Sales follow-up & Customer Service Recovery on a Global Scale
Thanks to the Internet, small to mid-sized businesses, even one person consulting shops now serve customers globally. After planting the seeds for successful Internet business the frontier has yielded sales. It has also sprouted a whole new crop of customer service concerns. What happens when a sale goes bad and the client is on the other side of the continent or globe? What can a company do to keep brand loyalty and leave a lasting impression in a competitive world-wide marketplace?
Nightingales, a Customer Satisfaction Company, specialises in international corporate gift giving to recipients in over 200 countries. Orders are accepted via the World Wide Web (http://www.night1.com). The company's signature gift is a one pound box of Walkers Pure Butter Scottish Shortbread, a timeless tradition in the United Kingdom since 1898. Shipments are sent by Royal Mail within 24 hours and arrive to the recipient with a personal message enclosed inside the box from the sender.
John Stanhope, Managing Director of Nightingales, says "The purpose of our business is to help our clients create and retain customers. Satisfied customers will, in turn, play a major role in influencing their family, friends and work colleagues to use that company's products or services."
According to Stanhope there are two reasons businesses use the Nightingales service. "Our prime aim is to help businesses retain customers for life, by making sure the customer gets a positive, professional impression of your company and its service. Secondly, to manage complaints positively, actually responding to the complaint can boost retention by up to 75%."
Professionals and retailers from airline companies to regional utility companies throughout the United Kingdom use the Nightingales service. Stanhope says that a sales follow-up gift, and message from the Sales Manager, is more effective than advertising, for producing added product and service sales.
In addition, Nightingales can be part of a customer 'Recovery Plan' or complaint-handling system that can function at an international level. Orders are processed through the Nightingales web site, filed to a customer account, with invoices sent out monthly. Orders are dispatched the same day, utilising the Royal Mail's international services. The package includes a personalised message from the business to the customer.
Many customer service consultants advocate that companies develop a strategy for service recovery. John Goodman, President, Technical Assistance Research Programs (TARP) an Arlington, VA based firm, tells us that research in over 20 countries has found that a customer who receives some compensation will usually be 10-30% more willing to repurchase than someone who received no compensation. Such compensation is not a substitute for completely fixing the problem but is effective in showing concern. Usually one third to one half of lost loyalty can be regained.
Kaset International, a Florida based international customer service consulting firm says one of the best ways to right a wrong to a customer is through some kind of compensation. Among their top four recovery strategies are: Apologise; Correct the problem; Compensate the customer with something that says, 'We want to make it up to you;' and finally, make the recovery meet the customer needs.
"Many more companies like ours are conducting international business without ever meeting the client or customer in person," says Stanhope. "The memory in our computer may be getting more powerful, but, business people are only human. In today's world it really is the last impression not the first that people remember."
The price range for delivery of Walkers Shortbread by Nightingales anywhere in the world is $20US - $28US and includes countries like Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, UK, USA.
"Lifetime value underlies not only measurement but the whole
Whether your goal is to improve customer loyalty, create a customer driven culture, or differentiate your organisation through extraordinary service, Nightingales cordially offers our global services to the following service professionals.
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