Forming A Good Relationship With Your Customers
Thu 21st January 2010
Your customers will also be looking for a degree of familiarity; one perennial complaint about the move towards larger shops, international retailers, and websites that serve a global market is that consumers are reduced to just a number, just an amount of cash that passes through the company's books. There's an increasing nostalgia, and perhaps a not entirely accurate one, for an age when every shopkeeper you worked with knew your name, what you wanted to buy, and how your grandmother was getting on since she moved into the next village. The desire for that level of personal concern for each customer grows steadily, and proportionately to the increasingly impersonal nature of big business. Addressing these concerns can provide you with a dramatic boost to customer loyalty, and help your business to grow.
If you have a busy shop or office (or more so if you have a chain of them) it can be very difficult to bring in that extra level of customer-specific service; if large numbers of people are passing through your doors each day, it quickly becomes impossible to relate to and provide for them on a personal level, and footfall (with its resultant income) is unquestionably a greater priority in maintaining the business. A supermarket giant does not wish to become an independent local corner shop, however much friendlier consumers may find the shopping experience to be. It may be best, then, to look to add the personal dimension in a different corner of the business - and the website could be ideal.
If you're creating or maintaining your website with Adobe Dreamweaver, you can address this issue with ease. It's standard practise for sites to collate information from users by carrying forms on their page, containing as few or as many requests for information as the company need. This can be used for a range of different purposes, each helping encourage the customer the feel that the company values them as an individual.
The simplest use of a form is to set up an account. Most retail websites will have had accounts for customers for some time, as they help improve security, ensuring that a potential fraudster would need more than just a credit card number in order to make purchases as using someone else's funds. But a canny retailer can make use of this information to provide a service that creates a closer relationship between consumer and vendor. For example, an individual's contact details could be used to send sales information, special offers and vouchers via email; it's important not to overdo this opportunity, as consumers can grow rapidly to dislike a company that appears to be sending them spam. But the notion that the company is going out of its way to help an individual save money is a positive one to impress upon a customer.
Furthermore, if a customer has to log in using the account they generated through the form in order to buy goods and services from you, you can maintain a record of all the purchases they have made. If you're going to be sending them emails offering discounts, it's easy to use the information you've garnered to ensure that they get offers that relate to their own needs - thus making the purchasing experience far more personal for little effort. This information can also be used on the website itself; the frontpage of your site can be easily tailored to show items that the customer would be interested in, based on their prior purchases (again, this is a process that Dreamweaver can assist you with as much as you need it to).
Indeed, Dreamweaver can guide you through the whole process, making sure you get just what you want. Creating the forms you need, and ensuring they work as they ought to, may seem like a difficult process, but Dreamweaver makes it as simple as you need it to be, giving you the content you need without requiring any expertise in web design. And once your form's complete, Dreamweaver helps you to get it, sending the information to an email account, or a database, or anywhere you need it.
Forms have become a very important aspect of online retail. You can also use them to allow consumers to add feedback or customer reviews to products, further increasing the sense of customer involvement, and a direct relationship between buyer and seller. Such an approach can lead customers to feel that they're playing a role in the whole process, and - vitally - that the company needs them.
You can enhance this further by using a form to allow users to contact your organisation, with comments or queries, directly from the site; such contact tools give the customer a much deeper sense of involvement and closeness to the company than expecting them to leave the website and open an email program. If something should go wrong, and they have a complaint, giving them the means to voice it via the website puts across the impression that you want to help, and that you care about their concerns. These different uses of forms can, once again, be found within Dreamweaver's armoury of simple tools.
Adobe Dreamweaver really can transform the effectiveness of your organisation's online presence, and thus transform the fortunes of the organisation itself. Short training courses can help you work with the software, and to take control of your company's future. And these courses are easy to sign up to - you can probably book yourself or your staff onto one using a simple online form!
Original article appears here: