One of our group’s favorite clients is Creative Memories (CM). They are a great company whose mission is to help people preserve family memories by selling top-quality scrapbooking supplies through an international network of home-based consultants. Kim Klaver has CM ranked 31st on the top 50 list of network marketing companies (otherwise known as direct sellers by the Direct Selling Association). US News recently chronicled the fact that many people are leaving the corporate world to make six-figures by selling products through network marketing companies such as Creative Memories, Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Tastefully Simple and Scent-sations.
What CM and other successful network marketing companies understand is that customer service must be addressed at multiple levels. The home office must lead by example, researching what their Consultants expect and providing top-notch service to the home-based agents who sell their products. At the same time, they must provide support and training for their Consultants, who are the face of the company to the end-user customer.
A while back I had the privilege of doing a workshop at CM’s national convention, teaching basic Customer Service and phone skills to their Consultants. It was a great example of a Direct Seller who understands the need to equip and empower their sales force. Many network marketing companies grapple with how to get their arms around the customer service piece of the business. Creative Memories provides a great example:
- Know your consultants (through research)
- Lead by example in serving them well (utilizing effective QA)
- Equip your sales force with the tools to provide the same level of service (through training)