Today I wanted to talk about customer service because it often seems to be lacking in the internet marketing world.
Not only that, but some folks just don’t seem to GET how important it is.
Some people don’t understand how BIG it could be for their business!
More importantly, how it could damage their business.
What has superior customer service done for my business?
I see my customers return time and time again.
I see my customers place larger orders.
I see my customers recommend my website to others. Posting on their blogs or mentions on forums.
When I help people with the products they purchased, they are more likely to pick up more because they now know how to use them.
But there’s even more to it… a side benefit includes:
High profit per per customer. Which means I make more with less traffic. Generating traffic can be hard work, so here is just one of the ways to get more from the hits you do get. Plus repeat traffic doesn’t cost you time or money.
We know that it takes work or money to obtain new customers, sometime both. So why do we some times blow it when it comes to treating them right?
First off, I want to be perfectly clear, I am only human, so I don’t get it right 100% of the time. Yes I get “bothered” at times, I’m not perfect. But I pride myself in providing the best customer service every time I can and from what I’ve seen, it can really ramp up your business.
Rules for Million Dollar Customer Service…
The customer is ALWAYS Right
Ya it’s a highly over-used cliche, but it’s so true. It’s no secret that without customers, we don’t have a business. Without buyers, we make no sales, and we generate no income.
Even when the customer is wrong, they are right. No matter what you’d like to say, how badly you want to prove them wrong, you know it’s not going to create good will, and probably just make an new enemy.
I personally just try to skip over their rants, help them as best I can and let it be. I’m not saying to ignore some of what they’ve said, I am just saying, there is no sense in stirring a boiling pot.
Speed is Key
The faster you help your customers when they have problems, the more they will love you and this could also keep people from getting upset because they won’t have the time to stew and get even more bent out of shape. You also have to remember that we live in the electronic age, and folks just don’t understand that there is a human behind the product and that we can’t always be in front of the computer 24/7.
It’s amazing how many of my customers are shocked that I often respond so quickly. Can’t say I am quick every single time, but if I’m on the computer most of the day anyways, why shouldn’t I keep any eye on customer support?
Why shouldn’t I reply right away?
Treat Them Like You’d Want to be Treated
Shouldn’t need to be said, but often forgotten…
It’s something I try my best to remember, which also helps to keep me in the right frame of mind to be able to provide awesome customer service. I try to put myself in their shoes.
I also try to remember, that some people maybe brand new to the whole net biz thing, and everything is confusing or frustrating. Haven’t we all been there? I know for myself, I often take for granted what I know and forget that not every one has the same knowledge or experience. Not that I am an expert in everything, just done many things so many times, it’s like second hand.
Go Above and Beyond
This one can have almost magical affects on your customers. I am not kidding. When I first started theplrstore.com, I inadvertently messed up the support system. If I remember right, I did not set up the support email address correctly. DUH!
Long story short, any one with a problem, could not contact me. Being it was a brand new site, there was of course issues. Quite a few actually. It was about two weeks before I figured it out and WOW, there were quite a few unhappy customers! Can’t blame them, they thought I was ignoring them, or I didn’t give a crap about them.
So I set about making it right with single every customer. One thing I did was to give free products to those who had the most trouble, or the longest wait for my response. Of course this is only for those of us who are selling digital products. Not like we are really out anything by sending some makeup freebies. I can tell you though, it will make a big difference for some people.
You don’t need to have issues to go above an beyond. Another thing I do is reward customers who purchase often, or make large buys. When I notice these folks I offer free products as a “thank you” for being such a great customer. When’s the last time a marketer gave you extra’s for spending with them (And I am not talking about bonuses)? This one can really surprise folks and build some fantastic, raving fans.
Step Back And Give it Some Time
There are times where a customer might get under your skin, it’s happen to me, and probably will happen again. Some times I’ll either step away from the computer or wait till later to reply to the email or support ticket. It gives me some time to cool off and “think” before I react.
From my experience, most customers are very nice and usually very understanding. But some times, they might be having a bad day, the dog bite them, the wife left them, you just never know what kind of day, month or year some one is having. We’ve all been there, we just need to remember it.
Then of course we have the keyboard warriors, who are 50 feet tall with abs of steel and the power to melt butter, when they are writing an email. There is no use trying to argue with these folks, it’s just not worth it. And arguing is probably just going to make matters worst. Do you really want the negativity?
And honestly, we’ve all probably been one of those keyboard warriors ourselves at one time or another.
Proper Support System
Here’s another one that should be common sense, but some times missed. Or messed up like I’ve done.
Not only ago, I purchased a IM product, registered and logged into the site, but could not access what I bought. Funny thing was (well not for me), is that there was NO support page, no contact page, no way to get in touch with the seller. Talk about frustrating! What really makes this is sad is that it wasn’t a matter of a support system not working, it was the fact that there was NO support system!
Just as important, when you have a support system, be sure to run it through it’s paces and check to make sure it works 100%. Don’t do like I did. Make sure your support email address work properly as well.
Wow, this has gotten longer than I thought. And you read it all 🙂
I hope it helps. Let me know what you think in the comments section below….