Shipping your games to backers and following up on any issues
In our last article, we went through the process of creating and sharing the print and play (PNP) version of your game with backers. Today, we’re going to talk about shipping your games out and dealing with any issues that may arise.
We already discussed freight shipping and fulfilment in great detail in this article, so we don’t need to cover this territory again.
But it will be helpful at this point to go through the final stages of shipping, along with what to do when a backer receives a damaged box, missing components, or nothing at all.
Final steps for shipping your games
Your game is manufactured, it has been freight shipped to your fulfilment partner’s warehouse, and it is ready to be delivered.
It’s a good idea to double-check all your orders to ensure that all your backers have the correct orders and addresses. That way, there will be fewer corrections later.
You will have already given your backers a final opportunity to update their addresses and locked in all changes. But things can happen. People forget. They have a last-minute change in their life, causing them to move. Or your games could be stuck in a harbour for a month or longer, and a backer doesn’t receive it as expected before their upcoming move.
All you can do in these situations is talk to your fulfilment company and make any necessary updates as soon as you receive them. If the game hasn’t shipped yet, they will likely be able to change the label and get the game sent to the correct address. Other times it will be too late and it may be returned or never delivered. You may have to eat the cost of re-shipping a package. It happens.
But if you’re prepared and keep in close communication with your backers and fulfilment company, the surprises should be kept to a minimum.
Aim to provide excellent customer service
Occasionally you will hear from a backer whose package arrived badly damaged. Maybe they will open it up and discover that one or more components are missing or misprinted. They might not even receive their game at all.
While these situations are never fun for anyone involved, this is your opportunity to make things right and gain a fan for life. While we can’t control everything that happens around us, we can control how we handle them.
Always keep on top of your emails, especially when it comes to helping someone who requires a solution to a problem they’re experiencing. A fast, caring response and an eagerness to understand the situation and resolve it quickly are important.
By planning ahead and sending extra copies of your game to your fulfilment partner(s), you can have everything you need available to fix most problems. If someone is missing a copy of their game or it arrives badly damaged, have them ship another. If they are missing a component, your fulfilment partner can use one of those extra copies (especially if they have a damaged copy that wouldn’t be sent out otherwise), and send out a replacement.
If you’re able to send them a little something extra for their troubles, such as a discount on your next project or a promo card or anything else, even better.
It’s all about keeping on top of issues and resolving them quickly.
Wrapping it up
Providing a great experience is what you want to aim for. Not only through delivering an amazing game, but also dealing with any issues that may arise quickly, and ensuring you leave your customers happy.
Be prepared for when things go wrong by having a plan in place to deal with these issues. This will make life so much easier for both you and your customers.
Next week, we’ll wrap up this series by talking about following up on your success (and applying what you’ve learned).
What publishers or creators have you seen deliver excellent customer service after something went wrong with your order?
Please leave a comment below and share your story.