Why Online Communication Is Lifeline Of Any Business

Many companies are now doing the majority or even all their business online and foregoing the “Brick and Mortar”

storefront. It is easy to see why that trend has happened. 

For one thing, the cost of setting up such a business is relatively inexpensive and easy. There is no need to pay for the overhead of a physical building. Also, 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.

But when businesses shift from face-to-face customers to anonymous online customers, there is a loss of personal connection and trust. All the online spamming and scamming hasn’t helped the matter at all. 

That has eroded the trust in E-commerce and the credibility of many companies. 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. Offer a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and online product support information. This is an excellent way of answering basic questions that may otherwise flood your support email. 

For example, our voice-changing product, MorphVOX, has a FAQ on the common issues that customers may come across. We also have provided detailed online documentation on topics that users may want to explore more. This takes care of roughly 95% of the questions people may have.

2. Add a support email link on your Web site for issues that can’t be resolved by the Web support. At Screaming Bee, we try to answer our customer questions within one business day. More often, we’ll answer questions within an hour of receiving the email. I believe that we have gained many loyal customers because of our aggressive efforts to meet needs in a timely manner.

3. Provide a message board or forum for customers to voice their opinions, add comments, and interact with each other. Remember that people are social creatures and like to be heard. This also helps to build up a community of users that are empowered and have a say in the products and services that you provide.

4. Write a personal email to each customer. Have you followed up on your customers after they have made a purchase of your products or services? This is essential, not only from the perspective of getting feedback on how to improve your offerings, but more importantly, maintaining the trusting, long-term relationship with your customer. 

Send them an email within 3-4 weeks of the first purchase. In this way their experience with your products and services is fresh in their mind. Remember, a customer who is ignored is a customer who is lost.

Spending time and effort on better communication with your customers will pay off. Your company will rise and fall not on the customers you gain, but on the customers that you don’t lose. 

Loyal customers will be the ones that give you the best testimonials. They also provide you with the richest, organic, word-of-mouth marketing. Remember that every happy customer is a testament of your company’s success.

Make Use Of Conference Calls Saving Time And Money

The Internet has brought all of us a variety of great benefits. It has become a new form of media that rivals television. Advertising on the Internet is now a must for business owners who want to run successful advertising campaigns.

The opportunities for doing business with people all over the world in ways no one thought was possible is one of the greatest benefits. It brings people closer together. The Internet allows us to connect to people in other countries as if they were our next door neighbors.

In this article, I am going to help you explore the many ways in which we are able to connect to other people on the web and how that interconnectivity can be used to help your business save time and money.

Early communication on the web was mostly by email. People sent emails back and forth with people around the world. Then along came the chatrooms where people could chat in real-time. The instant messengers also came along to offer real-time chat and millions of people began chatting to each other daily across the world.

However, instant messengers, chatrooms, and email are not exactly the communications solutions business owners needed. Conference calling over the Internet provides that solution like nothing else can.

Conference calling is a very broad term though. It is used to describe a variety of services that all qualify as conference calling, but not all are equal. There are a lot of different options and choices to make when choosing conference calling for your business.

This can save your company a fortune in travel and accommodations for meetings that can be held online instead of the more expensive method of traveling to destinations and holding meetings in person. 

Also time is a huge factor. Your need for a meeting may be urgent. You may have no time to make travel arrangements to hold that meeting. Conference call meetings can be set up on the fly.

There are monthly services that range from connecting a few people several times per month for as low as $30 per month, to medium range services that connect more people for $80 to $100 per month, to services that connect a lot of people for regular meetings for $150 per month and above.

It all depends on your needs. The best conference call services offer a variety of plans to help you choose the one that is right for your business. Some have live operators to facilitate calls. Some guarantee your sound quality, some don’t.

Some conference calling plans include the ability to schedule regular meetings each week or each month, where it automatically calls all of the participants at the right time to join them into the meeting.

Many companies hold daily staff meetings by conference call. If your business has many locations across the country or worldwide, then you need to consider how much time and money conference calling can save your company.

Do not just consider price as the deciding factor for choosing a conference calling service. Remember how much conference calling is saving you and your company. I am not saying you must get the most expensive service out there, but you need to consider all of the options the different services have to offer.

For instance, a live operator to connect the calls can save you a lot of time and hassle. If there are problems connecting or with the audio or video feed, there is someone that can fix the problem without you having to cancel an important meeting.

Audio and video quality are huge items to consider. The better your audio and/or video feed will be the difference between a successful meeting or a miserable one.

The ability to set up a conference call meeting on the fly is another important option to consider. It is very convenient to be able to call a meeting wheneve3r you think one is needed VS using a conference calling service that only allows you a set schedule you give them each month.

The bottom line is this; Decide what your needs are. Decide which meetings can be held online VS being there in person. Once you establish your needs, then shop around and look at the various options that are available from conference call providers, before you make your decision.

Easy Ways To Increase Your Business Using A Toll Free Number

Toll-free numbers allow customers to contact your business without them having to pay for their call. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to call a business with a toll-free number than those who only have a long-distance number, and 90% of Americans say that they use toll-free numbers. By following these five easy steps, you can discover for yourself how a toll-number can help your business grow.

1. Expand your market. Toll-free numbers allow you to use the same number for receiving local toll and state-to-state calls. This gives you the opportunity to market your business nationwide. Even if you don’t provide service in certain areas, toll-free numbers have the flexibility to block calls from those areas.

2. Advertise your number. Toll-free numbers lend an air of legitimacy and professionalism to your business. By using a toll-free number, your business may appear larger and more established to the consumer which will make him/her trust you more.

3. Initiate a direct response mechanism for impulse buyers. By allowing your customers an avenue to immediately react to your company’s efforts calling for their action, this prompts significant increases in phone orders. It has been found that these buyers generally order more merchandise and higher ticket items nearly every time they call.

4. Qualify your buyers. Toll-free numbers enable your business to use time more efficiently and effectively. With a toll-free number, you know that someone who has called your business is already interested in what you have to offer. You spend less time trying to find interested prospects and let the number find them for you.

5. Analyze your call detail. Toll-free numbers allow you to track calls and access all of a call’s details such as the number, time, date and duration of every call. This information cannot be blocked and is an excellent tool for generating leads which can lead to more sales.

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