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It Is All About Customer Service!by Matthew Keegan
In this day of terrible customer service, it should come as no surprise that serving your customers, also known as visitors to your web site, must be a top priority. Forget about return on your investment, how your site looks, keywords, meta tags, and the like. Are they important? Yes, of course. However, they mean nothing if you cannot attract and retain visitors to your site.
In 2002 I built a niche community for corporate flight attendants. I started off with a message board and then added web pages six months later. Traffic was decent with just the message board but it really took off when I created the web pages. The key? Customer service. In order to attract and retain my customer base I added a resume posting service. In fact, I allowed people to send to me a copy of their resume and I posted it on my site. I took the time to reformat each copy and added attractive backgrounds to each page. Next, I linked it to my site. How much did I get paid for this? Nothing! Why did I do it? Because it showed my customers - the visitors to my community - that I had a stake in their success. When you care about people, they will care about you and come back. And tell a friend. And click on your ads. And generate money for you.
I have also run contests where I have given away books, magazine subscriptions, and music CDs. The goodwill generated by the contest has strengthened my relationship with community members. I have come to know quite a number of my members personally, and have met some at conferences or have been in touch with them via email and phone calls. My members have helped me as much as I have helped them with advice that has thrust my community to the top.
Who has time for top notch customer service? You do! Push away from your keyboard and brainstorm how you provide superior customer service. Then, make a point to implement your plan on a regular basis. Do you answer all your emails from members? Are you even that accessible to members? Plan on responding promptly [within one business day] to all inquiries from site visitors. Always answer their questions to their satisfaction and thank them for their inquiry. NEVER come across as impatient or bothered. Hey, they do not have to visit your site, no matter how much of a niche you think you provide.
Altogether if you become more customer focused you will set yourself apart on the internet and that is where your success will ultimately come from. Customer service is sorely lacking in the business world, give yourself a leg up and make your site visitors happy by providing exemplary customer service at all times.
Matt Keegan is a webmaster and internet marketing guru. Matt runs the Corporate Flight Attendant Community at http://www.corporateflyer.net and http://www.cabinmanagers.com as well as the Aviation Employment Board at http://www.aviationemploymentboard.net. Both communities are strong performers in their respective categories.
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