Providing Good Customer Service In Direct SalesBy
Providing good customer service to your customers and hosts in direct sales needs to be a consultants top priority. In this day and age, there are millions of consultants all competing for the same customers, the same party hosts and the same potential recruit.
1. Answer all questions that a customer has for you. Answer them completely and in as much detail as possible. Speak normal language. Customers are not familiar with abbreviations or slang words used by an individual business.
2. Make sure you calculate all totals correctly. Customers get irritated if you make errors in adding up their orders, over charging them etc. Always double check your totals when a customer is paying cash. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by short-changing a customer. If its a home party, make sure you take a calculator or adding machine with you. The math you do in your head is not as accurate as using a calculator.
3. Always provide contact information. If you are doing business online or through mail order, it is important that a customer get your contact information and you should provide several avenues for a customer to make contact with you. I provide my phone number, fax, 2 email addresses and home address.
4. Always thank your customer for their order. Make them feel like they are important to you! If its an online order, send them a free email thank you card or a thank you email. Again, include your contact information on that. If its an offline book order, follow up with a postal postcard or thank you note via postal mail. Include a business card. This is very important if its a FIRST TIME customer with you. You want their repeat business and future referrals. I try to thank all my customers all the time whether they are a new customer or a repeat customer.
5. Allow 2 weeks for a customer to receive their order then follow up again with that customer. You can email them, call them or jot a note to them via postal mail. Let them know that you are still there for them. Make sure their order arrived on time and was complete and accurate. Ask them if they are satisfied with the transaction and if not, do your best to make it correct promptly. Don’t let customers hanging when something goes wrong.
6. I usually wait 3 months and make contact with that customer again. Let them know of any upcoming sales specials, hostess specials etc. You can do this by emailing them or sending them a postcard, notecard or catalog. You want to keep your customer exposed to your business but not overwhelmed or pestered by you, so I suggest contacting them every 3 months unless they have signed up to receive a more often email newsletter etc. from you. These days alot of customers don’t want overwhelmed by constant emails so keep them limited.
7. If a customer calls your home or place of business and leaves a message for you, make sure you follow up within 48 hours. Customers don’t want to wait days or weeks for you to respond back. Again, be as prompt as possible when dealing with customers. If you are out of town, make sure your loyal customers who order very frequently know you will be unavailable. You dont have to say You will be on vacation, just say your home office will be closed on such and such day or week.
8. Attitude….this is also important! Do not use vulgar language at any time. Do not eat, smoke or chew gum while speaking to a customer in person or while on the phone with them.! Make sure you speak in a pleasant tone of voice.! If you are on the phone with a customer, please do not have a bunch of “phone interuptions” by other members of your household while you are speaking to the customers, they consider this rude. If you have children, try to call your customers while they are napping or when your spouse is at home to entertain them while you make your call backs.
If you are in a bad mood, hold off in returning calls. Customers can sense your bad mood, just like your children can. Do NOT use a cordless phone for this as you will be tempted to do “other” things while you are speaking to a customer., Your customer deserves your undivided attention when you are speaking to them.
9. If you are delivering your customers order, make sure you are presentable. You don’t have to be wearing a suit or dress, just make sure your clothing is clean and presentable, casual clean wear is fine. Don’t wear cut-off jean shorts, sloppy t-shirts etc. This sets a bad impression and is not professional. Your appearance speaks volumes on how you run your business!
In addition, Make sure you bag or box your customers order in a presentable way. Do not bag their orders in the free plastic or paper grocery bags you get at the store. Try to use bags from your company or go to a outlet business supply store or buy solid color cheap gift bags to bag their orders in but never bag them in a nasty store grocery bag. Make sure you provide a receipt and a future contact business card. If you can afford it, throw in a inexpensive surprise, Thank You for ordering Freebie gift. (the dollar store is great for this).
10. Another way to make your customers special is to offer extra services to them such as:
a. Local Delivery: if the item they purchased is a gift. It is okay to charge a minimal fee for local delivery to cover your expenses.
b. Gift Wrap Service: its okay to charge a small fee for this or better yet, offer it free. The dollar store again is cheap to buy plain gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, cards etc!
c. Postal Shipping: if the customer is shipping a gift out of town and you live near a postal office, offer to ship it to the recipient if the customer pays for the additional shipping.
11. If you do home party plans, Your Hostess of the party is also a customer so don’t neglect her. You need to make her feel special. Offer encouragement and support, make sure she has everything she needs to have a successful party for you. Afterward, make sure you follow up with her. If you don’t impress her the first time she has a party with you, I guarantee you she won’t have any more from you and you wont get any referrals from her. You could loose a lot of business by not treating your party Host like a Queen!
When running any type of home based business, its a building process, one customer at a time and one party hostess at a time. Once you build a great foundation, you can then build the rest of the “house aka business” upon that. If you start out with a “weak” foundation you will have a “weak” business!
About the Author:
Shelly Hill has been successfully working in Direct Sales since 1989. Shelly is currently a manager with Tupperware and has been with Tupperware since 2003. You can contact Shelly at Ravish30@my.tupperware.com Web: my.tupperware.com/Ravish30 Recipe Blog: wahmshelly.blogspot.com copyright 2004. Article Source: http://www.wahm-articles.com