Today’s blog is about the importance of customer service. As a direct sales consultant, I have found that there are many that sell the same product that I do so why should people buy from me and then continue to remain loyal to me as their consultant? Yes, I am the “perky bag lady” who always has a smile but there has to be more to it. Yes, people have fun at my parties. But what is the real reason that I have loyal customers who when they encounter another DS consultant from the same company say “I already have a Consultant, thank you!”
When I started doing vendor events and parties, I was always looking to just make sales – focusing on what I needed instead of focusing on the customers needs. I wasn’t really thinking about the long term positive effect that today’s interaction would have on my long term goal of growing my business, making it my full-time business. I needed to learn how to not only have that one time sale but how to keep them as customers, building a relationship with them that lasts a lifetime.
Here are a few tips that I have learned from some amazing woman:
- Be yourself and have fun. Don’t try to copy what others are doing in the hopes that you will reap the same success that they have had in their business. Each of us is different and as a result, we need to capitalize on our skills and talents. I am not saying don’t try new ways of doing things but if you aren’t comfortable with that particular style – make it your own.
- Talk to the customer to see what it is they need. Obviously, we are all looking to make sales but an unhappy customer will never come back to you for a product nor will they recommend you. Case in point – I met a women who had been “sold” lots of the same product that I sell. Basically, she isn’t happy with the products that she bought because they really don’t meet her needs. After talking with her, we decided that she would look at the catalog, pick out a few things and I would come by so she could see if they would work for her. I am giving her a personal customer shopping experience. No pressure to buy just a chance to see if the products really will meet her needs. I suggested that she may want to have a friend or two stop by so they could “play” with the product too. Happy potential customer = happy consultant + repeat business + referrals
- Be honest. This should go without saying…if you make a mistake, admit it, fix it and get over it. The customer will be thrilled that you have corrected the mistake. Don’t know the answer to a question, admit it and tell the customer that you will get back to them as soon as possible. If you don’t believe that a customer will be happy with the product that they are looking at for a particular situation, tell them your concerns and why. A wise saying “honesty is the best policy”.
- Build relationships with your customers. Is their favorite print retiring? Favorite product being discontinued? Let them know. Send them a note for their birthday, post on Facebook wishing them well when they reach a milestone in their life. Let them know that you thought of them – make them feel special
I am learning that word of mouth about my customer’s awesome shopping experience is the BEST marketing tool I have to help me in growing my business. I am booking more parties and fundraisers but most importantly, I am growing my customer base by building relationships with people. No, they may not buy at the moment and it may be a year before they do but it is okay because they have remembered me so that when they are ready to shop – they shop with me.
Don’t let your customer base remain an untapped resource. Authentic stories from satisfied and eager customers are more valuable than any paid advertisement. Strive for excellence so your customers will want to share these stories.