Archive for Customer Service

Tips for Writing Effective Product and Service Descriptions

If your product and service descriptions are not engaging, people aren’t going to bite. Instead, they’ll bypass your information and move on to a competitor who can capture their attention with descriptions that sizzle. When you remember a few simple rules, writing an effective product and service description is a breeze.

Know what you’re selling. Research the product or service before you try to describe it. If you know and understand every feature and benefit, it can help you write descriptions that are accurate and lifelike. You can research items on manufacturers’ websites. These sites typically offer in-depth info and little known facts about their products.

Pinpoint the audience. Knowing the demographic of the people who use the products or services can help you choose the best tone and style for your writing. For instance, if the primary users are teens, you may opt for a hip style of writing. If the item is used by professionals in a corporate situation, you’ll get better results by sticking to a more business-oriented writing style.

Be descriptive, but concise. People want to know what’s in it for them. So don’t bore readers into a coma with mundane feature descriptions. Instead, use colorful language to help potential clients visualize how the available features will make their lives easier. Don’t overdo it though. Keep the language simple enough for people to understand. Your readers shouldn’t have to keep a technical dictionary on standby to understand your descriptions.

Tell them what’s next. Don’t leave readers to figure out the next step. Tell them what they need to do to purchase your service or product. Ending your description with a call-to-action can seal the deal by encouraging potential customers to take action.

If your goal is to sell your products or services, effective descriptions are a must. If you know your product, understand your demographic, use appropriate language and use effective call-to-actions, you can write descriptions that command attention from potential buyers.

 

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Improving a Customer’s Experience Online

To improve your customer’s experience online, consider these three tips.

Don’t make them have to hunt you down.

Online customers can easily get frustrated and give up and leave if they can’t swiftly find a way to contact you with questions about your products or services. Don’t make them scroll all the way to the bottom of your website to finally unearth a dusty contact link in grey, 3 pt. type. Don’t make them navigate away from your product page to the home page in order to find the contact link. Don’t force them to consult a site map to find a contact link either, unless you prefer to be completely unreachable.

Instead, at a minimum, have a clear, large contact us link that shows up on every page of your website, so customers can quickly get answers to impromptu questions.

Take a page from the old print catalogs.

Years ago when print catalogs were in style, customers were given multiple methods to place an order. Buyers could mail it in, phone it in, or fax it in. Do the same for your customers. People have varying favorite ways to place orders. Offer an 800 number as well as an online order form, and perhaps let them order via Live Chat. By doing this, you’ll appeal to a much broader range of customers.

Don’t make them wait.

Don’t make your site visitors wait for splash pages to finish, and don’t make them wait for pages to load. This is akin to making your customers wait outside the shop door while your employees finish their merchandising displays. By the time you open the front door, your customer could be long gone. Your website developer should be able to design a site for you that loads quickly, with web-optimized graphics that won’t hang up your customers’ ISPs. When in doubt, always choose faster download times over razzle dazzle.

 

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Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty: for many companies, it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Customers who are loyal to a brand can ensure the future of that company for years to come. But where does brand loyalty come from, and how does one develop it?

Give Consumers What They Want

It may sound obvious, but an article in Forbes.com recommends that companies who wish to build brand loyalty start by offering relevant, well-made products. Don’t sacrifice quality for a good bottom line. Customers will return for products that last, work harder, perform better or offer value that just can’t be found elsewhere.

Innovate

The world does not stand still, and neither should your company. It’s not enough to develop a single product or service that customers want. Do more. Make more. Develop more. Companies that offer a stagnant product line will eventually lose the interest of their client base.

Develop a Corporate Identity People Like

People like to buy from companies that have attractive corporate identities. There are two ways to build a favorable corporate persona:

  • Give your brand likability. Whether your company’s identity is based on trustworthiness, respectability, ingenuity or overall quality, your corporate goal should always be focused on building that identity. Smart marketing is one part of this equation, but equally important is living up to the name your company builds for itself.
  • Philanthropy. In this day and age of social awareness, consumers like to buy goods from companies that do the right thing.

Listen to Your Customers

It sounds easier than it is: solicit feedback from your customers, and then listen to what they have to say. If you’ve recently released a product or service that your customers are unhappy with, customer feedback will guide your company down the right path. Take action before you lose customers. If your customers are demanding a new product, make it. This type of behavior strengthens the bond between your company and your customers, makes customers more likely to recommend your products, and gives them incentive to return.

 

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How to Increase Customer Engagement Online

These days, running a successful business online is all about setting yourself apart from the competition by engaging your customer base. However, if all you’re doing to reach out to your customers is maintaining a website, you might not be doing enough. Here are some simple yet effective tips for increasing customer engagement online.

Set Up Social Media Pages

According to Convince & Convert, 58% of Americans these days report that they have at least one online profile with a social media website. Therefore, if you don’t have a business page set up for your company on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, you could be missing out. By setting up a page and updating it regularly with photos, polls, and contests, you’ll better engage your customers and prospective customers while spreading the word about your business in the process.

Offer Special and Exclusive Content

Today’s consumers love receiving special recognition, so if you’re not already offering exclusive content to your customers, you might want to start. For example, consider sending out a special promotional code to customers who have purchased from you in the past few months. Doing so encourages loyalty to your company while rewarding your customers in the process.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Believe it or not, your customers want to feel like they have a say in your company’s decisions. Therefore, you should start including them in some of the choices you make. For example, if you’re a candle company thinking about offering a new scent, why not ask for your customer’s suggestions or hold a contest where the winner gets to pick the new scent name?

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to better engage your customers online. Be sure to give some or all of these a try; you just might be surprised by the results.

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Customer Service Steps You’re Overlooking

Customer service is about more than just delivering the product while not being rude to the customer. To truly wow the customer and build brand loyalty, you need to create the image that you’re willing to go the extra mile on every transaction. Here are some simple ways to wow your customers and turn them into champions of your brand.

  1. Make how you deal with customers part of your business’s culture. Many people in customer service positions can turn downright rude when things get busy. You don’t necessarily need to create an overly cheery image — many businesses do just fine with a no nonsense approach that creates an image of efficiency. Whatever you decide the culture of your business should be, drill it into your employees so much that they won’t deviate from it even during the most stressful times.
  2. Create the perception that customers are getting something for nothing. 5 Guys Burgers and Fries famously dumps an extra scoop of fries into the to-go bag after filling their standard fries container. Customers think they’re getting something for nothing, but the extra “free” fries are already in the budget. Find something similar you can do in your business.
  3. Get feedback from your customers. Many people who aren’t completely satisfied won’t complain on their way out, but also won’t come back. Ask them how everything was and address any problems before they walk out the door. If the same complaints keep coming up, be sure to retrain your staff or find other ways to fix the problem.

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Getting Referrals for a Small Business

Getting referrals for your small business is one way of growing your company. In order to benefit from referrals, you need to build your customer base. This can be accomplished by providing excellent services and products.

Building solid business relationships is the foundational block of any small business. Any one of your current contacts can refer you to others. Rather than wait for them to volunteer, make an effort to ask for the referrals you need. The following offers more practical advice on how to build your referral network.

Developing Referral Building Habits

According to Ray Silverstein, President of PRO (President’s Resource Organization), it’s to your advantage to develop good referral-building habits. You can do this by revamping your thinking about asking and being more aggressive in your referral pursuit. Proactive referral habits include:

  • Integrating referrals into your initial agreements with new customers
  • Asking for referrals every time you receive a customer compliment on your services
  • Using client meetings as opportunities to ask for referrals
  • Setting weekly goals for getting referrals
  • Being specific in the type of referrals you ask for
  • Capitalizing on your networking opportunities to get referrals
  • Give and it shall be given

As your small business grows, you will come in contact with highly potential people whom you can refer to others. Giving referrals generously yourself when the opportunity arises will open doors for others to respond in kind. Be on the lookout for occasions to bring contacts or business associates together for mutual benefit and see how it reciprocates in your favor.

Another way of giving is to offer rewards to customers who provide referrals regularly such as special discounts, free services or products, etc. Don’t forget to thank every customer and referral for their time, trust and support. Showing genuine appreciation to your customers and treating them with care will win their confidence and trust as loyal clientele.

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4 Reasons Why it Pays to Poll Your Customers

What are your customers saying about you?

If you’ve ever wondered whether your small business is hitting the mark with the people it serves, a survey may be in order. Consumer surveys give you insight into every facet of how well, or how poorly, your business is performing.

Who’s Buying What?

This is probably the most important reason to survey your customers — finding your product’s demographic. How old are the people who are buying what you have to sell? Are they male or female? College-educated or blue-collar all the way?

A well-written survey form collects this type of personal information which then gives you better insight into who your customers really are.

How Are You Doing?

Are your customer service representatives friendly? Do they go the extra mile to assist each customer that walks through your brick-and-mortar store or who logs onto your website? Do they say “Thank you” and “Please come back again”? If they don’t, a survey is one of the most-efficient ways of finding out this important piece of information.

What’s the Next Step?

When it comes time to expand your operations, which direction should you take? Try asking your customers. A survey that asks clients what new features, products or services they would love to find inside your place of business gives you an idea of where you should begin and what products you should focus on next.

What Are Your Opportunities for Improvement?

Is your parking lot too small? Do you keep your store cool enough in the summer? Are your credit card readers and cash registers fast and efficient enough to keep people coming back for more? If you’re not sure, get a survey into the hands of every customer and find out which areas need improvement.

The future of your business is in the hands of those you serve. Make sure your consumer surveys are there as well.

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5 Customer Service Tips For Your Business

A lot goes into customer service.  This is where we foster and nurture relationships, and really go the extra mile to ensure a long-lasting relationship with them.  To keep your long-term customer service efforts going strong, here are five tips to use!

Communicate – Strong communication skills are vital to a long lasting relationship. You can’t possibly know what is going on with your client if you don’t talk (or email). Make sure you stay in contact with your clients. Let them know you are thinking of them. Send them some resource materials. Mention that article you found online that you thought would be of interest. Whatever you do, stay in touch and let them know that you are available and interested. You want that virtual door to remain open so that your client can feel completely comfortable coming to you.

Show the love – Everyone likes to feel appreciated. How do you show your clients that they are truly appreciated? Do you provide them with special discounts? Do you send them notes or tokens of appreciation from time to time? It’s important to show that you care for your clients and are grateful for the business.

Be faithful – Yes, we are usually the ones who want our clients to be faithful, right? We don’t want them falling for the next best thing that just happens to be a few bucks cheaper, a little shinier…But the same goes for us. We must be faithful. Faithful to our marketing messages, with which we must stay consistent and reliable. And we must be faithful to our clients in providing them top notch service that they can depend on.

Be supportive – If you don’t provide support to your clients, you will see them leave. One by one. Because everyone wants support. No one likes to feel like they are not listened to, or that they have no one to lean on. Once the sale is made, now you must provide the support necessary to show that you really care and that yes, you are there for your clients. 110% there.

Have fun – Don’t forget to have fun with your clients. As you get to know them, understand their likes and dislikes, then make sure to incorporate that into your phone and email contact. Business doesn’t have to be stuffy and impersonal. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Your clients are people too. And they have senses of humor and interests. Use this to further develop your relationship and let them know that your business has personality too!

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