Pros and Cons of Marketing to Past Clients

Every business has departed customers.

While some of them do not make any effort to win back their former customers, others try to promote their products to both existing and previous customers.

If you are wondering if it is a good idea to reach out to past clients, the information below can help you make the right decision.

 

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Pros of Marketing to Past Clients

Reduces Marketing Costs

Getting back a past customer is a lot more cost-effective than gaining a new one.

In order to gain new customers, you have to launch a new marketing campaign to increase brand visibility and convince people to purchase your products. This requires a substantial amount of time, effort and money.

Marketing to former clients, on the other hand, costs very little. Since you already have their contact information, all you need to do is call them or send them an email.

Requires Less Effort

Your former customers have tried your products or services before, and they have a better knowledge of your brand than new customers.

As such, you do not have to educate them about your products from scratch, which saves you considerable time and effort.

If you can find out why they stopped purchasing your products and make the necessary changes to meet their expectations, you will have a good chance of winning them back.

Provides an Opportunity to Increase Customer Loyalty

There are many reasons why your old customers decided to defect from your company, including high prices, unsatisfactory product quality and poor customer service.

By reaching out to them again, you are showing them that you value and wish to regain their patronage. If you are able to make improvements to your products and services, they will know that you are sincere about regaining their business, and they may become more loyal to you.

Qualified Components Limited is an example of a company that has succeeded in winning back departed customers.

Based in March, Cambridgeshire, this metal components manufacturer lost many customers because of poor pricing and inadequately trained sales staff.

After it refreshed its business plan, it was able to woo back its lost customers and gain new ones, increasing its market share by about 15 percent.

Cons of Marketing to Past Clients

May Undermine the Morale of Your Sales Staff

Departed clients who have been dissatisfied with your company may react negatively when you try to market to them.

Your sales representatives may have to deal with a lot of negativity and criticism when they contact your past customers. This can cause them to lose motivation and affect their overall performance.

Jeopardizes the Reputation of Your Company

If your past clients decide to buy from you again, they expect you to make certain changes to meet their needs. If you fail to meet their needs satisfactorily, it is likely that they will not patronize you again.

Customers who are very disappointed may make negative comments about your company and discourage other people from purchasing your products and/or services. This can cause significant damage to your company’s reputation whether you’re in the business of marketing real estate, advertising, and the advantages of using a wireless credit card machine to draw in more customers or touting the benefits of social media campaigns.

Marketing to past clients is a good way to expand your customer base, but it also involves certain risks. If you want to win back your old customers, you have to try to give them a better shopping experience.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, among which include small business management and marketing your business.


Did You Hire the Right Social Media Manager?

When it comes to your company’s choice of social media manager, there are a couple of obvious skills you want them to have.

Do they speak the language of social media fluently? Check. Do they understand your brand and how to promote it? Check.

But as social media grows more important to businesses, the role of the social media manager is maturing. Understanding both social media and your brand are still cornerstones of good social media management, but your social media manager needs to have a well-rounded set of skills.

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Here are the must-have skills that your social media manager should bring to the table…

Multiple Tasks at Hand

Social media offers your customers a way to connect instantly with your company. This is fantastic for building brand loyalty and having meaningful conversations with your customers. The flip side is that customers are quick to post their thoughts about your company for the world to see. Social media is a fast paced conversation, and part of the role of your social media manager is to make sure that conversation goes smoothly. From seeking out and solving problems to responding quickly to queries, your social media manager has their work cut out.

Be an Expert Team Player

Your social media manager must be able to work well with all members of your team. From the front line staff that pass on feedback to the marketing manager who tracks statistics, it’s vital that your social media manager works well with others. Understanding where social media fits into your brand’s marketing means that your social media manager will deliver a campaign that is integrated with your marketing, customer service, and your overall aims and objectives.

The Need for Excellent PR Skills

Now more than ever companies need great PR skills. It’s not enough to say the right things, good PR needs to solve problems and find resolutions. Your social media manager should have a knack for dealing with confused or downright irate customers and the diplomacy to pour oil on troubled waters in a way that boots, not bashes, your reputation. In addition, your social media manager needs a solid grasp of what to say and where to say it, discerning appropriate content, tone and focus for all social media posts.

Move Forward for 2014

Social media is quickly changing from a “could have” to a “must have”. More and more brands are on social media, and customers expect to find them there. Not only will your existing customers be looking for you, potential customers are turning to social media as their first stop when searching for new products. Social media raises brand awareness, and in terms of concrete results it can bring lead generation, referral traffic, higher revenues and improved customer loyalty. The importance of social media to your brand is clear. Making sure you have the right person with the best skill set for the job is a sound investment for any company.

Social media continues to grow in importance in 2014 as more brands realize that having the right social media presence cannot be overlooked.

Having someone tweet or post in their free time between other jobs no longer cuts the mustard – the need for knowledgeable and well-rounded social media managers is greater than ever.

Whether you hire someone full-time in-house with years of social media experience, an individual that is interested in finding business administration degree jobs and knows a thing or two about social networking or farm out your social media to an outside firm, being more social in 2014 and beyond is not just a wish, it is a necessity.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, and SEO.


Onboarding: It Takes A Community

You just hired a new employee. She starts on Monday. You have her new employee folder all ready. You scheduled a “Meet the New Employee” coffee break. You are all set. Well, not quite. A welcome lunch and a welcome packet are pieces of a successful onboarding program; however, it takes more than that. Remember when Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Well, it takes a community to successfully onboard an employee. Get your organization involved! This should be a group effort.

welcomeSuccessfully integrating new hires into your organization can have a significant impact on their happiness with the company, whether or not they decide to stay with your company, and their interactions with co-workers.

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders. Tactics used in this process include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations to introduce newcomers to their new jobs and organizations. Research has demonstrated that these socialization techniques lead to positive outcomes for new employees such as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in occupational stress and intent to quit.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, each year, nearly 25% of the working population undergoes some type of career transition. Turnover is expensive, so it’s important to support new employees with comprehensive onboarding to ensure their success. The report, “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success,” suggests organizations engage in a formal process of onboarding employees to teach them what their roles are, what the norms of the company are and how they are to behave are more effective than those that do not.

What are some things to consider when thinking about designing a successful onboarding process? Christina Pope has some worthwhile advice:

  • Create a centralized experience — and make it fun
    • Help the new employee understand who you are as a company and how their role plays an important part. What are the company’s goals, values, and mission?
  • Communicate before they get there
    • Creating an emotional connection between the new hire, the organization, and their new team, will help them feel welcome, less stressed, and more team-focused. This translates into lower turnover rates.
  • It’s never too early to recognize
    • You can’t recognize an employee too early or too often during their first year. They need to know they’re appreciated, and their work is making a difference in the company.

Social Tools Can Improve the Onboarding Experience for Employees, according to Karie Willyerd, coauthor of The 2020 Workplace. Today’s corporate social tools can allow simultaneous completion and status update of tasks such as:

  • The recruiter indicating status of the paperwork
  • HR issuing the description of benefit plans to the new hire
  • IT providing system access, phone numbers, email addresses, and laptop distribution
  • Facilities notifying the manager of space allocation
  • Training automatically enrolling the new hire in an orientation program
  • The manager and the new hire seeing each of those in a status and “to do” list.

Harold Jarche recently researched interesting new hire practices that have emerged in the workplace and found many good ideas, such as:

  • Dedicated coaches
  • Formal introductions to people in the work network, especially those at a distance.
  • Encouraging informal conversations.
  • Giving enough time to settle into the work.
  • Using collaboration platforms to enable better communication.

Are you using social media in your onboarding processes? If so, share some your ideas as comments.


Social Skills Necessary Today in Customer Service

Providing good customer service is the key to keeping your existing customers happy and gaining new ones. In recent years, an increasing number of businesses are using social media to boost their customer service.

According to a report released by Gleanster, about 73 percent of companies that took part in a survey said that customer service is the main reason why they invest in social media monitoring.

Here is a look at the importance of social media in achieving and maintaining good customer service….

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Why Use Social Media for Customer Service?

Build Personal Relationships with Customers

Social media enables you to interact on a more personal level with your customers, making them feel like they are communicating with a real person, not just an organization or object.

By interacting with your customers more regularly, you can show them that you are concerned about them and want to know their opinions about your company and products. This can help you win their trust.

Respond to Inquiries More Quickly

If you take too long to provide information or assistance for your customers, you may displease and frustrate them, and cause them to stop buying from you.

Social media makes it possible for you to respond to inquiries, requests for assistance and complaints more efficiently. You can achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction by implementing a 24/7 customer assistance service.

Get Feedback

By encouraging your customers to provide feedback via social media, you will have a better understanding of the appeal and effectiveness of your products and services.

You can use your customers’ feedback to make improvements to your current products and services or create new ones to meet their needs more fully.

Monitor Customer Satisfaction

The information you gather on social media can help you determine whether or not your customers are pleased with your products and services.

By reading your customers’ requests, comments and complaints, you will be able to develop a more effective business plan, marketing strategy and customer service program.

How to Use Social Media to Enhance Customer Service?

Social media is a great platform for carrying out a wide range of customer service activities.

To keep your customers interested in your company, you need to provide new materials for them to read or view constantly. These materials can come in the form of blog posts, articles, news, photos or videos, and they should contain interesting and useful information.

Also, you have to make a point to respond to your customers’ requests and inquiries as quickly as possible. If you are planning to develop a new product, you can use social media to get ideas from your customers.

Getting your customers involved in product development does not only help you create better products; it can also make them feel more important.

As much as a positive customer service experience on social media can benefit your company greatly, a negative one can ruin your online reputation and result in loss of customers.

As such, you have to make sure that you plan your customer service strategy properly before you implement it on social media.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to online reputation management.

 

 


Is Employee Healthcare on Your Radar?

With the cost of healthcare rising by the second, offering your employees a healthcare plan can sometimes put an unnecessary strain on your company’s budget.

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But, on the flip side of the healthcare coin, when employees are covered, it usually results in a less stressful, worry-free work environment.

If you’re on the fence about offering your employees health coverage, here are just a few benefits that might sway your decision:

Attract the Best Candidates

Although offering your employees healthcare coverage does mean more out-of-pocket expenses for your company, it also helps attract the best possible employees.

According to the Census Bureau, more than half the U.S. population had health insurance coverage provided by their employer in 2011.

This means that if your company doesn’t offer coverage, qualified employees might just look elsewhere for work.

Not only does employment-based health insurance help your company retain its top employees, it also helps attract the best candidates in the workforce when it comes time to hire.

Ensure the Wellness of the Workplace

There’s a ton of debate about the importance of employment-based healthcare, but the cost of healthcare always seems to overshadow its long-term benefits, especially in the workplace. When employees are healthy, they’re more productive, which is great for your company.

In addition, when your employees have health insurance that includes preventative coverage like regular physicals, it ensures the well-being of the entire workplace. This means your staff is less likely to take sick days or prolonged absences due to health issues.

So, when you are choosing a health insurance plan for your company, keep in mind the importance of workplace wellness.

Tax Credits

The government wants your company to provide its employees with health insurance just as much as you do, so that’s why they’re offering health insurance tax credits to qualifying businesses.

If your company has 25 or fewer full-time employees, their wages are less than $50,000 a year, and you pay at least half of their insurance premiums, you could save a lot of money on your taxes.

How much? Well, for example, say you pay $50,000 toward your employees’ health care premiums in a year. The government will actually give you a 15% tax credit, which saves you $7,500 on your taxes. And, the best part is, the more you contribute, the bigger the credit!

Few Considerations….

Before you sign your employees up for healthcare coverage, there are some things to consider that could drastically change the type of coverage you choose as well as the costs involved:

• Type of Work – The type of business you run has everything to do with your healthcare decision. If you run a business that’s considered “high risk” by the insurance company, like an industrial or manufacturing business or anything that involves heavy machinery, your company’s premiums could skyrocket.

• The Workforce – You also need to take the age and health of your current employees into consideration. If you have an older workforce or any of your employees smoke or have preexisting medical conditions, it could make the healthcare coverage process a headache.

• Part-Time vs. Full-Time – Are the majority of your employees part-time or full-time? If the answer is part-time, then it might not be worth the investment because part-time employees aren’t likely to stay with your company for an extended period of time.

By keeping in mind the benefits and considerations above, you’ll have an easier time coming to a healthcare coverage decision.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and small business.


Change is Hard: Embrace it

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. ~Arnold Bennett

Change is hard. We all know that. Changing anything in an organization can seem like a daunting task; changing the culture of an organization can seem like an impossibility. Fear not. Others have done it and so can you. This week #TChat guest, Tim Kuppler, co-founder of The Culture Advantage and CultureUniversity.com, shared his experience on the subject.

Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges according to Steve Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace. Why is it so hard? Because an organization’s culture is made up of an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions. Changing the culture requires a combination of organization tools for changing minds.

A successful shift in organizational culture begins with leadership tools, including a vision or story of the future. It includes cementing the change in place with management tools, such as role definitions, measurement and control systems, and it requires the pure power tools of coercion and punishments as a last resort, when all else fails.

Consultant Brad Power advises, “If You’re Going to Change Your Culture, Do It Quickly.” Power describes the way Trane, an $8 billion subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand, changed their culture quickly by using a combination of a culture survey and an employee engagement survey. The results of their assessment are used to help determine if they have created their desired culture which includes three essential elements:

  • Vision: where the organization wants to go together
  • Mission: what they do together
  • Guiding behavioral principles: how they expect all associates to behave

By Implementing these changes, Trane North America grew year-over-year operating income by over 20 percent, without any new products or services and very limited market growth.

How does one lead change? Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter cites the following six success factors that are the keys to positive change.

  • Show up
  • Speak up
  • Look up
  • Team up
  • Never give up
  • Lift others up

 

This post first appeared on TalentCulture

 


Do Interns Play A Major Role in Your Brand Promotions?

An important facet of any business these days is social media. Without a social media face, businesses are missing out. Social media is critical in gathering new business, keeping customers informed of your world and keeping up with current business trends and efforts.

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But who’s going to run your social media? Do you have the time? Do you have the know-how? If you or someone else at your business doesn’t, you may want to think about using an intern to run your social media.

Why would you use an intern to run your social media?

  • Twenty some things are the experts on social media. They know what sites are hot, which apps are hotter, and the best ways of reaching out on social media.
  • They usually bring an energy and excitement that social media needs and expects which may be lacking in your older, busier employees.
  • It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full time position, so they can either be part time or else have other responsibilities in addition to social media.
  • They can teach you a thing or two so when they leave, you can pick it up.
  • Your intern can sift through social media communication and answer what’s easy and pass on what needs a more expert touch to you or the appropriate contact.

Many people are still asking how important is a college degree in 2014? The answer is very; employers want to see a college degree. Therefore, college kids are working hard and trying to make the most of their college experience to prepare for the work world. Internships are pretty critical aspects of education, and using an intern is often a win-win situation for both student and business. Still, you should watch out for a couple of things when considering an intern.

What to be careful of if using an intern for social media:

  • They may not be as consistent or as invested as you or other employees (however, usually interns work hard because it’s the first step in a career and you have the potential to be a really good reference).
  • Though they may know social media, they may not know your industry as well as you do. You don’t want misinformation or a major faux pas landing in the big world of the Internet.
  • The possibility of overloading them exists and your social media could suffer. If you’re piling on other responsibilities that may seem to take precedence, social media could suffer if it’s perceived to be less important. Just make it clear what your expectations are.

Social media is tricky – it often appears to be a small part of running a business, but instead, it’s an important marketing face. Social media needs to wear an excited, current tone, and who better to direct that than an excited, current intern?

Just remember, handle things on your end, too, and give clear expectations and guidelines. You never what you may learn, too, and soon you can be tweeting and Instagramming yourself!

About the Author: Heather Legg is an independent writer covering topics related to social media, small business and health and well-being.


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