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Home > Books > SBWTW > Chapter 8

Small Business Websites That Work

Book cover: Small Business Websites That Work By Sean McManus
Published by Prentice Hall (Pearson)

Offering great customer service online

Seize every opportunity to open correspondence with site visitors, so you can help them to win confidence in your business and encourage them to become your customers

At a glance:

Chapter Summary

Customers visiting your website should be invited to email you any questions, so that you can begin make contact and reassure them about your service levels. You can best do this by being prompt and accurate in your replies, and benchmarking your response against leading consumer sites.

Software can help or hinder your aim. Autoresponders enable you to send a reassuring, immediate reply. But software for putting fancy formatting into emails can make it slower to download and unreadable on some email programs. Keep emails simple and use spacing, capital letters and keyboard symbols like asterisks and dashes to enhance the message.

Agree preventative action with the team to make sure that you don't bring viruses into the business and don't smear the business reputation by perpetuating myths or sending jokes. Agree too what personal use of the internet and the email system is acceptable.

It is possible to offer customer service while visitors are visiting the website using standard chat programs or software dedicated to customer service like Humanclick.

Customer service online won't replace your existing channels of customer service, but will give you an opportunity to open more conversations with customers and to serve them more quickly.

Make sure that the service you offer from your website is integrated with the company. The whole team should know enough about the website to help customers who are best served with it and any website-dedicated employees must know when to pass emails on to other departments. Your customer service messages must be consistent, however they are delivered.

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