I know some of you are thinking. . . duh! But, I have been working from home for about 7 years and it still amazes me how many companies slack on their Customer Service duties. I have worked for a few Direct Sales companies as well as owing my own business. I still have much to learn about running a business, but I do know that you have to please your customer in order for them to return. Of all the Direct Sales companies I’ve been with, the main problem seems to be slow shipping. Of course, it depends on what is being sold. However, when a customer has to wait over a month for the products they’ve ordered, it is almost guaranteed that they will not order again. An example is Soy Candles. This type of candles has to have time to cure unlike paraffin candles. Therefore, it could take at least two weeks before they are ready to be shipped out. Or if you are selling handmade items it could take a while to complete the item if it is not pre-made. The first thing you should do for your customers is to let them know a time frame as to when they should expect to receive their items.
Another thing you must remember is that the customer is always right. If they are not happy with their purchase and customer service they will not recommend you to another potential customer. If you ship an item that is broken, missing, not received, etc. you must take care of the problem promptly. The first thing I would do is offer to replace the item. If they would like a refund, by all means, refund their money. You can even offer them some type of discount or free item to help build their trust.
When a customer places an order you should always write them a little note to thank them for their order and to let them know that you will notify them when their item(s) have been shipped. When you ship items with USPS always get a Delivery Confirmation number just in case the item does get lost. This way you can contact the Post Office to figure out where your package went. Forward the Confirmation number to your customer. If you use UPS or any other shipping company that has some sort of tracking, always forward that information to your customer also. Or at least give them an exact date that their item will be delivered (if shipping via UPS). Never say an item was shipped on a certain day when you didn’t ship it.
If there is a delay in shipping their products, notify the customer. It is always best to keep the customer updated on the progress rather than have them sit and wonder what is going on.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to Customer Service is to be honest, trustworthy and upfront. Communication is key. You want to gain the trust of your customer in order for them to return and to recommend your business to others. The customer is ALWAYS right!!
Angela Green is a stay at home mom and the owner of Angela’s Gift Nook where she offers many affordable items including Soy Candles, Bath and Body Products, Photo Frames, Oven Towel Dresses, Custom Painted Signs and many other handmade items. Visit her website at http://www.angelasgiftnook.com