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  Internet Marketing and Online Customer Service  
 
People do not always think about customer service as part of their marketing plan but it should be.  Customer service plays an integral role pre and post-sale.  The more opportunities you have for someone to contact you for customer service or technical support, the greater their confidence will be in your company.  The better you handle customer service inquiries the better their loyalty will be and that is a key goal for Internet marketing plans.

Online Customer Service

Online customer service is a great way to show consumers you are serious about offering them the help they need.  In a nutshell there are a number of different ways you can add customer service to your site.  There are some software packages that can be integrated into your site or you can have a customized option created.

You want to give people the option to chat with someone from your company without requiring them to make a call.  Since many consumers search the net while at work, this makes it very convenient for them to speak to you rather than move on to another website.

What to Handle

Not all customer service inquiries should be handled over the net.  If there is something sensitive that needs to be discussed, you may want to request the person call you or allow you to call them.  This will show them that you are taking their customer service needs seriously.

Who Should Handle the Inquiries?

Though it is possible to outsource your online customer service you may wish to handle it in-house to ensure the highest quality.  You and your staff will be best situated to answer most questions or get the answers the customer or potential customer is asking.

Make sure whoever is handling the customer service inquiries is professional and does not take anything personally.  If they take things personally then they may offend a current or potential customer.

Online Customer Service – The Bottom Line

The bottom line about online customer service is that if it is handled properly it is a great way to increase consumer confidence and loyalty.  Providing easy access to customer service and technical support can set you apart from the competition.

Consider adding online customer service options to your website and highlight it as one of the reasons why consumers should choose your company over the competition.  This is an important goal of Internet marketing.