How Retailers and Fulfillment Providers Work Together to Deliver Perfect Holiday Gifts
3. Be in constant communication. Consistent, daily communication between retailers and fulfillment partners is a must, especially during the holidays. To minimize reaction time, fulfillment providers need to be kept in the loop regarding daily trends or sales that have the potential to create significant spikes in order volume. The rule of thumb is that it's better to communicate too much rather than too little. A lack of communication and coordination can easily create a rapid influx of disappointed and disgruntled customers.
4. Be cognizant of shipping deadlines. Retailers and fulfillment providers need to understand carrier rules and agree on the shipping methods that will be used at various times in the holiday sales cycle. With advance planning, retailers can communicate shipping deadlines to customers on the front end and ensure that the third-party logistics provider is prepared to deliver all holiday purchases on time.
Unfortunately, there's no way to inoculate your brand against isolated customer emergencies during the holiday season. When these incidents occur (and they will), it's important to train your team to do whatever it takes to meet customer expectations.
For example, a few years ago one of Dotcom Distribution's clients, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, experienced a customer complaint involving a holiday delivery. Although the problem wasn't on Dotcom Distribution's end, the complaint eventually made its way to the inbox of the CEO of SiriusXM. Noticing that the order address was located just a few towns away, Dotcom Distribution Executive Vice President Vic Ricci donned a Santa hat and personally delivered the order to the customer's home.
Although it sounds extreme, ultimately that's what the holiday season is about for retailers — going the extra mile to satisfy your customers and make lasting impressions through the delivery of memorable customer experiences.
Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.