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It is harder for offline businesses to take their ventures completely online. In order for an offline business to do well online, the processes and platforms must be in place. Here is how to take an offline business and streamline it online.
Start with the customer experience. One of the easiest ways to take a business online is to focus on the customer service experience. In the beginning stages, a company should be able to field inquiries and accept payments online. This starts with having a website that is highly functional for the consumer. It is very important that a company be capable of delivering a quality customer service experience. According to one survey, 88 percent of people felt like their purchasing decision were influenced by a customer service review they saw online. DIY options for customers for customers can also reduce the amount of time dedicated to handling specific inquiries.
Next, you should be able to create opportunities to communicate with prospects online. The company should be able to efficiently handle inquiries online. In addition to fielding basic inquiries, a business should also be able to cultivate leads and engage them using email communications. And this means having a strong strategy to build a mailing list. This may be accomplished through landing pages, customer purchases, inquiries and subscription options directly on the website.
Next, a business should be able to engage mobile consumers completely online. One of the most important considerations is how well the website is designed to accommodate mobile customers. Customers are more likely than ever to user their mobile devices to access information about a website. According to research conducted by Google, 74 percent of consumers indicated that having a mobile website is very important to them. Additionally, two-thirds of mobile device users say that they are more likely to make a purchase from a company with a mobile website.
It’s important to have any brick and mortar business listed online in the various directories. Taking advantage of online directories is important because it is one of the most affordable ways to advertise a business. Doing this increases your relevancy in a niche and can improve your performance where search engines are concerned. The online directory is a very inexpensive way to generate traffic for your brick and mortar’s site. Some directories allow a business to handle quotes and transactions directly from their sites.
Take an inventory of processes regularly. This may require reviewing processes in place and identifying ways to optimize them to benefit customers. This can also mean surveying customers directly, asking them for insight on how to better improve processes. Creating metrics to assess and evaluate performance regularly will give you the insight needed to adapt processes to better meet the needs of your customer base.
After determining whether or not your business and services fit into an online environment, consider laying the foundation to support the business in an online environment. In following these steps, most offline businesses will be able to better capitalize off of opportunities available online. The best approach is to start small and gradually increase the number of processes offered online, incorporating DIY options for customers wherever appropriate while measuring performance in multiple areas.
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