Oct 23, 2008

Customer Service

The Importance of Customer Service

Customer service is a part of business. Good customer service is something that successful businesses comprehend. They take it into consideration and incorporate it into every aspect of their business. Although affiliates may not think customer service is an important aspect to their business, it is actually very important. By creating relationships with your customers/purchasers you can set-up the potential for return sales or future promotional offers that your customers will feel comfortable taking part in.

Merchants are exposed to customer relations on a day-to-day basis as their customers contact them with questions, concerns, and or suggestions. There is usually some form of contact after the product is purchased, where the merchant may offer some future support or promotional offers. Both affiliates and merchants can take advantage of this contact to drive their business and we are going to discuss how this works within this tutorial.

Who is a Customer?

First of all, you need to be able to create a customer before you can learn how to treat one. Through this process of turning a visitor into a customer, customer service is required. Customer service begins from the moments an interaction between a customer and you takes place (or between your website and a customer). A customer relationship can either begin prior to someone actually becoming a paying customer, or after they have already made a purchase.

Treating a Customer like Your "Last" One

A good approach you can take when treating your customer is to treat the customer as though they are your last one. By taking this approach, you will approach the customer with a much greater understand, and a lot of the time you will be a lot more helpful. If someone comes up to you and says, “I am unhappy with your product or service!”, the easiest thing to do is take it personally and fire back. Don’t do this.

Instead, develop an understanding why the person is unhappy, and work with them to resolve the problem. Often times this will create a solid relationship with you and the customer and it will show that you are not here to just make money, you really care about others. This will go a long way for you in business. Another important thing to consider when dealing with unhappy people, you will learn exactly why they are unhappy and likely be able to improve your offering. This will further increase your business.

Conversely, if someone contacts you to let you know that they are happy with your service / website / product etc, this is another opportune time to build a relationship. Many times when someone says “Thank You” it is easy to simply accept their nice words and not reply to them. We believe that everyone who contacts you deserves a response, so write back regardless of whether the person is asking for something, or simply saying hello. It’s amazing how much your business can grow by interacting with your customers and offering support on all levels. You can use a “Thank You” email as a platform to offer further support, or to simply touch base. People like to deal with REAL people, and in the online "world", personalization and human interaction is frequently overlooked

Dealing with Scammers

There is a fine line between a customer just out to get the best for themselves, and one who really does not like your product. Any business owner will tell you that for every business trying to “scam” people, there are 5 people trying to scam the business! Although Internet marketing has been around for years, so have individuals who have successfully scammed hundreds of businesses.

You have to go no further than Clickbank to see how much consumer fraudulence goes on. People take advantage of the fact that they can get a refund on any product that they purchase from Clickbank. Some people just buy a product, read it or use it, with full intentions to refund the product before the purchase. This is very frustrating as a merchant and will result in a 5% refund rate regardless of how good your product is.

So what can we do about this?

We can work on a long term relationship after someone purchases. We can make them feel guilty about requesting a refund by going above and beyond the level of support that is required. Follow-up with your purchasers after they have bought your product, and offer them a bonus just because you though it would be a nice gesture. This will go a long way, and reduce the number of “scamming” individuals from refunding. Believe it or not, some of these people do have a conscience.

We also have to take into account that some people will simply just not use your product / service the way that it is meant to be used, thus it may not work for them. These individuals are prime examples of the type that request a refund. So, follow up with your customers, offer them help, bonus material to make things easier for them. If you aren’t selling your own product, you can still work with people who purchase through your affiliate link. For example, at Clickbank you can get the email addresses of people who purchased, you can always send them a free guide, or a Bonus, or even offer them support for the product that they purchased. This will build a positive relationship and significantly lower the chance of a refund.

So what about people who contact you to “complain” and make “demands”? DO NOT FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. Although someone may be very disruptive and condescending towards you, be the better person and do not stoop down to this level. You probably have heard the saying “kill them with kindness”. This truly does work and unhappy customers are likely to recommend you to others if you treat them with respect at all times, regardless of their candor.

This leads into creating long term relationships that will benefit your business for many years. Offer exceptional customer service and you can build a solid foundation of long-term, faithful customers.

Creating Long Term Relationships

After someone purchases, they become a customer. All good companies know that is takes a heck of a lot less work to sell something to an existing customer, than to create a new customer. In fact, some analysts have indicated that within some industries, a sale from a new customer can cost up to ten times more to acquire a sale from an existing one.

Now that you understand how valuable an existing customer is, you need to understand where customer service plays an important role. Take someone who purchases your product, and treat them like gold. This could include:

  • sending out a bonus after purchasing
  • sending out a follow-up survey
  • offering additional support

By making connection with your customer after a purchase, you are opening your doors to new opportunities. If you are an affiliate, you can offer to send people you purchase a “valuable bonus” upon purchasing from your site, and then you will be able to create this long term relationship.

If you are a merchant, grab the customer information upon them purchasing, and send off a bonus that will be useful. If you are selling a digital product, send a follow-up asking them if they have any questions or need any further assistance.

By offering the highest level of customer service, you are instantly opening the potential for future promotion opportunities to your customers. If they are happy purchasing from you once, why wouldn’t they do it again? Chances are they would.

Question Your Customers

Ask your customers if they have any questions. If you have the opportunity to interact with them personally, you credibility will increase exponentially, and they will much more likely purchase from you now and in the future.

If you have a product, you can also get great feedback from your customers by asking them if they have any suggestions as to how you could create a more superior product. People are very willing to share their thoughts on products and services, and by asking for suggestions you may obtain some insight into how to grow your company and obtain brand new business ideas.

Unless you have done prior research, you may not know exactly what the customer wants. If you open yourself to suggestions, you will get right to the “root’ of what your customer is looking for.


Customers are your friends. Without customers, your business would not exist. You need to manage all of your customer relations very carefully. Ask for feedback, give credit for feedback, and be very quick to answer any questions. If you offer a level of service that exceeds what they are used to, you have just created yourself a long term customer.

Avoid altercations at any expense. Not all consumers are worth your time and effort and interactions that premise on negativity will in no way be positive for your company. Kill conflict with kindness, and if they are just looking for a battle, accept defeat and thank them for their time.

Treat your customers like GOLD, and you are much more likely to accumulate some.

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