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Customer acquisition and retention

What's More Important: Retaining Customers or Acquiring Customers?

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Customer acquisition and retention

Do you have a Long Distance Relationship with Your Clients?

A couple of months ago I answered a question in a business forum relating to keeping customers... read more

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Lisa OrmenyessyOwner at Straight Talk Group
Great point Jef, even now when writing articles I think about who is reading and adjust spelling accordingly. With a global audience this is getting tougher! Having a sense of humor when dealing with clients from different countries is a biggie too, when the communication breaks down, we can always laugh and celebrate the differences :-)
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Yes I think this was very well done. I would also say that things to keep in mind other than crossing time zones are language and cultural barriers. I speak and write American English but I've noticed subtle differences with British and Australian English. Both use slightly different spelling than I'm used to but also have their own slang and jargon. I've 'realised' this as a great learning experience for me. I've also been doing more business in Spanish recently and that is really helping me thrive creatively. As mentioned, I think the key thing is keep your customer in mind and adapt yourself whenever possible. They will appreciate it (hopefully vocalized) but either way it can be a great learning experience for yourself personally and professionally.
Customer acquisition and retention

3 Quick Tips for Handling an Upset Customer

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Questions

What does it mean if a business adopts a different approach towards it's base customers and new customers?

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Mary Mai Project Intern at Savvysme
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
If you mean for the customers I would say there might be some decline in loyalty. It's frustrating when you feel that you might be better off leaving a business and possibly returning to it later, than staying with it. Especially as there's a good chance more than one company in the same category does this, and then, as a customer, you're better off constantly switching than staying loyal.
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Questions

How do businesses with no physical contact with their customers manage customer relationships?

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Mary Mai Project Intern at Savvysme
I have a mix of clients, both local, regional, interstate and global.The local ones I meet in person most of the time (not all), the rest I make sure I use the telephone a lot more as well as Skype and video messaging. With video messaging, sometimes I choose to do a video over an email, that way they receive more of a personal touch.When I travel I make the effort to see my clients, even if there is not a scheduled appointment I will drop in and say hello, or take them out for coffee for a simple relationship building session.Another thing we do well which helps immensely is create community with our clients, this way the business is bigger than us and our clients feel supported by each other and the environment we have created for them.
Hitesh MohanlalDirector at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
I have a lot of clients who don't meet their customers at all. All sales are done online. If communication is to be done online speed and knowledge is key. Speed of response is absolutely critical and the ability to be willing to solve the problem even if you are wrong because a bad review cause lose sales like you never believe. If you also have a sales/ inquiry phone number then make sure it is manned and response times are quick.
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Questions

What are some issues smaller businesses have with trying to reach potential customers?

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Mary Mai Project Intern at Savvysme
Many small businesses struggle with gaining valuable exposure. Many begin with a small circle of friends and contacts who are happy to support their fledgeling efforts when starting their business but when the work is done, the contacts can run dry. There is only so much work any one business or customer may need done, and this can mean the circle closes up leaving the small business wihtout further contacts to connect with.Networking, being positive and consistent on social media, participating in community events - these activities can all contribute to extending the new business network but the work to get people interested still needs to be done. In my experience, there are at least three particular problems a smaller business may face when trying to reach customers:Small network that doesn't realise or want to share the new business details with their larger network (sad, but this does happen!)Inadequate funds for marketing. Yes, much can be done on a shoestring budget but there comes a point where you have to move past that into more substantial advertising to entice new clienteleLack of sales skills. Even if you're presenting a service to customers, your ability to sell comes into play. If you're not good at it yourself, and you don't' have the funds to hire a great sales gun, you may find that this area is the one that you struggle in the most. There are many more struggles of course, but these are the things that I have struggled with and found to be areas that really need to be carefully monitored in order to maintain a growing network of potential cleints.
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Questions

Is "No Buyer's Remorse" scalable ?

Vinomofo promises "If you’re not 100% happy, you can return your order to us ANY TIME for a... read more

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Questions

What are ways to increase my SEO ranking in Google for my start-up photo booth business?

Is Facebook a good way to advertise my business? Is it worth paying to promote my page? What are... read more

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Evangelo Rosal Senior Test Consultant at Supa Slow Mo
Joshua UebergangHead of Strategy at Digital Darts
Hi Evangelo,Multiple questions here. Firstly, Facebook can be a great way to advertise. Only way to learn if it can work for your business is to test it (but do it right.) Research some basic tips on how to advertise on Facebook well. Yes, it can be worth paying to promote your page due to organic news hardly reaching your fan base.SEO is without a doubt the best way to drive free business online for most businesses. For some ways to increase SEO, I suggest you read my SEO checklist I wrote for Savvysme.
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Questions

What are the most important elements in building customer loyalty?

I've learnt that retaining existing customers is just as (if not more) important than pursuing new... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I believe that some of the most basic building blocks of customer loyalty are honesty, transparency and timely communication.It only takes one mishandled bad experience (notice the word mishandled) for a long time customer become a so long customer. One bad experience doesn't mean a good customer will leave, but how you handle that bad experience could drive them out the door. If user data was compromised send a communication, that explicitly lists what information, when it was accessed and how you resolved (or are resolving the situation). That is also a good time to offer a discount, special sale or complimentary identity theft protection.Customers want to know you are also listening to their feedback. You should communicate your appreciation for their feedback and let them know when customer feedback has been implemented (even if it wasn't theirs). That will drive home the point that you are listening to your customers.Actively involve your customers in what you are doing. Have a contest to let customers send in photos of them using your product or service then have your team (or your customers vote for the winner). Make your content easily shareable on social media and other outlets. You want your loyal customers to spread your message if they are passionate about it.I am only scratching the surface here. Think about what you appreciate for companies and services you use yourself. Why do you like those brands so much? Brainstorm on those thoughts and start integrating those ideas into your business as they make sense. The last thing to keep in mind is be willing to continuously adapt. Your customers and business will change over time, so should your approach to your customers.
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Customer acquisition and retention

5 Steps To Mystery Shopping Your Competition

Say what? “Mystery Shopping” might bring to mind images of Nancy Drew and her teen friends... read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

Plug the Bucket

If you think that marketing activity should be solely focused on gaining new customers, you need to... read more

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Yes, its really not brain surgery is it Yee :-)
Yee TrinhCo-founder at SavvySME
You get out what you put in after all.. Great article
Questions

How do you sell something that is free?

It has confounded me with a deeply researched value proposition that we are finding it difficult to... read more

Manmeet Singh
For promoting your products for free and engaging more and more people to your services or products . You can use different modes of platforms being available on Internet . Your presentation , product quality and unique services holds the Key . Its true that offering free sometimes doubts the credibility and that's where you have to create right perception four your services or products to target clients. Always use right platforms to advertise , also offer free services or products for limited times frames.And if possible within free services try offering limited services and for rest full product/service you can always invite them for paid services or products. Being local Web designers from India we normally offers free services around festival seasons . Only motto being to make people aware more and more about our products and services.
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Hi Michael, as Lisa says, Ripe Near Me appears to have somewhat stolen your thunder. Also, I can’t see anywhere in your model where revenue is going to come from. I have assumed there is an up-sell planned in the future. To answer your question, I took a look over the Fresh Near You site, searching for reasons your uptake is failing. I have drawn just one conclusion. It is this: despite your research and admirable endeavour, the value proposition is not powerful enough. Here’s why. The single most important reason a vendor will sign up is if you show or prove she will enjoy an increase in traffic to the farm gate. Not just any old increase mind, but ten fold. Anything less and natural human apathy kicks in. It’s not enough to promise a doubling of traffic. If she currently has one walk-in a week, two is not going to rock her boat. Ten just might.  So what you’ve got to do is get them over their (quite reasonable) ‘can’t be bothered/where’s the benefit?’ attitude. In other words – show me the money. The way to do that is to work really, really hard on developing your end-user base. You must create demand amongst your secondary target audience of food buyers, in order to on-sell the benefit to your primary target audience of vendors.  So the question now becomes: is there a big enough market to support the business model/service? And only more market research will answer that. But not the kind of research that has you asking people whether they would buy the service if provided. Because of course, people will say yes. They just won’t actually do it. You’ve got to find a way to test people on their behaviour, not their intention. The reason most people (and I’m grossly generalising here) will say they want the service but fail to act, is that there are already enough low-effort alternatives available. With the best will in the world, why would I trek miles out of my way to buy 2 x kilos of organic potatoes when I already shop at the local farmers market, or can buy them at the supermarket? You have to overcome the convenience factor.  And to do that, you must demonstrate to the end-user (again, as a ten-fold increase) the compelling benefit of making the journey. In your case, a tough ask. Clearly, there will be a die-hard core of anti-supermarket, support-the-farmer, dedicated organic produce buyers. But your competitor is wherever they are currently buying the same service from. It will take a gargantuan effort to change that behaviour. I ask again: is the audience big enough to support the model? In my view, for this model to work I think you need to forget the minority targets. They are buying the products anyway. Just not from you. Find a way to tap into the mass market. Your audience is the cashed-up, Masterchef obsessed, full-blown foodie. There are a lot more of them about than the organics-only crowd. And what you’re selling is: exclusivity.  The rationale is: superior taste.  Translated into marketing as: to put real love into your cooking, you must use authentic flavours. Authentic flavour comes from the freshest ingredients. And they are only available from authentic growers. In summary – unless there is sufficient demand from end-users, vendors will continue to ignore you. Create demand in the biggest sector you can find. Give end-users a compelling reason to use the service. When demand has risen to a sufficient level, convert your free subscription vendors to a paid version of the model. And there is the revenue stream. Now the question becomes: is it worth it? I hope you'll forgive my long-winded answer and find this (extremely condensed) marketing strategy of some use.
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Customer acquisition and retention

12 quick cheap marketing tips for all businesses that work

Today’s market is tough.  Competition has never been more intense and it’s getting harder to... read more

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Allan Bennetto Founder at JMango
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Customer acquisition and retention

Who is your ideal client/customer?

Recently, I was chatting with a small retail business owner. We were discussing why customers... read more

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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
An important article Selina. It is surprising how often the basics are overlooked. I look forward to future articles, Cheers, Neil.
Selina ShaplandOwner at Selina Shapland
Thanks so much for your support Wendy. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Customer acquisition and retention

“Sorry?” where does it belong in business?

During the past few weeks the word “sorry” has been said to me on a few occasions, from... read more

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Thanks for your comments John and Wendy.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Warren, I also do feel sometimes sorry feels like an empty reply to tick off the box of "politeness" vs. actually being sorry. I also never really thought much about it. Thanks for promoting more integrity in the business world :D!
Customer acquisition and retention

True colours, why my foul mouth makes my biz more money than anything else!

I have a confession to make. Actually if you know me you will laugh, because it is hardly a... read more

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Adam BeanOwner at Jark Projects
Lol John, glad you enjoyed it!
Adam BeanOwner at Jark Projects
Hey Trish, you are spot on, it has to be appropriate and authentic. Other wise it just won't work
Customer acquisition and retention

8 Steps to Make Customers Love Your Brand

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Customer acquisition and retention

Streamlining the Customer Experience with Social Media and Mobile Tech

About Social Media Today The world's best thinkers on energy & climate The...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

Create Customer Happiness with a Simple Act of Kindness

About Social Media Today The world's best thinkers on energy & climate The...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

5 Ways to Keep Customers Knocking on Your Door For More

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