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How to Handle Substitutions and Customer Requests

Today, we’re going to talk about a crucial aspect of your shopping experience: managing and handling substitutions. This is an area where you can really shine as a shopper, ensuring customer satisfaction even when their preferred items are not available.

What are Substitution Instructions?

When customers place their orders, they have the option to set their substitution preferences. These are:

  1. Contact Me: You will need to contact the customer for each out-of-stock item and offer substitution suggestions.
  2. Choose for Me: Use your best judgment to find a suitable substitute. Contact the customer only if necessary.
  3. Do Not Substitute: If an item is out of stock, simply skip it without looking for substitutes.

The default is for you to contact the customer about out-of-stock items. If they prefer not to be contacted, they’ll indicate this in their preferences.

How to Handle Substitutions

1. Understanding Customer Preferences

  • Always check the customer’s substitution preferences before you start shopping.
  • Respect their choice – if they prefer not to be contacted, adhere to that.

2. Making Smart Choices

  • If the customer asks you to choose, use your judgment. Consider factors like brand similarity, price range, and dietary restrictions.
  • Be cautious with specific items like wine or specialty foods. If in doubt, it’s often better to not substitute.

3. Communicating Effectively

  • When contacting the customer, be clear and concise. Offer a couple of close alternatives.
  • If they don’t respond, use your best judgment based on their set preferences.

4. Handling Negative Feedback

  • Learn from any negative feedback. For example, substituting an item without considering price can lead to dissatisfaction.
  • Reflect on these experiences to improve your substitution decisions in the future.

5. Using the Shipt App Wisely

  • The app might not always provide complete information like item prices. Use your knowledge of the store and common prices to guide your choices.

Pro Tips:

  • Familiarize Yourself with Store Layout: Knowing where things are can help you find better substitutes quickly.
  • Think Like a Customer: If you were buying for yourself, what would be an acceptable substitute?
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on common out-of-stock items and familiar substitutes.

Mini Rant: Learn from Real Experiences

A fellow shopper once received negative feedback for substituting a wine without considering the price. This teaches us an important lesson: always consider the price point, especially for items like alcohol, where the price range can vary significantly.

Substitutions are a vital part of your role as a Shipt Shopper. They require good judgment, effective communication, and an understanding of customer preferences.

Remember, a well-handled substitution can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, earning you praise and higher ratings!

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