Direct Sales: Customer Service the Magic Bullet to Getting and Keeping Clients by Kimberly Rhodes

Kimberly RhodesIf you follow these simple tips, you will establish customer service that will create loyal clients who will happily talk about your products and services truly helping to make you a word of mouth business. These are great times for Direct Sales professionals. Knowledge and best practices for building a successful business are so widespread that anyone can learn whatever they need to know to get customers without breaking the bank. But did you know that it’s easier to keep a client than to get a new one?

A lot of distributors end up spending too much time chasing new business because many direct sellers don’t understand that customer service is the core of business, not something that gets slapped onto the business as an afterthought.

Here are four tips for getting and keeping clients with superior customer service. NULL

Compete With Service And Value Because You Can’t Compete on Price As a Direct Sales person you often have some of the best products in your respective industry. However, often times when you go to market your customers want to talk price. Since you don’t control the prices focus on what you can control. Make sure you are pointing out the unique qualities of your product or service and blow your competition by offering VIP customer service. Smart businesses fight differently. Netflix and Blockbuster fought over prices at first, but eventually came to a standstill with almost identical prices. To gain an advantage over their behemoth competitor, Netflix decided to offer phone customer service, while Blockbuster’s phone representatives encouraged clients to use their website. Netflix removed the option to get customer support by email and placed their call center in Oregon, while most companies outsource this part of business overseas. What can you do to provide more support to your clients? Here are some suggestions: 1) Offer a newsletter to your customers answering the most frequently asked questions. 2) Do webinars demonstrating how to use the product or service 3) Create customer appreciation events with special promotions for your best clients Give Your Direct Sales Team Room to Improvise All Direct Sales Companies have policies and procedures in place about what to do if a customer is not happy with your product or service. But what is your policy? Remember this is your business. So even if the company has a policy that may leave the customer unhappy you have to think about what this is going to do to your business. Think about creating a policy that if the product or service has not been used but your company can’t take it you will so that you keep a good relationship with a person who could potentially give you more business later. And remember a disgruntled customer is sure to complain and it is easier to try to come up with a win-win solution. This allows you to build a human connection with your customers and create goodwill that will spread much faster, and have more lasting impact.. Understand That Satisfaction Does Not Equal Loyalty A research showed that up to 40% of customers who are satisfied can switch suppliers without thinking. Another study reported that more than 80% of customers who switched suppliers were satisfied with their former providers. Finally, an average American company loses between 15 and 20% of customers each year. In Direct Sales just delivering a fairly-priced product on time does not always equate to loyalty.

Creating a relationship based on loyalty requires ongoing commitment to make clients incredibly happy.

Zappos does that very well. All of their clients are encouraged to buy as many products as they want and return those they don’t like. Zappos also surprise clients with overnight shipping and encourage call center employees to be creative and flexible in solving clients’ problems. Start to create a customer service philosophy and policy in your business. Avoid Making Excuses Every company makes mistakes at some point in business. And if you are in business long enough it will happen to you. Maybe it’s the wrong thing gets delivered or something did not get delivered at all. However, it’s not what happens it’s how we respond to what happens. Don’t make excuses. When something unexpected happens, do your best to fix your mistake and go above and beyond what is expected. Then improve your business and customer service to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Turn errors into possibilities for growth instead of sweeping them under the carpet with excuses.

Great customer service is the foundation of your business. It’s what makes you different from many other entrepreneurs that are selling similar products. If you follow these simple tips, you will establish customer service that will create loyal clients who will happily talk about your products and services truly helping to make you a word of mouth business.

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