Posts Tagged ‘appointments’
1. Make Appointments
Depending on the structure of your current website, it may be economical for you to add appointment-making capabilities for your clients. Even if you need to interact with the client to actually make an appointment, you can still give them the ability to request an appointment online for their preferred day and time. This might sound cost prohibitive and hard to manage, but in many cases, it is not.
2. Hand Out Coupons
There are several ways to do this. You can give your customers printable coupons on your website. Easy enough — some graphical elements, a bar code, an expiration date, and you have something your customers can print out. Or, you can create a coupon code for your shopping cart, which creates an incentive for online ordering. Or, you can turn the coupon into a fun, verbal way for your customer to capture the discount. For example, you could offer $10 off a total sale to anyone who sings your jingle at the time of checkout. Singing’s not your thing? Forget the music and tell your followers on Twitter, “This weekend, tell them Bambi sent you for 10% off at the check out.” If your clients know they can find good discounts online, they’ll start looking online to find them before visiting the store. (The advantages of that are a topic for another day.)
3. Educate Your Customers
Does your website have a download area? Develop one if you don’t, or flesh yours out if you already have free downloads. When you adress your customers’ common questions and needs with a free report, white paper, case study, or cheat sheet, you position yourself as an expert in your field. Adding free downloads to your site also helps your sales staff do their jobs, since they can tell clients: ”You can go to our website to download our white paper on that subject.”
Get creative with these free downloads. Examples:
Art dealers – “The 5 Most Unexpected Places to Display Art”
Paint store – A downloadable color wheel with popular, unusual, or unnexpected color combinations
Auto body repair shop — “In Case of a (non) Emergency” — ways to handle paint chips, small dents, fading paint, etc. at home
Child’s Board Game Publisher – “Games To Play in the Car” — a printable page with directions for 3 games to play while on long car trips
Financial Planner — “How Investments Work” — a brief primer explaining the basics of how and why to invest, including risks, benefits, and historic data.
Math Tutor — “Algebra Cheat Sheet”
4. Showcase Products
Invest in a Flip video camera and start recording your product being used. You do not need to spend a lot on a professional videographer. Just grab the camera and get some footage. Put it on YouTube. Talk about how the product works. Demonstrate the product in action. Visit real customers and record them using the product. Do a product walk-through. Do side-by-side comparisons.
Think: If an prospective customer was standing in your showroom, what would you say to them? What would you show them about your product? Well, now they don’t have to be standing there. They can be anywhere in the world, and you can show them the ins and outs of that product.
5. Get Feedback
The nice thing about the Internet, and social media sites like Twitter and YouTube in particular, is that you can engage your customers in conversation. Online, people are honest about their impressions of the businesses they encounter. So talk to your customers online to find out what you’re doing right and where you need improvement. Not only will you have an opportunity to zero in on the areas of your business that need attention, but you’ll also win the loyalty of customers who are impressed with your responsiveness. Listening is an undervalued skill, and social media sites are changing that. Your customers have a voice online now; the smart owner learns to listen to them, answer them, and thank them.