Wednesday, 4 September 2013

How to SUCK at Customer Service!

...and SALES, and Handover YOUR PROFITS to Your Competition!!

  • Continue bombarding your unrelenting sales pitch to your customers via your 'in-house' videos even AFTER they have purchased your product, 
  • in lieu of true, how-to tutorials to show them how to use your (complicated) product! Customers who have bought DO NOT want more SALES PITCH! They just want to know how to use your product/s -  and FAST! Evaluate your 'tutorial' videos and look at them from the eyes of your CUSTOMERS and not from your MARKETING DEPARTMENT!
  • Make it really hard for your customers to use your interface - throw up every stumbling block you can think of to slow them down, eg. they can't create new campaigns at all, let alone easily. If you do not allow eg. caps in your campaign names then your instructions should clearly state so rather than stating half a fact (meaning list in full what is not allowed or better yet state the full list of what IS allowed).
  • Make it hard for customers to view their FULL stats (traffic, sales, etc.) by revealing some stats on some pages instead of all the important data on one page - this is a NO-BRAINER! It is not impossible because your competition is doing just that ... serving a more user-friendly stats page. Integrated data that is flexible and which a user can use/ evaluate/ extrapolate, etc. in order to improve their own campaigns make such a service invaluable to customers.
  • Make it hard for your affiliates (yes they are customers too! In fact they are more because they LEVERAGE a whole lot of customers to you!) to log in by making the link as unobvious as possible eg. using another name/ tab for the usual 'AFFILIATE LINK/ LOGIN' 
  • Hiding your 'FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD' to the opposite bottom corner of the log in link instead of the usual and intuitive position - just below the log in button!!! Let them hunt around just to reset password - that should ENDEAR YOU to them!
  • Prevent affiliates from auto-filling password with their browsers - make them type in each and every time - they love all those extra hassles notwithstanding they have too many passwords to remember already.
  • Treat your sales force as if they were customers, in other words you are more interested in pitching sales at them than helping them to MAKE SALES for you!  Isn't opting for the ("golden" and instantly-gratifying) egg instead of the (multiple, recurring, egg-laying) GOOSE a rather myopic and short-term view? Your salesforce would pitch in more if they knew you were more interested in helping them to succeed rather than to make one-off sales off them directly!
  • As a vendor you need to follow your own principles - target your market!  Did you even segregate your list - sales staff or customer?  Anyone who opted to become your affiliate is your salesforce - that is YOUR STAFF.  Just because it's commission-based and you have not met them physically doesn't make then any less than 'real' staff members! Ask the big boys, would they be as successful if not for their Affiliate Sales Team? If you haven't segregated your team from your customers how do you make contact with them separately? You probably haven't.
  • Also the excuse you used to obtain their email was that they could gain access to your marketing materials but after the initial login they are locked out, so how do you expect them to serve you? Did you ever contact them as their 'Affiliate Manager' if you haven't appointed one to look after them, to help them promote your stuff - if at all?
  •  So how do you expect your sales team to serve you if you haven't served them at all? It is not impossible because there are networks who are doing just that and... so very well! Ok, you may be a small player and not a billion-dollar network but some, small but switched-on players are doing this very well too - but they are in the minority. If you are a large network, you have no excuse because you have even more resources and reasons NOT to support your salesforce!
  • Customers and Salesforce do NOT have to suck it because ... there are plenty of VIABLE alternatives - from your slick and able-bodied competitors!
  • Evaluating and making some changes as per my rant here, would likely bring positive results to your business.  If you do a great job in serving your customers AND salesforce you won't have trouble attracting both groups to become evangelists for your products/ causes - one to ENTHUSIASTICALLY buy from and refer you and the other to ENTHUSIASTICALLY sell for you.

These are just a few of the warts that's surfaced ... keep you posted for more.

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