|Did Not Make Purchase||39%|
|Bought From Competitor||26%|
|Bought Item Offline||18%|
|Bought Item Later At Site||17%|
In creating interactive one-to-one relationships we should keep in mind the very perceptive premise of Cluetrain Manifesto that "markets are conversations." We see, more and more, that each venue, such as Pay Per Click advertising, Usenet Newsgroups and Opt-In E-mail, offers the opportunity for organizations to engage their customers in conversations and commerce.
Pay Per Click systems
operated by Overture.com, Google.com,
FindWhat.com and others blend this
sense of markets as conversations with search based on free market bidding,
where keywords could cost a few cents or many dollars, depending on the
term involved. Smart business leaders will take an increasingly strategic
focus in targeting markets and conversations based on their own cost-benefit
To effectively engage customers, we need to create online environments that present clear and useful choices and are easy to use. Writing is a key issue in developing this dialogue. Jakob Nielsen, in Designing Web Usability, described the most effective writing for web sites as "concise, scannable and objective."
Nick Usborne in the
The Online Writers Manifesto (part of his excellent book Net
out that "It's Words That make the sale." And "It's words that build relationships."
It also helps users to offer detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
This can also reduce e-mails and calls, thus reducing customer maintenance
It's also great to show that people are involved because this helps to build trust. Full contact information is also essential. Most online customers are very concerned about issues of trust, security and privacy. Statements and content that respond to these concerns - including detailed privacy statements - can help build trust.
"Two-thirds of online shoppers feel insecure about exchanging personal information over the Internet," reported Technographics Report, Forrester Research, Inc. (October 27, 1999). "Almost 90% of online consumers want the right to control how their personal information is used after it is collected."
Personalizing or segmenting customer service experiences without sounding stilted or robotic can be a big challenge. A great example of this can be found in The ClueTrain Manifesto, which discusses these two versions of a Y2K statement from Hart Scientific, Inc. (www.hartscientific.com):
1. "Noncompliance issues could arise if Hart Scientific manufactured products are combined with other manufacturer's products. Hart cannot test all possible system configurations in which Hart manufactured products could be incorporated. Our products currently test as being compliant and will continue to operate correctly after January 1, 2000. However, customers must test integrated systems to see if components work with Hart Scientific manufactured products. Hart makes no representation or warranty concerning non-Hart manufactured products."
2. "If you're using our equipment with someone else's gear, who the hell knows what's going to happen. We sure don't, so how can we promise you something specific, or even vague for that matter? We can't, so we won't. However, we love our customers and like always we'll do whatever is reasonable to solve whatever problems come up, if there are any."
The ClueTrain authors exposed the lunacy of corporate-speak: "There's an inherent pomposity in much of what passes for corporate communication today. Missing are the voice, humor, and simple sense of worth and honesty that characterize person-to-person conversation."
Today's online businesses need significant technical knowledge, a laser focus on managing the customer experience and the courage to humanize communication. Already, there is evidence that at least some pioneering web site businesses are taking steps to evolve from reactive customer service providers into true learning organizations that anticipate needs and manage experiences.
Web Site Marketing Group | info@websitemarketinggroup,com | 786-390-2301