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Great customer service provides an open and direct line to your customers. Support can result in major improvements to the shopping experience for future customers. It can even provide insight on how you can accelerate your business.
Customer service creates value by surfacing otherwise hidden problems through the unprompted feedback it provides. This can help you prevent issues for future customers by solving the root cause of a problem. Rather than simply treating its symptom. Create a simple system to track issues that come up more than once.
Not every customer can be given red carpet treatment during a customer service interaction. It simply doesn’t scale. Some customers may have a good experience at the expense of others. There’s an ideal way for each category of conversation to be handled:
If you’re helping to close a sale. Saving a sale already made or learning something new from customers. You’re extracting a lot of value and want to encourage these types of conversation as often as you can.
If the conversation needs to happen but provides zero or negative value to the business. Self-service in the form of FAQ pages and help documents can provide customers with the quick answers they need.
Do whatever you can to eliminate the source of the problem. No one benefits from these conversations. So consider them a leaky pipe. You can place a bucket to catch the drip temporarily. But, long term, you need to fix the leak.
Education is at the heart of excellent customer service. Education for your customers and education for you. Customers will contact you with questions and issues you’d never be able to surface on your own. Constructive feedback is a gift because it helps you spot opportunities that can potentially shift your entire business. One important example: Customers repeatedly asking you whether you plan to carry a specific product or accessory. That is a signal that you may want to look into why they’re asking and what exactly they’re looking for. Ignoring customers is usually a mindset problem of entrepreneurs thinking they know better. You might be uniquely suited to solve problems. But customers are uniquely suited to share the problems that need solving. Support is one important way you can keep your finger on the pulse of customer demand and product opportunities. You just need to be willing to listen.