Are Virtual Assistants Required for an Effective Order Management Process? 18 Dec 2023
The order management process is the fundamental support system of every eCommerce business. Online retail purchases are projected to account for around 20.8% of total retail purchases in 2024. The entire process, from the moment a consumer initiates a purchase until the goods are delivered, is encompassed within the realm of order management and processing. Initially, it may appear simple, but if it is not properly maintained or implemented, it can result in significant loss and damage. This article will examine the order management process and how a virtual assistant can assist.
Comprehending the Order Management Process
The order management process encompasses the acceptance, tracking, and fulfilment of customer orders. Nevertheless, there are numerous additional elements involved. The order processing manager will additionally be responsible for coordinating and overseeing the inventory system, as well as ensuring visibility of deliveries, among other tasks. Thanks to technological advancements, business owners now can consolidate all their information in one location.
The coordination and involvement of multiple departments within the order management process allow for potential errors. As a business owner, you cannot tolerate such an error. Hence, the majority of business proprietors opt to delegate the management of their eCommerce stores, particularly the task of order processing, to economize both time and money. By entrusting the laborious chores to a proficient virtual assistant, the likelihood of mistakes is minimized, allowing your full-time personnel to allocate their time towards other crucial responsibilities.
The essential elements of the order management process: tasks that a virtual assistant can assist you with.
Are you considering outsourcing your order management process but uncertain about the specific activities that your virtual assistants can undertake? Rest assured. This blog area is dedicated to exploring the various duties that your virtual assistant (VA) can perform on your behalf.
Order Receiving and Entry
Depending on the structure of your firm, your virtual assistant (VA) is responsible for receiving and approving customer orders via email, social media platforms, websites, or telephone conversations. This is the initial step in the order management process. Your virtual assistant has the option to manually input the order details or utilize software to automate the process, guaranteeing that all essential information is recorded in a database. In addition, they dispatch a notification of order confirmation via message or email to the customer.
Verification and validation of orders
Upon acceptance of the order, it must undergo validation to ensure the availability of inventory, application of promo codes, special discounts, accurate pricing, and other relevant factors. Virtual assistants perform this task to oversee the business’s inventory status and financial liquidity. In addition, they authenticate the data supplied by the consumer, such as phone number and address, to guarantee the order’s thoroughness and precision. The VA thoroughly examines all orders to detect any instances of fraud, preventing and blocking any fraudulent charges, thereby ensuring the security of your business.
Inventory Check and Allocation
Inventory management is a laborious and time-consuming aspect of the order management process, yet it is essential for the prosperity of your firm. By utilizing the assistance of your virtual assistant (VA), you receive comprehensive and accurate inventory data promptly, allowing you to concentrate on enhancing the efficiency of your organization. The inventory data are regularly updated, and you are promptly notified in case of items being out-of-stock or in low stock so that appropriate action can be taken. Above all, your business will consistently remain operational as the virtual assistant will guarantee the availability of ample inventory for order fulfilment.
Processing of Payments
It is optimal to assign a single individual to oversee the entire order management process from start to finish. Virtual assistants possess extensive expertise in financial matters and are proficient in utilizing digital solutions to streamline payment processing. They manage credit card transactions, process invoices, payments, and other related tasks. To guarantee the safety of both the consumer and the firm, your virtual assistant enforces strict adherence to all protocols, maintains secure payment channels, and closely monitors the payment collection process.
Order Fulfillment and Packaging
Due to the involvement of numerous departments, the coordination process might become complex. Virtual assistants (VAs) maintain regular communication with the warehouse or fulfilment centre during the process of order handling. They collaborate with the centre to guarantee the timely retrieval, packaging, and delivery of the order. In addition, virtual assistants help coordinate the procurement of packing materials, such as boxes and protective bags, to safeguard the products and guarantee the integrity of the delivered goods. Virtual assistants (VAs) also examine labels and packing slips to verify the accuracy of the order and ensure it is delivered to the correct individual.
Shipping and Delivery Logistics
Logistics is another department that virtual assistants collaborate with during the order management process. Virtual assistants assist them in arranging pickups to ensure punctual delivery. In addition, they should investigate client preferences such as shipment methods, delivery destinations, choices for cash on delivery, and cost concerns. They manage the shipment and delivery logistics to guarantee timely transportation without any delays. Punctual delivery contributes to consumer contentment, hence enhancing company credibility.
Tracking of Orders and Status Updates
Are you aware that a significant majority of 76% will discontinue their business with a corporation following two negative encounters with customer service? The user desires to track the order’s location and ascertain its estimated time of arrival. Virtual assistants provide consumers with real-time updates on their purchase status and address any inquiries they may have. They can furnish further details on order shipment, processing, estimated delivery date, and other related information. It provides reassurance to the customer and keeps them informed.
Returns and Exchanges Management
Virtual assistants are responsible for processing consumer exchanges or returns. Virtual assistants engage in communication with customers to ascertain the reasons for their desire to exchange or return goods, such as receiving a damaged item. These factors contribute to enhancing your business’s production and order management operations. Customers receive round-the-clock support from virtual assistants to facilitate return requests, arrange return shipments, and facilitate timely product exchanges.
Customer Communication and Support
According to a Harvard Company Review, business owners dedicate approximately 3% of their working hours to client communication. It signifies that there is a limited amount of time designated for the individuals who are crucial for the expansion of the firm. Hence, companies opt to delegate the order management process by employing a virtual assistant through outsourcing. By adopting this approach, business leaders may allocate their attention to other matters while ensuring that customer service remains attended to.
Order Documentation and Record-Keeping
Virtual assistants play a crucial role in streamlining and overseeing the intricate order management process through comprehensive documentation. Their responsibilities encompass the maintenance and monitoring of current and previous order specifics, payment documentation, client information, and additional tasks. The documents and records are preserved in a highly accessible manner for future utilization. Virtual assistants can utilize data and records to evaluate patterns and provide valuable insights into sales, business trends, and consumer behaviour.
Addressing Typical Obstacles in the Order Management Process
The order management process is not seamless. Throughout this voyage, you are inevitably going to face one or multiple obstacles. Here is a summary of some of these problems and their corresponding solutions.
Constraints of technology
The manual order management process is obsolete. The process is laborious, and imprecise, results in time delays, is prone to mistakes, and eventually results in consumer discontent. Entrepreneurs have recognized that the crucial factor for achieving rapid expansion and prosperity is the implementation of automation. By using order management system processes or customer relationship management software, you can enhance the efficiency of operations across all aspects of your firm.
Tracking of Orders
Customers desire information regarding the product’s location or the estimated delivery time. Inadequate monitoring and transparency of the order result in consumer inquiries, an increase in customer care demands, and a subpar shopping experience.
- To mitigate this issue, optimize the efficiency of your eCommerce platform or application and enable customers to monitor their orders and receive instantaneous notifications.
- To provide this service to your buyers, it is necessary to perform back-end activities such as integrating tracking numbers from shipping providers into your Order Management System (OMS).
- Customers who possess the ability to autonomously access and oversee their orders are more inclined to have a higher level of satisfaction with your firm.
Collaboration and Communication
As previously said, the order management process necessitates effective communication and coordination among multiple departments to ensure successful product delivery. Typically, ineffective communication between these parties results in delays or problems when processing orders. In order to avoid this occurrence, the majority of firms opt to outsource virtual assistants due to their efficiency and expertise in utilizing the necessary techniques and technologies for efficient and accessible communication.
Ability to handle increasing demands and growth
Adapting to sudden changes in demand caused by seasonal fluctuations, market forces, and other factors can be challenging for businesses. A system must be established to ensure the ability to adapt to evolving demands while maintaining flexibility. Engaging in outsourcing for the order management process is the simplest and most efficient alternative. Based on the existing demands, you have the flexibility to adjust the scale either upwards or downwards and remunerate accordingly. Another option is to allocate resources towards implementing scalable technology capable of accommodating the growing number of orders as needed.
Virtual assistants are the ultimate option for overcoming any issues that arise during the order management process. They are essential for optimizing operations and fostering growth and achievement. Engaging the services of a virtual assistant from Velan offers numerous advantages. By offering competitive charges, you may cost-effectively hire them. Additionally, you will have access to a comprehensive range of strong software tools, thorough weekly reports on virtual assistants, and numerous other benefits. Delegate your order management process to external providers and entrust your operations to competent professionals.