You know who makes the best customer service experts? Bartenders. I had the opportunity to interview entrepreneur Stella Collington on my radio show, Million $ Party Girl Talk. She spent 20 years as a professional bartender before taking the leap to join the ranks of entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams, as a Diamond Independent Business Partner with Rastelli Direct. When describing how she stumbled upon her purpose and passion, Stella’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Rastelli’s foods have literally been in front of her for almost half her life, but she didn’t really “see” them until she went to an event, Rastelli’s distributor business launch, seeking a business opportunity for her boyfriend (not herself). Stella was going to stay for a few minutes, just long enough to drop off his information. Instead she left with a new business that spoke to her heart.
Her vision is to Stellavate (I love that) everyone’s life by providing quality farm to family food, so you can have more time to Stellabrate your life. 20 years behind the bar taught Stella how to be a great listener and excel at customer service. She doesn’t sell, she serves. Stella’s passion even shows up in the name of her website: eatpaylove.com.
As Stella puts it, the fortune is in the follow up! Here’s some of her tips excerpted from my interview:
Lynn: Most sales, and opportunities, are lost from the lack of follow up. What are your top customer service tips?
Stella: Follow up can be daunting and causes great F.E.A.R (False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.) in many business people. Does this sound like your business? But, there is a fortune to be had! I have a system I follow and it keeps it simple, yet effective.
TOP 3 TIPS
· Contact your connection 24-48 hours after the initial meeting. Remember key words of the conversation by being a GREAT listener. People love to know you actually HEARD what they had to say. It can be business or personal…the key is to keep the conversation about them.
· Ask your clients their preferred method of contact. (e.g. phone call/text, email, social media). If you’re wondering why your contact is not calling you back it might just be because they prefer a text.
· Set APPOINTMENTS to follow up and qualify your leads. Your time and their time are valuable.
When was the last time a business called you after the sale? Rarely, if ever. Continued service after the purchase is very important. It’s one way you can stand out from the crowd.
Make sure you always thank your clients. I have a consumable product so it’s very important for me to make sure it has arrived safe and sound. Once I have been assured I will let my client know I will be back in touch once they have used the product. Good time for that appointment.
The back office of my website provides all the information I need to track purchases from the initial purchase to delivery and is a very valuable tool. Use the resources that are available to you and, if you don’t have them, there’s an app for that.
I question my clients about their needs by asking about their family size, products interests, budget, etc. Serving also means making sure my service is a value for them. By learning who my clients are I can follow up on a regular basis built around their needs and schedules.
We are all so busy with life these days…a valued service that offers convenience, time management and saving money is priceless!
“One unhappy customer is one too many.”
Lynn Bardowski is a 22 year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker and business coach. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, follow her blog, milliondollarpartygirl.