Twenty-six Mailorder Gardening Association members recently participated in a Secret Shopper Survey to evaluate and benchmark their ordering systems. Tom Beddows of THB Direct performed the survey and reported the results at last week’s Mailorder Gardening Association conference. Boy, do we as an industry have some work to do!
A number of Tom’s findings represent significant missed income opportunities. For instance, for the telephone orders placed:
• No attempt was made to capture an email address in 73% of the cases.
• No upsells were offered 92% of the time.
• The customer wasn’t even thanked for their order 23% of the time!
Tom reported that a number of companies told him, “We have an upsell program, the rep must not have been following the script.” With sales so hard to come buy today, that’s a feeble excuse.
What’s more, online ordering — for which operator error isn’t a factor — fared no better. For orders placed online:
• Upsells weren’t offered on checkout pages 85% of the time, or on product pages 65% of the time.
• Customer reviews were not available 77% of the time.
• The customer wasn’t thanked for their order 27% of the time – a worse score than the live operators!
On top of these missed income opportunities, Tom reported innumerable annoyances that hindered the selling process.
Clearly, it’s a wise idea to shop from your own site or catalog periodically so you can uncover and correct obstacles to success like these.