Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Customer Service Calls DO Work

Yesterday's post ("Customer Service Calls Don't Work") got some interesting responses. My favourite one started with "Hallelujah!"

Well... it was April first and I thought an April Fool post might be fun. It was. But I was just foolin'!

OF COURSE customer service calls WORK. Not only that, they are in my opinion, the BEST way to do our jobs. We are in a customer service business. Contacting our clients, and sharing our excitement about the parties, the specials, and the business opportunity over the phone is the best and most efficient way to get the job done.

Here are a few of my top tips for making customer service calls:

Set aside time specifically to make the calls. I personally like to make them during the day BEFORE children would be out of school and/or while they at at work. So my favourite time is between 12:30 and 2:30. However, you can pick ANY time that works for YOU. How? See the next tip....

ALWAYS ask if they have time to take your call. I say, "Hi. I know you're busy, but I wonder if you just have a minute for a quick candle chat." If they say yes, I keep it short and sweet. If they say no, I ask when would it be a good time to call back.

Make a list of the people you want to call. Here are a few examples:
  1. Upcoming hosts are important for CARE calls. 
  2. Recent past hosts for post party follow-up. 
  3. Candle Connection reports provide good lists of people who have opened or (even better) clicked on your email. 
  4. Consultants in your unit to say hi, offer support, or organise a party observation (you watch them or they watch you... doesn't matter... it's great training). 
  5. People you give Bonus Vouchers to. 
  6. People you've met at a networking event (footy training, strata meetings, ladies lunches, or organised networking... it all counts).
  7. Your leader.

Set goals. How many calls do you want to make per week? This should be directly related to how big you want your business to be. If you want to have 1-2 parties per month, I'd set myself a goal to ask 10-15 people per month if they want to host a party. Keep track of your results. If you find you get more parties than you want, you can always make fewer calls. If you find you don't get enough, you can make more.

Offer parties first, take orders second. The best customer service happens in person at parties. People can see, touch, and smell the products and guests who know PartyLite already can provide testimonials about how great PartyLite is. Added benefits are that you take orders from more than one person (higher sales), you get the items delivered straight to your host (no deliveries for you), and you get to meet new people (expand your network).

Always leave a voice message. Don't waste the call or the opportunity to be friendly. "Hi. It's Wendy the Candle Lady here. I'm just calling to make sure you got my email this month and to see if there's anything I can do to brighten your world. :) I'll try again later, or if you have a minute, you can call me on 0416 239 851. Talk soon."

Keep a log. Knowing who you call and what action you need to take is important. Don't wait to do your actions. Get catalogues into the post. Send follow-up emails with links to the online catalogue. Pop a Bonus Voucher into a card. Send off and ROF to fix something that went wrong.

Make lists. Have a list of people who want to be invited to YOUR next party. A list of people who want to be consultants SOMEDAY. A list of people who want a party, but NOT NOW. A list of people who are renovating and definitely want to have a party once the work is done. A list of pregnant clients (with due dates). A list of clients getting married. A list of 17 year olds would would love to do this once they turn 18.

Force yourself to do it. You don't like to make customer service calls? Boo hoo. (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) This is the "work" part of your business. The party part is easy. The order management is easy. The marketing is easy (only $7.50 per month). This is the sales part. Getting bookings requires courage, tenacity, and follow-up. It's the part that will make you a success.

For those of you who knew I was just pulling your leg, I hope this article has a few gems in to for you. For those of you who were happy that I didn't want to make calls anymore... Sorry.

Now I'm going to spell check this blog, post it, and hit the phones. I've got a double bonus month to achieve! :) Happy selling!

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