Recently, a Wellness Advocate on my doTERRA team had a really big problem enrolling someone. It was something I have never seen happen before. Quite seriously, you name what could go wrong to make a bad first impression to a new customer and it happened all in this same situation.
The core issue in this situation was technology failed in several areas and people failed to recognize how to provide service. A lot of time, phone calls, emails, texts and instant messages were in high gear to get it fixed for this customer.
Technology fails, every body understands that.
However, sometimes we let the technology blips be the excuse and it creates more than just a one time problem. When we say service cannot occur because of technology, we limit our service opportunities and lower our delivery standards. We reduce our business growth potential, relationship capacity and external impressions others have of us. We are the face to our business not our computers.
I use the word excuse because that’s what it is… an excuse.
Service is actually a person-to-person activity that can and should occur completely free of technology as much as possible.
It’s SHOCKING I know!
What is Your Business?
Selling product through a network marketing organization is sales. That is your job. Service is your business. Regardless of your business type it all comes down to service.
A lot of business transactions, sales and service occur over the Internet and through technology. There is nothing wrong with that business model as long as it also includes in the service experience a personal connection to your customers.
It is so important to establish a rapport and relationship with your customers so they trust you, want to give their hard earned money to you and bring you new customers in the form of referrals.
If you don’t invest in those relationships, then you will be constantly chasing sales.
Creating new contacts cold, meaning you have no prior connection to that person or business, is the hardest and most expensive way to grow your business.
It can work but you will put in a lot more hours, money and effort to establish yourself in this situation and convince them they should purchase through you. There is also a higher rejection rate with this approach.
Think about when you started your business. What was the hardest part?
I’m betting, like me, it was making that first contact to someone and convincing them to enroll or purchase through you.
On the other end of the spectrum we have referrals.
Referrals are the best, least expensive and easiest way to grow you business even though there is still work involved. It requires you to establish a good solid, genuine relationship with your existing customers. That relationship should be founded on integrity, trust, loyalty and above all excellent service in all situations.
So let’s talk about the situation I described at the beginning. There are some excellent examples of good service delivery and not so good.
First, the Wellness Advocate apologized in person to this new customer. Excellent personal connection reassuring her we would get this fixed. If you’re not local with your customer, then do a face-to-face conference call that allows you to look the customer in the eye and make this connection.
Next, the Wellness Advocate called customer service. She did not tell this new customer here’s the number to call so she could self-serve and fix her own problem. She did it herself. That’s important for a couple different reasons:
You are the face of your business, not the company you represent products for, not the customer service representative at the end of the phone line or online chat. YOU!!!
This action establishes trust between you and the new customer. They know they can go to you for their problems and YOU will get them resolved
If customer service cannot resolve the problem(s) then YOU can escalate on behalf of YOUR customer. This is your business and that is your customer to take care of so why would you want to let anyone else handle this situation?
In this situation, we did escalate, actually a couple times to our upline and others at doTERRA corporate. Here’s where you start to see some opportunities for service improvements:
The responses from those helping us resolve these problems were not timely and we had to continually follow up to get updates.
It took over a week to get everything resolved and in fact we are still waiting on final confirmation as I write this entry
It really felt in some cases we had to keep this on their radar to get attention on it. That’s really unfortunate and will be addressed but again an excellent example for why you need to making these calls and fixing the problem and not your customer.
You have to be responsible for this situation and unafraid to bug people until it is officially fixed
If that customer cancels or does no further business it will be you that realizes that loss in your business
One person said it would fix itself and we shouldn’t worry about it for a day or two
If you think that is OK to say to a customer or someone working on behalf of a customer with a problem, then seriously ask yourself why you’re in the business you’re in and how successful you are going to be long term
Take every problem seriously and get it fixed as quickly as possible ALWAYS
WOW! This one truly blows me away
It was the customer’s computer causing the problem
In this case, the problem was replicated on the customer’s computer, iPAD and the Wellness Advocate’s computer. The problem was not the customer’s computer. BEFORE you say this to a customer or someone working on behalf of a customer, you better be 100% certain it is the customer’s computer. Otherwise, you just insulted your customer’s intelligence and made yourself look really bad
When the problem is technology, do your research. Involve the right people who know the system and get it thoroughly checked end-to-end for where the problem is and how it can be fixed
Along the way, we understandably saw this wonderful new customer begin to become frustrated. We were at risk for losing her while we continued to work through the problems she was experiencing. We asked doTERRA and the upline for help in making this right for the customer now.
Since the customer missed the Buy One Get One Sale promotion because she couldn’t get into her account, we asked the upline to all chip in and get her one of the deals we knew she would most enjoy
We asked doTERRA to credit her account with some points as a way to demonstrate the company understood this inconvenience and was committed to making it right
We sent her a personal gift and note apologizing for the problems and demonstrating our commitment to service and support of her
In the end, thankfully, these problems were resolved. Even more important, we didn’t lose this customer. I believe it is due in large part to the personal communication and extra effort the Wellness Advocate put into the relationship with this customer. She gave her:
Timely and meaningful updates that were factual
Gifts and personal touches demonstrating to this customer how important her relationship was to this customer. Relationships always trump business.
Support and empathy throughout the process. She took on the feelings of frustration that her customer had and made them her own
When all else goes wrong, how you service that customer and the relationship you have with them will determine if you still have a customer when the problem is no longer in the moment.
Technology will never replace service.
Relationships always trump business.
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