Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tell Questioners Now When You’ll Answer

Should you give each of your customers a good reason to come to you with a complaint? You see, the shopper psychology research finds that when a customer comes to you with a complaint and you decisively resolve the complaint, the customer’s loyalty to you gets greater than it was before the complaint.
     Beyond the first complaint, though, loyalty starts to fall apart. Fortunately, you don’t need to cause complaints in order to gain a distinctive advantage. Accomplish it by encouraging other inquiries from customers and then responding promptly. However, researchers at lead management supplier, Harvard University, and Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University are saying that retailers fail to respond quickly enough to inquiries. They looked at internet contacts that could turn into leads for B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) sales. Let’s start there and then see how it applies to in-store contacts.
     The researchers reported results from an audit of 2,241 U.S. companies. About 35% of the companies responded to inquiries, on average, within one hour, but more than 45% took more than 24 hours to reply. The average response time to online inquiries was 42 hours. That’s understandable when you consider the likely reasons behind the finding:
  • Availability of internet inquiries at any time, but lack of knowledgeable staff around the clock and calendar
  • The time consumed in referring the inquiry to the right person in the business to reply
  • Allowance of time for the consumer to look over materials they’ve already received and for the retailer to prepare a knowledgeable reply
     It’s understandable, but the effect is a striking loss of potential for profitability. U.S. firms that responded to inquiries within one hour were about sixty times as likely to move clearly toward a sale than those waiting 24 hours or longer.
     Respond to internet inquiries with immediate internet acknowledgements that include an estimate of when you’ll be back with a substantive answer. Make it as soon as possible. Then keep to the commitment.
     With in-store inquiries, use the same guidelines. If you don’t know, say you’ll find out and tell the customer now when you’ll get back to them. Encourage the person to shop for their other needs. Arrange to meet the customer at another part of the store. If it will take you more time than their shopping trip, ask how you can get in touch with them by phone or e-mail.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Get Second Chance for Good Impression
Use Dissatisfaction as a Selling Opportunity

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