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Turning around time burglars

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Tuesday June 30, 2009 )

Have you ever had an ongoing debate with a customer or peer via email that’s sucked up a lot of your time and wound up being more frustrating than fruitful? Here’s how to turn it into something more constructive and possibly profitable.

The sites I’m involved with at the moment see around 20,000 visitors a day all told – that translates to millions of unique visitors a year. They cover a variety of topics, at times controversial.

It’s not unusual to get emails from people contesting a point. They’ll often briefly state their views, I’ll address the points and usually that’s as far as it goes. There’s not too much time involved. But occasionally you’ll hit someone who states their views in a thousand word communication or in a really nit-picky way.

You could spend a great deal of time in a reply to that person, addressing all their points. However, it’s likely that won’t be the end of the story, nor will it be the only such debate. There’s also questions you’ll be asked over and over and over again.

Time is such a precious thing – once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. It’s not just time with a dollar value and time spent away from other core activities in your online business, it’s a chunk of your life that you’ll never get back.

“You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.”
Time – Pink Floyd.

Instead of focusing all that time – and your life – on a single person whom you may never communicate with again, write a reply in the form of a blog post or article, or add it to an FAQ and let the person know. You can utilize the person’s question/s/comments as part of the content; leaving anything personally identifiable out of course.

That way, you’ll not only address the person’s question or challenge, but you’ll also have some fresh content for your site that can help with conversions and be yet another ticket in the search engine ranking lottery. Should you strike that same debate again, a brief note and a link to the post or article is all you need.


Dealing with aggressive online customers


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