It was not that long ago that people bought most of their products and services in the offline world with maybe the occasional mail order. Bargain shopping or price comparison shopping was time consuming and limited to local area businesses. Then along came online shopping which made comparison shopping a breeze and people gradually started to buy stuff online because they could get it cheaper or could get stuff unavailable in their local area. However along with online shopping came the scams and inferior goods. People then started then to shop online more for value than price and some became wary of buying products and/or services from merchants that had not first gained their trust. This eventually lead to online merchants building up trust first then marketing their products and/or services to these people.
Build a relationship with your potential customers first and then they will gratefully buy your products and/or services.
By building a relationship with your potential customers first you have the opportunity to show you understand their problems and can answer their questions. Thereby creating a business that values and appreciates both customers and potential customers. Start building this relationship from the first contact a potential customer on your website. Make the customer feel welcome like you would in a normal business. Build a website with words, colors and graphics that are pleasing to the eye and leave the potential customer wanting to learn more about your products and business so that they do not hesitate to sign up to your newsletter or free report. That is, make your website be a positive experience for your potential customers as this will determine their next move.
Headlines and sub headlines are very important in determining what your site is all about because people visiting your website tend to quickly scan these and decide if they want to read more. The headlines need to be engaging and to intrigue the reader so that they read on. Begin building your relationship here with what you have to offer but do not make false promises. If you can build a connection between your website and potential customers you will begin to gain their loyalty which will become a real asset as they will eventually promote your website to their friends and acquaintances. It is not too hard to see parallels here with the offline world in that merchants have known for eons that building relationship with your customers first is a very important part of the sales process.
However the big difference between the offline and online worlds is that you are not able to build face to face relationships with your potential customers and have the opportunity to persuade them to make a purchase.
Here are 9 tips for building a strong online customer relationship.
1. Make customers fell welcome on your website and in follow up correspondence.
2. Honor your commitments and not make false claims about your products and/or services.
3. Know your customers problems and needs and offer benefits and products that your customer wants.
4. Treat all your customers with respect so they feel valued.
5. Listen to your customers and treat complaints positively as if they are handled properly and promptly they can be an asset to your business.
6. Make yourself available to answer your customers questions and comments.
7. Regularly add up to date content to your website, send your customers emails with new information about your products, special buys and use social media.
8. Pay attention to your website and make sure it is user friendly for all your visitors.
9. Have a blog or forum about your business with relevant information about your products and/or services where people can discuss their problems and needs in a casual way.
Some marketers online think that relationship marketing is a mere fad but if you look closely you will see that it has been in the offline world for eons. Therefore it is not a fad in the online world but is here to stay as people want to feel they are important and valued as an individual. By creating relationships you also create long term customers and repeat sales. Long term customers also help you by referring their friends and others to your website.
So treat all your website visitors with respect and a friendly welcome as you never know which ones are likely to become your most valued long term customers.