Customer Service and Growing Your Direct Sales Business
As you start to build your business one of the things that you will realize is that Customer Service will play a Large Key in the satisfaction and return rate of your customers. Repeat Customers are the back bone to many types of business and they are something that you need to nurture and satisfy. It is a very simple process and something that you will probably say, “Hey, I knew that!” Here are some tried and true methods and tips for providing excellent customer service.
Establish a return policy if the company you choose does not already have one in place. Make sure that it is in plain view, whether on your receipt or on your website, if that is where they are shopping from. Think about factors like: Who is paying shipping? Is there a time limit? Do you have a cash refund policy or exchange policy only? Whatever you decide, make sure it is easily recognizable and assessable. Just having a policy like this in force will cut down on any potentially unhappy customers.
Return phone calls with in 24 hours at the most. Try and make it sooner. If you are selling a product, the customer will want to know if that product is available, whether you can order it, and when it will be in.
Return emails with in a 24 hour period as well. Simple courtesy is at hand here. If there is a question that you cannot answer either by phone or email, then a call or email stating that you are researching it and will get back to them by such and such date is acceptable. This makes your customer know that you are a professional and that you did actually receive the message.
Make sure your customer gets a receipt with each purchase. Some companies even require 2 receipt’s be given so that in case there is a return, your customer will still have a original receipt. Make a nice logo or copy and paste a logo if possible and use that. There are several different types of software that can help you create an invoice. Making a professional impression will go a long way with people.
Always write and speak professionally. Do not use slang or business jargon. Your customers will not understand that. You want to show them that you indeed are a professional and your language skills reflect that.
Listening to your customer is very important. Hear what she is looking for. If you are not listening properly, you may suggest an item that she is not happy with or is wrong for her. You may also miss an opportunity to increase your sale. For instance, Mary says to me, “Gosh, I have such oily skin. My pores are getting larger and it makes my makeup look bad.” Now, me being a good listener heard…oily, pores and makeup. This is 3 different products that I could sell her, if not more. If I wasn’t listening properly, I may have only heard oily. I could have gone off in any direction and missed what she REALLY needed from me: Proper Cleansers, Moisturizers, and Foundation. Listening will gain you respect and will let the customer know that you are dedicated to great customer service.
Always, Always send a thank you note when appropriate. If you are in direct sales and you did a party, make sure you send the hostess a thank you note. Send little notes inside of your package if delivering or shipping to someone. Even a business card on a magnet with a thank you attached is good. You want them to remember that you are thoughtful and you appreciate their business. It will come back to you when that person is looking for your type of business again.
In the rare instance that you cannot satisfy someone, do what you can to make them happy or at least make the outcome acceptable to them. That could be making sure they get a refund, even if you don’t normally give them out. Exchanging the item for something they like better, even if you have to take a loss. And make sure you stay professional even if they make you angry or insult you, which can happen. A lot of times the person will just want to vent his frustration and anger and it may be you getting it. But that does not mean that you can respond to it. Ignore the anger and respond ONLY to the problem at hand.
Doing these simple things will insure that your customers will be satisfied with their experience with your company. And we all know that lots of happy customers in the bread and butter of our business. They will bring in referrals and continued business to you for a long time.
Copyright Chris Carroll All Rights Reserved
Chris Carroll is a sales professional that has made direct sales her business of choice and enjoys sharing with others. You can sign up for tips on managing and increasing your business at her site DirectSalesTalk. You can also find her at her business site ShopOnYourSeat If you would like to use this article for your newsletters or website, all links must be live and clickable.