Customer Loyalty: Does Your Small Business Have What It Takes To Keep It?

Customer retention is a difficult topic for a small business. It’s not that they can’t keep the customers, it’s getting them in the first place that’s often the problem. Small businesses often flounder before they have a chance to grow and a lot of that is to do with their placement as a small fish in an ocean of sharks. Whether you are running a small business store on Etsy, or you’re marketing yourself as a solopreneur who is offering a solution to a problem, you need to know how to retain your customers so that they trust your mini brand – even before it becomes a mega one.

Returning customers are crucial to the success of a small business and the way to get them coming back for more is in your retention strategy. You need to be so good, that customers see what you’re doing and fall in love with it. It’s ensuring that you work closely with IT experts to roll out your carefully crafted software to other companies, working with agile testing teams and pushing yourself to do more for your customers. Online customers spend three times more money than customers do in store, and if the service that you offer – or the solution you provide – is one that is effective and reeks of perfection, you’re going to see loyalty from your customers. You are the only one who can decide whether you have what it takes to retain your customers, though, and if you can’t, you’re going to sink. Here are four short ways to create that customer loyalty that’s going to secure your bottom line.

Experience Peaks. Customers will buy whatever they’re interested in, but you need to keep them hooked for more. If they’ve enjoyed the product that you sold in the first place, they’ll buy again. However, you need to keep the deal sweet. Maybe once customers have bought from you once, you then send a discount code to them to be able to buy again. The promise of the same product that they love being cheaper is a bonus and keeps the experience peaked for them.

VI-Party. Most people don’t like getting unsolicited emails, but customers who sign up with your product will expect to be notified of changes, upgrades and extras. Give them loyalty points and an early access pass to new releases. They’ll love the exclusivity and it keeps them coming back to you for more of the things that you offer.

Get Online. Whichever way that you do it, you need to be where your customers can connect with you. Get onto social media and be a part of the community. Having access directly to the people in charge of the product that has been sold is a bonus for customers and they can feel like they are heard.

Stay Passionate. You’ve made something successful enough for people to want to keep coming back for more. All you need to do now is ensure that you keep up the momentum that you’ve set for yourself.

Customers will always go with the popular brands; make yourself one of them and keep your loyal base coming back for more.

Want To Maintain A Special Relationship With Your Customers? Use These Tried And True Strategies

What makes your business great? Well, a big part of it’s you. Aww, don’t go blushing on me now. Seriously, it’s your spark of inspiration, your drive and your passion that built your business up from nothing. Your employees look up to you and you take your role as their leader very seriously. Speaking of your employees, they’re no slouches either. They’ve taken your ideas and run with them, using their initiative, their imagination and their work ethic to take your ideas and combine them with their own to take your enterprise to a whole new level. You’ve rewarded them in kind by training, developing and promoting them and ensuring that they’re fairly remunerated for their efforts. Then of course there’s the outsourced help that allowed you to get the specialist provision you needed without the staffing overheads. But there’s one vital component without which it would all be for nought… That’s right. Your customers!

You value your customers and acknowledge that they are the lifeblood of your business. You appreciate their loyalty and want to ensure that you retain their harmonious relationship with your business. But you’re not sure how to maintain this relationship or where to divert your efforts and resources. Here are some strategies to help you to do exactly that…

Your blog

Your blog is arguably your greatest asset when it comes to retaining your customers and improving your enterprise’s SEO. Keep customers coming back for regular, engaging and well written content and not only will you earn their loyalty, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field with insights, thoughts and opinions well worth heeding. Just don’t besmirch your blog with low quality content sourced by cheap overseas content farms.

Email newsletters

It’s a tried and true means of customer retention, but one still worth considering even in 2018. Email newsletters offer customers a sense of exclusivity. You can include special promotions and offers designed exclusively for them and you can give customers the opportunity to peak behind the curtain at new developments within your business. Just check out https://www.palomasoftware.com/postman/email-newsletter-software/ to see why email newsletters are a worthy investment. Just make sure that they are only sent out to customers who opt in, especially if you do business in Europe and don’t want to fall afoul of GDPR legislation.

A rewards scheme that gives customers more of what they want

Different customers will be drawn to your business for different reasons and each will want something subtly different from a rewards scheme… So develop one that’s flexible and gives your customers the opportunity to get more of what matters to them. This is where market research becomes an extremely valuable tool. When you have a rewards scheme that’s tailored to the explicit needs and desires of your clientele, you’ll not only enjoy their loyalty, you’ll enjoy knowing that your business is catering to them as effectively as possible.

Your customers are the best and as such it behooves you to take steps to show them how much you appreciate them!

Opening a Restaurant Can Mean Tasty Profits

If the notion of opening up a restaurant has crossed your mind a time or two, will you go for it? For many restaurant owners having done so over the years, the profits have been rather tasty.

That said do not be under the assumption that a restaurant is an instant ticket to a gold mine. As any owner can tell you, there will be many hours of work and sacrifices when it comes to doing things right.

With that in mind, will opening a restaurant be your next move?

Know All That Will Go into Such a Move

If you decide opening a restaurant is your calling, be ready for the responsibilities.

Among them:

  1. Mission – What is your restaurant’s mission going to be? Before you even open your doors, you need to know what it is you want to do. To do so, you want to know for one what your competition is going to look like. For example, if opening a steakhouse in town, are there many ones there now? If there are, how can you get a foothold in the market? While you may well be the one to make profits, you could be wedged out because there is too much competition. By knowing the demographics and what you hope to do, you better position your brand for success.
  2. Employees – Running a restaurant of course means you will have to employ many people. As such, you want to do your best to hire the right people the first time around. If you do not, it can mean time and money working against you. Some of your employees will be the first lines of contact customers have with you. As an example, the hostess or host at the front door. You also of course have the waiter or waitress to serve customers once they sit down. Make sure you do your best to get quality people in such positions. And never forget the importance of a good chef and support staff in the kitchen. As you can see, you have to hire the right people for the right jobs if you want to make a go of it.
  3. Inventory – It is also key that you have the right inventory for your restaurant. For instance, items from ordering the best steak knives to good dishware can’t be overlooked. If you are of the notion that ordering second-rate supplies will save you money, it can come back to haunt you. Diners want to be able to enjoy their meals and part of that is making sure the food and how it is eaten are both exemplary.
  4. Marketing – Last, be sure that you are good at marketing your restaurant. From social media to customer testimonials, make sure the world knows about you. When it comes to customers, let them help market your brand for you. Their testimonials and remarks on social media and your site can go a long way in sending you business. When a customer has good food and stellar customer service, they are more likely to speak about it.

Despite long hours and responsibility, running a restaurant can be a great decision.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

 

4 Genuine Examples of Good Customer Service

Selling is one thing: You can probably convince nearly anyone that they have a need or a want that’s related to your product or service. That’s what makes you good at your job in either sales or marketing. But it’s often what comes after the sale—when things go sideways or when your customer or your company trips up a bit—that determines how well your company does going forward, how many new customers it gains, and how many customers come back for a second, third, fourth, or more time. That’s what’s called customer service, and that’s what many companies don’t do very well.

 They might not do it well because they haven’t thought about it enough. They don’t have a culture that’s dedicated to getting it right, every time, for the customer. So what do companies that do have a culture of excellent customer service look like, and how do they get it right every time? This graphic offers some worthwhile examples.

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4 Genuine Examples of Good Customer Service

Via Salesforce

 

Standing out from the Competition: How Your Business Can Get the Attention of Potential Customers

Maintaining a solid customer base is vital to the survival of your business. In addition to conventional marketing strategies, there are some innovative ways to attract more potential customers and keep your profits growing. Here are a few ideas to help your business get the attention of potential customers.

Offer Freebies

Even though this may seem counterproductive, offering free products or services can actually help your business earn more money. By offering free product samples, people may be more inclined to try them since they won’t have to make a commitment to purchase. You can have your employees hand out samples to people passing by on the street or send them out in the mail to potential leads. You can also try offering free services for a limited time.

Display Unique Signage

Using standard signage for your business will likely attract less attention from the masses. If you want to stand out, you should have some innovative signs created. Certain companies can create business signs that feature eye-catching texts and graphics. You can order signage that includes attractive colors and even features the logo of your business. Displaying this signage on the outside of your building near the entrance will help your business get noticed as people walk or drive by your location.

Utilize SEO Marketing

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is an important tool for marketing businesses online. This type of marketing involves the use of written content that contains certain keywords and phrases that people commonly search for while online. The right SEO campaign can help your company’s website rank higher on the top search engines. Forbes.com notes that it’s also important to have content that’s original and enables your business to stay more relevant.

Do Some Charity Work

Giving back to your community will help your company earn a more positive reputation. Your business can sponsor a food, clothing or blood drive as a way to market your brand and help others who are in need. Local media outlets will likely cover your event, which can get you some free press. You can also try donating some of your proceeds to charitable organizations. If you support a good cause, you’re sure to see an influx of new customers.

By putting in the necessary efforts to expand your clientele, you’ll likely find yourself reaping the rewards in no time. Consistently growing your customer base will help you stay in business and stand out from your competitors.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

How To Create The Ultimate Business Niche

Industries are saturated yet businesses need to stick out like a sore thumb. It’s the modern conundrum for every new startup, and it’s one which tends to fail. Too many companies choose a topic which is overdone and overplayed and offer no value. They forget that a niche subject area is the key to success.

But, how do you find one? How do you come across the Holy Grail of entrepreneurialism? In today’s market, finding your rightful place can be a tricky task. Thankfully, the tips underneath can help you locate the necessary solutions. Here’s how to create an ultimate business niche.

Understand The Basics

There is a lot more to it than coming up with an idea which no one else has considered. Sure, be unique is a big part of the process, but you shouldn’t dismiss the fundamentals. Take Dyson, the vacuum cleaner which revolutionized household chores. The technology was new and exciting, yet it also added value. The vacuum hoovered up more dust and dirt than any cleaner before it. Now, almost every modern hoover uses the technology because it’s the best on the market. Does your niche promote individuality while its popularity drives demand? It should because it’s integral.

Define The Customer

As an individual brand, the chances are you’ll appeal to a less wide audience. Don’t worry about this because it’s part and parcel of developing your niche. Poseida works in the gene and cell therapy sectors, so it isn’t going to be at the front of the consumerist regime. However, it’s a leader in the market for one reason: the company understands its lane. They don’t try and target people outside of the scientific community as it’s a waste of time and energy. To maximize earnings and boost sales, this business hits a clearly defined customer type and works within a basic framework.

Break Down Your Strengths

Customers and clients aren’t going to flock to the brand for no reason. They need to know the new kid on the block is a major player. They must understand that the strengths and achievements of the company will impact their lives. Otherwise, they will stay put and wait until a better offer is on the table. Before you can begin marketing, it’s essential to figure out what sets you apart from the crowd. Is it the product? Is it the service? Is it a mixture of both with value for money thrown in on top?

Draw Conclusions

The final step is the hardest. It’s time to evaluate, objectively, whether the niche is going to work or tank. Lots of entrepreneurs skip this vital part as they believe they have all the info they need. However, once you obtain the strengths of the brand and have defined the customer, the last thing to do is test it. Provide samples to passers-by on the street, for example, or conduct social media polls with your core audience. Use the results to gauge the probability of success and failure.

Are you more comfortable with niches now?

6 Common Reasons Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Generating Leads

Marketing has never been easier according to the experts. Today, an entrepreneur with zero experience and an internet connection can learn the tricks of the trade. All of the info is available online at the click of a button. As a result, businesses and blog and the platform of your choice can compete. Forget about the size as it doesn’t matter. Whether big, small or medium, there is nothing you can’t achieve concerning marketing.

So, if this is the case, why are you struggling to generate leads? It isn’t as if you don’t use modern techniques such as search engine optimization. And, you also invest in paid marketing such as pay-per-click. Still, the amount of leads coming back to you is poor, and you can’t figure out the problem. It’s a head-scratcher.

Without a steady flow of leads, it’s challenging to make conversions and increase sales. Sadly, failure is always an option in business so it’s essential to fix the issue as soon as possible. Without knowing the details, it can be very tricky. The good news is that there are six common reasons for lack of leads underneath. Hopefully, these will be able to help you reverse your fortunes.

Your Aim Is Off

Regardless of the plan, it isn’t going to work if it is aiming at the wrong people. There is no point throwing darts in the dark because it’s a waste of time and energy. Oh, and don’t forget the money either. The key is to optimize every feature to give it the best chance of succeeding. The first step then is to find a base of people who are going to be interested. That way, there is more of a chance that it will grab their attention and make them curious.

You may have an idea of the base, but there’s also a chance that you don’t fully understand the demographic. Are women or men more likely to buy the product or land on the site? What age range? Why do your services seem to resonate with this group? Delving into the specifics should help you find your perfect customer/visitor. Once that person is in your sights, aiming at him or her, and millions more like them is straightforward.

A buying persona should keep you on the right track. For those that don’t have one, visit Lead Forensics now and check out the post for more info.

And So Are Your Methods

The people aren’t the only thing to consider; there’s the method too. Every individual has a preferred contact setting depending on their tastes. For example, the older generations are advocates of speaking on the phone. Some hate cold-calling because it’s annoying, yet they like the directness of talking to a human advisor. Your job is to figure out which people like which platform and then use the info to target them.

Although it sounds like mind-numbingly long work, it’s not too tricky. Use age as a factor to break the base down into groups. The baby boomers have already gotten a mention, so now focus on the other subsections. Young customers are easy because they love to interact via social media. To optimize their experience, try and figure out which account is their favorite: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The trickiest people are the inbetweeners. Middle-aged men and women are retro and modern at the same time, which makes them awkward. An excellent tip is to use their personal info. For instance, entrepreneurs and business-oriented people will respond to email blasts. A housewife or husband may prefer an app because it suits their lifestyle.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to engage and interact when possible. Adding value often sticks in a person’s mind and encourages them to follow up.

The Tone Is Wrong

It’s essential to speak to people politely and respectfully. Still, there is no need to be boring. Boredom turns people off and makes them want to run a mile. So, finding a balance is a must to ensure there is value in the interaction. There is nothing worse than picking up the phone to listen to a sales rep babble on without pausing. When the other party can’t speak or ask questions, there is bound to be frustration which will result in them bouncing. This is one sales error to watch out for, but you can visit ej4 today for lots more.

Tailor the experience to the platform. Calls should have a consistent tone and shouldn’t be out of the blue. Cold calling is a sure-fire way to get them to hang up without a word. Emails are less formal and can use a chatty, colloquial voice. Also, there’s lots of room for multimedia such as photos, videos and gifs, so don’t be scared to get creative.

Social media is where the most informal interactions take place. When people log-in to their accounts, they don’t want to see forced, pointed, corporate tweets and posts. The most successful marketing plans center on organic conversations full of witty banter.

You’re Jumping The Gun

From the beginning, the end goal is in your sights. If the strategy can get them to convert or make a purchase, then everything will be hunky-dory. It’s important to keep the result in mind but it shouldn’t be at the forefront of the plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of jumping the gun and peaking too soon. Users hate this because it feels as if they are being forced into doing something rather than making the decision naturally.

Focus on providing the right info at the right time. To do this, analyze the process and where everyone stands on the spectrum. Are they at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end? The answer is essential because what you offer should be totally different for all three. At the start, an interested party wants as much info as possible so that they can compare and contrast. The middlemen and women love to hear about solutions to their problems. And, the guys and girls at the end want a sweetener to seal the deal.

By all means, get in front of them early to catch their eye but don’t be pushy. Everyone knows being clingy is a huge turn-off.

Patience Isn’t Your Strong Point

There is lots of activities available and not enough time to get through every single one. As a result, it’s tempting to discard the ones which don’t seem to work. After all, what’s the point in wasting time and money? Although changes can be positive, they can also be a hindrance. In this scenario, a lack of patience may cause you to throw away a feature which will work in the future. There is no way to tell if it is a failure until enough time has passed.

With that in mind, don’t get anxious when something appears not to work. Instead, let it grow and prosper until you are sure. Otherwise, there may be a lot of money left on the table. Take content marketing as an example. It takes a while to build up a reputable portfolio. Some of the market leaders have been doing it for decades and are still learning.

So, the aim isn’t to throw out as much content as possible and hope for the best. Instead, you need to focus on quality over quantity and build a core brand to get results. However, don’t assume they’ll appear out of thin air overnight because it takes hard work and endurance.

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You’re Not Number-Driven

Some people don’t believe in stats and they have a good reason. If you are unable to speak the language, then a lot of info can get lost in translation. Lots of businesses have developed strategies they thought would work yet they tanked. Why? It’s because they read the numbers wrong and didn’t understand the nuances. Still, marketing is a numbers game.

The reason is analytic software. Today, it’s easy to see who is doing what and why without basic math skills. The program does it all for you and prints the info in easy-to-understand chunks. More importantly, it shows you where there are flaws and what needs fixing. It’s incredible the number of strategies that have glaring flaws yet continue regardless. To put it into simple terms, it’s because the people in charge don’t use the analytic software.

Reverse engineer the data to locate the solutions. For example, go back and see where the leads came from in the first place. Then, compare the different sources to the success rate. Are there some which provide better conversions than others? Use this to figure out what gets you the best quality results, which in turn should reveal the best quality leads. Although it’s easy for analytic software to take a backseat, you need to keep on top of it on a regular basis.

Do any of the above seem like mistakes you are making currently? Could they be the reason lead generation is suffering?