Your tone with customers (or potential customers) must at all times be professional and courteous – it could be that one initial email that leads to a huge order or turns out to be from a journalist writing a piece on your particular market. It could be that this same customer becomes one of your most loyal and constant clients recommending you far and wide. Your customers are your lifeblood and customer service is therefore a very necessary arm of your business, not something you can try and ‘deal with’ whilst eating your lunch.
· Clearly display a phone number on your website, especially during the order pipeline pages
· Provide email addresses or contact forms for customers to contact you
· Consider livechat functionality for customers who require an immediate response
· Give customers a guide to when they can expect a reply – if it’s 24 hours, make sure you reply within this timeframe
· Fix the customer’s problem as quickly and efficiently as you can
· Take any criticism seriously and investigate what you can do to stop the same thing happening to other customers
Without doubt many of your customer’s inquiries will have similarities and therefore it’s well worth creating templates or blurbs which can be utilised for the most common types of contact. Don’t send the template out un-edited, as no single email can cover so many bases.
· Personalise the email with the customers name, order number/reference, delivery address
· If the contact is related to a credit or debit card number, be sure that neither you nor the customer quotes the card number via email – this must be done via an http webpage or via telephone/fax
· Quote the expected or revised delivery date if applicable
· Sign off with a real name, so that the customer can follow up with the customer service representative in the future
· Thank the customer for their query/order/comment