One of the most popular questions asked in online business forums or even by my customers and subscribers is this :
"How the hell can I increase my sales?"
"I've got tons of visitors but nobody seems to be buying anything? What gives?"
FISHNETS WITH HOLES? ANYONE?
Getting traffic is not the be all and end all of a successful online business. It requires skills, specific online marketing strategies designed for your site and a robust customer service strategy.
So what if you have thousands of visitors per day! That does'nt amount to success, unless you close at least 5 to 10% of those visitors.
You see, when you get a lot of traffic from your advertising and marketing activities and nobody there to guide them, is like hauling a big fishing net in the water with a major flaw?..it has a sizeable hole in the middle. So you can say goodbye to eating fish?for now, at least.
Would you go and pick up items on display from a store that does not offer the least bit assurance of somebody manning it? Sure! Sure, we're on the work smart, work less attitude but hey, humans prefer humans, and they most certainly will buy from somebody they've talked to before. You see, they need to feel some warmth and yes, especially on the internet where items are passed on in "cold" or "digital" means.
DOING THE BOTTOMLINE
It's good that you have some or a lot of visitors to your website, but the bottomline is that you should have the best customer service and a lot of options for them to contact you, the soonest. The more the better!
Look around you. Take a look at the most popular sites on the net or even your favorite newsletter, they all have one common factor, customer service availability.
The most common or popular customer service strategy is through a form-to-mail which prohibits anybody from spamming your email account rather than having them email you directly, well unless you have a very good email filter software.
But you can offer them additional ways to contact you such as these options below.
PROVIDE MANY OPTIONS FOR CONTACT
Online business is a contact sport. You want to close more sales? Then increase your customer service availability and options.
Providing them with a lot of options would mean that you are always ready to receive their inquiries, or issues with a welcoming smile. It would make you more credible. It would create a halo of success to your already plumed hat.
Let us take a look at some of the free ways for you to interact with your website visitors:
Mostly, website owners would be the one manning these free chat services and if you'd like to be assumed as a pro-entrepreneur you can always advance anytime to a helpdesk solution or upgrade from your free account.
Bravenet.com - Free Webmaster Resources. Cut and paste services you can use for your site for free. They use LivePerson for their customer help service. (FREE AND PRO)
Chat-Forum.com ? They offer free Java Chat Rooms & Advanced Custom Internet Chat Solutions (FREE AND PRO)
Parachat.com - They're solutios enable real-time communication on their own web site for a host of applications, including corporate interaction, moderated events, distance education, visitor retention, customer service, dating and romance, entertainment, and family fun. (FREE AND PRO)
Boldchat.com - Boldchat is a FREE live chat service for web sites to do live help and live support chats with visitors. They don't have ads and their free account is for unlimited personal use. (FREE AND PRO)
If you want credibility then put your phone number up in your website. Make it more visible to the eye especially on your home page or on your product or service order page. This way, they'll be more comfortable to see that they can call you anytime. You can ask your local phone company to provide you with a 1800 number so visitors all over the world can call you for free.
RULING IN VOIP
VoIp is certainly getting it's share of the market right now as more and more softphones or internet phones are coming out of the market every month.
What is voip? Voice over internet phone which basically denotes that you can now make clear pc to pc calls worldwide.
Take a look at Skype for example. They're definitely a new player against giants like Yahoo, and MSN but they say that they have 14 million downloads up to date. I'm not against them but hey, they're software is ad-ware so you should be aware!
There's a new player in town and they call their pc to pc calling softphone, Buzzfonp2p. They're giving away free 30 day trials and yes, the user surveys are in. They're clear, the quality is amazing with no disruptions mind you even if you're on dial up! So you can check them out. http://www.buzzfon.com and nope, they don't have ads on them and you can even make pc to phone calls, phone to phone calls, phone to pc calls on their advanced version of Buzzfonp2p, aptly called, Buzzfon+.
GO BROADBAND FOR LESS
There are a lot of broadband services out there who would'nt charge you an arm and a leg for their services. One of them is Vonage and the newest player in town is Bonusfon.
They have specific target packages for different market segments and they're basically number one in terms of broadband user surveys.
They are certainly getting their own share of the market, as what the energetic telecom owner Tam Sanchez said regarding distributing global broadband services. Their rates are highly affordable and they have a feature called pay ?per-talk. Pay only for the services you need and you want. Yes, they're lower than Vonage and more competitive and flexible in terms of packaging.
Helpdesk solutions are web applications that you install on your own server or hosted on the provider's server that includes most of the customer support solutions like FAQ, TICKET SUPPORT SYSTEM, and LIVE CHAT. Some even have phone in support.
There are a lot of helpdesk solutions out there which are free but then always has a drawback. It's either, chatting service are slow on your server or it just freezes in the screen while you're online or you can only try it if you have the latest language of php, and perl installed in your server.
There are particular helpdesk solutions we like that offers a lot more for less.
LiveHelp.Stardevelop.com ? PHP Live Help Messenger is the new real-time, live chat, customer service software solution allowing customer support operators to chat to potential online customers browsing your web site. (Price : $89.00)
DNAHelpdesk.com - DNA Helpdesk is a powerful yet user friendly module for the corporate helpdesk available on its own, combined with DNA Pack 1 (Inventory) or as part of our overall DNA management suite. DNA Helpdesk is a fully web based solution providing detailed recording and tracking of user Help Requests. (Price : Commercial)
There are a lot of ways to interact and create a more personalized service than your other competitors and that will surely depend on the ways and means that you want them to contact you. Provide them more avenues of interaction and they will certainly trust you more than your competitors. Help them to help yourself.
About The Author
Maida M. Barrientos is the owner and publisher of TalkingProfits.net, (http://www.talkingprofits.net) and a marketing assistant for Buzzfon.com (http://www.buzzfon.com) and Bonusfon.com (http://www.bonusfon.com), a premier voip solutions and broadband communitications provider. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for partnership inquiries. email@example.com