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2017/12/26

Make a site for existing customers

Helder Cervantes
Web Specialist
Your website can be much more important for your business if it solves actual problems and benefits your current clients rather than focusing on new ones.

If you're making a new website for your company, chances are you're doing it to increase new business, to appeal to more clients. This is not only the most common motivation for making a website, it's often the only motivation. But you could be wasting your money and an opportunity to make something more relevant.

Postlaunchum depression

So you've spent a bunch of money making an awesome website. The design is gorgeous, it looks great on your smartphone and you're really happy with the result. You've spent a week showing it to your friends, family, clients and colleagues and you're showered with praise. Another week passes, the praise tones down. Then another week goes by and it stops completely. You realise you've shown it to everyone on your contacts list and now you notice that the contact form hasn't been filled once. You look at the stats, see a peak at launch, then a ramp down, and no new clients calling or emailing you.

You've made an awesome site for new clients, but what use does it have for those who know you already?

The majority of websites are so focused on new-business that they serve no purpose at all for the existing client base. With the exception of updating product catalogues or the forgotten phone number, there's no reason to visit again.

Sites as tools for your business

Have you ever ordered a pizza online? Isn’t it much better than doing it over the phone? You just pop that site on, choose your ingredients, or even better just repeat your last order, and 30 minutes later your doorbell rings.

That site isn’t made for people who google pizza. It’s made to simplify the relationship with the client, to be a cog in the business engine. It’s built for something much more important and profitable than getting people to try their pizza for the first time. It’s competing to make it easier and more convenient for you to order that pie again instead of cooking your own dinner. That will get them the best kind of money, the kind that comes in again and again.

But a pizza place’s website is perhaps too obvious as an example. Let me show you something more “businessy”.

Rimaa’s web tool

Rimaa is the ultimate B2B company. It’s one of those that the regular Joe doesn’t even know exists. They get wood products and building materials from suppliers to builders. They are middle men that manage orders and move things from A to B. Their site is basic with zero eye-candy and that’s all they need.

In 2017, Go Design called me in to make them a web-app that became the central hub between Rimaa, its agents and clients. Everyday they have to keep track and report on a number orders. There was a shared spreadsheet that was regularly updated and a lot of phone calls and emails to check the status of orders.

The solution we’ve built for them is super simple. That spreadsheet is still there and the people who update it didn’t even have to change their way of working, but now there’s also a website that connects to that spreadsheet and lets everyone (clients and agents) check the status of their orders. A user logs in, sees the list of active orders, taps to check the details, and that’s it. Agents get an extra step to select one of their clients and see their orders. You can’t register as a new client, can’t place an order, change or cancel it. Maybe such features will be considered in the future, but for now just the checking of orders is enough to significantly reduce the number of contacts while keeping clients up to date.

The interface was designed with smartphones in mind, but works just as well on PCs.The interface was designed with smartphones in mind, but works just as well on PCs.

Rimaa is not going to get any new clients with this tool, but I’d argue they’re getting something equally, if not more important: Better service. The kind of improvement that frees time and steps up the company’s game, keeping clients happy and present.

Wrapping up

It’s said that it costs 7 times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. Give that some thought and ponder what your website can do for your business other than competing for customer acquisition.

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