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April 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 4
The Channel Perspective

Repeat Customers: It is All About the Experience

From The Moment They Land

Whether you are selling to resellers or end users, as soon as the customer lands on your site, they are receiving feedback about your company. Is the site professional looking? Are the colors coordinated? Is there too much text? Does the site give them the information they need? Is it easy to find what they are looking for?

Logical Categories

The successful site will recognize the customer as a prospect and try to win his business every time he visits. You will find information on:

  • The Company
  • Founders
  • Products
    • Demos
    • Store
  • Partners
  • Support

The order will vary based on what you want to convey to the customer but whatever the message, it is all about the experience. The customer wants to find exactly what he is looking for easily. If they need more information than the basic product information provided, pointers to white papers, Videos, Webinars, or training portals.

Easy Access to the Company

If the customer cannot find what they are looking for, make it easy to contact someone within the organization.

  • Click to call — (Do not require people to enter their phone number for a call back phone call. (Many do not want to provide information until they decide to buy) Direct a call to the person needed: sales, support, accounting etc.
  • Instant messaging — Have people available to respond to questions and requests.
  • Discussion groups — Dedicate staff to monitor discussion groups and provide corrected or updated information
  • Email — provide email addresses for the appropriate people on the website.

As always make it easy to contact the company the old fashioned way, through the phone number

Store Purchases

The product purchase is the most important part of the customer visit. They have a number of different requirements:

  • Cost
  • Delivery time
  • Product availability
  • Shipping Options

Make sure prices are clearly marked. Also let them know if there are any sales or bundles that may reduce the cost.

When the customer is viewing the product, it is advisable to show inventory levels and where the inventory is located. Make the shopping cart available for viewing and easy modification.

Shipping Options

Shipping options are important. Many customers have their own shipping account numbers and want to use them for the transactions. They may have had a bad experience with one or more of the shipping companies as well. Thus, shipping via all of the major shippers is a plus. It is mandatory to have a tracking number from the shipper chosen.

When they are ready to purchase, provide for all credit card types. Many customers will use one charge card brand over another based on card preference. At check out time, collect their information and give the customer an account number. This will allow the customer to order the next time without keying in all of the information.

It is important to notify the customer at each key point in the order process. The customer should be sent an email:

  • With a order confirmation when the order is complete
  • When the order actually ships providing estimated delivery date and tracking number
  • When the order is delivered

Remember, it is about the experience. The easier it is for the customer the more likely it is that they will purchase the product and come back the next time. IT

Don Witt is President of cyLogistics (News - Alert) (

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