Keep in mind, I generally only promote products from people I know personally (face-to-face, after months and years of knowing each other). But this marketer has a good reputation and a good product, so I thought I’d share it.
Many of my customers purchased – and I thank you. I appreciate your trust in my recommendations.
And then it started. While I had personally had a smooth purchase process, my customers were not so lucky. This was the type of promotion where, as the affiliate, I received payments in my paypal account. As far as I can tell, 100% of those who purchased had a problem with getting into the members’ site for the product. Naturally, as my customers, they contacted me – the person they paid.
Confidently I went to the members’ site, logged in, and looked for the support link so that I could tell them MY customers were having problems. No support link.
I went back to the original sales page. No support link.
I went back to my confirmation email. No support link.
I had received an earlier email from this marketer asking me to promote the product. It said to contact him on his Skype address. I tried. No reply.
I went to his personal blog. No support link.
I went back to the original sales offer page. Someone else said they had submitted a ticket to his support desk. I asked where. No reply.
I replied to another email from the marketer saying he had had problems with the WSO but the link was fixed now. I got an automatic reply, giving me the link to his support desk. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I clicked the link – and was taken to his “VIP Affiliate Center”. I didn’t want affiliate links – I wanted help for my people!
Found a link below the lost password to submit a ticket. Still in the affiliate center, but I submitted one anyway, explaining the problems, lack of support and asking where my people could go to get help.
I typed in the captcha below the message to submit the ticket – and a new captcha appeared. Thinking I had typed those hard-to-read letters incorrectly, I typed the new ones and submitted. I did this 5 or 6 times before I saw a tiny one-line message at the top of the screen, telling me my ticket had been submitted. Apparently I submitted it multiple times – because the screen never “closed” to indicate it had been submitted.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough 24 hours in Customer Support Hell. And still no resolution.
So here are the lessons learned.
1. Personally I will no longer promote affiliate offers for people I do not know personally, who I cannot contact at a real support desk or call on the phone.
2. I have refunded all of the orders that came to me. I could not in good conscience keep the money, given the problems.
3. There should be a link to your support desk on the bottom of every page of every website you have.
4. You should use professional help desk software that lets people know that they have submitted a ticket. Submit a ticket yourself now and then to be sure things are working properly. You want to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
5. Be careful what you call things and know when to STOP promoting. (My marketing friends are saying Never!). When I have a problem for support, the last thing I want to have to do is sign up as a VIP Affiliate in order to get that support. Likewise, when I get an email saying that I should contact your support desk, the last thing I want is a promotional “have you bought our xyz product” in that email.
It all really goes back to the Golden Rule. Treat your customers as you would like to be treated. Your customers are THE most important part of your business.