With so many online businesses vying for customers in today's fragile economy, an important, yet overlooked area of improvement is in their customer service. So many businesses, whether they are large corporations or small online business, neglect to add a personal touch to their customer service. A little extra effort and personal interaction can increase the rate at which a customer will return to that business to make another purchase, or better yet, recommend it to a friend. This can be especially helpful for the little guy trying to make an impression in the online business world.
We are all consumers. Most of us have now used the internet to purchase some kind of good or service. Can you remember the last time you received a personal thank you for your purchase? Or was it just an auto response, blank email, generic letter or recorded phone call? I can remember one time that I got a personal response, ONE, and I am an avid online shopper. I became a repeat customer there, for that sole reason.
This got me thinking and I have now implemented in my own business ways to personally thank my customers. It just takes the willingness to have personal contact and maybe a little extra effort. I am not saying you should use these methods as a means to bully your customers into more purchases. A personal email, letter or phone call is just a nice gesture to say Thank you for their purchase of your product or service, wish them well, and give them your contact information, so that they can easily voice them . Make sure you have your email, phone number and website for easy reference. State your return policy and be willing to help and answer the questions when they come.
To make the personal touches authentic, you have to put a little effort into them. I know in this world of instant gratification people want to take the easiest route possible to get the end result. In business this is usually getting lots of customers and getting them now, but will those customers stay loyal? If you take the extra time and effort they just might have you over your competitor. In the long run, this will produce a better result with repeat buyers and their personal referrals.
Just think of it like a small town hardware store. There are no big companies here, just Joe's Hardware down the street, and he knows everyone in town. You can go there knowing he is willing to take the time to explain to you how to use that new drill you are going to buy and you know that if you have problems you can go back and he will still be there to explain it again. This is the personal service you strive for.
Personal touches in customer service make your customers feel comfortable and are a way to establish a working, trusting relationship with them. It makes them feel important and valued. It is a way to get back what has been lost in business today.