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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Customer Service WOW Factor.....Do you have it?

One of my favorite places to shop (besides eBay of course) is Zappos.  Not because it has the best stuff, or the best prices, but because I feel safe. Zappos is renowned for their customer service; they have worked hard to create a wow factor for their shoppers so that they keep coming back for more.

One strategy they use is with their return policy.  They have free shipping both ways. Now I know you’re thinking, “How can I compete with that”?  The trick for small business owners is not to copy another business, but to carve out your own niche using a similar strategy specific to your business.

For instance, you could simply have a no hassle return policy. That means not debating or giving them a hard time. You can also make sure that it’s easy breezy for your customer to return the item. Many customers prefer to purchase from those that do accept returns, myself included. The thought process for me isn't that I intend to return the item, but it does give me a safety net as a consumer.

You could upgrade shipping, include a freebie or give them a discount for a future purchase. The possibilities are endless as to how you can create a wow experience for your buyer.

You can also respond quickly to all emails. When a seller responds quickly, the buyer automatically knows you are on it. You are engaged! The quicker you respond to those emails, the perception from your customer could be that you are more likely to ship it fast too!

The old saying, “treat others as you want to be treated” applies to great customer service. When your customer comes to you with a problem, be the solution. Never ever make your customer carry this burden. My job as the seller is to create a 5 star experience for which I strive. You can go above and beyond in a situation such as my friend Jessica. She once had a package go missing, well actually the contents of the package. She called the post office, located the contents and made sure that they were delivered to her customer. If the customer was a bit peeved before, by the time they got their order and saw just how hard she worked to deliver, they couldn’t help but be impressed. Go above and beyond!

Look at the individual customer and personalize. Whenever I respond to a customer, I always use their name in correspondence and I sign my own name. I want to create a friendly and personable exchange!
There is a way, even with small online businesses, that you can create a Zappos like experience and impress your customers and keep them coming back for more!


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