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5 Tips for Automating your Customer Service
By: Developer Shed
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    5 Tips for Automating your Customer Service
    by Nick Temple

    We all know that superior customer service is the best way to retain customers and increase profits.  Happy customers mean more business.  But the question is, how do you provide great customer service on a limited budget?  Here are a few tips to help out.

    1) Provide a search engine for your web site

    Often, the information the customer is looking for is
    already on your web site, especially if you have built a
    F.A.Q. system.  Adding a simple search functionality to your web site allows your customers to self help themselves. 

    2) Create a list of Frequently Asked Questions for your site.

    Most people would rather find the answers themselves, rather than wait for a response.  This information should be easily found, and organized logically. A simple F.A.Q page is a good place to start.

    3) Create an "expert" help system

    Even better is an automated system that allows you to create a series of questions and answers, which when laid out properly, allow your customers to find the exact solutions they need for tech support or product questions. This is exactly the same technique Ebay and other large sites use.

    4) Have a web help desk system

    A tracking and ticketing system for handling customer support issues is critical. It should support both email and web based questions.  Any system you implement should understand the concept of "tickets" and should keep all correspondence related to a specific "ticket number" together, both incoming and
    outgoing, so you can track the status of each request.

    5) Make sure you have the answers

    Once your customer contacts you, you need to provide answers to their questions quickly and efficiently.  Your customer database is your most powerful asset. If you can keep all your information in one searchable database, you will then be able quickly to find the information required.  Has this customer had a similar problem before?  Do they have additional issues that need to  be resolved? What is their account status?  All this information should be immediately available to your staff.

    There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than having their questions or concerns fall through the cracks.  By building even one of the tips above, you can reduce support costs and increase customer satisfaction. Your customer then becomes your best service representative

    Nick Temple is a free-lance software developer who was recently given the rare distinction as a Certified Developer for the Mark Joyner Farewell Package.  If you're not familiar with the package, it includes source code to automate every item mentioned in this article and much more.  It's only  available to the first 2,000
    people who respond, so be sure to get your copy today:

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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