Grrrr it's just so frustrating! I wish I could hand deliver everything.
One of the parcels was off to the US - where the increased security measures are adding WEEKS onto the delivery times.
But even within the UK there were problems. Luckily the items that went astray were things I could re-make, and I had the supplies available. So when it was clear after a few weeks that they really weren't going to turn up I re-made them, re-packaged them and re-sent them! Not ideal given the cost of silver at the moment.
The worst thing is relying on a service, and not being able to do anything about it. Selling online means I have to post items - a courier service just isn't cost effective. And I know that customers need to know their purchase is going to get there. The Royal Mail themselves sent me a document showing research that demonstrated that -
- Successful delivery of goods is a key driver to repeat purchase.
- A poor delivery experience can be a barrier to using a retailer in the future and can generate negative word-of-mouth feedback.
After doing a fair bit of thinking, and researching, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing I can do is to send all of my items by registered post. Whilst this doesn't make them get to my customers any sooner, it does mean that they are slightly more trackable, and hopefully if they go astray they can possibly (but not always) be located.
This is now my default postal option in the shops, although I haven't increased the postal prices on existing listings in the shop. I think it will be an extra cost I have to accept, and will add these costs in as new items are listed. However, I know that for some people recorded delivery is really inconvenient - for example if you are out all day - in these cases do email me, and we can sort something else out.
I am also offering Special Delivery for those extra special parcels, which should enable next day delivery (where the item is not made to order!). Fingers crossed the post seems to be back to normal now, and is delivering on time - but I'm not taking any chances!