Practical Ecommerce

Customer Service Focus – November 2005

You probably can’t make every customer happy, so here are some tips on customer-dispute resolution and making a bad situation a little bit better.

Communication is King.

The most frustrating aspect of dealing with online retailers is lack of communication, especially if you have a problem with your order. Making it easy for your customers to contact you will ease their fears and help to cool tempers. Regular communication regarding order status and product availability can help to build trust with your customers. Remember, many shoppers are still nervous about doing business online, so you should provide multiple channels of communication (telephone, email, mail, etc) and always be responsive.

Rating Services.

Happy customers are repeat customers, which is the goal of any business. Participating in a rating service such as Bizrate (bizrate.com) or BBB Online (bbbonline.org) allows you to receive feedback from your customers. While this can be a two way street, you gain the opportunity to earn trust with potential new customers based on the positive feedback. Alternatively, you will probably receive some negative feedback from time to time from unhappy customers. This can be used to streamline your customer service methods, and identify areas that need to be improved. If your goal is to provide the best customer service that you can, a rating service is worth investigating.

Clear Policies & Guarantees.

Posting clear policies and/or guarantees on your website will assist in your customer’s understanding of how you do business. Websites that hide (or make difficult to find policies pertaining to returns or warranties is probably not worth doing business with. Posting this information protects you as the merchant and helps your customers to make informed decisions.

Maintain a Caring Attitude.

Occasionally you will come across a customer that is completely unreasonable and will not be satisfied with anything you do. The most important thing is to maintain a professional and caring attitude when dealing with that customer. Kill them with kindness, and remember that by remaining calm and courteous your business is likely to be spoken highly of even by an unhappy customer.

Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

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