Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

Welcome to Cyber Monday! Since we're all (I hope) swamped with order processing for the holidays, I'll keep this short.

If you've been selling via multiple venues, you'll see that the crowds come in waves; one virtual location is hot this year, and another has taken its place by next year. For our online store (yes, we sell online too - I believe it helps us understand our website clients' needs better!), we saw great traffic through eBay about 2-3 years ago, and while that's cooled off, sales on Amazon are now sizzling. Online sales in general are up over last year, for the 3rd year in a row, as buyers are becoming more and more savvy and looking for the best possible bargains.

This is the best time of year to remember the one thing that buyers want most of all from the stores they shop - platinum level customer service! Yes, even above a great product and a great price, they want to know that the company they're buying from is trustworthy and respectful. How do you convey this to them?

(a) Invest in a good website design, so you LOOK the part (yes, shameless plug - but it's true!);
(b) Answer your phone and answer all email inquiries promptly and politely;
(c) Ship FAST! As fast as you can;
(d) Sell a good quality product, not the cheapest or a fad item, and you'll be glad you did; and
(e) Stand behind your product. Guarantee it. Have a generous returns policy and let people know about it upfront.

The goal is to build lifetime customers who'll tell their friends about you, who'll give your product as gifts, who'll come back and buy from you again and again. So treat each small sale like you're serving a long-time family friend, and you'll see your customer list grow year after year.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and happy selling!!

This week's question: What do YOU do to offer platinum-level service?

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