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4.)Is your product developed to customers' specifications with periodic approval? A majority of business on Internet is conducted within an Extranet. This is a closed environment protected from general Internet traffic designed for communication with buyers. If your company is in frequent contact with customer asking for approval at various points of product development, then an Extranet must be a consideration. You can design a system that allows your customer to view product and give check off approval. They can view architectural designs, CAD drawings, photographs, detailed specifications, or work-in-progress. The added, and personalized bonus, is that your customer can do this at their convenience. You can call or visit but time during that visit is spent working on customer relationship - not order specifications.
5.)Do you cross sell or up sell when taking an order? New designs in web interfaces can deliver with same selling dynamic. You can suggest other products during a customer search. New software even allows you to save search. You can capture your prospects email and categorize it for future marketing efforts. For a truly personalized touch, follow up inquiries with a telephone call - or personalized email. You can ask your customers if they would like this feature - taking service to all time high.
6.)Let your customers know you are online. If you build it, they will not come. The old thought that if 'I go online, new customers will come running' is false. You need to employ new and traditional methods of marketing in order to let potential customers that you are online. A recent online company sent a simple postcard announcing their new online service - within three days of mailing, they noticed a 65% increase in traffic. You may not see this type of increase but you need to consider all avenues of marketing to notify customers of your new service.
Moving into e-business should not replace traditional methods of selling. Approach process as an extension of your current model and look for additional opportunities to communicate to your customer. Finally, keep your customers in mind when you develop your model. As we said in beginning, keep that concern in front and you will develop a profitable, humanized e-business.
Doug Curfman is Director of Marketing and Sales for Data Direct Inc. Data Direct Inc. has a firm philosophy of using proven technology to drive cost-effective database solutions. Dcurfman@datadirect.com/www.datadirect.com