Several companies are now conducting the majority or even all their business online and giving up the “Brick and Mortar” storefront. It is easy to see why that trend has happened especially in these economic conditions. For one thing, the cost of setting up such a business is relatively low-priced and easy. There is no need to pay for the expenses of a physical building.
Moreover, the Internet provides a convenient and efficient way of marketing products. As more and more people are spending time online, the market of online customers continues to grow.
But when businesses move from in-person customers to anonymous online customers, there is a loss of personal connection and trust. So how will you gain and maintain customer trust? What will you do as an online vendor to communicate effectively with your customers?
Here are some actions that you can take to enhance communication with your customers:
1. Offer a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. This is an excellent way of answering basic questions. You can also provide detailed online information on topics that users may want to explore more. This takes care of roughly 90% of the questions people may have.
2. Add an email link on your Website for customer support for issues that can’t be resolved by the online support. More often, you can answer questions within an hour of receiving the email. You can gain numerous loyal customers because of these proactive efforts to meet needs immediately.
3. Provide a message board or discussion site for customers to voice their opinions, add comments, and interact with each other. Remember that customers always like to be heard. This also helps to build up a community of users that are empowered and have a say in the products and services that you provide.
4. Write a personal email to each customer to stay connected. Have you followed up on your customers after they have purchased your products or services? This is essential, not only from the perspective of getting feedback on how to improve your offerings but more importantly, maintaining a trusting, long-term relationship with your customer. Send them an email within 3-4 weeks of the first purchase. In this way, their experience with your products and services is fresh in their mind. Remember, a customer who is ignored is a customer who is lost.
Allocating time and effort to better communicate with your customers will pay off. Your company will grow and decline not only on the customers you gain but, on the customers, that you don’t lose. Loyal customers will be the ones that give you the most excellent testimonials.
They will also provide you with the most valuable, organic, word-of-mouth marketing. Remember that every happy customer is a testimonial to your company’s success.