Supply Chain Woes & Customer Communication (

The scarcity is real, and for most retailers – the occasional backorder went from a low-grade and fairly infrequent problem to major outages, much of the time, and backorders of 3-4 months are increasingly common. Customer reactions range from anger and frustration to panic that they won’t get what they need. Believe it or not, it’s possible to make the best of a bad situation. A brand’s response to trying situations: returns, backorders, and out-of-stocks, can make or break your customers’ perception. So what moves make sense?

First, your customer has an immediate need. So when possible, sell what’s available today (SWAT). Something that can fill that is far superior to a perfect solution that’s available in 4-6 months. You need a reliable inventory system, and a knowledgeable staff that’s empowered and capable to direct customers to the right solution that’s available on hand, or smart website algorithms that can suggest an appropriate alternate product.

But what if offering an alternative product is not possible? Then it becomes about managing expectations, communicating early and often, and empathizing with the customers’ likely frustrations. More at:

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