Is Your Customer Service Excellent?

Written by Claude Hopkins and Terry Dean

"The last person to buy from you isrepparttar most likely to buy again and soon." This quote is an old one and I do not knowrepparttar 127484 author but I do know it to be true. After spending fourteen years of my life owning and running a retail art gallery, I was witness to this happening over and over again.

A repeat customer does not happen by accident. A repeat customer isrepparttar 127485 result of excellent customer service from you.

A man byrepparttar 127486 name of Harold Stanley Marcus was born on April 20, 1905 in Dallas, Texas. His family started an upper-end retail store in 1907 and called it Neiman-Marcus. Stanley started atrepparttar 127487 bottom inrepparttar 127488 family business in 1926 as a floorman. He began to work onrepparttar 127489 store's image and customer service. Mr. Marcus has been quoted as saying "Quality is remembered long afterrepparttar 127490 price is forgotten." His son Richard, who took over from his father upon retirement, put a different spin on his father's words of wisdom.

"Care for your customer and they will return... care for your merchandise and it won't."

Stanley Marcus retired in 1975 as a chairman who had shepherdedrepparttar 127491 store to international prominence through a combination of uncompromising quality in merchandise and unwavering commitment to customer service. In 1984 Neiman- Marcus inaugurated retailing's first customer loyalty program, InCircle. If you have a few minutes, take a look atrepparttar 127492 InCircle program at Atrepparttar 127493 middle ofrepparttar 127494 page onrepparttar 127495 left, click on InCircle Rewards. It is a secure page but you can scroll down to see what they are giving their good customers.

Using the Internet & automation as tools for salespeople

Written by Dave Kahle

Willrepparttar Internet causerepparttar 127483 death ofrepparttar 127484 outside salesperson?

Pick up any trade journal or sales and marketing publication these days and chances are you'll run into some comments addressing that question. I rarely teach a seminar without that question popping up somewhere inrepparttar 127485 course ofrepparttar 127486 day. Almost every sales manager, executive and sales person I know has pondered it recently.

So what'srepparttar 127487 answer? Like most others, I have to admit that I don't know. It is certainly possible that some aspects of today's outside sales jobs will be replaced by point-and-click. Butrepparttar 127488 answer torepparttar 127489 big question remains unclear and a ways intorepparttar 127490 future.

I am sure of one thing, however. The Internet, specifically, and computers in general can be powerful tools inrepparttar 127491 hands of a capable salesperson, and those salespeople who takerepparttar 127492 initiative to become automation-enabled will find themselves growing in importance to their customers and in value to their companies. Rather then wait fearfully for an answer to appear,repparttar 127493 wisest course forrepparttar 127494 professional salesperson is to proactively make computerization work for him or her.

We all understand that computer technology, particularlyrepparttar 127495 on-line segment, is moving so rapidly that parts of this article my be obsolete byrepparttar 127496 time it is printed. Keeping that perspective in mind, here are some ways that an Internet-enabled, computer- savvy outside salesperson can use this technology to excel.

How salespeople can userepparttar 127497 Internet

1. Qualify new prospects. Just because you haverepparttar 127498 name of new prospect doesn't mean that it's worth your time to call on that prospect. Why not userepparttar 127499 Internet to qualify your prospects before you spend time trying to see them? Let's say you've developed a list of 25 new prospects in your territory, one of which is XYZ tool and die shop. Do a search for that XYZ tool and die throughrepparttar 127500 search engines and see what develops.

You may discover a website with a wealth of information aboutrepparttar 127501 prospect. It wouldn't be unusual to find outrepparttar 127502 names and titles ofrepparttar 127503 key people,repparttar 127504 key product lines or customers they serve,repparttar 127505 mission or vision statement ofrepparttar 127506 company, etc. You may also findrepparttar 127507 company mentioned in a number of other ways. For example, you may find them mentioned in a press release by an association to which they belong. They may be a new member, or have been mentioned in an article in a trade journal, or listed as a customer by another vendor. The possibilities are endless. Every piece of information can be useful to you in determining whether or not to call on them, and, if so, how to approach them. And all that information may be available overrepparttar 127508 Internet.

2. Email. This is clearly one ofrepparttar 127509 greatest advantages torepparttar 127510 Internet. Think of how many hours per week you spend onrepparttar 127511 phone with allrepparttar 127512 people in your own company. Now addrepparttar 127513 hours spent onrepparttar 127514 phone with customers, or more accurately, trying to reach customers. Suppose you could dramatically reduce that time by using email to communicate with your support people and your manager. And now, suppose that you could virtually eliminate voice mail frustrations by communicating via email to your customers. You could transform dozens of hours each week that are currently spent in frustrating and tedious tasks into productive sales time.

You could even go beyond using email for personal communications. It can also be a sales tool. Collectrepparttar 127515 email addresses of those customers who agree to this, and then use mass email as a sales tool. Here's an example. Let's say you have 100 customers, and it takes two months to see all of them. You have a hot new product to tell all of them about. Why not mass email repparttar 127516 information overnight, and then visit first those who first expressed interest in it? You could dramatically reducerepparttar 127517 time it takes to turn that new product into sales dollars.

3. Contact management. Contact management software has been around so long,repparttar 127518 benefits so clearly established, and is so commonly used that I hesitate to even mention it. However, it's my personal experience that even today at least 50% ofrepparttar 127519 sales forces with which I have contact are not automated. There is no longer any excuse for this. You need to be using a laptop with a contact manager program to collect and record information customers, to record contacts and conversations, to create schedules and to do lists, to file quotes and record sales information. One ofrepparttar 127520 characteristics ofrepparttar 127521 turn-of-the- century marketplace isrepparttar 127522 rapid increase inrepparttar 127523 amount of information a salesperson must handle. Using a computer to assist inrepparttar 127524 organization and processing of information is no longer optional. If you're not using a laptop daily in this manner, shame on you. You are behind.

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