Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.
Tips to avoid a detrimental business mistake!
So many people I meet say they have great customer service, yet they are the first ones who do not respond promptly to email. I'm not talking about the person who occasionally lets an email slip between the cracks, we all have done that. I am talking about the habitual lack of response to email. Let me illustrate with two recent stories.
As the Founder of SHE Leads Group and desiring to expand our very unique concept in leads groups nationally, I am looking at ways to reach large groups of women who would either want to start their own chapter of SHE Leads Group, or become members. I heard of a women's entrepreneur expo in Denver and thought this would be the perfect place to have a prominent position with an exhibit. I have been trying to get information on being a top tier exhibitor in this expo. I have sent four emails since mid-March to the coordinator of this event with specific questions. Of the four emails I sent, I have received two very delayed responses. The last email came yesterday and it still did not answer my questions. As much as I believe this is an event I should be at, I will now go out of my way to find a different event to invest my marketing budget. This woman has snubbed her nose at my potential investment of $500, not only at this event, but any future events.
Of the emails I have sent, the latest expressing my frustration in a kind, professional way, there has never been an apology for her tardiness in response. A simple I'm sorry would suffice and then simply answer my questions. We are now less than 4 weeks from the event and there is no way I will participate.
Another story I want to share is that of referrals being given. Recently, I heard a story of someone who worked really hard to provide a referral to someone. This person went out of their way to sell the business to the person being referred. The proper email introduction was made and then there was no response...crickets! The potential customer was first to respond to the email. Then a day later came the acknowledgement of the referral from the business. This person who shared this story with me, said how this was not the first time the person was very slow to respond to emails. It seems to be habitual. Now, they are unsure if they will make future referrals to this person.
Checking and responding to your email is just as important as checking your voice mail. I have many stories of no response or very delayed response.
Here are six very basic email etiquette rules to follow to ensure your providing great customer service:
1. Check emails and respond to emails daily. If the response to the email requires some research to provide answers, still acknowledge the email and let the sender know when you will have the answers to the questions they are asking.
2. Read emails thoroughly and answer ALL the questions posed in the email. Do not frustrate your customer by only answering one of several questions.
3. Use a sign off and signature to your emails. The woman coordinating the expo in the story above did not even sign off her emails with a thank you, nor did she have a signature line. How harsh and unfriendly.
4. Check your tone of emails. The woman coordinating the expo had what I call a "snobadocious" tone to her emails. An email written in haste and not checked for tone, can come across the wrong way, even if that was not the person's intent.
5. Check your grammar and punctuation. Spell check won't catch words that are not misspelled, but not your intended word. For example, I wrote an email yesterday and I meant to type the word "any" and I typed so fast that I typed "nay", which is a real word and spell check did not catch it.
6. Check your junk mail daily. Sometimes prospect and customer emails can land in your junk mail. Online inquiries may also be making their way into your junk mail.
SHE Leads Group seeks members who are professional, courteous and want to learn how to convert more sales, provide exceptional customer service and get more referrals. For that reason, SHE Leads Group provides training at meetings on a variety of personal and business development topics. We invite you to attend one of our meetings and experience the SHE difference. Guests regularly say, "I have never felt so welcome in another networking group." Please be our guest at a chapter near you, where your business category is not already occupied by a member. We look forward to meeting you!