Making Your Website Work for You: Beyond Just Sales

Do you value your relationship with your customers (and potential customers)? Do you really want to connect with them and help them? If so, make more available on your website than just your catalog of items for sale or services for hire! Here’s an example: My kids love to shop at Costco–they enjoy the free samples. Several days ago we were in the frozen aisle and I was discussing with my son (who is gluten intolerant) that a particular product wasn’t gluten free so it would be better to find something. As we passed a woman offering samples a few feet away, she offered him a sample of potato wedges and included “they’re gluten free!” After his taste test, a bag of potato wedges jumped right in the shopping cart and came home with us. By offering free samples and paying attention to the particular needs of a customer, they made a sale and a very happy five year old who’s sure to tell others about his experience (and insist on returning to purchase more potato wedges).

Any business can find a way to give more to their customers so the customers feel valued and listened to. When your customers feel like you understand their needs they are much more likely to purchase, become repeat customers, and share your products/services with their friends and family. Add something of value to attract more shoppers and to serve them better. Free articles, eBooks or eCourses, “how to” guides, a newsletter, instructional videos… there are lots of great ideas you can use to create a valuable free service or offering for your customers. The most effective free items or giveaways will be closely targeted to your market. For example, if you offer items for nursing mothers such as nursing bras, you could create (or hire a designer to create) blinkies promoting breastfeeding and give them away to visitors to use on their websites or MySpace pages. If you’re an artist, you could setup a script to offer free ecards that feature some of your artwork. You could give away craft project ideas if you sell children’s items, or recipes if you sell home related items to women. Just grab a piece of paper and take five minutes to write down everything you can think of that your target market is interested in, and then go back over your list and highlight the ones that also relate to your products or services. Those are good things to consider focusing on to find ideas that will add value to your website and better serve your customers. “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” –Zig Ziglar

Next week… Making Your Website Work for You! Part 7 of 7, Customer Service

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