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How I Handle Customer Service In 10 Minutes Per Day

Copyright (c) 2008-2022

While attending a recent seminar in Las Vegas, I found myself in a room with horrible Internet connectivity. As someone who actively monitors and manages hundreds of websites, this used to really panic me. Yet, I calmly sat through many of the seminar presentations, knowing that all of my customer service concerns were being handled very promptly.

Let me explain my set-up, and you'll understand why customer service is so easy for me now.

I should begin though by pointing out that, as your online business starts to grow, keeping up with the customer service issues is often the most challenging part of running your business.

Just keeping up with all of the emails can be nearly impossible!

Like many online marketers, I decided to outsource customer service, but also maintain positive control. I maintain my own helpdesk (customer service center) where a few assistants take care of 95% of issues within minutes of them arising.

I route a major percentage of communications through my helpdesk because that puts everything all in one place. I have a threaded record of many exchanges, stored in a secure database, so I can always go back and look up the details later.

I am a bit of a "control freak" so I haven't put the life of my business totally into the hands of strangers. I have a few customer support assistants that I know fairly well. I know that they are trustworthy, understand my business, and have good judgement.

I use a help desk software, called Three Pillars Help Desk, but there are other comparable support desk packages. At under $100, this is an amazingly feature-rich piece of software though.

The typical customer service interaction is as follows:

1) A customer has a question, lost a download, needs a software install, wants to joint venture with me, can't get a file to open properly, etc.... they visit my help desk and fill out a help ticket.

I DON'T require them to register. They just fill out the ticket, and they are entered into the system, receiving an email confirmation. Actually, before they submit the ticket, they are encouraged to peruse the "frequently asked questions" (FAQ) built right into the help desk. Often, the answer to their concern is right there and they don't even need to file a help ticket.

2) As soon as a help ticket is filed, admin assistants assigned to that "category" of ticket, receive a desktop notification that a new ticket has been filed. They get an audible chime, as well as a desktop icon that tells them how many tickets are awaiting responses.

I have my help desk set up so that I get these same, notifications. I have it set to check every 15 minutes, so I can see if any tickets go unanswered for too long. Usually, my tech support is fairly fast though.

3) Admin assistants log into the admin control panel, using their unique admin log-ins, and respond to the tickets in categories assigned to them. They don't see, and can't respond to tickets in categories not assigned to them.

One of the categories at my helpdesk is "Personal For Willie." Naturally, I only want those tickets visible to me. Three Pillars Help Desk Software allows that option. Tickets regarding JV's are also only visible to me, but I could have an assistant assigned to sift through JV proposals, and have all of those tickets ONLY visible to that admin. Many of my contemporaries do have assistants assigned to screen JV proposals... some using the very same helpdesk setup that I just described.

4) Many of the help tickets that we get can be responded to with a "one-touch response." The admin just selects the answer from a drop-down selection of pre-composed answers, clicks "send," and in a matter of SECONDS that ticket is taken care of. The precomposed answers are assigned to (and only visible for) specific categories, and the categories are assigned to specific admins.

Perhaps a customer unfamiliar with PDF's or .zip files failed to download and save one properly, or perhaps they don't know how to open the file. Perhaps a customer had a harddrive crash, and needs a replacement copy of an ebook. If my tech support is provided with proof of purchase, they are authorized to replace these files. My admins are empowered to make these types of decisions, that I really shouldn't need to get bogged down with.

5) As soon as the ticket is responded to, the customer gets the response via email, and the desktop notifier, when it next updates, shows that that ticket has been taken care of.

I mentioned earlier that I route most communications through my help desk. This includes requests for joint ventures, requests for me to broker joint ventures, request for me to review a product, etc. Details on how I do all of these things are also included in the FAQ, so potential JV partners can see if their product is a likely match before they even file a help ticket.

Email is so unreliable these days. There is nothing more disconcerting than having a customer upset with you over not responding to an email that you never even received. You don't have that problem with the help desk. The correspondence is stored right in the database, and only visible to appropriate parties. You can retrieve records by name, email address, and a number of other database variables at any time... even for closed tickets. So, you have a real treasure of data at your fingertip.

The FAQ file shows how many views a given question has. That can show you potential problems, or indicate that you need to cover a product feature more thoroughly on your sales letter. Just paying attention to something like that could easily double your sales of a given product. The fact is that most prospect, who have a question, won't bother asking. So you need to really pay attention to those who do, and assume that many more had the same question ;-)

Anyway, I've just shared with you how I handle customer service for the hundreds of websites that I actively manage in mere minutes per day. I haven't actually tracked how much time my admin assistants spend responding to tickets. They haven't asked for raises in a long time, so I assume that it's not very much.

If you want to spend more of your time working on growing your business, rather than putting out customer service "fires," then I highly recommend that you set up your own help desk. My helpdesk of choice is Three Pillars: http://ThreePillarsHelpDesk.com but there are others. You can get as fancy as you want to with a help desk with them ranging from free to several thousand dollars in price. Three Pillars Help Desk was designed specifically for Internet marketers which is why it was a natural choice for me.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Willie Crawford is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, seminar and radio show host, and leading Internet marketing expert. When not out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, Willie can be found sharing his 11 1/2 years of online marketing experience with members of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle. Join them at: http://TheInternetMarketingInnerCircle.com

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Top-Level Category: Business Online Articles || Related Categories: Business Offline Articles

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