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How To Handle Shipping Delays: 4 Simple Tips

By Last updated on: June 14, 2023

Online shippers face many obstacles in today’s complicated multi-channel world. Knowing how to handle shipping delays will turn customer service issues into a competitive advantage. Shipping delays before and during transit are two of the most frequent problems online business owners experience. Buyers do not like shipping delays; however, it is sometimes inevitable for several reasons. 

Let’s discuss handling angry customers in case of a shipping delay and avoiding negative reviews and feedback. 

Shipping Delays Create Angry Customers = Potential Threat.

Here at Refund Retriever, reviewing and nurturing online reviews and reputation is a daily process. One negative review can lose many more potential sales. Bad customer service interactions are more likely to be shared than positive interactions. Even if the shipping delay is entirely out of your control, here are some tips on handling shipping delays.  

1. Be honest with the client.

Most of the time, shipping delays are due to FedEx, UPS, or USPS. It is out of your control; therefore, supply the client with the correct information. Online tracking updates many times a day, be sure to have the current tracking open when speaking with the client. You might even have to call the carrier or place a tracer on the package to find an exact location.

But what happens if the shipping delay is due to your actions? Maybe it left your distribution center late. Perhaps the wrong service was used; if so, be honest. Admit to the mistake and move onward. Think of a positive solution. The correct answer could cause a financial loss on your end, but it will make the customer happy.  

Shipping Delays

2. Present the shopper control.

If there are options available, give the options. These options might include a new package being sent or a partial refund. Giving a small amount of control will show the shopper that they matter. If the shipping delay is due to FedEx or UPS, provide them with additional information if they want to reach out directly. Empower the client to take action.  

3. Offer additional incentives

Many customers contact sellers with shipping delays or issues for a refund or discount. They know the package will arrive in the next day or two. The whole point of communication was to get a refund, so have an offer or solution ready. A strategy could include a partial refund on the current order or a more significant discount on the next order. Have both options available.

I prefer a more significant discount on the next order. This keeps the current margin intact and creates or promotes another sale and a better shipping experience.

4. Follow up with the client.

Once that package is delivered, reach out to ensure the buyer received the package. A simple email will do the trick. Email automation is easy to implement with some simple tracking software. Also, the email should include your preferred communication method and information on possible return issues. While you have the reader’s attention, add some incentives to return to your site or use this as an opportunity to ask for reviews. Turn that frown upside down.

What to do next with shipping delays?

Shipping delays happen before or during transit. Unless you own a parcel delivery business, there is nothing you can do physically to speed delivery. Therefore, handle the situation professionally and positively impact the buyer’s end experience. Use your resources and transform your unhappy customer into a repeat buyer. Neglecting unhappy customers will hurt your company in the long run. One unhappy customer in the past would tell ten to fifteen. Today, a dissatisfied customer can tell millions.

How Refund Retriever can help with shipping delays

Refund Retriever tracks your last-mile packages and gets a refund for FedEx and UPS shipping delays! Anytime you ship out a package, it’s guaranteed to arrive on time or FREE! We make sure you get the refunds you’re entitled to! Our refund technology and reports will make you a smarter shipper. 

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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