As small businesses have needed to adapt how they operate, or change what they supply throughout the UK’s lockdown, one InXpress franchisee went the extra mile to support their customers’ new approach.
As a small business themselves, InXpress Derby have been able to empathise with their customers, throughout the pandemic. Changes to how businesses needed to operate in order to stay open in lockdown, gave franchise owner, Stephen Whatton, plenty of scope to support his customers as they adapted.
One company, Mulitcolour, sells Danish oil for protecting fencing, sheds and outdoor areas, have seen their orders rocket, “Before we went into lockdown, they were shipping around 30 – 40 parcels a day with us. But since then, as everyone moved to online shopping, they are now processing anywhere between 300 – 400 parcels a day. To help them manage this, and allow them to maintain their own excellent customer service, we arranged two collections, morning and evening, rather than our client having to remember to arrange collection.”
However, Stephen noticed there was a way in which he could support his client further, and removing some of the headache of processing so many new orders in a day. “With more people making improvements to their gardens, and some of their competitors having to close, our customer had a massive influx in the number of people ordering their oil. So, I suggested they integrate their business with eBay and Amazon. Which they did. I talked him through how to do this, to make the integration easier.
“This decision was a huge benefit to him, and has saved our client so much time, mainly because they no longer have to manually create and print labels. Had he decided not to integrate his systems, he would have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of orders, and wouldn’t have been physically able to handle the increase, which would have meant switching off his online store, and losing business.”
A second client, Parafly, contacted Stephen a few weeks ago, to say they were going to start sending out hand sanitiser, and PPE cleansing products specifically for the jewellery industry. As a company their normal business is to supply lighting and specialised fittings for jewellers.
“Our customer wanted to be able to help their customers reopen, whilst also be able to start trading again, after the lockdown. So they had an idea to develop products which would enable jewellers to reopen, with new hand sanitiser and cleansers which wouldn’t damage the precious metals and stones they handle.
“To support their goal, I arranged for preferable rates, so they could ship their new line of cleaning equipment, as quickly as possible. We also arranged a daily collection, so the client didn’t have to worry about trying to arrange collections each time, and could focus on making the urgent items his customers needed.”
As an InXpress franchise, you have the ability to support your customers, and ease some of the burden many small businesses have been feeling. “To be able to accommodate the changes our customers have done, during the pandemic, is a good feeling. I love that our business has allowed us to be the help to keep other small businesses trading.”