My Twinn - The Web-Telemarketing Connection
Catalog companies need to be aware of three trends that will shape how business is conducted in the future, says Steve Rockwood, president at Alpine Access, a provider of Web-based customer service solutions, headquartered in Golden, CO.
The trends are:
• online customer service grows due to customer demand;
• the labor market shrinks, and;
• the Internet enables communication and a new way to work.
For businesses that recognize customer service as a crucial component in customer acquisition and retention, the combination of these trends means forging a new customer service model that is flexible enough to handle multiple points of contact, while providing a high level of service.
For doll cataloger My Twinn, a complex ordering process for its custom-made products paired with a seasonal sales pattern results in the need for a customized customer service program, which is difficult to maintain either in-house or via a traditional brick-and-mortar telemarketing service bureau.
My Twinn sells dolls that are handcrafted to closely resemble the children or grandchildren of its customers. It offers doll clothing and accessories, child and adult versions of doll outfits as well as other doll lines.
To create a close match between child and doll, customers are required to fill out a detailed profile form for each order that describes hair color, style and texture; skin color; eye color and special markings like freckles and moles. Because photos and hair samples are required, customers must mail the profile form to My Twinn's Colorado facilities regardless of whether they are placing their order via e-mail, phone or online.
"The ordering process is crucial to getting the right product," explains Gail Hickert, vice president of customer service and sales for My Twinn. "If necessary, we walk customers through the process, especially first-time customers."
To cover the myriad questions that arise from selling both custom products and mass-merchandise items, My Twinn relies on an extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on its Web site and on carefully selected online and teleservices customer service agents.