Written 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 inrepparttar name of automation?

Today, finding customer support is as simple as writing an e-mail or picking uprepparttar 131940 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 onrepparttar 131941 Internet isn't as hard as it is rare. Take these simple steps towards old-style service inrepparttar 131942 digital age:

* Give Each Customer a Personal Response * Be Clear, But Sincere * Offer Live Customer Support * Make Sure Your Support Reps Have Allrepparttar 131943 Answers

---------------------------------- GIVE EACH CUSTOMER A PERSONAL RESPONSE ----------------------------------

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, changerepparttar 131944 opening and closing to makerepparttar 131945 message sound less robotic.

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

When responding to customers' e-mail, be sincere and torepparttar 131946 point. Before sending a message, try turningrepparttar 131947 tables. Ask yourself, "Would this answer satisfy *me* if I wererepparttar 131948 customer?"

Take that extra moment to give your customerrepparttar 131949 help he deserves. It might meanrepparttar 131950 difference between a satisfied customer and a credit card chargeback!

Beta Testing

Written by Richard Lowe

I'm sure as you've cruised aroundrepparttar web you've run acrossrepparttar 131938 term "beta release" or "beta test version" or something to that effect. You may also have heard "alpha test" or "public preview" and other similar terms. Whatrepparttar 131939 heck do these terms mean?

All well managed product development projects are split into multiple phases, each distinct and each with it's own goals. Generally you begin with a proof of concept, request for proposal, short analysis or things like this. You follow this short cycle with a longer analysis, then a design specification, and finally you implementrepparttar 131940 program. This consists ofrepparttar 131941 actual coding of repparttar 131942 programs and might include documentation as well.

Now you've got a finished project, and what you are supposed to do next is a quality assurance step. Generally, you want to test and test and test untilrepparttar 131943 program (or application system) exactly meetsrepparttar 131944 design specification (which should be treated as a sacred document) and associated standards manuals. It is critical to note that testing is done againstrepparttar 131945 specification and standards manual and nothing else at this phase ofrepparttar 131946 project.

When and only when you complete this testing andrepparttar 131947 product 100% does what it was designed to do, then you create what is called an alpha test. This consists of sendingrepparttar 131948 code to a select group of users who will pound onrepparttar 131949 product. Their job is to ensure that repparttar 131950 product works inrepparttar 131951 field under conditions outside of your lab.

Once your product has been tested by some alpha testers, you may want to take some time to correct any issues, then perhaps send it out torepparttar 131952 alpha testers again. You might repeat this step one or two times untilrepparttar 131953 number of bugs found is significantly reduced.

Your next step is to widenrepparttar 131954 group of testers greatly. This is called a beta test, and in it's purpose is to ensure your product works on an even wider base of computers. The theory is you cannot duplicate all conditions in your lab, andrepparttar 131955 alpha testers are purposely kept to a small, very manageable group.

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