Seeking fulfilment and clarity

Continuing with our Twitter research findings, a quick thought on fulfilment…

It’s true that an unhappy customer shouts loudest, and Twitter gives them a potential megaphone to shout about your brand. The single-most frequent complaint about SIM cards on Twitter is when they’re going to arrive, or when they haven’t.

Of course, many thousand SIM cards are successfully shipped every day without complaint but our changing expectations on information availability means that it doesn’t always suffice to accept a SIM card order and offer only a vague or ‘standard’ delivery promise in return.

“they said my SIM pack will be delivered to my doorstep by tomorrow. come on [MNO name] come on”

As e-commerce matures, order tracking with complete transparency is becoming a mainstream expectation and is not necessarily complex or expensive to achieve.  Our SIM-Centric SIM fulfilment solution is quick to implement and has low ongoing costs.  Web and telephone orders, once processed, are updated with dispatch data that can be exported and/or used in multiple ways to keep a customer informed of their order progress.

Delivery tracking, however, is another matter.  For prepaid mobile service providers, the additional cost of a tracked delivery service (e.g. from Royal Mail) can be a prohibitively expensive addition to the cost of getting a SIM card out to a customer.  A “free” SIM offer has already put the mobile service provider at a loss, then taking into account the SIM cards that are ordered but not activated…

We believe that there’s a fine line between order tracking transparency and unnecessary overhead, tracked deliveries will possibly always remain a nice-to-have, but knowing that you can tell your customer with 100% certainty that their SIM pack order has been processed and that “it’s on its way” sets a tone that you provide clear proactive customer communication and lays the foundations of customer satisfaction from day one.

When a SIM card is being issued as a replacement due to fault or loss, a loyal customer is (impatiently) waiting to have their mobile connectivity restored; and with that connectivity now largely seen as a necessity, it will be a period of some stress.  It is a key point of difference between brands as to how they communicate with customers – order update communications during this replacement process are a key opportunity to gain kudos.

It might sound overly dramatic to say that a mobile operator NEEDS to show their understanding of this anxiety and communicate effectively during this period but with growing reports of nomophobia, we wonder how long before we hear of the first lawsuit against a mobile operator for causing unnecessary emotional distress for not communicating the progress of a SIM card order?  Yes, we’re joking… for now.