Brattleboro, VT (PressExposure) October 01, 2009 -- You know you need to take care of your customers, right? Unhappy customers just make it really bad for your business. They can run off and tell all their friends how badly you treated them and put it on their blog, on Facebook, on YouTube, and so on. Do you really want that to happen to your business? Of course you don't! Here are eight ways that you can fail your customers and cause yourself a great deal of harm. Instead, you want to turn them into lead generation machines!
1. Not giving them clear instructions
When you sell a product, you need to give customers clear instructions on how to use it. If you don't, you're liable to have myriad support tickets asking questions that seem simple to you, but that aren't simple to a large segment of the population, especially online. You have to help people to understand what it is you're giving them. Customers will create leads for you by telling people how great your product is!
2. Not being clear on the price structure
If you have a program with an introductory price that goes up after a period of time or your product requires a monthly investment, it's not just prudent but the law that you disclose the facts in your sales letter. You have to make it clear to people how much they will be paying for your product, and if you're forcing continuity, you had better make that clear, as well.
3. Not answering support requests within a reasonable time
Most small companies do their own support, but even one-person entrepreneur operations sometimes use help desks. That's a good way to keep all of the support issues together, but it's also a good way to forget your customers. When possible, support requests should have a response in 24 hours or less. In the case of a big launch, this isn't always possible, but strive for the shortest response time that your business can handle, and keep in touch with your customers about delays when they occur. This impresses people and good customers service will have them spreading the news and creating new leads for you.
4. Not making sure that your support personnel are prepared
A good support teams knows the ins and outs of a product. They should be able to give good advice about using it, as well. But when that's not possible, they must be trained to come to you for advice and you must respond quickly so that they can give your customers good answers. Responding with good, solid advice means that lead generation through word-of-mouth is guaranteed.
5. Not having a good refund policy in place
When a customer returns merchandise, even digital merchandise, they should be able to get an easy refund within a stipulated time. For example, if you tell buyers they have 60 days to return their purchase, you and your support team must stick to that, and you must not vary off course. According to the law, no refunds should be given after the refund date has expired or you're cheating all of your other customers who may have wanted a refund after the time expired but didn't ask because of your guarantee.
6. Not being courteous in your responses
Some customers make it hard to be polite, but no matter how they approach the support issue, it should always be answered clearly, and courteously. No foul language should ever be used, and the more angry the customer becomes, the more calm and composed the support person needs to be. This usually calms the customer and there's no better lead generation machine than a customer you've turned around.
7. Not sending out a follow up mailing to buyers
If you don't send out an email to remind customers of what they bought and thank them for their purchase, you could be looking at cancellations and charge backs that you don't want to see. It's easy to forget what you bought online, and often customers will. By reminding them, thanking them for their purchase with an email or even a personal phone call, you have a better chance of locking in the sale and creating a happy customer who will go into the world and spread the word.
8. Not creating a quality product
This seems like a no-brainer, but if you create a crummy product, your customers will know it. Strive to make the best darned product you can make before allowing it to go on sale. If customers like your product, and you have an affiliate program, they will become your affiliates. Affiliate traffic is a great way to gather more leads.
Being good at lead generation through good customers service is one aspect that many online training programs neglect to cover. The ListBuilding Club is a great place to get the basics, and some of higher-level concepts that most training programs are missing. Tellman Knudson and his staff have prepared a site where you can learn Internet marketing from the ground up, and in the Discussion Forum, interact with other marketers on the same level and at higher levels than you. If you're just starting out, or if your business is going nowhere, the ListBuilding Club is the place to be to lean good lead generation techniques and more. Visit http://www.ListBuilding.com and become a member today!