Lessons Learned From The Downfall Of Dot-Coms - Batting Online With The Big Guys (contd.) (Page 2 of 2 )
2. Your company's mission should be to provide great customer experience.
You must commit yourself to creating the best possible customer experience for your site. Some brick-and-mortar organizations making a crossover to e-commerce have ingrained behaviors and attitudes that hinder delivering superior customer service. If other people are involved in your online business from independent web designers, to programmers or marketing personnel make sure that everyone shares your vision. If you have employees, it is best that you assign one of them to be your customer service champion whose main job is to oversee how the company is continuously improving its service. Linking rewards to service is also an effective way to promote better service. Your organization's goal should be to provide a great customer experience that makes it quicker and easier for customers to buy your products or services.
Use objective data. Solicit customer feedback, run survey forms, or get a friend to evaluate the site. Gather and use information to improve your relationship with all of your customers. However, refrain from sending them with frequent direct mail or with unsolicited e-mail. As much as possible avoid selling your customer information to anyone: it will anger your customer for violating your promise of protecting his or her privacy.
On the Internet, showing brochures and sales promotions alone is not going to cut it with the consumers. While competitive pricing is the first step, the role of every online entrepreneur is to become relationship-focused if his or her business is to survive. In terms of technology, it is crucial that online companies invest in technology but there is no need to go overboard. Use available technology to improve customer service and manage costs.
3. Keep an eye on customer experience.
It is essential to continually monitor and improve customer experience. Watch (and respond to) customer e-mails, actively listen to feedback and comments, and occasionally involve outside experts to give objective guidance.
A great customer experience can result in strong word-of-mouth exposure, positive publicity, and increased revenues. However, customer experience is never perfect. Building a greater customer experience is not an event, but a continuous process towards online success.
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