The language of delayed foreign trade delivery is all here!

2024-01-19|30 views|Development skills

Facing a delivery delay, the customer is anxious and unable to receive the goods on schedule. We are also concerned about losing this hard-earned client.
However, foreign trade work is inherently full of uncertainties, and a slight oversight in any step can lead to delivery delays. At such times, gaining the trust of the customer is crucial. In this issue, let's explore the correct ways to handle different situations of delivery delays.

First Scenario: About to deliver but not yet started production
For instance, the customer inquired, "Please inform at what stage of the production the Goods according to Specifications No.10? When will be the shipment?"
The customer originally scheduled the shipment for December 10th, but about a week before the delivery date, the customer sent an email, while the factory had not yet started production. The factory responded, stating a delay of approximately 3 days from the original timeline.
In responding to the customer, I said, "We regret that we are unable to send the XXX as scheduled. The demand for this popular item has exceeded our expectations, and our stock is nearly depleted. Sorry to inform you late, but we promise to expedite the delivery around 17th Dec. We apologize for this inconvenience."
Although the factory mentioned a delay of around 3 days, in our response to the customer, it's essential to allow for some extra time. Simultaneously, closely monitor the factory to ensure it ships within the specified time. While early shipping may not completely alleviate the customer's frustration with the delay, it can earn their goodwill.
A few days later, the customer replied, "Ok. Keep in touch. Thanks in advance for the answer!"
Since the delay was not very long, communication with the customer remained relatively smooth. As long as we could deliver on time or even ahead of schedule, the likelihood of the customer making future purchases remained high.
Second Scenario: Extended Delivery Delay
Following the same approach as the response to the first email, inform the customer about a delay of around one month. The customer replied, "This period does not suit. We made a prepayment at the end of December, a month has passed and you still haven't even made them? We would like you to think about how these XXX will be in Moscow on March 15. Otherwise, we will be forced to simply purchase XXX from others."
Let's analyze the customer's email. Is it possible for the customer to purchase from someone else? The answer is no. Why?

There are two reasons: firstly, the deposit has already been paid, and secondly, ordering anew would mean uncertain delivery times and prices, which would definitely be slower than this order.
So, the customer has no choice. By threatening to switch suppliers, the customer is testing whether we can deliver on time or shorten the delay.
Having understood this, our next email should not extensively explain the delay but rather focus on comforting and proposing solutions.
"Dear XXX,
I hope this message finds you well. I sincerely apologize for the delay in delivering your order. We understand the inconvenience this may have caused and want to assure you that we are actively working to resolve the situation.
As a gesture of goodwill, we would like to offer you [compensation details]. Additionally, we are expediting the processing of your order, and you can expect it to be shipped by [new shipment date].
We appreciate your understanding and value your business. If you have any further concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at [contact information].
Thank you for your patience.
Best regards,"
In the end, the customer agreed to our compensation plan and the new shipment date.
To avoid situations of delivery delays in foreign trade, the most effective method is for the order processing personnel to maintain close contact with the factory. Stay informed about the production progress and conduct real-time product inspections. This way, even if problems arise, you can understand the details immediately and respond accordingly.

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