I've recently realised that I have buying my clothes from the same Australian designer for almost 10 years! A decade! Long time to be buying same brand of clothing, right? I've considered my loyalty towards the brand and have begun to question am I loyal or am I addicted or are they the same thing?
Anyway, I really like the so so soft organic cotton they use and the quality of the garments... BUT what i've noticed is that while I love the product I actually love the experience MORE!
Obviously their website is spot on, the PR is awesome but it's the 'cloud-like' trip down to the post office is when it all starts for me. I know exactly who the package is from and YES! I feel like a their best girl walking out with it. When I get home I'll wait for a spare baby-free ten minutes which i'll then sit down to open it my package! Everything from the quality white paper bag, crisp white tissue paper, matt black sticker seal, the smell... everything seriously I love...can't fault any of it.
Even though my earrings are a far cry from their clothing in terms of packaging options I have always endeavoured to make everyone of my customers feel like THEY are my number one girl (because honestly, they really really are).
My tips on delivering the rockstar treatment:
1. Firstly, think about and research all your packaging and postage options. Remember Australia Post actually charges you an astronomical price to take and lose your packages somewhere in the stratosphere without any rhyme or reason so my best advice is to get savvy in anyway you can.
There is a massive jump in price from large letter to parcel - $2 compared to nearly $8 so if you can package your product super flat (20mm) do it!
Buy your packaging boxes and satchel from eBay - save yourself tons of money by not buying them from the Post Office.
The less you charge for shipping the more orders you'll receive, guarantee. I have never met anyone who actually enjoys paying shipping and people will actively look for same product but with free shipping elsewhere. So if you can, don't charge it.
2. Common courtesy of course. Always send an order and shipping confirmation email and if your products calls for it - a follow up email. Try make these emails as personable as possible and not like they've just been spat out automatically from a ugly computer. One word: COLD
To cover your butt if Australia Post does lose the customers package always make the customer aware that you have personally hand delivered their package to Australia Post Office and that on the odd occasion they have lost packages but they (the customer) are free to contact you at anytime to raise any concern. Better to warn them straight up - makes them feel confident and you can relax a little knowing you have crossed your t's.
3. All in the details! Ok - actually packing it up! Get creative and unique but stay crisp and professional while keeping a personal touch. Keep colour scheme true to your brand and make sure the product is protected whilst in transit!
Tissue paper is always a nice touch and reasonably cheap. Ribbon can get expensive but find other type of ties to use. And perhaps a professional printed sticker with your logo? I think the main idea is to keep is professional as possible.
4. If you have time to write a "love letter", do it! A little personal note which includes their name and your's and perhaps something nice about their selection will make them feel like a person and not an order number. Once your business grows you may find this impossible from a time perspective but having a professionally printed 'thank you' card will still work a treat especially if you just sign it with a kiss.
5. It's great to assume your customer will LOVE your product and the experience so jump on that band wagon straight away and offer them the next thing.. My customers are SO loyal I offer them an extra 5-10% off all their consecutive orders - they have a win and I have a win and they are already thinking about their next purchase while opening their first!
Be different! Perhaps offer free shipping or a referring a friend discount or something totally refreshing for them that is really nothing to you.
6. You can not just deliver, you really truly have to go above and beyond the customers expectations. What else can you include in the package that costs nothing or very little to you, has substance and is totally not what they expecting? Your options are endless! Go crazy and again do your research and learn all your options.
Think of something they can either use or enjoy. Perhaps something they can touch and hold or keep? Something that will remind them of your brand. This can actually be really fun and keeps you in mind for when they want to spend money again.
Lastly, there are 1000's of business out there selling the same thing you are but this does not matter. Competition is good. Keeps us on our toes. All you need to do is make sure the experience you are selling is like no other.
Always have in the back of your mind - its not about the product it's all about the experience you can give to your customer. They will always remember the way you made them feel.