Being a little smarter with your website will allow you to save hundreds of euro per month. And if your website has a lot of traffic and generates many enquiries, €200/week is an underestimation.
So, here are 5 tips to help your business save time and money – through your own website!
1. Let your Website Talk to the Customer
The best way to avoid wasting time and money over the phone is by explaining absolutely everything via your website.
How many times would you have loved NOT to receive those time-consuming phone calls? How many times did you have to explain what you do and what the purchase process is? How many hours did you spend last month for customer service?
Here’s the solution: let your website do the talking. What do potential customers usually look for, or what do they need to know? What do existing customers ask for?
Let’s cut a long story short: each website page should have a list of Frequently Asked Questions, so your customer is not going to ask them over the phone. We’re not just saying to have a FAQ page, we’re actually turning each page into a human being, able to understand the user and answer to their questions.
How long will it take..?
How does the process work..?
Do you offer..?
Can I get a free trial..?
What is the difference between..?
What is the return policy..?
2. Use Contact Forms and Auto-responders
First and foremost, remove your phone number from the website. Hence, force potential or recurring customers to spend time filling forms and explaining the issue via email first. Existing customers have your phone number already, so don’t worry about them.
You should have several contact forms, one for each section of your website: a general contact form for enquiries and a specific contact form at the bottom of your service/product pages (related to that product). In this way you can track and “categorise” incoming emails – answering will be much easier.
Together with Contact Forms, have your various Auto-responders set up by your Web Developer. Auto-responders are automatic emails sent to customers upon Contact Form submission, and help you save time, avoid additional emails and anticipate possible questions.
Here are common auto-responders:
This is what you need before visiting our premises..
Thanks for your email, we will get back to you soon..
Thanks for your purchase, item will be shipped in 1 working day..
Thanks for subscribing, you will receive our Newsletter next week..
As you can see, you’re simply anticipating annoying questions:
I got lost.. how do I get to your office/shop?
Did you receive my email?
I didn’t receive my order yet?
I subscribed to your Newsletter but I didn’t get any emails yet?
3. Avoid Wasteful Meetings
It might look weird to you, but you don’t need to meet with a potential customer in order to make a sale. Your website is and should be able to achieve that on its own.
Risky? Not at all.
Your website can convert 90% of your existing sales, without the need to invest time, petrol, phone calls and effort to go to a business meeting. How? Simple: analyse your 10 most recent sales meeting and try to find elements in common – that is your sales strategy!
a) business person introduction
b) business person background
c) issue of potential customer
d) solution from business person.
Then use exactly the same structure within your website, in each product/service page. For example, here’s something that we will add on top of our Web Design Service page:
Business Bloomer was founded by Rodolfo Melogli in 2011. The reason we focus on Websites that Work is because we don’t like to hear: Why does my website convert no sales? Why does my website get no visitors? Why is my website so expensive to edit? Yes, a Website that Works is search engine friendly, sales friendly and client friendly: you can definitely invest in a product that does what it says on the tin.
Use your style, but be convincing. Now that you gained customer trust, it’s time to convert the sale (we haven’t met yet!): show your portfolio, list your past and current clients, mention your business affiliations, Chamber of Commerce logos, and so on.
Nearly there. Now explain the purchasing process, and how your product works, before the customer buys anything. List the most common solutions and how the customer can benefit from those, plus the usual FAQs (see tip #1).
Well, there you go, your website just converted a sale and you didn’t have to meet at all. Now you can meet, but just for signing a contract!
4. Set up Online Payments
Yeah… but I need an expensive merchant account?
Definitely not. PayPal and other online payment providers don’t need any annoying documentation or forms – and months of set up. If you think that 3.4% commission on your online sale is worth less than:
– sending an invoice
– waiting for your cheque
– driving to the bank
– waiting a few days until the cheque clears
..then we recommend you set up Online Payments. You can open a PayPal account in minutes and start receiving money at the same time.
If this is not worthwhile, make sure your website explains how the payment process works, and the refund and cancellation policies. Where would you put this information? In the FAQ page or in the services page? You might know it by now.
Finally, if you offer payment plans or instalment agreements, make sure to let them know – don’t wait ’til they ask!
5. Use Smart Website Plugins
To conclude this time- and money-saving article, why not mention a few tools that can allow you to execute automatic tasks? If you use WordPress, then it’s even easier.
If you blog frequently, write company news often or manage a classified ads website, you probably share each item manually on your favourite social media channels. Our sister company, Xperience.ie, is now able to save a lot of time by automatically sharing Internship Jobs in Ireland via Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn each time a new job is listed. You can do the same with your blog or articles, thanks to dlvr.it.
Within WordPress, we also suggest using plugins such as Contact Form 7, WordPress SEO by Yoast and WooCommerce, which respectively manage contact forms, SEO and eCommerce with time-effective and cost-effective solutions.
How much have we saved so far?
We estimated savings in the range of 2-8 hours per week, depending on the nature of the business and quality of the website. If your hourly rate as a professional is €40/hour, then saving 5 hours will pay for a lovely weekend break!