Reduce Customer Service Calls With a Great, Self-Service FAQ ...

By Thomas Ford

How many times in a day do your customers call Customer Service to ask about your return policy? Or what about a customer calling to ask about cancelling his or her order? Or even better, a customer calling to report damage?even though you need digital photos to file a freight claim? All of these calls have a common denominator ? they are all customer service calls that could have been prevented.

Why would you want to prevent these calls, you may ask? The answer is simple: While you are busy answering customer service questions, you?re taking time away from other aspects of your business or personal life. To help eliminate customer service calls, a self-service FAQ page is a great option for any ecommerce website.

With a self-service FAQ page, you?re not only stating website policies, but you also have the ability to guide customers through simple step-by-step processes to complete their requests. When you set the customer?s expectations with stated policies, the customer has the option to qualify themselves or self-defer based on the stated policy. After that, the customer can simply follow the step-by-step process for completing their requested task.

Some simple steps will turn your FAQ page into a self-service page:

  1. Return Policy:? State the policy. List the return time frame, as well as the requirements (new, tags attached, original packaging, etc.). Next, you?ll want to guide the customer through the return process in a step-by-step format ? for example:
    1. Within 30 days of receipt, email customerservice@store.com for your RMA number. Please state the reason for the return.
    2. Customer Service will respond with a RMA number. Please include this number on a sheet of paper inside the package.
    3. Mail the return, insurance suggested, to 123 Main St., Anytown, PA 12345.
    4. Refunds are applied to original form of payment within 30 days.
  2. Cancellations: State the policy again. Do you accept cancellations or not? (Remember, never guarantee!). Next, as above, list the step-by-step procedures for requesting cancellations:
    1. Email customerservice@store.com with the reason for your cancellation request.
    2. Customer Service will attempt to cancel your order. You will receive an email confirmation either way with an order status update.
    3. If the order is unable to be cancelled, you may return the item according to the return policy above.

My suggestion is to create self-service FAQs for all of your most common customer service policy calls. Of course, some customers will still call to have someone assist them with the policies and procedures ? but by providing customers a self-service option, you?re decreasing the number of policy-related calls coming in to your toll-free number.
Don?t be fooled into thinking self-service FAQ?s are cold; the customer service team still has the option to save the sale, or reach out and contact the customer to repair the relationship, if such a message is indicated in the self-service email.

Thomas Ford has over five years of experience in ecommerce marketing and a MBA in finance and marketing. As marketing manager, he is responsible for coordinating marketing operations for the Web.com ecommerce division as well as marketing performance reporting and optimization. Thomas holds various degrees in international relations, international business, finance and marketing, and is an adjunct professor of economics.

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The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.


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Tags: Customer Service, Marketing, sales process, small business, Technology
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Source: http://www.networksolutions.com/smallbusiness/2012/03/reduce-customer-service-calls-with-a-great-self-service-faq-page/

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