The days of just having a Web site to drive traffic to your company are gone. Your site needs to effectively communicate with your customers, rather than just provide them with information. Below are five simple and easy ways for your site to become more interactive.
1. Make sure that your Web site can be viewed on a mobile device
This sounds like a no brainer, but there are still Web sites that cannot be viewed using mobile devices. With the extreme popularity of the iPhone and other smart phones, make sure your site can be viewed using mobile devices and other Web browsers, such as Google Chrome or Safari by Apple.
2. Unleash the power of self-help
Offering Web self-help by yourself or people on your staff can do two things. First, it can create a relationship with the viewer as they become comfortable with your technician or service writer. Two, it can reduce the burden of supporting customers on the phone, e-mail and potentially at the service counter. This should decrease costs and increase customer satisfaction. However, this is not a substitute for your service department, so make sure your customers understand that by providing your contact information on every page.
3. Allow your site to be rated
One of the most powerful ways to get people to engage in your site is by opening up your site to their reviews, ratings, comments and allowing them to engage in discussion with you and other customers who visit your site.
Google Sidwiki is a great tool that allows your customers to leave comments about your site and company. Additionally, comments, discussion boards, and forums can provide you with invaluable feedback and insight to what is on the mind of your customers.
4. Recognize your customer
This is simple. Acknowledge your best customers no matter what channel they use. If they are in the forum or on one of your social sites, let them know you know that they are there. Maybe allow them to be the first to test a new bike or sled. Allow them to be the first to see new gear that you are going to stock. Make sure you also engage them online and reply to their posts. We all know that these types of customers can make an impact on your business and influence others in where and how they purchase things.
5. Show you’re really listening
The bottom line is that there is no point in creating social media channels, blogs, forums, etc., if you are not going to engage and listen to your customers. It can be as easy as stocking a certain color unit that you may not normally stock, bringing in a helmet that you may normally not have sold in the past or change the way your business looks in terms of layout or just offering a cup of coffee. Read their posts, respond with change and then reply to their post with the change. Now you have their attention!
Good points. I have a recommendation for your readers that use WordPress in terms of making your site mobile device friendly. As you know one of the powers of WordPress are the plug-ins. There is a slick plug-in for iPhone called WPTouch iPhone Theme. This plug-in turns any WordPress site into an iPhone compatible website. Here's the link: http://www.bravenewcode.com/products/wptouch/.