Every day, tens of millions of searches are conducted online by people looking for local service providers. How many potential customers are you missing by not having a web presence? Having a website today is not only “hip,” it’s mandatory. Companies with websites are in control of a resource that works non-stop, providing customer service, processing orders and gathering information.
The problem? Most businesses never reach their full potential because they fail to realize that websites are employees – employees that work to gather leads 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The sooner you realize this, the closer you’ll be to reaching a new level of success; one that comes from possessing a global presence, a constantly networking and marketing tool, and a full-service establishment that serves your customers and potential clients effectively all day, every day.
Used properly, a website will change your online destiny and heighten your understanding of what your clients expect from you as a professional company, and, scary to say, what many of your competitors could well already know: websites have an enormous amount of power, both online and offline.
Your task is to harness this power in a way that works for you, and it starts by changing your mindset on what a website is, and why you either need one, or need to proactively put the one you already have to work. Consider this: radio took 37 years to get 50 million listeners. TV took 15. The Internet did it in less than 3 years. In today’s ultra-competitive economy, a website is your way of being heard.
First, your website acts as a customer service representative. Websites can provide customer service for your company like no other employee on your payroll. What other employee do you have that works non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, for year after year after year? So leverage your website for what it’s great at: providing useful information about your business, such as your services and procedures. Recent news about your company or industry that may interest potential customers also can be posted to your website and updated regularly. Your website can and should provide unparalleled customer service on your behalf.
Second, your website acts as a public relations manager. Websites communicate who you are and help you connect with potential customers. Regardless of whether you’re locally famous or not, your website can make you known globally. By providing clear definitions, information and articles in simple terms everyday people understand, your website can make you more money and attract new customers. Not to mention the potential for making a more personal connection with people by including online professional biographies. A website thrives on attention, and when others reference it, link to it, and love it for providing what they’ve been desperately searching for, it shines brighter than ever, attracting yet more attention. By using your website and the knowledge you currently posses, you can become “the” expert who not only understands your own business, but how to communicate that understanding into the practical, hard-and-fast information surfers seek out.
Third, your website acts as a document provider. Websites can make the lives of your customers and staff easier. Ever faxed or mailed a form to a customer that they could easily have filled out online? Allowing your website to provide forms, general paperwork and documents with your company letterhead already in place saves everyone time and money. Your administrative staff will thank you, too, when you use your website to reduce both unnecessary office traffic and time spent needlessly explaining general documents. Do your clients and yourself a favor by providing forms, general paperwork and documents online.
Fourth, your website acts as an intelligence-gathering tool. We would all like to know what our customers are expecting from us before they say it, and there is absolutely no better way to have this knowledge in-hand than to allow your website to perform a bit of intelligence-gathering on behalf of your business. In this manner, your website is able to gather information and provide you with powerful insight that will improve all aspects of your business – both online and offline. Through feedback forms, website analytics and surveys, your website can be your company’s perpetual covert intelligence agent, working around the clock to help you get to know your clients so you can better communicate with them.
Essentially, the costs associated with creating, maintaining and distributing a website are minimal compared to the ROI your company will receive. Where else can you find a single, consistent medium to provide your company with ongoing customer service, public relations, document delivery, and intelligence gathering, which is not only accurate, but also complete?
With your website working for you fulltime, your company can level the playing field with larger competitors. A valid website will expose you and your company to global markets, while complementing the work you are already performing offline. By tapping the power of your website, you have hired an employee that never needs to be fired and that works just as hard as you do.