Steve Barbarich started on the other end of ecommerce, the consumer end. He did not like what he saw. On his website, Choosehottubsdirect.com, he recounts his bad experience with buying a large ticket item on the internet. When he received his item and realized there was a problem, he was discouraged and disappointed by the lack of help the company offered.
He immediately realized that what the public needed was a reliable hot tub company they could trust when purchasing these large ticket items, like hottubs online. So what did Barbarich do? He started a great, cheap hot tubs store. Choosehottubsdirect.com really aims to please. The values are simple.
“To sustain a successful e-commerce business and maintain profitability, a business not only has to offer high quality products, they should also make their customers feel secure about their purchase and certain that they can get help if needed.” said Barbarich, “If you can provide your customers with this, your business will not only keep them coming back for more, their friends and co-workers will as well.”
Great Customer Service from ChooseHotTubsDirect.com & Steve Barbarich
Finally, a CEO who gets it. Barbarich understands because he had all of the same concerns as we do when purchasing a hot tub online. Unfortunately for him, things did not turn out well. By the same token, it’s fortunate for all of us, because Barbarich learned a lot from his experience and he put all of his knowledge into building Choosehottubsdirect.com.
Barbarich realized that too many online companies are sending their sales and customer service jobs offshore. While it is cheaper, he says, “Off shoring customer service departments is a mistake many internet businesses have made in the past. Off shoring sets up communication barriers between the client and the service provider, usually leaving the customer feeling aggravated without providing the degree of customer service they deserve.”
Right again Steven Barbarich. In fact, most of us usually just hang up, get angry, ask to be transferred, waste a ton of time, or all of the above.
Barbarich says that this mistake actually costs the company more money. Not only does it waste company time, but it wastes consumers’ time. This makes hottubs consumers unhappy, this causes consumers to complain. And what’s the best way to advertise? Word of mouth. Unhappy hottubs customers are the equivalent of wasted advertising. Any way you think of it is fine by us, as long as we get to be happy customers.
Another great thing about ChooseHotTubsDirect.com is the hot tub pricing. They are high quality hot tubs atcheap hot tubs. Ecommerce stores like ChooseHotTubsDirect can undersell retail stores because they sell factory direct in high volume, unlike your local hot tub store which sells significantly less hot tubs a year. Also, the company doesn’t have the overhead of maintaining a storefront and all of the costs that come with it. Barbarich says another way to keep costs low is by reducing returns. ChooseHotTubsDirect.com makes sure that the customer is completely informed about the hottubs online before they buy. This allows them to make a well informed decision, and causes ChooseHotTubsDirect.com to get fewer returns.
In addition to being a hot tub retailer, ChooseHotTubsDirect.com acts as an informational website with sources, service networks, and coming soon, a forum in order to be the information point for their product areas with advice and feedback from local professionals.
Barbarich also began what he calls the “Consultative Approach” to eliminate negative feedback. This view of customer service encourages customers, or potential customers, to call whenever they have questions, whether it be advice on installation, servicing, delivery, safety, or what color hottubs are the prettiest.
One facet of this method is the type of sales force you hire, says Barbarich. They need to understand the wants, needs, and concerns of the customer. Barbarich has an internal, customer service-oriented sales force that understands the needs of their target demographic. He understands that these sales people must be well educated and highly technically trained on all of the products or services that they offer. This way they can quickly and correctly answer any questions a customer might have about the hot tub instead of keeping them on hold for hours.
Barbarich also believes that a U.S. based business should have their customer service headquarters based in the U.S. This eliminates a lot ofcommunication problems and save both the employee and the customer a lot of time. The bottom line isChooseHotTubsDirect.com‘s CEO has nailed the key points of ecommerce; quality customer service, reliable products and more than enough information for informed decision making. Oh and the cheap hot tubs pricing doesn’t hurt either.
If you like Barbarich’s values, you should check out his other site, ChooseOutdoorKitchens.com, an online retailer of outdoor kitchens, bbq islands outdoor grills and outdoor sinks among many other outdoor kitchen products. Barbarich also leaked that there are plans for other luxury outdoor living e-commerce stores so be on the look out.
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