Your Customers Are Your Business – Even If Your Business Is On The Internet

by WorkFromHome on February 14, 2012

Out of all the advice you will ever receive about owning your own home based business, the most important advice you will ever receive is this: The Customer Is Everything.

Customers are the reason your business is a success or a failure. Customers determine how much you will expand and grow. Customers are the most important thing to your company – period. It does not matter how savvy you are at creating a business plan, or how well you manage employees, if the clients are not satisfied, you will not succeed.

With this in mind, the good news is that customers are usually easy to please, even if they are web-based customers that you never encounter in person. The following 10 tips can help you gear your business practices into one that will always place your customers first.

  1. Be Different Than Your Competition: This is especially important for businesses that conduct all of their business on the Internet. Competition is always there, so you must set yourself apart from other companies offering the same product or service. Provide your clients with something of value in addition to their purchase to show you appreciate them. It could be something as simple as a free ebook.
  2. Automate Your Office: You should not waste time on things that can easily be automated. Use filters on your email so you do not have to comb through mail, use templates to create web pages and brochures. This frees up your time to concentrate on customer satisfaction.
  3. Time Management: Make sure that your day is not filled with unnecessary tasks. All too often time is wasted looking at meaningless paperwork that should have been filed weeks ago. Again, free up your time to interact with your customers.
  4. Market Effectively: When you are marketing your product or service you should concentrate your efforts on people that are in need of that product or service. By establishing a relationship with potential clients in this manner you will begin to build a bond with the public. Random marketing is a waste of time and money and is not specific enough to gain a customer base from the efforts.
  5. Response Time Matters: If you receive an email or phone call from a client, you should respond within 24 hours. In fact, if it is at all possible, you should respond within 2 hours. Many times time zones and work hours prevent such quick response times, but a real effort should be made to respond within a day. This gives the customer the feeling that they matter to your company.
  6. Follow Up On All Orders: This may seem tedious, but you will be surprised how receptive your clients will be to this simple act of concern. Clients that feel that you care about their purchase enough to follow up will make additional purchases. They will also recommend you to others, which is the ultimate form of advertising.
  7. Provide Refunds: You should provide refunds without hassle or condition. While this may not make business sense at first, it really does. Clients that believe they can return something if they do not like it will in fact make the purchase. Many online retailers have lost sales simply from charging a restocking fee.
  8. Survey Your Clients: Asking your client to complete a survey, and offering a bonus for doing so, is a great way to learn how your business is doing in the eyes of the consumer. You may find that there are things that you had not realized are holding back your success.
  9. Create A Newsletter: Offer your clients a newsletter that provides tips and valuable information about your product or service. Include newsletter only freebies and discounts to encourage subscription.
  10. Contact Information: Offline businesses need to make sure that customers can easily contact them. Make sure all advertisements contain the street address, phone numbers and email information on them. Make sure store hours are clearly posted. Have an answering service for after hour calls. Clients need to feel that their calls are important. Online businesses need to ensure their customers that they are legitimate businesses. Make sure that there is contact information available on each page of your site. On your “About Us” page you have a physical location listed. Make your site easy to navigate so that even the most inexperienced Internet user can easily find what they need.

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