If you have a business that depends on the web for constant revenue, one key problem is turning an impersonal visit over the internet into a sale. In other words, ultimate success is achieved only when web entrepreneurs can break the cycle of anonymous surfing and connect to the customer.
How do you interact with potential buyers and at least begin the process of developing a personal relationship with your potential buyers who would like your help?
First let’s look at what used to work well. Email newsletters.
I’m not saying to forget about them but let’s recognize what’s going on with email newsletters today: most email communications don’t even get opened.
If opened, they may be effective, but even a 15,000 person email list may generate little revenue. If all the people expect is a sales pitch well AFTER their buying urgency ended, then the odds of a sale being made later - if one hadn’t been made initally – decrease substantially.
That assumes, of course, someone even SUBSCRIBES to your newsletter. Personally I opt in for RSS if I want ongoing communications.
No, yesterday’s email address is probably NOT the first solution you should try, though you definitely want to keep it in your overall ”bag of tricks”.
Instead, you should be seizing the opportunity to connect with your customer at the time of their visit. Fortunately this is getting easier than ever thanks to modern web chat software solutions.
Perhaps you’re wondering if your business website needs “chat”? You probably DO if you already have staff handling inbound phone orders and email inquiries at least part of the time… of if you’re on the verge of doing so.
If you’re working at home, you may wonder if web chat is important for you. Actually some form of it may be more important. I remember visiting a friend’s website. I’d tried to help him promote his business and I noticed he offered “live chat”. I contacted him with it and was pleasantly surprised to find him instantly available. How many other potential customers like me would like to contact you personally if you were available?
And if you have something to sell them… why wouldn’t you want to offer your services instantly and speed up the sales process? I can see this being of special importance to “Virtual Assistants”… and consultants of every kind.
Here’s a sobering thought – even government agencies – not known for being “service oriented” – are waking up to the fact that the ability to interact with customers “real time” is critical as the article “Web Chat: Things to Think About When Considering Adding Live Support Software to Your Website” makes clear. In fact, this federal government article offers some basic ways to evaluate the potential effectiveness of direct contact with internet visitors.
For example, in the usa.gov article, their “cost” per interaction was $8.11.
Obviously your costs will vary, but if your cost is the same and your main service is your $97 per month service plan subscription that gives you $48.50 profit per month … is the “cost” worth the interruption? I’d say yes!
You will only know how much your business might benefit though if you understand your cost per transaction and the average immediate and lifetime values of your customers. If that monthly subscriber tends to “stick around” for 2 years on average… you’d be insane not to pay the $8.11 acquisition cost for an immediate $48.50 value as well as the $1,164 “lifetime value”.
The issue is – do you know your numbers? Once you do, and you can profitably engage your customers directly online – your only question will be how to drive more customers.
In fact, once you notice how sales improve… you’ll likely recognize this medium’s value in solving many other customer service problems in a cost effective manner.
Thanks to LivePerson. com for sponsoring this post.