UPS® Shipping: Managing Customer Expectations

Like most small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners, you likely make your customers your first priority. As they say, the customer is always right! But what do you do when something unforeseen affects your customer’s order in transit?

It’s important to know what kinds of shipping setbacks your customers could experience when waiting for their order to arrive — and how to address them. Read on to learn how to handle some of the most common customer concerns, including unexpected rate increases, delays or damage.

Common Small Package Shipping Challenges

UPS rate flutuations

There’s a lot that goes into calculating a package’s UPS shipping rate. In addition to your shipment’s weight and dimensions, its shipping rate is also determined by the distance it has to travel and how quickly it needs to get there. UPS shipping rates can also fluctuate based on the current state of the industry and level of demand. Luckily, Unishippers provides SMBs access to discounted rates right from the start, so you can pass on those savings to your customers despite any unexpected rate increases.

Make sure to stay up-to-date on the factors that will affect your UPS shipping rate, so you can be sure to charge the correct amount to your customers right from the beginning. Unishippers has several helpful resources to help you understand the potential impacts to UPS rates, including our guide on How Size and Weight Affect Price, Unishippers’ Guide to Small Package Shipping Fees and our guide to Understanding Express Shipping Delivery Options. You can also easily compare UPS shipping rates and delivery options straight from myUnishippers™, our online transportation management system (TMS).

Once you know what UPS shipping rate to pass on to each customer, make sure to display the exact rate at check-out. There are a number of e-commerce integrations to simplify this process. For example, Unishippers integrates with Shopify, which pulls in your discounted UPS rates straight from myUnishippers™ and displays them on your site. This helps your customers get the most accurate shipping rate and a simplified check-out experience.

Parcel delivery delays

Depending on when your customer places their order (such as during the busy holiday shipping season), inclement weather and closures could delay their shipment. Other delays could occasionally come up as well, whether because of inaccurate labeling, packaging issues or technical difficulties in transit.

Whether it be a storm or simply human error, your customers need to know that they are your priority. Keep your customers informed of any delays to their UPS shipments, and establish a clear new timeline for their package to arrive. Set appropriate expectations by providing specific dates to your customers, and be available — whether by phone or by email — to promptly answer questions and address any concerns. Your Unishippers team is also here to keep you informed of current service disruptions and provide ongoing support for potential delays.


As an SMB, one of the worst things to hear is that your customer’s order was damaged in transit. When damage does occur, make sure to communicate clearly with the customer — send an email or text (you might even consider giving them a call) and explain what’s being done to rectify the situation.

While it may take a while for your business to be reimbursed for the damaged shipment, send out a replacement to the customer right away. You may even consider throwing in something extra to make up for the delay. To ensure you are reimbursed for the full value of your shipments — and reimbursed quickly — you may want to invest in shipping insurance.

As part of the nation’s largest non-retail Authorized Reseller of UPS shipping services, Unishippers provides expert shipping advice — as well as the best bang for your buck on UPS shipping rates — to SMBs like yours. We’ll help get your shipping logistics in tip-top shape so you can keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

Ready to optimize your small package shipping strategy? Get started today with a free UPS shipping quote.

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