In another post nearby I talk about the internet as a mode of contact with the customers. I get a lot of push back on this from distributors and dealers. They say that they will lose control of the customer. I couldn’t disagree more.
In the equipment world let’s suppose we have a market capture rate close to 30%, which for many of you is very generous. The fact that you are worried about losing control of your customer now after having lost 70% of them is rather odd isn’t it? But let’s explore the mystical world of the internet.
With the XML protocol you can now track the cursor as it moves around the screen. So here we have a customer browsing in the evening, when you are closed, looking at your website. They are looking for a part for one of their machines. They go to your parts menu and find that there is access to electronic catalogues. They enter the model and serial number of the machine for which they want or need parts. That takes them to the table of contents. They select a section of the machine, for instance the engine, and a schematic of the engine appears on the screen asking what they are looking for in the engine. They can take the cursor to a section of the engine and enlarge the schematic so that they can see the specific part numbers. They can then select a part number and have it go into a shopping cart. Once they are finished they can go to their shipping cart and obtain price and availability information. They can place an order or they can leave the process.
The next morning with good analytics you will know who looked, what they looked at, for how long they looked, did they check prices, did they check availability and did they place an order or not. If there was no order placed then you call then and offer to help or ask what they wanted. This is much more and much better quality customer contact. Don’t you think? The time is now.