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Communication Channels & Their Importance In Online Business

Mar 1, 2008
There are various communication channels used by online businesses and these channels are of vital importance in creating and sustaining the business. For an online business, due to the lack of physical presence, it is all the more essential to present a friendly, contactable, open face interaction so that the customer feels comfortable. To gain the trust of your customer, you will need to provide plenty of channels of communication that will replace the feeling of distance caused by doing business online. Remember that you must provide a substitute for face-to-face interaction with your client. The most common channels are listed below.

Email:-
This is the first point of contact for a customer of an online business. It is the most common and easiest way to communicate with your client. When a potential customer is surfing your site and is interested in your product, their first instinct is to email a query. It is of paramount importance that your email is displayed prominently for the least net savvy customer to be able to find it.

Newsletters:-
This is a great way to interact, provide free information and encourage your customer to buy. It works as a great customer service and retention tool, giving the customer the satisfaction of having got that little bit extra from your site. You can include new improvements to your site or product and intelligent content to pull in the customers.

Live Chat:-
This is a novel and effective way to make a sale on your website. It encourages your customers with the idea of being able to communicate immediately and get a response to their queries. It presents your business as one that is proactive and technology savvy. Additionally, it will convert a casual web window shopper into a serious buyer more quickly due to the time he or she will spend on the site. However, be careful with this channel because it implies that someone has to constantly be available at the other end of the wire. If you are only available at certain times, put that time on the site so people know when to come back and do not feel frustrated if they try to chat and find no one there.

Notice boards:-
This is a great one-way channel of communication with your customer. It communicates the important information, such as a change in time or any other message that has to be sent out. It is useful to keep your customers and visitors informed of new developments.

Phone numbers:-
Obviously, there are the good old fashioned communication channels that need to be addressed. A legitimate business, online or otherwise, is expected to have business phone numbers that are listed and contactable. Many of your customers may not be as technology savvy as others, so you need to supply everyone with plenty of alternatives, especially traditional ones, of contacting your business. Since web customers are global, make sure that you specify what time format you follow and indicate the country you are located in.
About the Author
William King is the director of UK Wholesale & Drop Shipping Suppliers Directory , Wholesale Suppliers & Wholesalers Dropshippers Products and Australia Wholesalers & Australian Dropshipping Suppliers Directory . He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.
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