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How to keep your customers happy when shipping overseas

If you’re new to the world of international shipping then it can seem like a daunting place. Unlike the UK, where parcels generally arrive at the destination within a few days of being sent, international deliveries can take weeks or even months. The whole process isn’t helped by constant worries over customs and unexpected fees.

Managing your customers’ expectations

This is the simplest way of avoiding complaints about shipping. If you don't overpromise, you don't risk being accused of underdelivering. Even if experience suggests that parcels may arrive in less time than the parcel company says they will, we’d highly recommend that you stick to the published time. If it's not met, you’ll have an angry customer on your hands and very little information that you can give them.

Similarly, make sure that you're completely clear with customers about customer duties, processing times and other things that could hold up delivery. At the end of the day, all the customer cares about is how long the parcel will take to arrive and how much it will cost them. They don't care whether it's caught in customs or stuck in a snowdrift, at the end of the day, they'll probably blame you if their expectations aren't met.

Tracking

This makes handling complaints much easier. If tracking isn't available and a parcel goes missing, you only have limited amount of information to give your customers and you may find yourself having to send the item again to avoid a long and protracted dispute.

Even if a service with tracking costs a little more, it might be worth paying the extra to avoid the customer service pain that you may encounter if a parcel is lost and you don't have any tracking information to hand.

Above all, it's important to see things from the customers’ point of view when you’re shipping overseas. They’ve paid a substantial amount for goods that may not arrive with them for several weeks. It can be a worrying time before the parcel arrives, particularly if there is no tracking information. Do everything you can to make the process smooth and you’ll be rewarded with happy customers.