Creative Corner-Play the "Be Your Own Customer" Game (1,128 wor
n Do you feel secure about the company that's sending you this solicitation? Does it look like a real company? Is there a phone number, a street address or P.O. box, and an URL? Who is the letter from, and what is this person's title?
n Is the order form clear? Do you feel excited about ordering?
n Does the mailing represent your company and your brand? Is the tone and look consistent with your advertising and promotional materials?
Step 2: The Order
To get the full customer experience, order your product in every way your customers do: phone, fax, mail and online. Call your 800 number. Be a pest, and ask questions, such as: "How long will delivery take?" "Can it be sent as a gift?" "Does it come in a lighter shade of blue?" Is the rep courteous or a bit annoyed? It's important to get a sense of how a typical CSR handles everyday questions. Are you put on hold, and if so, for how long? Does the person with whom you speak have access to a supervisor who can answer more difficult questions? Are they upselling, offering you specials of the day and items that go with the item you're buying? Could they be doing this?
Fax orders. Don't be too neat when writing on the order form. Are you contacted for clarification of your order and sent a confirmation by fax?
Mail orders. When you mail in your order, use a check instead of a credit card. Any problems encountered?
Online orders. Does the site represent the company and the brand? How easy is it to find what you're looking for and to order? What kind of customer support is available, and is it enough? Is there a guarantee? Does it explain how long fulfillment will take? Do you receive an e-mail confirmation of your order?