Mara s.r.l. is renewing its on-line site which will become a mean of great contacts and dialogue with its readers. . MARA’s business has always been supported by direct dealings with its customers: conversation at first, phone calls then, up to the Internet and e-mails now. The new web site and a brand-new Facebook page will transfer, from now on, the connection with customers to the digital world so the dialogue will keep on being one of the firm’s main resources.
We interviewed the man who has from the beginning believed in the power of dialogue: MARA’s managing director Mr. Gianmario DELSIGNORE. Here what he said:
How long have you been surfing the Internet? Why do you surf it and what for?
I’ve been surfing the Internet since 1999. At that time we got from the U.S. the first news about this huge web which fostered contacts among surfers; actually, in the beginning it was used mainly as a mail service.
What do you like most about the Internet and do you think it is helpful for your business?
Well, the Internet is an inexhaustible source of any kind of cultural, technical and commercial information and of amusement: you can find a good restaurant, you can get its address and, through Google Earth, you can find out its location and the best way to get there; also you can watch videos and photos…in other words: you can “be” into that restaurant even if you’ve never been there! If you need specific information about something, you can look it up on Wikipedia. If you’re looking for a good school or a specialized physician or a train timetable, you can easily find them in the Web.
I wonder how we could survive before the Internet! I remember all that paper..!
Business was made on the phone and we also travelled a lot. Now, thanks to the Internet, we have a global market and we get the chance to contact anyone anytime anywhere in the world. But you must have visibility.
What kind of dialogue is usually established between supplier and customer?
The customer tries at first to study the supplier’s moves and all of his questions have to be answered: he wants to account for the product and if it fulfills his requirements, he wants to know all about the applied technology and, last but not least, he wants to know if the price is consistent to his budget..
Little by little the seller has to win the customer’s confidence and then the two, having finally achieved a good grade of mutual esteem, can come to an agreement.
Sometimes, on the contrary, the seller is too accessible and the customer becomes distrustful, he can suspect a deception. As our old people said: “too much is too much”. You know what? I realize now, while I’m talking, that sometimes even I can lose a customer, in spite of my long-standing experience, because I’m too helpful and, at the end, I can’t understand why he doesn’t buy anything. I think, at first, that “that customer” doesn’t understand me, so I offload the failure onto him, but then I realize that it’s all my fault: the customer is like a guest at home and he deserves to be handled with kid gloves.
When the digital dialogue completely replaces the traditional one, will business change in your opinion?
The Internet, e-mails and chat or forum lines will make easier getting in touch with younger people but less young people want a direct contact: they want to look the other person in the eye, they believe in feelings. The digital world is useful to start a first contact but afterwards, in my opinion, during the following buying negotiations, there must be a personal direct contact so that the customer can be completely satisfied.