Choosing the right fulfillment services company can boost your sales, increase customer satisfaction and bring in record levels of sales. Choosing the wrong one can alienate customers and make your business much more difficult to run. Fulfillment services are the most often recommended way to cut the cost of storing, shipping, and tracking products that are sent to customers. Business experts who have been using fulfillment companies for years to process orders, pack and ship merchandise and handle customer concerns have these tips for business owners or managers who are interested in hiring a fulfillment services company:
Test drive the service- Many reputable fulfillment companies have a detailed demonstration video or presentation that walks you through the various services that the company offers and lets you see the company integrates all facets of the order fulfillment process. Seeing how the parts of the order fulfillment system fit together seamlessly will really help you decide if fulfillment services are a good fit for your company.
Ask for references – In order to find out how well the service really performs ask for the contact information of some of their existing and previous clients. Most fulfillment companies will be happy to provide references that you can speak with. There is no better way to know well a fulfillment company delivers on its promise than to talk to customers who are using fulfillment services.
Send in a decoy – Have one of your employees place an order from a company that uses the fulfillment center, or place an order yourself. Going through the order fulfillment process step by step as a customer will tell you if the customer service reps are well trained and polite, if the order process works smoothly, and if the products are shipped in a timely manner.
Crunch the numbers – Compare the cost of hiring and maintaining a staff of employees to provide customer service, pack orders, and ship orders with the cost of using a fulfillment services company. Make sure that you also factor in the cost of paying for a warehouse or storage facility for your products as well as the cost of an employee’s time to manage inventory and order products. For most businesses the cost of hiring a fulfillment company to process orders and provide great customer service is only a fraction of what it would cost for the company to handle all of those tasks in house.