Running a home Internet business is a simple way to get into business with very little startup costs.
But if you really want to succeed and become profitable, you do need to invest in some technology somewhere down the line, especially if you’re at all interested in providing good customer service.
As the following article shows, here is a list of some must-have technology for the customer-centric business owner.
Live chat software is an easy plug in or add on to your existing website that gives a way for your site visitors to ask questions about your products or services.
Many people enjoy the convenience of being able to chat with businesses 24/7. Offering this valued service is a great way to engage customers and allow communication.
If you don’t wish to man the chat line yourself 24 hours a day, you can easily outsource the chat service to companies in the U.S., India, China or other nations.
In that case, you would provide that third party with the information they need to train their personnel to take care of your customer’s needs.
Automated Email Responders
When a customer submits a comment on your website or sends you an email, it can often feel like they sent it into outer space unless they get some kind of confirmation back.
Automated email responder software services is an affordable option that makes it appear that someone has physically received your customer’s email, and they are dutifully handling it.
Automated email responders can be completely personalized. You can set up the responder to say anything you want, and include your company’s logo or motto in the signature line.
Automatic Sign up Forms
If someone comes to your site, they should be able to sign up for your services whether it’s 2:00 in the morning, or 10:00 at night.
The beauty of Ecommerce is that you can be making money while you’re actually getting your beauty sleep. Automatic sign up forms make this possible.
If your site isn’t configured for this, you can buy an account at an Ecommerce site that will handle all your customer sign ups, payments, invoicing, etc.
It’s worth the extra money for this premium service, especially since they keep detailed records that you can give to your accountants in April to prepare your business tax returns.
Newsletters are a great way to reach out to your interested customers with the latest updates and activities in your business.
Using newsletter generation software, you can create newsletter templates, add and subtract elements like coupons, recipes, tips and articles, and queue them for distribution on designated dates.
If you’re not creative and being a part time graphic artist is unappealing, these newsletter companies usually offer add on services that you can buy for someone else to create the newsletters for you.
You just give them your digitized logo file, tell them what you want in each edition, and they’ll handle the rest.
In the meantime, your customers can opt in to your newsletter email list and hear from you on a regular basis.
None of these ideas need to be implemented the very same day that you purchase your domain name and web hosting.
But don’t leave it too long; because once you start attracting customers to your site, you’ll want to establish at least one way to open up the communication between you and them.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Kate Supino is a marketing guru who writes extensively about best business practices.