Deflect WISMO Requests With Self-Service and Automation

Deflect WISMO Requests With Self-Service and Automation

WISMO (where is my order?) is the most common question in ecommerce, accounting for 18% of incoming requests on average, according to Gorgias data. 

While WISMO requests are common, too many of them signal an un-optimized customer experience and cause real consequences:

  • Longer first response times for all requests, due to a cluttered inbox of WISMO requests
  • Frustrated customers that don’t want to wait for an answer to this simple questions
  • Overloaded customer service teams who don’t have energy for more important questions 

By developing a strategic plan to manage WISMO requests that includes automation and self-service resources, ecommerce businesses can cure overflowing inboxes and provide better customer experiences. 

Below, learn how to develop your own strategy to stop WISMO requests before they ever turn into support tickets.

The what and the why of WISMO

What is WISMO?

WISMO is an acronym that stands for “Where is my order?” It’s a common question customers often ask after making a purchase. 

The answer to this question depends on the status of the customer’s order:

  • Order received, not yet shipped
  • Order shipped, in transit
  • Order delivered
  • Order lost
What are where is my order (WISMO) requests?

Common WISMO requests along the customer journey 

WISMO queries can look like…

  • “Where is my package?”
  • “Why hasn’t my order arrived?
  • “When will you ship my order? I haven’t received it.”
  • “What happened to my order?”
  • “Give me updates about my order.”
  • “Have you lost my order?”
  • “I’m still waiting for my order.”
  • “Please ship my order as quickly as possible.”
  • “I need my order to arrive today.”

A customer may reach out to you with a WISMO inquiry via phone, email, SMS, live chat, chatbot, or social media (direct message or through post comments). However, customers tend to reach out only if: 

  • You don’t provide a confirmation email with tracking information after purchases
  • They don’t know the estimated delivery date
  • They have issues with tracking their order using the code you’ve provided
  • The shipping date has passed or their order never arrived (without an update)


Why you should care about WISMO

The moment a new customer clicks “Submit” on a checkout page, they’ll start thinking (a lot) about their order. According to Forbes, the average customer checks the status of their order 4.6 times.

If a customer doesn’t hear anything about their order from you or has to wait too long for an update, they’ll likely get anxious and send you a WISMO request. 

Apart from that, there are additional reasons you should pay attention to WISMO calls: 

  • 33% of consumers across all markets have made a complaint to a retailer about delivery. Approximately 69% say the ability to track orders is one of the top three considerations when buying a product online. (Metapack)
  • 2 out of 5 US online customers say they are much more likely to buy when they have visibility into delivery dates in advance. As for delays, 70% of customers are less likely to shop with the retailer again if an item is delayed and the retailer fails to inform them about the delay. (Forrester and Bizrate Insights)
  • 83% of customers said convenience is more important now than 5 years ago. They want convenience in finding and researching products, comparing prices, checking inventory and shipping methods, and more. (National Retail Federation)  
  • 73% of customers will consider switching to a competitor after one negative customer service experience, adversely impacting customer loyalty and creating a ripple effect of challenges for a business. (The Northridge Group)

What is the real cost of WISMO?

Most ecommerce merchants are aware of WISMO and the support costs associated with handling tickets, but not all of them understand the true cost of leaving all WISMO requests to a human. 

What is the cost of WISMO requests?

1) When a human agent responds to the WISMO request

When customers send WISMO requests to your human team, you’ll end up paying the most due to the cost of a human agent searching for the answer and responding manually. In this case, you’ll have to pay for the price of one ticket and customer support agent labor, which comes out to an estimated $12. 

Here’s the math:

  • Price of one ticket: Between $0.18 and $0.40
  • Customer support agent cost per hour: About $30
  • Working hours per day: 8
  • Average # tickets answered per day: 20
  • The labor cost of one ticket: ($30*8)/20 = $14
  • What a WISMO request costs you: From $12.18 ($0.18 + $12) to $12.40 ($0.40 + $12)

Imagine you have 1,000 orders per month and receive 150 WISMO requests. Each month, you’re paying $1,860 (150*$12.40)  just to answer questions about order status.

Additionally, a queue full of WISMO tickets also means your team has less bandwidth and time to respond to frustrated customer emails and resolve priority tickets (like pre-sales questions or questions from VIP customers).

2) When you answer the ticket with automation

Let’s say you’ve created an automated response for WISMO in Gorgias using a Rule, or an automatic reply with a helpdesk like Gorgias. When a customer asks, “Where is my order?,” they’ll receive an automatic answer with personalized details about their order status without any human intervention. 

Automated responses to WISMO requests.

In this case, what WISMO request costs you is the price of one billable ticket in your Gorgias helpdesk, which is between $0.18 and $0.40, depending on your plan.

Most brands wince at the words “automated answer,” and for good reason. Some brands overuse automation, providing a frustrating customer experience. But customers would much rather have this information instantly available than wait for a “human touch.” And if your human agents spend all their time on these simple questions, they won’t have time or energy for tickets that actually need a human touch.

Jewelry brand Jaxxon has found success implementing automation into its customer support: 

“I was very apprehensive about using automation, but we're really liking it! I've tested it out myself as if I'm a customer, and it's really a smooth process.”

— Caela Castillo, Director of Customer Experience at Jaxxon

3) When the customer gets an answer via self-service 

This is the cheapest option for your business and the most convenient option for your customers.

When you’re able to deflect WISMO queries with self-service, your cost will be $0! If you can direct people to real-time order tracking in your chat widget, Help Center, or FAQ page, you ensure that customers get an answer before a ticket gets created and your support team can focus on the people with more complicated issues. 

Check out this video to learn how to provide order tracking (and more) in chat to customers with the Gorgias Automation Add-on:

But wait, is automating responses good for CX?

When people ask for a status update on an order, they’re looking for a simple information exchange — not friendly conversation. Most likely they’re looking for an immediate answer without having to type up an email and wait for a response. 

If your agents are busy responding to simple WISMO tickets, they won’t be available to provide the human touch on tickets that actually need it. Plus, customers can always ask follow-up questions via email, chat, or phone if they really need more information.

4 ways to reduce WISMO requests

Most customers send in a WISMO inquiry because they’re concerned about their order. The best thing that customer service teams can do to reduce the number of these requests is to provide order status information proactively

Reduce WISMO requests

1. Enable a self-service portal for order tracking 

In Gorgias, you can enable the self-service portal feature on your chat widget and Help Center to quickly resolve WISMO requests. This feature allows your customers to check their order status, package tracking number, and shipping details on their own. They can also request a cancellation or return, and report issues about their order — all without having to type up a message.

Reduce WISMO requests with self-service in the chat widget.

This strategy has proven effective for the Jaxxon team. “Chat used to be a support tool for repetitive questions and problem solving,” says Caela. “But now self-service takes care of that for us. Within a month of launching self-service, we’ve seen that our live chat (billable chat tickets) went down by 17%.”

Businesses can also provide this self-service order tracking via a help center. For example, shoe brand ALOHAS offers a “Manage your orders” section at the top of its help center with Gorgias.

Reduce WISMO requests with self-service in a Help Center

Check out this tutorial to learn how to install this feature for your helpdesk

2. Automate shipping updates at each post-purchase stage

Just showing delivery estimates on your website isn’t enough. You should also keep customers posted on their order fulfillment status at each post-purchase stage to ensure a smooth delivery process and a positive delivery experience. You can automate delivery update emails within Shopify if you have a Shopify store.   

Order confirmation emails.
Source: Princess Polly

Start with these:

  • Send an order confirmation email notification: Let a customer know you’ve received their order and will start processing it. 
  • Provide a branded tracking page: Use third-party shipping and fulfillment apps like AfterShip to create a branded tracking page. Doing this is a great way to control the number of WISMO requests, create a better order tracking experience, and maintain your brand consistency. 
  • Send packing and delivery notifications: Inform the customer when you complete the packaging and start shipping orders to increase their trust. 
  • Send delay updates: If there is any delivery delay, tell your customer. Being proactive and giving an honest update will keep them satisfied with your post-purchase experience

📚Read more about how to optimize your customer experience to deflect WISMO tickets and generate revenue.

3. How to use automated responses to handle WISMO requests

If customers do send you a message about the status of their order, they expect a quick response from you. To fulfill their expectation, you can accelerate your responsiveness by using customer service automation to deliver an immediate response.

In Gorgias, you can create automated responses for WISMO requests no matter if order tracking is available or not. Here’s how:  

1. When Tracking is Available

Step 1: Go to Settings > Rules > click Create a new rule that will send an automated response to your customer.  

Step 2: Do the following: 

Rule to identify WISMO requests.
  • Select WHEN -> Ticket created as a trigger. 
  • Click THEN, and select an IF statement. 
  • Select message intents -> name -> contains all of -> shipping/status. 
  • Click again on the IF button, and select AND. 
  • Choose date of last order (Shopify variable) -> Less than -> 20 days ago.
  • Click again on the IF button, and select AND. 
  • Choose last order tracking number -> IS NOT EMPTY.

Step 3

  • Click THEN, select Set Status as an action > closed to automatically close all tickets with this subject. 
  • Click THEN again, select Add tags > type Order status/auto-reply.
  • Click THEN again -> choose Reply to customer as an action -> type your message. Your answer can be like this:

Hey {{customer first name}},

Get excited! Your order {{number of last order}} is on its way to <address 1, address 2, Zip code, city, province>.

Here is the latest: {{ Tracking URL of last order }}

{{ Tracking number of last order }}

Let us know if you have any other questions. 

WISMO request response when tracking information is available.

Step 4: Click Save rule and activate the rule. 

2. When Tracking isn’t Available

Sometimes, the delivery status for orders on the order status page hasn’t been updated. Reasons can be you haven’t shipped the order yet, or your courier doesn’t support real-time tracking.

In this case, you can create the following rule to send an automated answer to your customer’s WISMO request.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Rules > click Create a new rule that will send an automated response to your customer.  

Step 2: Do the following: 

WISMO request when tracking information is not available.
  • Select WHEN > Ticket created as a trigger. 
  • Click THEN, and select an IF statement. 
  • Select message intents -> Name -> Contains all of -> shipping/status. 
  • Click again on the IF button > AND. 
  • Choose last order fulfillment status -> IS NOT > fulfilled.
  • Click again on the IF button > AND > message intents > DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY OF > type exchange/request and order/change.

Step 3

  • Click THEN, select Set Status as an action > closed to automatically close all tickets with this subject. 
  • Click THEN again, select Add tags > type Order status/auto-reply.
Tag WISMO tickets.
  • Click on THEN again -> choose Reply to customer as an action -> type your message. 

Your answer can be like this:

Hey [customer first name],

Working hard to fulfill your order, please check here for now: .

Here’s your order number .

Keep an eye on a tracking email soon!

WISMO response when tracking information is not available.

Step 4: Click Save rule and activate the rule. 

If you subscribe to the Automation Add-on, you’ll get access to autoresponders managed by the Gorgias team, so you won’t have to set these Rules up yourself:

4. Be Transparent and upfront about your shipping policy 

A clear shipping policy helps you proactively set the right customer expectations around shipping times and costs. It’s also useful to reduce support tickets because customers can find the answers to their shipping questions themselves. 

When you maintain an open dialogue with customers, you give them more confidence to buy from you. They’ll trust you, talk about you on social media, and keep coming back to your store. 

Your shipping policy should include information about order processing time, estimated delivery time, potential service interruptions, and disclaimer. You can display this policy on product detail pages, cart pages, FAQs page, or help center, for example: 

Shipping policy example 1
Source: Lifeboost Coffee

Since the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain issues, many online stores have set up a dedicated page for showing how they’re handling shipping. They also inform shoppers by displaying the information on a website announcement bar or popup. 

Here’s an excellent example from Go-To Skincare: 

Shipping policy example 2.
Source: Go-To Skincare 

You should also always link to an order tracking portal within all order confirmation emails so that customers can self-serve checking in on order status. 

And, as an alternative to sharing the order number front and center in the confirmation email, consider putting “track order” that links to your self-service order tracking portal. You should still share the order number, but provide an even more prominent call to action to track orders on your website rather than your carrier's (like FedEx or USPS). 

Automate WISMO to save time for higher-impact projects

Proactively solving for WISMO requests with automation and self-service can help you reduce customer service costs, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your support agents’ performance. That was the case for the ALOHAS team. 

“Since we started to fully leverage Automation add-on, overall, 56% of chat tickets are handled by self-service.”

— Annalisa Micalizzi, Manager of Global Customer Service at ALOHAS

Once agents are, they can start reaching out to live shoppers to unblock sales, proactively DM customers to bring social traffic to the website, or a myriad of other revenue-boosting CX activities.

Ready to outgrow WISMO with Gorgias? Claim your demo or start a free trial.

Frequently asked questions

Jordan Miller
The customer service platform built for ecommerce brands

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