In our opinion this is beyond a mistake- it’s simply a nightmare if you’re not providing support or customer service of some sort for the products and/or services you’re selling online.
Customer Service doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Nor does it have to be time consuming. There are many ways to handle this issue, as well as put a few simple things into place that can limit the number of customer service issues you even need to deal with.
Obviously, the easiest way to handle this would be to outsource your customer support department. A good resource for that would be Workaholics4Hire.com.
But, if you’re not quite ready for that level of support and are handling these issues yourself, there are many strategies you can do to head support issues off at the pass.
The first mistake that many website owners make is not having F.A.Q’s (Frequently Asked Questions) on their website. This will help eliminate pre-order support issues. You can easily generate these questions either from the support issues you’ve already answered or by running an exit survey on your website.
Another mistake is that the buyer doesn’t know how to use the product. You’ve sold them what they wanted then left them high and dry on how to use it.
You can correct this by creating a simple autoresponder series that explains how to use or consume the product. You can also create an easy member’s area that either has step-by-step tutorials or videos that show them how to use the product.
Yet another mistake is not having a ticket system or knowledge base in place. There are several applications that make this really easy.
By having email ticket system all of your responses are received and sent into one central location. This makes it very expandable when you are ready to grow to the next level.
By having a ticket system you can create “canned” responses to questions that come in repeatedly (and they will!). Which, of course, leads to the knowledge base.
This is a data driven system that is included with many of the ticket systems where you can enter the response to the most common questions. The end user can then quickly search through these and never have to submit a ticket in the first place.
Some of the ticket systems that include a knowledge base will automatically watch what the person is typing into the ticket. As they’re writing it will try to determine if there’s a knowledge base answer for it and display it just above the submit button.
This also greatly reduces the number of support tickets you receive.One of the ticket systems we recommend is kayako.com.
Editor’s Note: This post is pulled from Bret Ridgway and Frank Deardurff’s book “50 Biggest Website Mistakes,” available at http://50BiggestWebsiteMistakes.com.