Keeping open channels of communication is the best means of ensuring a healthy partnership, whether between clients and businesspeople, among co-workers, or between a supervisor and their employee. Within the online marketplace communication is especially important, as the remote separation between online businesses and customers can often lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and feelings of frustration.
The same need to better communicate is mirrored in the relationship between an online business and its independent third party order fulfillment company. These companies have a vested interest in keeping their client businesses happy with their service, for the fulfillment company measures its own growth by the number of client businesses it can accommodate at one time. To help keep everything moving smoothly, the client business should work to keep a constant and honest stream of communication with its fulfillment service company.
Keeping Up With the Inventory
Inventory is the life’s blood of any product-based business, and trusting your inventory to a third party, independent fulfillment provider requires a certain amount of good faith and trust. Monitor your inventory daily, asking questions that you feel are necessary, and don’t be afraid to voice your issues as soon as they begin to trouble you. By making sure your service company understands your concerns, you’ll feel better about the relationship itself. That will further promote trust, and help you both to identify areas of improvement in the provider’s service.
Using The Service’s Other Features
Many fulfillment service companies offer additional features past the basic logistics management, including mail order and customer service staffing packages that allow you to both market your business and more efficiently resolve customer complaints and questions. By using these features, you consign even more of your day to day business operations into the service company’s administration.
On the other hand, these features allow you to develop your business at a much faster pace than you could probably manage on your own. As with the inventory issues, it’s important to ask all questions as soon as you have them, rather than letting the confusion build up over days or weeks. You’ll find the fulfillment company managers are ready to work with you to resolve your concerns.
Communication by phone is sufficient, but email and instant messaging create a “written” record that will help you to keep track of information as it’s delivered. Just be sure that your email and instant message communications are professional and courteous. It’s easy for email and text communications to be misunderstood so making sure that you write in a professional manner will help avoid any hurt feelings or miscommunication.