Simplifying Exchange/Refund of Missing Items in Customers Orders.

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I am trying to find a faster solution to an issue where a customer places an order of perhaps 4-5 items and 1 of those items happens to be out of stock.

We currently goto the customers order on shopify, click there email and it'll open the box to email them via shopify backend, we will alert the customer that the item they have ordered is out of stock and if they would like a refund or to exchange it for another item on the website... this method has been fine in the past but we are finding alot of our emails are ending up in the spam or just not being answered for 1-2-3-4+ days which creates a huge backlog of orders we are waiting to go out and be resolved..

I've thought of a method in which we just email them a discount code to the value of the item that was out of stock and just fulfil the order so that they receive everything and then have a discount code to the same value to then go and reorder another product, if this isnt what they wanted they can then ask for a full refund on that missing item and we can issue that and disable the discount code... the only issue with this will be they will be paying for delivery twice so this will cause problems and I cannot think of a way to automatically provide a discount code with free delivery.. unless the code has an additional £3.99 for example to cover the cost of the delivery but even then I dont beleive the discount code can be used to go against the cost of delivery.

has anyone got a solution for this? or alternative method of dealing with this without having to wait days for the customer to get back to us... obviously I could just refund that 1 item but would prefer a way to encourage them to continue spending the money in our store.

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