From the February 2007 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.
The Importance of Doorknobs
What Kind of Impression Does Your Package Make?
A few years ago, my husband and I took a realtor to a condominium where my husband's recently deceased aunt had lived for the past 50 years. Before we even entered, the realtor reminded us what a difference small things often make in creating the right impression.
"The first thing you must do," he advised, "is change that doorknob. People look at it as they open the door. It’s the first thing they touch. It sets the tone for everything else. Get a shiny new doorknob and they'll see everything that follows with different eyes."
The same goes for your fulfillment packages. I'm not suggesting you trade in your plain brown boxes for shiny new ones. But there are many other ways to build good will when customers open their order, to make their shopping experience easier and encourage them to order again. Here are a few:
Reinforce the Sale. If your customer fell in love with that beautiful ornamental cherry in your catalog, receiving it can be a letdown when the bare root tree resembles a dead stick. Likewise, a box full of wood and metal pieces can deflate the eager customer who's awaiting a handsome teak bench. Sell them again. Include a hang tag or add photos to instruction pages. Focus on the end result that made them order in the first place.
Make Instructions Clear. Tell your customers exactly what to do and what to expect. It's annoying to be in the middle of planting and discover an important piece of information missing, like how tall a particular plant grows, or how far apart it should be spaced from other plants.
Say Thank You. More than one small nursery has included a handwritten and signed "thank you" in my shipments. It makes me feel they truly care about their customers and their plants.
Surprise Them. An extra plant or some seeds always help build good will. Or there are other less expensive ways to delight your customers. I once ordered a children's item that came with confetti sprinkled inside the package, a fun and economical way to generate a smile.
Don’t Forget Basics. Make sure that every shipment includes your contact information, refund policy and your guarantee.
Sell More. Always include another catalog or another offer. Reward your customers. Send them coupons good for future orders or select items that you only have in limited quantities. Recent buyers are your best customers, so don't neglect a golden opportunity to ask for more sales.