Like customers looking to make any substantial purchase, GunBroker.com buyers want the best product at the best price from the best seller. On GunBroker.com, most of the products speak for themselves, and in the auction format they bid to set the price.
But how do you become “the best seller” in their minds? There are a few basic things you can do to ensure top ratings and a strong customer base.
Customer Understanding. Thinking like a customer will allow you to create listings with sincere appeal. Most important is honesty and a direct approach. Write descriptions honestly, accurately, and completely. Of course, you should include every feature of the firearm. Even describing how it can be accessorized provides additional service for the customer (as well as benefits for you if you sell those options). On used guns, it’s equally important (probably more important) to describes dents, nicks, scratches, and flaws. Go the extra step and weigh the trigger pull. List exactly what chokes come with the gun. These extras create confidence for the buyer that you’re the seller with whom they want to do business. That helps drive bidding higher. It earns you more A+ ratings and the cycle gets better and better for the buyer and for you.
Customer Service. Respond to the customer promptly. From the buyer’s point of view, they are out cash the minute they’ve won the auction. That is when they get nervous. Make sure to alleviate any potential concerns by responding to the initial sale within 24 hours at the most, but 12 hours is better. Setting up GunBroker.com checkout is the best route to take to to streamline communication and payment at the end of a sale. You receive payment faster; the buyer receives items faster.
Continue corresponding with the buyer even after the sale. Follow up to make sure their package arrived safely and in good condition. Then encourage them to write customer feedback. If the customer mentioned they are buying for a specific hunt, encourage them to write back to you with the story and hopefully the details of the successful hunt. It’s these personal touches that build customer confidence and help ensure they come looking for you the next time they are shopping on GunBroker.com.
Customer Upselling. Help GunBroker.com customers with their purchases – even if it is from another dealer. Join the GunBroker.com FFL Network. Buyers in your area will find you when it’s time to handle their online purchase. You make the transfer fee, and when the customer comes in to pick up their gun, sell them the appropriate accessories. The customer may need a gun case, ammo, cleaning supplies, and targets. You could also offer instruction and/or conceal carry classes. Try to get their e-mail address for your mailing lists of upcoming events and sales. When you contact them to let them know the gun is in, ask if there’s anything else you can assist them with!
Customer Feedback. One of the phenomena of the Internet (for good or bad) is the ability for customers to instantly review your product or company and post that review everywhere. Monitor your buyer feedback on GunBroker.com. If there is an unjust complaint, contact the buyer to see what you can do to resolve the issue and get the feedback amended. If you haven’t already done so, Google your company name. See what is being said on other forums or on Facebook. Try to resolve any issues. In optimizing your business on GunBroker.com, your reputation is everything.
Customer Retention. What is probably more important than your customer sale is retaining that customer. Once upon a time, a customer went to his favorite store looking for a specific item. That store did not carry the item, but the salesperson told the customer they could find it at a competitor’s store. Your initial thought might be that this scenario would send the customer and his loyalty to the competitor’s store, but the opposite is true. Sharing that knowledge rather than leaving the customer stranded created even stronger loyalty. What can you do to go that extra step that will retain your customers?
Are you tired of hearing the word customer yet? No? Good that puts you in the lead already. To paraphrase: Happy Customers = Optimized Business!