Multilevel marketing (MLM) and Party Plan companies thrive and survive on relationships, and because their continued existence depends 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.
Working in a customer service or returns department can be satisfying, nerve wracking and even amusing. Frustrated field reps and customers often take very unusual actions. Here are some examples:
- Returned merchandise is enclosed in a large package that also contains the sender’s garbage.
- The complainer works in a computer department, so she prepares the complaint in the form of a floppy disk that must be fed into a computer for translation into plain language. When translated, it reads, “I can’t get anything accomplished with humans, will you please help me?”
- The complainer makes many photocopies of his original complaint and mails one each day until he obtains a satisfactory answer.
- A business reply envelope is returned with hundreds of dead flies and insects.
- A complaint is written in poetry with the hope that it is more likely to get attention.
- A letter is taped to a 10 foot by 10-foot piece of plywood with the notation, “I am sure this won’t get lost in your system.”
- Bullets are enclosed in the envelope with instructions to the president of the company to “blow his head off.”
All of these have happened. On the other hand, some people do send “thank you” notes, gifts and pictures of their families to customer service representatives who have been helpful.
Publications To Help Consumers
In an effort to assist consumers who have problems, two publications are available to them. How To Write A Wrong-Complain Effectively And Get Results is a pamphlet published by the FTC in cooperation with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). It tells how to provide the necessary information to resolve complaints and how to use appropriate levels of business and government to get results, if a call or letter doesn’t. A copy can be obtained without charge from FTC Distribution Branch, Washington, D.C. 20580.
The booklet Mail Order Rights was developed by the Consumer Affairs Office of American Express Company in cooperation with the USPS and U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs. It is available without charge from Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009. The purpose of the booklet is to instruct on how to order by mail.
Efficient and effective customer service and returns processing are essential and fully justified in terms of the contribution they can and should make to company growth and success. Nevertheless, they do represent overhead. The lower the volume of communications and returns handled, the lower the cost.
Minimizing unnecessary communications and returns depends to some extent on how those service activities operate, but much more depends on the functioning of other parts of the business-specifically, marketing, distribution, packaging, and billing.
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, making the commitment to become a leader in customer service and support is essential to your long-term success. And by applying these concepts and using 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.