This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to respond to your customers

Like any decent marketing person, I can get customers to contact you. I can make the phone ring. I can get people sending emails requesting your product or service. But I can't answer them, that's your job. And believe it or not, the vast majority of businesses fail to properly respond. And when you do that, all the money that you have spent on promotion and advertising just turns around and ruins your reputation. If I could wave a magic wand, all of my clients would do this:

• Answer the phone with a name. No, not ABC Gizmos, how can I help you? ABC Gizmos, this is Brad, how can I help you? If you don't want to give a real name, make something up. No one wants to talk to an anonymous voice. That's why they called. And if you use your cell phone for business, like I do, look at the caller ID. If it's a name you know, greet them by name. If it's a number you don't recognize, there's a good chance it's a new client. I say, "Hello, this is Brad".

• Respond to an email inquiry. Say something like, "thank you for the inquiry", then give the needed information. Whatever you do, don't tell a customer you're sorry it took so long, or you haven't checked your emails for a long time. Keep the response short, and never, ever, send them back to your website. If it's on your website, look it up on your website yourself and then write it in the body of the email.

• Assume the sale. The worst mistake that you can make is to go on selling long after someone has decided to buy. If you have ever heard the phrase, "shut up and take my money already!" you know what assuming the sale means. The customer is already sold, all you can do now by going on and on and on is to talk them out of the sale.

Please don't tell me times are tough. I know times are tough. Once I've done my part, just do your part, shut up and take the money already.