If you already have a website you know how much of an asset it is to your company. Websites are the online portal that connects customers to your business at their convenience.

When building and designing websites it’s important to think like the customer, keeping in mind the best way to suit their needs and making their interaction with your brand as enjoyable as possible. One way to reach these objectives is to maximize the services offered on your website and eliminate the hassle of a middle man. Below is a list of 10 improvements you can make to your website to increase the efficiency of your business.

Services to Offer Through Your Website

1. Online Appointment Scheduling

Businesses in the healthcare industry in particular can truly benefit from incorporating appointment scheduling into their websites, but truly any business that operates on daily appointments with a large customer base could use this. Online appointment scheduling eliminates the need for over the phone conversations that may result in miscommunication.

This service benefits both the business and the customer; employees can spend more time assisting clients with more complicated matters while the customers who simply want to schedule an appointment don’t have to worry about getting through to a receptionist during the busy 9 to 5 workday. They can easily access your site at any time of day to schedule an appointment and leave with confirmation and a visual display of the exact time and day of the appointment.

2. Event Registration

Event Registration

The Relay for Life website has a clear call to action on the homepage of their website requesting visitors to sign up for an event near them.

From non-profit organizations and fundraisers, to small local business and national brands, online event registration is another way to make life easier for the public. Whether your company hosts several events or one big event each year, online registration for the event is a quick and easy way for participants to confirm their involvement and pay any necessary fees associated with the event.

Instead of sending out registration forms by mail, which requires extra effort from participants to mail it back, online registration is extremely cost-effective and simple. A company even has the opportunity to recruit more participants for the event when using online registration forms because they can simply include a link to the registration page of their website on social media or in emails.

3. Calendaring

Calendaring

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center website features an events calendar, making it easy to see when special events are taking place. When you hover your mouse over an event, a description of the event pops up.

If your company hosts multiple events per month that involve attendance by your clients or customers, creating an online calendar detailing the time, day and location of each event could be extremely beneficial. Your customers lead busy lives too and this feature will help keep both your employees and clients on schedule. Being able to see when each event is taking place on an online calendar would also be useful for determining if a certain week is overloaded and for deciding when the next event should take place.

4. Newsletter Integration

If you already take the time to compose and compile content for an e-newsletter, you should consider repurposing that content in a section of your website. This makes the content available not only to those who subscribe to your newsletter but also to people who are just discovering your business. This section of your website then becomes a resource containing useful and educational content, positioning your company as an industry expert.

5. Online Bill Pay

If your business feels that going green is part of your corporate social responsibility, paperless statements are a trend that customers are likely already familiar with. Not only is offering an online payment system environmentally friendly, it’s also very convenient for customers.

6. Online Ordering

Online Ordering

Rost is a landscaping company that allows customers to order mulch and rock from their website.

If you let your customers pay for your products and services online, why not allow them to order online too?! This technology dominant society we currently live in is filled with people who love being able to complete their to-do list from the comfort of their own home. Online shopping and ordering means visitors are likely to spend more time perusing your website than they would if your products were strictly offered in-store or on-site.

7. Online Forms

Businesses that require customers to complete a form before beginning an appointment or a meeting ought to consider making those forms available in an electronic version on their website. This would allow customers to complete the sometimes complicated forms ahead of time, leaving them stress-free before the appointment. Both forms that are filled out and submitted online and forms that are printed and filled out by hand can save valuable time and ensure that appointments begin and end on schedule.

8. Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get a lot of the same questions over and over again from your customers? If so, keep track of those questions, have an expert from your company write up easy-to-understand responses, and then post the information to an FAQ section on your website. While this may seem like a lot of work to begin with, it’ll actually save your employees time down the road. Instead of repeatedly explaining the same thing to your customers simply direct them to your FAQs to see if they can gain a better understanding on their own.

9. Tutorials (especially Videos)

Tutorials

MayeCreate uploads video tutorials to YouTube that guide our clients or potential customers through various tasks or help explain industry related concepts.

If you find that some of your FAQs would be better answered with a visual component, offering tutorials on your website may be the way to go. Video tutorials are meant to act as educational resources for your customers to reference. You can do product demonstrations, explain how to use a product or service, or answer common questions related to your business or industry.

Creating video tutorials doesn’t require fancy equipment. You can use Google Hangouts to record yourself, show a step-by-step demonstration, or walk people through a PowerPoint presentation.

10. Live Chat

If it makes sense for your company and you have the manpower to operate a live chat feature on your website, this is another service you can offer to your visitors. Live chats allow visitors to your website to communicate directly with an expert from your company in order to solve their problems. One of the main benefits of live chats is providing the customer with instant feedback and assistance. (Plus customers tend to appreciate live chats because they’re extremely convenient and don’t require them to listen to bad music while on hold.)

As you can see, websites can serve a variety of functions that help enhance your business as well as the experience of your visitors. Whether you’re in the process of planning your website or looking to improve one you already have, think like the customer to figure out what services to offer online.

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