How should we inform the customer about the delayed delivery of the factory

2022-12-02|72 views|Development skills

We don't want to have delivery delays and wants to complete the customer's order with quality and quantity. But in reality, there will always be accidents, many of which are difficult to predict. For example, epidemic, power rationing, order backlog, etc.

At this time, it is a test of our thinking and communication skills, because if we do not handle it well, it may cause the customer's resentment, and even cancel the order directly. I will share a case to show how to solve this kind of incident.
Bacho, a SOHO, recently received an order for furniture from an American customer. She gave the order to a manufacturer she had been cooperating with before. Because the previous cooperation was smooth, she did not arrange a third party to inspect the goods this time.
The manufacturer has repeatedly guaranteed that the goods will be delivered on time. However, before shipment, the manufacturer delayed shipment for various reasons, such as power limitation, raw materials price rising, machine failure,etc...
She went to the factory herself because they couldn't deliver the goods. It was learned from the employees that the backlog of orders led to the postponement of many orders to varying degrees, and her order would be finished two months later at the earliest. However, there was only one month left before the delivery date agreed with the customer.
For such events, we can clearly confirm that the delivery will be delayed, even if it is too late to replace the manufacturer. How to communicate with customers?
My suggestion is that we can take two steps:
Step 1: We should fully understand the real situation of the factory production. For example, why it is delayed, how long it needs to be delayed, and the specific delivery time. After confirming these questions, we will set aside a little safety time before giving the customer a reply.
Step 2: You should master certain skills when communicating with customers. It is no good to just report the good news without reporting the bad news, and customers will not believe it. And blindly cajoling is not desirable. At this time, we should think more and communicate with customers from different angles. For example, most customers care about price, delivery date, etc. In addition, customers also care about "product quality".

Of course, if the price and time are not very good at this time, we can only talk about the product quality. However, it should be noted that we should not do anything to reduce our professional level in order to delay, such as telling customers that the quality of this batch of products is not good, and we repeat such words. Such explanation would only be to pick up a brick and hit his own foot.
So we can write in an email like this:
Dear XXX,

Sorry to inform you that we have to postpone the shipment 2~3 weeks later.

According to our internal inspection, we found the surface treating was not perfect. So I asked my team to arrange the re-work immediately, to make everything better.
I take it for granted that quality is the top priority for both of us for running orders. And I really want you to be proud of our items with outstanding performance. So please help to give us more time.

Thanks & best regards,
Although this email can not completely eliminate the customer's grievances, it can comfort the customer very well. Some customers may even appreciate you and feel that you have a sense of responsibility. If there is no accident, the goods should be shipped on time.
Therefore, when we encounter problems, we should be flexible. In the final analysis, doing foreign trade is dealing with people, so we should use our brains to find a way out.

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