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Ecommerce is not about selling

by Claudie Clot, CEO of advancis.com


3. A giant step towards profitability

Of course, in the end, the ecommerce system you develop to satisfy the needs of your customers must be profitable. The good news is that focusing on achieving customer satisfaction and achieving profitability go hand in hand (the former eventually leading to the latter).

Inevitably, satisfied customers come back for more. If you have done your job very well, they might even convince friends and family members to shop on your site. This is exactly what made EarthLink/Mindspring one of the largest ISPs in the World. The company makes an extraordinary effort to achieve complete customer satisfaction. Remarkably, a large portion of the business it gains comes from word of mouth. A smart way to reduce acquisition costs.

But for this approach to produce any significant results, there must be a sincere commitment from everyone involved in your ecommerce effort to achieving customer satisfaction. The dedication to achieving complete customer satisfaction transpires throughout Mindspring's organization. From the company's core values to ad campaigns, everything at Mindspring revolves around making the customer happy or, as someone else might put it, meeting the customer's needs before and after the sale. In 1999, Mindspring achieved the highest mark in all 7 categories used to measure customer satisfaction in the ISP category. You can do the same.
Useful links:

1. Recommended reading The Loyalty Effect : The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value
Frederick F. Reichheld, Thomas Teal (Contributor). Harvard Business School Press, 1996; ISBN: 0875844480
2. Learn more about Mindspring J.D. Power and Associates National ISP Online Residential Customer Satisfaction Study
3. Build customer-driven sites Online Advantage


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