|The Peppers and Rogers Group is online at Marketing 1to1.|
Too many businesses, small and large, expect their Web site to be a source of new customers. But why does a random prospect deserve more attention than your loyal customers?
Instead, it's far easier to use the Internet to work with your current customers. You already interact in some way with your clientele through product deliveries, invoices, telephone calls, mailings, training, or product support. Adding a Web site to your roster of communication methods lets you reinforce your one-to-one service in a supercharged way.
Consider the example of Kids 'R' Kids, a rapidly growing daycare center based in Marietta, Ga.
The Kids 'R' Kids center, which cares for 130 children ages six weeks to twelve years old, uses the Web to let clients watch their children during the day.
Owner Elaine Kamienny installed 13 video cameras from ParentNet's KinderCam system throughout her center, and gave parents access to a special area on the Web to be able to see what their kids are doing at any given moment. Images are refreshed every five seconds, with plans for a real-time system soon.
Kamienny doesn't charge extra for this added service, instead citing it as "another example that we are a center of influence." She estimates that about 80% of parents access daycare images over the Web and she believes it helps them feel more connected to their kids.
Kids 'R' Kids recognized the real power of the Web, which is to develop deeper relationships with the customers it already has.
In fact, the Web provides the most cost-efficient method ever invented for interacting with customers. Even when you're sleeping, your Web site can be gathering information about the needs of individual customers and helping to satisfy those needs.
Every business can use the Web to focus on their existing customers. Here are a few ways:
Whichever ways your company chooses to use the Web, be sure you're using it to talk with customers, rather than at them.
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers are authors of the best-selling The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time. An excerpt of their second book, Enterprise One to One, appeared in the January 1997 issue of Inc. Peppers, Rogers, and Bruce Kasanoff are all partners in the Peppers and Rogers Group, based in Stamford, Conn.
The company's Web site Marketing 1to1 offers detailed information about one-to-one marketing techniques.