think customers are demanding, you are right! Customers used to doing business in a corporeal
world expect accurate and prompt information and service. New technologies
are also demanding. For some people,
just using the Internet can be an issue without adding how to monitor customer
service. Learning to deal with both
things at the same time is very challenging, but not as hard as you might
believe. You probably spent serious
money and time getting your beautiful web page up, and now you wonder why
you are not getting sales. This article
is not about web design, although your site design can be integral when considering
sales. I am talking about making sure
that what you have now is working optimally. The first four ‘must-knows' deal with technology
and the last three methods are more people oriented.
technology will not prevent you from having to deal directly with customers!
The point of the technology is to allow you to reach even MORE customers.
A web page is much more than a print ad. People who send you e-mail treat them much
more like telephone calls. Part
of deciding if your page is working well has to do with the people who are
responding to your customers, and potential customers. I will deal more with that in further newsletter
the methods listed below:
THINGS YOURSELF!! Part of your problem
might be that the people who are responsible for your site may not be checking
on how well it is running. They may not know how. Depending on your contract, your site host,
or webmaster/mistress, will probably fix any problems, but identifying when
you are having a problem might be YOUR responsibility!
that your site is actually up, every day.
A simple way to do this is to make your site your homepage. So every time you sign online you will
see that your page is still up on its server. If a gray box opens and asks if you want to use a ‘cached copy',
you are having a problem. It might
not be serious, but if it happens frequently or lasts over an hour contact
whoever is hosting your site and find out what is going on.
A cached copy is one which your computer has automatically saved
from a previous viewing.
through all the pages and make sure that they load properly. See how long it takes for them to completely
open and make sure that everything is where it should be. Make sure all the pictures are loading
in a reasonable amount of time too. If
it takes longer than a 5 seconds per page people might not wait.
You might want to change some pictures to condensed ones that appear
smaller and viewers can click on them to get bigger ones, if they choose.
just read your page as if it was the first time. Does it still make sense to you? Did you somehow miss a typo? Has your business changed? Have you moved/expanded? Do you need to
update it? Web pages are not static,
they need to be changed to keep up with your organization, and to keep people
(you know, customers) interested.
all your ‘click-thrus', or links. Go
to the places on your page that should link you to other places, and make
sure that you go there. This is
especially important when you are putting up a new page or making any changes.
If you do not remember what they were supposed to do, do not be surprised.
The site should follow whatever tabs are shown on the home page. If you click the ‘testimonials' page tab,
you should go to the testimonials page. Links on all the pages should go to their assigned places as
sure that your e-mail goes where it should. You might have designated one person to answer all incoming
mail from the web page, that person might have changed departments, or left
the company (perhaps under not so nice circumstances, if you get my meaning). Your webmaster may no longer be in business!
Hey, they move on too. Keep
in contact with them periodically. Your problem might be ‘mechanical'. The page might need to be checked for
proper routing from the server. To
test the system, send e-mail from every possible site on your page. Leave messages to contact you as soon
as the message is received. Be sure
the message says where you are sending it from. Something like; ‘Training page test message
see the big Kahuna immediately.'
sure that you have procedures for dealing with e-mail. Some companies have all the e-mail printed
and assign them to specialists who understand the questions being asked.
Some companies have a person or an auto reply message that lets people
know that their message has been received and will be dealt with shortly.
answer email within 24 hours, preferably a lot shorter.
Many times the fastest reply gets the fastest orders.
It takes work to get customers to your site, don't blow all that work
by not responding in a positive manner to their questions, observations, or
concerns. The purpose of this article is not to get you
to run out of your office yelling at staff-people. Online customer service is still a very new
field and people are still in a learning curve. If you walk through the steps above, and you find places that need
improvement, you can deal with them in a useful manner. The point is to enhance your customer service
response in an e-commerce world.