Sorry if this is completely random... I am trying to have a good attitude about a situation I recently encountered (it's hard!), but let's just say that I now understand how Julia Roberts' character felt in Pretty Woman when those snooty ladies shooed her out of their store because she wasn't their ideal customer. I'm not going to name any names because I'm attempting to be the bigger person... however... it got me to thinking about what makes for GOOD customer service in an online small business.
So here goes:
- READ your customer's emails. Don't just scan and reply with a canned answer. There's nothing more infuriating than getting back an answer that didn't even address what you were inquiring about in the first place.
- Respond to emails/requests AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - preferably in no more than 12-24 hours. Taking longer than that suggests that you couldn't give a bleep, and it really makes your customer feel like their request was probably round-filed.
- (Side Note: If you actually are out in the middle of nowhere for a week, be sure to explain that in your response, coupled with flourishing apologies. Make it clear that you have every intention of addressing their request in an expedient manner and that your lack of attention in this case was not a normal business practice for you.)