Big Guru, Small Staff, Big Customer Service Problem

by 7 comments
Today a friend of mine brought someone to my office for an introduction.

We had a great conversation.

He is positioned in a major way in the medical niche being the admin and developer behind:

He also operates in a few other niches.

Toward the end of our conversation he casually mentioned he joined a coaching program of an Internet Marketing Guru.

He said that though he had paid he never received his coaching.

He also mentioned that he had received a subscription to a periodical and his credit card had expired but the periodical kept coming.

He also mentioned that he had another associate who had paid the same marketer more than a thousand dollars for coaching and never received it until 15 months later someone called from the marketer's office following up with him

These guys do not really need the coaching they just liked the pitch and thought it sounded interesting.

He said that because this marketer's customer service was so bad that he decided to never buy anything else off him again and not to promote him as well.

As you can imagine he is well connected to some major markets.

He said he wondered how the company could be successful when they cannot even keep track of their customers and fulfill their commitments.

Recently I had a bad experience with fulfillment and customer service from another popular internet marketing company... they too have a huge coaching program.

At this point they could still change my opinion but I feel that I should not buy off them again nor recommend anyone to them because I'd hate to give a personal recommendation to a client that would be treated poorly or feel buyer's remorse because of poor delivery and support.

We see the stories again and again... big launch... big wait... big disappointment.

Not all... but many.

From time to time disappointment is due to false hopes and dreams built upon a combination of hype and self deception...

But many times disappointment is due to a small company that wants to make big bucks and takes far more orders than they are able to provide support and timely fulfillment for.

Sometimes these companies use new or untested fulfillment services for their major launches without doing the necessary logistical planning and without preparing for the onslaught of customer service issue that are bound to be generated.

They then blame the issues on their fulfillment houses or the large volume of orders they accepted.

To me this is not a legitimate excuse.

Sure it happens... its a good problem to have if you are the seller... sometimes...

But if you are the customer or the person who recommended the customer to the company it is not a good problem to have.

And when the fulfillment never happens, takes months, or the materials arrive and do not work as intended... or maybe as with one famous launch in a DVD format that cannot be played on a computer when they are being delivered to a computer based market...

Well I am sure you get the picture.

So while I and others are deciding on who to do business with and who to endorse to our client bases on into the future based on our good or bad experiences and the satisfaction levels of our friends, clients, and associates and based on legitimate praise or complaints voiced in communities and review sites online...

What should these gurus do to ensure that their launch is not just a one sided victory of the bank account but rather a smooth experience for the client as well?

Is this why Rick Raddatz always opened and closed the doors a few times during the launches of his services before eventually leaving them open?

I am sure all of us would love to have the problem of so much volume its coming out our ears but what do you do next to ensure there is not a meltdown and people not only receive what they ordered in a timely manner but feel that they received what they paid for and were treated with respect?
#internet marketing #big #customer #guru #problem #service #small #staff
  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Transparency goes a long way.

    If I get a mail telling me that there were problems but XYZ is being done about it and I will get my stuff on ABC date, that's cool.

    When I get a lie "you're order was processed!" and nothing shows up for 3 weeks...that's a problem.

    I did not order from the latest guru launch I think a lot of people here are talking about...but I ordered before and at a higher price and these problems were still present.
  • Profile picture of the author onlinemlmrockstar
    I'm kinda new to all this, but if I don't get what I paid for, I chuck a big stink.

    I'm waiting on something I paid for 10 days ago that is promised to be delivered on 4th Jan.

    These are pretty stand up guys, so I don't think there will be a problem, but when you are able to build up that kind of trust with people, and you don't deliver, then you are a shmuck, and you should expect trouble.

    Lead with integrity always.

    It's a lot more rewarding even if it can sometimes be slower.

    Christopher Reid
  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hi Josh,

    I don't know if some marketers are simply getting greedy, taking the cheaper way out, or making mistakes because they haven't launched to the masses yet.

    Either way, I think R. Raddatz may have the solution. At least he is constantly testing with each launch. Some marketers claim that once you've launched a BIG launch, all the rest are pretty much the same. I can't see how that is possible because all of them offer different products or services. Even if they are slightly different, they are still different to some degree or another.

    To me it's a very wise move on the part of every marketer to test during their launch. This means keeping track of how much is being sold so they can make a cut off, and how much staff is on hand during the process.

    I believe marketers should do their due diligence researching fulfillment companies way ahead of time, follow up to make sure the company is able to handle XXXXX amount of copies of something, package them up, and ship them out in a timely fashion. They might also line up a secondary company to take over if the first one fails.

    As far as having enough staff on hand goes ... I think some marketers are making enough money with these bigger launches where they can afford to hire the extra help needed for things like customer support. If they can't or won't, they shouldn't be launching the big launches. They should be launching what they can handle at the time.

    I learned a long time ago, it does not pay off when taking short cuts. You don't simply cheat yourself, but you cheat every customer you gained in the launch!

    I've already lost respect for 3 top marketers because they failed to live up to their promise. These people over-promised and under-delivered, and don't deserve my respect or anyone elses.

    Btw, one of the marketers I am referring to offered a mentoring program here about 3 years ago for $3000 a pop, and to this day, I haven't received anything, and I cannot contact him directly. His help is constantly redirecting me to other departments.

    But, I did manage to get a hold of a good lawyer, and have him file the necessary papers to take this particular person to court. Maybe this will help him get the rocks out og his britches.

    One of these days marketers will discover that it doesn't pay to promise one thing and not deliver.

    • Profile picture of the author David_Thompson
      Josh, this is major issue and you touch on a critical point
      early on about small companies take on much more than
      they can manage...

      I see a number of online entrepreneurs doing this and for
      the life of me can't see what they are putting themself
      into this position, Why not work with a smaller amount
      of customers, make sure everything is running as it should
      them look to open up the funnel much wider later...

      Everyone says the samething customers is the key to
      a successful business but treating them like crap or having
      a customer service center that doesn't work will put you
      out of business.

  • Profile picture of the author RickRaddatz
    Hi Rick Raddatz here.

    When you're launching a hosted service (e.g. a conference call service like my or my new one NConnects ) capacity actually is a concern -- and as long as it's real, I use it to my advantage in the launch.

    I believe in the John Carlton school of thought --- truth well told beats hype & lies.

    True Confession: During the launch of, the site was never truly closed to new customers -- each day in May 2007, I opened the site up for ONE SEGMENT of my list -- and I told them they were SPECIAL that day (and they were)

    What this did was allow me to...
    A) THROTTLE the growth (to ensure quality)
    B) Always have an eager sub-list hungry to sign up
    C) Customize the message to each sub-list

    Maybe I should turn that into a $2000 course and call it "Launch Throttle Spetacular" and wear fake beards and do crazy videos... nahhhh I'll let the other guys to that. : )
    • Profile picture of the author Maria Gudelis
      Originally Posted by RickRaddatz View Post

      Hi Rick Raddatz here.

      Maybe I should turn that into a $2000 course and call it "Launch Throttle Spetacular" and wear fake beards and do crazy videos... nahhhh I'll let the other guys to that. : )
      Rick I am ROFL!

      Use your service and love the instant teleseminar service for all my coaching!

      I remember when I first joined the warrior forum, I paid $997 for virtual coaching and boy - excuses from that individual like I fired my assistant, and hired a new one - sorry for not getting back to you...then the first 'finally' scheduled coaching call - well - the 'supposed coach' didn't even have a headset on skype that worked and wanted to do a skype chat as my one hour of coaching that was the start of the 4 weeks...

      ...and then so many other stories.... isn't that difficult to hire one, two - or more - depending on your volume - darn good assistants and project managers and treat each customer like 'gold' regardless whether it is a $5 product or four figure product you are selling ---

      funny - we all know the 'money is in the list' and yes - I'm also appalled at the $2,000 courses I've bought and the quality of customer service or delivering on promises or plain ol' delivery after you buy!

      anyway - just my 2 cents worth!

      GReat post Josh!

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