As Gandhi once said, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises and he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
Businesses, both on and offline, would do well to heed this advice. Sadly, not all do, and they pay the price for it in terms of lost sales.
Online Businesses’ Customer Service
Unfortunately for small businesses, the Internet is an impersonal place for shopping. Because of this, the online customer doesn’t feel loyal to any particular business owner or the company. There are instances where many online shoppers don’t restrain their upset and anger either. They have quite a secure feeling behind their anonymous email addresses. Therefore, if you are a business owner, whenever you respond to a customer’s complaint, ensure that you develop a rapport with the customer. Email etiquette and efficient phone skills come in handy when you’re dealing with an online customer.
When it comes to making a good impression you may not have another chance. Make good use of the one you have.
Here Are Some Tips That Can Come Handy:
1. Stick to the point – When a customer asks a particular question, make sure you answer it and do not divert from the main topic of discussion. Respond to all the questions or concerns of the customer in one email. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – it would not be a pleasant thing to receive an email from a business owner or their customer service representative that didn’t address your concerns, gave canned responses to what you asked, or to be made to feel like unintelligent – yet this is just what many online businesses do, either purposely or inadvertently.
2. End the email or call on a high note– Always remember to leave customers with a satisfactory resolution. Customers remember the last words the most. In other words, avoid ending conversations by saying something unpleasant. If the customer faces some kind of problem, avoid giving in to the temptation of apologizing yet again and reminding them of the problem.
3. Use “exaggerated courtesy” in your emails – In online business, people cannot see the other person’s expression or hear their tone of voice. In these cases, your words have to do all the talking. What you say makes a big impact on the thinking of your customers. Make sure you read your emails at least three times before sending them.
4. Consider outsourcing customer service – When it comes to customer service, people look forward to customer representatives with a genuine liking for people and patience beyond measure. If you are in charge of customer service for your small business, determine if you have these qualities. If not, make sure you hire someone who does!
5. Acknowledge customer problems and find solutions– What customers really want is for your company to acknowledge their problem and find a solution for it. This means getting what they expected in the first place. Let customers know that you understand their problem and will work to find a viable solution.
Dealing with customers is never easy, especially if you have an online business. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your business has a satisfied customer, every time!