How To Provide Great Global Customer Service
Building Bonds One Customer at a Time by Laurel Delaney
The relationship between you and your overseas customer shouldn't end when a sale is made. If anything, it requires more attention. Once you've completed the initial export transaction, you must expect to provide a broad spectrum of "complimentary" services in order to encourage repeat business. In this article we'll talk about the kind of follow-up "care and feeding" of customers that will keep them coming back.
A customer in Ireland with whom I've been dealing for about five years recently emailed me (on behalf of a client) an order for a product that I don't even handle. Completely bewildered, I emailed back, saying that there must be some mistake. He replied, "There is no mistake. I want you to take care of this because I don't know the supplier and I trust you to conduct this business properly. Take your usual percentage. After your last shipment, you shocked me when you emailed a week later to ask if there was anything you could do to assist my marketing efforts on the product received. I will never forget this. Most American suppliers don't communicate with us after the sale unless we place another order, but you were different." I would have thought that standing behind my product and taking professional responsibility for my customer's satisfaction and success was the obvious thing to do, but apparently I was wrong!
Think of your after-sales follow-up as part of your product. If this attitude is as rare as my Irish customer said, you will be setting an unprecedented standard of professionalism. Your customers will be deeply impressed, and they'll never again want to settle for less.
YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE YOUR BUSINESS
Let's go back to basics for a minute. What drives your business efforts? What are you really in it for? To make a ton of money? To achieve total quality control? To order around a bunch of employees and be the big fish in your pond? Whatever your motives, if you want to stay in the game, you had better ...