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Customer Service

How To Keep Customers Happy While Dealing With Order Delays This Holiday Season

November 28, 2022

It’s no secret that the holiday shopping season can be one of the most beneficial times of the year for your business if you play it right. While your marketing department is running ads and rolling out campaigns for Black Friday discounts and Cyber Monday deals, the resulting rush of customers is an opportunity for your brand to not only increase revenue but also to further establish your reputation as a trusted company.

So, when order delays threaten to impact both your bottom line and your good name, it can send your customer service team into a panic as they attempt to keep customer satisfaction high. As we move further and further into the holiday season, we are giving you our top tips for supporting your customers through order delays (along with our favorite email templates for your customer service representatives to use). Bring it on, holiday madness – we’ve got this in the bag (Santa’s bag, that is).

The Root Of The Issue: What Causes Order Delays?

The frustrating reality is that there are SO many factors that cause order delays, so anticipating them essentially means you have to be ready for anything. The most common causes of delays are:

  • Incorrect Shipping Information: Hey, we all mistakes, and entering an address incorrectly can happen to the best of us. However, when it does happen, it will result in shipping delays from the package having to be rerouted.
  • Supply Chain Issues: You’re probably tired of hearing about the supply chain, but unfortunately, those issues aren’t going away anytime soon. The health crisis we faced in the past few years made online shopping an even more appealing shopping solution for consumers, and this increase in online sales coupled with the global and economic factors that continue to slow the supply chain result in extended shipping and delivery timelines.
  • Holiday Sales: Killer Black Friday sales + shopping at home in our fuzzy slippers + Christmas gifts on our minds = more online sales. ‘Nuff said, right?

Tips For Supporting Customers During Order Delays

Sigh – you placed an order two weeks ago, and you’ve just received the dreaded email letting you know that your order is now delayed. If you’re in the customer’s shoes, you’re probably wondering what happens next and when you can expect to receive your purchase. Even though your team is busy working through the high volume of tickets from holiday sales, order delays are never an excuse for poor customer service – especially when you consider that 96% of consumers will deal with waiting for a product they ordered as long as the customer service experience is good. Let’s talk about how your customer service team can support your customers during potential order delays this holiday season and make sure elevated customer experience remains the top priority.

  • Respond quickly to inquiries. We don’t need a stat to tell you that customers are impatient when it comes to knowing where their order is – but we’ll give you one anyways. 71% of consumers believe that a quick response from customer service can drastically improve their overall customer experience.  
  • Be proactive. If you anticipate inquiries or your brand is starting to experience a wave of shipping delays, let your customers know as soon as possible and anticipate whatever questions they may have in return.
  • Utilize omni-channel support. With consumers split on how they like to reach customer service teams, connecting your customer experience from phone and email conversations to chatbot and SMS chats is crucial. When done correctly, a customer will never have to repeat their issue to a phone rep because the one they spoke to via chatbot already has all of the information to resolve their ticket.
  • Implement self-service tracking. When you finally learn that Santa isn’t real (sorry, spoiler alert!), your willingness to wait until Christmas Eve for the packages you asked for disappears. Giving customers the ability to obsessively check their order shipping status is an easy-to-implement solution that benefits both the customer and your customer service team.
  • Provide discounts. Though giving discount codes or vouchers to shoppers who experienced order delays may feel like throwing away money, it actually can have the opposite effect. Not only does a special discount incentivize customers to shop again with your brand, but it also reassures them that you truly care about their issue and want to make it right.

Steal our favorite “delayed order” email templates

When you’re in a pinch and struggling to find the words, steal our favorite templates for notifying customers of delayed orders:

Professional & Straightforward

Hi {Customer Name},

We are currently experiencing a high volume of orders, and regret to inform you that your order #### has been delayed. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding.

To stay on top of your order, you can use this tracking link to monitor its progress: xxxxx

If we can be of further assistance in answering questions, please feel free to reach out to our support team through our website or via email at

Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We hope to continue earning your business in the future.


Your Team

Silly & Lighthearted

Hey there {Customer Name},

This is awkward, but your order xxxx with us has been delayed due to {insert reason}. Not the email we wanted to send you (or the one you were expecting to receive), but because we value you and your business, we wanted to update you as soon as possible.

You can now expect your order to arrive on XX/XX/XX, although this is subject to change.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our customer support team (they’re very helpful and much less awkward than this email).

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you, and we assure you that we are doing our best to get your order to you as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Your Team

Offer A Discount

Hi {Customer Name},

So, here’s the 411 - we have good news and bad news. Because we don’t want to make you wait, we’ve got the bad news for you first:Your order xxxx has been delayed due to {insert reason}. We know – not the email you were hoping to receive, right?

So now, let us introduce the good news: We’d like to offer you a discount of 20% off your next order with us. We know it’s never fun to wait longer than expected, and we want to express our appreciation for your patience and understanding on this matter. To use the discount, enter the code SORRY! into the coupon section at checkout.

Thanks for hanging in there with us – we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and are working to get you your order as quickly as possible.


Your Team

Keep Customer Experience Top Of Mind By Outsourcing Customer Support This Year

Shipping delays are an inevitable part of owning a business, but with the proper precautions and the right customer service team at your side, keeping customer experience at an all-time high is an achievable goal. If you’re anticipating order delays this year and are ready to outsource customer support to better serve your customers, book a call with our team today so we can discuss your unique needs and goals.

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