My Internet presence began back in 2007 when I became an eBay store owner specializing in vintage collectibles. Since then I’ve changed venues and now sell on Bonanzle. At that time, I was a moderator on an eBay Forum and participated in conversations where many members were becoming fledgling online sellers.
That trend continues today as many companies are now doing the majority or even all their business online and foregoing the “Brick and Mortar” storefront. It’s easy to see why that trend has happened. For example, the cost of setting up such a business is relatively inexpensive and easy. There’s no need to pay for the overhead of a physical building, while the cost of maintaining a web site is minimal. Moreover, the Internet provides a convenient and efficient way of marketing products. As more and more people are spending time on the Internet, the market of online customers continues to grow.
My late mother-in-law was a woman business owner of a gourmet emporium. Over the years I had helped run her store and gained a business acumen of growing your business through establishing relationships with customers. It’s important to get to know their likes, quirks and dislikes.
Yet when businesses shift from face-to-face customers to anonymous online customers, there’s a loss of that personal connection and trust. When running an online business, how are you gaining and maintaining customer trust? What are you doing as an online vendor to communicate to your customers?
In an online world, business just doesn’t stop after hours and on weekends. What are you doing to answer your customer’s questions?
Here are a few things that you can do to improve communication with your customers:
1. Make certain that your Internet host is reputable and offers a fast and efficient business ethernet connection, as well as reliable cart support.
2. Offer a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and online product support information.
3. Add a support email link on your website for issues that can’t be resolved by you or your website support administrator
4. Provide a message board or forum for customers to voice their opinions, add comments, and interact with each other.
In today’s global economy, spending time and effort on better communication with your customers will pay off. Whether you sell on Etsy or have your own company, in order to grow, your success will depend not on the customers you gain, but on the customers that you don’t lose.
photo credit: hospi-table