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Our team of Fulfilment Consultants share warehouse management best practice and advice.

Keeping your customers happy with a WMS

WRITTEN BY Paul Mullin /

02 December 2016

Lee Resource Inc. research found that the price of attracting new customers costs companies five times more than keeping an existing customer. This stresses the importance of keeping your customers happy.

Poor customer service can arise from many simple mishaps in the warehouse. Out of stock orders, returns for the wrong item or receiving an item too late are just some of the ways customers can become dissatisfied.

You can ensure your customers remain happy by implementing a Warehouse Management System (WMS) into your warehouse operations.

By implementing the right WMS you will be able to get benefits such as:

Seeing instant reporting on returns

The WMS will allow you to run reporting against returns based on a variety of information, including product type, name, size and return reason.

This reporting gives insight into trends in returns, bringing with it the opportunity to discover ways to reduce them. For example, if you see a particular item being returned for poor fit, you will be able to look into the sizing of the product and see where improvements can be made.

Ensure quick refunds to customers

Customers expect a refund as soon as the item has been returned to the warehouse - and you want to offer that to them to ensure they remain loyal and happy. Making sure that happens is very difficult in a warehouse environment reliant on manual processes.

In many warehouses returns can pile up and become time consuming for the customer services team. This is especially true during busy periods.

A WMS allows you to include barcodes as part of the returns documentation. This means the customer service team can report on returns easily, process refunds quickly and regularly, and make your business all the more nimble for it. And more importantly, it means your customers get their refund when they expect it.

Scan return-reason-specific barcodes

As discussed, this allows you to see trends in the items but also enables you to keep damaged items out of circulation.

With a WMS you can have live and quarantined locations. You don’t want products that have been returned as damaged back on sale, as this will result in a dissatisfied customer.  When the return comes in and is scanned as damaged, the system automatically ensures it will not be returned to the e-commerce platform, and instead placed in a quarantined location.

Summary

A WMS system can reduce customer complaints and see customers become loyal customers due to high quality service. We highly recommend these systems for companies shipping over 200-500 orders a day. However, if you are not near that level yet your manual processes should be fine for now. Just keep WMS in mind when you eventually scale up!

For a wider view of things to consider before implementing a WMS, download our free e-book ’11 things to consider before you implement an e-commerce Warehouse Management System (WMS).'

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