The Internet’s neutrality will be voted on soon… If you want to protect the Internet’ “integrity”, click on the image below or on the hyperlink to cast your vote to keep EVERYONE’S ACCESS EQUAL.
If you’ve got your own business, you’ll know by now the importance of maintaining relationships with your customers. You may feel it’s a challenge to devote time to each customer as your client base increases as your company grows, yet you still need to effectively communicate and respond to all their needs.
You are not alone. Every business struggles with this dilemma. Luckily, technology most likely has a solution to help re-connect you with your clients.
Here are some tips on using technology to improve customer/client relationships.
Upgrade Your Phone System
There’s a perception that phones are no longer trendy. Many small businesses think the only way to reduce costs is to spend as little as possible on phone systems, forgetting that a good system is essential to their business. There are so many options: Multi-channel phone systems, call/contact centre technology, mobile and tablet video conferencing, VoIP… there’s definitely something that suits your needs and fits your budget.
To get the best advice about what system would work for your business, it’s best to speak with a company that specialises in small business phone systems, such as Com2.
Use Technology To Enhance The Customer Experience
Many companies make the common mistake of using technology or software, to try to create a NEW customer experience, rather than enhance or improve an existing one. Often, the focus is on the technology instead of making the customer’s experience better.
First, you need to define what your ‘customer experience’ is (this is a lot harder than it sounds!) then identify the tools and/or software you need to make it better. Don’t fall into the common trap of moulding your strategy around the latest technological fad.
Utilise The Best Tools Available
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are a great way to manage all communications and data involving your customers. A CRM will enable you to analyse your customers so you can target them more precisely in your marketing campaigns. This will save you time and money and improve your results. If you don’t have a CRM system in place, you are about a decade behind… Literally stuck in the 1990′s.
I doubt you can survive the remainder of this decade without a CRM. Sorry, but that’s the way of the world – innovate or perish. There is no excuse – CRM systems are affordable and web-based, so technologically easy to implement.
Make Your Website Interactive
There are many ways to create interactivity on your website. One option is to have online survey tools to solicit input and feedback that can help you enhance your customer experience. You can send e-newsletters, provide feedback forms and keep your list of FAQs current with audio and video explanations.
Use Social Media
Everyone’s going social these days, so why don’t you? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all free (unless you wish to pay to advertise through them), accessible and widely relied upon by the majority of the population. If you have a consumer client base it would be unwise not to use them. With social media you can easily keep people up to date and inform them of new products, recent achievements and upcoming events. Many businesses also use these networks as a base for promotions or competitions that keep their customers coming back for more.
Customers expect a high level of service. By staying current and utilising these various technologies, you’ll be able to personalise your service to each customer, thus creating a meaningful relationship that will keep them loyal on a long term basis.
We know the adage about gift giving that it’s the thought that counts…
Once you’ve signed up – it’s FREE, you can get your own affiliate code and get rewarded for YOUR referrals to friends, family and colleagues. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
This is exponential leverage at its very best, which is what makes the Internet the most powerful marketing tool ever created.
Learn to leverage the Internet to your advantage without needing to give anything away for FREE, but using other people’s FREE gifts to YOUR advantage with the Internet Sales Lead Generation Toolkit.
Here are my picks for my top 10 blog posts of 2014.
- There is nothing more powerful than 20/20 Foresight to know what’s coming in 2015…
- This is my favourite YouTube video of the year – brilliant – Word Crimes are committed by too many people’s.
- Antimimeticisomorphism is easier said than done – this example is priceless – poo pourri.
- The privacy pirates are still at it in 2014, maybe this guy’s one step ahead of them with his amazing mind reading skills!
- We all love our iPads… Who knew they are this versatile and useful?
- A metaphor can be the difference life and death, success or failure. This is one of my all-time favourites.
- This cute video says a lot about teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More.
- Looks do matter – even if you’re a shark.
- I hope your calendar doesn’t look this this! Notice the caribou? Another great metaphor!
- Somethings are better left unsaid.
Bonus Blog Posts:
Enjoy the best of 2014 and may 2015 bring you all the wealth, health and happiness you deserve!
This is just too funny – don’t worry, you don’t need to understand any German to laugh out loud at this hilarious commercial.
Experienced business professionals know the value in networking – there is no better way to get work done and stay ahead than connecting and communicating with other sources of information and knowledge. Whether it’s within a group of industry professionals like the Women’s Networking Australia, or Connected Women, or just a bunch of friends, information works best when it can be shared, discussed and passed on.
Networking your business’s IT infrastructure has the same benefits – you and your staff will have better access to the key sources of information, knowledge and productivity. Setting up an IT network is easy when going through a professional information technology company such as Keyspace Australia.
Here’s why your business should get connected with networking services today.
What does it Mean?
Wireless, wired, cloud computing – sometimes it feels like a completely different language! But the truth is, networking is not a new concept. It’s just moving forward like everything else. The basics are still the same – systems work together to share information and knowledge, stay connected, and help grow your business. So what option do you choose? The best way to decide is to break down exactly what your work environment is.
- Do you need completely portable devices so your staff can move around more easily?
- Do you need access to a large amount of storage for emails and information archiving?
- Are you concerned about security?
These questions will help determine the infrastructure you require.
Whether your business is big or small, staying connected with the people you work with is vital for productivity. Networking services, whether wireless or wired, will allow you to do this. You can have every computer, laptop and mobile all working in sync so your workflow is rarely interrupted. It’s a dream for any business! Having your business and its devices set up on a network means you can make tweaks to that all-important presentation the moment you think of it – and you don’t have to make a trip into the office!
Share Your Information
The other bonus of having your business’s devices connected on a network is sharing! Everyone likes to share (most of the time), particularly when your business revolves around teamwork to keep it going. File sharing between laptops, computers and mobiles makes for a more efficient team environment. Nothing is missed and work can always be accessed if someone happens to be away. Other devices such as printers, scanners and webcams can also be added to the network and easily shared via a wireless connection. Because everything is shared on the network, growing your business is more convenient as devices are ready to go immediately for new employees.
Everyone can get a little slack when it comes to computer back-ups, and even if they are done regularly there is still no guarantee it’s safe. What if there’s a fire or a flood that affects your server room? By setting up a wireless network you will have more back-up storage and safer, multi-geographic places to keep it. Options such as the cloud means all your information is backed-up to a secure offsite location. It’s also the perfect solution for archiving too!
So whether you prefer the mobility of a wireless network, or the added security of a wired network, an expertly setup network will give your business more access and smoother productivity. This can keep your business moving towards the future and continued success. So what are you waiting for?
What have been your biggest hesitations about setting your business up with networking services? Let us know in the comments below.
This has been a guest post – if you would like to submit an article, please contact us for our publishing terms and conditions.
We all need more free disk space – especially in the cloud. If you aren,t using DropBox, click on the hyperlink and you’ll instantly get 500 Mb of free space – need more? Invite more friends and you can get up to 16 GB of free space.
Dropbox is ideal when you run a virtual company with freelancers and contractors working around the globe. It is one of the many priceless web-based tools we teach our clients to use to leverage their time and resources – exponentially.
That being said, the Internet remains the most exponential sales and marketing tool available for brick and mortar businesses who want to increase their offline and online sales.
Here are a few tips to launching the online part of your business, to complement what you are already doing offline.
1. Invest in Your Website & Branding
This is a crucial step, no matter how limited your start-up capital is. For an online venture, the website is the business so it needs to not only look good, but also function properly on any device your customers are using (computer, tablet or phone). It needs to have the ability to take payments and of course be search engine optimisated (SEO) and more. You can do it yourself with our Internet Sales Lead Generation Toolkit or consider contacting a full service agency like 4040 Creative to help you in the early stages and get you online with a strong brand and modern, fully functioning integrated website solution.
2. Seek Professional Advice
Even if you can’t afford to hire your own lawyers, accountants and other consultants when you’re starting up, you should at the very least tap into resources like Small Business Development Centres, your local Chamber of Commerce or similar organisations in your region. Passion and talent can take you a long way in business, but being great at what you do doesn’t always translate to being great at running a business and some professional input can save you from making costly mistakes.
3. Have A Business And Marketing Plan
You can easily find free templates for both of these online if you’re not sure where to start. The old “fail to plan, plan to fail” adage definitely applies to running an online business. Spend some time doing your planning and then use it as a working guide to operating and growing your online business.
This can be done both online and off, and is crucial to help grow your business. Reach out to complimentary businesses with whom you may be able to form mutually beneficial affiliate relationships. Join groups and forums that can help connect you with other solo business owners and be seen where your potential customers are likely to be.
Be careful not to get caught up in the Social Notworking Vortex –
where countless hours are wasted…
Remember to focus on building the relationship in the initial stages rather than going in for the hard sell and consider what you can do for others BEFORE you focus on what they can do for you. Pay it forward as much as you can – selecting those partners who are worthy of such an investment.
5. Diversify Your Income Streams
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Even if you are doing really well on a particular platform – don’t rely on it always being your primary source of revenue. Things can change quickly, particularly when using a third party application that you ultimately have no control over.
This is a guest post. If you would like to contribute to Australian Blogs, please contact us for our publishing terms and conditions.
This infographic has a lot of useful lessons for anyone using broadcast email marketing on an on-going basis.
As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know I am not a fan of Social Media and the tactics used to steal your personal information.
Today’ I came across a message from Microsoft that I found truly surprising – read it for yourself.
The question is, will they be able to stick to it and remain competitive when their competitors keep stealing and monetising peoples’ personal details as rampantly as ever… Time will tell, but I have to give credit, where credit is due – well done Microsoft!