The most important aspect of your booklet business, which is absolutely crucial to your success, is how you deal with your customers. If your customers do not feel that they are important to you, or if they feel you have treated them unfairly, they won’t come back. Today I’m going to use an experience I had over the weekend to illustrate just how important this is.
The Perfect Cami – And It’s On Sale!
While out shopping I came across a camisole I absolutely loved. It was a unique item, something I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. And just to tempt me further, it was on sale. But, the store didn’t have my size. All they had left was an extra large. Still, I tried it on hoping it would run small. It didn’t.
I asked a sales clerk if they had anymore sizes in the back somewhere. She told me they didn’t, that this item had been on sale for a while and they weren’t planning to get anymore. Knowing the store had a website, I decided to order online.
Making Your Customer Mad Is Easier Than You Think
As it turned out, the company website did have the camisole in my size. And, not only was it on sale, but the website offered an additional 15% discount which would help defray the cost of shipping.
I decided to order three of the camisoles. I put them in my shopping cart, and then I minimized that window and opened a new one to do a little online browsing in another store.
I returned to the shopping cart to make my purchase about 45 minutes later. To my horror, the price for the camisole had changed, and I was unable to find the 15% off promo code anywhere on the website.
I wanted the camisoles, but I wasn’t willing to pay the higher price and I didn’t understand why the price had gone up while I was browsing for a short time on another website.
I attempted over and over again to get my browser to take me back to a page I visited earlier on the website, in hopes that the shopping cart price would change. It didn’t.
At this point, most people would have either payed the higher price or left the website without making a purchase. Being that I was very angry and frustrated by this time, I almost did the latter. But, since I really did want the camisole I decided to call customer service.
Customer Service To The Rescue
Customer service at this company is not excellent. I told the lady on the other end of the line that I was angry and I explained the situation. Just telling her that I was angry should have made her want to difuse my anger immediately and help me any way she could. But, she apparently hadn’t been trained by her company in how to handle an angry customer. Instead, she made excuses for her company and what had happened.
I was told that the promotion and the sale price ended that day. I had been aware of this, but it was only about 9:05pm my time when I tried to put the order through. I was then told that they used eastern time, which meant that 9pm my time was midnight back east, and therefore the sale actually ended at 9pm my time. The lady said she didn’t think “they” would over-ride the higher price since the promotion had now ended.
The lady said they have a new promotion – the more you buy the more you save. I told her I wasn’t interested in the new promotion, and that if I couldn’t get the original deal I had anticipated that I would not make the purchase. The lady put me on hold to check with her superior to see what they could do.
When the lady returned, she told me that they had decided to honor the sale price and give me the 15% discount besides. A very smart move on their part, I’d say, given that they saved a customer and their company name being smeared all over the internet.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Customers
So what are the lessons in all of this? There are many.
First and foremost, if you’re going to change your prices at a specific date and time, make sure your customers are aware of this. I told the customer service lady that they should have had that information on their website in big red letters, and perhaps have a timer that’s ticking down the seconds and minutes right next to the letters so people would see it and know how much time they had left to place their order and get the special pricing.
Second, when a customer has a problem, don’t make excuses. Diffuse their anger by telling them you’ll do whatever you can to make the situation right and solve their problem.
Third, without customers you have no business. You not only want satisfied customers, you want customers that are so overjoyed with your service and your product that they’ll recommend you to other people they know.
Fourth, things are not the way they used to be. No longer does the customer complain to just a handful of people they know. With the internet, customers can complain to thousands or even millions of people. The customer has power today through social networking sites. They can reach alot of other potential customers and warn them to stay away.
Fifth, even if you think the customer’s purchase is a little one and therefore doesn’t really matter, you can’t know what they might buy from you down the road. The three cami’s were a small purchase, but I had my eye on a very nice wool coat that I planned to pick up in the next week. Had customer service not honored their sale price and discount for me, they would not only have lost the small sale of the cami’s, but also the larger sale of the coat as well as any future purchases from me.
Your money doesn’t come from all your efforts with your product – the writing and production of your booklet. It doesn’t even really come from your marketing efforts. Your money comes from your customers. Period. Make them happy and your business (and your riches) will grow. Don’t and you’ll be out of business.
To your riches!
PS: Don’t forget to click on one of the links at the top right of this page to subscribe so you never miss a single, important post. Remember, it only takes one idea to start the riches flowing to you! Also, if you like this post please share it on del.ic.ious, StumbleUpon, or the social website of your choice. Thanks!