I bet like most small business owners you wear a lot of different hats. In addition to the day-to-day tasks of staffing, marketing and finance, you are also a marketer, a counsellor, a bookkeeper, an accountant and more!
It can be tough to have time for everything.
Typically you spend money on marketing, google ads and other activities to generate leads so the last thing you want is any of them leaking away.
Being tuned into the customer journey is the best way to convert a high percentage of leads into sales. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and regularly test what it is like to be your prospect. Make the customer journey a smooth one.
What Matters Most
Sales are the lifeblood of your business, let’s face it without them you don’t have a business. However, once you land the sale what happens next will determine whether you have a once-off customer or a customer for life.
The rule of thumb is that it is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing customer. Customer retention is an underused tactic despite evidence that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by between 25%-95%.
Good customer retention is an indication of how successful the company is at looking after and meeting the expectations of existing customers.
A business with a strong customer service culture pays attention to doing the simple things well and keeping the customer experience front and centre.
The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021 found that 5 per cent of people are willing to spend more money on a brand that provides a stellar experience.
Our top tips for a happy customer are:
- Good Communication
- Focus on benefits as opposed to features
- Positive reviews build trust
- Excellent after-sales service
Do your points of contact create a great first impression?
- How many rings before a call is answered?
- If the telephones are not manned 24/7 is there a professional call answering service in place?
- Is the telephone answered in a professional manner?
- How long does it take to get back to callers?
Everyone wants instant gratification so chances are the prospect will be onto the next supplier in their search results if they do not get a fast response.
Website: Is your website built with your ideal customer in mind?
- Who is this website for?
- What do you do?
- Why should I care?
- What now?
If the answers to these questions are front and centre on the website then you are on the right track. Tell them what you want them to do next – A clear call to action.
Functionality: Are all the pages and forms working properly? Regularly check for broken links and that your contact forms are reaching the appropriate person.
Content Strategy – Focus on problems typical customers tend to have and use your blog to illustrate how your products and services can provide solutions.
FAQs and reviews are a great source of content. For some content writing inspiration check out our blog “Does your Content pass the Aha test?”
Benefits – What’s in it for me?
The most popular format for websites tends to be
- Who we are
- What we do
Your prospective customer wants to know “What is in it for me”. This is why it is important to focus on Benefits rather than Features.
Choose the platforms that are most relevant to your customers. If you are time-poor it may not be possible to post across all the platforms so if your typical client spends most of their time on Linkedin it makes sense to focus your efforts on Linkedin.
Consistency is key so if you can only post once a week then commit to that frequency rather than posting every day for a week and not again for months.
If this is not possible consider outsourcing your social media activities to a local digital marketing agency.
Ask your customers for reviews.
Putting a system in place to request a review every time you deliver a product or service will ensure a regular flow of reviews.
Reviews build trust and help with customer retention. They are also a great way to get feedback on what customers really want.
Make sure to answer your reviews and show the customer that you appreciate their business and time.
If your business provides products and/or services that are of interest to a local audience make sure your Google My Business – Google Business Profile is fully optimised.
Check out our Google My Business blog for more on the features and benefits of an optimised Google Business Profile.
We also have a handy Google Business Profile Checklist which you can download here.
While we have learnt the importance of customer service, we need to ensure that we continue to champion it.
Why is this so important? In the digital age, customer service has evolved significantly and for me, it can no longer exist in a silo. So, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and replicate the customer journey.
Your customers don’t just buy your products or services, they also vote with their Euros on whether or not they’re satisfied with your brand.
As a result, making sure all aspects of your business are watertight will ensure your customers become your best brand ambassadors.