The internet has become a huge part of many people’s lives. They work, play and socialise in virtual environments. Companies have discovered that the web provides a potentially profitable opportunity to build strong relationships with clients. It’s extremely fast, convenient and accessible almost anywhere these days. As long as you do it the right way, you can impress clients and keep the lines of communication wide open.
Don’t Forget the Human Factor
It’s easy to forget that a flesh and blood human being is receiving your message on the other side of the monitor. Make sure your interactions are just as warm and friendly as they would be in a face to face meeting. Avoid talking "at" people and remember to speak "to" them. It can help to read your message out loud before you send it to make sure it is clear, concise and friendly in tone.
Be Available as an Individual Rather Than a Brand
Your company most likely strives to get its brand out there and in front of more potential customers. Brand awareness is an important component, but it isn’t everything – especially when it comes to online client relationships. People connect with people, not brands. Companies need representatives who reach out to the online community and make themselves available. It’s even better if you have the company’s leaders joining in the discussion. It creates a welcoming environment and makes the online community more inclined to respond, share and ask questions.
Timing Matters on the Web
Timing is very important when dealing with clients online. You may not have to see the person, but their typed words should be treated with just as much urgency and importance. It’s not unreasonable to respond to an enquiry within a day, but if one day turns into several or weeks, it will reflect poorly on your company. The internet works at a lightning fast pace, so you should be prepared to provide prompt responses during regular business hours.
Be Consistent So Customers Feel Confident
Consistency is important in both the online and offline worlds. Your customers should know what to expect from you. They should feel confident that you will respond when you say you will and do the things you tell them you will do. This is especially important when handling online interactions. If consistency exists, then customers will view you as reliable and be more inclined to work with you again in the future.
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