So you’ve arranged your finances, started up your online business and have started getting sales. And you are starting to get customer support requests via email primarily. If you are among the few who have setup a toll-free number, then you might be getting requests via the phone too. And you’re in a dilemma when you think about further marketing for your products! Once sales go up further, you know you won’t be able to provide good support for your customers, as it was not one of the things you had in mind to spend on, while drafting the business plan. In the end, you’d probably just assume things would work out somehow and proceed with marketing and probably end up boosting your sales.

And then it happens! Slowly but surely, you see complaints against you in forums, blogs and review sites, posted mainly by customers you’ve managed to tick off by not providing adequate customer support after they’d spent for your services or products. Yes, your evil competitors would post too, so you should think it is pretty foolish that you’re helping them on their mission by your own activities or rather lack of them.

A good percentage of new customers planning to use your products or services will look up reviews on the internet. So the key things here are that firstly, the number of relevant entries returned for a search for "your product complaints" or a similar phrase has a huge impact on whether the customer will end up with you or not. The higher this number goes, the greater the chance that the customer will opt out of taking the chance with you. Secondly, customers readily believe in bad reviews, complaints etc. but are more skeptical about positive reviews, since it is a fairly well-known fact that a major percentage of good reviews and the so called top-10 lists are "sponsored".

You might save a little in the beginning by not spending on high quality customer support, but in the long run, with all the complaints and negative reviews accumulating, you’ll end up losing much more than what you saved initially. By not providing good real time and pro-active customer support, you would be essentially denying yourself the chance to minimize damage. You wouldn’t have a chance to act (by offering a refund or a replacement) before the customer decides to vent.

So the bottom line is that you need to everything you can to avoid getting your products or services featured in complaint boards and forums. And providing good customer support is pretty much the only way you can do this. Good customer support is not a bonus you are offering the customer; it’s rather a requirement for your business’ growth and longevity. Your business needs customer support more than your customers.

Author's Bio: 

Vijayakrishnan takes care of the internet marketing activities for his company Phykon Solutions - http://phykon.com - Phykon concentrates on providing quality customer support mainly for businesses with an online presence.