By Scott McKirahan
“Got my order today… As always you are soooooooooo fast … I really appreciate that… you are the best!” – Jim F. (San Diego, CA)
“Holy cowabunga Scott, I received my order yesterday, I just ordered it two days ago. Next time, do you want to just throw it over the fence and I’ll catch it? :-) … U R DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!” – Alex W. (Redkey, IN)
“Wow that was fast! How did you get it across the entire country from Florida in just two days? VERY IMPRESSIVE!” – Christopher M. (Tacoma, WA)
It’s tough trying to separate yourself from the competition in the electric cig business. We all have similar products and I’m sure we all try to be relatively competitive price-wise. I needed to find something that I could do that would help to separate me from other electric cig suppliers.
The one thing I noticed early on in this business is how desperate people sometimes are to get their electric cig supplies right away. They had just burned out their last atomizer or were down to their final 20 drops of e-liquid and were desperate. Not everybody is a planner, after all. It was clear to me that if I could get people their electric cig supplies lightning fast, I could eliminate the number one problem I read about time and again on the e-cigarette forums – slow delivery!
Obviously, shipping out via Priority Mail was an essential first step. Of course a lot of companies do that, so that wouldn’t give me much of an edge. I could certainly make a concerted effort to get every order boxed and out to the post office as quickly as they came in but, again, I was sure there were a few other electric cig store owners trying to do the same thing.
The trick, though, was figuring out how to get USPS to process my customers’ packages faster than the other guys do. I’d like to say that it took superior intellect and ingenuity to come up with the plan I use to get packages rolling through the US Postal Serice at lightning speed. Unfortunately, like most things in life, all it really took was a little extra time and effort on my part.
The first thing I do to make sure that the process at USPS goes smoothly, is to have all of my labels pre-printed and on the packages ahead of time. I also take the time to print a scan list of all of the packages I will be shipping on a given day and I wait in line to make sure the packages are scanned into the system immediately at the post office. Most companies just place their packages on the counter, out of the way of all of the customers waiting in line, knowing that eventually, when it is not busy, a postal employee will pick them up and process them when they get around to it. Getting them scanned and in the “out” bin right away definitely helps get the packages moving!
Finally (here’s the Big Secret), I don’t go to my local post office. Instead, I drive a half hour to the main processing facility in Orlando. I guarantee you that cutting out the extra trip a truck from the local post office would have to make to take my packages to the processing facility saves time. That one extra trip from one postal facility to another may be worth a whole extra day in terms of how quickly my customers get their packages.
That’s it; ther’s nothing more to it! Getting electric cig supplies to customers super quickly isn’t really that hard. It does take a little extra time, effort and a few more miles on the car. Now that the secret is out, I wonder how many other store owners will take that extra time. How many will go that extra mile?
Maybe they don’t realize that the occasional E-Mail from a very happy customer makes it all worthwhile!
E-Cig Express Blog Quote of the Day: “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf