Your first reaction to this title would perhaps be one of shock and awe. You would be thinking: Am I reading this right? Am I in the right place? Has the writer posted this article in an ecommerce space instead of in a medical one? Not to worry –you are very much in the right place and we are talking about a topic that very much relates to your business. In fact, it relates to the heart of your ecommerce business, which is all about listening to your customer.
Hearing your faceless customers?
This seems a little paradoxical. On the one hand, you are running a business in which you hardly ever get to see your customer. On the other, you are being exhorted to listen to what she says. How does an ecommerce business do this? Listening to the customer is not about getting her at your place and asking her what she feels about your ecommerce business. It is about gauging her likes and dislikes by closely following and discerning her buying patterns. This is what is meant by listening to your customer.
In this lies the secret of success in an ecommerce business. In fact, the secret to any business success is in providing what the customer wants; an ecommerce business has the unique opportunity of finding out the customer’s needs without ever getting intrusive or interfering. This is a unique chance to convert a potential challenge into an opportunity.
Go beyond routine work
Any ecommerce business that thinks of ecommerce as being a site on which it despatches received orders is short-sighted, to say the least. This is a banal, quotidian part of an ecommerce business. It is at best a process which in itself gets you nowhere. If you want to be successful at ecommerce, the critical point is in understanding your customer. This is what is meant by hearing her out.
You can always ask your customer to take a survey and fill out a questionnaire to get a feel of what she feels. But come to think of it. Which customer would have the patience to fill out your forms? This is fine once in a way, and is preferably best done after the purchase is over, just as a means of finding out what she felt about the service. But hearing your customer is more than even this. This implies keeping an ear to the ground and perceptively and objectively analysing her every need. This does not happen overnight; it may take quite some time of being in the business to get a good grasp of the customer’s intimate needs, but is a practice any ecommerce business that wants to do well has to adapt. This is what is going to distinguish between a successful business and an also-ran.
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