An old adage in sales is that “the customer is always right.”  Over the years as retailer grew large, profit margins faded and experienced salespeople grew scarce, there seemed to be less interest in the customer.

People grudgingly accepted the lack of customer service as the price they paid for cheap products. They complained, but they bought anyway because that’s just the way it was. Online shopping, while distant, is more customer centered than many local retailers.

To develop a rapport with customers in a virtual environment, online marketers had to establish trust and they did it with money back guarantees plus fast delivery. This customer-centered approach not only created trust as planned, but also caused a surprising number of customers to ignore the local stores and shop at major retailers’ online sites.

As a developing Internet marketer, you can learn from this brief history.  You want to position your product as user friendly and open for refund. Granted, this is easier with downloads and information products than with shipped products.

But even shipped products that offer guaranteed, no questions asked refunds actually have fewer refunds because the consumer feels free to try to return it if they’re not satisfied. Before the sale, you want to provide ample information about the product – including several photo views if appropriate.

Think about the questions a buyer might ask and have the answers ready before the question arrives.  An easy way to provide this information is with an expanded FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Make sure there’s a link to the FAQ page from each product page.

If your product requires assembly after delivery, post an extra copy of how to assemble it. Even better is to post a video showing and telling how to do the assembly. Another great idea is to post videos showing alternative ways to use the product. This gives buyers options that they might not have considered.

To be consumer-centered means that you can be reached easily. Post your email (or that of your customer service center) and a phone number or SKPYE name. If you are the “Customer service center,” send those emails to a designated email box and answer them promptly.

If you can’t, at least set up an autoresponder saying that you received the customer’s email and are working on the solution. The more ways you can be contacted, the more the customer feels at ease that you aren’t hiding in some unreachable corner of cyberspace.  You can’t shake hands with your online customer, but you can create an ongoing buying relationship by demonstrating that you’re a customer-centered online marketer.