Internet IntegrationHow Do I make My Web Site Pay Off? That is the $64,000.00 question isn't it!! Well
it's not going to cost you that much. The cost of a site depends on whether you decide to
go in house as opposed to the virtual or shared server route. Those topics will be
discussed later in detail. For now though I'm just going to discuss Internet Integration .
Integration? That's a big important sounding marketing word the salesman wanted me to
use. It just means using the net to leverage your companies present resources using
internet solutions (another one) for doing your everyday or non internet activities. There
are several ways to make your site payoff and most of them don't even require you to sell
one product. As a matter of fact in certain circumstances you can use the net to reduce
overhead enough to more than pay for your site!!!
Now that I've got your attention I am going to tell you how. I bet your as skeptical as
I was when my brother started telling me how using software you can almost entirely
automate your internet business. My brother is the techie in the family and is interested
in telephony software and hardware aspects of the business. Using software and inexpensive
hardware and assuming you have a phone I am going to tell you how. You achieve these goals
with small changes to your organizations policy and procedure and a good plan for
implementing your site design.
Some people will think my suggestions are only for large companies but smaller
businesses can use them too however they won't derive as much benefit. A larger
organization has more resources to leverage the advantages. However, even a one man
organization can benefit if he / she applies themselves. Little changes to an
organizations policy and procedure will result in increased efficiency by using the net to
allow personnel to work uninterrupted and in a more organized fashion. There are plenty
of examples and I will share one with you right now.
A common problem for executives and small organizations is telephone tag! You know he
phones you, you phone him back he's out, he phones and your busy or out. This applies to
communication within an organization as well as for customers. When there is a secretary
she should politely divert as many callers as possible to e-mail. All the secretary has to
do is suggest that the best way to reach you is by e-mail. Have a set time each day to
answer these phone calls and encourage your employees to respect the request. E-mail is a
very good way to communicate within an organization. Encourage your employees to check
their e-mail regularly and respond immediately when possible. That works well within the
organization but what about customers?
The secretary or company rep should first ascertain if the customer has Internet
capabilities and if they do either direct them to the information on the web site or give
them your e-mail address. Any employee that is contacted by the public should have a good
knowledge of the web site, how to navigate the site and give the URL in a manner that is
easy to follow and most of all CORRECT. IWB did a phone survey of company customer service
employees to ascertain the level of competence in these three vital areas. We were amazed
that after spending thousands on a site company's failed to adequately train their staff
to use it to it's full potential. About 80% of the reps were sadly lacking the knowledge
or ability to supply the information. It was unbelievable, companies that had spent
thousands to put a catalog on the net and their rep is asking if they could mail you a
catalog. Using the net to increase expenses? Doesn't make sense especially, since they are
asking for information these are motivated buyers. They want to purchase now not in a week
when they get the catalog!
I have been mainly talking about the phone so to conclude this example I'll give you
one more freebie! Include your company e-mail address and web site address in your
recorded messages and all sales materials. Rather than wait, customers that have net
access they will most likely go to your site for the information or e-mail you for it.
Woops that's 2!