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Guest comment: The simple but effective formula to increase online revenue

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By Doron Herzlich

Effective answers lead to sales. Non-effective answers lead users to reconsider.

One important element in generating online sales, along with maintaining a professional website, shipping products promptly and delivering working products, is answering your customers' questions. Most shoppers have questions that must be answered before they feel comfortable making a purchase decision.

In addition, answering online shoppers precisely plays an important role in protecting your company from unintentionally misleading customers and from the resulting negative buzz. Even questions on periodic special offers must be accurately answered.

On most websites, 90% of the inquiries are recurring, non-specific questions: What's the warranty? How do I replace a defective product or part? What is the delivery time? What are my shipping options? How is the product unique? Where can I buy it? Where is it manufactured?

And some questions are less straightforward than others: Why is it more expensive than competitive products in the market? What is this product's benefit? Online shoppers ask questions prior to making a purchase decision, whether buying software, hardware, education services, web services, online insurance, or just about anything else. And their inquiry is your opportunity to convert a visitor to a loyal customer.

Like shoppers in any offline store, your online clients need accessible answers. All customer queries must be answered immediately and precisely by your online support center, with the appropriate technology to help them complete the purchase, just as a shop salesperson would help a customer in the mall. Your customers will click to your competitors' website in seconds if they don't get the answers they need.

Some products or services, such as software, require investing more time in preparing professional answers for online customers. Research shows consistent revenue growth among online companies that invest the time to answer their customers precisely and promptly during the purchase process. You can improve your online support center, add value to the shopping experience and reduce your support expenses with the right technology. Technology can also make your help center run more efficiently, by automating answering repeating questions.

The basic formula for increasing online revenue is very simple; reach your customer's heart and understand their genuine needs. Usually, only top professional sales people know how to do this during a conversation with a customer. However, effective help center technology can identify new questions for growing its knowledge base of professional answers, and provide you with information about your clients' needs. This will help you improve the shopping experience and generating more sales.

Satisfied customers return for additional online purchases. Customers who enjoy a high quality shopping experience and get answers when they need them are more likely to become loyal customers, just as they will abandon the websites that do not provide an easy and immediate way to get their questions answered. Design your online support center to provide prompt and accessible answers to your customers…and most important…stand behind every answer you give.

Doron Herzlich is CEO and co-founder of nanoRep

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