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Understanding the Correlation between Customer Relationships and Successful Online Selling

Author: Bian Salins  |  Category: Sales
Published: December 10, 2008

A good reputation is vital to the success of a business. However, while it can take years to establish, it only takes a few moments for that reputability to be destroyed. This is the power of the consumer, and the reason why CRM – customer relationship management – is essential.

Good customer relations are becoming increasingly pertinent in light of social networking. Indeed, once consigned to expressing their opinions to friends via word of mouth, consumers have been given a global voice in the form of the Internet.

Consequently, consumers are making their views known on every imaginable subject, in the form of online blogs and forums. This includes feedback – both positive and negative – on the products and services they purchase.

As a result, the business world has seen a revolution, whereby consumers are profoundly influencing each other’s purchasing habits and decision making. Termed ‘social commerce’, i.e. the active participation of customers in the selling process, it is considered to be the next big development in online selling. It is also something that any successful online business is going to have to take serious notice of.

So, how can your business embrace this new form of commerce and turn what is a potential negative into a constructive positive? According to the experts, it is as simple as forging a good relationship with existing customers, alongside offering a reliable service.

It is also important to factor in consumer opinion. For instance, recent trends display that customer reviews are a major factor in online purchasing decisions. Additionally, it has also been found that many have more faith in, and respect for, a business that showed its product reviews over one that didn’t: these numbers are expected to increase.

Therefore, actively engaging with consumers by including a blog or discussion forum on your website can potentially help you to boost sales, as well as increase the quality of your reputation. And, becoming part of an online community can also be a great idea.

As such, from being part of an online community there is the opportunity to compare and review a number of different businesses, as well as read about other people’s experiences of your products and/or services. Although some people may be critical, don’t just ignore it. By responding positively, you can reveal your commitment to your customers.

Enhancing relationships with current customers can not only be rewarded with good reviews, but repeat business means of course, more financial returns. Indeed, it is believed that already-established customers spend slightly more than new ones. This in itself is a huge reason to maintain effective relationships with existing shoppers.

The value of creating strong relationships with your customers is, therefore, vital. Online selling depends on this contact to survive, and in a world where consumer opinion can make or break your business, it is worth sitting up and paying attention!

Bian Salins is the Managing Editor of BT Tradespace – an online community where businesses can advertise and sell products & services and everyone has the opportunity to shop, chat and share their opinion.

Author: Bian Salins

This author has published 14 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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