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Guide to Customer Service

A meeting place where national storefronts can tout their wares and discuss trade. [In character]
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Mikoyan-Guryevich
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Guide to Customer Service

Postby Mikoyan-Guryevich » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:09 pm

Guide to Customer Service


Yes, another guide I decided to write. I promise this will be my last.

Interactions between the buyer and the marketer within Global Economics and Trade is a core aspect of the roleplay that this forum is centered around which is why the old and bitter vets like myself tend to cringe when it's done poorly.

Before I start, I'd like everybody to recognise that there are many different denonyms that play NationStates therefore it is important to respect that some people find it difficult to write in detail. For example some members are quite young, some are from a non-english speaking back ground and some don't have a sophisticated lexis (it means you're good with words) and thus will find it hard to write lots for an RP.

Why is customer service important? Because how you deal with the customer will ultimately decide how happy they are after the deal has been done. Poor customer service can turn people away for life while great customer service is as good as free advertisement, both in real life and on nationstates. Therefore, it's important to get it right, and you can do that by following these simple rules.

  • Always be friendly. Being rude to customers at any level will encourage them to look elsewhere and will turn other people away. Be polite and be considerate. Try and steer away from using words or remarks which people could find offensive.
  • Always be professional. Always address the customer by their nation's name (or the persons name if they have specified a particular person) and don't use informal and slang pronouns like man, dude, bro etc. Use proper grammar (remember your apostrophes, correct spelling, no abbreviations) and write proper sentences.
  • Always be personal. If you write an order or a response, never leave out your signature block at the bottom or forget to write who it is addressed to up the top. If a customer or a storefront owner invites you to discuss the details of the order, make sure you do and don't just ignore it.


Therefore, I intend to write this guide to give people a reasonable understanding of how to metaphorically walk into a storefront to place an order and how the owner of a new storefront might reply to any potential customers.

Although I'll probably add to this OP before I declare this guide finished.
Last edited by Mikoyan-Guryevich on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mikoyan-Guryevich
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Postby Mikoyan-Guryevich » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:23 pm

As the customer

So you're trawling through the storefronts on Global Economics and Trade, looking for something that takes your fancy. For this exercise, lets say your air force would like to buy a new fighter jet.

Just like that, you spot a storefront that catches your eye. You browse through their list of aircraft and you pick out the one you want. You hit reply at the bottom of the page and begin to type:

I would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes


Right, let's stop there. Although the storefront will have no difficulty in identifying what you want to order, these kinds of orders really aren't the sort you want to be replying to because they aren't professional, personal and are only borderline friendly. Suffice to say, there is only a very limited roleplay going on between the storefront and the buyer.

First of all, let's get the pronoun right. (Pronouns are words like I, you, me, they, we which stand in for a noun so you don't have to repeat it). It's important to remember that you are no longer writing as yourself, but as your nation so you need to RP accordingly. Speak as if you are talking on behalf of the nation.

We would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes


Even better, lets introduce ourselves as the Examplistan Air Force.

The Examplistan Air Force would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes


So now the order seems half realistic. We still have a long way to go. Let's try addressing it to the storefront and then adding our signature block at the end.

To: The Storefront

The Examplistan Air Force would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes.

John Doe
Examplistan Air Force
Examplistan


This as it stands could be deemed an acceptable order as it covers who it's from and is at least half realistic. But lets see if we can improve on it a bit more by maybe adding some information about why we would like to purchase the fighter jet.

To: The Storefront

The Examplistan Air Force has been searching for a new fighter jet to replace our old fleet of aircraft. We have searched through many different suppliers, but your F1 Fighter Jet has proven to be the best aircraft for our nation.

We would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes.

John Doe
Examplistan Air Force
Examplistan


Now, lets see if we can ask about how we pay off the total and then see if we can arrange a delivery for them.

To: The Storefront

The Examplistan Air Force has been searching for a new fighter jet to replace our old fleet of aircraft. We have searched through many different suppliers, but your F1 Fighter Jet has proven to be the best aircraft for our nation.

We would like to buy 10 F1 Fighter planes.

The cost of this order will be transferred to your account upon confirmation of the deal. If possible, we would like to pay half the total at first and then pay the second half when all of our ordered planes arrive.

We would like to have four of our aircraft delivered within the next few months for trial purposes.

John Doe
Examplistan Air Force
Examplistan


Now this looks much better. What is written above should serve as a basic template to anyone who wants to place an order. It's professional, it's realistic, it goes into the smaller aspects of the deal which is being completed and it looks pretty friendly too.

You can still improve on this by asking more questions or raising other issues that you have. You might want to ask about the capabilities of the product, the limits of the product or maybe a future discount if you order more.
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Mikoyan-Guryevich
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Founded: Jun 26, 2007
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Postby Mikoyan-Guryevich » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:41 pm

As the storefront owner

So this is your first storefront and at last, somebody else has posted in your thread. This is your first order and you need to know how you are going to reply to them.

Let's pretend that we are answering to the storefront request which we gave as an example above.

A common first mistake would be to write something like this.

10 F1 Fighter Jets comes to $20 million


So I think we can all agree the above written isn't professional, personal or very friendly. There really isn't much roleplay going on between the storefront and the buyer. Most importantly for you, other people who see this reply won't take you seriously because they will think that you aren't taking your own storefront seriously.

Remember to ask yourself, how would you as a customer like to be treated by another on NS?

So lets go through the first simple steps, we'll add our signature block and use proper grammar.

To: John Doe; Examplistan Air Force

Your order of 10 F1 Fighter Jets comes to $20,000,000

Joe Citizen
Citizen Systems


One crucial thing to do is make sure you thank the customer from buying from your store, and maybe express your hope that they will come back. You should say this right at the end of the receipt because it's a really great way of wrapping up the deal.

To: John Doe; Examplistan Air Force

Your order of 10 F1 Fighter Jets comes to $20,000,000

We thank you for your business and hope you return to buy from us again.

Joe Citizen
Citizen Systems


What we have so far is pretty good, but it isn't great and there is still a lot more which you should think about doing. Let's try and make the order seem a bit more personal, because the above doesn't really make a good connection with the buyer.

Let's start by telling them when they can expect their aircraft to be delivered.

To: John Doe; Examplistan Air Force

Your order of 10 F1 Fighter Jets comes to $20,000,000

The F1 Fighter is produced at the rate of two per month, you can expect all of your aicraft to be delivered within six months.

We thank you for your business and hope you return to buy from us again.

Joe Citizen
Citizen Systems


Next, let's maybe give them some of our opinions of our fighter jet and maybe provide some information on support for their product.

To: John Doe; Examplistan Air Force

We firmly believe that the F1 fighter is one of the best aircraft available for it's price and we know that it will serve your air force well. If you require any assistance at all with your aircraft, don't hesitate to contact us and we will provide what ever we can.

Your order of 10 F1 Fighter Jets comes to $20,000,000

The F1 Fighter is produced at the rate of two per month, you can expect all of your aicraft to be delivered within six months.

We thank you for your business and hope you return to buy from us again.

Joe Citizen
Citizen Systems


So what we now have written above is certainly much better than what we started off with and the best thing is that it doesn't even take that much longer to write.

As always, you can still write more. Remember, if the customer asks you a question, make sure you answer it in as much detail as you can so you have the personal connection established. Always be friendly and always be professional no matter what the circumstances.
Last edited by Mikoyan-Guryevich on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[strike]I'm a former NS Mentor! If you have any roleplaying related questions, feel free to ask me over telegram!


If I ever appear to be inactive, it's because I am.

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Mikoyan-Guryevich
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Founded: Jun 26, 2007
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Postby Mikoyan-Guryevich » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:42 pm

I'll keep updating it, but done for the moment.

As always, I'm completely open to comments on this.
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If I ever appear to be inactive, it's because I am.

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Vitaphone Racing
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Postby Vitaphone Racing » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:50 am

Looks great, hopefully people will read it and learn.
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Yohannes
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Postby Yohannes » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:57 am

Looking good MG. Thanks for writing the guide.
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New Hayesalia
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Postby New Hayesalia » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:55 am

Great guide. Another note to salespersons-

Always use big numbers and make sure you have reasonable belief they could pay it in an RP. Every sale should be uniquely written or following a very loose format to allow the custmer to feel far more important, and always use simple formatting to fix that. I personally have a minimum limit of two to three lines responses for a one line purchase. It'll take time, but it secures customers.

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Machina Haruspex
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Postby Machina Haruspex » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:30 am

I use a simple format, and it's worked through every variant of my main storefront. It gives a professional appearance, and I think thats what alot of people go for. Nevertheless, an excellent guide.
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Milograd
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Postby Milograd » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:38 am

Good stuff MG, I found the "As the customer" section to be especially helpful. :)
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Lamoni
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Postby Lamoni » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:34 am

A very good guide, MG. Hopefully people will follow the advice contained therein.
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United Coronado
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Postby United Coronado » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:44 pm

will this be tagged to the help desk eventually?

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Lamoni
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Postby Lamoni » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:59 pm

United Coronado wrote:will this be tagged to the help desk eventually?


We can but hope.
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Vortiaganica: Lamoni I understand fully, of course. The two (Lamoni & Lyras) are more inseparable than the Clinton family and politics.


[04:20] * Yohannes enjoys having the position of being Lamoni's younger sister in NS


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Mikoyan-Guryevich
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Postby Mikoyan-Guryevich » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:01 pm

Thanks to everyone for your words of kindness.

United Coronado wrote:will this be tagged to the help desk eventually?


Hopefully yes, although the current helpdesk has all the links formatted into artwork and I'm not 100% certain if the designer is still around, so it could take some time before it's posted. The sooner it is readily available the better in my opinion.
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Eslovakia
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Postby Eslovakia » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:06 pm

Linking this in my storefront, good stuff :clap:
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Some good info on Sweden
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Premislyd
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Postby Premislyd » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:12 pm

Eslovakia wrote:Linking this in my storefront, good stuff :clap:

^This

Aside from that, great job. I found the Storefront Owner part to be especially helpful
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Scalietti
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Postby Scalietti » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:44 pm

Great stuff MG

Eslovakia wrote:Linking this in my storefront, good stuff :clap:

This actually is a great idea for people to link to this in their storefront.
I don't have a signature.

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Magnum Ultra
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Postby Magnum Ultra » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:16 pm

awesome guide
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Cape Brettonland
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Postby Cape Brettonland » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:31 am

A guide on the actual payment for products purchased would be great.

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Bubba Reb
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Postby Bubba Reb » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:22 pm

Cape Brettonland wrote:A guide on the actual payment for products purchased would be great.

Yes ^^^ I agree.
A nation that has an economy of 300 million trying to buy 1.4 billion worth of equipment is difficult to understand.

A guide explaining how one can determine their nations purchasing power would be quite helpfull.
Last edited by Frisbeeteria on Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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