Category Archives: Blog

5 Tips for Improving Your Customer Service in 2015

customer-servicePlenty of us make New Year’s resolutions about personal improvement (more exercise, better diet, read War and Peace, etc.), but what about resolutions regarding your small business? This might be the right time to look again at the quality of customer service you provide—both online and, where appropriate, in your retail setting. Regardless of your product or service, the thing customers usually remember most is the experience they had interacting with your business. Here are five tips to dramatically improve the quality of your customer service in 2015:

1. Be the expert. Prospective customers expect you to be fully knowledgeable not only about your offering, but about your industry in general. Review the types of questions you’ve encountered in the past and make sure you have answers for similar queries in the coming year.

“Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and know where to turn if the questions become too detailed or technical for you to answer,” advise the experts at SurveyMonkey. “But don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ either. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.”

2. Listen better. Listening is a skill that’s critically important when it comes to quality customer service. In any conversation with a dissatisfied customer, do your best to really hear what they’re saying and demonstrate your empathy with their feelings. Often, this is all it takes to begin rectifying a situation.

3. Admit when you’ve made a mistake. Some business owners and their staff become defensive when confronted with a mistake they’ve made. A better approach is acknowledging your responsibility when something goes wrong and promising to do everything possible to fix the issue as soon as possible—and, of course, following through on that promise. Make sure every employee is trained to handle mistakes in a way that satisfies your customers.

4. Be available. Even if most business transactions take place online these days, customers still like to buy from human beings. Consider improving your response rate to customer inquiries and complaints this year, i.e., commit to providing an answer within 24 hours of receipt of their message. When contacting a valued customer, suggest a video call to give the interaction a more personal feel. Also, be sure your website offers a physical address and include your photo and your staff’s photos to reinforce that personal touch.

5. Show respect at all times. No successful business owner ever takes his or her customers or employees for granted. Showing respect for people demonstrates how much you value either their patronage or the work they do on your behalf. “Happier employees are infinitely more likely to provide stellar customer service, so make it your goal to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated,” says business writer Drew Hendricks. “Ultimately, you’ll provide better service across the board.”

Providing first-class service often leads to repeat business with satisfied customers and with the friends and family members who come to you, based on the recommendations of those same satisfied customers. That’s reason enough to add “better customer service” to your New Year’s resolutions in 2015.

WordPress Updates, Do I Need a Developer?

wordpress-snippetsThe short answer: most likely. Unless you are yourself a developer, a web professional, or a highly technical person – you should at very least seek out a little assistance with updating your business website.

Why? Because we hear this phrase everyday: “I tried to update my WordPress site and now it is broken.”

The first rule of WordPress is to always run the latest version of WordPress. No matter what platform your website is built on, you need to do updates to make sure your site is functioning correctly. Think of it this way: over time, you need to preform periodic upgrades on your car to keep things functioning like they should, your website is no different in this regard.

Video Content Marketing: An Integral Piece of Your Digital Marketing Campaign

Why Video is VitalAccording to Cisco, video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. If you do not have a defined Video Content Strategy within your overall digital marketing campaign, chances are you are falling short to your competitors and losing potential customers. Think about when you go to a website, are you more likely to read every word on the site or quickly search for a video which tells you what the company is about? The stats say most people would rather watch a short video than read.

If you are embarking on a Video Content Strategy here are some things to consider:

6 Ways to Supercharge Your Search Engine Rankings in 2015

Improve-Ranking-by-SEO-300x300As we approach new digital marketing campaigns for 2015, let’s review the best practices as defined by the leading search engines to help your local business rank within the search results.

There are many different localized organic factors which effect ranking, they can be broken down into the following categories:

On-Page Optimization

7 Sales Secrets to Live By

sales-secrets-leading-sales-execsThe technique of selling is an art. It requires you to engage with the client one on one and ever so eloquently persuade them to invest in your company. There are a couple things to keep in mind which will turn you from an unconfident, fumbling with your words novice, to being successful and at the top of your game.

Product Knowledge and Value       

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Small Business?

socialplatformsSome businesses have been around for many years and have been successful. Often times a business is passed down through the family and in those cases, their marketing may be a little archaic. Techniques used 50 years ago to market a product will not work in this new age of technology. Social media and e-commerce plays a huge part in the amount of people one can reach and if you aren’t utilizing these platforms, then you are definitely missing out on becoming more successful.

There are many options from the likes of Snapchat, to Instagram, and Facebook, so how do you choose the right platform?

4 Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Business Loan

abusinessownerApplying for business loans can be a stressful and exciting time. You are on your way to starting your business, but you need the capital to make it come true. Banks or government agencies are popular sources of funding for your startup venture. Before following this route, there are a few things to know and take into consideration:

Develop a Business Plan and Financial Statements

5 Easy Steps to Protect Your WordPress Business Website

wp1 protectionIf you need an easy-to-use website to grow your business or your brand, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than WordPress. While WordPress is our go-to platform for building basic small business websites, its popularity and ease of use make it a very popular target for hackers.

We thought some general tips on how to keep your WordPress-powered website protected would be most helpful. Taking the following, relatively simple, steps will go a long way in helping to protect your site from potential threats.

Use Strong Email Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates in 2015

email yellowIf some or most of your sales grow out of email offers to prospective clients, you know better than most how hard it is simply to get someone’s attention.

A recent analysis of five million emails by the email management service Baydin found that on average, a typical email user gets 147 messages a day and deletes 71 of them (48%). That means there’s great pressure on the email subject line to achieve one single overriding goal: Get the recipient to open your email.

With the right strategies, your email subject lines can do a lot of the heavy lifting (sales-wise) up-front. Here are six tips to keep in mind:

The Importance of an Effective Content Strategy within Your Digital Marketing Campaign

Content-MarketingContent builds trust between brands and consumers. The content you create tells a story about your company and helps to establish you as a leader in your field. Any amount of small research will tell you content is an extremely important part of any marketing campaign.

The content you create is the basis of any of these campaigns and determines how your company is viewed by potential clients. Many companies realize content is important; however, most fail at creating a content strategy that will benefit those campaigns. Read on to learn more about some of the crucial elements which should be a part your Content Marketing Strategy.