Are You Ready for the Silly Season?

This is our helpful ‘how-to’ guide to make sure you and your team are properly prepared when it comes to shipping your orders during the festive season.

It’s that time of year again, when we expect our favourite couriers to turn into Superman overnight. However, the reality is they’re being expected to scale their businesses by up to double within a very small window of time. Knowing how difficult this task truly is, it’s important for you and your team to implement measures on your side to ensure you are geared up and ready for the busy season ahead.

Here are a few tried and tested hints and tips, on how you can make sure your customer service standards stay top notch during this time of year.

  • Under promise and over deliver: The reality is that courier deliveries will take longer because of the extra volume. It is very important to make sure your customers understand the expected lead times for deliveries, particularly for Christmas presents.  Make sure the information is clearly visible and easily accessible on your website, so everyone knows how long deliveries will take and if there are any cut-off dates.  This will go a long way to eliminate disappointment and reduce the time taken for customer queries.
  • Collection requests in uAfrica: Yes, our platform makes is very easy to submit a collection request to a courier, however make sure that you don’t send incorrect or unnecessary multiple collection requests, as it wastes drivers’ time having to deal with invalid collections as opposed to delivering parcels.  The best way to manage your collection requests is to either set up a scheduled collection request within uAfrica for a certain time of day, or do them manually, once per courier per day.
  • Check The Delivery Address: Before you fulfill an order, always double check to make sure your customer has accurately completed their delivery address, specifically the postal code and suburb name. A lot of buyers have a tendency to add their PO Box postcode to the delivery address instead of the street postcode, which prevents rates being generated on uAfrica and might cause delays in deliveries.  Checking these details might take you a bit of extra time, but doing these checks beforehand can save you time and money in comparison to dealing with delayed, missing or incorrectly routed deliveries.
  • Double check you’ve got the correct waybill on the correct parcel! Then check it again.  This happens more often than you may think, so be very sure about what you are sending out.  A surefire way of avoiding mix ups like this is to write the UA waybill number on the bag or box.
  • Keep a signed copy of each waybill. The waybill is the only proof you have that you’ve handed the parcel to the driver, so it’s vitally important to make sure the driver signs each waybill he’s taking away. If you don’t want to print out so many pages, you can make use of uAfrica’s Manifest feature which prints out a list of all parcels to be picked up by one courier in a day, the driver is then able to check the waybill numbers against the parcels he’s receiving and sign once.  You will keep the manifest with you.

We wish all of our merchants the best of luck heading into the next few months of sales, shopping weekends and of course the festive season.  You work hard to be able to offer your customers the best products and amazing service throughout the year, so keep going, you’re doing great!

If you have any questions about how to do shipping better or have a query about setting up something in uAfrica, feel free to get in touch with our helpful support team on 012 940 1060 or email support@uafrica.com.