So you’ve got your business up and running, whether that means freelance consulting, promoting affiliate products, or running a monetized online community, things are on the up and up. However, you know there’s lots of other, more established competitors in your spaceâ€¦ so how do you stand out and convince customers that switching to you is a no-brainer? Well, here are a few proven ways to overdeliver in the digital age.
1. Collect feedback.
With the amount of survey tools out there, or the ability to, you know, send an email message, it’s incredibly important that you start listening to what your customers are saying. Early on, this can be as simple as asking them in a post-sale or ideally post-service email what they thought of your service, and if they have anything they would improve.
This serves two purposes: First, it’s going to help you identify people who are really keen on your brand or product, and who might be good candidates to become your affiliates, etc. Starting out, you might just let them know that if they enjoyed working with you, you’d love to send some kind of reward their way if they find a few people to refer to you. These gifts don’t have to be anything expensive, but the gesture is often appreciated and the potential to help you grow is huge.
2. Have a personality.
Seriously, for the same reason people vote for political candidates based on how they look, or how they generally “feel” about them, interactions and perception go a long way in purchase decisions. Plus, this is actually something you have a huge advantage at over your larger rivals: When a company has 37 different support agents to help with their massive customerbase, they can’t offer the same kind of repeat interactions or treatment that you can as an individual. Smart companies on the rise use the technique of overdelivering in the personalization and customer support department to win clients from their competitors. It’s not a bad strategy for entrepreneurs and online marketers, etiher.
3. Connect with them via social media as a person, not a brand.
This is an interesting one. Now more than ever, people like to know who they’re doing business with, because they can. Social media has greatly raised expectations of interaction and transparency, to the point that even massive brands make sure they have a presence actively chat with those who mention them.
As an individual entrepreneur, you have the unique opportunity to let people know the person who wants to do business with them. This goes hand in hand with point number two about having a personality. Let people Snapchat with you in your off-hours, post Instagram pictures of your work days as they progress. The Facebook page for your freelancing or brand can be a place that people not only get to know you better through written posts, but when you can foster community through asking discussion questions and special offers.
Remember that your biggest weakness, being small and up against long-standing competition, is also your biggest asset, because it makes you more agile than anyone else (and your clients will remember that).
Do you need more customers?
Are you sick of people visiting your website or business and not buying?
Well keep reading as we will show you How To Attract Customers To Your Business Who Are Ready To Buy.
Much worse than having no visitors to your website or business premises is actually getting visitors, but no sales. That is so frustrating.
If that has happened to you, don’t despair. We have worked with a number of existing and start-up businesses and know a few tricks to help you attract not only new customers to your website but ones who are ready to buy from you.
Identify your target audience – don’t try to reach out to everybody
The first and most important step for any business is to identify your target customers. Do it right, and you will have a much easier time converting visitors into buyers. Do it wrong, and you risk creating a product/service that nobody (or not enough people) wants.
It is well known customers want to interact with brands they can connect with.
To do this, you need to know what kind of company and image you want to portray and then adapt your marketing to directly appeal to the ideal brand of customer you want to attract to your business. This is done by creating ideal buyer persona (an image or profile of your ideal customer) based on their buying habits and lifestyle.
So instead of searching for customers, help them to find you. Go to the sites and places they go to – put yourself in the places they want to be and invite them to come and see you. If you have a clear image of who you want to serve, you are going to be in a better position to give them what they want.
A lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that everybody is a potential customer. They are not! You need to focus on the dreams and desires of your top customers, then pay them special attention by treating them well.
Don’t try to rent your audience, build your own instead
Some businesses we have worked with have tried to take a short cut by renting eyeballs or clicks. They buy and rent email mailing lists in order to get extra customers. Sometimes the gamble can pay off but if you want customers who are looking for a business and services like yours, it is far more profitable to grow your own list instead.
This is not hard to do. For example, on your Facebook page you could provide shareable, inspirational and humorous content – images and quotes to encourage visitors to engage with you.
The people who enjoy the content on your site are generally the ones who will respond to your specific offers and products and you can quickly attract a lot of eager new fans and customers.
Word of mouth marketing
The best way to attract new customers to your site is by word of mouth, and social media marketing, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, makes this easier to do than ever before. It is fast, free and easy.
Ditch the large scale marketing campaigns
What? Is this really a recommendation from a marketing company? Yes!
In the old days, marketing used to be large scale isolated advertising and media events but things have changed. Your customers don’t live on a campaign schedule. They are always on the move and are constantly being bombarded with new information and offers wherever they go. As a result they have become more discerning and advert aware.
So instead of investing a large amount of money on a big campaign it is better to drip feed your offers through continuous engagement with them.
Social media makes it easy to follow a customer from their first visit to your site, to the point that they become a lead and eventually through the sales process.
The relationship doesn’t end there as your constant engagement and relationship building with them continues long after the initial sale. You can easily get repeat business and referrals from them if you handle it right.
Copy your competition
Do a bit of research.
Find out how your competition is attracting customers:
Do they advertize on the Internet or is it mainly offline?
Do they buy advertizements in local media like newspapers and radio or do they have a large social media following online?
If they are doing something that clearly works for them and are getting customers (your potential customers), you need to try and adopt similar measures so that you don’t continue losing customers to them.
Attract new customers who are actively searching for your product or service
Purchasing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising using Google Adwords is a very effective way to instantly connect with new customers who are not only eager to buy but have got their credit card at the ready to buy there and then.
Unlike traditional forms of advertising, like the Yellow Pages or ads in a local newspaper, with PPC you are not handing over money and paying for an empty promise of perhaps getting new visitors to see your site. You are paying for an actual result, a click.
With PPC, you don’t pay if nobody sees your ad; you don’t even pay if someone does see it but doesn’t click. You only pay when someone literally clicks on your ad.
This is generally called buying clicks because that’s just what you are doing. You’re paying a PPC company each time someone clicks on the link that is pointing back to your Website.
These ads are highly targeted.
So, for example, when a person does a search for a Wedding Planner in your town or area, Google will bring up a list of targeted adverts that wedding planners and related companies have paid to advertize when a customer types those key words into the search engine. In most cases these are customers who are very eager to buy, and you can see how this works over the page.
This is basically how it works:
• You join a search engine’s PPC program (for example Adwords by Google) and add some funds to the account. You set a limit on the maximum amount you want to pay so you don’t go over budget.
• You create a small text ad (in some cases, PPC can include images).
• You specify exactly what words or phrases a customer should type into the search engine before they would even see your advertizement, which will ensure the ads are targeted.
• You specify how much you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
• You are now ready. You wait for the next person to arrive at the search engine, enter one of the keywords or keyword phrases you specified, and click the Search button.
• The search engine finds the matching ads (including yours) and places them on the results page.
• If the searcher clicks the ad, he is taken to your Website, and you will be charged for that click.
• Once the budget limit you set for your advertising campaign has been reached, your ad will no longer be shown until you add more funds to your account. By this time you should have received some targeted customers who have bought from you.
Attend industry specific conferences and exhibitions
We are big fans of attending conferences, exhibitions and networking events. It is a great way to make new connections and spread the word about your business to new targeted clients.
People buy from people they have met, so if you are seen and active at events, people will be more inclined to buy from you.
This type of event is also perfect for showing potential clients how caring you are and that you strive to make your customers happy. Exceptional customer service plus excellent products or services will always ensure that you have a thriving business.
Use these events to get people to visit your website and join your mailing list so you can stay in constant contact with them using the engagement tips mentioned above.
By using some or all of these methods you will be able to attract brand new, eager to buy customers easily.
The internet has made it a level playing field for small to medium sized businesses. You can reach thousands of new customers every week from all around the world or locally, by having a well thought out online presence.
It is an exciting time for small businesses and you don’t want to miss out on the revolution that is happening at the moment. Old marketing methods no longer work. The way that consumers buy is changing and you need to change with them, knowing who they are, where they are and why they buy.
Collecting customer feedback can provide you with invaluable insight into the customer process. These are insights that you can assume or guess out on your own, and can go a long way toward shaping your business in a way that sets it up to be more successful in the future. Unfortunately, information on how to gather feedback so that it is accurate, unbiased, and actionable, that is, leading to actual tangible steps you can take to improve, is sparse. Many who go the DIY route with their customer satisfaction surveys fall into common pitfalls of question writing and end up with data that doesn’t do them a lot of good.
Tip #1) Know what you want to know Seriously, before you start writing your customer feedback survey, narrow down what exactly it is you hope to come out more knowledgeable about. For example, it’s not super helpful to gauge overall “satisfaction.” Instead, think of a specific question like “What is stopping customers who have items in their cart but don’t proceed to checkout?” or “How can I improve my support options to make customers happier?” Having a guiding topic like this will help you make sure you have a consistent purpose through your questions.
Tip #2) Share where your customers are Sometimes, sharing a survey with your customers or trying to reach them in the wrong place can make it difficult to get a high response rate. For example, you could email your survey out to those on your customer email list, but what if you embedded the survey right on your website, on crucial pages, as well? Or if you have a physical store, maybe you setup an ipad with a survey to catch people as they leave the store instead. Try to get creative and reach your customers where they are actually most likely to actually be and respond.
Tip #3) Keep your brand voice in mind Remember, when you’re asking your customers to give you their feedback, your survey acts as a branch of communication for your brand. If the language or phrasing or tone of your survey seem to deviate too extremely from your brand tone of voice, it could come off as odd. Worse yet, customers could assume that you care so little about their feedback that you’ve hired someone externally to do your satisfaction research. Remember, that survey itself is a brand touchpoint, so treat it as such!
Tip #4) Avoid words and phrases that could push responses toward a certain bias Too often, surveys word their questions in a way that leads respondents toward offering up a certain opinion. While it’s nice to hear that you’re doing well or that customers love a certain feature, it’s better to make sure that your feedback is genuine and honest. Avoid framing questions in any way that hints at something being good or bad before you ask the respondent for an opinion of it.
Below we’ll take a look at some more advanced techniques for guaranteeing your surveys yield actionable results.
Advanced Tip #1) Avoid agree or disagree type questions When surveys give a statement and then ask respondents whether they agree or disagree with it, they may intentionally be biasing their responses. According to Harvard University’s own guidelines for sharing surveys, these questions often result in a bias toward more people choosing ‘agree’ than actually would rate themselves as being aligned with the statement.
Advanced Tip #2) Keep your survey to 10 questions, max When people bother to give you the time it takes to fill out your customer survey, you should appreciate that decision, not disrespect it by keeping them on the hook for longer than necessary. Plus, keeping your survey short is actually to your benefit as well. Research has shown that the longer a survey gets, the less time people spend on each question, because they get frustrated with the survey dragging on and speed up their responses on the later questions. It’s best to keep things more manageable and get to the point quickly both for your sake and for that of your customers.
Advanced Tip #3) Use question logic In the survey industry, question logic refers to the ability of a survey software to change which questions a respondent gets asked depending on how they’ve answered something previously. For example, if a customer answers that they have never purchased a teddy bear from your store, it makes little sense to ask them followup questions about the quality of the bear they purchased. Question logic lets you have the people who tell you they’ve never purchased a teddy bear skip right over the questions that pertain to that product. This can help you keep your questions as relevant as possible, which will also increase the chances that your respondents stick around.
Advanced Tip #4) Limit your use of open-ended questions. When it comes right down to it, it’s great to offer your respondents open-ended text fields that let them give a detailed opinion on a topic. That said, relying on these types of questions too much over more quantitative, measurable rating scales, etc. can make it hard to get data that’s easy to pick apart. Being able to tie comments and explicit suggestions to your business is great, but so is the ability to see where average highs and lows lie with your customer group as a whole. It’s a good idea to mix in quantitative and qualitative questions as your survey progresses, to get a nice balance of information coming in.
Finally, you should be striving to follow-up personally with every person who bothers responding to your survey. First, you should thank them, then you should dig into the specific answers you got and make sure you understand what actions you should take next to improve – this applies to those who had both positive and negative input for you!