Re: QUERY: trying to increase website use by our customers

Subject: Re: QUERY: trying to increase website use by our customers
From: "Regina Lynn Preciado" <rlp -at- wwwritingonline -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 09:42:59 -0800

- If the company really wants to commit to this, add a message board where
customers can help each other, and that your support techs visit daily to
post answers. Customers see that the company is paying attention when the
company participates in its own boards. At the same time, customers can help
each other w/o tying up a support rep every time. However, seeding and
growing a community like this takes time & effort and many new-to-the-Web
companies don't want to put the resources into it at first.

- Provide detailed instructions, with drawings/animations/video, for how to
put equipment together, start it up, shut it down, routine maintenance
tasks, etc. But don't JUST use animation or video; respect that some folks
will be on dial-up connections. Include a printer-friendly page of text &
line drawings for each multimedia demo.

- Announcements of new & upcoming products, improvements, systems, services.
But not in marketese. Make it conversational and concise.

- Let customers know how soon they'll receive their RMA number, service
code, etc after they fill out the online request form. Instantly is best,
but if that can't happen, tell 'em that they'll have the # within 12 or 24
hours. And deliver, of course.

- Give customers different paths to support. An online form, an email
address, a toll-free phone number, an owl.

- Include the URL on all pieces of company communciation: product packaging,
manuals, business cards, letterhead, the "all reps are busy now, you're
valuable, remain on the line, or go to our Web site at blah blah blah"
recording, tattooed on the sales reps' foreheads.

- Optional email newsletter containing tips & tricks for getting the most
out of the equipment.

I'm a Web producer as well as a tech writer; if you'd like to send me your
URL off-list, I'd be happy to look at what you have already. I'm assuming
you're not, the custom corvette wheel manufacturer in
Tustin, CA.



Regina Lynn Preciado
If I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat
-- Lyle Lovett


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