Get Touchy feely with your customers

Internet business is not even an “arms length” relationship with your customers. That’s why it’s so important to get touchy feely with your customers when you have the opportunity.

Internet business is not even an “arms length” relationship with your customers. That’s why it’s so important to get touchy feely with your customers when you have the opportunity. It’s all about making a statement, positioning yourself properly and projecting the right message when someone hits a web page on your site and tries to deal with you as a business. It’s even more important to make the right statement when someone actually orders from you, or tries to contact you after ordering!

Put SEO — Search Engine Optimization aside, and I can’t tell you how important making the right statement is when a visitor lands on your website. If you don’t speak to your audience, they won’t listen. It’s that simple.

You need to have a visually professional website layout first and foremost. ShopFactory themes and designs can help you with that. But, putting up a website is only 3.14159265359% of the pie. You MUST bring it full circle. You need to engage your customers and respond as soon as they attempt to contact you.

That moment is the Golden opportunity to engage them in best business practices to ensure a long lasting relationship with the customer.

I present this from a recent experience I had when I ordered a collector’s coin from a little known online store. Their site was difficult to find. I dug deep into search engine listings and happened across them by quite by accident. I ordered the product from them because I needed and wanted that specific collector’s coin for highly personal reasons — a keepsake for one of the kids when they grow up. I couldn’t even find the coin for the price they offered it for on other sites because it was a limited edition with a very low mintage. And they obviously had not set-up their store with proper keywords, and other SEO, even though they looked somewhat professional at first glance.

The order went through — with some difficulty — No, they were not using ShopFactory — some custom designed website check-out which was very, very, VERY difficult to navigate and use — but I got through it — pat on the back to me, not the merchant. I got an order/payment received email, which wasn’t very professional looking at all. Infact, I received five auto-emails after placing the order. Fifth email in, there was a notice that I’d receive my order within 5 to 7 business days. No personal contact name, just a canned response type email.

If I had only one or two emails with the invoice/receipt, payment received, contact information, and tracking details all in one — I would have been happier. But five emails which looked like a transcript of a broken conversation on cell phones between two people with low signal strength?

Am I being critical because I’m in the eCommerce software business? Of course, a sixth email never arrived to tell me the order was shipped.

Four weeks went by and nothing arrived. I forgot about it until I did my monthly “cleaning” of the inbox I use for personal online orders.

I followed up with the online store — after a bit of digging through their website. Called their phone number, which went to a messaging center stating:  The party you’re calling isn’t available, yadda, yadda, yadda. No voicemail. Double checked the emails and the same phone number was listed. Sigh.

Okay, so at this point I’m being a bit critical, since I myself sell eCommernce software. I’m one of the sales representatives with ShopFactory. Aside from my biased standpoint, I’m not a happy customer with the third party mentioned above. Not one bit.

I then tried to email them after digging through their first five “no-reply” emails to find a live contact email address, and lo-and-behold... I got a response.

A canned “We’ll contact you shortly” responder.

The next day I finally got a person to respond. Not the same day. Not within minutes or hours of trying to contact them. But, the next day...

Let’s face it — they’re only two hours behind me across the country in a slightly different time zone.  And, it was early in the morning my time, or did I zone out that morning. I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee.

The next response was a little more personal. And the information was a short personalized: We’re sorry, this was missed in our shipping, we’ve shipped it as of yesterday, here’s the tracking, we’re sorry. No real mention of the hassle or what it was that went wrong in their ordering system and, I can tell you — the coin I ordered was HOT! I was very concerned myself that they would be out of stock on it between the time I ordered and the time I realized — I forgot about my order from them four weeks ago.

Let’s face it. Point blank. The aforementioned situation should never have occurred on the merchant’s side.

With ShopFactory, when you login to your Total Care Online Order Management Account, you as the merchant see the full set of details on every order your customers’ place. You have all the information, all the order data, and can set the status to:  processing, to ship, and mark as shipped, etc. and can make notes on your orders. You get a quick pictorial visual to re-visit the orders that are flagged for further activity and can view them all with a click of the mouse button.

And that’s what Total Care and ShopFactory is all about.

Getting customers, building customer relationships by bringing them into arms length, and engaging your customers. Get the order, set-up your responses with the information at hand. Or, even respond to situations before they occur and blow up in your face.

Login. See your orders. Take “Care” of the details. You have all the tools you need right there in front of you when you login!!

It’s up to you to develop that relationship — hopefully better than my example above — you can do it easier than you can when compared to other options out there. I’m not Archimedes, Sir Isaac Newton, or even a closet mathematician. But, it’s not rocket science when it comes to dealing with human beings online.