I love bookstores. I love their rows and wall displays of knowledge and adventures waiting for me to find them. Sometimes I have to hunt for books because the bookstore forces me to work at it.

There’s a silly little bookstore in a quaint town nearby that is so full of books that the owner no longer bothers to put them away or organize them with precision. You stroll into a room crammed with stacks of books on the floor, in all shapes and sizes. Nobody minds when you plop right down into what looks like a book fort, to curl up with whatever happens to be lying around that day.

You won’t get in and out of that bookstore quickly and you may not find what you want. You may remember the experience, and you may hate it or love the odd-ness of it. Bookstores got the idea that people like to come in to read their books, and maybe that will lead to a sale. At first, I thought this was crazy.

I’m a book and magazine fanatic; the type who will pull from the back of a pile of magazines just to get to the one that nobody has touched or bent yet. At bookstores, I don’t want to read a book that was cracked open by somebody else. I want to be the first one to hold it, hear the creak of the binding as it meets its first human, and feel the brand new pages.

I got over some of that neurotic behavior when some big brand name bookstores placed chairs, benches and couches in their stores for reading. This was fun until they also introduced the Friday evening poetry reading or Saturday night band events inside the store. Add to this the coffee shop and pastry counter and you have a bookstore nightclub. If you want to read, you have to go back home to do it in a quiet environment.

Is this what customers want?

Perhaps. Amazon online is a bookstore where you can also buy everything from video games to shoes while you’re there. Every book page has “noise”, in the form of blogs, plogs, used books, wish list, recommendations, votes, excerpts, combination offers, baby registries, tags, and well, you get the idea. It’s not a quiet place to buy a book. It’s a carnival!

It works for them, but will it work for you and your online business?

How customer service oriented is your web site?

If you want to prove you are customer service oriented, there are many ways to do it without losing control of your website property. Online, despite the joys of wrestling with Amazon, most prospective customers want to be able to process your offers without pain.

The following are some ideas and suggestions you might apply to your own business and web site requirements.

Please continue reading How to Prove Exceptional Customer Service from Your Web Site Business , Part Three of the Ecommerce Usability Series presented by The Usability Effect

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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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