Tell Your Customers What to Expect to Help Them Make a Good Buying Decision and Remain a Loyal Customer
If items are back-ordered, tell your customers when to expect them. Why is this so important? So your customers can determine whether or not they really want to place an order even if they know it will be delayed. If you think this sounds a little counter-productive, continue reading.
Consider this: A shopper places an order in early December for a Christmas gift. When the order is delivered; however, one item is not included. The item may have been back-ordered or substituted. What do you think the customer will do? Return the order and keep shopping? If the missing item was substituted, will the customer give the substituted item as the (possibly unwanted) gift? Will the customer continue shopping (elsewhere) for the rest of the gift? How do you think that customer will feel about that type of treatment? Will that customer be able to trust that merchant for an important order again? Under those circumstances, I know what I would do because a similar situation happened to me. I would have preferred to not place the order at all because I still had to shop for what I already ordered (and was led to believe I would receive), with precious time lost in the process.
A good ERP system can prevent this type of disappointment by letting your customers know what to expect when they order from you. And with that comes the knowledge that they can trust you when they have important orders to place. Your customers will appreciate the extra communication and you will earn more loyal customers.