IT, New Media & Software

Thursday, 12 June 2008 16:23

Quick Online Solutions to a Healthier Company

{pp}A healthy company is one that keeps its staff and has its customers coming back for more. The healthier a company is, the lower its staff and client turnover. It stands to reason that happy staff and satisfied customers have no reason to go elsewhere. Turnover is not only expensive; it’s also counter-productive and unhealthy. The key to reducing it? Communication. That’s neither an epiphany nor a practical solution.

However, communication isn’t a one-way street. It’s about listening just as much as it is about talking. After all, how would you know whether your clients or customers and staff were unhappy in the first place if you weren’t proactively listening? The Internet is a useful and affordable way to listen and react.

Francois Botha, head of quickOnline, a specialist Cape Town based digital marketing company that makes online simple, provides us with three practical tips on how organisations of all sizes can harness the power of the Internet to improve corporate wellbeing.

Botha’s top three simple online tips to a healthier organisation:

1. Measure: Well done. You have an intranet site for staff and website for customers. Are you tracking what they are doing online? Do you have a feedback section which is manned and are you reacting to requests for information? “By tracking activity, we understand how staff and consumers are using the resource you’ve provided. It shows whether they’re finding the information that they are looking for and how they go about doing it – an excellent measure to the effectiveness of your site. Logging user activity can provide valuable insight into your consumers or staff and measures the effectiveness of your communication efforts. There are numerous ways to do this technically but ensure that measurement and metrics are included in your design brief from the outset. And, ensure that you obtain regular reports,” recommends Botha.

2. Mine: “A corporate website is similar to a property development. By mining the data that you collect on intranet and website activity, it’s easy to see how much time is being spent, which information is the most valued or downloaded and how these visitors are finding you. It is also relatively easy to find out the location of your most valuable piece of real estate - which is extremely useful when wanting to communicate special or urgent news. The information that you collect essentially needs to be mined and translated into consumer behaviour at a practical level. In this way, you can ascertain whether your site is working for you as another channel to market or whether you need to make adjustments to items such as navigation. Better still, practically understanding what the visitors to your site are doing will also indicate whether the content that you provide is topical, relevant and deep enough to warrant repeat traffic. Discuss stickiness factor with your design company and ensure that you have enough content and functionality to have everyone coming back for a second viewing at least,” continues Botha.

3. Engage. Botha moves onto explain that it is relatively simple to create a feedback section on website. “The future of marketing is about customer relationship management. A healthy company communicates proactively with its customers and the Internet makes it especially easy. The first step is to ensure that you have subscribe functionality on a website. You may or you may not have a weekly or monthly newsletter but I hope that you’ll get one eventually. Remember that you’ll need a database of consumers to launch it to when you’re ready. With the strict anti-spam legislation, it’s best to start building-up your database now by adding this functionality as soon as possible. New technology automates databases for you making it that much easier to manage. You can also use the Internet to communicate with your customers or staff by asking them for their opinion on something such as your latest advertising campaign or effectiveness of your website, by inviting them to tell you about themselves through a questionnaire or welcoming feedback. If you’re serious about engaging them online, entice them into communication by incentivising their participation through a competition,” he says.

“The Internet is no longer a directory of online brochures. Thank heavens. Web 2.0 has resulted in the development of some amazing applications and tools that empower us all to interact and share on a one-to-many, one-to-one and even many-to-one basis like never before. The Internet has proven itself to be the most interactive and most dynamic of all media genres time and time again. Better still, it makes the gathering of data and targeting of messages a comparative synch. All that we really need to do is get better at listening, whether it be to staff or customers, then analysing and acting. On an ongoing basis that is. Invest in making the Internet work for you and thereby invest in reducing staff and customer turnover,” concludes Botha.

Cape Town based quickOnline is a specialist digital marketing company that creates & manages online reputations by harnessing the power of the Internet. Its proprietary consultation model creates platforms to digitally connect, innovate, create, interact & grow through a process referred to as the quickening. In short, quickOnline makes online a simple yet deadly-effective weapon of choice in the marketing arsenal…affordably. Started in 2004, quickOnline is headed-up by Francois Botha who remains intimately involved in the client management process. Experience the quickening.

Contact Information:
T: +27 (0)21 422 1735
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