Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty (Part 3)

Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty Part Three
Oh the tangled webs we weave! For some business owners it may feel that some customers are continually going through a revolving door – they need your service/product, they come in and purchase, they don’t need your product for a length of time, they go dormant, then they are back again and you start over! This is not the end of the world… this is the nature of the sales beast. So, don’t beat yourself up over numbers and figures and that never-ending sales pitch. Instead, recognize these two facts and devise a plan to implement them into your marketing strategy.

Use multiple channels to serve customers well

This is a substantial point in marketing ANY product. Your customers are everywhere. Therefore, your customers are receiving messages everywhere. On average, your customer should hear your message SEVEN TIMES before they will act on it! Do you really want to put all of your eggs in one basket and only send a message on one platform?! NO! It just doesn’t make sense. Instead, diversify your messaging across multiple platforms in order to reach customers, remind customers, and get them to act now!

(Bonus: Research shows that customers who engage through multiple channels exhibit deeper loyalty. Isn’t that our whole goal here?)

Win back lost customers

Research shows that you’re twice as likely to sell to a lost customer as to a new prospect, which makes sense since your old customer knows what you do and/or what your product is. On average, a business can lose more than 20 percent of its customers every year. Create a strategy that not only for acquisition of new customers – but a way to win back old customers. You have already started a relationship with them. So, make a plan to get them back on the active customers list.

The bottom line is that customer loyalty is all about reaching your clients, getting them to recognize your brand, walking them in the door, and … Building. A. Relationship. If you want loyalty, start there – then work on the rest.

Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty (Part 2)

Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty Part Two
They say you can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can please someone some of the time … but in the case of sales and customer service, pleasing people is your job. So why is it so time-consuming, frustrating and difficult to find customers who stick?

Customer loyalty is a difficult topic in itself – given that customers and their experiences are so varied. It adds up to a potential headache for small business owners. But there are ways to make it more understandable and even, dare I say it … better.

Serve first, sell second

Customers are smarter and better informed than ever. They expect business with you to be hassle free and gratifying for them. If you don’t deliver, they’ll find another source.

Don’t forget to listen to the customers rather than talking at them. According to Leadership Mentor Michael Hyatt, we should always remember “Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” When it comes down to it, the less you worry about the big “sell,” the more your customer will feel a connection. Conversation can begin – more you share your passion the more your customer wants to be involved, wants to buy in, and wants to be a part of it.

Seek out customer complaints

This may seem counterproductive but is truly a great way to build trust and head off any potential catastrophes. After all, bad news travels fast! Generally, only 10 percent of complaints ever get articulated by clients. And over time, complaints turn to resentments and become highly negative. Ask what you/we can do better and customers will appreciate it. communicate regularly with customers, weaving successes into case studies and other content that showcases exactly how their respective companies provides value and solves problems. Focusing on the problems customers are having emphasizes a your expertise in the field.

Stay responsive

Responsiveness is closely tied to the perception of good service and technology has grown expectations of immediate response. Quick response has become more critical. We are in a digital era and are expected to be available quickly – whether the customer has good news or a complaint. Make sure that you have a process in place to hear out the customer, make amends if needed (or accept praise!) and continue the open conversation. It is amazing what a difference just being available can make!

In fact, years of experience tells CEO Tom Cates that “Strong customer relationships drive sales, sustainability, and growth.” And isn’t every relationship full of ups and downs – but also is built upon trust. Get your clients and customers to trust in YOU and trust in your product. They will come back for more.

CVAEMA Website Has Officially Launched

When the board of Cumberland Valley Antique Engine & Machinery Association (CVAEMA) approached us to create a new website for them, they had a vision: a refreshed website with an updated look, enhanced functionality, the ability to showcase who they are and what they have to offer, and they hoped to attract both event attendees as well as draw in new members with an interest in agricultural history.

To do this, they were looking at becoming even more user friendly by highlighting their annual events. They wanted to make navigation easy for attendees andvendors to learn where to stay and what features to expect at the event.

We jumped right in to research, design, code, setup, and handle modifications for this amazing new vision. Our team wanted to give their website the “WOW” factor they desired– by using their organizations’ photos and a style to blend them into a retro feel that still felt fresh and exciting.

All of these components make for a complex project – how do you pull together years of information but make it look new? How do you make the site user-friendlywithout losing information necessary to the organization?

To create the new CVAEMA website we did our research, investigated the event-planning software they currently use and are comfortable with, and then started the fun part:

  • Design
  • Coding
  • Logo Design
  • Community Calendar Creation
  • Blog Integration
  • Content Management
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The end result is a fully responsive website with a modern yet classic feel that is simple to navigate. The NEW website for Cumberland Valley Antique Engine & Machinery Association (CVAEMA) is ready to serve as a valuable tool for the organization.

Need help?

Our team can create compelling and awesome graphics for your website that make your brand standout across all devices. We encourage you to visit www.cvantiqueengine.org on all devices to understand the improved responsive technology.

Have an idea or vision for your website but not quite sure where to start …let’s talk.

Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty (Part 1)

Simple Steps to Enhance Customer Loyalty Part One
There is nothing more emotionally driven in our consumer-laced era than customer loyalty. It is a phenomena based on connectivity, friendship, and trust. And, according to the folks at BeyondPhilosophy.com, it is the result of consistently positive emotional experiences, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services.

What all of this means is that your customers are looking at you (and, in effect, your business) as a friend. You have to prove that you and the customer have a connection, that there is some interaction that builds their trust to you and loyalty to your brand.

So how do we do this? There are some important things to remember about those oh-so-fickle customers:

Know your loyalty stages

Customers become loyal to a brand one step at a time. Understand their stage and move them to the next level. Prospect, first time customer, repeat customer, client, and advocate. Each step is an important part of the process and is a great opportunity to connect with them, learn their business, and anticipate their next need.

Steve Jobs explained it best when he said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

(Remember: 42 percent of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after just two bad experiences – so you can’t mess up, or if you do, be ready to spin the bad experience into a good one! You can keep them on track, but you have to be diligent and aware.)

Practice the 80/20 rule

It is said that roughly 80 percent of revenue is generated by 20 percent of your customers. Monitor those customers to make sure they’re happy.

The fact is, customer engagement is what leads to customer retention. Customers who are engaged are five times more likely to remain loyal to you. Invest in your relationship with the 20 percent of revenue-generating customers and you will have loyalty for sure!

After all, wouldn’t you trust your friends? That is what your truly engaged customers react to – a friendly vibe that makes them want to be a part of your brand. And that is definitely worth your time!

Why Bother With Instagram for Your Small Business?

Why Bother With Instagram for Your Small Business
In our personal life, we can’t imagine social media without Instagram. What a loss – how ever would we get our daily dose of coffee memes, local hangout promos, silly kitty gifs, and inspirational #quoteoftheday ?

The trouble is, the only way to post to the beloved photo-dependent, meme-friendly app is to use the camera feature on your mobile device. Thank goodness this includes tablets and ipads! And while the platform has tried a few variations of theme -initially launching in 2010 (iOS) and 2012 (Android) followed by a very limited desktop app, it has remained steadfast as the go-to app for easy access to searchable photos and videos.

With over 600 million instagrammers to date and 400 million of them posting daily, who could deny it’s popularity?! That’s 95 million photos and videos per day!

What does this mean for your small business?  

Last year is said to be the first time more businesses used Instagram for marketing than Twitter.

More than 15 million registered businesses use this particular platform to date. Part of this popularity among brands is due to the platform buyout with FaceBook. Thanks to a solid decision by the-powers-that-be, FaceBook and Instagram can share ad space – that is, you can easily, simple, almost brainlessly post to both platforms at one time. Crazy, but what a time-saver for the busy business owner!

Better Posts = Better Engagement

Think about your business in a new light – or rather – think only in photos. What is the visual you want to portray? Color, casual, formal, dark, light, all of it plays a part in the visual brand on Instagram. More than 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post – hence the same look and brand!

Of course you aren’t competing with all of these businesses, but searching for your industry will give you an idea of how competitive you need to be.

#Hashtaglikecrazy

Secondary to this is your caption and searchable hashtags. These two steps go hand-in-hand. Write your caption based on your visual, then search out words to tag – sites like hastagify.com can help show you which hashtags are popular now (and can search demographically!). Start a hashtag directory as you do your search and you will have a cache of viable hashtags that your customers will be looking for! Now some folks despise hashtags, noting that they clutter the appearance of the caption, but if you want to raise engagement, you need them. (Plus  in-the-know instagrammers are well aware that the latest rules allow and ENCOURAGE hashtag following! What a great branding opportunity for your small business!)

In fact, just ONE Instagram hashtag can raise your engagement and visibility by more than 12 percent!

In a world that is fully dependent on mobile access, it is completely natural that an app for posting videos and photos (and is #hashtaghappy) would be mobile-dependent as well. If you business is ready to take the plunge, create your page, find your niche, and get those followers! Your brand – 600 million instagrammers – will thank you.