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Now the customer support who does the email has a huge backlog, the billing department has a huge backlog, the shipping department has a huge backlog, and everyone seems to have an endless pile of work.
All on the cost of the customers, while we usually do everything we can to give great customer support and customer experience.
We already started to use some canned emails and auto responders telling the people about delays in getting back to them. However, this is not enough and as stupid as it might sound, we would need a break and virtually disable our web site for a few days in order not to receive new purchases. But this is not a valid option.
Does anyone have experience with this sort of things (huge processing delays), what is the best way to officially deal with this, to announce it or to get it all sorted out. Obviously the best would simply be to let the customers know, to slow down the complaints and 'where's my stuff' emails.
The targets would be to clearly tell the customers, cut down on complaints and dissatisfaction, but without scaring people away too much.
We are a small company, and this years Christmas has really hit us hard because of some new (low profit) product range we started to carry last summer, without considering the huge workload at Christmas.
Drop any ppc ads.
Put your lowest returning products "temporary out of stock".
Cut off the time you can deliever by xmas by a few days. Increase these if you fall further behind.
Give yourself some breathing space if only in your mind.
Have food delivered in.
Have coffee delivered in.
Create and send some discount certificates for those orders that go out a little late.
Don't bring anyone in to help that will slow you down.
We put a note up on our order pages about not always being able to accept all order requests due to overwhelming demand. We send out an email like the following to those we can't fit in.
We are sorry, but we do not have the resources to accept this order. This circumstance is noted on our order page and, as mentioned there, we have a list of fellow crafters and shops compiled for such situations.
Recommended resources for the type of items you ordered are located at...
We only started this during the last Halloween rush and did get hit with complaints, rudeness and even personal insults by some of those customers. However, I felt better about that after realizing that the very reason we were rejecting those orders before any others was because those customers were exactly that type of customer in the first place.
If you raise prices, you will cut down on the number of orders, but increase your profit per order.
Dropping any PPC advertising will also work, if you are using that.
The best way I found was to plan my day 3 hours on emails - that came in faster than i could respond, 4 on packing etc etc.
I only slowed orders down when I took ppc offline and increased my price, having relatives in to help didnt really cos I had to show them what to do etc etc
Sounds like madness but hell I was glad.
make it obvious throughout the website. If you stop accepting holiday orders, even including an "I saw this information" checkbox will help tremendously.
I wouldn't change pricing because some people aren't just looking ONLY for holidays and would think you are too expensive.
Same with shipping prices.