For the past few weeks, a quality website has been the core of our articles. We've emphasized how websites can help product manufacturers reach the right audience and engage prospects.
These reasons alone are essential for having a quality website, but one aspect that most manufacturers do not consider is that a robust, interactive website can improve business operations. Here's how.
Streamline Operations with a Robust, Interactive Website
A quality website can ultimately replicate or replace many actions normally performed by various departments such as Marketing & Sales, Customer Service, Engineering, and even Accounting.
Leveraging a website to perform in place or assist these departments can result in a reduction of overhead hours while actually providing a higher level of support to your prospects and customers. How, you ask? Through various tools such as:
- Content Management System (CMS) Tools
- Content Rich, Interactive Product Catalog
- CAD/Configuration Tool Component
- Integration with Back Office Systems
Robust, Interactive Website as Departments
Getting new products to market can be a long and tedious process. With a quality website and a Content Management System (CMS), product manufacturers have the ability get information online fast by instantaneously adding webpages for new products and updating old pages with new product information. With information online, search engines can drive traffic to your website ASAP. Waiting for a new product catalog update or sales people to promote products on the field are a thing of the past. A CMS allows flexibility and can help keep your company and product information fresh and always up to date. This ultimately benefits your company and your prospects.
Customer service is typically inundated with calls each day, many of which are simple product questions. By setting up a website to answer frequently asked questions and consist of relevant product information and updates, customer service can focus on calls that actually need time and attention. Additionally, your website will become a resource of information and aid in qualifying your company. A functional website with an interactive product catalog, filtering/configuration tools, as well as ecommerce can help a customer find exactly what theyre looking for and make a purchase seamlessly. Instead of having to hire another customer service agent which can cost you, leverage your website and see the number of customer service calls decrease while customer satisfaction and support increase.
From customer service, you can begin to see the effect a quality website can have on serving a customers needs while reducing customer service assistance. A website can also serve as a lead generator by attracting the right people. A quality website with detailed, fresh and relevant content has a greater potential of appearing on search engines like Google and BING. This is typically referenced as search engine, content optimization. For more information on search engine, content optimization and how product manufacturers can appear more favorably on the search engines, click here.
In order for a website to truly be a lead generator, it must consist of easily searchable/configurable, product content. In todays online environment, clients are researching first before involving sales or making a purchase. A websites functionality can replicate customer service or the sales person by guiding prospects to find what they are looking for. With robust functionality, a website can become a 24/7 salesperson without having to pay the salary and commission to add another salesperson.
Engineers go online to source for exact product information to specify products into their design. By making your website functional with an interactive product catalog fully equipped with configuration tools, 2D/3D CAD model, and even sales drawing generation, you make it easier for engineers to specify your products. Usually this process would require engineering involvement to discuss exact product requirements and specification, then taking hours to days to provide the respective CAD models. With CAD and parametric configuration online tools, a prospect can find exactly what they are looking for in minutes.
Normally all transactions are sent to accounting manually. A quality website with ecommerce functionality can easily be setup to track and automatically send purchase orders to back office accounting systems. There is less human error involved and all transactions are accounted for.
Overall, a fully functional, quality website helps most departments save time and resources while being a significant medium of education and commerce for prospects. By providing the necessary information and functionality, product manufacturers can optimize their operations and provide prospects with a positive, successful experience.