Posts

Four Easy Methods Of Interacting With Customers And Clients

If you want to be effective in business today, you have to ensure that your company feels open to consumers and clients. Customers are used to interacting with their businesses. If you look at fresh company websites, you will see that they have popup boxes. In it you can talk to an employee of the company. Or perhaps it is just an automated response box. Either way it does not matter. What matters is how the business looks. It looks and feels like customers can interact. That is key. How else can you create this effect?

Social Media

As with everything these days, it all comes down to social media. You probably have personal accounts already. But should also have a business Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram. If you do not have these set up, they are all a great way for interacting with clients. You can post big business announcements on Twitter. If you are savvy, post a link to an article on a blog you own. Use the blog to talk about different aspects of your business. You will build more interest in your company. You can use Instagram the same way. If there is a big business event like a conference, take a picture and post it on your account. Include a link to your website. FaceBook can be utilized for interacting with customers on a more personal level.

A Great Website

A fantastic, easy to use website works as a big advertisement towards your customers. They see your website is filled with info about your company and maybe even success stories. There are pictures and videos that make your website graphic and vivid. Remember, customers love interaction so using one of those smart boxes we talked about may not be a bad idea. You can have links to your blog and twitter feeds on the side. You can use links to take customers where you want them to go on different articles. This can be to your shop or news about your business industry.

Little Touches

Do not be afraid of interacting with your customers on a personal level. They love it. They like to know that businesses they use care. You can show this by sending greeting cards. This does not have to be for special occasions like Christmas. You can send cards to say: thank you for using your business for the first time. Or we hope you enjoy this product. For more ideas and an example of how to do this look at a website like http://www.eco2greetings.com/.

A Quick Survey

Finally, you need to take this message on board. Customers know what they want. They know what they like. If you want to improve customer relations all you have to do is listen to them. But first you have to gather information. We recommend doing this with either a survey on your website or an email. If you do it through the post, they will most likely view it as junk. Surveys are always a useful resource. They may be where the next idea to improve your company comes from.

businessman

Learn How To Use Live Chat To Enhance Customer Experience

Every small business owner knows that customer service is a critical part of achieving lasting success. Without taking proper care of your customers, you can’t hope to grow, expand and prosper. There are many ways to enhance the customer service capabilities of your e-commerce business, but live chat is among the most effective options. Still, simply adding live chat to your site isn’t enough. You need to know how to use it properly to ensure that it actually benefits your customers, and these tips will help you get there:

  • Use the Right Technology – There are lots of live chat solutions out there, and some are far better than others. The best software allows you to chat with your customers quickly, easily and efficiently. You shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work on your site. With a cloud-based live chat service like HelpOnClick, you can quickly implement a live chat solution that will dramatically enhance your site’s customer service capabilities.
  • Keep Your Audience in Mind – Your live chat representatives should be trained to understand who they will be assisting. As a small business owner, you should already have a clear idea about your target audience. Who does it consist of, and what kinds of expectations do they have? Whether you’re targeting a young, hip demographic or an older, more professional one, your reps should know how to communicate effectively with them.
  • Be Aware of the Most Common Issues – Like many e-commerce businesses, you may notice a pattern when it comes to the kinds of questions that people pose to your live chat reps. It’s in your best interests to try to address these questions to keep the same problems from occurring again and again. Your site should have a FAQ that includes the most common questions and answers too. Still, your reps should be made aware of these questions as well and prepared to address them quickly and efficiently.
  • Support should be Easy to Find – The last thing you should do is bury your live chat support on a random page. Instead, prominent links to initiate live chat should be placed throughout the site. Regardless of what a person is doing on your site and where he happens to be, he shouldn’t have to dig around to access live support. When people can quickly get the help they need, they’re more likely to stick around long enough to become paying customers!
  • Be Warm and Personable – Train your live chat reps to be warm, friendly and personable at all times. If possible, include at least one photo of a friendly, smiling rep near the link to your live chat service. Show people that they will be treated with respect when they ask for help. Monitor chat logs to make sure that your reps are following through.
  • Be Aware of Your Customer Service Demands – Some e-commerce businesses handle a very small volume of questions and issues from customers. Others are positively swamped with such activity. What kinds of customer service demands does your business deal with on a daily basis? Will your live chat support be able to accommodate them? Keep at it until you are able to handle your customers’ needs properly.
  • Don’t Make People Wait – When people see that your site offers live chat support, they’re going to expect to be helped promptly. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than trying to initiate a chat and being put “on hold.” Fortunately, services like HelpOnClick have virtual agents that can fill in when all of the live chat representatives are busy. This eliminates long wait times and keeps frustration at bay.
  • Learn from Live Chats – A lot can be learned by keeping track of live support chats. Create a log of them and try to classify them in some way. Patterns are sure to emerge. What can you learn from those patterns? Perhaps one of your products has a flaw that can be addressed in some way, or maybe you can add a little more information to your product descriptions to cut back on confusion. In this way, live chat software can actually help you improve your business to give it an incredible competitive edge.
  • Offer Around-the-Clock Support – Like the vast majority of e-commerce businesses, yours is probably patronized by people from all over the place. You don’t shut down your site during non-traditional business hours, and you shouldn’t shut down your customer support, either. Your live chat support should be available at all times.

Be a Customer Service Star with Live Chat By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to give your customers the support they need. As your company grows, its customer service needs may change too. Make sure to use a live chat solution that can adapt to suit those ever-changing needs.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: istockphoto.com

Neran Ashkenazy, Founder of HelpOnClick LTD. A global provider of live chat solutions. When he is not working on his next chat script version, you might find him writing in his private or HelpOnClick company’s blog.

Branding – What It Should Accomplish And How To Get There

When it comes to building a successful company, focusing on branding is a largely important facet. Creating a strong brand is invaluable as the market becomes increasingly competitive day by day, and you want potential customers to notice YOU. Being proud of the company you run is evident when branding is displayed prominently on the website, and when the people behind the brand are proud and supportive, it in turn creates a sense of trust and excitement in the consumer.

A good brand needs to achieve specific objectives:

  • Deliver the message clearly and concisely and deliver a single message
  • Confirms and maintains your credibility and reinforces your value proposition
  • Evokes an emotional response in target customers
  • Motivates potential customers
  • Cements customer loyalty

Certain steps can be taken to achieve successful online branding:

Consistency

This goes to say that each interaction with the client, whether it be in person, via telephone, online, through website design, physical appearance (uniform), or on your sales products like a point of sale display stand, should be the same and convey the same message.

The client needs to have a feeling of uniformity to really drive the message home. All employees, whether they be sales, Help Desk, or CEO, need to be on the same page and employ common methods and tools no matter what the situation. If you have a white board sitting in your office write down your brands motto. Having your brands motto clearly identified for each employee will guide each interaction correctly. If you brand focuses on customer relationships that could elicit a very different interaction than if your brand is focus on results or ROI.

Repetition

Often utilize your marketing strategies to ensure the logo, motto, product and service are in the mind’s of your potential customers. Repetition is key! It is important to evaluate every single word on your website to make sure the message is repeated and consistent. It is very easy to identify how each facet of the brand is so connected.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service determines whether that customer becomes a returning one. This can be achieved by giving the client a satisfying experience, either through successful handling of a situation, following up with them, or by following proper protocol with a positive attitude. A happy customer is also a free marketing tool.

Determine Strategic Partners

Determining your strategic partner is a process that involves coming up with like companies who are highly recognizable by your target audience.

Choose Strategic Partners

A strategic partner allows the opportunity for oh-so-great cross-marketing, while also creating value and differentiating your business from the others out there. They must positively impact your company and offer something more than you could provide without their partnership. Co-branding is beneficial for both companies, adding honest credibility but must be relevant to both of you.

Choose Yourself First

While co-branding is beneficial as a marketing tool, do not display the co-brand on the first page of your site. Display your company logo proudly on the home and subsequent pages, as having a partnership with a reputable company is great, but you do not want their logo or company to take precedence over yours. Besides, it’s your company, wear it proudly.

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Ways To Improve Your Small Business

It’s a well-known fact that business reputation is directly proportional to service quality. Evidently, superior service quality can help you gain a good reputation and more customers than ever before. Today, you can improve the quality of your service by simply following the next five tips related to business evaluation, good hiring, service culture, employee motivation and call center order taking.

  1. Evaluate Your Business: The very first thing you should do if you want to improve your business is to audit your current service quality. Simply put, a professional auditor can help you identify the business areas that require improvement.
  1. Hire the Right Employees: Hiring the right people can help you maintain and even improve the quality of your service. Although most business owners are looking for workers with low payment expectations, it’s important to know that these employees are unable to provide the services you expect. Therefore, you should put more emphasis on the hiring process and start searching for proficient employees who are capable to provide the best customer service.
  1. Service Culture: Defined as one of the most important elements for an organization, the service culture revolves around appreciating and offering good service. Some of the values you should try to implement are teamwork, excellence, integrity, joy, social profit, respect and innovation. These can help you improve the overall performance of your organization and create a competitive advantage over your competitors.
  1. Motivate Your Employees: Motivated staff can help your business to flourish. A few things you can do to motivate your employees include setting good examples of cheerfulness and productivity; developing your listening skills; explaining the purpose of the job along with the mission and vision of your organization; and rewarding employees every time they achieve targets. Additionally, you should always recognize and appreciate the efforts of all employees and never forget to be friendly, open and professional with them.
  1. Develop a Call Center Order Taking ServiceAlthough enlisting the services of an order taking call center is easier than developing your own call center, having a department that handles incoming and outgoing calls is the only way to ensure that your clients receive the best customer service. To improve the service quality at your call center, establish an in-house quality control team that verifies the level of service your agents provide and create a database that allows you to analyze the overall customer experience.

You can improve your business even more by implementing service quality training, ensuring that mediocre service is never accepted and monitoring the interaction between your employees and customers.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=business&ex=2#ai:MP900439345|

Jake Alexander is a free lance writer who loves to discuss business and technology. Follow him @JakeAlexander17.

5 Ways Your Business Can Be Making More Money

You have a business and you’re making more money, so that means you’re one of the lucky few. You have wandered out into the world without anything and built yourself a mini-empire that brings in enough riches to feed your family. You’re reading this because you’re not completely happy. You have a fire in your belly and you want more. You want to take your business up to the next level by making more money than you could ever imagine.

It’s not easy taking a small business and increasing the profits enough to make a considerable difference. It’s not easy, but you’re going to try anyway because it’s something you’re passionate about. If you’ve been thinking about taking it to the next level for a while there are probably a few ways you’ve thought about doing it. Let’s look at some ideas below that will help you reach your goals and you can see if you have already considered any of them.

Bring in new products

If you’re selling a particular product at the moment is there any way to expand into other areas? You ideally want your average customer to by buying both products. There isn’t much point in bringing out a second product if people are just going to choose between the two. If you can’t add anything else to your product line you might want to think about slowly increasing the price of what you’re selling at the moment and make sure you measure the results.

Great marketing

There is a great way to market your business and there is a bad way. Are you doing it the great way at the moment? I doubt you are because if it was working effectively you would know exactly what was needed to be making more money. You would just invest more into whatever was increasing your sales. Start looking through your marketing strategy very carefully and try to figure out the ROI on everything you do. That will tell you what you should be focusing on.

Get more work done

If your employees can find a way to work harder they will get more done. Lots of companies like to monitor computer usage and you should do it too. You will probably have a few people who like to sit around all morning looking for flights and praying for their next vacation. If they know someone is watching them it will mean they start doing work instead of messing around in your time. If you don’t monitor their computer they could be doing anything.

 

Find an easier way to do something

There is more than one way to do something, but for some reason companies seem to be stuck in their ways. You could be making more money right now if you found a quicker way to carry out a particular job. It’s time to change the way things are done and the best people to ask are your employees. Ask them to send you an email asking if they have any suggestions about ways to streamline any of the jobs they do on a daily basis.

Retain your customers

Can you imagine what would happen if someone kept coming back and buying from you? It would mean as time went on your profits would keep increasing because not only do you have the new customers walking through the door, but you have all the ones that return and spend money. You need to make sure whatever you sell is perfect so everyone will love it. Your customer service should also be great because that can be the difference between someone coming back or not.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/04/11/11/46/flat-27665_150.png
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/02/15/06/49/capital-81820_150.jpg
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/04/28/18/18/sign-43858_150.png

Sheldon Lewis is a business analyst by profession and works for Webwatcher. He has vast experience in this field and has worked on many critical projects. He often gives advise on matters of business and has written several articles explaining its various facets on his blog.

Enhanced by Zemanta