Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How To Achieve Internet Business Growth and Profitability in The Recession

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After the economic slump, it's hard to believe that profits even exist. For many it feels like pigs are more likely to fly, over their business making profits. Even though competition between internet businesses is tough, it's not impossible to make a decent profit, if you have the right tools at hand, a decent marketing plan and excellent customer service.

Whether you're selling a product or a service online, it's vital that you have a good customer service plan, which will give you the advantage over your competition. Excellent customer service does mean you go that little bit further for your customers, but it is definitely worth it. If a customer is happy with the service, they will mention it to others and pass it on the chain. It's a good marketing plan, word of mouth, as it costs nothing; all it takes is your effort and time with customers. These days, word of mouth is still just as powerful as the internet, and can make or dismantle your business. So always make sure what customer's say is positive about your business, rather than negative, by providing top standard customer services.

Providing a top quality service is not only about getting the goods posted or services booked as soon as possible, it's also about interaction. Interaction is key to providing a personal service, after all customers often don't like impersonal services, where they can't have their question answers. Because your business is based online, you may not be able to speak to them face-to-face; however, you still can offer a personal service by providing a contact area on your website, a direct point of contact such as 'live chat' and a blog where they can comment. Add to these social media sites and you have every point of contact possible, making you accessible, which is key to a personal service.

Build your website around your customer's wants and needs by providing product or service information, several points of contact, articles, reviews and newsletters to update them on services, offers, and other vital bits of information. Keep them interested with newsletters, however, keep it as an option rather than an imperative by asking them to sign up if they want to - not everyone likes to read newsletters after all! Allow the customer to have freedom and control, and they will come to you when they need you.

Building up a relationship with your customers is certainly not easy, but can be done through interaction and providing special services and discounts to the loyal customers. Discounts for you and one friend, also open up the opportunity to pass on how good your products or services are by word of mouth. Keeping customers, rather than just attracting new ones, is far more profitable and useful way of marketing in an economic downturn and upturn.

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