What Are WISMO Requests and How to Automate Your Answers?

Julien Marcialis
August 19, 2021
"Where is my order” questions are one of the most common customer requests. Learn how to manage them efficiently to save time and maintain high customer satisfaction.

As an ecommerce business owner, you may be familiar with WISMO requests from customers. 

When this happens starts the race against time. You or your support agent has to look for the order number on your ecommerce backend platform (Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, etc), find the tracking number, paste that number into a tracking site, and finally type a reply to the customer. This process repeats over and over and over again.

The best practice to solve this problem is to develop a strategic plan to manage WISMO requests. Otherwise, you might face the consequences like a longer first response time, reduced customer satisfaction and ACV, and even more.  

Read more: 15 Customer Support Metrics for Ecom Companies (& How to Improve Them)

In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about WISMO, why you should care, and what you should do to automate answers.

WISMO: The What and The Why

What does WISMO mean?

WISMO stands for “Where is my order?” It’s a common question a customer often asks after making a purchase. 

A WISMO request can also be like these:

  • “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, or social media message (direct message and even sometimes through post comments!). They’ll do that if: 

  • You don’t provide an order tracking after they’ve made an order. 
  • 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. 

Why You Need to Care About WISMO

The moment a new customer clicks “Submit” on a checkout page, they’ll start thinking (a lot) about their order. They’ll look forward to receiving the package every day.

That’s why if the customer doesn’t hear anything about their order from you or has to wait too long for it, they’ll be anxious and send you a WISMO request. 

At Gorgias, we’ve observed that WISMO is the #1 question asked to our ecommerce users. It accounts for 15% of the customer requests on average.

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 order 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 compared to 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, which adversely impacts customer loyalty and creates a ripple effect of challenges for a business. (The Northridge Group)
Customer Support - Benchmark Report

What is the Real Cost of WISMO?

Most ecommerce merchants are aware of WISMO, but not all of them understand the true cost of this problem as it slowly sways out of their control.

Fact: the associated cost is too big to ignore. Let us prove it to you: 

1. When the Answer is Automated

Let’s say you’ve created an automated response for WISMO in Gorgias. When a customer asks, “where is my order?,” they’ll receive this automatic answer with details about their order status. 

In this case, what WISMO request costs you is the price of one billable ticket in your Gorgias helpdesk, i.e., between $0.10 and $0.14, depending on the plan you’re using

2. When the Answer isn’t Automated

When you don’t have an automated response for a WISMO request, you need to search for the answer and type the answer manually. In this case, you’ll have to pay for the price of one ticket and customer support agent labor. 

Specifically:

  • Price of one ticket: between $0.1 and $0.14
  • Customer support agent cost per hour: $30
  • Working hours per day: 8
  • Average # tickets answer per day: 20
  • The labor cost of one ticket: ($30*8)/20 = $14
  • What a WISMO request costs you: from $12.1 ($0.1 + $12) to $12.14 ($0.14 + $12)

Imagine you have 1000 orders per month and receive 150 WISMO requests, then you have to pay every month:

  • $21 at max if you automate your answers (150*$0.14)
  • $1,815 at min if you don’t automate your answers (150*$12.14). 

WISMO requests aren’t avoidable. Given the cost of each request, knowing how to handle WISMO should be one of your top priorities.  

2 Actionable Tips to Manage WISMO Requests 

As said earlier, a customer sends you a WISMO inquiry because they’re concerned about their order. Hence, the key to control WISMO is to be proactive. 

Consider the following tips: 

1. 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: 

Source: Lifeboost Coffee

Since the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many ecommerce businesses have set up a dedicated page for showing how they’re handling shipping. They also inform shoppers by displaying the information on website announcement bar or popup. Here’s an excellent example from Go-To Skincare: 

Source: Go-To Skincare

2. Send Shipping Updates at Each Post-purchase Stage

Just showing delivery estimates on your website isn’t enough. You should also keep customers posted with their orders at each post-purchase stage. 

Start with these:

  • An order confirmation email notification: Let a customer know you’ve received their order and will start processing it. 
  • A branded tracking page: Use third-party shipping and fulfillment apps like ShipStation 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. 
  • Packing and delivery updates: Inform the customer when you complete the packaging and start shipping orders to increase their trust. 
  • 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.  

How to Use Automated Responses to Handle WISMO Requests

Customers want to know where their order is right away. They expect a quick response from you. To fulfill their expectation, you can accelerate your responsiveness by automating your answer.  

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: 

  • 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. 

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: 

  • 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.
  • 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: <Status URL of last order>.

Here’s your order number <Number of last order>.

Keep an eye on a tracking email soon!

Step 4: Click Save rule and activate the rule. 

Bonus Tip: Enable Self-service Portal for Order Tracking 

In Gorgias, you can enable the self-service portal feature on your chat widget to quickly resolve WISMO requests. This feature allows your customers to check their order status, tracking number, and shipping details on their own. In other words, you don’t need to chat with customers to give them the information they need.  

Gorgias’ self-service chat portal can help you deflect and automate up to 30% of your chat tickets. Check out this tutorial to learn how to install this feature for your helpdesk

Capitalize on WISMO to Delight Your Customers

Knowing how to solve WISMO effectively can help you reduce customer service costs, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your support agents’ performance. 

As you’ve seen through this post, you can apply the following tips to keep WISMO requests under control:

  • Be transparent and upfront about your shipping policy.
  • Send shipping updates at each post-purchase stage.
  • Automate your responses to WISMO requests.
  • Enable self-service portal for order tracking.

Head over to your Gorgias helpdesk and start implementing these tips. In case you haven’t had a Gorgias account, click here to sign up for free

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