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Considerations for Designing New Web Sites


"How Do I make My Web Site Pay Off?"

Internet Integration

How 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!

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