A company needs to understand its competitors’ relationship with their customers so that it can identify gaps and address them in its own relationship management processes, and incorporate best practices being followed by competitors to gain an upper hand. One of the ways a company can achieve this goal is by optimizing its website to improve the relationship and engagement with customers and visitors to the company’s website.
Company needs to ensure that visitors who come to the company’s website as a result of its reach efforts, should find the website useful, interesting, and compelling enough to decide to purchase from the company. Thus, it needs to not only analyze the behavior of its own customers and visitors, but also analyze measures taken by its competition to engage with their customers.
Here are some of the ways a company can optimize its website:
The existing website needs to be optimized to engage customers better to build a relationship with them. A strong relationship results in customer loyalty. A company’s website is generally regarded as the main conversion engine for online leads – leads from different sources eventually come to the website and the conversion of those leads depends on whether the website engages customers and fulfills their need. Hence, a company needs to ensure that its website provides the kind of information that customers want and contains sufficient means by which customers can carry out desired actions – whether it is contacting the company or paying online.
Relationship Metrics and Targets for Website
All the optimization efforts to build relationship with customers are required to be measured against these metrics and targets. Any shortfalls in attaining targets need to be evaluated and further optimization efforts undertaken. In case a company exceeds targets for building relationships through the website, then it needs to understand the reasons for its success so it can replicate such success for a long term and even in other channels.
Reached Customers through Website
The objective of optimization efforts in this process is to enable a company to focus on building a relationship with all those whom it had reached out to. In many cases, a company will not know the identity of these customers, i.e. when customers search online and they see the company’s ad, or when they browse their social media pages and see a mention about the company. However, the moment these customers initiate contact with any of the company’s marketing channels, the company needs to be prepared and offer a great experience to its customers. The initial contact can take a number forms - it might just be customers clicking a link and coming to a company’s website or it might replying to an email from the company. In any case, once a reached customer responds, the onus is on the company to build the relationship and ensure that it is in line with relationship targets for the website.
Customer feedback can come from multiple channels but in each case, they should be analyzed carefully and under no circumstances should they be ignored. This is because the true measure of any marketing effort is judged by how customers perceive it. Customers may provide feedback at any stage, from pre-purchase to post-purchase. During pre-purchase, they may provide feedback through online or offline channels on issues like the availability of products and quality of product information on the website, or whether their queries were answered promptly and efficiently through online channels like online chat on a website. During purchase, they may provide feedback on issues like difficulty in making payment online on the website. During post-purchase they may provide feedback on issues like the ease of being able to find customer support contact information on the website. Analyzing customer feedback about a company’s product and related services enables a company to identify areas where it is performing well and also areas where it needs to improve its relationship building capabilities.
The combined effect of all these efforts will help to increase relationship with the target customers. Any shortfall in meeting the targets may be rectified by increasing efforts related to the metric where the shortfall occurs. An increased engagement with customers will help the company manage a strong foothold in the competition.