Saturday, November 1, 2014

Customer Order Delivery Tips

I actually think the video version is better than the written version this time :) so I highly recommend you take 12 minutes and watch here: 
or continue on to the written version. 

When you first start your Avon business and have just a few customers, delivering orders to customers is usually an easy thing to do.  As your business grows and you pick up more customers, making deliveries can sometimes present a challenge.  As much as we would like to sit with every customer and chat and always deliver when its best for the customer our ability to do that is limited by the laws of time and space.  

The best way to make efficient use of your time when delivering orders is to group your deliveries by area and do all of your deliveries for that neighborhood while you're in that area. If possible, deliver in each area on the same day each campaign because that consistency will make it easier for your customers. It also helps to give your customers a window that you will deliver in instead of a specific time. You don't have to give half day windows like the cable company does, but let them know you plan to be by between 1 and 2 instead of 2:30 to give yourself a little flexibility. 

Once you decide which areas you will deliver on which days then you want to work with your customers to make the delivery as convenient as possible for them. It's unlikely that every customer within a certain area will be able to see you when you are in their neighborhood, but there are as many ways to deliver orders as there are customers. Here are some of the ways I've delivered orders over the years. 

  • gone to the customer's home and visited with them while delivering their order while helping them place their next order - this is the best option when possible
  • gone to the customer's home and traded an order for payment at the door
  • gone to the customer's home and left the order in an inconspicuous spot, picking up the payment from under the door mat or similar hiding spot, or that has paid by credit card over the phone^. Occasionally a customer will forget to leave the payment, and if it's a good customer I will leave the order with a self addressed stamped envelope for the customer to mail the check in*.
  • gone to see the customer at their workplace - some workplace deliveries are for multiple customers at the same business
  • gone to the customer's workplace and delivered the order to the receptionist
  • gone to the senior center where the customer plays cards with friends, also a great place to get multiple customers in one stop
  • given the customer their order at a meeting or get together the customer and I were both attending
  • customer picked up order at my some cases they pick up the order from the box I have by my door
  • placed the customer's order through the estore by creating a customer account for them and choosing direct delivery. This option requires the customer to pay with a credit or debit card. 

No matter how you make your deliveries, a smooth delivery schedule starts when the customer places their order.  When they place their order let them know when you will be in their area and cover the options if they don't expect to be home. A text, email or phone reminder a day or two before confirming the time you expect to be by helps also. 

^Credit card payments processed through Avon's credit card processing system require an imprint of the card and signature in addition to the approval code to fully protect against charge backs.  If using an alternate credit card processing method, such as a Square or Paypal Anywhere, review your agreement and their policies on phone authorized cards. 
* No matter how much you trust a customer DO NOT leave an order without payment if you are not able to cover the cost of that order out of pocket.  Even the best customers can have a bad week and not pay you for some reason. 

Chris Arnold
Avon Gold Leader
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