Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11th "Autoresponders in Your World" Series, Part 8.

Using Autoresponders to Deliver Exceptional Customer Service.

Many exceptional entrepreneurs and corporations boast about building their companies “One customer at a time.” Indeed, most people need to know that their business is appreciated, and that if issues arise, the company would step forward to offer personal assistance.

In the real world, it is still possible (although with alarming irregularity) to get customer service on a personalized basis. However, when it comes to Internet Marketing, even the most well-intentioned businessperson quickly realizes that one-to-one customer service is impractical. Clients and prospects are global, not local. In cyberspace, an autoresponder can fulfill a small to medium-sized business’ customer service requirements.

In the simplest scenario, autoresponder-based customer service amounts to sending out:

1. A sales receipt when a web-based order is placed.
2. Product access information (download information in the case of digital products).
3. A ‘Thank You’ or courtesy e-mail. May or may not include an ‘upsell’ or complimentary follow-up offer.

The above steps take place regardless of where you are (vacation?) or what you are doing. However, life is not always so simple, and there will be times when you must be more “hands-on” to satisfy your customer. For example, consider a person who orders a PDF-based e-book from you but cannot download it properly. Unfortunately, your first autoresponder sequence is not enough, so consider the following options:

1. Add a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) autoresponder that includes product access solutions based on prior customer feedback.

2. Create a special support autoresponder that automatically responds to a customer requests for help by acknowledging the inquiry and providing a time frame for resolution. This shows that post-purchase relations are important, and provides some assurance for customers.

As a business owner, you want to keep customers happy and hopefully retain them for repeat purchases. Therefore, don’t forget to actually resolve all outstanding issues before they get angry and upset. It’s amazing how much grief and misunderstanding can be prevented by short, easy to create autoresponder messages.

It is critical to analyze your online order processing system from both the top-down and the bottom-up. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify each and every problem that they may face. Ensure your customer’s full satisfaction by including all three types of autoresponders mentioned above – not just a 'Thank you for your money." message!

In the long run, your reputation will make or break your business. Nothing kills a reputation faster than a failed customer service policy. By immediately addressing your customer service needs with autoresponders, you are one step closer to Internet marketing perfection.

Rahul Majumdar is an Information Marketer specializing in article marketing, list-building, and digital product creation. Sign up for more of his insights here.

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