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Turbocharge Your Business Growth: Unravel the Mystique of Cinco de Mayo with Heartwarming, Irresistible Marketing Alchemy

Leverage the power of Cinco de Mayo to turbocharge your business growth with heartwarming, irresistible marketing strategies. Create an emotional connection with customers and leave a lasting impression.

Talk-Commerce-Rick Elmore

What are you doing to build loyalty with Rick Elmore

One of the most effective strategies for building customer loyalty is sending handwritten notes. Handwritten notes show care and attention that any other medium cannot match. Handwritten notes are a powerful way to make a personal connection and can be used to thank your client for their business.

Handwritten notes can be sent as a thank you after a purchase, to celebrate a milestone, or to show appreciation for being a loyal client. The personal touch of a handwritten note will make your client feel like they are being acknowledged and valued.

Rick Elmore shows how to build loyalty and show appreciation to clients by connecting with them personally.

What you will learn

  • Rick Elmore is the founder and CEO of Simply Noted. He played college and professional sports, and then went on to work in corporate medical device sales and marketing until he had an itch that he just couldn’t scratch with what he was doing then.
  • Rick enjoys being outdoors and is training for a half marathon. He enjoys doing physical activity and has a three and a five-year-old now.
  • Quote from RickWhen I was in my sales career, it was really hard to stand out from the crowd, especially in the corporate world where there’s always a competitor in everything that you do. So I started writing handwritten notes to my customers to try and get their attention.
  • Quote from RickWhen I was doing my MBA class, my professor said that handwritten notes still work. I had a classmate of mine and myself that got to work and sent out 500 handwritten notes that were written by a pen plotter and had a phenomenal response rate.
  • Rick founded simply noted full-time and has been doing that for the last four and a half years. It’s a powerful tool that can be used in just so many different facets of business, not just sales.
  • Brent: I’ve had conversations with other entrepreneurs who say that handwritten notes are a lost art. One famous guy in the Twin Cities sends out 30 thank-you notes a day.
  • Ricks notest that they are a handwritten notes platform that helps companies automate sending thank you or handwritten thank you notes to their customers. By doing so, their customer lifetime value goes up; they’re gonna be happier, they’re gonna re-refer their friends, and they’re gonna write better reviews.
  • Rick: We’ve invested over $850,000 in the last almost two years developing our own handwriting robot. It’s a real three-access, a pantry-based system that’s auto-fed, and it helps realtors, mortgage professionals, e-commerce businesses, politicians, and nonprofits, to either automate it or scale it.
  • You can create your own handwriting style using our software, and we have a portfolio of about 900 handwriting styles. If you’re a person of influence, we can create a handwriting style for you, but there is a cost associated with that.
  • Rick describes the technology that goes into creating a genuine handwritten note, and how it compares to an e at the beginning of a word versus an e at the end of a word.
  • Rick: Our handwriting engine is Mach machine Learning right now, and it completely varies every single time it writes. So if you put a hundred custom messages into our handwriting software and you wrote out a hundred notes, it’s literally gonna look at 100% different every single time it’s written.
  • The real way to tell if it’s actually pen written or not is the smudge test. We actually built our own pen and developed a weighted pen insert, so when our motor lifts it, it actually lifts the pen, but when it goes down, it has a downward force.
  • Rick explains how his pen works and how he gets a nice little pen and dation plus it’s ink, so it’s gonna smear. However, people are starting to understand that this is a service that is out there and that simply noted is a good product. Rick: I’ve heard that getting handwritten notes has helped other companies get a better response rate on campaigns and outreach. Brent: First handwritten notes have a 99% open rate.
  • If you’re thinking about doing direct mail and you’re doing print, you might as well just throw seven out of every $10 in the trash, cuz it’s not gonna do anything. But if you can retain 5% more each year, you can grow your business.
  • When it comes down to it, it’s about building deeper relationships with your clients. If you have deeper, more loyal relationships, they’re gonna stick around, refer their friends and write better reviews, which really is gonna help you grow your business.
  • Rick: We have a luxury jewelry brand that uses us for customer complaints, but they don’t apologize to the customer. Instead, they automate the message and send hundreds of notes a week.
  • Brent: It’s interesting on the customer complaint, cuz it’s a little bit of a risk, especially if you automate it too much. Rick: I don’t know, I think you want to keep it super generic and give them the opportunity to reach back out to you.
  • Rick: If you’re trying to get super custom, give them the option to contact you again and talk.
  • Brent: I’ve heard that you can overdo handwritten notes, so we recommend sending them three to four times a year at the most, at least once or twice a year. Rick: You still gotta do everything else, too, like email, phone calls, social, etc.
  • Rick: We help you build that strong relationship on an automatic or scaled, you know, level, and we recommend sending something that is as personalized as possible, but short and sweet, because these clients have seven second attention spans.
  • Rick suggests sending three or four sentences, and putting yourself on the receiving end of the message. This is much more impactful than a thank you upsell, hard close, 150 word message, where they’re gonna start skim reading if you don’t have their attention within three seconds.
  • Rick: If you are gonna use email for sales or marketing, you gotta include three things: who you are, what company you’re with, what you can do for them, and how can you make their life better.
  • Rick: We’re primarily focused on helping companies do it, but we still want to help average realtors or mortgage professionals send a card. They can send their first card free so they can see what it’s like, touch it, get it in their mail.
  • Rick: I think it’s Rafiki, and his handwriting is terrible. He says he’ll send a handwritten note or two a day, but he’ll still use our system because his handwriting is so terrible. Rick Elmore’s handwriting style is not enjoyable to read, so he doesn’t want it on the website.
  • Rick says that customers should focus on the relationship rather than the product going into quarter one or just throughout for 2023. He wants to keep the people that have worked with him two years ago or last year. Rick says to get in front of clients early on every single year to get their loyalty stuck to you and your brand.
  • Rick says to stay in front of your clients, do something that others aren’t doing, and get their trust and loyalty. This will help you stay on top of mind 24 7 and get them 100% on your ship every single year.
  • Rick: I think that personal touch is a great way to stand out from the noise of generic social media and generic email. I used a podcasting service that sent me a video thanking me for being a client. Rick and Brent discuss using Zoom to record personal little video responses, and Brent gives everybody a chance to do a shameless plug.
  • Rick: If you go to our website and fill out the business page, we’ll send you a nice sample kit with writing samples, brochures, case studies, handwriting styles, um, basically everything. And usually what happens is that three to six months later a light bulb goes off and they contact us.


[00:03:07] Brent: All right. Welcome to this episode, oft Commerce. Today I have Rick Elmore. Rick Elmore is the founder and c e o of simply noted Rick. Go ahead, introduce yourself. Tell us your day-to-day role and maybe one of your passions in life. 

[00:03:23] Rick: Yeah, so, um, my name is Rick Elmore. I’m the owner of Simply Noted, um, it, that is a handwritten notes platform.

[00:03:29] Rick: We, we’ll kind of dive into what that is later, but my background is in athletics. I played college and professional sports. Played at the University of Arizona, which was a three year starter for Mike Stoops and then was drafted in 2010 in the NFL draft. Um, after that, um, was in corporate medical device sales and marketing.

[00:03:48] Rick: First year was Rookie of the year. Next, uh, six years was either top 1% or top five rep in the company. And then 2017 came around. I had an itch that I just couldn’t scratch with what I was doing then. So I went back and did my MBA and, and uh, that’s where the idea for simply Noted began. 

[00:04:06] Brent: That’s awesome.

[00:04:07] Brent: Um, and, um, so passion is still athletics are. playing football still. 

[00:04:14] Rick: Yeah. Oh yeah. I guess, yeah. Then, uh, my passions, you know, I’m a, an avid outdoorsman. Uh, I have a three and a five year old now, so I have to be a lot more calculated, um, in what I do with my time off. You know, I, I can’t do those three and four day adventures anymore, so I have to be a little bit, uh, you know, what’s closer to home.

[00:04:32] Rick: But yeah, I would say, you know, I’m doing a, a half marathon this upcoming weekend, so I, I still try to do a lot of physical activity. That’s what I enjoy doing most outside of work. 

[00:04:42] Brent: Awesome. That’s great. Um, I, I warned you in the green room that, uh, we’re doing this free joke project and you agreed to participate.

[00:04:50] Brent: So I’m just gonna tell you a joke and you can tell me if that joke should remain free or if we could charge for it. And, um, I’m just gonna preempt today that the joke I have found, I’m gonna guarantee your kids are gonna love or at some point. But anyways, here we go. Yesterday my doctor told me my chronic diarrhea is inherited.

[00:05:13] Brent: Runs in the family. 

[00:05:17] Rick: I would say that’s a good dad joke, but , let’s keep that one free . Yeah. 

[00:05:22] Brent: I, I, I agree with you. So . Yeah. Um, alright, so, uh, simply noted, you know, I’m, I’m a big, I’m a big believer in, in handwritten notes. Tell me a little bit about it. 

[00:05:34] Rick: Yeah, so, um, you know, when I was in my sales career, , you know, it was really hard, especially in the corporate, um, like infrastructure seemed to really stand out and, and be different because, you know, in the corporate world there’s always a competitor actually in everything that you do.

[00:05:52] Rick: There’s always competition. There’s a different option. Um, all the customers are being, you know, pulled in every direction by every vendor to try to get their attention. And when I was doing in my MBA class, I had a marketing professor, I was just talking about like success rates and market. and, um, everything was super marginal.

[00:06:11] Rick: Everything was like low single digit percentage, you know, email, cold call, print, direct mail, um, knocking on doors. And I had a professor that said handwritten notes, guys, like at the end, at the end of the lecture, he said, kind of half jokingly said, Hey guys, you know what still works is a good old fashioned handwritten note.

[00:06:28] Rick: Um, it gets opened almost 100% of the time, says it’s actually 99% and there’s just nothing like it. I don’t think he knew what he was doing then because the light bulb started going off and, uh, I had a classmate of mine and myself we got to work. We, uh, worked with the mailing house here in Phoenix, Arizona, flew some technology and from South America, China, and basically it was a pen potter.

[00:06:53] Rick: I, where’s that? I have a, usually have a pen plotter in here to show you. But, um, sent out some really bad handwritten notes that were written by this pen plotter. Uh, it took us about a month to write out 500 of them, and, uh, just had a phenomenal response rate. Just, you know, as a salesperson, having a client call you back.

[00:07:13] Rick: Right. That, that’s a big deal. And, um, what we really noticed, , you know, how powerful they can be, how powerful of a tool. It can be used in just so many other different facets of business, not just sales, um, you know, client retention, um, relationship building, you know, booking appointments, um, saying top of mind.

[00:07:34] Rick: You know, there’s just a bunch of ways that you can use this tool in a, in very valuable ways. But for me, what sparked the idea was outreach, booking appointments, and closing. So, um, had tremendous success in 2017 doing that 2018 and then, you know, the business kind of just grew organically in 2019. We founded, uh, simply noted full-time, and uh, that’s what we’ve been doing for the last four and a half years.

[00:07:58] Rick: That’s awesome. 

[00:07:58] Brent: Yeah, I, I definitely have had conversations with other entrepreneurs and business owners who, uh, especially people that are in an older generation who say, mm-hmm. , that, uh, that’s a lost art, is the, um, is a handwritten note. Um, I, I remember sitting through a meeting or a, you know, a panel with one of the, um, one of the more famous guys in the Twin Cities who had said, Uh, he picks 30 people a day out of his sales.

[00:08:29] Brent: He had a retail and he would send them a handwritten thank you note mm-hmm. , and he would hand write every single one of them. So, uh, I, I, I can certainly appreciate it. And, and so tell us a little bit about your system and how you’re not asking actually everybody to hand write it, like you mentioned 

[00:08:48] Rick: plotters and stuff.

[00:08:49] Rick: Yeah, so what’s simply noted as is we’re a handwritten notes platform. We help companies either automate it, so think of like a new client signs up. We can automate sending a thank you or handwritten thank you note or say it’s, um, after their fifth purchase we can set up some type of trigger using Zap.

[00:09:05] Rick: You’re an API integration of Web Hook. Um, once they hit that milestone to think then, or an anniversary or a birthday, um, we really like. , you know, kind of consult our clients on the relationship side of building, um, these hand uh, sending these notes on a relationship purpose because you know, they’re going, they’re gonna stick around a lot longer.

[00:09:26] Rick: The lifetime value’s gonna go up, they’re gonna be happier. They’re gonna re refer their friends, they’re gonna write better reviews. So we think, you know, the tool of sending a handwritten note should just be simply to thank somebody, um, because just saying thank you, it’s worth its weight in gold. Um, it’s gonna come back to you tenfold over.

[00:09:41] Rick: Um, it just takes time. Um, and all good things do take time. So simply noted. Helps you automate it or scale it. So, um, if you need to send one, if you have all the stuff we always tell our clients, like if you have handwritten notes or notes in your desk and you wanna send one-offs, um, we tell you to do it because, you know, there’s just nothing like a handwritten note from you, but, Just a tiny little speck below that’s simply noted.

[00:10:07] Rick: Everything we do is real genuine pen written. Um, we’ve invested over $850,000 in the last almost two years developing our own handwriting robot. Um, it’s a real. Three access, uh, you know, left, right up, down, uh, forward backwards, you know, three access, pantry based system that’s auto fed. Um, we’ve developed our own handwriting engine, our own software, our own mechanics.

[00:10:31] Rick: It’s, it’s pretty, it’s pretty awesome. Software integrations. So, yeah, so simply known as just a platform that helps, you know, realtors, mortgage professionals, e-commerce businesses, um, politicians, nonprofits, to either automate it or. . 

[00:10:48] Brent: Yeah. That’s awesome. I, I know that we’ve, I’ve talked to other people who’ve done something similar and so you, you have the ability to mimic somebody else’s handwriting and or use a general hand write handwriting to send the 

[00:11:02] Rick: note.

[00:11:03] Rick: Yeah, so we have about 32. Last time we checked 32 handwriting styles available on the website. Um, we have about a portfolio of about 900 handwriting styles. Um, it really becomes analysis paralysis, like if you like, start looking at tons and tons of these handwriting styles. Um, if you’re a person of influence where like, you know, your stuff’s gonna end up online, um, you, you’re a public figure and you want to do your own handwriting style, we absolutely can do that.

[00:11:32] Rick: Um, most people. because there’s a cost associated with that. But we don’t just create a font, we create a handwriting style. And what that means is like we’re actually pulling out like the characteristics of how you write, you know, You like when you write like, like the natural spacing, the kering, you know, of what an A next to a B looks like, an A next to a, you know, a c I mean, everything is like pulled out, you know, ligature styles.

[00:11:58] Rick: What do two T’s look like next to each other? Do you loop ’em? Do you connect ’em? You know, it’s what’s an e at the beginning of a word look like versus an e at the end of a word. I mean, it’s lit. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty intense. You know, the, what has gone into creating, uh, a genuine handwritten note.

[00:12:15] Rick: There’s tons of technology on the, on the back end that allows us to send a simple hand handwritten note on the front end. So it’s, it’s pretty, um, spectacular. 

[00:12:25] Brent: Um, I know ma, machine learning is such a, um, a buzzword right now. Uh, how does machine learning kind of play into this? And does it, and 

[00:12:35] Rick: so our soft, yeah.

[00:12:36] Rick: So it’s, I mean, I would say our, our handwriting engine is Mach machine Learning right now. Um, it completely varies every single time it writes. Um, I wouldn’t say that it’s, it’s a true, smart, like machine learning, but what it does is it, Constantly varies. Every single handwritten note. So if you plugged a hundred custom messages, you know, into our handwriting software and you wrote out a hundred notes and you put ’em all next to each other, it’s literally gonna look at, look 100% different every single time it’s written.

[00:13:05] Rick: So, um, we put a lot of thought in, in research and development to making sure that they look as real as possible. Cuz if not, I mean, there’s really no purpose of our, our service if you know the notes that we are. Don’t look the most authentic. 

[00:13:22] Brent: Yeah, I, I can say that I’ve gotten many realtor email or, uh, physical letters that is, that are clearly just printed out on a printer and mm-hmm.

[00:13:31] Brent: and have some font that, that sort of ties together some cursive . 

[00:13:35] Rick: Yeah. Um, Yeah, so the real way of telling that is the smudge test. You just lick your finger and just like try to smudge the ink. Um, a laser printed hand, like a laser printed font will not smudge, but like, since these are real pens, um, we actually had to build our own pen.

[00:13:50] Rick: Um, we can dive into because we write so many notes, but, um, . If you actually write it with a real pen and you try to smudge it, the will smear. So that’s like the number one way to tell if it’s actually pen written or not. 

[00:14:03] Brent: And you have some kind of, uh, it, it does a little indent on the paper as well. 

[00:14:07] Rick: Yep, yep.

[00:14:08] Rick: And that was another reason, you know, we had to develop room technology. So those actually drop machines. All they have is little lift motor and there’s no downward pressure force. So we actually, we did a weighted pen. Um, we actually developed this pen. Um, we developed our own pen insert. We’re writing capacity, so when our motor lifts it, it actually lifts the pen, but when it goes down, we actually have a right, like a downward force on it.

[00:14:33] Rick: So we actually have a, a spring force that actually pushes the pen into the paper as well. So, um, so you’re gonna get that nice little pen and dation plus it’s ink, so it’s gonna smear. So it really, it’s gonna be really hard, you know, I mean, you really, really have to try to. Some type of, you know, um, woody pattern in these when there, there isn’t, but.

[00:14:55] Rick: That’s, yeah. 

[00:14:57] Brent: Have you ever had anybody ask for Mount Blanc Black blue Ink? 

[00:15:01] Rick: Yeah, when we were like first getting started. That was really funny. Like the early customers would ask for like that crazy stuff. But no more, I think people are starting to understand that, you know, this is a service that is out there.

[00:15:12] Rick: Um, You know, there are a couple competitors out there. There’s really only maybe two serious players in this space. Um, but, uh, yeah, I think, you know, businesses now just want, you know, something that’s easy to use, efficient, um, authentic, a good product. And that’s what we’re trying to do for our clients that we here at simply noted.

[00:15:34] Rick: Do you 

[00:15:34] Brent: have some numbers that you could share that show sort of the uptick, uh, on, at the end of a sales cycle or response rate? I, I’ve heard that, you know, getting handwritten note has helped other companies, uh, get a better response rate on campaigns and. And, and just 

[00:15:49] Rick: outreach. Yeah. Well, first handwritten notes have a 99% open rate.

[00:15:55] Rick: That’s a 300% improvement over print mail. Um, so if you’re thinking about doing direct mail and you’re doing print, you might as well just throw seven out of every $10 in the trash, cuz it’s not gonna do anything. Um, this was actually an American Express study, but they found out that just, you know, this is a client, you know, a client experience, um, study.

[00:16:16] Rick: American Express did, but just a simple 5% improvement in client retention will increase profits year over year by 25 to 95%. They did that on business accounts, but just retaining 5% more each year is gonna help you grow your business or grow your sales by 25 to 95% year over year. For me, I mean, that makes complete sense.

[00:16:36] Rick: If we were able to, you know, keep our current business clients, you know, year over year, um, especially, you know, our, our larger accounts, it would be easier to grow your business. So that makes total sense. Um, also, there’s, you know, customers who feel appreciated, you know, five, they’re five times more likely to make a repeat purchase.

[00:16:53] Rick: So just saying thank you. You’re gonna increase your like repeat purchases from your clients, repeat business by 500%. That was also American Express study as well. So really when it comes down to, it’s like just building deeper relationships with your clients because when you have deeper, more loyal relationships, they’re gonna stick around.

[00:17:12] Rick: You know, they’re gonna refer their friends and they’re gonna write better reviews, which really is gonna help you grow your business. And that’s what we’re really trying to do. Um, yeah. Yeah, I’d say those are some good stats with simply. 

[00:17:24] Brent: Do you have some, um, sort of, you don’t have to say any client names, but, uh, any examples of situations, maybe retail or e-commerce or even just regular B2B type of outreach that have been very successful?

[00:17:40] Rick: Yeah, so we work with a luxury hat brand. Um, what they do is when somebody tries like their. Discounted hat. What they’ll do is they’ll automate a, um, handwritten note with a discount code to try their more expensive hat. So they’re trying to upsell them. So, I mean, they’ve been doing that for over a year.

[00:17:59] Rick: So I think if it was working, they, I mean, if it wasn’t working, they wouldn’t keep doing it. So that’s kind of a cool, unique, um, uh, kind of use case that we’ve seen in the e-com. Also, um, it’s, we have a, a luxury, um, uh, jewelry brand. And it’s really funny. It’s like, you know, their average sale probably is $3,000 or more, but what they use us for is when they get a customer complaint.

[00:18:26] Rick: So we see the, you know, somebody who didn’t have a good experience. We see that message get automated all the time. Um, it’s a global, global company and you know, they’re sending hundreds of notes a week. Um, but you would think, you know, , um, you know, using something like that to just apologize and get them back on board to, you know, get them to like the brand more, um, to try to get that loyalty back.

[00:18:50] Rick: Um, so yeah, we’ve seen them for upselling. We’ve seen them for saying sorry, to try to, you know, earn their trust back. So, yeah, there’s a bunch of ways to use it. 

[00:18:58] Brent: That’s interesting on the customer complaint, cuz it, it is a little bit of a risk, especially if you automate it too much. Is that something worse?

[00:19:05] Brent: Somebody would actually write out, hand write, not handwriting super, but type. I type it out and then it comes to your engine and then gets mailed out. 

[00:19:13] Rick: Yeah. I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know. I, I think in something like that, you want to keep it super generic, you know, and give them the opportunity to reach back out to you.

[00:19:22] Rick: Um, that’s what this brand does. , um, they just say that they’re really sorry, you know, they’re apologizing for that experience. If you wanna talk, I’d love to talk to you more about it. And they put their a contact number for them so it actually looks, you know, as authentic as possible. They’re trying to be authentic, they’re trying to fix it.

[00:19:37] Rick: I think if you’re trying to get super custom and it’s just like a, um, a use case just to send it and forget it, I wouldn’t say that’s the best case. But if you’re giving them the option to then further contact you again and talk. The authenticity of something like that is, is something that’s extremely powerful.

[00:19:56] Brent: Um, I’ve heard. You can overdo handwritten notes as well, like the, it is something that should be spaced out over time and like, if, if you’re tagging somebody at the end of an e-commerce, uh, sale and you don’t wanna send ’em an handwritten note every week saying, Hey, thanks 

[00:20:13] Rick: for this. No, well, I mean, we would love it if, you know , I can’t send, you know, hundreds to each of their clients.

[00:20:20] Rick: But, um, yeah, we, we try to recommend to our, our, our businesses, you know, three to four times a year at the most, um, at least once or twice a year. You know, we’re in the holidays right now, so it’s our busiest time of the year. That’s when most of our businesses are using us. Um, but I would say, you know, maybe thank you for a purchase, maybe a birthday or an anniversary of a purchase, and then a holiday.

[00:20:42] Rick: You know, just stay top of mind, you know, simply note as just another tool in the belt. That’s what we try to tell ’em as well. You still gotta do everything else. You still gotta have great customer service or great product, email, you know, phone calls, social, I mean, you gotta have all the other elements to build a successful business.

[00:20:56] Rick: It’s just, What we do is help you just build that strong relationship on an automatic or scaled, you know, level. 

[00:21:05] Brent: Um, on the, um, on that, on that experience part and scale, I should say, um, our customers seeing some kind of, uh, um, or, or I should say, are merchants seeing a better uptick when it’s a little bit personalized or.

[00:21:27] Brent: Uh, are, is it, is it still effective if you’re sending out a nice note with a thank you and, and the person’s name at the end? 

[00:21:36] Rick: Well, we always recommend to, uh, personalize it. Um, that’s the power of all the technologies that’s out there right now. Um, you know, using platforms like Zapier, integr, Matt Mat, um, or make, you know, whatever they are now, um, integrate, you know, you can pull information automatically from your software and personalize.

[00:21:56] Rick: The message as much as possible. Um, we definitely don’t recommend just putting a generic message on there cuz it kind of, it can come off as impersonal. Um, when the product that we are trying to provide is a very high level touch personal. So, um, We would absolutely recommend sending something that is as personalized as possible, but short and sweet, you know, these, your clients have seven second attention spans.

[00:22:21] Rick: Three or four sentences. Respect their time. Don’t send them, you know, two paragraphs of a message. It’s just not real or authentic. Um, you know, try to put yourself in their shoes. Be on the receiving end of this. What would you like to receive? . You know, maybe a simple Thank you. We appreciate you so much.

[00:22:38] Rick: You know, you know, please let us know if we can do anything for you. You know, short, sweet to the point is gonna be much more impactful than a thank you upsell, hard close , you know, 150 word message where they’re gonna, you know, if you don’t, if they don’t. You know, I was just listening to a podcast yesterday actually, about something.

[00:22:57] Rick: If you don’t have them hooked within three seconds, they just start skim reading. Like if you don’t have their attention within that first sentence, you know, I was trying to listen to podcasts about developing stronger messaging, and there’s like within three seconds, if you don’t have ’em, they just start, they just start skim reading.

[00:23:11] Rick: So again, short and sweet to the point is what, uh, works the best, but make sure it’s personalized to them. . 

[00:23:17] Brent: And how about hooks in that message to get them to do some action? Is there, is there something in there that you’d, that sometimes you’d like them to do? Or is it some, is it just a, Hey, thanks for, for your 

[00:23:29] Rick: customer?

[00:23:30] Rick: So my, my background’s in sales and marketing, so I’m, we use it to, to grow our business. Um, um, But what I always try to tell people is just say thank you, but if you are gonna use it for like a sales or marketing tool to book more appointments or close more deals, I always say there’s three things you gotta include so you know who you are.

[00:23:52] Rick: Make a quick introduction, one sentence, who you are, what company you’re with. Um, you know, what’s your value proposition? So number two, like what, how can you help them? How are you gonna make their life better? And then just simple, make an ass, you know, um, can we get on the call? You know, can we buy you lunch?

[00:24:08] Rick: Something like that. Just really quick. And to the point, respect their time. If they’re interested, you know, they’ll call you back. But yeah, I would say make an introduction, value proposition, you know, and then they can. , 

[00:24:22] Brent: is there a crossover into the personal space? You know, sending birthday cards and Christmas cards and things like that?

[00:24:27] Brent: Are you primarily 

[00:24:29] Rick: commercial? So our website, simply, can send just one card for any reason. Um, but that our website was built on purpose. We had to the API first company. Um, so all of our orders, you know, they do go through our website, but they use software to. Um, but if anybody, you know, wants to go in and send a quick birthday card or a holiday card, um, you can do that on our website.

[00:24:57] Rick: Um, but we’re primarily focused on helping companies, um, do it because they have the technology and the resources put in place, you know, to leverage a system like this. But we still want to help, you know. Average realtor or mortgage professional, or just anybody who wants to send a card. It’s actually a good reason for a lot of people to just try us out as well.

[00:25:19] Rick: You know, they want to try before they buy, so they’ll go on there and we allow them to send their first card free so they can send it, see what it’s like, touch it, get it in their mail. Um, yeah. 

[00:25:30] Brent: Excellent. Um, do you have a font that is can’t read? So if my, nobody can read my handwriting. So do you have it so they’ll know that, Hey, this is coming from Brent, so Definit.

[00:25:41] Brent: I can’t even read it. . 

[00:25:43] Rick: Yeah. So, um, yeah, I think it’s Rafiki. It’s kind of like a, a doctor’s, I would call it scratch. I mean, it’s super dis disgusting. It’s really hard to read. But, um, I mean, I, you know, I’ll send a handwritten note or two a day just to, you know, people stay in touch or thank them for something they’ve done for me recently, and I’ll still use our system because, you know, if I wrote it, it, it, my handwriting is so terrible that I, I, I’ll write it out and then I’ll try to read ’em.

[00:26:13] Rick: Like, this is just terrible on the. Like, this isn’t even a nice reading experience. Like I’d rather use that handwriting style that we have on our website and put our message in online just to send one or two , because I just, my handwriting is terrible. So, um, there’s just something like that too. I’m trying to put myself in the recipient shoes as well.

[00:26:33] Rick: It’s like, do they wanna read my chicken scratch or they want to have some, you know, handwriting style that does. Like a handwriting style, but it’s actually enjoyable to read cuz mine like will literally hurt your eyes. . . It would be a lot. Sweet. So we can’t go, what is that? Yeah, 

[00:26:48] Brent: we can’t go onto the website and pick the Rick Elmore font.

[00:26:52] Rick: No, no, that, that will never be on the website cuz I don’t think anybody would choose it. 

[00:26:57] Brent: Um, if you had one nugget that you think. Customers should do going into quarter one or just throughout for 2023. What, what do you think is something that people could be doing in both customer experience and uh, and communication?

[00:27:13] Rick: So I would, what do you, you know, there’s a hundred different. You know, competitors to every service, it doesn’t matter. You know, we live in 2022, almost 2023. Um, competition’s so fierce across the board in everything that we do. Um, so what I try to do with my clients is give them 10 times more value, um, and appreciation.

[00:27:35] Rick: So no matter what, you know, they’re gonna be loyal to us, um, because I know they have the ability to go out there and, and shop around and try other people. So what I try to do is just focus on that relationship because I know our product is gonna get better and it’s always going to be improving. But I want the people that have worked with us two years ago or last year to stay with us and come with us and help us.

[00:27:57] Rick: So I would say, you know, early on every single year is somehow get in front of your clients. It doesn’t matter if you’re gonna pick up the phone and call them and thank them for what they did for you last year. Um, do something to engage them in a way. that you’re getting their loyalty stuck to you and your brand.

[00:28:14] Rick: Like what are you doing, um, to build that loyalty on a consistent basis. Because, you know, like I, I’m, I’m a big tech guy and I have, you know, tech brands that I like to follow, but you know, there’s different options, but. I do have one brand that always somehow gets my attention and, um, they’re really good at staying on, on top of, on staying on top of mind.

[00:28:37] Rick: And actually, they, they called me after my last purchase and said, Hey, we saw you like you’re on your seventh purchase. Thank you so much. Like, that’s impactful. You know, what are you doing to stay in front, um, of your clients? Um, because you know that attention span, especially with ads and social and digital, um, it’s really.

[00:28:56] Rick: You know, to stay top of mind 24 7 when everybody, including your competitors, are fighting for that space. So I would say definitely figure out a way to, to get that trust, get that loyalty, you know, get them, you know, 100% on your, on your ship. Every single year. 

[00:29:13] Brent: Yeah, I mean, that’s a really good point.

[00:29:15] Brent: There’s so much noise out there nowadays and, and making sure that, uh, you’re kind of going above the fray. You have to do something that others aren’t doing. And I think that personal touch be it, be it a personal phone call or, uh, handwritten note is such a great way of making sure that you’re up above what everybody else is doing and trying to stay out of that noise of generic social media and generic email.

[00:29:40] Rick: um, Rick, somebody, you know Yeah, go ahead. I have another little nugget here. Somebody. I use a podcasting service, you know, to help us, um, with our outreach. And the owner of this company gave me a phone call and I didn’t answer cuz I didn’t know how it was. And then what he did was recorded a message on Zoom.

[00:29:59] Rick: Just thanking me for being a client on his platform. And he sent me an email and saying, Hey, just sent you this message. Just wanted to, whatever. And it was a video, like a three minute video thanking me of being a client, like , like, am I gonna be loyal to him or go try some different service? You know? So that was a cool, cool way.

[00:30:17] Rick: Somebody just got my attention recently as well. And that takes two or three minutes. You know, it’s really easy to do, you know, on a computer nowadays, everybody knows how to use Zoom and, and do that recording. 

[00:30:27] Brent: Yeah, I think Vineyard is a great tool to use just to give those personal little video responses.

[00:30:33] Brent: Um, Rick, as I close out the podcast, uh, I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug. You can plug anything you’d like. What would you like to plug today? 

[00:30:44] Rick: Yeah, so what we do is anybody who goes to our website, we’ll actually send them a nice sample kit. So we do a good job of putting together this big 10 by 13 folio, um, with writing samples, brochures, case studies, handwriting styles, um, basically everything.

[00:31:00] Rick: that you, I mean, after four and a half years of doing this, we know what questions people ask and we answer those questions in this sample kit. So if you went to simply, um, and just go to the business page and you can fill out your information. We’ll send you this nice sample kit. Um, and usually what happens, you know, people request it and then three to six months later, you know, a light bulb goes off and then they’ll contact us.

[00:31:23] Rick: So we highly recommend you just to go to simply and go to the business page and let us send you a free sample. Okay? It’s on us. Um, and yeah, and just see, you know, how great this technology is and simply noted. Really just wants to help automate it and. Um, and you can see how we can do that with this sample kit.

[00:31:44] Brent: That’s awesome. Rick, thanks so much being here today. It’s been a pleasure. 

[00:31:49] Rick: Thank you so much, Brent. It’s great to be here.

Thank you for making it to the end of this episode of Talk Commerce. Please rate this episode wherever you download your podcast. We are actively looking for people to participate in the Free Joke Project. Go to talk hyphen and sign up for your free spot on the Free Joke Project. If you are a business, I will do a 32nd elevator.

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Talk-Commerce-Irina Poddubnaia

Win More Customers By Providing The Ultimate Post Purchase Experience with Irina Poddubnaia

Think about the last time you placed an order on an e-commerce site. You get a confirmation email, and what’s in it? Usually, only shipping and fulfillment information.

Most online stores provide limited information and miss an excellent opportunity to upsell customers when they are not expecting to be up-sold.

Irina Poddubnaia tells us how her solution helps store owners maximize their transactional emails and turn them into marketing contact points.


Brent: Welcome to Tak Commerce. Today I have Irina Pad. Please go ahead, introduce yourself. Pronounce your name the way it’s supposed to be pronounced. Tell us your day-to-day role and may be one of your passions in life. 

Irina: All right. Thank you Brent. My name is Irina Pad. I’m from Bulgaria and I’m the founder of Trackage Dot.

Irina: We help entrepreneurs with post-purchase customer experience. So basically everything that happens after the buy button is Preston in eCommerce store. And when it comes to passions right now it’s public speaking and everything that’s related speak, just speaking and speak and singing as well.

Irina: So that’s one of my passions right now. 

Brent: Oh, awesome. Are you gonna sing for us? . 

Irina: It depends. , we’ll do one thing here, . 

Brent: We’ll leave that, we’ll leave it right to the end. So I did warn you that I have a project called The Free Joke Project, and maybe we should, we could do the free song project next, but we’ll do the free Pro Joke project.

Brent: All I’m going to do is tell you a joke and you can tell me if that joke should be free or if it’s one that we could charge. And since you did mention singing, I found a joke that has at least some reference to singing in it. Here we go. Did you know Mortal Combat is based on an old Scandinavian church song?

Brent: It’s a Finn Hymn.

Irina: That’s a good one. I I don’t know about if you should charge for it, but that’s a good. 

Brent: All right I’ll just one more quick one. Why is Pavlov’s hair so soft? Because he conditions it. Yeah, I know. They’re all really bad. I apologize. All right. So wouldn’t say that 

Irina: they’re bad. I’m just saying that Yeah.

Irina: This is like the hi and intellectual humor. It’s not 

Brent: just like it’s only for sas. That’s, it has to be smart people. All right. So let’s talk about PO I, I’m very interested in post transactional data and how you can get people and we are a magenta agency. My day job is work running a magenta agency and we’ve done a lot of work where in the card after they check after they ac even after they pay.

Brent: We like sometimes would the customers would like to hold that transaction and get ’em to buy something more. So tell us a little bit about your. And how it helps people post transaction. 

Irina: So what we do is basically, so I can just start from the beginning. 

Irina: And why they do that, because the conversion is from five to 10% of extra sales just from looking at the order status. So we helped like we literally just took this functionality and made it available outside of Amazon. So you can plug it into your store. That’s built with Shopify Commerce.

Irina: Magenta is in the plans. We don’t have a direct. , but we do have an integration with Zapier. So it’s possible to pass the data. So what it creates is it creates a tracking page where customers can see additional products the actual information about where order and when it’s coming to them and also the brand and social media accounts and the delivery information, whatever you want to put on the page.

Irina: It’s 100% customiz. And you can change all the bits and pieces of it. So it’s a drag and drop builder where you can literally just customize everything. So one other thing that I didn’t mention is that also those pages, they have localization. So if a customer is from a different country or if you are shipping internationally you can just customize the page with specific language.

Irina: That’s that’s region. Because we support customized emails as well. So emails can be in their local language when the tracking page can be in local language. So the entire thing. So what Trackage does is we are helping the customers not only understand with the like the package is coming to them, but also to see additional products while we’re where.

Irina: Browsing for the information they were actually looking for. So that’s how we help e-commerce stores bridge the communication gap and also lower the customer support load because people don’t have to ask the the question, the fail the question, like, where is my order? Where is my package?

Irina: That overloads customer support and e-commerce, so they don’t have to ask because it’s already answered. . 

Brent: So tell us some numbers. Do you have some hard numbers that kind of show how successful this is in terms of, it brings a lift on post transactional purchases by 10% or 15 or whatever that number is?

Brent: Yeah. And then all the secondary part of that question is, do you rely on discounts or coupons or anything else to bring in or do people just buying. 

Irina: Okay. I can tell you about our numbers currently. First thing that we measured is the open rate for the post-purchase emails that talk about the status of the order.

Irina: So basically we’ve seen the open rates around 60%. So that’s way higher than any marketing emails that you. . Another thing is that like from those emails customers, they visit the tracking pages one or two times per day when they are actually actively waiting for the order. Instead of just going through the email every time they just save the link and they go and visit it one or two times.

Irina: So during that time various sliders so what we’ve seen that then the sliders were. The conversion rate wasn’t that high. It was around like four, 5%, like it was on the lower end, but when they made them animated and they started moving the conversion rate raised to around 12, 10, 10, 12%.

Irina: Customers were actually, when we are waiting for the order, they literally have nothing to do. And they want to get the package repair waiting. But they don’t know how to facilitate that process. So instead, they are li left with just some free time and they start browsing the product.

Irina: And if the products are interesting the customers are buying. So we’ve worked with this influencer. They are creating an animated series. And this katoon gathered a very passionate fan base with free million follow. . It’s called Metal Family. If you want, you can check it out.

Irina: Like very cooling. And they have remarkable sense of humor, , so I would say so, and this fan base they were like when they launched their first comic book they were not prepared to handle like the amount of orders they were going to get because they printed the whole batch of 10,000.

Irina: And it was sold instead of two months. How we were projecting it was sold in one week, and after that they had to fulfill everything and what they’ve seen. So from those 10,000 orders like originally, wasn’t there, but we joined in be middle of this process. So from those 10,000 orders we’ve seen around 7% extra sales.

Irina: So that result around like 700 or that’s exactly what it. And so 700 text orders from the tracking page directly, but then we don’t measure the indirect sales. Some of the customers we were going through the logo to the website, we were going through the social media and then back to the website.

Irina: So that’s like the indirect conversion. So maybe it’s around 15% or something like that because we didn’t have the detailed analytics at that point. And what happened then? , the customers were waiting and instead of writing to customer support like they previously did because metal family, they were overwhelmed with the amount of questions they got.

Irina: Because the customers, they were, again, you can imagine this is a Katoon series. What kind of immature customers were there? So very immature customers were sending messages to all the social media accounts. We knew five messages from one customer, like every. . So they had to ease that pain.

Irina: So we had to ease that pain for them because once the emails started get going out and people were getting proactive communication, they stopped asking the questions and the customer support just co I don’t know, side with relief because all that enormous I don’t know, like a ton of sta questions.

Irina: Like it just went. So after that happened and the last bit of functionality and what we also helped metal family with was getting reviews. So at the end of the purchasing experience when the customer actually gets the order they, they experience this I dunno, like burst of enden when they open the package and they finally see the thing that we ordered.

Irina: And it’s the perfect moment to ask for a review. Because in most cases with what I’ve seen with e-commerce stores, they use just timed automation. So in two weeks there is an email that goes out asking for review. But what if in two weeks your customer hasn’t received the order yet?

Irina: And that happened to me a couple of times when I ordered from China or sometime from us. Like it, literally, like it asked me for a review when I didn’t yet get the product and when I’m fighting with the customs to get it out of , outta the post office. The idea is, so what we did, we configured the automation, the standard one and it started asking for reviews and every fifth customer left the review around five stars.

Irina: So that was 2,150 reviews from 10,000. . That’s enormous, I would say. And those reviews they can be used on the product pages, on the, I mean on the store itself and on social media. So there are a lot of ways how you can capitalize on social proof. 

Brent: So the social is the, is that how you leverage other customers to bring in 

Irina: more customers?

Irina: Yes. And we have one feature that is like the killer feature, but it’s not yet. Then the customer review is four stars and more. I think we’re going to make it configurable so that you can adjust the threshold. So if review is positive we will ask the customer to share it on social media with reach media, for example like video or a photo of them interacting with the product.

Irina: So let’s going to probably get some sales from. I’ve seen some companies that were capitalizing just on oh, you were going to post review anyway. How about you get some like some money from the brand that you’re posting it for? So yeah, there are quite a few companies that are focusing on TikTok commerce.

Brent: Yeah. Are you focusing then on making are, so they get an email and then they go and open up the email to go to this, to, to the custom tracking page or? Custom tracking page that you’re generating automatically there right 

Irina: after checkout. The custom tracking page is going to be available the entire time how it’s set up like technically.

Irina: When the store signs up the trackage and they install one of the apps, or they just configuring integration with like the third party. . We will get the tracking page inside of Trackage and you can create multiple tracking pages. By the way if you are promoting different things or if you have different brands.

Irina: So you can configure tracking pages for every occasion. And the tracking page, it’s standalone. You can put it on your custom domain or you can use trackage domain and you can plug it in anywhere. It’s responsive, so on mobile and on desktop, which works seamlessly. The idea is that page is always there, but the content based on who is looking at that page changes.

Irina: So they can look by the order number or by the tracking number that they got. And if we don’t remember both, they can enter their email and they’re going to get an email from Trackage that’s going to send them their tracking page. So this way we. Just this is a security feature. Because if we were allowing them to just look up any email, that’s not a very secure 

Brent: feature.

Brent: Yeah, that makes sense. I’m interested in your own journey. In your bio that you moved to China without speaking Chinese, and you ran a fulfillment company and then you now. You’ve launched the SAS company remotely without any funding. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

Brent: Like how did you end up in China and then are you back in Bulgaria now? 

Irina: Yes. I’m back in Bulgaria for the last six years. And that journey to China, it started just by me feeling adventurous. I. Because at some point in my life I was just working in an office I was selling frozen berries in bulk.

Irina: So it wasn’t a very exciting job to tell you the, like to tell you the truth. And at that point I thought that I knew everything about commerce and how videos are done because I was selling the. , like ev, everything, like in trucks and even higher amounts. So we, we had never sold any ships, by the way, because that’s a lot but the trucks, yeah.

Irina: And I thought that I understood everything like with bills of lading how the deals are them, how to accept the payments, invoicing, everything. But that wasn’t, When they came to China we found the the variety of suppliers of everything you could imagine. There were literally plazas.

Irina: Those are skyscrapers of like full to the brim with goods of various kinds, like a plaza for smartphone accessories. That’s not an exaggeration where it is a whole city of like smartphone accessories. You could literally just find everything. What we realized at that point was that it’s not about the suppliers, it’s about the customers, because we didn’t have that many customers at that point.

Irina: When when we came to China and we found all the suppliers, we found how to work with them. We figured everything out. We still were forced to understand marketing, to reach out to customers, to do the prospecting selling, and that’s. and that’s how we were surviving. So we figured out the pay dads and it was the full experience because we had to survive based on how well the business performed.

Irina: We didn’t take any funding ever. We didn’t even know what was a possibility. That’s right. . So that’s how my like Chinese adventures came to an end when we lost one of our biggest customers. And then we felt like overwhelmed with all evaporations and like packaging the boxes. Because again, for two and a half years my main occupation was to go to a warehouse to accept the goods, to pack the goods, to ship it to the logistics company, to negotiate with suppliers check.

Irina: And I even stopped speaking English that much just because we were working with Europe and like it wasn’t necessary. And I, like all the time I was exposed to Chinese, so my English kind of went. . So yeah, at some point I realized that’s not what I want to do in life. I wasn’t born to package boxes.

Irina: That’s not something that I want to do. And that’s when this part of with Johnny ended and after that we moved back to Bulgaria. We. like we were. Yeah, at that point we were very discouraged because like we attempted to work, we attempted to create our own business. It wasn’t the next Amazon unfortunately, or even the next early express.

Irina: It wasn’t like. Yeah. And that’s when we realized that we could do something with the tools that we developed for ourselves while we were in. So everything from inventory, acceptance keeping track of all the shipments keeping track of all the orders and yeah, we just wanted to bring all the experience with Beca to a better cause and make it available for our e-commerce entrepreneurs to use.

Irina: So that’s how Trackage was born. And that’s how it’s still there . . 

Brent: Yeah. It’s interesting that a lot of these great there’s a lot of great tools that get developed in-house and then suddenly the entrepreneur who’s selling something realize that they have a great CRM or inventory management or whatever that tool is, that software tool, and suddenly they’ve decided their own, their old business is no good and here’s much better business.

Brent: Do you feel as though. Branching into a whole new culture helped you be more competitive. I just did working in China help you be a better entrepreneur when you went back to Bulgaria? 

Irina: You know what I definitely can say uh, happened is that I lost my like rose tinted glasses. So I started actually looking realistically at the world of business and.

Irina: it’s un like we, like at the beginning of a journey, we lost unfathomable amount of money. Like with just purchasing own goods or just, I dunno, like the logistics partner losing the packages and who knows what else. We experienced all the hardships of working with people that we didn’t know anything about.

Irina: And we didn’t have experience with all those different products that were ordered from us because we literally offered to buy anything from China, from us. And that’s that was probably a mistake right now I realize it was probably a mistake. We should have niche down. We should have just studied with niche, understood the quality requirements found with West suppliers, and then just scaled that.

Irina: But instead, we just went broad and developed the tools instead of developing the. . But again that’s a learning experience. I I will never say that. I’m not glad it happened. And after that I now realize how important that is to understand the customer before the supplier, because there are a lot of suppliers, but the customers, they are the backbone of a business.

Irina: And if you don’t have any sales, you don’t have a. That’s 

Brent: easy. One. One of my experiences with buying products from China is that documentation is often just Google translated. Do you find that same type of, did you find that, say I’m assuming you sold products to Bulgaria and it was maybe they put, they did a Google translate into Bul.

Brent: Into Bulgarian and nobody actually, no humid actually read. read the text. Is that something that is overlooked in China or is it something that that people just don’t think is important? I’m, and I’m just saying specifically language, like we, you get some products that are coming from China that are just translated into English, and it’s clear it was done through a machine.

Brent: It wasn’t nobody actually read it. Who’s an English? 

Irina: Yeah. In case of our deals I was translating everything, so that wasn’t the case. So yes, I did remember when we got some materials, they were very poorly translated. And I did have to, I did have to spend a lot of time to adjust, rewarding and to literally make something out of.

Irina: The cluster of words or keywords that I received as specification. So that was fixed by me, basically. And I remember how we were creating all the documents just because we were requirements of the customs, not because the suppliers provided them from the suppliers. We literally got big thank you and the goods

Irina: That’s all we got from it. So yeah I believe the problem literally exists. But I think with AI tools that are currently on the market, you can adjust that. And the translation tools were also getting better. Then we were in China communication was done just for the mobile phones.

Irina: We were writing in English and showing them some Chinese characters and they underst. I think right now it’s, it would be through Google Speech or something like I’m going to talk to the tool I dunno, Skype maybe. They introduced some on the fly translation. So I think right now it’s much easier to communicate anywhere in the world.

Irina: But at that point it was challenging. 

Brent: So your experience coming outta China and then into Track Ma and. I know one thing you’ve said about Trackage is it helps the merchant put their store more on autopilot. Just can you explain how it, how that works and how it, I know you’ve said that there’s less customer service involved, but it can’t always be a hundred percent autopilot.

Irina: That’s why we’re not saying that 100% of customer support requests are going to be automated because if the customer has a question about the size chart or about the customs clearance or something like something was shipped to wrong location, you still need to have customer support and you need to reply to those customers.

Irina: But all the repetitive questions, the ones that can be answered by robots, Like the, where is my order? The limo request. That that one can definitely be automated. And with automation, literally, nobody’s going to ask you that question because it’s not going to be an issue for the customer.

Irina: They are already going to know when, like, when the order is coming, where is it where is it coming from? I know what carrier it’s shipped through. And also they will have information about the delivery, very funds, whatever information you want to put on the tracking page because the more information you give to your customers will less likely they are going to reach out.

Irina: Whereas some illiterate people who are still going to go to customer support and ask a question, I I totally understand that there is going to be a percentage of people who are still going to not understand what’s going. But that percentage is going to be minuscule compared to the previous amount.

Irina: So that’s just like the customer support side. A lot of automation is also coming from operation side. So for example, with chi, with Chinese suppliers we had to deal with this interesting situation where the supplier is providing you with a tracking number or the information about the.

Irina: But then the tracking number doesn’t have any tracking information, so that means the tracking number is either incorrect or the product has not been shipped. And if for example, this situation is left unattended for a week or two, the customer is going to get anxious, we are going to start asking for very money back.

Irina: So we had to monitor all of that. And that’s how in Trackage we have two counters. They is an idle and they in. So days in I is counting until the package is actually moving. So until the status in transit appears on the package. And the other one days in transit is counting how many days it’s in transit whatever the package got lost in the post.

Irina: So this way the business can proactively reach out to those customers who were unfortunate enough to experience a deliver. And if it’s in the initial stage of communication with the supplier, they can reach out to the supplier and ask like, where is the package, when they’re going to ship it?

Irina: And if a supplier is unresponsive for where is an issue, they can even refund it and find an our supplier to buy product from. That’s specifically handy for a drop shipps for hours. It’s not we handy, but still you can poke your suppliers or even knock at where doors and. what package it should have been shipped three days ago.

Irina: What’s going on? 

Brent: Yeah, a really good point. A lot of ERPs will generate a tracking. They’ll generate, the package has been shipped even before it gets to the post office, or UPS picks it up and UPS doesn’t assign a tracking number until they’ve actually taken possession of the package.

Brent: So that’s a great feature right now, yeah. And if you were to offer some, bit of advice to a merchant going into the holidays right now what could they still do and what should they be doing after the holidays? 

Irina: The holiday season is rather challenging for commerce, so it just literally creates an overload of shipments and overload of everything like processing.

Irina: So I guess , my, like most straightforward advice ladies keep saying keep calm , because this is going to pass, but right now you need to operate at 100% efficiency, 100% capacity. So I guess that’s so that’s wise. But after the holiday season is. You can examine and do some postmortems for some of the problems that you experienced during the holiday season.

Irina: You can see which carriers failed which carriers you might want to replace with an alternative one. . I know that on social media, there are quite a few people who are talking about diversifying the shipment volume between not just FedEx, u Ps like the like the two major carriers.

Irina: You could try our ones and see if this improves your cost per shipment or the cost like the overall margin as well. So another thing would be to evaluate your customer support after the. And see where the customer support might have failed or might have failed the communication with the customers.

Irina: Because usually during holidays people want to buy presents and if they become very sensitive to the timelines of a shipment. So if a person is not going to get their Christmas socks, for example, we’re going to be very upset. And the customer support needs to handle that and be mentally prepared that we are going to be customers with delayed.

Irina: Yeah. And the most interesting part would be to evaluate your systems overall. So once the holiday season is over, once you see over weak points where the systems are not working as you expected them to, you can definitely I dunno. Start evaluating which systems are lacking in your tech stack.

Irina: Maybe tech majors lacking Yeah. Something of a similar fashion where you can see all the orders and all evaporations on one page and understand where you are still not efficient enough. So just basically do the fine tuning when it’s below season in January or in February.

Irina: It’s the best time. Start implementing some new changes because during the holiday season, you will not have the opportunity to do that. 

Brent: Yeah that’s really good advice. Never make changes during the holidays or after October, maybe. code lockdown for people who do on-prem software. Irina. When we close out the podcast, I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like.

Brent: What would you like to plug? 

Irina: All right. I would like to gift the listeners of top Commerce Podcast the free resource. It’s called How to Get five to 10% Extra Sales from existing Customers without spending more money on ads or hiring more staff. In this book you can see like all the key ingredients for creating the best post-purchase experience for your customer.

Irina: And definitely you will understand what things are lacking in your current post-purchase experience. And you can either implement them yourself or maybe use Trackage for that purpose. Yeah. And you can find it at, slash flywheel dash extra sales. And I hope that in the show notes you can also find.

Irina: . Yeah. 

Brent: Yeah. I’ll put all those I’ll put all the, all your links in the show notes how they can get in contact with you and and and of course track Thank you, ARITA. Thank you so much for being here. It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you for staying up late. And thank you.

Brent: It’s my pleasure.

Irina: I love talking about e-commerce and what you can improve in your supply chain and post-purchase experience. Thank you for the opportunity.

Thank you to Podcagent for the wonderful guest!

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