Improving Customer Service In Person & Online

Jan 14, 2011 contributor Carol Tice explained why good customer service is more important than ever in the Internet age in a recent post.

“There’s never been a better time to build your business by blowing away customer expectations and providing surprising, astounding levels of customer service,” she wrote. “In our Internet age, it’s never been easier for people to spread the word when they have a great customer-service experience.”

“Many neighborhood forums online even have threads reserved for raves about local businesses,” she continued. “Providing customer service that goes the unexpected extra mile gives your business a chance to see customers generate positive buzz that’s free and more valuable than the most expensive print-advertising campaign.”

Tice suggested sending thank-you notes and making follow-up phone calls as two ways small businesses can provide better customer service and build a strong reputation.

She also offered suggestions on how to deal with problems, such as offering customers coupons or freebies if they’re been inconvenienced.

“[W]hen customer service goes wrong, bad news has never traveled faster-on Twitter, Facebook, and every other social-media channel and chat forum online,” Tice wrote. “One snotty or clueless salesperson can sow a world of harm for your brand.”

Read the complete article here.