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Now or Never

Busy customers won't wait around for help. Before you become a dotcom statistic, consider opening the lines of communication.

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Web-savvy customers of today are more demanding than ever before. It's not enough these days to set up a toll-free number or hire customer service reps to answer the constant barrage of e-mail messages. Now that they've grown accustomed to shopping in a fast-paced, high-tech environment, your customers expect their questions answered in a flash-or they may just spend their dollars elsewhere.

In an effort to enhance customer care-and ensure future sales-many entrepreneurs are using Internet-based tools, such as live Web chat, call-me technology and live telephony. These products hold a lot of promise: Once these live systems are in place, you'll be better-equipped for building relationships with your customers.

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