by Kim Niemi
So you’re a widget maker. Yours is the best widget that has ever been made. You sell that widget online through a very accessible website.
That should be enough to make your business a success, shouldn’t it?
Unfortunately, in today’s hyper-competitive climate, having a great product that you sell through traditional means won’t take you very far. For your business to succeed online you need to bring everything up a notch: customer service, product offerings, pricing models and the speed at which you pivot and change everything up. It all needs to be MORE.
Defining “more” for today’s consumers
A word that should be in your vocabulary is freemium, A freemium (“free” and “premium”) is when you provide your service for free, possibly – or possibly not – supported by ads, to build up a strong customer base through word of mouth etc., and then offer premium enhanced-value services for a price. Think Dropbox. This model has been shown to significantly increase revenue and customer loyalty. People will pay to get something for free.
Great customer service is also important, something lots of companies lose sight of, especially online – but that’s a mistake! If your customer service is subpar, it doesn’t matter how great your product is. And nowadays when you drop the ball – whether online or in-store – your customers are apt to take to the digital realm to complain publicly on social media. That kind of bad publicity can hurt you for years to come.
It only takes five basic skills to provide great customer service:
A Shining Example
Shining Diamonds, an online jeweler, offers samples to help its customers buy the perfect diamond ring. Selling jewelry online is a difficult undertaking; people want to see what that quite expensive ring actually looks like on their hand, and an image on the screen is just not going to sell the diamond the way that actually being able to see how the highlights in the stone pick up the sparkle in her eye does. So Shining Diamonds allows customers to order samples to try on at home, to see how the ring feels on their hand, and compare up to three loose stones to find just the right fit carat-wise too. Customers are able to have the real-store experience of trying on the jewelry without having to leave their homes.
By finding a way of replicating the brick and mortar buying experience in the online environment Shining Diamonds offers a service that makes them stand out from other online jewelry retailers. Customers are made to feel that the company is committed to providing outstanding customer satisfaction, to helping them find the perfect diamond ring.
That’s one example, but it’s clear: it takes something special for businesses to stand out nowadays. So make sure your business isn’t stopping at merely meeting expectations. Kick it up a notch, wow your customers, and you’ll be in business for years to come.
So what does your business do to kick it up a notch? How do you offer your customers MORE from their online shopping experience?
Originally appeared on Commpro
IMAGE CREDIT: FRANKIELEON
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