How Can I Help You?: Customer Service in IM

by Brad Spencer 11 replies
Hey Warriors,

I've been wondering something for a while and wanted to spark a little debate.

How many people actually serve their customers?



So here's my thinking. I was looking through my inbox this morning and I noticed SOOO many offers in my email. People send something out with nothing in return. "Buy something from me" emails get old after a while. I'm even talking about the emails with something in them and then "buy something" at the bottom.

I am on many lists and only one of them sends out something with no strings attached (No OTO, no opt in, etc)...I've also noticed that I've purchased or downloaded his products many times more than everyone else.

So this gets me thinking...why don't we serve our customers more? Why not giveaway more no strings types of offers. "Get 50 free PLR articles" or "Get a free chapter of my new ebook."

I think the goodwill could become a major competitive advantage for people wise enough to realize that if someone is spending 397$ on a product or more...then you can offer them a high dollar freebie every once in a while.

On a final note, I believe that doing things different than others is, in the long run, a better model than always following the crowd. Sure the crowd knows a lot but in many niches, you'll blend in if you do everything like everyone else.

Just some thoughts...what do you guys think?


Cheers,



Brad Spencer
#main internet marketing discussion forum #customer #service
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    its all about over delivering, and who knows it might go viral since you are known for this

    Ed
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    • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
      I posted a rant in the forum about customer service a couple of years ago, and several large business owners stated that the ROI doesn't warrant supporting customers. (for example, if 5% of their customers seek support, it's more cost effective to lose the customers than provide that support).

      Personally, when I get excellent service or support, the vendor is rewarded not only with my return business, but with my recommendation to others as well.

      Sam Stephens and BIG Mike come immediately to mind. When I have a question, those two are always quick with replies.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
        And just look how much people talk about them in the forums. Big Mike not quite so much but Sam definitely gets DLGuard (and the support) mentioned really *really* often.


        Originally Posted by John Rogers View Post

        I posted a rant in the forum about customer service a couple of years ago, and several large business owners stated that the ROI doesn't warrant supporting customers. (for example, if 5% of their customers seek support, it's more cost effective to lose the customers than provide that support).

        Personally, when I get excellent service or support, the vendor is rewarded not only with my return business, but with my recommendation to others as well.

        Sam Stephens and BIG Mike come immediately to mind. When I have a question, those two are always quick with replies.

        John
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        • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
          Customer service is essential as water is to a human being. In my daily life I have a part-time job where I work with big hotels in my area. The one thing any person will learn in that area is how important customer service is. You do not get customer service departments in retail stores for nothing. It is essential to deliver good customer service and even if the customer is not happy, just try your best and keep calm. I have dealt with many irrate customers in the past and not once have I attained a bad reputation. For one, they are human just like you so they seek answers to their problems, and two, they just need to know that their complaints are not being ignored.

          The worst you can do is being rude to someone and try and get rid of them if they try to bad mouth you. If you think calmly and logically you can come out of any situation.

          From personal experience on my own websites, if someone has a problem I take the minute or so to listen/read about it, and then give my honest answer. If I do not know something, I simply do not lie , like I have seen people do just to get out of a situation, because if you are caught later- you will look even worse.

          Customer service is important and sure it takes time, but just add a small personal touch to your products for your customers can go a long way. Offering them something of value now and again is great too. Sometimes the best value doesn't lie in a product, but in quality information.

          Being different is good also. Be controversial even in some things and you might be surprised at the general response.
          Signature
          "Find the problem and provide the solution."
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
      Originally Posted by sparrow View Post

      its all about over delivering, and who knows it might go viral since you are known for this

      Ed

      That is a great point and is part of my business model, customers get hand-held the whole way and it goes viral. Even people who aren't customers hear about this and still refer people they know to me.

      In a service based solution (graphics, design, multimedia), the business can go viral pretty quick because the customers they are providing services to for the most part know at least 20 other people who are in need of those services. Those kinds of businesses go viral as well because they are tangible and noticeable..for example, "Hey Joe Webmaster, where'd you get that design, solution, video, interactive site, etc at?"

      A perfect example on a broader scale is I don't even own DL Guard or have ever talked to Sam and recommend this product to people.

      I can understand justifying the marketing, time and ROI, that is VERY understandable, so the business model one takes must consider this, IMO...automated downloads where one can just click to send a refund and get rid of high maintenence customers or service based solutions where the provider qualifies the client beforehand (notice I didn't say the client qualifies the solution provider).

      Scott
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
        Well I like the response I got from this post.

        I just feel like sometimes our metrics are skewed toward short term things and a level of "trust in your business" must be taken. For example, DL Guard keeps coming up. Is it possible to truly get an accurate number on the value created by people talking about it? I doubt anyone can truly value the residual effect of that.

        Here's an interesting fact that proves the point of residual value.

        I've taken a small position as a merchandise cast member at Disney World so I can learn the insides of that amazing company. As I ring people up, I notice a lot of things. People drop money at Disney like NO WHERE else I've seen. That brand gets people to pay 75$ per person to get in...10$+ per person for a cheeseburger, and 30-50$ for t-shirts/sweatshirts. In a bad economy no less.

        So the lesson to take away is that building value into your business that keeps people coming back is absolutely priceless. THAT, imho, is why people like Filsaime and John Reese can sell their products for so much and people will buy every single thing they sell.


        Cheers,


        Brad Spencer
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        • Profile picture of the author Kym Robinson
          Great debate with some real food for thought!
          I thought I was great at customer service (and I am....lol) but now I have info that will allow a few extra bonuses to my list!
          Thanks guys and girls!
          Kym
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  • Profile picture of the author Sirius Lin
    It's a bit of a balancing game, Brad. If you keep delivering free stuff to your subscribers, they will come to expect that from you in the future. I believe there was a thread not too long ago about how one marketer gave freebies to his subscribers time and again, and when he tried to sell them a low-ticket item, he got a backlash from a few of his subscribers.

    The occasional freebie is nice, but the main thing is to deliver quality information all the time. This way your subscribers come to associate you with quality products, and when you do release a paid product or promote a product, they'll be more receptive towards it.

    ~ Sirius
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    I can definitely tell you what a good idea this is. My FLC list was old and stale and I hadn't done much with it. Over the last few weeks I've sent out several freebies. Completely no strings attached freebies that is and I've watched the interest rate jump up dramatically.

    Over 5 freebies the number of people following the link rose from 10% to 15% and that's across thousands of subs.

    Yes, I really should've made this into a WSO and sold it for a few bucks but hey, in the spirit of giving it's yours for free and doesn't even include all the padding I'd have had to put with it to charge for it

    Enjoy.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheVCF
      Yes, Brad! We Definitely Agree with You!

      And we are talking about providing Service and Added Value to our Existing Customers, those "rare and wonderful people" who have actually already bought something from you! , herein, Right?!

      So, again Yes!, IOHO ...

      Rather than just continually "spamming" them with more "buy this, buy that" messages ...

      Why not show Your Existing Customers how much you Appreciate and Value them?!

      E.g.

      1) Ask them how they like what they already bought from you / show you care!
      2) Offer them Special Customer Only:
      a) Freebies
      b) Special Offers
      c) Bonuses
      3) Survey them for what they want? and/or how you may serve them better?
      4) Offer some kind of "Frequent Customer / Loyalty Program"

      etc. etc.

      What else can you all think of / come up with along these lines?

      I would recommend any "buy this stuff" be Severely Downplayed to your Existing Customers, expect maybe for a Customer Only Appreciation Sale or something, you know?

      Build that Long Term Lifetime Customer Relationship!

      I hope this all helps and Have a Great Day!

      - Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    On a more general customer service note.

    Every enquiry to your customer service department/email address/website is someone telling you how to improve your product/service. And don't think for a minute that those "one offs" can be ignored. For every person who complains god knows how many had the same problem and just left.

    If someone tells you they got confused by your download page, take the time to find out why and fix it. If someone emails you to say your website is broke, you check and it's fine, don't think "idiot" think "I wonder why it doesn't work for him". If someone emails you to say they don't understand a topic in your ebook they are telling you how to update it for version 2.

    Look at the upside, not the cost.
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