Regarding the delivery delay, in fact, we do not want it to happen and want to deliver the order to the customer with high quality and quantity, but in many cases there is no way. Because there are too many unexpected situations in reality, such as: recent power cuts and epidemics.
As there are many reasons for delivery delays, the solutions and ideas for each situation will be slightly different. Here I will share three situations that I have encountered, hoping to give you some ideas
The first type, the delivery date is about to arrive, but the construction has not yet started.
Some time ago, I received an email from a customer like this:
Please inform at what stage of the production the Goods according to Specifications No.10? When will be the shipment?
Thanks in advance for your reply!
This email was sent about a week before delivery. Due to the lockdown of the epidemic, this batch of goods has not been able to be producted. A few days ago, I thought about telling him about the delay in delivery. But for he always delayed 1-2 weeks on payment and shipping in previous cooperation, so I didn't say it and just waited for him to ask for it. That's how I responded at that time:
We are still in holiday due to coronavirus.
To better control and prevent the epidemic, The government extended the holiday to XXXX. For now, it may take longer.
The goods will be ready at the end of this month.
Any progress, I will inform you immediately.
The advantage of writing this way is to let the customer understand our current situation at the beginning. The second sentence is more critical. It explains the reason to avoid misunderstandings by customers, showed that the difficulties encountered resonated with customers. At the same time, let customers be mentally prepared for continued delays.
Give the customer a clear explanation in the third sentence, and we also work on this date internally. This can also leave room for your own follow-up negotiations.
After the email was sent, the customer responded with less anger. This is also a good solution.
The second type, the delivery delay time is longer
Of course, there are customers who communicate well and there are also customers who are difficult to communicate with. I met such a customer. When I told the customer to delay the delivery by one month according to the idea of the first email. He became angry and said that if you didn't deliver the goods in time, we would changed the supplier.
Many times, when we hear such replies, will we be very worried that customers really change suppliers. In fact, there is no need to worry. Because customers usually have already paid the deposit by this time. If they return the order and find a new supplier again, it will waste more time. So customers often do not do that. All they can do now is rely on verbal threats and expect you to deliver on time or give exact delivery dates. For such customers, we should focus on comfort. We can reply like this:
"Yes,we received the deposit on 31th.Dec. and started the production on 1st.Jan.According to the contract,the estimated delivery time will be 15th.Feb, even including our spring holiday from 23th to 31th.Jan.
But now the big problem is that we can't get back to work and finish the rest.
All businesses are waiting for the government's notice and permission. we predict that this will be extended over the next week,from Feb.10th to 17th.Once permission is granted,we will do our best to deliver your order earlierl!
Thanks for your understanding and support!
Please be sure to arrange your work according to this schedule."
It is well indicated the production arrangements in the first sentence, but not doing nothing like the customer said. In the second sentence, It shows the client that it is not that we do not want to go to work, but that there are objective reasons. The third sentence indicates the status of the industry, explains the current government regulations and common problems of other commercial entities, and gives customer solutions. The fourth and fifth sentences are used to guide the conversation and make arrangements for both of us.
Whether it is writing an email or replying to an email, my method is: first analyze, then judge, then scrutinize, then guide, and finally preset possible response results.
The third type is that the customer is about to place an order, but the delivery date is delayed.
Be especially careful with this type of customer, as you may lose a customer if you are not careful. In order to prevent the loss of orders, my approach is to communicate the delivery date well in advance.
For example, my Brazilian customer wants to determine the delivery date. According to the idea of the first email, I explained the basic situation to the customer and informed the customer that the delivery of the order would be delayed by one month. The customer replies that a month is too long.
I replied to the second email this way:
Yes, we still don't receive the notice from goverment. It is likely that the holiday will be extended for another week. So l made some reservations on the delivery time.
But if we get the notice, we will start the production and try our best to deliver your order earlier.
See proforma invoice in attachment.
Thanks and Best Regards
In this email I continue to reiterate the objective fact that delivery dates need to be extended, while stating that early delivery is possible once work begins. There are two advantages to writing this way. If we deliver early, the customer will be very happy, and if it is late, the customer will be prepared.
Finally, a reminder is that emails do not have fixed templates. We view great emails to learn how to write and how to think about problems. That's how you can grow.