The internet is a marvellous tool for business, but don’t let it eliminate the human contact that is so important to some consumers.
The net doesn’t always click
Chief executives have many challenges in today’s fast-paced world, not least of which is to stay focused on two things at once: the task at hand at the big picture!
We live in a world overloaded with information on a global basis – thanks to this fabulous thing called the internet – so how hard is it to keep your eye on the ball when with a single click you can access the whole globe … or so it seems?
I read yesterday’s story on Lonely Planet with great interest: here is a great example of the founders who kept their focus and then were smart enough to capitalise on the value of the internet at the right time!
The internet really is part of the big picture of all business and will be increasingly more so in the future as customers become more and more confident about using it. While the net gives business an opportunity to click to a global market, all the other physical parts of the business have to be in great order for the internet to work.
I would argue that the internet, and the speed at which it gives access to products and services, requires that businesses have to be even more efficient and offer even better value for money because clients have a range of options – and prices! – at their fingertips!!
So every business needs an internet strategy that will enhance its reputation for quality, service, delivery and/or price. If a customer can order and pay for product with just a few clicks, they also expect it will be delivered really quickly.
One downside of the internet is the lack of face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) customer contact. Perhaps I am just hopelessly old-fashioned, but as a consumer I like companies that still are available on the phone, where I can speak to a real live human who can say such comforting things as ‘We can fix that!!’
Recently I have noticed that a number of companies I have needed to contact have not included a phone number on their website, leaving me stuck with having to send an email and hope I get a response. Ugh, having to wait – as a customer, this makes me feel out of control!!!
The internet is amazing, and can only grow as a business tool, but for it to be used to the maximum advantage all other parts of business have to back this tool: product delivery, service and quality and don’t forget the human contact!!!
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