Category Archives: Customer Service

My ramblings on good and bad customer service.

How to Rate Your Suppliers and Shippers

A major factor in the health and profitability of your business is your relationship with the suppliers and vendors that are supplying you and your customers with products and services. Nowadays when competition is so intense, and time is critical, it’s more important than ever before to have a handle on the vendors and suppliers who work with you. You absolutely need systems set up that not only help you determine whether or not a particular vendor may be right for you, but also keep your business properly protected. This goes for online businesses as well, especially if you are outsourcing services.

Evaluating your vendors or suppliers from the very beginning!

The best way to go about giving your company the best shot possible at a great vendor/supplier relationship is to be sure to do your work at the beginning. Take the time necessary to adequately vet a possible vendor or supplier, and look for possible red flags. Examples of the questions you need answers to include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Who are some of your customers?
  • How many employees?
  • How busy are you?
  • How focused on my company will you be?
  • Who will I be working with?
  • What happens when there’s an emergency?
  • How do I know you’ll come through when I need you?

Put accountability systems in place

This relationship needs to be productive for all concerned. For this reason, it’s essential you put accountability systems into position to ensure everyone is doing their part. Create solid performance parameters that clearly state what is expected, and stick with them. Examine these criteria routinely, and don’t let under-performance issues go undetected. Always make sure you have a quality management system in place. Don’t trust your business to anyone who lets the inmates run the asylum!

Don’t hesitate to move on!

Sometimes it simply doesn’t succeed, and you need to be decisive when it requires changing vendors or suppliers. Don’t allow a bad situation to get even worse; your success depends on it!

Make Sure Your Emails Get Read in Gmail’s New Promotions Tab

Is Google Trying to Kill Your Email Marketing?

No doubt you’ve seen or heard the pandemonium about Google’s new change to Gmail. In their infinite wisdom they’ve arrived at the conclusion that they could manage your inbox better than you can, and have “helped” you accomplish this by separating your incoming mail into several “tabs”. The first is your Primary tab, where the majority of your important mail (again, in their eyes) comes to roost. Second is the Social tab, where your social media mail is placed, last but not least, a Promotions tab, where things deemed commercial or promotional is tossed. You do, (for now) are able to create custom tabs or revert to the old inbox. But how long will that survive?

So what can you do?

As a reader, your options are to go along with Google’s divvying up of your email, adjust your tabs to your taste, or revert to the old inbox. However, what we’re really interested in here is getting the marketing emails you are mailing past Google’s filters and into the primary inbox of your recipient. Most people won’t spend time to rescue your email from the others that fall into into the Promotions tab, and thus your emails will often probably go unnoticed. In the short time since this has been around, we already have reports of far lower open rates resulting from this. What’s more, Google has decided to create email-like ads that appear at the head of your promotions emails, making it even more difficult for your emails to get noticed. Many marketers are fearful that this trend could spread to other email providers, making it more and more difficult to use email marketing. We’ll see. For now, we need to understand how to use our email to ensure that we stand the best chance possible to skirt Google’s promotions tab in the primary inbox.

Several tips to make sure your emails get read in Gmail

  • Create Serialized emails – keep them coming back for more, no matter which inbox it ends up in.
  • Avoid hypey words in your subject lines. This only helps Google identify it as promotional.
  • Let people know that if they don’t see your emails, look in their promotional tab and move them for easier access.
  • Make them anxious to read your next email by delivering terrific content!