Internet Tools- Live Chat, Email Newsletters, SEO
The Internet is your biggest worldwide forum. Internet marketing is a strategy that is used by many businesses, regardless of the industry in which they operate. The Internet allows users to review and buy your products and services no matter where they are located. Customers can access your website, make purchases, and refer your business to others all without leaving the comfort of their home or office.
There are some weaknesses in customer care in the Internet revolution, however. There is no real person available to demonstrate your products, which some shoppers actually prefer. You could, however, install a live chat program so the customers can receive assistance from a live person through the Web.
Email newsletters are also a great way to keep in touch with customers. It is one of the methods with the highest ROI in internet marketing. You can use a full-service provider which creates the content, designs the layout and sends out your newsletters for you. However, this can be quite costly for a small business. There are also affordable self-service email marketing providers, such as MailerMailer, where customers can easily self-create their newsletters with templates and get performance statistics.
One last and crucial marketing method using the Internet is search engine optimization, or SEO. With many people now flocking to search engines to find information, you want to make sure your web site gets a top spot in the rankings for your relevant search terms. The bottom line is that you cannot afford not to harness the power and popularity of the Internet.
Use the Services of a Professional
Marketing and sales professionals are trained to advertise your products and services in the best way possible. If you don’t want to employ their use long-term, you don’t have to. However, keep in mind that most small business owners are not marketing or advertising executives, and you could be cheating yourself by not using them.
They can develop a plan to market your products effectively, thus driving customers to your door. They can also show you how to display your products for maximum impact, so that they draw customer interest.
For those products that generally require an explanation, then a salesperson will be available to personally answer any questions.
Don’t Forget Traditional Methods
There are many folks out there who still enjoy the personal touch. Mail your customers sales flyers and information brochures that tell them about upcoming events that your business is offering. This type of correspondence should be visually appealing and well-written, but also clear and unambiguous.
Sponsorships and Extended Services
Volunteer your services at a local charity or community event, as you can reach many local customers in this fashion. Donate your time to sponsor a local sports team or festival to drum up new business. It’s a good idea to give something back to the community – and they will thank you in return.
Small changes like extended business hours or adding great delivery services will also attract new customers while retaining existing ones. You should dedicate yourself and that of your team to providing outstanding customer service. You want to meet the needs of your customers while exceeding their expectations.
Loyalty Cards and Discount Benefits
Offer customer loyalty benefits or incentive programs. Big businesses have been cashing in on this idea for years, so why shouldn’t the small business owner? Offer special discounts for those who have purchased your products and services for a specified period of time.
Always work to solve any problems that customers report regarding your products. Many businesses work so hard at making the sale that they often neglect the area of problem solving. Let your customers know that you stand behind your products and that you’re available to immediately rectify any problem that may occur. This type of customer service will spread by word of mouth, as your clients want to know that you’ll be available to assist them after a purchase is made.
Although small businesses have smaller budgets, these ideas take very little funding to implement. You cannot afford to provide anything less than top notch customer service; the viability of your business depends on it.