Wednesday, October 05, 2005

How to Annoy Customers

The Associated Press published a story this morning about annoying quotes from sales clerks. Somebody took a poll, and they came up with the most annoying ones. You can probably guess some of them: “That’s not my department.” “The computer’s down..” etc.

These questions come at the most opportune of times – when customers are looking for information that will help them buy something. On eBay and ecommerce sites, these kinds of questions show up, too, but in different forms. People may email asking for a specific product that you don’t carry. They might ask about a size you don’t carry or a particular model that hasn’t been made for some time.

Don’t treat them like those annoying sales clerks do. Provide information, be helpful, and make sure you’re offering accurate information. If you don’t know, that’s ok. Just tell them in a polite way and direct them to a site that can lead them in the right direction (preferably not Google). You’ve got a lot more resources at your disposal since your customers are on the Web. You can be very helpful when called upon.

These small un-annoying gestures tend to pile up and turn into a good reputation. Word of mouth spreads, and you’re soon known as an expert in your field and a provider of top-quality goods. That’s who you want to be.

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