Shipping is the backbone of any crowdfunding campaign, but it can also be the most nerve-wracking. After all, you want your backers to receive their products as quickly and safely as possible, but there are so many variables that can stand in the way. In this blog post, we'll be delving into some of the most common shipping challenges that you may encounter, and we'll be sharing a few tips to help you navigate them with ease.
One of the biggest challenges is dealing with customer service issues related to shipping. These may include:
- Damaged products/replacement parts
- Missing packages/products
- Address updates
- Tracking requests and confirmations
- Questions about the product
These issues require a lot of time and attention from you, as you need to troubleshoot the problems and communicate with your backers in a respectful and satisfying way. Here are some tips on how to handle these situations:
Have a clear and detailed shipping policy on your campaign page. This should include information on when and how you will ship your products, what shipping methods and costs you will use, how you will handle customs and taxes, and what your refund and return policy is.
Use a reliable and reputable shipping vendor who has experience with crowdfunding campaigns. They can help you with packaging, labeling, tracking, and delivery of your products, as well as provide customer support and insurance in case of any issues.
Create a shipping spreadsheet that contains all the relevant information about your backers and their orders. This will help you organize and manage your shipments, as well as keep track of any changes or updates. You can use tools like Google Sheets or Excel to create and share your spreadsheet.
Send regular project updates to your backers about the status of your production and shipping. This will help them stay informed and excited about your project, as well as reduce the number of inquiries and complaints.
If something goes wrong with your shipping (such as an error, delay, or damage), be honest and transparent with your backers. Don’t wait for them to find out themselves–be proactive and share the problem as soon as possible. Ideally, you should have a solution ready when you share the problem, but if not, let them know that you are working on it and keep them updated on your progress.
If a backer complains about something related to shipping, try to differentiate between problems that can be solved and negativity for the sake of negativity. Some complaints may be constructive and helpful, such as feedback on the quality of your packaging or product. You can use this information to improve your shipping process and thank the backer for their input. However, some complaints may be purely negative and unhelpful, such as insults or threats. In these cases, you can try to respond politely and briefly or ignore them altogether.
Another challenge is deciding how to prioritize your shipments. You may have different types of backers who supported your project at different levels, such as early birds, regular backers, or VIPs. You may also have different types of products that require different levels of production time or complexity, such as standard editions, limited editions, or custom orders. Here are some tips on how to prioritize your shipments:
Consider the expectations and preferences of your backers. Some backers may be more eager or impatient than others to receive their products, while others may be more understanding or flexible. You can use surveys or polls to ask your backers about their preferred shipping order or timing or use their feedback from previous updates or comments to gauge their level of interest or satisfaction.
Consider the impact and value of your backers. Some backers may have more influence or stake in your project than others, such as those who paid more money, contributed more ideas, or promoted more awareness. These backers may deserve more attention or recognition from you, as they can help you grow your reputation and reach more potential customers. You can reward these backers by shipping their products first, giving them extra perks or bonuses, or featuring them in your updates or social media.
Consider the feasibility and efficiency of your shipping process. Some products may be easier or faster to produce or ship than others, depending on their size, weight, design, or availability. You may want to ship these products first to save time and money, as well as reduce the risk of errors or delays. You can also group similar products together to streamline your packaging and labeling process.
So there you have it - some tips to tackle the shipping challenges that may come your way during your crowdfunding campaign. With a clear shipping policy, a reliable shipping vendor, good organization, and thoughtful prioritization, you'll be shipping like a pro in no time. Good luck!