Consequently, starting a business isn’t that hard, although being successful with one can be. The strategy for keeping overhead low is common for many startups, which is why outsourcing, drop shopping, and running online stores is so prevalent.
Even though in tandem, sometimes that means a company may never have facetime with its clients. Technology has given many organizations the ability to have an extensive target market demographically, which means the approach for managing virtual business can be dissimilar from operating offices and store fronts.
Below are 5 tips for running an online business which can help increase customer acquisition and retention.
1. Advertise Contact Information & Communication Channels
Providing transparency on how you converse with clients, such as by having a support channel, gives them confidence that you’re open to communicating. Additionally, if you employ common tools such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. and it’s listed on your website, this can eliminate apprehension of having to converse via an unfamiliar application.
2. Selling Over the Phone Versus Email
When you’re able to sell via phone, do it. You can tailor your conversation to the customer, which by email can take longer and lack a customized selling pitch. Additionally, many clients find that phone conversations are more personal, and it gives them an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers quicker. This won’t work for every business model, but for those distributing proposals, corporate services, and long-term investments, this can prove effective.
3. Maintain A Quality Website & Social Media Presence
The first recognition of your business online, is most commonly through a website or social media. Thus, having one is precise, but ensuring that it’s quality assured is better.
· Ensure your website has a professional design, proper branding, and quality images. Check your competitor’s websites, and as needed get a professional opinion.
· Integrating fresh content on your website through ads and promotions, incentivizes new clientele and continually markets to previous buyers.
· Maintain active social media pages, by posting quality content, such as: completed work, products/services, discounts, reviews, and information your audience is most responsive to.
4. Share Your Reviews & Testimonials
Customers struggle to verify if a product/service will meet their needs without a prior sale. Therefore, many individuals turn to review sites as a way to learn what other customers have said. Common review sites are Yelp and Google. There’s always the fear that someone will write a bad review, but potential buyers can confirm all responses on review sites, as opposed to sorting through only good reviews on the organizations website. Additionally, through review sites, business owners can respond to customers, if in the instance there’s something that can be done to rectify a situation.
5. Be Transparent with Your Policies, Processes, and Timelines
There’s nothing more refreshing to a customer than knowing what they’re signing up for. Providing potential buyers with information on how a business operates, reassures them of what’s going to happen next. Whether it’s ordering a pair of shoes, and knowing delivery will be in 48 hours or a commercial space being constructed with a solid project management plan. Providing pertinent information prior to and/or post a sale is key.
· List your policies and terms and conditions on your website. This can be displayed on a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page or a linked document.
· Biased policies that don’t protect the buyer could deter potential customers. Therefore, legal consultation is sometimes best to construct guidelines that protect the buyer and the seller.
· Creating flow charts, graphics, and lists of business processes provides direction of planning & execution for those customers that want to be actively engaged
· Be sure to provide timelines no matter what. Not all purchasers reveal the contingencies on receipt of a product/service, therefore a schedule will help to make sure the customer isn’t inconvenienced.
Source: Startup Grind