We’re not going to surprise you telling you that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important for your business. What we are going to do though, is find out about you. As a business owner, you’ve made a business out of something you likely have a passion or enjoyment for. You wake up and feel good about the products and services you provide and you want the best experience for your customers. SEO is more than just a few key words sprinkled across your website. Many websites have the same words, and a buyer may look at several before they decide to contact you.
What is going to make the difference?
We believe that old fashion customer service is still one of the most valuable assets a company can possess, even if your business is 100% virtual. Consumers want to know you stand behind your work, you love what you do and you enjoy the benefits you provide for your customers. Your content and details need to reflect that. We will help tip the scales for your prospect and drive more requests because they want to connect with a business like yours. You will always have competition, but no other business will be as unique as you are.
We’ve seen enough small businesses to know that managing your customers isn’t easy. Sticky notes get lost, white boards get erased, emails disappear and things get missed. It’s just reality. Most businesses are lacking a good process for managing all aspects of your interaction with a customer. What is often not thought of is the value of that customer data over time. Lets look at both aspects.
Managing the customer interaction
Many times we see website leads turned into an email to someone on your staff. Phone calls go to a stack of paper phone messages, text messages go to someone else, and emails come with the long list of emails you dig through each day. Social Media adds another layer of complexity. Each one of these touch points is an opportunity for business, whether new or repeat. Each one deserves attention and focus until you either agree on a job, or not.
A CRM allows you to define a specific process to ensure that each prospect is known, each need is defined, and each need is addressed without fail. Once a “lead” hits your business, what should happen? Who is responsible? What does the prospect see from you?
Do they get a nice email or text from you immediately thanking them for their inquiry? Are there specific follow-up actions, such as, “A member of our team will reach out within the next 24 hours” or more details about the product/service they inquired about? A CRM could provide everything, specific to the customers inquiry, in the communication method they desire, all by simply entering them into your CRM, or automatically being added from your website.
What about notifications as the job is being worked on? Many businesses require a longer term engagement than just a one stop job. During that engagement is where we often forget to include the customer which leads to mis-communication, mis-understandings and sometimes an unhappy customer. Allow the CRM to communicate any job changes, schedule changes, prompt phone calls, send emails or texts based on even the slightest changes in the project. You as a business define those events, but keeping a customer informed leads to very high reviews once the job is done.
The value of customer data
Now that you have your customers in one place, think about what you know about each one.
Name, communication, location, type of product or services, number of times they’ve done business with you, amount of revenue they’ve generated for you. This is all valuable when the slow season, or lulls in business occur.
Lets say you provide a seasonal service, Lawncare-R-Us and it’s getting close to Spring. Which of your customers have you provided aeration for? Sprinkler service for? Fertilization and weed control? How about a Carpet Cleaning Service? How often do you remind your existing customer base that it’s time for a clean? Electrician? When did you last have an electrical inspection, and they are recommended every XX years. Plumbers? Are your customers just dealing with a little drip, small leak that maybe a nudge can prompt action? These are people that you’ve worked with, had interactions with and it doesn’t cost a thing!
One of the most important aspects in good data is good testimonials. Customer testimonials are one of the most critical aspects to growing your product and service based clientele. A new site visitor wants to know how others feel about your business so the CRM can automatically solicit their feedback and generate great testimonials. On the other hand, if they’re not happy, allow that customer to address those concerns on the feedback form, which allows you to take action to solve the issue, and most importantly, keeps them from venting on a public forum where you have no control of the content.
It doesn’t take extraordinary effort
All of this can be automated to make sure you’re providing superior customer service. You have all the dates, products, services, locations. All you have to do is tell the CRM once what to look for, and it happens. You and your staff remain in contact with the customer, the CRM makes sure you don’t forget. Each customer managed by a single system, never lost in the shuffle and they are managed like they are your only customer. Returning customers cost 20% of the cost of a new customer, and typically spend more money and tell more of their friends about you than new customers do. Yet, often they’re the least utilized tool in marketing.
Software and Technology can be frustrating
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the thought of “I don’t want technology in the way of good service”. That’s why we take a step-by-step approach. We understand your long term goals and set a plan in place to meet those goals, one step at a time. It’s not uncommon that your current “technology” IS creating barriers to good customer service, but it’s just not acknowledged. Those lost sticky notes, forgotten texts, buried emails, missed invoices all add up to a hurdle in service but most of the time, because they were forgotten, they go unrecognized internally. But they are not hidden from your customer. Missed appointments, missed phone calls, ignored texts lead customers to find other companies which is what we can help prevent.
Having a well designed and thorough workflow from the initial point of contact to the final payment leads to outstanding customer service, repeat buyers and top shelf recommendations.
Points to Ponder
90% of customers expect a response with 10 minutes from a social media interaction, and 4 hours from email. 82% of customers who leave a business do so because of a perceived lack of care and responsiveness.