologetic as possible and do everything in your power to fix the situation. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you – and it’s important for your clients to realize this.
Businesses that regularly ship products to clients can’t afford to treat shipping practices as an afterthought. The more meticulous an enterprise is about ensuring that shipments arrive on time and in prime condition, the better their professional reputation is likely to be. On the flipside, adopting a lackadaisical approach to shipping is guaranteed to draw the ire of clients and impact your ability to attract new business. Fortunately, adhering to smart shipping practices is well within the abilities of any quality-focused business owner.