I’m all for spontaneity and “launching before you’re ready” unless it’s so ‘unready’ that your customers can’t use it.
Last week I bought something I had huge hopes for. I didn’t just buy into the software, but the hype.
And it was a huge disappointment. I’ll tell you the name of the product in a few minutes, but first I thought I’d talk about what I learned, and how to avoid the same mistakes when selling your products and services.
1. Make it super easy for customers to reach out to you.
Don’t: In this case, they included links to a zendesk account they previously owned but was no longer active. Two gmail addresses that bounced back (including the from address in the receipt email). And they still haven’t approved my Facebook group request in 7 days later.
Do: It’s not essential to use a helpdesk like zendesk or freshdesk, but it can help provide that little bit of extra confidence when a new customer reaches out for the first time and receives a ticket number.
2. Make sure at least a few people test your process before going “live”
Don’t: This software obviously wasn’t tested by their ideal audience. It was throwing errors at almost every stage (confirmed by a couple of other users, not just me)
Instead of responding to my support request (when I finally got through to a live link) they responded with, “try again, it works”. And when I logged in I could visibly see they had fixed the bugs, but instead of saying a simple thank you, it sounded like, “you’re crazy, it worked the whole time”
Do: Ask a couple of friends, family or business friends to go through your process (visiting your website, clicking on the offer, purchasing with a coupon if necessary, reading the email confirmation, etc) before sending out your offer.
3. Don’t get affiliates to promote on the first release
Don’t: I talked to a couple of people who promoted this product. They promoted it because they had been affiliates of this person in the past. It looked like a great product on the front end, making it really easy to promote.
But, they were really embarrassed when they realized it didn’t work right.
They may not trust this seller again in the future and may have even lost the trust of their email subscribers because of this.
Do: run at least a small run of your sale before bringing on affiliates.
4. Customer is always right?
Don’t: This company took the stance of “you’re doing it wrong” (at least that’s how I interpreted what they said). Even if I was doing it wrong, there were no tutorials or support documents showing the “right way” that they could point me to.
Do: Customers aren’t always right – that’s for sure. But remember to respond with empathy and kindness. If they’re frustrated, acknowledge it. And then take ownership of how you’re going to handle the situation.
Do: create a support document (or several) that walks your customers through the steps. Some people will appreciate a video walkthrough, and others prefer screenshots and “steps”. Either way, give your customers some self-help options so that you don’t feel like you need to be available 24/7 (because there are very few times you should be available 24/7)
5. Launch before your ready…..BUT!
Don’t: Launch when customers can’t get through your product or service. In this case, it was software, so not being able to use the software at all was a BIG problem. But, if you’re releasing an ebook and you end up sending out the ipages file instead of the PDF, that can be equally troublesome – only some of your customers will be able to open it.
Do: Follow a quick checklist to make sure you’re able to get your product/service out before you’re ready – because who are we kidding, there’s rarely ever a time when we’re fully ready.
- follow a quick checklist so things don’t fall through the cracks
- let your buyers know that this is the first release and there may be some bugs
- keep the lines of communication open
- And, maybe don’t book a vacation starting the day after you launch… lol… I’m guilty of this last one 🙂
Feel free to download this checklist from the 14 Day Product Challenge, and modify it to suit your projects (no opt-in required)
I promised to share the name of the product … It’s called Inboxboss, and it’s designed to help with copywriting. Like, creating an email sequence based on your customer avatar, and import it directly into your email newsletter software, like Mailchimp.
There’s a good chance you’ve already seen it promoted (I’m on at least 5 email lists who have been promoting it since the 18th). It looks like it will save a LOT of time and money, but it’s just not ready yet. Save your $50 🙂
Thanks for letting me have my little “rant” before we head off for summer vacation (I’ll be back mid July)
Hopefully, you’ll find a little takeaway from my experience too.
Let me know if you have any pet peeves when you buy things online?
Have you waited patiently for a new product, and when you bought it you were disappointed, like me?
p.s. individual courses, templates, and memberships are on sale this week because it’s summer, and my little corner of the internet turned 9 years old this month. Use coupon code: SUMMER18 until the 30th of June.
Log in first to see your member discount and other credits you might have in your account.