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Topic: The Importance of Customer Service  (Read 654 times)
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sumiq8
« on: September 12, 2009 09:54:17 AM »

The Importance of Customer Service

“People expect good service but few are willing to give it.”
- Robert Gately


Today’s’ business market is as competitive as ever, even a bit cut throat as the economy continues its downward spiral. In order for businesses to thrive, special attention must be given to providing customers with stellar customer service. The quality of your customer service is often the determining factor in whether your business succeeds or fails. It does not matter if you are the CEO of a large corporation or a lone online business owner trying to keep your business afloat. The way you interact with your customers can make or break your business.

Without customers, you would not have a business. And while quality merchandise and services are the essential building blocks of any business, they are not the only structures that will make your business foundation strong. Customer service, which means you follow each order through from start to finish, creates customer retention and loyalty that may very well turn into repeat business as well as excellent ‘word of mouth’ potential. A satisfied customer is more likely to tell others about your business than an unsatisfied one.

Online businesses face a great challenge when it comes to providing quality customer service. Brick and mortar stores have an advantage over their online counterparts in that they can ‘wow’ their customers in the real world with slick selling tactics and by making face-to-face personal connections. In the ‘virtual world’, where you never see your customer’s face, a new set of dynamics must be implemented to ensure a positive buying experience.

Quality Control

The quality of your product will be the primary factor in determining customer satisfaction. It is your responsibility to ensure that your product is well made and with durable materials. You must also make sure that it is packaged well so that it will not be damaged in transit through the postal system. You’ve probably heard the old adage “A stitch in time saves nine”, this holds especially true when running a business. Plan ahead for all eventualities so that you can deal with them, head on, should the eventuality arise.

Accessibility

Being accessible to customers is the lifeblood of your business. “Can my customers contact me easily and efficiently?” is a question that you should be asking yourself. It’s a fact that customers will have questions about your products from time to time. A working email address or telephone number can help you offer quick and accurate responses to any queries you receive. You must realize that customers, especially online ones, seek immediate gratification for their buying needs. They are not going to wait around for you to get your act together but will most likely shop with one of your competitors.

Honesty: The Best Policy

If for any reason you have a problem fulfilling a customer’s order, be honest and let the buyer know the reason for the setback. Most customers will be willing to work with you until the order can be resolved. You can request more time to fulfill the order or, in the event that the order is time sensitive (such as if it is intended as a birthday gift) offer a full refund. You might even go that extra mile by referring your customer to another seller who can match the item without difficulty. Don’t ever lie to a customer for the sake of preserving the sale. Dishonest ‘stall’ tactics can get you in trouble and affect your online selling reputation.


The Personal Touch

The transaction does not end simply because you have been paid and you have shipped the item. Follow up with each of your customers, by either phone or email, to make sure that they received the package. Listen to any feedback that they might have and, above all, be courteous. Your customer will feel valued and confident that you care about their patronage.

Customer service etiquette is what will help you rise above your competitors. Giving your customers specialized and personal attention will demonstrate your gratitude for their business, which will keep them coming back for more!

« Last Edit: October 02, 2009 06:53:24 AM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines » THIS ROCKS   Logged
ideabrain
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009 03:02:12 PM »

I don't think there's any argument ... customer service is key to success!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
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