Monday, November 20, 2006

Adding a Human Touch to the Internet

When we first launched FundingUniverse, we used LogoWorks (Highly recommended!) to find a good graphic designer. The entire sale took place online -- choose a package, enter your credit card info, done. It was a pretty typical experience up until that point.

Within 1/2 hour we received a 5-minute phone call from a LogoWorks representative who ensured that we understood the process and offered us a discount on another package, which we declined.

I couldn't have felt more valued by LogoWorks. It totally impressed me and taught me an important lesson that I have often overlooked:

People need people -- even on the internet.

Most internet companies shy away from adding a human touch to their user experience because it is too capital intensive. Understandable.

However, a growing number of internet companies have proven that adding a simple customer service phone call after the sale can increase customer retention and revenues.

Two of those companies are here in Utah County: Ancestry.com and Doba. Both companies increased their revenues many times over by adding customer service calls to their user experience. The massive number of subscribers that these companies have proves that the process is scalable -- contrary to what most online companies believe and practice. I have inside info that two of the largest subscription sites on the web have begun experimenting with courtesy calls to their new subscribers.

At FundingUniverse we're following the lead of these great companies by adding a human touch to our customer experience. Every entrepreneur who posts a business plan on our site has been receiving a courtesy call from one of our representatives to ensure that the entrepreneur understands what we do and how get the most out of FundingUniverse. The response so far has been fantastic.

Can you add a human touch to your internet business?

What other internet companies have added human touch to their users' experience?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt that Ancestry will be able to do too many more of those courtesy calls, since they've just drastically downsized their call center. Live and learn, or so you would think.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I heard about their downsizing and I'm not sure that it disproves the model. At one point, Ancestry's call center housed more than 600 callers. A drastic downsizing would still make Ancestry's call center strategy very aggressive by most standards. The future will tell us whether or not downsizing is the right thing for them to do.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Hanks said...

It has drastically changed our business. It's important to note that you also have to keep an eye on costs and the ultimate bottom line. We're planning some changes into the first part of 2007 because you have to make sure you're contacting the right customers. Some of our customers, in how they act, and what services they buy,make it more conducive to the more common electronic/self help/scalable contact methods of Internet companies.

Good post.

Jeremy @ Doba

12:40 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Great insight, Jeremy. Thanks for the comment.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Outright Logos said...

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6:33 AM  
Anonymous Shashikant Verma said...

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3:26 AM  

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