Reduce WISMO/WISMR and cost deep dive

Contact centre headset

Reduce WISMO & cost, while taking the pressure off your contact centre

Although all retailers (and their customers) are different, many post-purchase challenges are the same – particularly relating to WISMO reduction.

Contact centre headset

‘Where is my order’ (WISMO) and ‘where is my return’ (WISMR) customer enquiries have long been a thorn in the side of ecommerce businesses. On average, we find the cost for each WISMO or WISMR contact sits between £4 and £6 making it an expensive problem to have.

And with online shopping hitting uncharted heights, it’s a problem that risks becoming unmanageable.

Today’s customers expect on demand access to delivery and returns tracking information, and if they can’t find it easily, they’ll be reaching out to you, the retailer.

However, with the right systems in place, these contacts, and the costs required for dealing with them, can be slashed. And that winning delivery experience can be preserved.


Are WISMO and WISMR contacts piling up because customers aren’t being kept up to date?

When the Royal Mail and IMRG asked a sample of customers, over 80% of them reported that not only is tracking important – but that they expect it to come from the seller.

The moment a customer completes an online transaction, they want certainty around parcel whereabouts.

It comes back to managing expectations. A lack of quality communication, paired with no self-serve tracking, means there’s only one way for customers to get their updates – that’s what stretches your CS team.

This is where proactive communications come in. Informing customers of delivery status changes means they’re always in the loop and have no need to get in touch. Plus, post-purchase tracking software provides your customers with a device-agnostic tracking timeline and customisable tracking pages, so you’re always pushing customers to engage more deeply with your brand. The pages handle multi-parcel tracking, can be set up in minutes with no coding, and are available to use from your own domain.

As the WISMO contacts decrease, you can expect to see increases across NPS, CSAT and other CX metrics.

When it comes to the WISMO and WISMR problem, prevention is better than a cure.


Customer Story

George at Asda  partners with Sorted to improve the customer experience.

ASDA George outlet

Is your contact per order ratio too high?

Every contact to your customer service team regarding the whereabouts of an order shaves a little bit off the profit of that order. When WISMOs and WISMRs accumulate to a sufficient degree, profits aren’t so much shaved as they are hacked.

Instead, you could allow your customers to consume fully-branded updates, regardless of which carrier is delivering their parcel and through whichever channel you’d like to speak to them. You can also warn your agents of potential issues with proactive alerting such as ‘is late’ or ‘may be missing’ before your customer becomes aware, allowing them to take matters into their own hands and make outbound contact rather than wait for the phone to ring.

Alternatively, embedding tracking directly in your own app or website allows customers to self-serve and keeps all interactions exactly where you want them.

If the customer does make contact anyway, through CS-friendly management dashboards, agents can immediately identify the status of the parcel.

The pull of putting the power in the customer’s hands by giving them access to their own tracking hub isn’t the only benefit here.

Automation can be used to embed tracking updates directly into your automated comms channels, ready to update customers whenever they ask. For example, if you use chatbots through onsite live chat, the bots could share the link to a tracking page helping your customers without any agent interaction at all.

Keeping contact per order ratio down will ultimately lead to a better delivery experience for both customers and CS teams.


Is your contact centre becoming operationally (and financially) overwhelmed with WISMO and WISMR contacts?

As ecommerce volume grows, so too does the volume of incoming contacts. Plus, the longer a WISMO or WISMR takes to resolve, the more expensive it becomes.


Where customer service agents are forced to manually identify and locate shipments or browse through multiple complex systems to find parcel info, those seconds and minutes spent on each one can turn into days, even weeks over the course of a year. All of it dead time.

To cope with demand, some businesses simply employ more contact centre agents, putting extra pressure on the bottom line.

The far more efficient option is to empower your existing agents with advanced tracking information via interactive dashboards that keep them informed of delivery issues and allow them to proactively resolve escalations or quickly find the information they’re looking for.

This capability, coupled with your customers receiving delivery updates on a branded tracking page, or in a timeline embedded into your app or website, means that WISMO and WISMR contacts will be significantly reduced. It’s good for contact resolution times and it’s good for keeping costs down.


One of our customers saw WISMO contacts reduce by 63% – where WISMO used to make up 40% of calls, but now make up only 15%.

Are customers using a high-cost contact channel for WISMOs and WISMRs?

As we know, each contact has a cost. And some cost more than others.

If those high-resource, high-cost channels are draining time and money, nurturing customers through a more efficient channel is much most effective.

What you really want to implement is what’s known as ‘call deflection’. As a term, ‘call deflection’ conjures misleading images of customers being bounced through different systems by pre-recorded robots or interactive voice response systems that don’t seem to understand. But call deflection isn’t about avoiding calls, it’s about working smarter, not harder, to create a 5* customer experience.

Audio and phone contacts are the highest cost and resource channel by far. Agents can only deal with one customer at a time by phone, requiring long queues at times of high volume, and slow systems delay resolutions even longer, with customers sat in silence or on hold while the operator tries to manoeuvre through inefficient portals.


Is customer satisfaction or loyalty at risk due to poor customer service experience when it comes to WISMO and WISMR enquiries?

You’ve done the first (and arguably the hardest) part) really well – you’ve attracted someone to your site and successfully sold them a product.

It would be a shame to wave that customer off into the sunset before handing them over to carriers for tracking, comms and service. You’ll have lost the final piece of jigsaw and created a disjointed customer journey in the process.

That’s bad news for you and can be worse for your customer as they are left to piece together confusing carrier-branded updates. It slowly dilutes all that great work you’ve invested at the beginning of the journey and erodes the connection with your brand.

You should fully own that connected customer experience. Either leaving customers to pick up their queries with the carrier, or making them sit in a queue while your busy CS agent hunts through various systems to find the answer, simply won’t cut it.

Don’t take our word for it though – four in five customers say tracking is important to them, and they expect it to come from the seller. Couple that expectation with the cold, hard fact that it’s five times more expensive to attract new customers than retain or win repeat business, why wouldn’t you want to instil more brand loyalty?


A fully connected delivery experience

If you’re looking to create a post-purchase experience that reduces WISMO and takes the pressure off your contact centre, you’re looking for REACT.