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Imagine walking into your neighborhood Home Depot store and there's not a soul in sight. There's no one around to answer your questions, or assist you with your purchase. Suddenly you are filled with thoughts of dissatisfaction, confusion, and anger. Why would you buy from a store that made you feel like that, and why would you ever return? YOU WON'T! And if your web site isn't set up to offer terrific customer service, YOUR VISITORS WON'T either. If you've got the products or services to sell, but don't offer the customer service to go along with it, you can say goodbye to your Internet business dreams, and hello to bankruptcy! Lucky for you, I've outlined the 4 major elements that you MUST HAVE on your web site if you want to STAY IN BUSINESS, and be PROFITABLE doing it!
#1: Be Prompt in Responding to Your Email Requests!
We are now living in an age of convenience. And on the Internet especially, your site visitors expect instant service. Email is the prime communication tool used in e-business --- USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! An instant email response may not be possible, but a reply to your customer within 48 hours is a must! If I email a company and request info about their products, and I don't get a reply back within at least 48 hours, I'm moving on to someone who wants my business and is eager to answer my questions. You want to let your visitors know that they are important to you, and your prompt email reply will show them that they are. They'll return the favor by making you money! Making this simple modification to your email communication will most certainly turn your common visitor into a paying customer - making MORE PROFITS FOR YOU!
#2: Offer a Phone Number To Your Visitors!
It may not be enough just to offer your email address. Some people are still weary about e-businesses, and not being able to talk to a real person will certainly turn visitors away from your site. They will move on and find someone else who does offer a real person to contact. Offering a business phone number will also help to build confidence in your visitors. You'll be letting them know that you are a stable, well-established company that has actual people behind the scenes. You'll also want to ensure that you display your phone number in a prominent location on your site. If it's located in a hard to find place, your visitors may get frustrated trying to find it, or may not be able to find it at all. That's not going to help your business or your visitors. If you have the means, providing a 1-800 number would be ideal. If your visitors know they don't have to pay for the call, any concerns about cost have now been eliminated. When your business in on the Internet, you have to remember that your potential customers are WORLWIDE. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to contact you, and the more business you'll generate.
#3: Offer an area for Visitor Feedback & Interaction With You!
Just like the Home Depot has customer comment cards, you should include an area for visitor feedback! The kind of information you can gather from your site visitors is vital to your success. They have looked over your site, looked over your products, read about your services, and now they can tell you what they think. They will be able to give you specific insight as to the effectiveness of your web site, the selection of your products, whether the information you presented was enough, too much, etc. All of this and so much more can make or break your future business. Customize your comment area to ask about specific information. Specify a certain section to ask for comments about your web site set-up, or your customer service. Was it easy to find things, easy to read, confusing navigation, etc. With this simple addition to your web site, you will be able to IMPROVE YOUR SITES PROFITABILITY ALMOST IMMEDIATELY!
#4: Display Your Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)!
An FAQ's page is very often used to offer instant assistance to those visitors who have specific questions. If you've been in business for a while, you will already know what the majority of people ask about. Compile this information and let it be available to your visitors. These can be displayed on a separate page, or you can integrate them into an existing page with similar content. Displaying your FAQ's will save you BIG MONEY - by saving your valuable time! By not having to answer an email or phone call asking a common question, you have just saved 0.25 man-hours. Imagine how many of those hours could be saved every day, and how much money you DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY out for those hours. Best of all, your visitors will be experiencing superior, IMMEDIATE CUSTOMER SERVICE, while you are saving tones of time and loads of money!
Use these 4 essential elements in your web site and your online business will most certainly live to see another day. Remember that your exceptional customer service is what will set you apart from the "other guys", and that can mean profit or plummet! Where will your site be tomorrow?
Christine Weymouth is a member of the Worldprofit Design Team. Let our expert design marketers work for you! Contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Want to get more expert design tips free? Take our free online course at: http://www.worldprofit.com/autoresponse