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A continuous real-time commercial relationship : the omnipresent customer

Internet users complain constantly about the slowness of data transmission online. It's true that a page takes on average between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to load, so you can't usually consult more than about 100 different documents per hour (excluding reading time), which is much less than in all other media.

But Internet's strength doesn't lie here. Before you've finished reading this page, two new sites will have been created online, and tens of thousands others updated, hundreds of new products will have been launched, thousands of companies will have changed the prices of their goods, up-to-date information on your field of activity will be available to the whole world at a mouse-click, thousands of internauts will have reacted and transferred the information they've just received to partners on the other side of the planet.

Making information internationally available in a matter of a few seconds, where previously hours or even days were needed, this is Internet's strength. But the implications for businesses cut both ways ...

As a general rule, it has been observed that customers increasingly expect immediate replies to their questions (requests for estimates, complaints, orders). When they first start to use Internet, they are impressed when they receive a reply in a matter of hours, a wonder at the marvels of technology. But they soon become accustomed to it, and become even more demanding ; they don't understand companies who don't reply immediately, and will chose a competitor who is able to satisfy their request for information. This phenomena sometimes reaches astonishing proportions, to the point where Regis MacKenna sees it as the key issue of the problem of electronic commerce in REAL TIME: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer (Harvard Business School Press, August 1997).

In the same way, in the United States, when an event takes place (the launch of a new product, the publication of quarterly results), Internet users automatically connect to the Website of the company where they think they'll find further developments on the information they first heard by other means. If they don't find anything, they are disappointed. A Website must not only be updated in real time but must give access to complete information.


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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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