The quality of customer service you provide can make or break your business. Depending on what services or products you offer, you should set aside time to handle any customer service issues that may arise and know how to handle them accordingly.
For me, running a web hosting business and selling an eBook tend to bring on quite a fair share of e-mails from potential customers, or from past customers who have invested in my product and require assistance or have follow-up questions.
On an average day, I may get 10-15 e-mails strictly regarding the two services mentioned above. Answering these requests is what keeps me in touch with my customers and I must give them the best service possible — especially if they care enough to buy from me. The same cannot be said about other Internet marketers or online entrepreneurs who also have to deal with customers.
A few weeks ago I purchased an online course in a niche I’ve been interested in for a while and wanted to learn more about. The course featured a few hundred pages of PDFs, a video series and a member’s forum. I did extensive research on this course, checked out their history, talked to some members who have been involved for a while etc. I dove in, paid for the course and was looking forward to getting started. A few hours went by and I didn’t receive any e-mail confirmation, or login details on how to obtain my material. I thought maybe they send this out manually after verifying payment or something, so I was patient. Two days went by and I started to get worried. I had just sent a few hundred dollars away to a company and had nothing to show for it. Finally I decided to send them an e-mail, followed by a phone call to the number listed on the website. Both of these requests went unanswered and I ended up doing a chargeback with my credit card company citing “fraud.” While I’m sure it’s not completely fraud, but a lack of customer service, or not knowing how to run their own system to handle payment. I was quite disappointed nonetheless.
The weird thing about it is I spoke to a lot of people who were already enrolled in this course and they assured me it was worth the money. Perhaps I just fell through the cracks, or maybe it was a fluke that they might have been busy and couldn’t respond to me in a timely manner. The fact is, their customer service dropped the ball and now I’m forced to write a story about my experience. A couple days after my e-mail and chargeback, I did end up receiving a response apologizing for the inconvenience and the login information I had paid for, but had since been refunded.
The company could have handled things much better and saved face had they had a reliable and trusted system in place to not only handle orders and get the information out to the paying customer, but the ability to also respond to customer requests quicker than they had.
This goes for any business, whether offline or online. Since I began selling various products online that I’ve personally created (not affiliate products), I’ve outsourced the help of one other person to handle customer requests if I’m on a trip, or not able to respond myself. Other than that, I love dealing with people and helping them out. I even respond as quickly as possible if someone does e-mail me with some pre-sale questions or inquiries.
Customer service should be your #1 priority after you launch your business or product. This in turn leads to great word of mouth advertising for you, when one happy customer goes on their way to tell a friend, who tells another friend etc. You can’t buy that kind of press and the exposure in the long term will only help you in your endeavors.
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