When everything goes wrong and what to do about it...

10 replies
After almost a year of creating products and
after months of testing and preparation, we
finally launched a new web site just about a
week ago.

You can probably imagine the thrill of finally
being able to start driving traffic to your new
web site...

I set it up in the late afternoon and went out
with my colleagues to celebrate. It was a glorious
feeling.

The next morning dropped on me a totally new
reality...

I went to check the email and to see how the
site was doing. I wasn't expecting any sales as
I didn't really begin marketing yet (only a few
posts here and there...)

I was surprised and shocked at what I saw in
my inbox...

The site was live about 15 hours with almost no
advertising and it already had 5 sales!

But the excitement vanished almost instantly as
I saw the raging emails from the customers...

"Where's my product?!" was the most common
subject.

As I begun to read the emails, I realized that
NONE of the customers got their confirmation
email with their username, password and
download instructions!

One customer in particular was extremely persistent
and sent about 8 emails, the subject of the last
one being: "I want a refund NOW!"

I sent him an email and asked him to check his
"Junk folder" in case the confirmation mail got
stuck there.

The reply was: "I never received your email!"

I knew there was no point in arguing, after all,
we were the ones that apparently messed up so
I immediately issued him a refund and contacted
other customers after manually creating their
accounts.

I also created an account for the customer that
wanted a refund and besides the video that he
wanted to purchase, added another video in his
account for free.

The result was amazing...

He almost immediately contacted me back, telling
me that now he could finally access his account
and that he WANTED to pay for the video again...

He was so thrilled that he even wrote a wonderful
testimonial about our customer service and our
products.

KEY POINT: Never argue with your customers. Your
first priority is to break the current state they're
in. If you argue, you risk them sinking even deeper
into their own ideas. Break their state by adhering
to their demands A.S.A.P. Your point doesn't
matter! After you do that, apologise and try to
make it up to them. They just might become your
best customers this way...

Everything turned out well in the end (also with
other customers).

It later turned out (after discussion with our
programmers) that Hotmail (and a few other email
services apparently) has an extremely rigid and
strict anti SPAM policy and it completely disregards
emails from some sources. They don't go into the
Junk folder but they simply don't get delivered at
all!

I thought that the programmers would be aware of
such things and would set up emails the way that
would get them in people's inbox. They weren't.

Fortunately we set up everything now and it's all
going smoothly.

It was something none of us expected, especially
after testing for so long and having no problems
before.

Here's what I recommend you do before launching
your web site (if it sends out emails after purchase)...

- Create a Hotmail account and test your emails there.
Gmail uses different methods to detect spam and
everything will look fine there!

- Be careful when using form mails (or non-mailserver)
methods of sending email. These are very frequently
used by spammers and some email services will regard
such messages as SPAM automatically!

- If possible, try sending your emails through Aweber
or some similar service. Their emails tend to have
a much better delivery rate than others.

If anyone wishes, I'll post a separate post about how
to avoid your emails being detected as SPAM (it's
not just keywords and phrases!).

OK, enough from me, I just wanted to share...

Have a wonderful day!
#trouble #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author BillArnold
    We must always remember that customers are always right. In case there's a problem like what had happened to you, we must deal with it immediately. Otherwise, our credibility will be at risk! Giving free stuff is the best way to win back your customer's heart, like what you've did. Absolutely, you did a great strategy!
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    • Profile picture of the author francoza
      Originally Posted by BillArnold View Post

      We must always remember that customers are always right. In case there's a problem like what had happened to you, we must deal with it immediately. Otherwise, our credibility will be at risk! Giving free stuff is the best way to win back your customer's heart, like what you've did. Absolutely, you did a great strategy!
      Very well said.... give something that is valuable so that your customer remain happy and trust you for further offers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blaz Banic
    You're absolutely right. Making your customers happy should be a priority.

    The best companies are known for their fanatical customer support.

    Although objectively customer isn't always right, he or she is in his or her mind... And that's what counts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    As I began to read your thread I found myself waiting for the bottom todrop out but never did. Five cusotmers in the blink of an eye ... congrats. Take care of those customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Ferraro
    It sounds like you have an awesome sales page if you were able to get 5 sales without really trying to generate traffic. It sounds like you also have a great product when you consider somebody paid you for the product after asking for the refund.

    Great product. Great sales page. It sounds like you've got a winner there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I thought that the programmers would be aware of
      such things and would set up emails the way that
      would get them in people's inbox. They weren't.
      Never assume something will get done - glad it worked out okay but in future TEST the full sales process when you roll it out. Then go out and party.
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  • Profile picture of the author duncanb
    These are minor problems though. As you said you made 5 product sales in the first few hours of trading! That in itself is a great achievement for someone who has only started off!
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    • Profile picture of the author Blaz Banic
      Thanks guys for your encouraging words. Looking back now it wasn't all THAT bad. It was a very frustrating experience though. But I have myself to blame.

      @Kay King: Good point! I forgot to write this one in the post. One should keep an eye on a new site for at least the first few sales. Although we did a lot of testing before launch, I should have at least checked the email every hour or so for the first 24 hours. Instead, I blindly trusted the system and went out. A mistake I won't repeat.

      @Duncanb: Although this wasn't my first product, it was my first major launch. For years I've been doing affiliate marketing and minor product sales. The site is set to sell well but it did exceed my expectations Thanks for your kind words.
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      • Profile picture of the author francoza
        I also got 5 sales and without much traffic. My site is about Article marketing.
        i wish you best of luck for your relation with your customers.

        Best OF luck
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        • Profile picture of the author DanGTD
          It looks like a technical problem.

          It sucks, but it surely can be fixed. A bigger problem would have been to find that there was no interest.
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