One of the expectations visitors have when they go to Walt Disney World is that they will experience top notch customer service. You anticipate the grounds will be spotless and beautiful, the employees (cast members) will be gracious and cater to your needs and that your vacation will be idyllic.

Disney goes to great lengths to make sure that visitors know perfection when they visit. It is for this very reason, that I go with my family regularly to Disney World for our vacations. I not only appreciate their good customer service, I also enjoy the treatment! And as a result, I am a loyal customer.

My trip to Disney World earlier this month was no exception. But it very easily could have been different. One night, my husband and I went out on our own, for a romantic dinner for two at Epcot. The restaurant was one we’d eaten at previously and enjoyed. However, this evening the meal went wrong. My husband had to send back his meal four times. At one point, after the third return, we waited an hour for a new dish to emerge from the kitchen. Our romantic dinner for two had turned into a marathon. The waitress, upon the third return of my husband’s dish did apologize profusely and said his main course would be free.

At this point, though, we’d expected no less as we had waited a considerable amount of time due to the waitress’ and then the chef’s error. In fact, during our wait we remarked to each other that we would not be returning to this restaurant. Even though, his meal eventually did come out as he’d originally ordered and was delicious.

When our dinner was at last completed, the meal finished and desert consumed (my husband’s favorite desert is at this restaurant) the waitress informed us that the entire meal was on the house. She then introduced the manager to us and he again apologized for the errors with my husband’s main course, the long delay and said it was the least he could do to waive the charge.

As we left the restaurant, my husband and I, after over two hours of frustration, finally had smiles on our faces. In fact we thought, it was likely that we would return to the restaurant. Once again we had been impressed by the Disney philosophy. The customer is always the number one priority!

When you experience good customer service like this it changes your outlook on a business. You want to continue purchasing from that business and you want to tell others about the business. You have the urge to become their cheerleader!

Plus, as a small business owner, having an experience as I described makes you take a closer look at your own business. I began to question the customer service we offer? I asked myself how loyal are our customers and are they happily
referring others to us?

During the evaluation of our customer service, I realized that a key to online businesses providing good customer service is using email effectively. In fact a good emailing strategy will help ensure that your customers have a positive experience with your business.

It all starts with acquiring the email address of your prospects. When you have the email address of your potential customers, you can easily follow up with them. You can answer their questions, address their concerns and convince them of the merits of what you are selling. What’s more you can give them more than just a sales pitch.

Your emails to prospects should be informative and offer helpful resources and information not just push to close the sale. In addition, you need to be sure to treat your sales prospects’ email boxes with respect. Do not bombard them with offers and never sell or give their names to others without their permission.

The second element of using email effectively in customer service is providing email customer support. Your customers will contact you with questions via email before, after and during the sales process. Your business has to be prepared to answer customers’ questions promptly, correctly and courteously.

Step three to good customer service is sending an email thank you note to customers after a sale. You can improve your businesses’ image even further by adding to your thank you a free gift, coupon or survey for their feedback.

Finally, by conducting an ongoing follow-up email campaign you secure your position in your customers’ minds. You show your customers you care about them. You want to keep them up to date on interesting information in the field. And you
want more of their business.

It is through quality email communication and follow-up that your online business will impress your customers because you are giving them the Disney treatment. You have made them feel that they are your number one priority!