This week we gained some insight from customer support expert DeAnna Rogers in Austin, Texas. DeAnna not only provides customer support on a regular basis, but she also seeks out companies with whom she’d like to mutually benefit through joint ventures, so she’s got a unique perspective on how customer support can make or break a potentially advantageous business opportunity.
We hope you’ll find her wisdom helpful in strengthening your own interactions with customers and potential colleagues!
What’s a Joint Venture?
Joint ventures (JVs) are speaking or webinar opportunities that match people who are selling a product with a list of prospective buyers. An industry expert on lining up and organizing JVs, DeAnna travels to networking events a few times a year to look for representatives from companies who will host a webinar on her behalf – and vice versa. This is a great way to grow your business!
Not only do companies have to be a good match industry-wise to embark on a joint venture together, but they have to have good customer support, and at networking events, that starts with the individual. DeAnna can tell right away if a company lacks in this area.
Be polite, professional and friendly when you network – sounds pretty basic, right? However, DeAnna has come across a number of individuals who have acted cocky or unprofessional at first handshake. "People will treat their customers the same way they treat you at an event," she says. And if she’s going to JV with someone, she wants to be sure they’ll treat webinar students, potential buyers and customers with respect.
If an individual passes the initial meet-and-greet with DeAnna, the next thing she looks for is someone who is being selective. "You want someone questioning you as much as you’re questioning them, asking about your product, conversion rate and how often you market to your clients," she says. "You want someone who is picky and asks a lot of questions to ensure that their clients will benefit from your webinar."
When DeAnna encounters people trying to set up a joint venture with her too quickly or without really interviewing her, she knows that they’re more interested in the amount of webinars they book and not interested enough in their customers.
Quality over Quantity
According to DeAnna, many people boast of confirming a large number of joint ventures, but sometimes they’ve chosen companies that aren’t a great fit for their customers. "A real estate company and an Internet marketing company are not a good match," she says. "You have to look at the number of sales you make after a webinar to really see if you’ve booked a quality event."
How Bad Customer Support Affects your Joint Ventures
When companies more concerned with quantity over quality do joint ventures together, their weak customer support really seeps through in their low success rate. "Retention is much higher when you have good customer support," she says. "Most people lose their sales because of bad customer support."
In fact, one of DeAnna’s joint ventures resulted in a business owner selling 11 units, yet 9 customers returned the next day because his company did not call them back and follow through. "When it comes to joint ventures," she says, "you’ve got to have a good speaker, a good product and great customer support."
More Customer Support Takeaways
"My biggest pet peeve," DeAnna continues, "is when people put all their energy into their product, and not their customer support. They should go hand in hand. Care about the person, not the dollars. The dollars will follow if you’re there for your customers and make them your priority."
With the popularity of online sales these days, DeAnna believes it’s even more important to focus on customer support. "With online products there’s a greater opportunity for people to download and later want their money back. The key is to have stronger customer support than your product. You have to keep giving your customers that warm fuzzy feeling because they don’t have something tangible in their hands. Always give 150%."
Thanks to DeAnna for her time and invaluable insight on joint ventures and customer support!
Co-founder of the Affiliate Mastermind Group, DeAnna Rogers is an industry expert on lining up and booking joint venture speaking opportunities.
In addition, DeAnna serves as the Affiliate Coordinator and Business Manager for Capital Gains Publishing, where she runs customer support. She is also a published author. Her book, The Perfect Protégé: How to Re-Create Yourself, is currently available on Amazon.com.