PUTTING THE "SERVICE" BACK IN "CUSTOMER SERVICE"   by Sean Cohen
 

The future of customer service is here. Technology has made
seeking out support faster and easier than ever. But, has
your digital age company sacrificed true service in the name
of automation?

Today, finding customer support is as simple as writing an
e-mail or picking up the phone. But, even though you're not
face-to-face with your customers, you still leave a lasting
impression. Do you come across as caring and competent, or
menacing and mechanical?

Offering stand-out service on the Internet isn't as hard as
it is rare. Take these simple steps towards old-style
service in the digital age:

* Give Each Customer a Personal Response
* Be Clear, But Sincere
* Offer Live Customer Support
* Make Sure Your Support Reps Have All the Answers

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GIVE EACH CUSTOMER A
PERSONAL RESPONSE
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When a customer sits down to e-mail your company, it's
because he needs help. He chooses e-mail because it's quick,
but his request still warrants a satisfying and personal
response!

Companies eager to save time and money often take automation
too far in their customer support. Each customer has a
unique question, and deserves a unique answer. Even if you
save time by copying and pasting stock replies, change the
opening and closing to make the message sound less robotic.

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BE CLEAR, BUT SINCERE
----------------------------------

When responding to customers' e-mail, be sincere and to the
point. Before sending a message, try turning the tables.
Ask yourself, "Would this answer satisfy *me* if I were the
customer?"

Take that extra moment to give your customer the help he
deserves. It might mean the difference between a satisfied
customer and a credit card chargeback!

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OFFER LIVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT
----------------------------------

E-mail has become an acceptable form of communication. But,
live customer support is still necessary. The plethora of
information available online can be overwhelming to
customers, especially those new to the Internet!

Single your company out from the crowd by providing customers
with a real person to talk to. Live phone support is an
invaluable way to foster trust. When your customer has
reached the end of his Internet rope, and just needs *help*,
your toll free number is the answer he's looking for.

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MAKE SURE YOUR SUPPORT REPS
HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS
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The presence of phone support will do no good if your staff
doesn't know your product! Customer support reps should be
warm and friendly, and willing to help with any aspect of
your product.

What a good feeling it is to talk to someone who feels
confident in his product. It's even better if he's
knowledgeable enough to solve your problem without
transferring you all around the company!

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PROVIDE STAND-OUT SERVICE;
GAIN LIFELONG CUSTOMERS
----------------------------------

Too many e-businesses skimp on customer service, hiding
behind web sites and message boards. Customer support is an
integral part of every company, even those operating solely
online. Be one of the few to offer stellar service, and gain
customers for life!

Customer Service is becoming a lost art, but Sean Cohen wants to make sure that never happens at AWeber Communications! Find out what service is meant to be: http://www.aweber.com/a/p163/lcs.htm

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