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As a business owner, you need to be able to contact your customers and have them communicate with you whenever they need to. This means that some of the older models, like email, can be useful to you. But, reaching millennial and Zoomer generations is different than their progenitors!  What are some communication tools you should be using to reach customers?

Text Messages

Cold calling customers is just not the way to reach them anymore. Whether they don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t know, or they’ve gotten a few (thousand) too many calls about their car’s imaginary warranty, this just isn’t the modern way your future clients want to communicate. Instead, text messages are much more useful to you! Texts, especially with codes or coupons attached, are less overwhelming in a modern society, as they can be accepted or rejected as desired without answering another call. This offers a greater chance that your customer will stay subscribed, and that means you can keep in contact for longer.

Push Notifications

You can personalize push notifications for customers’ individual situations. There are, of course, those who unsubscribe to push notifications as well. However, those to whom your services matter most – and who will give you repeat business – will enjoy getting new information, articles,  blog posts, and all of the services you offer. Push notifications are a great way to keep loyal customers continually engaged.

Chatbots

Using chatbots helps you in a number of ways, and especially helps your customers to feel that their messages are being reached quickly and easily. When your website uses chatbots, this means that they can direct incoming traffic in need of assistance, and get users to the right webpage, FAQ information, or put them in contact with an individual as quickly as possible. This is particularly good for you when you and your team are away from your desks taking care of other business like returns during vacations or holidays. Chatbots serve as the first line of defense. Your customers don’t need to wait, and are happy to be directed where they need to go to get what they want.

Your website can be streamlined so that your customers not only have more ways to communicate with you, but you with them as well! Try push notifications and text messages instead of calls or emails. Make sure your chatbots work efficiently to help customers funnel all of your communication where it needs to go!

For more tips on customer service, check out this article here!

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Brand Image, Brand Strategy

Your business relies on positive customer experience to succeed. Naturally, that means your customer service quality should be a top priority! Here are a few reasons customer service is an important aspect of your company, and what “quality” customer service looks like.

Develop Customer Loyalty

As customers have consistently good experiences with your business, they develop a sense of respect, appreciation, and eventually loyalty towards you. This loyalty not only ensures a solid and reliable customer base population, but also opens opportunities to reach new customers through those loyal consumers who become natural points of marketing. You can foster this loyalty by making sure that the interactions your customers have with employees are friendly, accommodating, positive, and efficient. Your consumer’s time is valuable, as is their money—they are trusting those things to you! Your caring treatment towards them will serve you well in the long run.

Customers Have High Expectations

A century ago, consumers relied on very few suppliers to offer them the products they wanted. Today, supplies must compete like never before for customer attention! If they are to gain consumer business, they must outperform other businesses similar to theirs in product quality, price, accessibility, availability, and customer experience. Over time, consumer expectations of their experience have increased significantly, including their interactions with your staff and the way your business tailors its expectations to meet their wants or needs. They want interactions that solve their problems! In your customer service communications, respond fast, as responding quickly to customers can help avoid customer disengagement. Also be thorough in your questioning and care, and do everything you can to get your customer the outcome they want (within reason). 

Social Reputation

As you try to stand out from your competitors, you will develop a social reputation built from reviews and opinions and comparisons given by consumers. By implementing good customer service practices, your consumers will have better things to say about you! Customer service representatives should be friendly and sincere—this makes the customers feel comfortable and valued. The positive impact that customer service will have on your social reputation will directly reflect in an increase of your customer population.

Foster loyalty, exceed expectations, and establish a positive social reputation through the interactions your business has with your consumers. Devoting a sufficient amount of time and resources to improving the quality of your customer service is one of the most important and lucrative ways you can boost your business.

Read this next: How Entrepreneurs Can Reach More Diverse Audiences

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Marketing

No matter where your business is or how large your advertising budget may be, it’s important to know how to best spend that money. You want to get a high ROI from your advertising and that means being selective about what you do with your advertising dollars. Figuring out what is most effective takes a little time but there are a few things that tend to work best for the companies that try them. 

Paid Social Media 

One incredibly effective tool in recent years is paid social media posts. These advertisements allow you to reach a huge volume of interested customers who are excited about what you have to offer. Social media advertising is also really effective and brings people to your website which increases your chances of having a purchase made. You will also be able to use social media to create more awareness of your brand which is incredibly important to establishing your company. 

Video Advertising 

While all the content you produce can be effective, video advertising is great at drawing in customers and keeping their interest. This is especially true of high-quality video, and that kind of quality comes with a price tag. Nearly 30% of digital advertising money goes to mobile video. When you put your budget towards creating amazing video content, you can impress your audience and really connect with them on a new level. It is worth taking the time to not only get quality equipment but also increase your skills and knowledge in creating and editing video content. 

Quality Content

You want to make your website the kind of place that is useful to your customers, so they keep coming back. This comes from having high quality content that is relevant to your customers needs. You want to put out content regularly, but you also want to make sure that it is always high quality. If you can make that happen it will do great things for your conversion rates and your company. Make sure that the quality of your content always comes before getting in the key words. 

Your advertising budget may be huge or hugely limited, but if you focus on the right things it can take you far. Every business has different needs, but these three areas are sure to help anyone become more successful. And with the right marketing, your company will be in a better place to grow and bring in new profits.

Read this next: How Your Business Can Benefit From an Outside Consultant

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Business

As a business owner, it is easy to get caught up in doing everything yourself, but there are times when bringing in an outside voice can really help your business. Figuring out when to get outside help can take time and be a challenge, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are a few major benefits you can get from having an outside consultant help your business. 

Develop a Better Marketing Strategy 

Marketing is a huge part of making your business successful and if you aren’t an expert in marketing it can hurt your business to try to handle it alone. Bringing in a marketing consultant can help you to find flaws in your marketing and make it better. With their skills and knowledge, you can get a better handle on your marketing strategy and start reaching your audience more effectively. This will help you to learn and grow and get more out of the marketing you do all the time to better your business. 

Help Craft a Business Plan 

If you are experiencing a stall in your business, it may be time to rethink your business plan. A consultant can make it easier for you to come up with a business plan that will actually work for your business. Your business plan should be thorough, and marketing is just one of the elements that should be included in your plan. A consultant will be able to help you to come up with a step-by-step plan that will get your business into a much better place. 

Improve Your Design 

The design features of your company from your logo to your website are hugely important to the success of your business. If you don’t create your designs with the help of an expert it can be confusing or off-putting to your audience. When you choose to work with a designer you can make sure that everything you produce is beautiful and easy for your customers to recognize and use. This is one area where outside help can really improve the way your business works. 

With the help of expert consultants, you can make your business even better than it already is. Each consultant brings a layer of skill and expertise that can be invaluable to your business. And, as you expand your access to that skill you will expand the possibilities for the future of your business.

Read this next: How to Proactively Preserve Your Reputation

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Business

If you’re planning on a career as a small business owner, you want to be as successful as possible. This has more factors than just the national economy, or even the pandemic, of course. If you are planning on having and building an amazing business, you need several factors which are critical to all small business owners.  What do you need to increase your chances of success?

The Right Employees

Your team means everything, both to you and your business. If you want a higher chance of success, it’s critical to both your and your business to have responsible, intelligent team members who are loyal both to you and to the work that you are doing. If your employees know that you are honorable and working hard to create a healthy and good environment for your business, they will be kinder and more likely to stay with your business, helping it grow.

A High Tolerance for Risk

Only 35 percent of businesses last beyond ten years. This means that small business owners have to have the capacity to make brave choices to take risks for their businesses. It’s very important to learn to take calculated risks. This means that you use the mentoring of experts, your financial planner, and your employees to help you make risk-oriented decisions. Your choices should be according to what is best for your business and employees, not just for yourself or even for fast financial chances.

Learn New Stuff

Businesses that find success figure out how to transform often. Whether this means figuring out how to learn and use cloud computing, taking your business on the road to make it more mobile, or learning how to market using social media, your business is only made possible if you can embrace new technologies and ideas! This creativity will help you to practice helping your business roll with the punches as you find and keep more customers and clients.

Think of it like this: if a business only had one product for forty years, and never changed anything about it, that can be good in some ways, but you still have to learn how to market and change how to sell that product! Word of mouth is still your best friend and learning how to take calculated risks to protect your team and bottom line! You can do this!

Read this next: Important Considerations to Make When Setting up Your Business

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Brand Strategy

As an entrepreneur, you want to do everything you can to grow your audience. As you increase your customer base, you want to aim for a diverse audience. This can present you with new opportunities to expand your business.

Use Targeted Methods

The first step of using targeted marketing methods is identifying who you want to market to. Within marketing, you can market towards the entire population, large subgroups within the population, and smaller niche groups. Knowing who you are marketing to will help you know how to market towards them. With your group in mind, you can ask yourself what kinds of products they would be interested in, what features would appeal to them, and what problems they need to have solved. You can also consider how to best appeal to them with your advertising. Targeted marketing tactics are useful because they allow you to be more efficient. People are more likely to be enticed by an ad that specifically applies to them than a general advertisement.

Produce a Podcast

Over the last few years, podcasts have become extremely popular. They allow people to multitask while learning or being entertained. It’s an easy way for people to get information. Podcast audiences are now more diverse than ever. If you create your own podcast, you can reach a large number of people from different demographics, backgrounds, occupations, etc. It’s the perfect way to get information about your business out into the public and engage with a wide audience. Having a podcast is also a great way to get people to return to your content. If they liked what they heard, they will come back for more.

Have a Diverse Team

When you work with a diverse team, diversity comes more naturally. A team from different backgrounds will think differently and bring new perspectives to the table. This can help you to market to and reach a more diverse audience. You can gain new perspectives, understand how your marketing comes across, and have the opportunity to make needed changes. Consumers are also drawn to diversity. If they see that you make an effort to represent and listen to a diverse team, they will be more likely to engage with your business. Not to mention, a diverse team will help make positive changes within many aspects of your business.

Reaching a diverse audience is an important thing to do as an entrepreneur. It allows you to sell your product or service to more people and you can meet the needs of a wider audience. Learning how to reach a more diverse audience is your first step.

Read this next: How to Take the Pressure Off Running Your Business

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Business

Knowing which industries are growing can help you figure out where to put your efforts over the next few years. As you think about certain industries that seem to be accelerating, consider your current career path and your specific skills. If you can find a way to apply your current skill set to one of these fields, you’ll find a lot of success.

Solar Panels

Solar energy continues to be increasingly relevant as energy prices seem to go up each year. Solar panels are incredibly effective depending on the area you live in—if you live somewhere with year-round direct sunlight, getting solar panels on your home could significantly reduce your energy bills.

But even if you don’t live somewhere with consistent strong year-round sunlight, solar panels could still be an option. Figure out which specific area of the market you want to get involved in and go for it. It’s a great industry to be in.

Source: https://www.dataforma.com/the-future-of-the-solar-industry/

HVAC

HVAC systems are incredibly important for homeowners. For a growing market of homeowners who are renovating their existing older homes, having a new HVAC system put in will save them money and will make their lives much easier and more convenient.

The HVAC business is already a $130 billion industry. And it is only growing. As you figure out how to become part of this business, be sure to think it over carefully.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/hvac-blogs/

Pest Control

Another surprising industry that continues to be on the rise is pest control. As real estate continues to develop and as people continue to move into new homes, homeowners will need pest control options to ensure their home stays protected and their families stay comfortable in their yard.

If you’re thinking about busting into the industry, there are a variety of places to start. You could start as an initial sales representative to get a taste for the business or try to start your own company by connecting with realtors to see if you could coordinate with them to sell your pest control services to new home buyers.

Source: https://www.mypmp.net/2020/02/12/2020-outlook-predictions-for-the-pest-control-industry/

Understanding and being able to forecast where markets are going in the recent future can help you in your career or with your business. Continue to do your research to understand where these industries overlap with each other and with your field to identify areas where you could make a difference. Ultimately, be prepared for change because it is definitely coming.

Read this next: How to Generate Excitement Among Your Customers

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Marketing

When you first start out thinking about social media marketing, it can be easy to overfocus on creating the perfect ad or doing other things to attract the right kinds of customers to your pages. But in all reality, channeling your efforts towards doing collaborations with influencers might be a better use of time. Influencers have already developed a solid following that could be significantly influenced to use their product.

They Have a Larger Reach

Influencers are a great resource to tap into because they have such a large reach already—they have carefully built their following by producing great content and connecting with their followers. While you can obviously buy followers with different methods, they won’t be quality followers and they likely aren’t going to convert into customers any time soon.

Tapping into the authentic followers of influencers can save you a lot of time and hassle trying to grow your reach completely on your own.

People Trust Them

92 percent of customers trust influencers more than traditional ads. That’s a really important statistic when it comes to social media marketing. You might initially feel the need to focus on your advertisements and on paying for different ads through the respective platforms but recognize that a random ad that pops up on a user’s feed is going to be much less effective than a video posted by an actual influencer.

When influencers have already developed trust with their followers over a long period of time and over a long period of making great content, it will be much easier to simply tap into that trust than to try and get a few hits here and there without previously established credibility.

They Give Authenticity to Your Brand

Not only do people trust influencers themselves, but influencers can also help people trust your brand too. Influencers have usually developed such a wide following because they know how to balance marketing a product with being authentic about it—something you can’t really accomplish with your own ads.

When influencers talk about your product in a positive light in the context of their life, your product also feels more authentic and relatable to the viewers.

As you build your social media marketing strategy, recognize the power that influencers have. Finding the right influencers to post sponsored content could really help you quickly gain more customers through social media. Failing to use influencers could mean falling behind the competition.

Read this next: Why You Should Increase Your Marketing Budget

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Brand Image

Would you invest in something or someone you don’t trust? The reputation of your business is a major factor that affects its consequent success or failure. This is because people want to trust a brand the same way they could trust a person, and if they can’t they’re not likely to stick around. Losing a good reputation can be hard to come back from—that’s why it’s better to be proactive in preserving the standing you already have with your customers.

Improve SEO

Though people may not actively think about it, inherently everyone wants the best of the best. Your business may have a reputation for being good at certain things, but to really keep your reputation from taking a downturn you can’t settle for that—which is why improving SEO can really boost your standing with customers. When you show up at the top of search engine results, your expertise is more legitimized in their eyes. To improve your SEO, don’t waver on producing a steady stream of content and expanding your link building, and keep your website updated—Google looks at how fresh content is, not just its relevance.

Source: https://localiq.com/blog/how-to-improve-seo-for-your-local-business/  

Respond to Complaints

Many are familiar with the idea that if you close your eyes, the bad thing will just go away! The truth is, despite how difficult responding to a complaint is, ignoring it or fighting against it can make your business’s future even more difficult. Nearly all customers that read reviews also take into account a business’s response, so leaving a problem unaddressed will simply show future customers you aren’t great at customer service and therefore aren’t a business constantly trying to improve itself. Who wants to invest in that?

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/financial-institution-marketing/  

Monitor the Conversation

Author to Decide Maybe people won’t directly leave you a review explaining a problem, but they’ll certainly tell other people about it. Luckily with social media and the internet being such an important form of communication, you can monitor the conversation online about your business and get a feel of how people view your brand. There are lots of keyword tracking tools to research this and collect tangible data on the ratio of negative and positive mentions, and more especially what is being talked about, so you know what to change and what to keep doing.

Source: https://keyhole.co/blog/the-top-25-social-media-monitoring-tools/ 

Every time your customer makes a purchase, they are investing themselves further into a relationship with your brand. Don’t let that relationship die by waiting until a reputation crisis to keep up your end. Be proactive in preserving your reputation, and enjoy the loyalty it will inspire!

Read this next: How to Generate Excitement Among Your Customers

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Marketing

There are many types of marketing that allow you to directly communicate with your customers. You may find yourself wondering whether email marketing or SMS marketing is the best method for you. Understanding both can help you see what would benefit your business.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a type of marketing in which you send texts to your customers. You can send texts for confirmations, coupons, reminders, and even to request feedback. The benefit here is that you can instantly reach them and expect your message to be viewed since 98% of texts are read. With SMS marketing, there is a faster response time. Most people will read their texts within three minutes. SMS marketing doesn’t require an internet connection to reach your customers the way email marketing does. Overall, it’s an easier way to reach people and know that your messages are getting through.

Email Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, there’s a lot you can achieve. Emails are a great way to keep your customers updated about any upcoming sales/promotions at your business as well as any changes. They are perceived as a professional form of communication, and they can help to build credibility for your business. Many businesses use email marketing in order to increase traffic to their website. If you choose to use email marketing, it can be helpful to include personalization. You can keep it simple by using someone’s name in the email. However, you might want to segment your email lists, so the content is more relevant to them. For example, you can have a separate list for new and old customers.

Tips for Using SMS Marketing

In order to effectively use SMS marketing, you should follow a few guidelines. When sending texts, make sure you keep them brief and have a clear call to action. An example could be a brief text asking about their experience with your business and then an indication to follow a link to a survey. You should also make it clear to your customers how they can opt out of receiving texts in the future. The timing of your texts is also key. Avoid early morning, mealtimes, and late at night. You want your texts to be received at a convenient time. 

There are many benefits to both SMS marketing and email marketing. SMS marketing does serve many of the same purposes of email marketing, but it does it faster and it can be a more effective tool. Understanding both approaches can help you determine what is best for you.

Read this next: Why You Should Increase Your Marketing Budget

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