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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

4 Easy Steps to Better Online Customer Support
By: Jase Dow
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    2004-12-08

    Table of Contents:
  • 4 Easy Steps to Better Online Customer Support
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    4 Easy Steps to Better Online Customer Support


    (Page 1 of 3 )

    Customer support is very important when you're running a business, whether your business is on or off the net. If your customer support is hopeless, you'll soon find your customers running away from you and worse, telling others to stay away too.

    If you're like many of us out there, the last thing you want to do is to spend the whole day replying to customer support emails. Here are 4 easy steps to help improve your customer support and at the same time reduce the time you spend replying to queries. The trick here is to help your customers help themselves before you help them.

    - Step 1: Start with a Knowledge base / FAQs

    The first step to your support system is to set up a knowledge base or, if you have a quite straight forward product, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. This will save you a lot of time. Your customers will also be happier since they can find answers to their questions immediately. If you're just starting out, it is still a good idea to set up a knowledge base/FAQs. Just sit down and think of all the possible questions that your customer would ask. Maybe not all. Start with a few and you can always add more to it as time goes by.

    - Step 2: Set up a Forum

    A forum is a great addition to your customer support system. The forum should be the second place your customer would turn to for help. A lot of people associate a forum to discussions, moderating, a lot of work and a headache to maintain. This is only true if you use a forum as a discussion area.

    Instead, you should use it as a customer support tool. Just create different forum categories for eg., pre sale questions, member questions, one category for each product. A forum is an excellent way to provide customer support because:

    There is a search function for the customer to find related posts
    You could easily set up a forum for free. Most good web hosts now has a one click forum installation function.
    You don't have to worry about your replies being caught by your customers' email filters

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