Image provided by icathing
Adding opportunities for prospective customers to interact with your business in a positive way allows you to gain trust as an online entity. Trust is fundamental when doing business online because without it many prospects?are unwilling to make that final step and part with their hard earned cash. By utilizing tools such as blogs and newsletters you can help cultivate a sense of trust that will encourage prospects to turn into customers. It’s something that I like to call pre-customer service.
Think of blogs and email newsletters as a means of chatting with your customers. In a storefront you would be able to encourage buying behavior by walking up to them and answering questions they may have about your products. Online you would do this by providing detailed information that is readily accessible.
You must go beyond providing a basic description in a catalog website because in many cases these are simply detailed sales pitches. Would you simply read off the side of the box to a customer in the store? Probably not. Most likely you would provide product comparissons, or describe different situational uses of the product. It’s these types of “store based” questions that will comprise the information you would put in your blog or newsletter.
If you’re using these techniques to enhance your storefront business you have a great opportunity to encourage casual browsers to buy. Consider how many people who come into your store who say “No” when asked if they need help and then they leave the building empty handed. Perhaps they like what they see but the time to purchase is not right. Maybe they do have questions but they feel uncomfortable asking. Instead of just walking away, hand them a business card that simply has your website address on it and a few highlights about what they can find there such as demonstrations, upcoming sales, and your email newsletter. In that way, you can turn the shy prospect into a customer, and then stay in the forefront of their mind when they are ready to purchase.