They say the key to any good healthy relationship is communication. I could not agree more with this statement. Many of you may not look at the retail store owner to customer as a relationship but it most certainly is just that. Like any other relationship these also require time, effort and most importantly COMMUNICATION. It is far too easy for E-commerce store owners to silently hide behind the digital wall that is their website and not acknowledge a customer’s concerns. How many of you have had this scenario play out where the customer ordered a product through your website only to find out it is no longer in stock. This is a prime opportunity to reach out to a customer and see if you can help meet or possibly exceed their needs in another way. E-mail them or even better call them up. Thank them for their business and offer them a viable alternative. Maybe you will sell them something else and maybe you won’t. What is important here is you will be showing them a higher level of customer service than most see in dealing with web based businesses and you are building that relationship. In taking that little time out you will be giving the customer a positive view of yourself and your store. You will also be given the opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the products being sold in turn building that ever elusive customer confidence. This all goes a long ways the next time they are surfing the web looking to make their next purchase. I will go a step further on the topic. Let’s say you are late in delivering a package to a customer or for one reason or another it will not be there at all. Do not under any circumstances make your customer wonder what is going on and make them contact you as a result…trust me they will be upset with you at this point. The better mindset or approach is “bad news is still better than no news”. If you are proactive and contact the customer first and give them honest information you will serve yourself well in the ways of damage control. Things do go wrong or change from time to time and people understand that much better if you are upfront about it in the first place. Remember everyone has a voice on the internet these days and if you don’t communicate with your customers they will “communicate” about their experience on every social media, forum and blog outlet they can get their hands on. So speak up and reach out to your customers and let them know you care. Good communication can help preserve and grow your business to new heights.