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Every e-commerce retailer dreams of delivering a stellar customer experience. A key part of this is ensuring smooth delivery with transparent tracking.

If your business is swamped with order status queries (often called “WISMO” calls), it’s a clear sign your customers are struggling to find the information they need.

In this article, we’ll dive into WISMO and its impact on your business, and share 12 effective strategies to keep it under control.

What is WISMO?

“WISMO” stands for “Where is my order?”—a common query from customers. Research shows WISMO calls can make up over 35% of customer support interactions, spiking even higher during busy shopping seasons.

These queries usually come through various support channels—email, calls, chatbots, live chat, SMS, or social media—mainly because customers want to know when their parcel will arrive. Often, WISMO calls include other delivery-related questions, making them more time-consuming.

What is WISMR?

Similar to WISMO, WISMR stands for “Where is my refund/return?” These queries, though less frequent, still generate significant call volumes, especially during peak periods, causing frustration for both customers and support staff.

“Customer question number one is ‘Where is my order?’”

Susan, Customer Service Manager at ByNouck


How does WISMO impact your business?

Reducing WISMO is crucial because these queries can negatively impact your business in several ways:

  • Customer expectations: According to our 2023 E-commerce Delivery Compass, the average consumer expects delivery within 3.3 days and won’t wait longer than 4.9 days. High WISMO rates indicate your company is struggling to meet these expectations.
  • Costs: Resolving WISMO calls costs an average of €5.50 each. For companies shipping thousands of parcels monthly, these costs add up quickly.
  • Customer satisfaction: WISMO calls frustrate customers, damaging their perception of your business and potentially leading to negative reviews.
  • Customer retention: Worst-case scenario, frustrated customers may stop buying from you. PWC research shows that 32% of customers will abandon a brand after just one bad experience.

Common Causes of WISMO

Understanding the root causes of WISMO is essential to address these queries effectively:

  • Lack of tracking information: Customers don’t receive complete tracking information in time.
  • Delivery delays: Operational issues, weather, or carrier problems cause delays.
  • Non-Deliveries: Packages get misplaced or delivered to the wrong address.
  • Unclear delivery estimates: Vague delivery windows leave customers unsure.
  • Customs clearance: International orders face delays due to lack of customs.
  • Order splitting: Multiple products shipped separately result in multiple inquiries.

12 ways to reduce WISMO

Here are 12 actionable steps to reduce WISMO and enhance your customer experience:

1. Be realistic about delivery estimates

Ensure your shop displays accurate delivery times based on historical and real-time data. Aim for a reliable delivery method that meets the average 3.3-day turnaround expected by customers.

percentage of late deliveries

2. Make sure your shipping and returns policies are crystal clear

Reduce WISMO queries by providing clear and easily accessible shipping and returns policies. Place them prominently in your shop’s header and during checkout. Italian shoe retailer PittaRosso includes links to shipping FAQs on their track-and-trace page, helping customers know what to expect.

PittaRosso tracking page


3. Offer real-time updates and self-service tracking

Keep customers informed about their shipment’s status to reduce WISMO contacts. Consider setting up a branded tracking page using the Sendcloud Tracking API. This gives customers easy access to their shipment’s status, reducing WISMO queries by 50%, as seen with UK-based Sweetie Shoppie.

Percentage of customers who would not order if tracking was not available

4. Deliver notifications via multiple channels

Increase visibility by sending notifications through various channels like email, SMS, and WhatsApp. While email is the preferred notification method for 67% of customers, preferences vary. Multiple channels ensure timely updates through the customer’s preferred method.

Delivery status update channels

5. Simplify carrier notifications

Standardize carrier status notifications. Sendcloud unifies over 6,000 different carrier notifications into one concise system, making it easier for customers to understand the status.

6. Give your customer service detailed tracking data

Even with detailed online information, some customers will still make WISMO queries. Integrate tracking data into your CRM system. This helps support staff resolve queries quickly without switching between multiple apps.

Parcel status milestones

7. Automate first-level customer service responses

Use chatbots and automated tools to handle common WISMO queries. Integrate tracking data via API so your chatbot can quickly provide shipping status information, allowing human staff to focus on more complex cases. Vanessa Wu, a women’s accessories brand, reduced WISMO queries by using this approach.

8. Monitor and proactively inform customers in case of delivery issues

If a delivery issue occurs, inform the customer directly to reduce confusion and show responsibility. Sendcloud’s proactive notifications about incoming returns reduced customer support tickets by up to 75%.

9. Protect your shipments

Insure shipments against loss, delays, or theft to give customers peace of mind. Sendcloud offers affordable insurance options, resolving 95% of claims within three days. You can apply insurance automatically, set rules, or choose manually.

10. Offer same-day or next-day delivery

Fast delivery options meet customer expectations better. While standard home delivery is most popular, offering same-day or next-day delivery is a customer-friendly choice. Fast deliveries are less likely to be delayed, minimizing WISMO queries.

11. Optimize delivery performance

Unhappy customers from poor deliveries cost you more. Optimize your delivery performance to boost customer satisfaction and save money. High shipping costs might also be adding to your woes. The key to optimization lies in automation, analytics, and choosing the right carrier.

“With Shipping Intelligence, we gain control over our delivery process. Getting access to unique carrier performance insights allows us to negotiate better terms with the carriers.”

Alex Formicola, Customer Support Lead, Rosefield

12. Standardize shipping data

Integrate, unify, and centralize multi-carrier data to avoid tracking errors and delivery mistakes. Use intuitive dashboards for real-time views or export data in various formats. You can also send this data to your business intelligence tool or data warehouse to boost e-commerce insights and make smarter decisions.

Real-life examples and case studies

  • PittaRosso: Reduced WISMO queries by 2providing clear information upfront.
  • Vanessa Wu: Uses chatbots with tracking data for first-level queries, freeing up support staff.
  • Sweetie Shoppie: Cut WISMO contact rate by 50% with a branded tracking page.
  • Travelbags: Reduced the number of WISMO requests by 39.2% with real-time monitoring of shipment exceptions.

Delivering more value with less WISMO

WISMO is frustrating for customers and costly for your support team. With the right tools and approach, you can prevent WISMO queries, improve customer experience, and build stronger customer relationships. Implement these strategies to enhance your service efficiency, reduce costs, and significantly boost customer satisfaction.

Interested in learning more? Book a free demo with Sendcloud to see how our solutions can help you reduce inbound WISMO requests by 45% on average.

Nemanja Jovančić

Nemanja Jovančić is an Enterprise Marketing Specialist at Sendcloud. Experienced in e-commerce, B2B, and SaaS, he shares insights and tactics that help retailers, 3PL providers, and marketplaces ship smarter while delivering exceptional customer experience.

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