Improve small business customer service with a personal touch


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OM Adapter CanonElizabeth’s online business is selling merchandise on eBay. She started her company a few years ago when she decided she no longer wanted to be a banker, and in the back room of her home and a two-car garage to warehouse merchandise, her business has grown by leaps and bounds. Elizabeth used to spend countless hours replying to customers and answering questions by email; so much time that she didn’t have time for her own family, so what did she do?

Elizabeth has become streamlined and innovative, but still strives to reply to customers, improve customer support, and reduce time. Her first strategy was to refer customers and contacts to a website, and there she introduced her knowledge base. Up went an obvious link stating, Frequently Asked Questions. She started with the very basic questions and answers customers would repeatedly ask her and has been adding more ever since.

Next came the forum that Elizabeth set up. With nearly a one-click installation, different categories were organized giving people the opportunity to discuss pre-sale questions, member questions, customer support, while creating a personal touch. Since Elizabeth has chosen at this time not to participate on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, her forum still gives her the opportunity to participate and answer questions or give suggestions. When Elizabeth is not able to participate on her forum, frequently there are other members who are more than happy to supply information to new members. She does use a moderator, but has rarely had to intervene. It’s interesting to add that her forum has a search function for customers and members to find related posts, which in turn brings more knowledge to readers, participants and interested prospects.

When the FAQ and forums are not enough to help her customers, Elizabeth also has a Help Desk. A customer logs in and sets up a user account. The software program has pre-written responses for repetitive questions. If a customer still needs further assistance, she can set up an online ticket, attach files, and credit card information, and feel confident all information has been sent confidentially and securely.

Consequently there are fewer emails now to answer and a lot more time to devote to her family. Customer service has improved, and Elizabeth’s thriving enterprise continues to expand.

photo credit: muddanudo

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications



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