Thursday, April 24, 2014

How serious are you about your online business?

I have been reading John Lawson's book "Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-Preneurs" and I love it!! John was kind enough to be on the Online Auction Radio Show on Talkshoe and talk about his book! It is a must for the online seller! If you'd like to listen to the archived show, just click on the link and click "listen" on the 3/11/2014 show. Episode 32.

I am going back through again once I get finished, to reabsorb what I didn't pick up the first time around. I am only about half way through, so I have a way to go.

The one thing that I thought was very appropriate for this post was what I found in chapter 2 where he states "The customer is Always Right - That's ridiculous! No way, impossible. The customer is not always right. But, the customer is always the customer and, as we've seen, the way customers control their wallets matters to your success. Whether or not you think the customer is right, you still have to continue to court King Consumers. They don't have to be right - they're kings."

So, I am going to be writing as a King Consumer and as a seller. I am going to approach both sides about a pet peeve of mine.

I am an online seller. I love to sell! I love to go find things so that I can sell; that is what I love to do!! My King Consumers matter to me. THEY control the purse strings so I do everything in my power to please them. THAT INCLUDES GETTING THE PURCHASE TO THEM AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!

My policy states that I will have the items shipped within 3 business days of cleared payment. Usually, it goes out the next business day. I check my site several times a day to make sure I don't miss questions or miss sending an invoice. I send an email to the customer thanking them for the purchase and I send them the tracking number. And, I invite them to come back to our store and to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

I have purchased from several sites recently and I am appalled at some of the lackadaisical attitude about shipping purchases to me, the King Consumer. I know . . . the policy states that you will ship within 7 days of my cleared payment. But, this seller states "Payment can be made through Paypal. Please make payment within 72 hours - 3 days of purchase." Hmmmm.

Or the one that I saw "Payment must be made by Paypal within 24 hours end of auction." Granted, this person stated they usually mail within 1 business day of cleared payment. Not the case, though.

Or the person that said "Fantastic...thanks for the quick address....will mail with tracking within 2 days." Four days later I asked again for the tracking number "Sorry hun...will mail tomorrow with tracking. Had to work late."  Finally, four days later, asked again, "May I have the tracking number?" Finally, a dispute has to be filed when no response is given.

Or the person that stated "Please allow for more time. This was mailed media mail and can take longer." I had ordered it a full two weeks prior. I waited another two weeks and I did get my money back when the book did not show up (this was supposed to be a gift). They NEVER sent me a tracking number so I wonder if it was ever sent.

Or the one item that I never was invoiced for, never got an answer to my questions OR a return phone call (I left a message - not returned) so the order is just in limbo . . . and the birthday I had planned it for is long gone.

The point of all this is I WAS the King Consumer in these cases. I simply do not understand what these people were thinking. Why did I have to wait so long for the purchases to be sent? Am I asking too much?

If you have a sale, it is up to you to get that packaged and out the door - look how fast fulfillment centers process their items! I ordered another Kindle for my granddaughter's birthday and had it two days later! I cannot compete with that BUT I can make sure that I get it out as quickly as possible and INFORM the customer of the tracking number and at the same time, let the customer know how I value his/her business! And invite them back!!

This is not a site issue. Each site that I purchased from has individual sellers that sell on their own, ship on their own, and run their own business. This is a SELLER issue. If you are serious about getting more people back into your store to shop again, you need to make sure they leave with a smile on their face! You need to make sure you not only get the package in the mail, you need to let your customer know when you sent it, the way you sent it and the tracking number that was assigned. You need to make sure that your customer KNOWS that you value their business!!

Am I a happy camper? Not for the examples I gave . . . will I return to those sellers? No, they lost their opportunity to sell to me. And I do leave feedback! Have I been impressed lately with some sellers? Yes, I have! And I also leave feedback for them and keep them in mind for future purchases!!

I am just one person. Multiply this by tens, hundreds, etc. and you begin to see that getting the customer is only part of the equation. Keeping them or getting them to return is another part.

Consider what you are doing in shipping. Are you doing everything necessary to keep that customer satisfied? If you are SERIOUS about selling online, this is a question that needs to be addressed. Sometimes we need a gentle reminding.

Okay, I am done with my pet peeve. . . . . I sell on and our store is Korn Kountry Treasures. We'd love to have you stop in and browse!

Back to reading this great book . . . . by the way, a suggestion for you . . . if you are selling online, you NEED to read John Lawson's book! But get the paperback!! I ordered the paperback after reading quite a bit on the Kindle. I found that you can highlight the paperback easier, go back and forth easier and I just like the feel of the book.

I figured I'd loan the Kindle version out to friends. Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow "loaning" the Kindle version to other people. I found that out the hard way. They did, however, credit me back so that I could make a gift of the Kindle version to a friend. So, I sort of got what I intended accomplished. Score one for the King Consumer?? Yup. It made the "no, we can't do that" easier to swallow!!

Thanks for stopping in and have a great day!