Get Item Numbers First, Not Last
When taking consumers' orders via telephone, try to avoid asking for customer contact information before the SKU. This is especially important if you're selling to women, said Missy Park, president of Title 9 Sports, a women's athletic wear catalog.
"Women like to shop. Let them do it!" Park said during her seminar at the fall conference for the New England Mail Order Association held in Burlington, VT, in September. "Women get excited about the item they've found in your catalog. Get the item number from them first, not last.
"In addition," she noted, "there's nothing more deflating than giving a lot of personal information to a company, only to then be told that the item you called to order is out of stock or back-ordered."
Park said that whenever she calls a company to order something and is asked to rattle off a string of personal information before being asked what item she wants to buy, "I can tell that their call center has been commandeered by the company's operations folks, and not the marketers or merchandisers."