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Serve 'Em Right

When it comes to customer service on the web, think big.

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This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The great thing about the internet is that anyone can set up shop. But that also means you have to compete with the big guys-and customer service is no exception. "Customers today are very savvy," says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group Inc., an e-commerce consulting firm in Chicago. "They expect best-of-breed customer service everywhere they shop on the web. They don't care if you're small."

Each year, Freedman's firm tracks the top 100 e-tailers on set criteria to select best-in-class merchants relative to customer service and communication. The most successful online businesses offer the following:

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