1) Provide critical customer support
In today’s economy it is important to provide the best customer support available. You need to answer questions and provide assistance on products/services as well as a means of being contacted. A website can do this 24/7 without your having to answer a phone or hire additional staff.
2) Be open around the clock
Though this may sound overwhelming, it’s actually not hard at all. With both e-mail and contact forms, people can leave a message when it’s convenient and you can respond when it’s convenient---though responding quickly is always the best policy. With a website, potential customers can find out about your products and services at any time of the day or night. And with your web address on your answering machine and company vehicles, you get great advertising while still providing a place for customers to visit. Furthermore, some people are hesitant to use the telephone for fear of having to put up with a high-pressure salesperson. But with a website, they can feel at ease and comfortable while inquiring about your products or services.
3) Find out what your customers are thinking
Add a short survey to your website to discover what your customers want and need.
4) Update products and services easily and at low cost
For those familiar with catalogs, brochures, etc., you know how difficult and costly they can be to produce and change. If you want to add an item, change a phone number, or make other changes, it can be difficult to do. And even worse, as in the case of the phone company, you may have to wait a year to do so. However, with the internet, you can advertise sales, make changes, or do almost anything else quickly and cheaply.
5) Keep your customers informed
Your Website has all the necessary information your clients or prospective customers will need. Keep people informed why they should do business with your company.
6) Provide discounts
People like to see sales and discounts. Maybe you have a new product that you want to advertise or some old inventory to get rid of. Reaching customers by phone or sending a letter takes time and is costly. But with the Internet you can send out emails to your customers with ease. Light up your website with these specials and make customers want to come back.
7) Reach a large geographic area
Though most businesses only want to reach customers within maybe a 15 mile radius, the internet also provides the opportunity to reach much further. Millions of potential customers use the internet everyday to find the products they need. And many of those come from out of state or out of the country. Of course you can limit them to your local area, but it’s nice to have the larger area available. Using the internet, many “brick and mortar” companies are venturing into national sales. If you can ship a product, the whole world can become your customer. Compare that low cost to advertising in various phone books or newspapers around the country and you can easily see the value of the internet. And remember, you website is always available. Customers don’t have to wait until they get the local paper or look into the local phone book’s Yellow Pages. You can even translate your website into a different language if that appears profitable.
8) Save money
Postage and long-distance calls are costly while email allows a means of communicating with your customers, suppliers, partners, etc., and is extremely inexpensive.
9) Become better known
People today expect businesses to be on the Internet. Often, that is the only place they look for a business. Without a website, you are at a disadvantage to those who do have one. You cannot afford to be left behind by your competitors. Even if you don’t sell products, a website still provides needed information for a visitor such as phone number, address, etc.
10) Maintain a customer list
It is a great idea to maintain a listing of past customers and this can be done through a website.
And finally, just think of this situation…
Let’s say you have a landscaping business in the East Bay. One of your potential customers works in San Francisco but lives in the East Bay. During his lunch break he decides to look up your company. He goes to the Yellow Pages and can’t find you because he only finds landscapers for the San Francisco area. Then he goes to the internet and easily finds your competitor’s website and sets up an appointment online without even picking up the phone. Just one benefit of having a website…