Online Loyalty: Clearing the ITD Hurdles to Hit Targets

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If you rely on your website to provide a significant part of your revenue or lead generation then you need to remember this;

Achieving loyalty online is like maintaining a series of one-night-stands and calling it a relationship. The measure of success is based solely on how good your last performance was. If the customer becomes unsatisfied they move on, no bad feelings.

There’s little opportunity for redemption if your customer’s last visit to your website wasn’t a pleasant or productive one. The messaging, technological and operational aspects of your organisation need to come together to ensure your sales targets are met.

There are three hurdles to get over if you want a customer to complete a transaction with you. Achieving loyalty simply means they repeat the same three hurdles. Getting their Interest, guiding them through technology and delivering on their request, or ITD™ for short.

The ITD™ Principle

1. Getting their Interest

Your first priority is to create enough interest through the correct application of messaging and marketing. This is only the first hurdle though, so you have to be mindful that your framework and subsequent content and design strategies have identified buyer types, and the tasks they want to perform.

2. Guiding them through Technology

Getting people to your website is a major achievement as it means your messaging and marketing strategy has done its job. From this point you need to ensure there are as few barriers as possible to complete their transaction.

Technological barriers are varied and range from hard to access contact details, long winded enquiry forms that ask for your mothers maiden name, to expecting people to ‘register’ and login first before they can either communicate with or purchase from you.

Another annoyance that is overlooked is listing email addresses as plain text and with no link e.g. support ‘at’ 

I can assure you that your prospective customer is not interested in helping you with spam management. Get a decent filter and make processes easy for your market, not yourself.

3. Ensuring Delivery

Delivery has nothing to do with the website itself unless the product or service is web based, or requires the customer to download files. Readily available and knowledgeable tech or customer support via email and telephone is mandatory.

Delivering goods on time or sooner is an expectation. This means getting your operations in order such as being properly staffed, having efficient stock inventory systems, outsourcing a reliable delivery partner if required (couriers etc), to having uncomplicated returns procedures.

If you don’t get this right then the effort and budget required to achieve the first two hurdles are wasted.  A good portion of the ‘tech bubble’ failures were a result of a fixation on technology to the detriment of marketing and generating enough interest to completely underestimating the required delivery.

If what happens after a customer clicks the ‘submit’ button is underwhelming, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

© Hamish Chadwick 2011. All Rights Reserved.