Two Powerful Ways to Grow Your Business on the Internet

Internet marketing is a powerful way to grow your business. Your insight into your target market is a key component to succeeding online. The first powerful way to grow your business online is to know the buying cycle of your target market so you will be able to effectively market to them at all stages of it.

1) Beginning of Buying Cycle

Every industry will have buyers that start their buying cycle with some basic research about the products or services they are interested in. By doing some keyword research you can identify these early-stage buyers and capture their attention before your competitors do. Here are the types of search terms they will use:

and#8226; Printer reviews

and#8226; best DVD players

and#8226; luxury sedan comparisons

The terms they use when searching will clearly identify the fact that they are in the information gathering process. Provide them the information they want on your site and via e-mail so you can follow-up market to them.

2) Mid Stages of Buying Cycle

As consumers progress in the buying cycle they will start narrowing their online searches. For example they may use terms like:

and#8226; Color laser printer

and#8226; Sony DVD players

and#8226; Lexus models

At this stage they have narrowed in on what they want but have not necessarily made a final selection. This is an important stage in the buying cycle where you need to give consumers information that will push them towards purchasing.

3) Stages of Buying Cycle

This is the stage that most people focus on. The final stage of the buying cycle is when a consumer is ready to buy. The types of search terms at this point are:

and#8226; Epson Stylus 900

and#8226; Sony HD-9180

and#8226; Lexus LS 450

The consumer identified what they want to buy and are now looking for where to buy it. This is when they need to know why they should buy it from you. You want to focus on service, price and reputation.

If you focus your Internet marketing efforts only on the end stages of the process you will lose the opportunity to capture the interest of and loyalty of potential customers in the early stages. Take the time to give consumers at the earlier stages of the buying cycle the information they want and they will reward you with consumer confidence and loyalty.

All stages of the buying cycle should be part of your Internet marketing strategy.

The second powerful way to grow your business online is providing exceptional online customer service.

People do not always think about customer service as part of their marketing plan -- but it should be. Customer service plays an integral role pre and post-sale. The more opportunities you have for someone to contact you for customer service or technical support, the greater their confidence will be in your company. The better you handle customer service inquiries the better their loyalty will be and that is a key goal for Internet marketing plans.

1) Online Customer Service

Online customer service is a great way to show consumers you are serious about offering them the help they need. In a nutshell there are a number of different ways you can add customer service to your site. There are some software packages that can be integrated into your site or you can have a customized option created.

You want to give people the option to chat with someone from your company without requiring them to make a call. Since many consumers search the net while at work, this makes it very convenient for them to speak to you rather than move on to another website.

2) What to Handle

Not all customer service inquiries should be handled over the net. If there is something sensitive that needs to be discussed, you may want to request the person call you or allow you to call them. This will show them that you are taking their customer service needs seriously.

3) Who Should Handle the Inquiries?

Though it is possible to outsource your online customer service you may wish to handle it in-house to ensure the highest quality. You and your staff will be best situated to answer most questions or get the answers the customer or potential customer is asking.

Make sure whoever is handling the customer service inquiries is professional and does not take anything personally. If they take things personally then they may offend a current or potential customer.

4) Online Customer Service - The Bottom Line

The bottom line about online customer service is that if it is handled properly it is a great way to increase consumer confidence and loyalty. Providing easy access to customer service and technical support can set you apart from the competition.

Consider adding online customer service options to your website and highlight it as one of the reasons why consumers should choose your company over the competition. This is an important goal of Internet marketing.

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Article Written By: Brian SD Scott

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This Article Has Been Published on Fri, 13 May 2011 and Read 5377 Times

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