Sunday, May 11, 2008

eCustomer Service

A Customer Support System to Handle Your Growing Site by Bjorn Brands

Good customer service can make all the difference - especially in ecommerce where there is no face-to-face contact. By offering excellent service you have the opportunity to turn happy customers into loyal customers. What's more, business studies have shown that happy customers tell 4 people about their positive experience. Unhappy customers on the other hand tell 10 people how unsatisfied they are with your company.

Do the math... If you are able to offer excellent service, your bottom line will thank you for it. But in ecommerce this is easier said then done. Customer support requests can be inundating and highly time-consuming for many growing businesses.

How do you offer excellent customer service that creates growth - without sacrificing your time and sanity? What is Customer Service?

You can't build a good e-business without solid customer service. This means responding to customer enquiries, dealing with lost packages, payment problems and returns - and finally answering questions from customers.

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back to your site and turning them into repeat buyers. You want to send them away happy and impressed enough to tell their friends - who may also become repeat customers - about your business.

The good news is that a customer service system that's fast, efficient and delivers excellent value to the customer can be set up with very minimal cost, technology and time.

You'll notice that few books on ecommerce deal with customer service.

After all - can customer service really boost sales and increase the bottom line? We believe it can and it should.

The key to good customer service is responsiveness. This doesn't just mean responding to your customers demands, try to anticipate them. Good customer service exceeds your customer's expectations.

A website with 100,000 subscribers and turnover of close to $1 million a year only needs ONE customer service rep working 20 hours a week if the proper systems are set up well.

2 Key Concepts of Online Customer Service

As mentioned earlier, the single most important aspect of online customer service is responsiveness. You can increase your responsiveness by focusing on its 2 key components: communication and interactivity.

1. Communication

Communication should be transparent and painless:

· Visibility: clearly display your contact information on your website. Provide easily accessible email links, phone numbers and feedback forms.

· Let your customers know that you'll be happy to help them.

· Email lists: these are powerful tools to provide your customers with relevant information, nurture the relationship and encourage further contact.

· Autoresponders: Autoresponders can automatically send your customers the appropriate information in response to a standard question. If a customer replies to an autoresponder they can receive an automated email with a link to the FAQ section on your website and the contact information of your support team.

2. Interactivity

Interactivity can help significantly in building a relationship with your customers. By showing a personal interest in your customer you will build trust and likeability.

Here are some tools you can use to encourage interactivity.

· Surveys: surveys allow you to not only show your customers that you value their opinion but also gather valuable feedback in the process.

· Incentives: reward your customers for interacting with you. These could be discounts for filled out feedback forms, prizes for creative slogans, bonuses for repeat purchases, you name it.

Good customer service can make all the difference. The trick is to offer the best possible service in the least time-consuming way.

Remember that one happy customer could lead to a lot of additional sales over the years through repeat purchases and referrals. It would be a waste not to use this existing resource to the full extent. But while offering great service - you need to pay attention to automation and efficiency so you can free up time to focus on growing your business.

About the Author
Bjorn Brands is a successful entrepreneur who transitioned from having his own building company to a great online business. Check out his site and see for yourself how his FREE course can help you do the same.

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