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Ideas to Improve Customer Service

January 15, 2013

By Carol Amato

No matter how good your blog posts, products or services happen to be, not offering excellent customer service and support can prevent you from making happy readers, gaining subscribers, and making sales. It can also be the difference between someone becoming a loyal fan or not. Don’t drop the ball when it comes to this very important part of your commitment and relationship with your clients.

Offer Help Before, During and After the Sign Up Process or Purchase

Too often, it is assumed that customer support only really matters when someone is contemplating an action, sign up, or purchase, etc. It’s the best policy to offer great customer service before, during, and after the person takes action, whether they are  signing up to your list, or buying one of your products. Make sure that potential subscribers/customers know they can contact you prior to opting in or purchasing if they have any questions or concerns.

Your Customer Service

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Ideas to Improve Customer Service

Make a note of the questions and problems that frequently come up and cover the solution in a new blog post, or add them to your FAQ section of your website if you have one.

Make Yourself Easily Accessible

Don’t make it difficult for them to get in touch with you about what they need. There are many different ways that you can offer to help them. A contact form on your blog and/or email is a good option as just about everyone has an email account these days.  Plus, it helps when you have subscribers and customers in different time zones so that everyone can communicate at a time that works well for them. Ticket systems are available, but they aren’t as personal as email.

A toll-free phone number is another good option.  Many people would like to be able to leave a message over the phone so that they canYour Customer Service express themselves verbally. Google Voice is a nice service for this and search engines like to see a phone number on your site.

If you have a website, it’s important for you to have a contage page – check out a video I did, here: The Contact Page Is Important.

Answer in a Timely Manner

Every effort should be made to answer readers/subscribers and customers within 24 hours.  This is my personal policy, and I usually respond much sooner than 24 hours. The sooner you can get back to them, the better. If they wait too long, they will feel like they don’t matter to you at all, and far too many gurus couldn’t care less about the “little guy” who helps them make their living online.

Offer a Winning Solution for All

Hopefully, you have effective policies and procedures in place that allow you to make decisions when your folks contact you.  Make sure you always offer a winning solution for them as well as for your business. Giving is the way to have a win/win for all, and will return to you like a boomerang. 

Treat Your Subscribers and Customers As Individuals

When it comes to delivering exceptional customer service, treat each person you correspond with as an individual. UseYour Customer Service their name when you can, be genuinely interested and ask how they’re doing, and really listen to what they have going on.  Take notes too so that you have a timeline for details that they provide you with.  

–> Treat folks the way that you would like to be treated.

Thank them for contacting you, ask if there is anything else you can do for them, and make them realize that you actually do appreciate them. It is going to be part of the overall impression they have of you and your business. 

Follow Through

When it comes to effective customer service, do what you say that you will. If you tell someone you will send out an email help link or video help tutorial, then make sure you keep your word. Being organized is important when it comes to the quality of support you deliver.

Your Customer ServiceAsk for Feedback

If you really want to know what is working and what isn’t when it comes to your customer service, all you have to do is ask!  You can get great feedback from those that contact you to see if they are enjoying your content, services, etc. and where you can make improvements. 

Time and time again, people will tell you that getting good support is very important to them. This is your chance to make things better  and to eliminate common pitfalls that are found in the realm of customer support.

Click here to see another cool post called Five Tips to Improve Your Blog Visitor’s Experience

Take Care,
Carol

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  • http://gabejohansson.com Gabe Johansson

    Hey Carol,

    This can actually be a major factor in going from a sale a week to a sale per day, assuming the traffic is in check. A lot of people feel that disconnect from the vendor and the better you are at making a personal connection, the higher your conversions will be.

    Oddly enough, I published a video earlier today about not needing a ton of traffic if you make a personal connection with your prospects, and this further proves that!

    Thanks for the great post!
    -Gabe Johansson

    • http://ccamato.net Carol Amato

      Hi Gabe!

      Yep, most definitely. :) You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Talk soon,
      - Carol

  • http://clydereid.com Clyde

    Carol,
    I learned some time back that customer support actually has a great ROI, even if you are selling a product as an affiliate. Of course the product merchant SHOULD give good customer service but as the selling affiliate it is always good to be available, just in case.

    Seems like it is part of that getting to know, like and trust you thing.

    I had a support email address but we kept getting so much SPAM I placed an AR message on it asking people to use our support desk. You are absolutely righ about it being less personal though. Maybe I should try it again.

    I have had my phone number on our web sites for a long time. I have never received a call but I think it makes people more easyily see you as real and accessible. Of course, if I were to start getting a lot of calls at odd hours I would have to consider the Google Voice option.

    You always seem to share something new (Google Voice) as well as something that makes me take another look at what I may already be doing. I hope you never quit doing what you are doing.

    • http://ccamato.net Carol Amato

      Hello Clyde,

      I certainly appreciate your kind words – and the time you take to express your thoughts.

      I agree wholeheartedly – customer service and support is essential in order to build trust, which eventually leads to increasing the bottom line. :-)

      You can set Google voice to go to your voicemail on your cell phone – that’s what I do.

      I enjoy what I do, so it is a pleasure. :-)
      Have a great weekend.
      – Carol

  • http://www.MoneySolutionsNow.com Donald Thomas

    Hi Carol, thanks for the tips! Now I will have get Google Voice. I really think that having to submit a ticket for support bites! Big time, and in my ebook I don’t recommend them if that is the only way of contact! A phone or personal email says “I value who you are, I value you as a customer” People can tell. And the question I have is why do all the (or most of) big guys and sites use only support tickets….ticks me off!

    Donald

    • http://ccamato.net Carol Amato

      Hi Donald,

      I think there is a place for a ticket system, as a business grows, as this is a way to keep things organized and folks can be replied to in order of who asked first…Etc.. However, there needs to be enough staff to answer in a really good turn-around time frame. I can manage all of my emails so far, but for product launches, I may get some help from my assistants… Fast, A1 customer service being delivered is the goal for me, however I can do it. Personal is best, but sometimes due to growth, systems have their place…but as long as they’re staffed well, should be smooth. The reason is because there are only so many hours in a day, and one person can only do so much… :)Have a good evening. – Carol

  • http://www.MoneySolutionsNow.com Donald Thomas

    Hi Carol,
    I have, for the most part, have had bad experiences w/ ticket systems. 3 days to get a problem solved that would take 10 min by phone, less than 24 hours by email is what I am talking about. For a newbie, that can be really discouraging. Especially if it stops you dead in your tracks and you don’t know what your next move should be.

    I am also referring to sites that can well afford a staff, but do not. Big hosting companies, and Guru membership sites is what I mean. I mean if I see a guru’s pic in his private jet and yet I have to wait three days to get a problem solved cause customer service is apparently not high on his budget list , he has lost me.I still won’t recommend them unless I know the site and who runs it really well.

    Donald

    • http://ccamato.net Carol Amato

      Hi Donald,

      Yeah, I know one big named marketer who has a really bad customer service record yet he continues to rake it in… My experience has been good, and generally speaking, 48-36 hours turn around is quite normal for a huge company, but 24-48 is best. 24 hours is almost rare, and above and beyond, not the norm by any stretch…Of course, they usually communicate what customers should expect regarding their customer service policy, and I am very picky who I deal with anyway. :)

      Have a good evening.
      - Carol

  • Adrian

    This is great post about how to improve your customer service. I glad I found this awesome and very informative post. Thanks Carol =)

    • http://carolamato.com Carol Amato

      Yeah, we all can use help in this area. Thanks! Carol

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