Big Guru, Small Staff, Big Customer Service Problem

by Josh Anderson 34 replies
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:

www.onfile.com

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?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #big #customer #guru #problem #service #small #staff
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  • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
    It would have been easier to just go to the point and say StomperNet.

    They're big but got just too many people to sign up for their offer.

    They should have done something similar to what frank did in his giveaway. (Limit their copies)

    And also wrap the DVD's well secured.

    Just for trying to make more money, I'm sure they've lost tons of customers.



    That a good answer?
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    • I was thinking the exact same thing, Jose. Frank is a brilliant marketer and this is one indication that he's doing things right for his customers. If the guru can't keep up with the demand, it's time for them to limit the slots available until they are at a point where he CAN keep up. It's his business and he is ultimately responsible. Fullfilment houses, etc, can't be blamed.

      Originally Posted by Jose Delgado View Post

      It would have been easier to just go to the point and say StomperNet.

      They're big but got just too many people to sign up for their offer.

      They should have done something similar to what frank did in his giveaway. (Limit they're copies)

      And also wrap the DVD's well secured.

      Just for trying to make more money, I'm sure they've lost tons of customers.



      That a good answer?
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Josh, this is an excellent post and the main reason why I have NO desire to
        become the next John Reese, Frank Kern or whoever.

        I am happy with my small business model because it is manageable and I can
        take care of all the people who need my help.

        Not taking care of your customers is a great way to destroy your rep IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    This happens in any business that grows far bigger than you expect it too. Whether online or offline,you must prepare for growth beyond what you expect- and have the funds set aside to pay for extra help as you grow
    it's one of the biggest impediments to real growth in any business
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Very very dumb.

      The money is in backend sales and the most valuable way to increase your back end sales is to build on that initial relationship.

      That means providing exceptional service and follow up.

      You can also make that follow up one of your biggest profit creating centers.

      It is VERY easy to sell products and services to people who've already bought from you...they trust you and if you're mentoring them you know exactly what they need...what will genuinely benefit them...and what they don't need.

      There's often more money in outstanding follow up than in any other part of the marketing process.

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      • Profile picture of the author dbarnum


        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?
        Hi,

        Not familiar with all the launches, so can't say what others should do. However, happy to share what works here, if that helps anyone.

        A good way we've found to communicate is to start with the Thank You page. Tell your customer when you be in touch (like 24 biz hours) and then "make it so." Even if a physical product isn't going to be there by then, let them know to go to your consulting area (like a forum you have just for this) and invite them to register and begin prelimnary tasks like sharing basic details you'll want:

        name
        address
        business
        URLs
        goals
        etc.

        Plus introduce yourself and have a FAQs section with QAs many ask at first, etc.
        Invite interaction and have someone on our end there during the week.
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        • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
          I went through customer service hell with a guru a couple of years ago. That, and a few other situations prompted me to post the following to the old forum.

          What's worse? Leaving money on the table by not squeezing every last drop of milk from the calloused teats of your cash cow, or losing customers because you didn't take care of them after the sale?

          I say the second one.

          Once you betray a customer's trust you will have to work a hundred times as hard to regain their business. The easy sales are to your existing customers. So why would you risk losing them due to shoddy customer service and have to work ten times as hard to replace your lost customers with new ones?

          It blows my mind, but I see this over and over and over.

          Marketers sell products before they're produced on the promise that they'll be delivered by a certain date. And then don't deliver the product on time.

          Marketers receive more emails and phone calls from customers than they can answer. So they simply don't.

          Out of desperation, marketers put a band aid on a sucking chest wound by: a) offering unadvertised bonuses (and still not fixing the customer service problem); b) manning a help desk with someone unable to render assistance; c) hiring an incompetent assistant and expecting them to be able to fix problems they aren't qualified to fix (and not providing them training).

          HELLO! You are losing paying customers!

          Your customers might treat you like a rock star, but don't do them the disservice of acting like one. They will quit buying your posters and albums, will quit going to your concerts, and sooner than you can say "one hit wonder" you'll be relegated to playing for overwhelmingly tiny crowds on the small town high school reunion circuit.

          This isn't directed at anyone in particular. This is happening wholesale in the industry.

          John
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    • Profile picture of the author spicegator
      Originally Posted by Rachel Goodchild View Post

      This happens in any business that grows far bigger than you expect it too. Whether online or offline,you must prepare for growth beyond what you expect- and have the funds set aside to pay for extra help as you grow
      it's one of the biggest impediments to real growth in any business
      While I agree that it happens, I owned an offline manufacturing business for 27 years before I got into IM, and the way of doing business online to me begs for customer service problems.

      One problem is online you usually pay for the product/service before it is delivered, thus the level of trust is weighted toward the customer. In the offline world, product is usually delivered on credit and the shipper is the one on the hook.

      If, online, the product is not delivered or delivered in a less than satisfactory condition; then the loser is the customer (rightly so I might add). Offline the loser is the shipper as all a customer has to do is purchase from another vendor and the shipper loses both an immediate sale and future business.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikefilsaime
    Josh,

    This is exactly why I hate posts that say "I won't say the name"

    People start to think and assume it is other people. Even if
    they do not post about it, they leave thinking..

    "Wow, he MUST be talking about xyz"

    You could not be talking about StomperNet. They gave over
    50 employees and are 1 of the largest IM companies around.

    Your post is about a small company trying to act big.

    And by not naming them, you left it up for everyone to
    assume who it is and take a guess.

    I have never been a fan of these posts. I would rather
    you just OUT the person.

    The worse result is when readers THINK they know how
    it is and now you are damaging the reps of many
    as people start to think... Hmmm, maybe it was x, y or
    z

    Just food for though bud

    Thanks
    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Whoever the folk are in Josh's examples is irrelevant. It really doesn't matter for the real point of this thread because Josh's warning is that it could be you.

      Not fulfilling orders in time and correctly, reneging on promised deals and delivering goods that don't work are all mistakes we should all plan to avoid. A dissatisfied customer doesn't really care about the reason why you've failed them, they usually just want their goods, or their money back. And bad news travels waaay faster and further than good news.

      There are lessons to be learned here, and they're just basic business lessons, not exclusive to IM. It's about managing growth. If one aspect of your business has rapid growth, in these examples it was sales, they EVERY other aspect of your business had better grow accordingly. So many businesses that expand quickly and don't manage the process properly, don't just create a bad reputation for themselves, they go bust!

      Peter

      EDIT: I started writing this before Josh came back on - that'll teach me to start editing a post while putting my daughter to bed too!
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
      This is living proof that customer service and the post-sale proccess is essential, if not the most important factor in building a succesful business.

      When I think of this Sam Stephens comes to mind with DLG. His products are top notch, but it's software and there are probably many out there that can do something very similar. However (IMO) it's his amazing customer service that has positioned DLG where it is today, as one of the best, if not the best download management/protection script.

      The two things that are probably most important in the development of a succesful long term business are:

      1. Living up to the promise made by the promotion, or in other words selling what you are actually offering, not less.

      2. The post-sale proccess, follow up to the purchase and customer service.

      Sure you can make a small fortune with one product even if your post-sale proccess is horrible, but you are not building anything succesful in the long run, or you are at least losing very valuable clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      Sorry Mike, but that's simply ludicrous. I don't see how this thread could possibly damage the reputation of anyone or any company who is on on the ball.

      If people are thinking x, y or z, then they were already thinking it - most likely because they already experienced it or heard so much about it elsewhere. That certainly had nothing to do with Josh's post.

      This thread contains an exceptionally valuable lesson in the importance of post sale service and support for Internet Marketers. By looking at what some marketers may be doing poorly, everyone can learn from it.
      I agree with Big Mike. Companies with excellent customer service aren't going to enter into the minds of the people who purchase from them, or anyone else as far as that goes. Only people with poor customer service are going to think they are the ones being placed in the public's view.

      So...if the shoe fits, wear it or take it off and try another pair.

      Thanks for the post Josh. This is a problem that has been on the minds of a lot of people for some time now.

      Dixie
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  • Profile picture of the author CaptainLou
    Josh,

    Mike F. is right. Not every guru lags behind in the customer experience, and you don't want people to think that this is the industry norm. They could start (wrongly) thinking the same about YOU.

    Personally, I've pulled promo blasts in my niche for fear of getting more new orders than we could support at one time.

    Fortunately, a lunch with John Reese a while back taught me to focus on "scalability" as well as strategy, so that when a burst of new business comes in I no longer have to hide under my desk and be afraid to answer the phones.

    My best and cheapest "cost per aquisition" is still referrals and repeats from raving evangalist fans and I think most marketers realize that maximum ROI and happy customers need not be mutually exclusive.

    Lou
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      "There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." - Sam Walton
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        While I agree with the premise of businesses needing to do better at taking care of their customers, don't assume that just because you're having a bad customer service experience that everyone else is as well.

        It's usually the ones with a complaint that speak the loudest (not saying that it's a bad thing). But with the advent of the internet, such complaints are more public. Definitely a reason for businesses to concentrate on offering the best customer service possible.

        But when I'm on the consumer side of the fence, I fully realize that the complaints I see are often from the minority. I'm not saying the complaints aren't valid. Because they are and should be taken care of. But I won't let their experience dictate my decisions because like I said they are most likely the minority. When it becomes evident that it's the majority that's grumbling, that's when I start to take notice.

        The problem with dragging the Stomper Net folks into this is that they acquired 20,000 new customers through this promotion. Even if you figure not all the people with concerns will voice them, the majority of those 20,000 are most likely satisfied. As always, praise is harder to come by than criticism. So you hear more from those with complaints than from the satisfied customers.

        Just something to keep in mind in this wonderful new cyber age we live in.

        Personally, I'm very satisfied with my purchase from Stomper Net. And I'm sure there are many more like me. The theme of "aim for top notch customer service" is very much worth talking about. But to bring specific companies and individuals into the discussion isn't worthwhile. Because regardless of intentions, there is always the possibility that people will read things in the wrong context and link people, things, etc. when there is a very good possibility that no real link exists.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      Are you guys really so worried about your reputations that even vague references to something going wrong for a marketer (that you had nothing to do with) is somehow going to result in collateral damage for you? Trust me, it's not.
      Mike,

      It's not so much that someone may be worried about what someone else MIGHT think - it's when one person lays out the claim with no name, then someone else comes in and says "He MUST be talking about XYZ guru" - as happened in this thread already.

      I don't care who you are - if you have more than one or two customers, odds are ONE of your customers is dissatisfied with something you did or didn't do. That one person can cause all sorts of damage to your reputation.

      Is it warranted? Well, I SUPPOSE we could lay out a blanket statement saying "If you did your customer service job right he wouldn't be bad-mouthing you...". And then I would say that that's an extremely naive statement.

      I consider myself pretty adept in the fine art of customer service. Doing it in one form or another for more than 20 years. But once upon a time, I had a customer bad-mouth me all over a forum (not this one) because I didn't give him a refund... on a FREE product. Turns out he mistook me for another vendor. But the damage was done.

      Now, people had the opportunity to read this guys slams and get the wrong impression of me, my business and my service.

      No one is perfect. But let's ALSO face the facts that in MANY cases, a customer gets extremely impatient very quickly and resorts to public bad-mouthing simply for the self-satisfaction. (I am not referring to you, Josh...)

      It happens.

      So, as in the example Josh laid out above, someone else came in and fingered Stompernet. Did they deserve that? I don't know. And neither do you. But now, it plants the seed in people who have never had any interaction with them before.

      I think your response may have been very different if you were the company mentioned instead of Stompernet...no?

      Just my opinion...

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Mal Keenan
        I don't see how NOT naming a company can damage the reputation of another.

        It's bad enough not being able to name and shame let alone wanting that no one refer to bad practice at all, just in case someone 'thinks' that the poster is referring to a particular company.

        BTW, I ordered Stompernet. I'm overseas and haven't received it yet. They've kept me well informed and to me that's good customer service. I personally don't mind waiting as long as I know what's going on.

        The onus is not on Josh to refrain from outlining bad practice but for those replying NOT to jump to conclusions.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
          Originally Posted by Mal Keenan View Post

          I don't see how NOT naming a company can damage the reputation of another.

          It's bad enough not being able to name and shame let alone wanting that no one refer to bad practice at all, just in case someone 'thinks' that the poster is referring to a particular company.

          BTW, I ordered Stompernet. I'm overseas and haven't received it yet. They've kept me well informed and to me that's good customer service. I personally don't mind waiting as long as I know what's going on.

          The onus is not on Josh to refrain from outlining bad practice but for those replying NOT to jump to conclusions.
          In normal circumstances, I would agree 100%.

          But, unfortunately, this is a public forum, in the marketing niche, and has it's share of people looking for any reason to pull the "guru's" down.

          Given that, you sometimes have to look at things a bit differently. Like - is a person's complaint of a guru 100% legit - or driven by jealousy and bitterness... is the complaint indicitive of siad guru's overall service? Or are we seeing more complaints because they have several thousand more customers to deal with than the average marketer?

          Yes - we ge that here.

          And yes - many times the complaints are 100% legit.

          But that's the point. You still have to weigh it out.

          Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author Mal Keenan
            I understand that, Mike.

            I agree that members should not be allowed to come on here and make allegations about other marketers for the reasons you stated.

            My point was that if you start coming down on those 'NOT' mentioning the companies too, then you cross into a new area.

            If you're going to be selling 1000s of products then you can expect some flack no matter how good you are. You can't please everyone. I wish I had half of their problems.

            If the 'Gurus' are insulated from criticism though, then why would they try harder next time round?



            Originally Posted by MikeAmbrosio View Post

            In normal circumstances, I would agree 100%.

            But, unfortunately, this is a public forum, in the marketing niche, and has it's share of people looking for any reason to pull the "guru's" down.

            Given that, you sometimes have to look at things a bit differently. Like - is a person's complaint of a guru 100% legit - or driven by jealousy and bitterness... is the complaint indicitive of siad guru's overall service? Or are we seeing more complaints because they have several thousand more customers to deal with than the average marketer?

            Yes - we ge that here.

            And yes - many times the complaints are 100% legit.

            But that's the point. You still have to weigh it out.

            Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    I did not mention any company in particular on purpose.

    This thread is not about any ONE company.


    The issue I was contemplating has occurred with multiple companies.

    In fact the first company I was referring to is NOT the company anyone in this thread thinks it is.

    Hope that clarifies things a little ;-)

    Not!

    This is a wide ranging problem and when I wrote this thread I had in mind 4 of the most popular internet marketing companies who all have had the same problem.

    This problem is not limited to the companies I was contemplating though... it can happen to any of us if we had a sudden large influx and lacked the resources to deal with it.

    Its when the influx is planned but the customer support and delivery is not well executed that the more serious feelings of dissatisfaction occurs though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      I did not mention any company in particular.

      But in reality I am referring to multiple companies and not one so anyone who thinks this thread is about one company is wrong.

      This is a wide ranging problem and when I wrote this thread I had in mind 4 of the most popular internet marketing companies who all have had the same problem.
      In my view Josh it comes down toone huge problem. These companies didn't ask one very important question:
      "If this is a runaway success, do we have the systems and structure to cope with it?"

      I work with corporate clients and personal coaching clients asking that question and simialr ones all the time.
      A working structure for a small business isn't the same one that may work for a large one.
      Planning for all the factors is essential-and if you are currently in a small business it's FUN to plan for major success.

      However there is a certain leap of faith in doing so

      I'm not surprised someof these larger IM's are struggling with this. Part of it is losing the reigns onall the income- as when you grow like thatyou have to outsource and bring in workers. It means your bottomline isn't as big as you want it to me. But growth only happens when you address this.
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      • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
          Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

          Rachel, You win the most sensible post of the day award
          Woohoo Do I get fries with that?



          Thanks Mike
          I've been one of those who didn't deliver becasue of huge growth. I learnt my lesson (my business crashed becasue of it, so it was written with feeling I don't make the same mistake anymore!)

          To add: people need to add in the cost of extra staff when planning out growth- add it to the cost ofyour product or service.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mal Keenan
        I doubt any of the big launch people failed to ask themselves that question.

        They may have got it wrong in delivering but most are bound to have an idea of what to expect given the huge success of the early launches like Traffic Secrets.

        Even with the best will in the world, things can and will go wrong. That's life!:p

        Originally Posted by Rachel Goodchild View Post

        In my view Josh it comes down toone huge problem. These companies didn't ask one very important question:
        "If this is a runaway success, do we have the systems and structure to cope with it?"
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
          Originally Posted by Mal Keenan View Post

          I doubt any of the big launch people failed to ask themselves that question.

          They may have got it wrong in delivering but most are bound to have an idea of what to expect given the huge success of the early launches like Traffic Secrets.

          Even with the best will in the world, things can and will go wrong. That's life!:p
          You'd think so wouldn't you.

          But, I'm never too surprised to see large organisations fail to ask themselves basic questions. In recent years (not so much just now!) I've seen huge office blocks and shopping centres be built and after they've gone up the developer then sees if they can get tenants! The things lie virtually empty for years! What happened to basic market research with these multi-nationals?

          Just 'cos their big, don't assume that they'll always ask the right questions.

          Peter
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          • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
            Josh has a point - and that point is simply that there is room for significant improvement in the fulfillment, post sales support and customer service of the big names in the online marketing space.

            Based on my personal experience as both a buyer and an affiliate for many of these top names where I have been caught between my referred customers and the IM company, this is a problem across the board. I've seen worse, but there certainly is room to improve.

            The better internet marketers will pick up on this and run with it turning their business into something even bigger.

            With every dark cloud there is a an opportunity shining up above (wow...I should start a Greeting Card Company!)

            Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      I don't care who you are - if you have more than one or two customers, odds are ONE of your customers is dissatisfied with something you did or didn't do. That one person can cause all sorts of damage to your reputation.
      They certainly can cause some damage...

      But what happens when people look deeper and corroborate their story is what matters.

      No one can satisfy everyone..

      But when you have thousands of customers not receiving products, communication, bonuses, and support in a timely manner and not within the time frame Explicitly promised at time of purchase.

      And when they do not receive a high level of care following such disruption to the flow of delivery and service...

      Prepare for fallout.

      Again this is not limited to any one company and is not in reference to any one company.

      I can think of 4 stark examples immediately from 4 top companies.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        It seems the problems occur when companies move from purely downloadable products to physical ones as well and there are intrinsically more fulfilment problems.

        What I wonder is this.

        There are companies that specialize in fulfilling these kind of orders. Did these big IM launches try to do the fulfilment in-house, partially in-house or did they outsource the whole thing?

        I know you can't just phone up a fulfilment company and say "By the way, can I have another 2,000 ready by tomorrow night?" They should have set a limit of sales they could handle or, even simpler, just tell people

        "The first 5,000 will receive their order within 3 weeks.
        5001 - 10,000 will receive their order within 3 - 5 weeks
        10,000 - 15,000 will receive their order within 5 - 7 weeks.

        If people know when they will get the product, even if it is quite some time in the future, it avoids a lot of angst.

        Martin
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
          Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

          It seems the problems occur when companies move from purely downloadable products to physical ones as well and there are intrinsically more fulfilment problems.

          What I wonder is this.

          There are companies that specialize in fulfilling these kind of orders. Did these big IM launches try to do the fulfilment in-house, partially in-house or did they outsource the whole thing?

          I know you can't just phone up a fulfilment company and say "By the way, can I have another 2,000 ready by tomorrow night?" They should have set a limit of sales they could handle or, even simpler, just tell people

          "The first 5,000 will receive their order within 3 weeks.
          5001 - 10,000 will receive their order within 3 - 5 weeks
          10,000 - 15,000 will receive their order within 5 - 7 weeks.

          If people know when they will get the product, even if it is quite some time in the future, it avoids a lot of angst.

          Martin
          Sometimes I think that the fulfillment houses being chosen simply can't handle the large influx of orders as much as they proclaim they can.

          But it's not only the fulfillment house either. Sometimes it's the process of GETTING the orders to them that can break down.

          So many cogs in the machine when you go to shipping physical products

          Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Originally posted by MikeAmbrosio

            Sometimes I think that the fulfillment houses being chosen simply can't handle the large influx of orders as much as they proclaim they can.

            But it's not only the fulfillment house either. Sometimes it's the process of GETTING the orders to them that can break down.

            So many cogs in the machine when you go to shipping physical products

            Mike
            Maybe it's time for somebody to write an ebook on online/offline fulfilment

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author naruq
              The Particular Guru that you are talking about should have built an infrastructure first. For Example, the Guru should of had a fulfillment house and customer service in place before he or she offered their coaching program.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    Mike, Josh -

    I agree 100% that if in the core, you are a solid business, these things would do minimal - or less - harm. But I do believe it can cost you customers you don't yet have.

    Mike, I really don't know HOW deep the damage was that guy did. Unfortunately, it's not common for POTENTIAL customers to come to you and tell you they WOULD have done business with you, but for the thread they just read about you.

    Did it cost me anything at all? I'll never know.

    But I DO know that when I do the best I can to protect my solid reputation, it kinda pisses me off when someone spouts off in a forum needlessly.

    Nothing is ever written in stone. We'll never know 100% of the time what people think of us and our business. But to say it does NO damage if your reputation is already solid - well, I don't buy that either. Maybe you'll survive relatively unscathed, but that's not a reason to ignore the potential damage - even if it IS minimal.

    It's a double-edged sword it seems.

    At the end of the day, you just do the best you can by all of your customers and things should shake out fine.

    And believe it or not - I try not to lose TOO much sleep over it

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    Okay, I am going to beat a dead horse here!

    It's all about integrity. Either you have it or you don't and you certainly can't fake it. Oh yeah, you can say you have it but I can also say, "Hey, look at me, I'm the Hillbilly Marketer, but that doesn't MAKE me the Hillbilly Marketer!" Okay, bad example, I know!

    Read the posts on this forum. They are all about "How do I make..." and "How do I get to.... per month" and "How do I create a product" and all the rest like that. What's wrong with that, you ask? It's all about me, me, me!

    The best copywriters KNOW that your sales copy better focus on the customer if you want to be successful. Focus on the customer and customer service have gone straight down the crapper in today's business world, for the most part.

    People are sick and tired of being sick and tired of dealing with businesses that just don't put forth the effort and are only after their money. It's not about having too many employees or not enough employees. It's about doing what is necessary to make sure you provide the BEST customer service possible.

    Mistakes happen... that's life, but there is absolutely no excuse for continuing poor customer service. Some business owners just don't get that until it hits them squarely in the pocket book... and sometimes that's just too dadgum late!
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