Words of Mouse

Posts Tagged ‘customer service

Web Site Contact Forms: Do You Respond to Them?

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In the past two weeks, I have tried to find both an accountant and a professional photographer to take photos of me for my site and marketing materials (no worries, Kristen – they will NOT be glamtastic photos!).  I asked a financial planner friend of mine for a referral to an accountant.  He provided me with three recommendations.  All have Web sites, so I filled in their contact forms and submitted them.  There is a photo studio in the area that does a lot of digital photography for professionals.  The studio did my senior pictures in high school and they also do a lot of wedding photos.  They have a great reputation, so I used their e-mail contact form to ask them for a quote as well.  This happened two weeks ago.  Not one person has contacted me.

If your Web site has an e-mail contact form, great.  However, you actually have to check your e-mail and respond to inquiries from potential customers!  It’s just bad customer service not to respond to people who want to give you their money.  Plus, it creates doubt in their minds.  “Okay, if I have to chase them down to even get a consultation, will I have to chase them down when I have a real legal/accounting problem or other issue that needs to be dealt with immediately?”  That’s not the image you can afford to portray, especially if you run a small business.  You know what they say.  Perception is reality.

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Written by lzaykoski

October 25, 2008 at 10:27 pm

It’s Get to Know Your Customers Day!

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Today is Get to Know Your Customers Day (I have no idea who made it up, but it’s on the list of holidays I consult for blog ideas, so here we are). In honor of Get to Know Your Customers Day, let’s talk about how we get to know our clients. First, though, I want to tell a story about great customer service and how two shopkeepers in my town get to know everyone they serve.

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a consignment shop where I could consign some of my higher-end handbags and such. I searched for “consignment shops Wilkes-Barre” and found the Oncore Home Consignment Shop. They consign only home decor and furnishings, so they wouldn’t take my items. However, I noticed that they had a blog, so I started reading it and I was charmed. It turns out they were having a birthday party for the shop on the very same day I found their blog. I decided to check it out even though they wouldn’t consign my items.

When I walked in, I was absolutely amazed. The shop smelled like cinnamon and spices, and there was a big cart with homemade fudge and cookies, free for the taking. The women who run the shop are mother and daughter, and they were talking and laughing with everyone and generally just being wonderful people. When I checked out with my items, they gave me a free party bag full of candy and told me to pick a color. I picked pink, and then I got a pink bag with a free coin purse in it. I also got a store brochure, a coupon for $3 off in October and in November, and a frequent shopper punch card. If I get it punched 10 times, I get $10 worth of free merchandise.

Since their birthday party, I have been there many times and every time I am there, it is the same way. I’m greeted enthusiastically and the ladies chat with me like we are old friends. Their homemade fudge and cookies didn’t cost very much, and their free giveaway items came from the dollar store. But those two women put their hearts into everything they do in that store, and I will continue patronizing the shop as long as they are in business. Oncore Home Consignment Shop is an example of above and beyond customer service that we can all learn from.

So, how do you freelancers get to know your customers? Or, have any of your vendors gotten to know you in an unusual way? Share in the comments.

Written by lzaykoski

October 16, 2008 at 11:46 am