According to the Wikipedia, customer service is “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase”. That’s right. It starts before the purchase, sometimes even before you meet your next potential customer. Here's why. Friends like to talk! Sure, people will tell people about a service or product they like, but NOT as fast, or to the extent that they will share if they are unhappy. Think back to when you have purchased something that did not meet up to all of the hype. How many people did you tell? So, if you don’t provide excellent customer service, you may just lose potential customer(s). Remember, a first impression is a lasting impression. Don’t blow it!
Once you have made a good first impression, keep going. During the purchase is a critical time as well. If you come off as pushy or not listening to what your customer is asking for, they may not end up purchasing at all. Even if they say "Well, I’m just not sure, so I am going to take the catalog home with me and get back to you with my order" you usually lose them and they never place an order at all. The sale is always about your customer’s needs and purpose for purchasing the product, not about you. Don’t stop here!
Now follow through. Don’t let your customers fall off the face of the earth after they made their purchase. Stay connected with them. Follow up with them after they have received their product. Give them a call or send them a thank you card. Better yet, why not do both. This will keep them connected with you (and here's a quick tip: when making customer service calls, be sure to smile! People can hear it in your voice).
Here are my top 4 tips for improving your customer service:
1. Get a Little Chatty
Start some small talk and ask them how their day was. If you know other personal info about your customer, start your conversation with that (for example: children, pets, grand kids, hobbies or interests). This makes your customer feel appreciated.
2. Answer Your Customer’s Questions
Always be honest, if you don’t know the answer ask your up-line until you find it.
3. Offer After-Purchase Support
If the customer is satisfied, great! If not, you want them to be happy with their purchase. If your company has a satisfaction guarantee policy, replace it. If not, offer up suggestions on alternative ways the product can be used or take it upon yourself to trade it with an item you may have in stock.
4. Follow up
Existing customer or not, if someone calls or emails, get back to them within twenty-four hours unless you are out of town. If that is the case, be sure to have an auto-reply for your email and change your voicemail to state you are out of the office and will respond within 24 hours of your return.
Meet guest blogger Kelly Wolf!
Kelly lives in Quakertown, PA. She came to direct sales one month after she gave birth to her daughter Mary Ashlyn. Kelly wanted to go back to work and her husband wanted her to stay home so they came to a compromise and she started her Tupperware business. Five years later, Kelly is a manager with an awesome team. You can learn more about her on her website at http://my.tupperware.com/kellywolf or connect with her on her fan page at www.facebook.com/pages/Kellys-Corner-recipes-tips-product-advice-more/109506499066236