Many of the small business owners and managers I talk with in the past few months are looking to apply more focus to their website and how they can better serve customers online. Most have had a website for at least a few years, some have had success with it as a lead generation tool and others admit they just created something to get it “out there” and have given it little attention. The theme with almost all of them is that with the economy getting tighter, they want to spend their money on efficiency and client retention tools, that means investing in their website. For many of them, web development to add further features to their website is the answer.
Efficiency is a good call and is something we all strive for. Take a look at your business process and start to brainstorm on what activities you could move to your website to ease the workload on your staff or yourself. Some of these website features might include:
- Service or support requests and follow-up notes (we offer web support online)
- Past quotes: easily store, search, review and compare quotes (both client and admin)
- Process tracking: what step is the order or service at, where is a shipment?
Keeping your current and valuable customers happy is a top priority. Everyone knows the cost to acquire a client is much higher then the cost to keep one. Almost any business can find ways to make interacting with clients easier and more beneficial to the client. A few online communication and website functionalities to help keep your clients are:
- Use email newsletters to stay in front of them or send special offers
- Allow online ordering, e-commerce or service request features
- Create the ability for clients to submit suggestions or take surveys (be smart: reward your survey takers!)
These were just a few ideas to get you thinking on what functionalities and capabilities you can develop for your website to increase efficiency and customer retention. All of these functions above can be created to operate in a username and password environment. Your customers can log-in to special sections giving you the ability to personalize their experience and them confidence in your dedication to great service.