Running a successful business requires dedication, hard work and a commitment to providing something that your potential customers can’t find with another company. My company, AutoMatStore, has enjoyed a lot of success since it was first created, but that success didn’t just happen overnight. It had to be generated through plenty of planning, preparation, and patience.
If you’re thinking about starting your own online automotive business, you’ll need to know a few things to ensure that you’ll be as successful as possible.
The quality of your products really does count. Whether you’re offering discount auto air fresheners, custom seat covers, leather accents for the dash or something else, you need to make sure that your customers aren’t disappointed when they open the package. Satisfied customers tell their friends and family about their experience with your company, and strong word of mouth marketing is worth more than all the paid advertising you’ll ever do.
One of the most important lessons we learned running AutoMatStore is the need to really stand behind your commitment to customer satisfaction. In a way, this is the best chance you have to make your company stand out from all the rest. There are plenty of competing companies out there offering the same type of product as you – and your customer service is how you differentiate yourself from the competitors. Make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to make your customers’ experiences positive, enjoyable and streamlined. Be transparent in everything. Be honest, upfront and take care of questions, complaints and suggestions as soon as possible. A proactive stance toward customer service can be enormously rewarding.
Create Simple Websites
For online websites, you have tons of design options available to choose from, but remember to stay simple. Overly complicated designs, layouts and navigation systems will turn off potential customers. With my company, one way we were able to make navigation simpler was by implementing three ways to find what the customer wanted – we offer the ability to shop for floor mats by type, by brand and by vehicle. The navigation is easy to read and easy to use, with no complicated steps involved.
Your goal is to make it easy for them to find what they want and then pay for it – if your website design is too complicated, potential buyers are going to leave and go somewhere else. You can’t afford that. Every single website visitor is a potential customer. Make it easy for them to buy from you and they’ll reward you with business.
Make Valuable Information Available
One of the things that today’s consumer wants is access to information – and they don’t want to pay for it, either. You can set your company apart from others by providing vital information about your products or services, the buying process, selecting the right product or something else. For example, if you are searching for information on All Weather Floor Mats, the “Floor Mats by Type” has a yellow sticky note that links to a free guide on choosing the right mats for your car. That has been a huge element in our success, and our customers love the fact that we help them make the right decision for their needs, rather than forcing them to “go it alone”. We also make it easy for our customers to contact us; we explain our return policy clearly and even provide free color swatches through the mail.
In the end, your success hinges on how well you serve your customers, the value that you can offer them and your ability to stand out from your competitors. Make it count!
About the Author:
Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto flooring company based out Columbia, Missouri. Before AutoMatStore, Elfrink was the operator of an automotive production site. AutoMatStore focuses on all-weather, logo, carpeted and molded car mats.