Whether or not your business is a success, keeping your customers happy should be a primary concern. Any good business model must include a section for customer service. If you have only one happy customer but you can keep them coming back to purchase from you, then you have achieved success. All you need to do is repeat that success multiple times and the sky is the limit for your business.
In the online world, customer service is greatly overlooked, especially on smaller websites. If your customers or visitors are not getting quality support, they will delete your website from their favorites and you will never get a visit from them again. One primary goal you should have is to keep this from happening.
For most customers it does not take much to make them happy. Obviously, though, you want to do everything you can to exceed their expectations. To sell products online it usually takes seven contacts with the customer and you want each of those contacts to be a step towards them purchasing your product, not one away from it.
A unhappy customer will certainly tell others about their bad experiences with your company and make it ten times harder to sell. Conversely, if you deliver an exceptionally good experience, their comments to friends will increase your business. I see this frequently on a Stonehenge website that I run. Many times my visitors fill out the survey on my website and mention how they are visiting it because a friend gave them the URL. This is traffic I might have never had if the experience the previous visitor had was bad.
As a beginning website owner there are a few simple things you can do to train yourself for good customer service. Throughout this section of my website you will find various tools and tips to improve your websites customer service.
I have over 10 years of customer service experience at a variety of customer support companies. I have done everything from being on the phones, supervising a help desk, handling 3rd level duties, etc. My current job is a Technical Support Lead at Universal Studios completely responsible for 1000+ computers and clients. Providing excellent customer support has been a priority in my business and I hope to bring that same feeling into yours.
Customers perceive service in their own unique, idiosyncratic, emotional, irrational, end-of-the-day, and totally human terms. Perception is all there is!
-- Tom Peters