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A Simple Hack to Discover What Your Customers Really Want

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As a business owner, you think about your customers every day. Still, it’s a good idea to make time to regularly reflect on how your products and services meet their current needs. This begs the question to small business owners and entrepreneurs alike: “What do my customers really want?”

 

There’s no single way to answer this question. How you gather your data will depend on your business, and it may change over time. Kabbage customers explain below a simple hack to getting to know your customers better: simply asking them.

 

Ongoing survey data guides bakery choices

The humble suggestion box used to be a fixture in many businesses seeking input from customers. Today, business owners have digital tools for gathering suggestions, making it easy to find out what customers want. Laura and Johnny Hobson, owners of Serendipity Cafe in Maynard, Massachusetts, make a habit of surveying customers on everything from bread preferences to cafe hours.

 

“We really try to connect with the community,” Laura says. When she and Johnny started out with a farmers market stand, they collected customer email addresses; in the cafe, customers can add addresses in the point-of-sale system. Laura and Johnny then use online tools like SurveyMonkey to ask for feedback.

 

The survey results guidedthe couple when they launched the cafe and new data helps them ponder new products and services. “When we were outgrowing the farmers market, we asked really specific questions about how often people would come to a cafe, what products they would buy, and what the town already had enough of,” Laura says.

Adjusting pricing and creating a welcoming vibe

 

For Michelle Baker, owner of Next Level Fitness and Personal Training in Kansas City, Missouri, asking, listening and observing is key to understanding what local residents needed. She worked for another personal trainer before opening her own gym, and heard clients complain about high prices for classes and personal training sessions.

As a 23-year resident of her moderate-income neighborhood, Baker knew that locals couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars a month for training. She also knew that her neighbors had unique wellness challenges, like diabetes and weight control, which might make them hesitant to work out in a crowded gym with body-building regulars. For many people in her community, fitness is about developing healthier habits.

 

When Baker launched Next Level Fitness with her husband in 2009, she knew that affordability and an inclusive, welcoming gym environment were key to growing the business. “We had to keep prices low enough so that the average person would come to us,” Baker says. Next Level offers an introductory six-week program of training sessions for $99, an accessible price point for her customers.

 

Baker and her husband boost cash flow by teaching small group training sessions. “That way we maximize the time we spend training,” she says. She’s also added services that will help her customers achieve their fitness and health goals, like nutritious ready-to-cook meals.

 

To ease customer concerns about working out with others, Baker posts regular videos on her Facebook page showing the diversity of body types, fitness levels and ages of her clients. “When people see the videos, they think ‘I see people who look like me,'” Baker says. “They know no one’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. We’re a smaller, friendly gym where everyone knows everyone, and no one feels out of place.”

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The 10 Most Customer Focused Companies In Asia -Blake Morgan

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All over the world customers are king. But it’s especially true in Asia. Customers in Asia are unlike any others in the world. They tend to be more connected to their mobile devices and are eager to spend and connect with brands. Many of the most successful companies are those that are completely focused on their customers. Here are 10 of the most customer-focused companies in Asia. Customers are front and center at Singapore-based DBS Bank. The company has a Customer Experience Council, chaired by the CEO, which proactively anticipates and addresses customer needs……………

 

 

 

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5 Powerful Examples Of Social Media Customer Care – Alina Gorbatch

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Social media customer care doesn’t sound like something worth an entire article. After all, social media has been with us for a while. We know that customer care is important, we have business pages on multiple platforms, we reply to messages and direct tweets, solve tickets, and gradually forget how to use a phone. What else is there to do? Unfortunately, it turns out that most of us don’t do even that. Social media customer care suffers from a sheer lack of attention. Research shows that brands reply to only 11% of customers…….

Read more: https://www.jeffbullas.com/social-media-customer-care/

 

 

 

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Why Customer Service Is Important To The Success Of Your Business – Salesforce

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Great customer support drives an amazing customer experience, especially when your support team moves beyond just reacting to problems and toward anticipating customers’ problems. When support agents are empowered to go above-and-beyond with customers, or have a help desk solution that makes it easy for them to upsell or cross-sell relevant services, they can create winning experiences that help you stand out from the competition……

Read more: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/what-is-customer-service/?d=7010M000000uOnuQAE&ban=US_Pocket&dclid=CLD6rPvTnN4CFQFODAodGZsAwg

 

 

 

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VidAgency Ally – Discover How To Find The Best Business Video Marketing For Outsourcing & Turn It Into long-Term Clients

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VidAgency Ally is a powerful cloud-based software to find, close, and manage clients combined with the best, proven training on starting and growing a successful freelance or agency businesses from scratch.

In this step-by-step training you’ll get proven strategies to land high-paying clients from 100% scratch and scale to a 6 figure agency if you want.

You’re getting proven blueprints to bypass gatekeepers, close businesses offline and online, prospect cold clients, structure offers for most money with least amount of work, and run a real video agency in 20+ HD video modules.

Here’s just some of the groundbreaking training waiting for you inside:

  • How to bypass “gatekeepers” like receptionists quickly and speak to the decision makers in any local business
  • The secret to winning high-paying clients from freelancer sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and more
  • How to grow your weekly income by landing clients on Craigslist, Google Local, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Facebook PPC, and LinkedIn
  • A top-secret positioning strategy that helps you command top-dollar with minimal clients or proof… and be able to take entire weeks off without struggling to pay the bills
  • How to make sure the emails you send to business owners have them scrambling to hire you
  • How to level up your agency by using a simple funnel to win more trust, silence the competition and triple your income in days
  • The RIGHT way to set up an agency site and portfolio that sells your services on total autopilot (without breaking the bank or wasting days working on it)
  • How to effortlessly and confidently close clients on calls and handle the “how much does it cost?” question effectively — even if you hate selling
  • The absolutely BEST types of clients and niches who you should be selling video services to right now (this is pure gold)
  • How to attract local clients without the usual resistance
  • How to ensure that clients tell everyone they know about your services, and have fresh, hungry leads knocking on your door desperate to hire you
  • The powerful yet simple “carpet bombing” Facebook ad strategy that pulls in tons of leads whenever you need more money (You don’t need to buy advertising to land clients, but this strategy is awesome for rapidly ramping up your business when you’re ready to take it to the next level)
  • How to fully outsource and hire out your jobs creating a business that runs itself hands-free.

VidAgency Ally Features

Prospect Clients through Google, Facebook, and Yellow Pages
Find the best local business leads in any location from Google, Facebook, or Yellow pages in seconds. See important data like address, email, website, star ratings, and far more.

Detailed Lead Opportunity Finder
In one click, see where your leads need marketing help the most. View data like if the lead is using video marketing, if they have SSL integrated, using WordPress, mobile friendly. Plus, view how much traffic their site is getting, any social networks they’re set-up on, website load speed, and way more.

Instant Site Health Audit Reports
Just paste in your lead’s URL and quickly generate a great looking“site-audit” report you can charge for or give away for free to your potential client. It includes any issues their site has, overall SEO health, and how competitors are beating them.

CRM Dashboard Manage Opportunities and Projects
Add any lead to your CRM tab to and manage them from lead to longterm client. Keep track of solid opportunities you find, products you’re working on, and clients they relate to all in one easy-to-use place.

Built-in Client Calendar
If you’re serious about running a full-time profitable agency business you need to keep detailed track of when projects are due, meetings with new leads, and more which can all be done with the built-in calendar system.

Built-in Mobile Optimization Analysis
Quickly see if a prospect’s site is mobile friendly, how fast it loads, and even what it looks like on mobile right within VidAgency Ally.

1-Click Email Contacts with Custom Templates
VidAgency Ally will find the email addresses of local client leads and allow you to email them from right inside the app with your own custom-made templates.

getinstant

 

How to Design a Customer Experience Strategy

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According to a report by the customer experience consulting firm Walker, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. While companies understand the importance of customer experience, many don’t know how to make improvements.

Preparing for Customer Experience Design

Customer research is the first thing you should focus on when designing your customer experience strategy. How can you design a customer experience if you don’t know who your customers are?

Personas

Developing a persona is the first step in the research process. A persona is a ‘character’ developed through research, to represent a common group of people. By developing 1-5 personas of your customer base, you can better understand the psyche of your customers and build experiences for your most valuable segments. If you start with building empathy and understanding the profile of your key customer segments, you have a way to connect with them so that everyone has a shared understanding of their demographic profile, behaviors, and pain points. The persona should include an image of the imaginary customer, demographic profile, attributes and motivations, needs, pain points, and actual customer quotes. To create the persona(s) you should conduct customer interviews and analyze and theme your data to draw meaningful insights that relate to various customer types.

Empathy Mapping

An empathy map is a tool used to better understand the needs of customers. It allows teams to provide a complete picture of the customer and what actions they might take as a result of their beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Empathy mapping uses 4 quadrants labeled as ‘think’, ‘feel’, ‘say’, ‘do’ to help make sense of different aspects of the customer’s experience and preferences.

Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholder management is the process of understanding the attitudes of stakeholders before initiating a potential change with the goal of developing alignment and collaboration between the various groups. Stakeholder planning helps to identify stakeholders’ needs and interests, mechanisms to influence stakeholders, potential risks, key people to keep informed about changes, and negative stakeholders and their adverse effects on the change. Map stakeholders into the 4 quadrants to determine the best engagement strategy:

  • Supporters (high support, low influence) Involve supporters with the project team to leverage their enthusiasm
  • Champions (high support, high influence) Keep champions close as project partners who can help to influence other stakeholders
  • Gatekeepers: Major Risks (low support, high influence) Investigate concerns from this group and leverage champions to improve their support
  • Bystanders (low support, low influence) Keep this group well informed via mass communications

Mapping the Customer Experience

Once you fully understand your customer you’re ready to start mapping out the customer journey. This is when you get into the customer’s mind as they’re interacting with your product/service.

Focusing Challenge

Before you set up a customer project, you need to align your stakeholders on the primary intent., so you can clearly define the set boundaries to explore. This enables you to focus your team’s thinking to drive the right action. It removes any assumptions within a project statement to guide clear direction. To set up a customer project or initiative, you need to spend time understanding and defining your customer challenge. A focusing challenge will help you to clearly define your future state vision or challenge and communicate the intent across the business. Use this formula: (Who) can (do what) so that (why: the outcome).

Customer Journey Mapping

A Customer Journey Map is a design tool that provides a view of the end-to-end experience of your customers. It is a way of visually illustrating customers’ processes, needs & perceptions throughout their interaction and relationship with your organization. The Customer Journey Map outlines customer needs, pain points, opportunities and different interaction points which accumulate to build a comprehensive “journey” based on their experiences. To create a customer journey map, pick a persona and map out the key steps across the journey. Once you fully map the customer experience, identify pain points and use the 5 Why’s model below to determine the root cause.

5 A’s Customer Journey Mapping Framework

The 5 A’s Customer Journey Framework is a way of depicting the key interactions throughout the end-to-end customer lifecycle. It is an engaging framework used to organize the key stages a customer goes through as they become aware of your organization right through to exiting or extending the relationship. This alternate approach to Customer Journey Mapping helps organize the themes for analysis through both the eyes of the Customer (above the line) and your organization (below the line) – exploring key touch points, systems, processes, pain points and opportunities.

The 5 A’s are:

  • Attract– How are customers attracted to and informed of the service or product?
  • Accept– How does the customer enter into dealings with your organization?
  • Adopt– How does the customer interact throughout the entire experience?
  • Amplify– How do you leave the customer feeling at the end of the interaction?
  • Advance– How do you follow up with customers and extend the current relationship?

Building the Future State Experience

The future state experience is crucial because it allows you to envision what you want your customers to think and feel when they’re experiencing your product.

5 Why’s

The 5 Why’s is a simple, yet powerful problem-solving tool that works to engage teams in understanding the root cause of simple issues. Once you have identified your root cause, you still need to prove or disprove it using data. When you investigate you might find that it’s not what you thought. Start by writing down a specific problem statement or pain point your team is trying to solve, ask the question of ‘why’ the problem occurs, and write down the answer below the problem. Then keep using the why question to the previous answer, until you get to the real cause of the problem.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a structured technique used to apply a different way of thinking to generate and explore new ideas. Brainstorming is traditionally done as a collaborative effort, by bringing together the right people with the right knowledge to help solve your problem. To get the most out the session and the people involved, brainstorming works best when you first apply divergent thinking without limitations, then converge on appropriate ideas to explore in more detail. This means considering all angles, before narrowing on designing a solution that best meets the needs of your customers.

The four main brainstorm techniques are:

  • Classic– Generate as many ideas as possible and score all
  • What If?– Ask “what if” three times. For example, for a problem of high customer turnover ask “what if we halved the price?”
  • Wrong Way– Deliberately try to generate bad ideas. For example, if you were trying to improve customer retention, ask “what could we do to drive our customers away?
  • Risky Options– Concentrate on the issues that matter most, and thus generate better ideas. People are often discouraged from suggesting seemingly wild or risky ideas which might lead to the best solution because they fear failure or group criticism.

Experience Design Development

The experience design process is a method to further develop initiatives subsequent to your customer journey mapping and opportunities brainstorming session. This agile process ensures unproven ideas are stopped and retired, and viable ideas are further developed into a business case to incite action. The methodology is: we believe (describe the new experience), will solve (customer’s needs and organizations issue/opportunity), enabled by (full solution), resulting in (new attitude/behavior/result). Run each opportunity through the design tool to further develop each opportunity and then rank each opportunity in terms of its customer and business value.

By designing a CX strategy for your business you can better understand the customer and meet their needs. To learn more about designing a CX strategy for your business, download the Customer Experience Design Toolkit.

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How To Turn a Bully Prospect Into a Paying Customer – Steli Efti

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Sure, not every sales call is going to go smoothly. But when a prospect turns into a bully, listing off all the reasons your product and company is terrible. It’s hard not to feel discouraged and not know what to do.

But there’s a mantra you can use in these situations to regain your confidence and turn a bully prospect into a paying customer. When they start yelling just ask yourself: If what we have is so bad why are they still talking to us?

The reason a prospect picked up the phone and called you is because they want to buy from you. Plain and simple.

However, they don’t want you to know this. Your prospects know that if they attack your confidence, they’re going to gain the upper hand in the negotiation. So they start rattling off a laundry list of reasons why they won’t buy from you:

  • You’re too expensive
  • You’re lacking critical features
  • Your company is too small
  • You’re not offering a big enough discount

And I get it. It’s hard to hear these things and still feel like you can sell at your best. But you need to remember that mantra: Why are they still talking to us?

If you’re too expensive, why did they both to waste more time and money by picking up the phone and calling you?

If you’re missing critical features, why are they even entertaining you as an option?

If they love what they currently have, or competitors are offering them a deeper discount, why even come to you (or anyone else) at all?

This is the key question you need to ask whenever a prospect starts trying to bully you. Because there’s only one logical reason why they’re still talking to you: They want what you’re selling.

Remembering this mantra puts you in a position of strength

Negotiations are all about power. And the stronger you can come into one, the better chance you have of getting everything you want. These bully reps know this, and they’re using it against you.

When most sales reps get yelled at or told their product is terrible, they lose their confidence. They think there’s no chance they’re going to get the sale and the only way they remotely might be able to is to fix all these problems and give the prospect everything they want.

They become insecure and end up in a position of weakness in the negotiation.

Yet by asking “Why are they still talking to us?” it puts you on equal ground with your prospect. You know they’re still interested in your product, despite their complaints that you’re too expensive or lacking features.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t more expensive than the competition. Or that you’re not missing features they’d like to have. What it does mean, is that these issues aren’t dealbreakers.

So, instead of feeling beaten by the bully, you can come back at them with a position of strength:

“Yes, we’re more expensive than the competition. However, we offer X, Y, Z, and our technology is better for these reasons…”

Your attitude needs to be, if we’re so bad why did you take the time to talk to us? And then remember that they came to you, because they want what you have.

When the prospect starts yelling, just remember, they called you

It’s easy to get shaken or lose your confidence when a prospect starts trying to bully you. But just remember, inside every bully, whether they’re on the schoolyard or a sales call, is someone looking for attention.

Look past their anger and frustration and ask: Why are they still talking to us?

You know why.

Write it out. Print it out. Tape it up on your desk. And whenever a prospect starts yelling or getting aggressive, look at it and use it to turn the negotiation into an even playing field.

Have you successfully turned a bully prospect into a paying customer? Tell me your stories in the comments below. 

Don’t let a bully prospect kill your confidence. Stay one step ahead with our free Objection Management Template.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

7 Things You Should Stay Away While Doing Social Media Marketing

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Social media has become a huge platform to socialize and connect with your loved ones. It has also become a great place to market your products to a greater customer base, which enhances the chances of your business. With the ever advancing World Wide Web, digital media trends and rapidly growing social media users, there are infinite possibilities and everyone can easily launch a business and enjoy success.

Today, billions of people are online at a time on social media for various reasons. Although they are divided by the platforms, with advanced connectivity they are all interrelated with each other. This provides a unique chance for any big or small business to operate with little operational investments and develop social media marketing campaigns to expand their businesses.

According to our experience and multiple other types of research, marketers agree that social media marketing is the best way to enhance brand awareness. However, this is not the case with every business running a social media marketing campaigns. There are multiple examples of businesses that have not been able to achieve their desired goals.

But we cannot ignore the fact that its business and marketing individuals who are to blame for their failures, rather than social media platform itself, as there are more success stories than there are failures. A failure can be because of a poor marketing strategy, campaign planning, targeting the wrong audience or even working in the wrong season. You need to design an effective marketing and business strategy for social media marketing in order to get something from it.

It is imperative to avoid common mistakes that determine the outcome of your social media marketing strategy. For an instance, you are running an online travel agency and you want to promote cheap Copenhagen flights. But your social media marketing team made a simple mistake of targeting the wrong audience. This can play heavily against your strategy and in the end, you won’t get your desired results.

There are many mistakes that you are prone to making while launching a marketing campaign over social media. Following are 7 things that you should try to avoid while doing social media marketing of your business. We hope this article will help you diagnose the flaws of your social media marketing and you can find some success for your hard work.

Overlooking data

You simply cannot expect your business to flourish and see success without any business plan or marketing strategy. You should always determine what actions to take or strategy to make so that you can work out the data and information that is needed to process.

Fortunately, data gathering isn’t that difficult today as it was some years ago, due to the availability of multiple tools and analytics websites. You can easily acquire information on the target audience, keyword traffic, and much more. So try not to overlook data when planning your social media marketing strategy.

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Becoming irrelevant

Becoming irrelevant with your social media posts and blogs can always hurt your customer base and reaches. People will start doubting your business intentions and dedication, which can result in un-following your social media pages. Although you can add a little humour to your articles, blogs, and posts to develop the interest of people, it is imperative to never become too irrelevant. Too much irrelevancy and going off topic can also hurt your organic search engine rankings, as Google’s algorithm is always on the watch.

Using automatic means to communicate with customers

Although it may seem like a little practice to use automatic response on chats, to speed up communication with followers and potential clients; we highly advise not to do so. You should always approach your followers with your own replies, and attend their complaints or queries with a proper customer service approach. If you run a small business on any social media platform, try to attend that customer issue personally through a chat box. In this way, your followers can be satisfied and there is a great chance for them to become your permanent customers.

Being obscure

When running an online business, you need to avoid being obscure. Transparency in business helps you to develop a relationship of trust with your followers. Social media is the best way to show your work and products to your followers and it is also an opportunity to gain loyal customers with your transparency.

Obsolete and invalid content

Always post relevant and new content on your blogs, and share them on your social media for more reaches and readers. Never post an outdated, obsolete or invalid content on your social media, no matter what is the purpose behind it, as nobody appreciates out of date information, which is of no use. However, this doesn’t apply to the content that is evergreen and factually relevant.

Avoiding criticism

Negative or positive, criticism should always be welcomed on social media. It provides you a chance to know the taste of your followers, which you can use to your advantage. You can also work on that criticism, by addressing it and making sure all the concerned people are satisfied. This will only result in the favor of your organization.

Insensitive stories

Nowadays the majority of the social media platforms are offering stories and live streaming option to all their users. This feature has numerous benefits for every online business, big and small to increase its exposure. However, you should always avoid controversy by creating insensitive and careless stories. Everything on social media regarding your business contributes to the image of your brand. So be extra careful with every social media story or any other feature.

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What messaging means for the future of customer care

Have you ever spent time on hold with an airline, a credit card company, or your insurance provider? Of course you have, I bet you’re still humming the tune from that hold music you had to listen to. For years, the frustration of traditional customer service, be it phone or email, have pushed us all…

via What messaging means for the future of customer care — TechCrunch

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