Is Your Customer Service Excellent?

"The last person to buy from you is the most likely to buy
again and soon." This quote is an old one and I do not know
the author but I do know it to be true. After spending
fourteen years of my life owning and running a retail art
gallery, I was witness to this happening over and over

A repeat customer does not happen by accident. A repeat
customer is the result of excellent customer service from

A man by the name of Harold Stanley Marcus was born on April
20, 1905 in Dallas, Texas. His family started an upper-end
retail store in 1907 and called it Neiman-Marcus. Stanley
started at the bottom in the family business in 1926 as a
floorman. He began to work on the store's image and customer
service. Mr. Marcus has been quoted as saying "Quality is
remembered long after the price is forgotten." His son
Richard, who took over from his father upon retirement, put
a different spin on his father's words of wisdom.

"Care for your customer and they will return... care for
your merchandise and it won't."

Stanley Marcus retired in 1975 as a chairman who had
shepherded the store to international prominence through a
combination of uncompromising quality in merchandise and
unwavering commitment to customer service. In 1984 Neiman-
Marcus inaugurated retailing's first customer loyalty
program, InCircle. If you have a few minutes, take a look at
the InCircle program at At the
middle of the page on the left, click on InCircle Rewards.
It is a secure page but you can scroll down to see what they
are giving their good customers.

Granted, Neiman-Marcus is an upper-end retailer and it is
inconceivable for you or me to offer anything to compare
with what they are doing for their loyal customers.

The point is... what are you doing to bring your customer

Your new customer will receive a thank-you confirmation
electronically which will probably contain other URLs to
your other programs or products. Correct? But what else?

Right now you have the perfect opportunity to send a very
personal email to that new customer. You may be thinking "I
don't have time to send out personal emails after every
sale." Well, you can't afford not to. The next merchant will
if you don't, and that's the merchant who will gain a loyal

Offer your new customer your personal assistance and
attention after the sale. Give them all of your contact
information: email, phone number and address. Also, let them
know that you have a "complimentary gift" for them as a
"thank-you" for their purchase. Try to avoid the word
"free." This word seems to have lost it's power due to its
being used in almost every ad on the Internet.

When you offer to give personal assistance to your customer,
make sure you are available during certain business hours.
Answer your emails as quickly as possible. An immediate
response is impressive and creates trust.

"Once you have your customer's trust, you have won the most
valuable prize in business."

"Care for your customer and they will return..."

Markay Vallario publishes "Scientific Internet Advertising"
Claude Hopkins and Terry Dean. Visit:
Markay also owns Markam Designs: Web design and hosting,
domain registration, advertising assistance and more. Visit: