Written by Heather Reimer

Continued from page 1

Take into account fraud fatigue. Remember, most of us who were around beforerepparttar advent of online shopping have hadrepparttar 109077 message drilled into us: Don't give out your credit card number overrepparttar 109078 phone (or in this case, phone lines). We need to be reassured that inrepparttar 109079 21st century, it's okay to break this old rule.

Susan Grant, of Internet Fraud Watch, says it really IS okay: "Paying with a credit card isrepparttar 109080 safest way to shop online. Federal law protects credit card users if they don't get what they were promised or if unauthorized charges are made on their accounts."

Now, pass on that reassurance to your visitors. Outline your credit card security policy. Emphasize how saferepparttar 109081 new encryption technology is.

If you have a customer satisfaction policy, define it. If not, write one and stand behind it. Brick and mortar commerce has survived intorepparttar 109082 21st century because of its customer service ethic. E-commerce has to keeprepparttar 109083 pace.

Back this up with your own privacy policy. There's an incredible appetite out there for targeted e-mail addresses and other personal data. And there's no shortage of online vendors who have no qualms about selling that information. If you want your customers' confidence (and their return visit), spell out exactly what will happen with their personal data after they entrust it to you.

Don't forget about technical matters. A recent survey saidrepparttar 109084 majority of consumers who abandoned their online transactions did so because their sessions were interrupted. That means we have to pay more attention to makingrepparttar 109085 purchase process easier; fewer pages and smoother site performance are vital to keeping customers.

Now you're ready to deliverrepparttar 109086 coup de grace: Tell your visitors about your great customer service department. Splash it all over your website, because this isrepparttar 109087 stuff that trust is made of. Consumers need to know there's a place to go or a number to call if they're not satisfied. Justrepparttar 109088 fact that you're spending money on customer service staff proves you're not a fly-by-nighter.

By breeding trust in these ways, you can slowly but surely turn your window shoppers into e-shopaholics... giving you more time and money to go shopping yourself!

Heather Reimer has been involved in print and electronic journalism for over 15 years and is currently the Copy Editor for iGlobalMedia.com, a leading edge affiliate management company. iGlobalMedia Group works with over 30,000 webmasters and promotes some of the best gaming sites online. You can visit them and learn more about their affiliate program at www.iglobalmedia.com

Customer Service: Your Advantage

Written by Bryan Marye

Continued from page 1

This is where your advantage as a small company comes into play. While you may not enjoyrepparttar volume of these sites, you can create a higher percentage of repeat visitors/buyers with superior CS. Generally, when you hear people talk about improving CS, you hear things like: "make yourself available" and "give good contact information." This is true, but it goes beyond that. What people really want is speed. People want their questions answered now. People want their CS issue resolved in a hurry. Providing a phone number is a must, but chances are, people don't want to go off-line and call you forrepparttar 109076 answers to their questions unless it is a last resort. Inrepparttar 109077 e-world, people want an i-response: Immediate, internet response.

Of course, you can't be everywhere at once. Managing a small business or website is already a full-time job. But making CS a focal point of your website can pay immense dividends for your traffic and or profit. Think of it this way, if you can respond to a customer's question within 24 hours, you are beating about 50% ofrepparttar 109078 large e-companies already. If you can respond within 12 hours, I would estimate that you would be beating somewhere around 80%. If you can respond within 6 hours, you are providing customer service that most e-commerce giants only dream about.

A quick list of ways to improve your customer service:

1. Speed: We all know as customers, that few things are more valuable to us than time. Standing in line is no fun atrepparttar 109079 supermarket, and waiting for a response from a CS center is no fun either. 2. Contact information: Make it easy to find. Make it an address that you or an employee checks on a regular basis. Don't makerepparttar 109080 customer work to find you. 3. Live chat: Offer your customersrepparttar 109081 opportunity to use instant messaging software to contact you. MSN Messenger and ICQ are two widely used formats that work on almost all platforms, and it's 100% free. 4. F.A.Q and search options: Make them thorough. Not all sites need F.A.Q (frequently asked questions) pages, but if your site does, then make it thorough and easy to understand. If your site has an search box, be sure that it gives adequate results. Test it out. It's surprising how many high-profile websites have inadequate in-site search functions. 5. Customer is always right: We all know that this is bull, but,repparttar 109082 old adage still standsrepparttar 109083 test of time. Whether or notrepparttar 109084 customer is "right," our job as CS managers is to put out fires. Quick, pleasant responses to evenrepparttar 109085 most irate customers will almost always coolrepparttar 109086 situation. In fact, an efficient CS agent can turn evenrepparttar 109087 most irate customer into a loyal customer

Takerepparttar 109088 work out of it for your visitors. Encourage them to ask questions and reward them with quick, friendly responses. Your customers and visitors arerepparttar 109089 most important asset you have. Make them feel that way.

Bryan Marye, IMR http://www.imr-central.com Receive articles like this every week free, by signing up for the IMR Resourceletter: mailto:subscribe@imr-central.com?SubscribeA

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