e.g. homedepot.com  sears.com  flowers  gap.com  JCPenney  babiesrus.com  shoes


Bring a New Level of Interaction with Customers

Customers have many ways to contact local businesses these days and vice versa. Are businesses taking advantage of all those ways? There's always conventional postal mail and contacting via the telephone. Now in the digital age there are several ways that small businesses can respond to customer inquiries and feedback.

The company website: If you are a small business owner, putting an ad in the yellow pages and in the newspaper is a thing of the past. Nowadays having an official website is an essential. You have the domain but what else do you need? Start with an email address so potential customers can contact you via email. An opt-in form: this is a form that allows the user to input their name, contact information and question, comment or concern (if any). Those are important along with individual pages or section highlighting services.

Social media: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the main social media sites to subscribe to. But once you're there, then what? Advertise? It's more than that. Solely advertising and marketing on social media is simply spamming and that's a "no-no". Think of social marketing as a device to reach out to prospective clientele. You can add or follow any person or company you want. This gives you the chance to talk to partners, customers and to respond to feedback.

Review sites: You can make an entry for your business on review sites like Yelp. Of course, unless someone made the entry. Yelp gives customers the ability to write a review on a business as well as rate that business. This may seem like businesses are at the whim at random writers with strong opinions. Not the case because businesses have the opportunity to provide feedback on all reviews written about them. Again, like social media this gives the business the ability to reach out as well as advertise on the site.

The Internet brings businesses endless ways to advertise, market and get their product to the masses. What may be lost in all of this is customer interaction. Many companies continually use the telephone as their best form of customer service. But with the public using social media and review sites as part of their lives, this leads to an opportunity for businesses to reach out to consumers. This is best opportunity to give better customer service and to further the brand name.

Image credit: shirokazan on Flickr



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