Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Letting Customers Interact with Your Product

Published on Apr 27, 2011

Summary

Read 'Letting Customers Interact with Your Product' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
imageInteraction; it’s the driving factor behind social media and it’s an area businesses are heavily emphasizing – rightfully so. Customer interaction is taking place all over the internet – and one place it should be taking place is on your company website. There are multiple ways to build online customer interaction. Don’t be limited into thinking that the only available avenues are through external social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Sales take place on your website, so that is where you want your online customer interaction taking place. (There are, of course, exceptions to this rule of thumb, but it’s a helpful guideline.) Interaction on your website can be in the form of comments on blog articles, online chat with customer service representatives, giving customers the ability to rate and review products, and custom applications. Having custom applications on your website is an ideal way to take your customer interaction up a notch – or annoy customers into surfing away from your website. That’s why it is so important to only incorporate custom applications into your website when they will enhance your customers’ web experience. Enhancements to customers’ web experience include applications that give customers access to information that they would not have had access to otherwise. For example, offering an online chat feature on your website gives customers direct access to customer service representatives, letting customers get answers to questions that might not show up on a FAQ page. One positive example of a custom website application being utilized on a business website is Business Finder Plus’ “Is Your Business Listed Online?” application. Business Finder Plus’ business model provides and maintains customers’ online directory listings. Their “Is Your Business Listed Online?” application tracks whether or not website users’ businesses are listed in valuable online directories based on their company phone number. This provides website users – potential Business Finder Plus customers – with information they would not have been able to get from another single source. Yes, this type of interaction is a clever sales tactic: giving potential customers access to information as to whether or not Business Finder Plus’ services would be beneficial for them is valuable for selling product, but it also provides a service for website users. In other words, it works both ways – it works for Business Finder Plus’ ends (making more sales through their website) and it works for website users (by giving information they are most likely curious about since they are looking into a service like Business Finder Plus.) This is the kind of customer interaction is exactly the kind you want on your website. It keeps customers on your website and works to present your company goals in a way that is helpful to potential customers. Another advantage that custom applications offer companies is the ability to track potential customer information and gauging interest. Of course if you intend to collect and utilize any information from website visitors, that must be outlined in your website’s privacy policy. Web presence is important - and websites aren’t billboards – not by a long shot. In order to keep potential customers on and interested in your website, you have to have more to offer than eye-catching banners. Offer your company’s website visitors more: give them the interaction they crave.

About the author

Diana Werkmeister works with Allied Business Network’s marketing team. Allied Business Network is a business membership group that provides corporate level discounts to small- and medium-sized businesses. Allied Business Network can be found online at http://www.abnsave.com.