Website Navigation 101

In a day and age when information can be easily accessed via the Internet, and websites offer more and more pages of data to sift through, there is a demand for proper navigation to quickly get the readers, the end-users, where they want to go. And while it stands true that designing the website to make it visually appealing is a priority, one thing business owners and web developers/designers should keep in mind is making it easy for their readers, their audience, to find what they’re looking for once they load the website. Otherwise, what is the point of putting up information that can’t be seen or accessed?

Website Navigation, in a Nutshell

But let’s backtrack; what is website navigation anyway? And why is it a crucial presence in a website? Website navigation is simply the system where the links/pages of content can be found. Think of it as the backbone of the website, an online version of the table of contents, or a roadmap of points of interests. Without it, readers would feel lost, not knowing where to go next or how to access the information that they’re searching for. And if they get confused or frustrated, site traffic and rankings in search engines will drop.

Various Preferences, Custom Solutions

So how can business owners better serve their readers (aside from a carefully designed and organized web navigation)? By outsourcing services, providing support for web navigational assistance. Business owners should bear in mind that different people have different ways of searching for information — they have their own habits and factors that make up their navigating processes — and might encounter difficulties when browsing the website.

Support Staff Makes It Feasible

With a dedicated support staff available, readers can be guided to solve the problem encountered; reliable techs who know all there is to know about the structure and content of the website are the persons readers can turn to for troubleshooting the features or services that the website offers. The end-goal is to help readers retrieve the information or product they are looking for, and provide a smooth browsing experience that will, in turn, boost sales.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Developing Your Business: Conducting Market Research in the Virtual World

Business Metrics: What Surveys Can Do For Your Business

Navigating Timezones: Three Strategies for Expanding Businesses

Why Bother With Post-Sales Follow Up?

While continuously finding and acquiring new customers is great for business, maintaining good relationship with current customers is also crucial, ensuring repeat business and loyal customers.

Acquire New Customers, Keep Them Close

A new customer entails going through the process of introducing the business, its product and services, gaining their trust, and of course, convincing them to actually spend their hard-earned money. A repeat customer however, is already familiar with the business, knows what it offers, and has faith in the brand because they’ve already tried it for themselves. That’s why it’s important to have a good relationship with present customers, a stable base who can generate new referrals, bring in potential clients.

Post-ales follow up is vital in keeping and maintaining business-client relationships. It makes clients feel the business’s commitment to customer service and satisfaction, build rapport, and open doors for expansion.

It’s All Worth the Effort

Maintaining your customer base seems like a lot of work, but if it’s worthwhile if you consider the return on investment. Post-sales follow up is the company’s way of showing its sincerity to the customers that it cares. It’s as simple as sending them a thank you note after a purchase, calling to ask about their experience with the product or service, or taking it up a notch by offering warranties, repairs, updates on related products that they may want, and offering discounts and incentives for referrals. These build up the company’s presence to its customer base, eventually to its market. It always pays to build a stronger relationship with existing customers.

Post-sales follow up is a way for the company to ensure customer satisfaction. And with the feedback given by their clients, they’ll be able to find new ways to improve their business. In doing so, not only will they be able to cater to their existing market better, but also their target market as a whole. The little things add up, and that’s what post-sales follow up is all about.

Elsewhere on this blog:

5 Ways Customer Feedback Can Help Grow Your Business

Business 101: How to Widen Customer Network Using Social Media

Should You Outsource Your Customer Service?

Be Locally Famous: Six Strategies for Budding Businesses

Every entrepreneur wants massive reach in business, to be recognized internationally. However, there’s the first hurdle of local promotion; you can’t reach beyond borders if you’ve yet to be recognized within your own.

Your target market may be small and local, but it’s a good start. Introduce products and services in ways that stand out in a saturated market; if you’re building awareness before familiarity, then your locale is the best place to start. It’s your springboard to recognition.

The process is more involved than these six strategies, but you’re guaranteed on the right track if you work on your own pace:

1. Befriend business reporters

Media is one of the most influential means of relaying information to the public. If you acquaint with business reporters and establish a good relationship with them, it’s drumming up a buzz about your business. There are plenty of publications focusing on stories about local businesses, platforms where your enterprise can be put in a spotlight. The relationship is mutual, because business reporters also need consultants from different industries; lend your expertise pro bono to build rapport, foster a good connection.

2. Contribute content to business publications

Once you’ve developed relationship with business reporters, they’ll eventually want your industry experience and learning published, shared with their audience. You’ll have opportunities to introduce your products and services through your contributions, promoting these to larger, new communities. And if your output earns good feedback from readers, you can expect repeated requests along the way. Who knows, you might even become a regular, syndicated contributor.

3. Nominate your business (and your team) for local awards

Business publications find ways to highlight new and different aspects of industries; there’s always something of interest to cover. Publications will push content as long as there’s community readership. You can leverage this by nominating your business for local awards; use search engines to scout for local institutions, award-giving bodies suitable for your business. Even if you’re not at par with the other nominees, there’s still benefit in being nominated.

4. Expand your network at industry events; establish your business’s presence

Networking is proactively acquainting with your colleagues, to discuss your products and services, your team and business prospects. Through networking, business relationships are being established from one entrepreneur to the next. Attending networking events helps you locally promote your enterprise, with opportunities to introduce your merchandise to broader markets, especially to your potential customers.

Your network strategy must be focused on events relevant to your business, if you want to be exposed to the right crowd. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, money and effort, making the most of every mismatch.

5. Broaden your relationships

Build on your network by engaging the outer branches; friends of friends, people you know who could be well-connected. Don’t restrict yourself to people who fit the profile of a good connection; random introductions sometimes lead to great partnerships. Broaden your relationships with people, and capitalize on your network’s reach.

6. Impress your customers

Your market is primary consideration in doing business. As entrepreneur, prioritize your customers and you’re ensured healthy relationship. Customers and clients are your largest marketing resource; you can’t underestimate the reach of word-of-mouth, especially on social media. Maintain communication with your market, appreciate their business. Treat them better, serve them well. If you leave a good impression, you’re guaranteed repeat business from customers who’ll also bring in their networks into the fold.

Expect you’ll juggle several or all of these strategies, and it takes time to get the hang of things. Your goal is to grow local, so it pays to move at your own pace. Satisfy your customers, develop your products and services; earn referrals, new business opportunities. Gain and maintain your edge over competitors.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Six Strategies to Maximize Your Business Profits

Four Outsourcing Challenges Your Business Needs to Hurdle

Build Stronger Teams on an Infrastructure of Shared Services

iStaff Outsourcing 2011

If you already have a well-planned project with specific scope and timeframe, then a project-based approach to hiring offshore staff can save you a lot of money while boosting your efficiency and productivity. iStaff will work with you to carefully determine your project’s specifications, such as how soon exactly you want the project to be completed. We will then follow that plan from day one and make sure your staff submits deliverables on-time and under the predefined parameters. This setup works best if you don’t anticipate any changes to your project or if you have a very short or simple project that you simply need to get done fast but with high-quality results.