“In the booming eCommerce market of Southeast Asia’s Vietnam, the cash on delivery / collect on delivery (COD) business model – though the most convenient for Vietnamese e-Commerce consumers due to their “see it and touch it before purchasing” culture – is accompanied by significant pain points that hinder the successful completion of seller-consumer eCommerce sales transactions; Callnovo’s expert localized customer service within the Vietnamese language is able to help cross-border eCommerce sellers minimize the risks accompanied by the specific COD pain points so that they may successfully increase their transaction completion rates which guarantees successful sales growth within the Vietnamese market.”
Cash on Delivery: its Significance within the Vietnamese Market
Within Asia, Eastern Europe, and the subcontinent of India, cash on delivery – also known as collect on delivery or payment on delivery – is a preferred logistics model amongst global eCommerce sellers for multiple reasons; within the eCommerce market of Southeast Asia’s Vietnam specifically, COD is a vital payment option because, culturally-speaking, the Vietnamese people do not place a high level of trust in the commerce and e-Commerce sales industries. Vietnamese consumers like to have the option of being to inspect the quality of brands’ products before completing transactions with their payments – so, they like to pay in cash in order to seal the deal – but, only after being able to see the product. This truth is actually very significant from an eCommerce perspective; ever since 2017, it has been estimated that up to 85% of Vietnamese e-Commerce consumers give or take prefer to pay for goods via cash – which is a relatively high percentage given the number of eCommerce customers that purchase products from e-Commerce consumers per year. In consideration of this, COD is in fact a relatively important payment method because it allows eCommerce customers the freedom of being able to see the products that they have ordered before having to commit to payment for the products and before having to finalize the sales transaction.
Cash on Delivery: its Pain Points within the Vietnamese Market
Within the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam’s eCommerce market, there are a lot of disadvantages when it comes to the e-Commerce COD logistics model – especially when it comes to ensuring the completion of a sales purchase; such pain points can be a major risk for both international and national eCommerce sellers because they can actually cause eCommerce companies financial losses if not properly dealt with. Some of the major disadvantages to the e-Commerce COD logistics model are:
- The Risk of Product Refusals: Vietnamese eCommerce customers do not enter a binding agreement with global eCommerce sellers until payment is received and a purchase is completed which can cause problems for cross-border eCommerce companies if the product is refused; since eCommerce sellers, in many cases, have already shipped the item, financial losses can incur during logistic operations.
- The Risk of a Lack of Available Payment: Along with what was mentioned above, often times delivery can take between 7-14 days – it is normally not quick – so, such a lapse in the actual delivery time can cause customer issues because it is possible that the eCommerce customer – upon arrival of the ordered product – doesn’t have the money on hand at the moment to pay for the brand’s good. Whenever that happens, products may either be returned until payment is received – or, there may be an obstructed cash flow since payment hasn’t been received yet.
- Fraudulent Customers: Another risk that so often is a reality – no matter the global eCommerce market and of which even cross-border e-Commerce sellers selling products within the Vietnamese market are susceptible – is the dealing with of fake customers. Sometimes, global eCommerce businesses will run into fraudulent activities from the customer’s end which impede a product’s sale because the customer isn’t real or the customer has provided fake information; as happens all too often, products are then shipped back to where they came from or maintained as an extra inventory item that is waiting for a re-order – all because no authentic information has been provided by the customers.
- The Addition of Extra Charges: When cross-border e-Commerce companies choose to offer to their eCommerce customers COD as a viable payment method, shipping partners must be hired that are willing to deliver products to customers via the logistics model; not only can it be difficult to find shipping partners that deliver via COD – but, there are also additional charges that sellers have to pay in order to take advantage of each shipping partner’s services.
How to Reduce the Risks Associated with the COD Logistics Model
The Importance of an Outsourced Contact Center’s Localized Customer Service
Global e-Commerce businesses that have already integrated into or have been looking to integrate into the Vietnamese e-Commerce sales market are able to successfully minimize the risks that are associated with the COD logistics model’s pain points by utilizing localized customer service in the Vietnamese language that can reduce the express rejection rate or increase the sign-off rate when it comes to the completion of cash transactions; since hiring a 24/7/365 localized customer support team in-house is an expensive process that incurs extremely high operating costs, it is best to hire an outsourced customer service call center that can provide such an expert team at a low cost and that can also ensure that eCommerce businesses and corporations can provide multilingual (for example, Vietnamese, English, Spanish, Mandarin / Cantonese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese – amongst others) and omnichannel customer service at all times regardless of the time zone. Callnovo Contact Center has the expert localized customer service team that natively speaks the Vietnamese language, as well as the state-of-the-art technology – such as our advanced and fully-customizable Global Omnichannel SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform – to help eCommerce sellers overcome the obstacles that prohibit the successful closing of eCommerce sales transactions via use of the COD eCommerce logistics model; our skilled customer service team’s representatives can ensure:
- the successful setting up of delivery appointments that guarantee that customer orders reach e-Commerce customers only after a personal appointment has been setup to arrange the delivery,
- the screening of consumer orders, as well as the authentication of the order information, to correctly verify that each e-Commerce order was placed by a real customer and to also verify that the shipping information is correct,
- the successful communication of delivery appointments to other omnichannel communication and telecom platforms (such as phone calls, SMS messaging, live chat with conversational AI integration, email, social media, etcetera) in order to make sure that all eCommerce customers receive confirmation of the shipment’s delivery beforehand,
- the relay of detailed information regarding rejected orders to every eCommerce seller’s headquarters so that each company can accurately grasp any important and necessary data based on market feedback that can allow them to either employ countermeasures rapidly or optimize the adjustment of their overseas COD business processes, and
- the modest up-selling or cross-selling of related products which can multiply e-Commerce sales.
Case Highlight: the “H” Brand
Please note: Our confidentiality agreement with this specific client
does not permit us to provide the client’s actual name.
Callnovo’s “H” brand – a successful affiliate marketing business that refers baby care, beauty and health, clothing, earphones, diet, skin care, and weight loss products, as well as others, from various eCommerce sellers to their eCommerce consumers throughout mainly Asian and European geographic areas such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Romania, Italy, and Spain via Facebook Ads and also Instagram – has been collaborating with our outsourced customer support center’s localized Vietnamese customer service team in order to minimize the dangers that prohibit the successful closure of sales transactions via the COD model. Since the “H” brand’s business also provides collect on delivery services for the daily necessity products that the eCommerce sellers that they provide affiliate marketing to sell throughout Vietnam, they have come to Callnovo for help with ensuring the smooth delivery of their sellers’ products so that there are no financial losses due to any missed deliveries, customers changing their minds about the products that they have ordered, or customers not having money available at the time of payment. In accordance with the operations that have been mentioned above, our skilled customer service representatives (CSRs) provide the following services for our “H” brand:
- Callnovo recruits qualified Vietnamese inbound customer service and sales agents that can provide for the “H” brand’s company full-time customer support services to Vietnamese online customers without there being any hiccups in service; furthermore, inbound customer support and sales agents are properly screened to ensure that qualified representatives are selected based on certain factors such as: service attitude and enthusiasm, logical thinking skills, native language proficiency, and product and troubleshooting service experience, amongst others, keeping in mind to include business clients directly in the interview process.
- Callnovo ensures that all customer service agents are properly trained and ready to provide the necessary localized Vietnamese customer service that ensures that COD deliveries are concretely coordinated and then successfully performed, training CSRs in key customer service soft-skills areas such as: positive verbal expression skills, empathy skills, listening skills, time management skills, and patience; furthermore, CSRs are also trained on how to use our CRM system so that they may properly setup and coordinate delivery appointments via all necessary communication and telecom channels to ensure successful deliveries.
- After the native-speaking Vietnamese customer support agents go live, they call each e-Commerce customer to confirm the order and delivery information and to then set-up delivery appointments that are suitable for each customer’s schedule in order to ensure that deliveries are not missed; the way that this works is: once the customer’s order has been received, the order information appears in the seller’s system which then flows into our CRM platform where our CSRs can then see all the relevant information that is necessary in order to successfully confirm the order (such as product names, price information, order purchase dates, order status information, customer information (such as purchase information), and shipping information) – then, CSRs are prompted to call the Vietnamese customer within 3 minutes to confirm the order and then set-up a delivery date and time, having the customer confirm that they will also have the cash ready when the delivery has been made to complete the purchase.
- Callnovo’s customer service agents also perform cross-selling and up-selling to try to motivate Vietnamese online shoppers to make more purchases so that eCommerce sales can double or even triple which then in-turn increases sales margins for each eCommerce seller and raises their sales success.
With payment on delivery being the preferred logistics model for cross-border eCommerce sellers functioning within the Vietnamese eCommerce market, it is understood that there are many pain points that can affect the success of such a business model; since Vietnam is a cash-based society that prefers seeing the eCommerce products that they have ordered before making a purchase, it is important to know how to reduce the risk of such pain points in order for eCommerce sellers to utilize COD to their advantage instead of just avoiding the model altogether. Callnovo Contact Center’s localized outsourced customer service support is a viable solution for e-Commerce sellers because our team actively focuses on securing deliveries so that they’re not missed, utilizing highly-skilled customer support agents and advanced CRM technology to make sure that transactions are successfully closed, minimizing the risk of having eCommerce companies incur a financial loss when it comes to the delivery costs associated with each logistic operation.