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Phone Customer Service

Customer Service is vital to maintaining successful business relationships. Providing accurate and timely information in a professional customer service in action manner is the key to any call center operation. Our customer service software and phone system was built on this foundation. But the flexibility to change is just as important in this dynamic business environment. DSC call center software was designed with this concept from the very beginning. That is why call center managers, with unique and changing requirements, have chosen and continue to use our customer service software as their solution. And our contact management phone service is ideally suited for call center service bureaus. When you need to quickly implement a new program or change existing campaigns, our products are the customer service solutions of choice.

The following article relates to customer service techniques and suggestions, especially those articles relating to customer service by phone.

Making Your Customers Happy

The following is an extract from the article "Make Someone Happy -- Your Customer" by Lillian Vernon, founder and CEO of Lillian Vernon Corp.

"In 1951, when I started Lillian Vernon Corp. from the yellow Formica kitchen table in my apartment in Mount Vernon, a suburb of New York City, I spent hours looking at the advertisements in popular women's magazines, such as Seventeen and Vogue. I was trying to figure out what type of products appealed to readers of these magazines.

Eventually, I decided to sell two simple products -- a monogrammed handbag and matching belt for teenagers -- by placing an ad for $495 in Seventeen. From that single ad, I received a response that astounded me: 50 orders! I immediately set about recording the name of each customer on a 3" x 5" index card, as well as other basic information, such as the customer's address and whether he or she placed a repeat order. I kept updating those cards, trying hard to eliminate duplicate names.

I didn't realize it then, but everything I ever needed to know about selling I was learning at my kitchen table: I was learning how to identify, find, and keep customers. In pouring over the ads in the magazines, I was conducting my first exercise in market research, determining whether there would be a demand for the products I wanted to sell. On my index cards, I was keeping a record of just who my buyers were, what types of orders they were placing, and eventually, whether they would continue to buy my products.

In the intervening 47 years, the system I devised has served me well. In 1956, when I launched my first Lillian Vernon catalog, those 50 original names had mushroomed into 125,000, all sound prospects who had made at least one purchase. These days, our company's mailing list comprises in excess of 21 million households nationwide.

Selling as Philosophy

Selling, in short, is the core of any business, no more so than in catalog retailing, where an entrepreneur's relationship is entwined directly with the customer. To sell effectively, entrepreneurs must focus on what I call the crown jewels: those names on the mailing list that you took great effort to develop and must take an even greater effort to keep. About 20% of those names are lost each year; to replace them, you must strive to add more than that 20%. Doing all of this comes down to a mix of the right philosophy and some astute practical considerations.

Let's start with my philosophy. At Lillian Vernon, we believe that the foundation of any mailing list is customer loyalty, which is the result of customers developing a trusting relationship with a company. Trust is established when people -- or a company and its customers -- understand and rely on each other.

In my view, each of my 21 million customers is a real person. I always keep a clear image of her -- and our customer is typically a "she." She yearns for a more personal time, a time when simple values and an upbeat attitude were the norm for American families; yet she also wants to save time, solve a problem, and brighten her life. So we design our catalogs to have the appeal of an old-fashioned general store, while featuring merchandise that will make her life easier and a bit happier.

That "bit happier" is the key. I have a rule of thumb that says a happy customer may tell three others about what you have to offer. Which is good. An unhappy customer, more ominously, will tell ten others about the bad experience. Which is very bad. In striving to build that crucial foundation of trust, strive to make your customer happy.

Selling as Practicality

With making customers happy as your guide, an entrepreneur's next step is to ferret out the building blocks of happiness. In my opinion, there are three: selecting the right products, being honest with customers, and welcoming communications between the company and its customers....."

To view the entire article, please contact Lillian Vernon at Lillian Vernon Corp.

Lillian Vernon is founder and CEO of Lillian Vernon Corp., a specialty catalog and online retailer that she founded 48 years ago on her kitchen table.