Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Google Docs: How to create a customer service survey free of charge

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Many small businesses have to control costs while obtaining feedback from customers. Many organizations will charge you a decent price for creating web forms for customer surveys and or polling. However, with Google Docs you can save a lot of working capitol, so it can be applied to your core business requirements.

Here are the steps:

  1. Log into your Google Docs account.
  2. In the left margin select: Create new -> form
  3. Select Theme: and choose a theme for your form. Remember to choose a theme that represents your business, but will not be hard on your customer’s eyes. I selected Blue.
  4. After selecting the theme select: Apply
  5. Give your form a title.
  6. Fill out a brief description of what the form pertains to in terms your customers will appreciate.
  7. Mouse over Sample Question on and press the “pencil” shaped object to edit the question.
  8. Fill in the Question Title, Question Help and the question type.
  9. After adding your questions, not too many as to bore your customer, click Save.
  10. Click on More actions -> edit confirmation. This is what your customer will see after pressing the “Submit” button. Click Save.
  11. Now, in order to send this form to your customers you will need to select: Email this form.
  12. Enter the email address, comma separated, that you would like the form to go.
  13. Your customer will receive the email along with a link to your survey. When they follow the link they will arrive at the page with your survey.
  14. When the customer enters their information and clicks “Submit” the information will go to a spreadsheet under your Google Docs.
  15. You will be able to view a pie chart or summary as well as the spreadsheet with your customer’s response.

Now, there is a method to embed the form on a web page or blog. I would not do it because it is using an “iframe.” There are several web site hacks that take advantage of the “iframe” tag. Besides, you should only be sending these forms to your customers and do not want anyone to fill out this form. A bare form invites web-bot and that will skew your results.

Hope this helps the small business owner in applying capitol to business specific functions. Please check out my sponsors who make this possible.

E-Business Crystal Ball (Part 2) – Customer Service

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Customer services is a headache for many businesses. The previous statement in itself is a reason why many businesses are failing to have repeat customers. Customers are the reason we have a business today and continue to grow. Customer service should be looked at as a positive challenge, especially to the people performing the face-to-face customer service.

Future customer service will incorporate many of the technologies in use today. Customer service will also employ many of the same techniques employed today. The difference will come in the marrying of both aspects.

  1. People will expect prompt service. Waiting on hold for twenty minutes is totally unacceptable. The way to combat the wait time is with centralized dispatching. In other words, calls go into a centralized location and are dispersed to another regional location. Some organizations are already doing this; however, I have seen where contractors hang up on customers to reduce their average wait-time or continually transfer customers to also reduce wait-time.
  2. People will want to talk with a representative. Using VoIP this becomes very reasonable. Couple with that a low cost web cam and you can handle online and POTS customers without specialized equipment or added costs.
  3. Localized hold music and announcements. No one wants to be on hold and have to listen to music that is not familiar. Announcing a plug for your business is fine, but if you continue to mention your online services customers will start to feel alienated for using the device of their choice.
  4. Responses using multiple media. Once the phone call ends the organization starts to work to improve their services. You should respond to the customer using as many means as posible, like email, phone and the postal service. The correspondence should address their specific concern and explain how your organization will make changes towards satisfying the customer’s concerns.

Everything sounds just like customer service is today, right? Examine your organization’s customer service and also the customer service you have received and I can guarantee you that the above mentioned principles are not being addressed. Every organization needs to examine their customer service to find methods for improvement.

Remember, when it comes to customer service addressing any less than all four of the areas mentioned is not good enough. Successful organizations take customer service seriously, because during economic strain customers are going to return to the organizations they feel are concerned with their needs.


Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS