When you think you are doing a good job of handling inquiries, complaints, and adjustments, and you are processing all customer mail in one or two days, and calls are coming through at your determined standard with a low abandon rate, how else can you be sure your MLM distributors and customers are truly satisfied and that your MLM customer service objectives are fulfilled?
A survey conducted by Consumer Dimensions of North Brunswick, NJ, a company specializing in consumer relations, showed that 52 percent of all consumers were “disappointed” “annoyed,” or “angry” with the responses they received after contacting a company to complain about a product or service.
Furthermore, 35 percent of those who complained said they “definitely would not” repurchase that company’s products or reuse its service in the future. Sixty percent of those who complained reported the company had been “pleasant” and “helpful.” Thirty percent described company representatives as “rude,” “unpleasant” or “uncooperative.”
An MLM company or Party Plan company can determine how well it is performing in comparison with the foregoing survey results by utilizing one or all of the following quality assurance procedures.
- Monitor telephone conversations between customers and customer service personnel on a regular basis. This will provide direct evidence of customer reactions and the degree of their satisfaction with the service provided and the adjustment, if one is appropriate.
- Send follow-up questionnaires to field reps and customers who have contacted the company with a problem, either by mail or telephone. Questionnaires should be keyed to the customer representative handling the transaction and include a business reply or a stamped envelope directed to a member of senior management or, if they are conducted via email and Internet, directed to the key manager.
Questionnaires should ask the following:
- Were you satisfied with the adjustment?
- Was it handled promptly?
- Was the telephone representative courteous, friendly and empathetic?
- Was the response clear?
- Were all your questions answered?, etc.
A few companies contacted reported an 85 percent response rate on their questionnaires. A stamped reply envelope was found to elicit a higher response rate than a business reply or a metered envelope, and e-mail responses are only slightly higher than postage-paid responses.
- Call customers who have experienced a major disappointment with the company’s products or enrollment experience, or who have written aggravated complaints. Ask them a structured series of questions to determine whether they are now satisfied and will continue to buy as a customer or build as a distributor. Such interviews should determine whether some adjustment policies should be modified to assure satisfaction in extreme cases.
Since multilevel marketing (MLM) and Party Plan compensation systems thrive and survive on relationships, and because their continued existence is wholly dependent on the customer service environment that you create within your culture, you must make the commitment to become the undisputed leader in service and support. Finding out how well you are meeting these needs is essential. And by applying these tools, and others presented in the series on MLM customer service, you may become better service-givers in the exciting world of multilevel marketing and party plan distribution.