The Internet is a fantastic way to have an international business with minimal investment. Many companies spend a lot of money to automate entire customer interaction process. As your products become more specialized, larger your requirements will be for providing opportunity for your customers to conveniently interact with you. The more convenient interaction is, stronger your relationship with customer will become. This convenience is not limited to purchasing process. You need to have specialized technical services, order tracking and customer service that exceed what your competitors are offering, or else your business life on Internet will be very short and unsuccessful. Before you learn how to offer these services, you need to ask yourself if you are willing to offer them? Start by asking yourself these two questions.
Are you in business to conduct transaction based relationships?
Are you in business to build relationship based transactions?
If your answer was yes to first question, we recommend that you invest your money somewhere other than Internet. Everyone cannot offer lowest prices. The lower your prices are, higher your volume has to be. Eventually all of your competitors will be offering products below cost with free shipping and so will you! Ultimately, there will only be a few survivors in your category and most if not all of those companies won't be making a profit.
If your answer was yes to second question, congratulations! You already have an idea how create a foundation for building long term business relationships. If you build relationship first, transactions will follow, not just one transaction but many transactions!
How can you build relationships with people or customers you never talk to? Here are steps we recommend you implement.
1. Make your web site easy to use.
Nothing is more annoying to a customer than a web site that is difficult to place an order on. If your customers cannot complete their order in 4 - 5 screens or pages, then your shopping cart system is too difficult to use. Make sure customer receives a copy of their order automatically once order is placed.
2. Provide your customers with a confirmation message that order has been received.