Defining Your Website Customer Service Standards

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Serving customers is a required activity for everyone in business. There are certainly differences in the method for providing service to online vs. offline customers, however you should provide customer service in a consistent and predictable manner for all customers. Here are a few tips for defining and supporting your customer service standards in your website content.

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Defining Your Website Customer Service Standards

  1. 1. Content Review Workshop Defining Your Online Customer Service Standards
  2. 2. Online vs. offline customer service <ul><li>Question: What are the distinctions between online and offline customer service? </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: There are no distinctions. There are certainly differences in the method for providing the service and interacting with customers, however you should provide customer service in a consistent and predictable manner for all customers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Levels of Support: What? <ul><ul><ul><li>What are appropriate questions and issues for someone to contact you about? Are there questions or issues that are unrelated to your business? Are there questions that violate your privacy agreement or terms with the customer (ex: questions re: refunds, job postings etc.)? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Levels of Support: How? <ul><li>How should a customer or potential customer reach you? There’s not really a right or wrong answer, but you want to consider the needs of your customers. Also, it’s best that the method of contact for issues that require urgent attention be separated from ‘general’ support issues and questions. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Levels of Support: When? <ul><li>Most small to mid size business have operating hours and can not afford to be available 24/7/365. Are there time periods during which you and/or your business are unavailable to provide support? Are there exceptions to this rule (i.e. life is hanging in the balance) or is it set in stone? Manage expectations by noting your operating hours in the website contact areas. </li></ul><ul><li>What can customers expect in terms of how quickly you’re available to respond to their issue(s)? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Example: Product/Service Inquiry Questions answered with 1 business day and during business hours 8am - 5pm EST. When? Online Contact Page How? Additional Information about a product or service, warranty information, return policy. What?
  7. 7. Example: Billing Questions Available by phone during business hours 8am - 5pm EST. Billing issues resolved with 5 business days. When? By Phone, customer should provide their billing information and order date. How? Copy of receipt, errors in credit card processing, returns and exchanges, invoice questions What?
  8. 8. Using Content to Support Standards <ul><li>Once you’ve defined your levels of support, ensure that you have developed website content that align with those standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, be sure that your standards are noted in your website content and displayed in a prominent area of the site. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Questions? <ul><li>For questions about this series or support information, visit the Content Review Workshop on the Website Group Blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, connect with us on Facebook: www. facebook . com/websmithgroup </li></ul>

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