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How to Start an Order Fulfillment Company for E-commerce Business

Year after year, an increasing number of retailers take their businesses online. Recent data indicates e-commerce accounts make up close to 10 percent of all retail sales. However, research anticipates growth around 15 percent annually in this sector. In other words, the precedence of the Internet has customers worldwide shopping online. So, to keep customers happy, a business owner must ensure accurate fulfillment of orders, quickly, and efficiently. Optimizing e-commerce fulfillment strategies is the key to success. 

To clarify further, this means order fulfillment companies are in-demand and the demand will increase. Below are steps explaining how to start an order fulfillment company for e-commerce business and what to expect in the process. 

What is Order Fulfillment?

Order fulfillment refers to the method that is used to fulfill customer orders. For e-commerce, companies may choose to manage their order fulfillment in-house, while other companies may choose to operate using drop shipping or third party fulfillment. For third party fulfillment, some companies are solely dedicated to fulfilling the orders of their clients (other businesses). This offers businesses the ability to devote more of their time other aspects of the business, while still being able to access data regarding inventory and sales. Third-party fulfillment is often chosen because it decreases costs related to packaging and shipping. 

Deciding Which Type of Fulfillment the Company Will Offer

There are a number of roles your fulfillment company can play. A business owner decides whether the fulfillment company holds responsibility for storing, packaging, shipping, tracking, and more. Based on this decision, a business owner will make other decisions regarding equipment, facility, and staffing. 

Phones and Communication Systems

Most notably, a fulfillment company is a high-tech business. This means there is a strong need to respond in a high-tech fashion. A business owner must understand this is not the place to cut corners. The right access to websites, operational equipment, and phone systems is critical. 

Staffing a Fulfillment Company

A business owner can launch a fulfillment company with two or three people. A business owner will name a fulfillment manager, a warehouse manager, and a fulfillment specialist. The fulfillment center manager should have the ability to make sales calls. A fulfillment manager will also be responsible for walking clients through the initial setup. The warehouse manager is responsible for installing any warehouse management system. Furthermore, this person is in charge of writing all back end procedures and training personnel. 

How to Start an Order Fulfillment Company
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Sales

It is imperative that a fulfillment company makes a consistent effort to market and sell its capabilities. A business owner must focus on sales efforts to add more customers and grow. One method is to use sales personnel to generate leads and then have the fulfillment manager drive the sale moving forward. A larger fulfillment company may need a specialist to come in and provide advice including selling skills. 

Marketing a Fulfillment Company

A business owner must provide a basic marketing campaign to take an order fulfillment company’s messaging forward to the current client base as well as potential clients. A business owner should not solely rely on existing sales personnel to develop accounts. Sales representatives are, at times, reluctant to offer new services to their clients. Because of this, marketing campaigns can prove to be very useful. 

Pricing Matrix For Order Fulfillment Services

Establishing a pricing system for the fulfillment company may present challenges at first. The company’s pricing system must include all services that are completed. Therefore, fees may include storage, customer service, and more. Some pricing options may include:

  • Storage charged at a price per pallet, per month
  • New product set up fee
  • Warehouse fee
  • Receiving services fee
  • Order receipt fee
  • Shipping materials cost
  • Reporting fees
  • Customer service
  • Initial set up fee

Challenges Faced by E-commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses face challenges, which include competition, finding the best products to sell, reaching a target audience, generating traffic, retaining customers, choosing the right technology, and achieving long term growth. Understanding these challenges will help you run a successful order fulfillment company. 

In Closing

In essence, order fulfillment is the backbone of an e-commerce business. The strategy for order fulfillment for customers directly affects everything from customer satisfaction to profit margin. Therefore, a business owner must consider this carefully. Another thing to be considered carefully is scalability. A business owner who starts a fulfillment company has a goal to grow. Likewise, having a plan in place that outlines how you will grow and keep up with the growing needs of clients as well as adding new clients is very important. As a result, providing customers with the best value through order fulfillment is key to an effective operation. Above all, a business owner that helps clients to maximize profits and efficiency is destined to succeed.

FreedomVoice vs Global Call Forwarding Business Phone Service and Pricing

Need a service that provides a VoIP phone number and a number of useful features without breaking the bank? It’s probably reassuring then, to know many different business phone services are available to choose from. FreedomVoice and Global Call Forwarding are two of the most competitive options out there. If you don’t know which company to choose for your business phone number needs, keep reading. In this article, we provide information to find out more about the best business phone deals. This way, you can confidently choose the best phone service providers on a global scale.

The Similarities Between the FreedomVoice and Global Call Forwarding

Both FreedomVoice and Global Call Forwarding offer some of the same business phone solutions. The feature we’ll focus on in this article is VoIP phone numbers. Essentially, these are phone numbers with any local area code in the nation. And, you can use them to reach specific audience bases. Plus, since they route over the internet, they don’t require you to purchase big, expensive telephone systems. Rather, they give businesses the capability of using any type of business phone system. These systems include cloud-based systems, PBX phone systems, and even mobile devices.

Both organizations can provide these numbers with easy installation. And, both organizations offer virtual phone numbers that are easy to use. However, there are some differences between these companies. And, recognizing these differences could save you and your business loads of time, money, and energy.

Comparing the Pricing of Each Business Phone Service

Companies that offer great business phone services, like Global Call Forwarding, deal with business owners who strive for success. To be successful, a business should look for ways to save money on the services they use every day. So, comparing VoIP service pricing is important. Especially if you have a business that relies on making or receiving business phone calls. When it comes to pricing for VoIP numbers, there is a difference between FreedomVoice and Global Call Forwarding.

What FreedomVoice Costs

According to their website, FreedomVoice offers three different pricing structures. The first comes with 400 minutes to use and is priced at $9.95 per month. The second is a plan that comes with 1,200 minutes and is priced at $19.95 per month. With either of these two plans, you can go over the allotted number of minutes. But, the company will charge you an extra 3.9 cents for every additional minute you use. For companies that do more phone business, there is an unlimited minute plan that costs $29.95 per individual user. However, this plan is designed for businesses who have four employees or fewer.

FreedomVoice vs Global Call Forwarding Business Phone Service and Pricing
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What Global Call Forwarding Costs

On the other hand, Global Call Forwarding also offers various pricing packages to choose from. The first starts at only $7.95 a month, which is less than what FreedomVoice offers. This means you can have a virtual phone number for your business for less than $8 a month depending on the type of service and phone number. Furthermore, you also can choose the applications, features, and phone numbers you need. This way, you only pay for what you use, rather than what your phone service provider wants you to pay. Plus, with no hidden fees and a transparent pricing structure, you always know what to expect with billing. And, you’ll never run into costly surprises, like you would with competitors.

Get a VoIP Phone Number for Business Today

Think that a VoIP phone number is what you need to take your business to the next level? Don’t regret your phone service provider decision. Go with the company that can customize a phone service to meet your exact business needs: Global Call Forwarding. When you choose us as your business phone service provider, you can take advantage of our 15-day free trial. This way, you can see if a VoIP phone number is what you need. And, do so without having to commit or even pay a single cent. Furthermore, there are no contracts. So, there is no commitment and you can cancel your plan at any time, for any reason. Finally, take advantage of the best business phone deals available by getting a discount for high volume orders. This means that if you need more than one virtual phone number, there could be even more savings in store! To get started with your VoIP phone numbers through Global Call Forwarding, reach out to us now.

Earning the Trust of Your Customers: Why It’s a Long-Term Investment

One of the most, if not the most, important aspects of the customer experience is based on trust. Customers simply will not do business with a company they do not trust. Today, consumer trust is sadly at an all-time low. This is not due to a single event or even a handful of events, but instead, due to a slow and painful chipping away at the relationships between businesses and consumers. Relationships can be long lasting depending on how you nurture them which is why earning the trust of your customers is so important.

Every time a company makes a customer repeat themselves multiple times, wait on hold for an unreasonable amount of time, fill out a pile of paperwork or complete any other extraordinarily frustrating task, the customer loses a bit of trust in the company. And without trust, there is no relationship between a customer and the company.

Why Earning Trust is Important in Customer Relationships

Many companies are hyper-focused on getting tasks accomplished quickly. There are a lot of discussions related to streamlining processes and finding ways to become more efficient. It all sounds great in theory until you realize that the operational efficiency many times works in complete counter to a quality customer experience. By trying to get through as many customers as possible in a short amount of time, you may increase your volume, but the company is also sacrificing personalized customer support, and this erodes customer trust in the company. Instead of a customer feeling like a human who is able to trust a company to help them solve any issue, a customer is left feeling like a number who is rapidly being pushed down an assembly line dubbed, “customer care.”

This is not the ultimate goal for a business to be successful. Instead, earning the trust of your customers should be at the core of every conversation and decision. Building trust doesn’t happen quickly or easily. A business must remain consistent in the messaging, understand the personas of those in their market, and deliver on promises made over time. When your customers and prospects trust you, they are more likely to invest in your brand. When you have their trust, you are also typically able to command a higher price for your goods and/or services and boost the lifetime value of each of your customers.

Earning the Trust of Your Customers
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Strategies that Benefit Your Business in the Long Run

Here are some strategies in planning for earning the trust of your customers as a long-term investment:

Make yourself available to your customers for questions and concerns. Customers often have questions and if there is no way for them to get answers or they can’t get the answers in a timely manner, they will often go elsewhere.

Offer a product that is reliable. Selling something and boasting about all of the features is one thing, but delivering a product that is exactly what was promised is another thing. If you sell a low-quality product, it is sure to draw negative reviews and this can lead to a break in trust and a decrease in credibility within the market. Putting a product through rigorous testing is a good way to resolve this and ensure you are delivering a product that is high quality, as you have promised.

Other ways to earn the trust of your customers:

  • Be transparent
  • Bring value to your clients
  • Maintain consistency
  • Ensure your messaging is in line with your actions
  • Create consistent imagery across all of your marketing materials
  • Know your prospects
  • Deliver the expected brand experience

Earning the trust of your customers should be at the center of every strategic planning session and every action was taken by an organization because, without trust, a business cannot succeed.

We all know that trust is the precursor to any meaningful and long-lasting relationship. Buyers, ultimately, must put their faith in the companies and people they choose to do business with. Trust is a byproduct of commitment. It is the universal factor that will essentially make or break an opportunity. In mapping out a plan for earning the trust of your customers, you should aim to deliver the right results to the right people. In the long-term, they will trust you and your business and invest in your product and service offerings. Once you have carved out your identity within your market, stay on top of communications and back up everything you say with tangible actions. This is the path to business growth and success in any industry.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business

How many times have you dialed the phone number to a business’ customer service department and been greeted by someone who sounded like they were less than enthused to answer your call? It happens often, unfortunately, but businesses do not realize how much this can hurt them. Just because a customer service representative is on the phone all day does not mean that they have to be bored and sound really unhappy. The proper etiquette and some enthusiasm can go a long way in sounding professional when customers call your business – ultimately giving your business a reliable appearance.

Here are a few tips for sounding professional when customers call your business to help you make each phone interaction with your customers an amazing customer service experience:

Using the right phrase will start a conversation off on the right foot. Beginning a conversation with good morning, good afternoon, or a similar greeting and thanking the customer for their call is a great way to start. Stating your name and then asking them how you can help them comes next. Also, it is important to be friendly, upbeat and act like you love your job while providing the best customer service to them. This can all be heard in the tone of a customer service representative’s voice, as well as in the words that are chosen in speaking to customers.

The Power of Positivity

Positivity is also paramount. Ensuring a customer that you will work diligently to resolve whatever issue they have called about and that it will be solved as quickly as possible is important. If you are not able to resolve the issue yourself, ensuring the customer that you will then find someone who is able to is important as well. Saying something like, “I am sorry that you are dealing with this issue, but we will figure this out and resolve this for you as soon as possible” exudes positivity versus sitting on the phone and telling a customer, “I just can’t figure this out” or “I don’t know what the problem is and I am not getting anywhere with this.” Fill your conversation with positive statements, no matter how challenging the issue is to resolve.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business
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Pay Attention to the Energy You Give Off

Displaying energy through the sound of your voice also goes a long way. Even if it is super early and you have not had your coffee yet, sound like you are excited to speak with them and be of service to them through the resolution of their issue. Even if they are agitated and possibly raising their voice, it is your job to remain calm, energetic, and positive.

Being patient is another principle part of sounding professional when customers call your business. If you happen to ask the customer a question, be patient and wait for them to give you an answer. Do not talk over a customer. Talking over a customer is not only rude, but it may also cause you to miss out on hearing something very important that they are trying to convey to you. If you talk over a customer, they will need to repeat themselves and this will not only potentially aggravate a customer, but also force things to take a longer period of time to resolve. Remember to wait patiently for their full response.

Dealing with distractions in an appropriate way is another tip to sounding professional when customers call your business. There will always be distractions. It is part of life, no matter if you are working from a call center, your own office, a home office, or some other location. How you deal with those distractions is key. Callers know if you are distracted. From the moment you answer their phone call to the moment the call has ended, your one and only focus should be on the customer you have on the phone, their explanation of their needs, and how you are going to go about resolving any issues and fulfilling their needs. It is important to be attentive and helpful and treat the caller in the same exact way that you would want to be treated.

Just as displaying energy and positivity is important, the tone of your voice in demonstrating energy and positivity is just as important. Customer service agents should examine how they sound when they answer the phone. You should sound happy. Practicing with other coworkers in training can help customer service agents to hear themselves and adjust, if needed, accordingly.

Sounding professional when customers call your business is critical to the vitality and growth of a business. Remember that the person on the other end of the call is a human being and they are calling for help, guidance, answers, and to determine if they will invest in your brand or not. Make sure conversations are kept professional, focused, and upbeat from beginning to end.

Effective Problem Solving to Build Customer Confidence

Having your own business is a competitive environment. One wrong move and you could be losing customers to your competition. That’s why it is essential that your business focuses on problem solving to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. But what happens when your company makes a mistake, such as not allowing a customer to return a damaged product or putting your customer on hold for a lengthy amount of time? Your customers may take that very personally.

Building Confidence while Problem Solving for Customer Satisfaction

Your business should be focused on keeping the customers’ confidence because once you lose the confidence of a customer, you can lose everything that you’ve worked for. According to marketwatch.com, Comcast, Wells Fargo, American Airlines are the companies with the worst reputations. How did they get placed on that list? The reasons range from poor customer service, cutting employees’ salaries, cutting jobs, and in the case of BP, it is still reeling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, which tarnished their reputation beyond repair. If you have found that your business is suffering from poor customer service reviews, public relations, or consistency, you could be in danger of losing your customers. When you lose your customer’s confidence, it can cost you everything. If you think you may be at risk of losing customers, you need to inject trust back into the relationship.

Loyal customers can make or break a business because returning customers account for much of your profits. Additionally, they are great for word-of-mouth marketing. Losing the trust of a customer who pays money for your product or service means that you could permanently damage the reputation of your company. If you’ve made a single mistake or just suffered a miscommunication, there may be a way to win your customers’ trust back. If you don’t want to see the end of your business, here are some key tactics to execute to regain that trust.

Problem Solving
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1. Effective problem solving techniques

To begin problem solving, you must find out where the leak is. Once you have figured out the source of your issues, you can take steps to rectify the problems. Sometimes you will get customers that are open about the issues that they have and will voice their opinions directly to you. However, many customers will simply switch to your competitor without saying a thing. You can find out feedback from these customers by asking customers to fill out surveys, following up with your customers after a purchase, scanning Yelp for reviews, and reaching out to once-regular customers who haven’t purchased in a while.

2. Take responsibility

Once you’ve found out where you’ve gone wrong with a customer, it’s time to own up to your mistake. Never get defensive with a customer or blame the issue on something else. Apologize so you and the customer can move on. Think about it, if you were the unsatisfied customer, would you want to the company you’re giving your money to, to get defensive when you contact them with a problem? Absolutely not. Apologizing is always the best solution.

3. Remedy the situation

While an apology is the first step to begin to remedy a situation, the next task is to rebuild the trust. Be sure that you do this by ensuring the problem never happens again. There might be a flaw in one aspect of your business, and if you do not fix this issue, you may have future problems with other customers. Retain feedback while you source out the issues and make the appropriate changes, that way you know that your business is on the right track.

4. Offer the customer something for their troubles

Problem solving issues, so it never happens again may help you to retain other customers, but if the problem was very bad, then you may have to do more to regain the customer’s confidence. Provide the customer a gift along with your apologies such as a discount or a free sample. This little act of giving shows to your customers that your business will go above and beyond for their customers’ happiness.