Wednesday, October 29, 2008

StoresOnline Merchants Focus on Customer Service

StoresOnline Customer Service teams are constantly supporting, educating, and assisting StoresOnline Merchants. StoresOnline is dedicated to excellence in Customer Support as is evidenced by the Service & Support Professional Association's 2007 Award to StoresOnline for outstanding Consumer Support as well as the many thank you emails that are received every week from StoresOnline Merchants.

There are ways for you to set your online business apart through the quality of customer service you offer your StoresOnline website visitors. Here are a few tips as a Customer Service 101 refresher:

Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions - thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Do you know what three things are most important to your customer?

Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important on the show floor where there is a great danger of preoccupation - looking around to see to whom else we could be selling to.

Identify and anticipate needs. Customers don't buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming needs.

Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Think about ways to generate good feelings about doing business with you. Customers are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them. Thank them every time you get a chance.

On the show floor be sure that your body language conveys sincerity. Your words and actions should be congruent.

Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world's best systems for getting things done, but if customers don't understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don't reduce the human element of your organization.

Appreciate the power of "Yes". Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterwards. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.

Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It's easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.

Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:

- What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?
- What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don't buy?
- What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?

Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways in which you can find out what customers think and feel about your services.

- Listen carefully to what they say.
- Check back regularly to see how things are going.
- Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments and suggestions.

Treat employees well. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important.

What are customer service activities that you as a StoresOnline Merchant have used to help create value?

7 comments:

Stacey & Nico Gonzalez said...

I believe storesonline moto is to treat the customers #1. I know customer support is great and they know what they are doing! They work hard and it shows when a lot of customers get helped out by them!

Harmoni said...

I have found that no matter how much I hate it, that feedback is one of the best ways to improve my business. Not only feedback from customers but also my employees.

ALakhani said...

Customer Service was very good. The chat rep was very helpful and polite. Great work and keep up the excellent work.

ChatRep - Did you get a chance to play around on the express site?

AL - yes i did i really liked it and i love your service of customer support

Adodd said...

April was wonderful. I came on having issues with not being able to publish and she really knew what she was doing and was able to help me in a very quick manner. I am very happy with her.

Jeremy said...

I have had really good experience with StoresOnline support that I have received. I have really appreciated the resources that StoresOnline has provided me with on marketing my website http://www.msmforlife.com.

I have seen how my business on my site has grown by using the tools that StoresOnline has given me. I am still just an amateur when it comes to marketing. But I know as I learn more that the success of my site will grow.

http://www.msmforlife.com

Kimmy Clark said...

Thank you for the comments. Jeremy, I was glad to hear that you've utilized the support StoresOnline has to offer.

If you'd like to read up on more StoresOnline Resources, be sure to visit this post: http://storesonlinesuccessblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/storesonline-merchant-resources.html.

Your website looks great! If you'd like to take a look at another StoresOnline Merchant site for any tips or ideas, I would suggest taking a look at this one: http://storesonlinesuccessblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/storesonline-merchant-spotlight.html.

Best of luck with all that you are doing Jeremy!

FiveShoes said...

StoresOnline has amazing customer service. They go out of their way to answer questions. They are efficient and fun. I always learn so much from them.

This was written after a few experiences with a merchant and a Chat Rep.

DH – My Chat Rep was the most helpful of all the times we have had to call in for help I swear she should be a college professor, as well as being patient and kind. Hats off to her and please know she is a great asset to your company she did better than the people that taught the classes!!!!

SS - Very helpful and tried all possible methods to resolve the issue. I'm Happy. She was very patient. Well done.

RW - Lightning quick! Great service.

There are so many comments like this. Customer service at StoresOnline is great!