Customer Service: More Important Than Marketing?
When it comes to online marketing we tend to look at the relevant topics related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and applicable marketing strategies. These strategies are designed to get online business noticed. They are also designed to deliver customers to your online store. The marketing strategy as a whole is designed to move your business from your mind and make it visible and accessible to others. One of the problems with a continual focus on marketing strategies is to forget that you are dealing with individual members of the human family. We forget that these individuals have very specific needs.
If we can sell a product or service to a client we consider our goal has been achieved when we may actually be ending the war at the end of the first battle. What I mean by that last comment is today’s most successful online businesses have a strong positioning statement on the role of customer service. These businesses adopt a policy that includes follow-up and follow through on all orders and every customer query. These businesses do not end the relationship once the sale has been made. Businesses are beginning to understand the new role of online ecommerce.
Online business is no longer in the driver’s seat, primarily because most online stores are not the only ‘game’ in town. There may be a variety of online businesses that are similar to yours. In a self-evaluation of your business you need to discover what there is about your business that sets it apart from your primary competition. The consumer is in charge of purchasing decisions and does not have to read any ‘hard sell’ advertising pitch you might place on your website. In a new world where the customer is master of your ‘domain’ you need to work in all ways to respond to their needs. This may mean increased knowledge-based content on your site. It will certainly mean as personal a touch as possible and it will always mean you are careful, thoughtful and deliberate in following up with your customers. One of the easiest ways to do this is through sequential autoresponders. These timely messages can go out at intervals of your choosing and can be filled with knowledge-based content, tips and money saving ideas for your client. Online businesses need to see their customers more as business partners and less as disposable consumers.
The days of hard sell advertising has given way to a much better informed consumer who is more concerned with how helpful you are before, during and after the sale than they are about the brilliance of your latest slogan or ad campaign.
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