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Live Help Online

Make your online customer service come alive.

How can you add the human touch to your Web site while enhancing customer service at the same time? Think about adding a live online customer service feature to your Web site.

Companies such as iContact and LivePerson license special software products that allow your visitors to click on a button on your site and launch a small chat room window so they can hold a real-time discussion with a customer service rep, either your own or one of their carefully trained helpers.

Once you offer live online customer service on your site, the sky's the limit as to how you use it. Perhaps you can offer personal shopping services where customer service reps help shoppers find suitable items within your online catalog. A nifty feature that these services offer is the ability for your reps to "push" a Web page to the shopper who's being helped so the Web site changes right before their eyes, showing them a specific item.

Costs vary for the software and there are additional costs for training your staff or their staff, but there's finally a way to give immediate service to your online shoppers.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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