|Work your Web site from the customer's viewpoint.
You've looked at all the information you have on hand about your customers. You know that many of your customers have computers and use the Internet for some amount of time during their week. You know who's very profitable. You know who's a good solid customer. And you know who costs you money.
Your Web site is a twenty four hour a day resource for your customers. It's value to them is that the information they want from you is available on their terms. For customers and clients who have very little time and very many choices, that convenience may make all the difference. Giving them an opportunity to communicate with you when they want to can bond customers to you just enough to make it difficult for your competitor to woo them away.
Set yourself apart.
With very little overhead, your Web site can gather information about your customers. It stands ready to bring them the most up-to-date information in an instant. It can be the foundation for a communications system between you and your customers that rivals the telephone, direct mail and advertising all together.
Think about it. If your profitable customers, even some percentage of them, are computer friendly, you have the opportunity to cement your business relationship with them for a very small incremental cost. It's all about communication.
Make it count.
Your Web site design should begin at the beginning:
Your site should be designed around the answers to these questions. But design isn't enough. No amount of slick dancing baloney graphics will hide a lack of real information delivered to your customers one-to-one.
Remember, the real strength of a Web site at this stage of the Internet's development is as a communications tool. You are offering information to your customer one to one. It's customized because it can be interactive. In that sense it is an invaluable marketing tool for you even though it may not be an effective advertising medium for you.
Keep it fresh.
Once you've created your Web site, don't let it languish. That's when it becomes a dusty brochure. There is so much information on the Internet. Trolling for prospects with a three or four page site which never changes is a shot in the dark. Building relationships with customers on a similarly sized site is very doable - but change is the key. If you don't have the resources, people, expertise or inclination, consider outsourcing your Webmaster duties. Your customer's needs change so keep your site at their pace.
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