Customer acquisition and retention

Report: What loyalty really means to your customers

Most business owners will know hanging on to existing customers is much easier than trying to...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

How to Drive Customer Referrals (When You Aren't Airbnb, Dropbox or Uber)

What if your customers could do your marketing for you? In a way, they can. Here here's how you can...read more

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Questions

How do I market for Valentines Day?

Anyone use Valentines day in their marketing? I have done Valentines day marketing before but I'm... read more

Asked by:
Lauren Hutchin
Hi there,Like John mentioned, it really does depend on your business.Themes like Valentines Day are predominantly suited to businesses that directly relate to gifts and activities a consumer would purchase or be involved in specifically for Valentines Day. Examples of business who would benefit by engaging in marketing activities based around a Valentines day theme would be: -Florists -Chocolatier/sweets company-Overnight stay venue-Restaurants-Jewellery storesFor marketing to be successful you will need to have a specific goal.If I had a florist, I would advertise my business widely and make my business top of mind for when Valentine's Day approaches. How? Again, depends on your business and your market. Think of ways to stand out and don't get lost in all of the advertising clutter.Feel free to reach out for specific help!
Whilst you remain anonymous it is impractical to deliver meaningfulanswers to your question. Respondents have no idea whether you are a florist, an up-market restaurant or supply industrial lubricants to the mining industry. Not all businesses are relevant to Valentine’s Day marketing activities.The most effective way to get some relevant responses is to provide examples of your previous efforts together with their results. Then there are many here that can add significant value for an identified enterprise in a defined market sector.
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Questions

How can I get more customers into my Cafe?

I have a cafe in an industrial area and I get my regulars but want to get more feet in the... read more

Asked by:
Greg Rogers
Greg RogersFounder and CEO at REthink HQ
Always a $64k question in business.I agree with Steve that without a little more information it is a little hard to give some real concrete advice, and I would reiterate the comment about whatever you do make sure you measure it!If you are looking to take business away from a competitor look at what they are doing and either replicate it (but in a better way) identify something that they don't do (differentiate) or best of all.....ask the people with the real knowledge...your customers!When they choose you, why? What makes them step across your doorway? What would make them purchase more and more often?If the answer is something you can do more of, then scale it.Conversely don't be afraid to also ask what they don't like, then as opposed to the above, stop it, don't do it anymore!Hope this helps, the first step though is to have some information (fact) to base a decision on, as Steve said, you do this by measurement.Cheers
As it is a physical business that is location based you can't go past letterbox drops and specials of certain items on slower days of the week. Such items should be partial meals or 2 for 1 so they are not abused. Remember in business cost is secondary to monopoly and reputation
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Questions

What are the best employee retention strategies for a food service business?

I believe in cultivating a work culture that will help my employees not only grow skill wise. What... read more

Greg Rogers
Greg RogersFounder and CEO at REthink HQ
Hi Nathan,Ask them, have a conversation with them!It will be as different and as individual as they are.Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can apply a blanket approach. People and their behaviour are reinforced and rewarded in different ways, at different times, in different environments.Behaviour can be shaped, predicted, reinforced, punished and most important measured.How often do we start a conversation with...you always...everytime....you never....Get baseline, behaviour and then measure. To get more of the behaviour you want or want more of, reinforce through reward (actually has to be though). If you do this well you will find the behaviours you don't want or want less of start to go diminish and go way.The absolute correct answer to your question is right there...right there... with that employee and that employee and that employee.....CheersGreg
Greg Rogers
Greg RogersFounder and CEO at REthink HQ
Hi Nathan,Ask them, have a conversation with them!It will be as different and as individual as they are.Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can apply a blanket approach. People and their behaviour are reinforced and rewarded in different ways, at different times, in different environments.Behaviour can be shaped, predicted, reinforced, punished and most important measured.How often do we start a conversation with...you always...everytime....you never....Get baseline, behaviour and then measure. To get more of the behaviour you want or want more of, reinforce through reward (actually has to be though). If you do this well you will find the behaviours you don't want or want less of start to go diminish and go way.The absolute correct answer to your question is right there...right there... with that employee and that employee and that employee.....CheersGreg
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Questions

Would you use a site that's free to post a job for transport needs such as courier packages, removal transport etc.?

Car carrier, store deliveries, freight... *if so, what would you use it for and how often do... read more

Hi Diane,Your question is a bit vague, so forgive me if I have got it wrong, but it sounds like you are thinking about running a courier service for larger objects? If you are just starting out, you could try Gumtree and Craigslist to get you started. Depending on what areas you plan to cover, you could try advertising in all states, suburbs and towns in that area with a view to picking up backloads. As you start to get some business though, I would strongly recommend setting up your own website so that you look more professional, then start marketing your business through social media, both free and paid ads. Hope that helps, but if I have got it wrong, just let me know with a bit more detail.Regards,Terry
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Customer acquisition and retention

How to Earn and Keep a Customer's Trust

Customer retention doesn't have to be that difficult. It's certainly something many small business...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

Customer Loyalty 3.0 Is Never About Transactions. It's About Getting to Know Your Customers.

Customer loyalty is in many ways the holy grail of small business. It can be tricky for an SME to...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

How to Manage Clients When You Own a Freelance Graphic Design Business

Freelancing can be daunting, even when you're passionate about your craft and your skill it's hard...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

Fast feedback means faster customer growth

Any entrepreneur knows the value of feedback, but this article further argues that the quicker you...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

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

The costs embedded in retaining vs acquiring customers for your business is often debated amongst...read more

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Customer acquisition and retention

3 Quick Tips for Handling an Upset Customer

Things don't always go as planned. I'm sure no one expects customers to be dissatisfied, as you...read more

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Questions

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

Asked by:
Mary Mai
Mary Mai Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Lina Barfoot
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?

Asked by:
Mary Mai
Mary Mai Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Brad Lyons
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
If your selling products via an online store you can reach out to your customers by sending them a satisfaction survey. You could reach out to them with thank you messaged including a discount voucher for their next purchase. There are so many way to communicate with your customers when you don't have physical contact with them.It all comes down to the type of relationship you want/need with your customers. In some cases having online portals is needed, support desks or a simple email is needed. Most of my customers will call me if they need anything. However there is nothing stopping you from calling them if you believe it is necessary. Not all customers want to have a chat, some just want to make a purchase and move on with their day.I am always travelling and at the moment I am overseas, however my clients can still call a local number if they want to speak directly with me. It just comes down to making sure you have the correct systems setup and software to ensure your customers don't feel like you have left them in the dark.Providing a good service/product is usually enough to retain most customers though.
Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
I don't know how they do. Often one real meet, call or skype conference in the beginning will be enough to cement that lasting relationship for future communications when email will be the norm.
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Questions

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

Asked by:
Mary Mai
Mary Mai Business Intelligence Analyst 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

Deborah Vella
Deborah VellaOwner at Support Legal
I would like to see the concept in place, but perhaps without the physical shipping of the return items. It seems to be a waste of time, cost and resources to return the goods when other options are more economical, for example a limit to the number of returns per year per customer or photographic evidence that an item is not useable.
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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

Asked by:
Evangelo Rosal
Evangelo Rosal Senior Test Consultant at Supa Slow Mo
Jennifer Lancaster
Hi there Starting up my book coaching & publishing business three years ago I thought I would never make it with SEO, but after using Upcity for two months (a tool, bit like Moz), I found that I was getting better rankings and a few enquiries as I proceeded to do other things. I combined that with a mobile optimised site, which I noticed helped more on the premium plan unsurprisingly. After blogging for a while on topics of interest to authors, I now get enquiries more often, when I do the work! I also blogged 2-3 years for a design studio, and got local search rankings up to #2 & #3 for a while there. It was beating my straight copywriter page (no blog) for the term 'copywriter brisbane', which was kinda funny because I was at both sites waiting for leads! For backlinks, focus on narrow targeted sites, photography blogs and forums, but not general directories... I think this would work better. Also writing quality articles at other major magazine sites would be great. I am compiling a list of these myself.
Joshua Uebergang
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

Asked by:
Phil Khor
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Jef Lippiatt
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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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

Gursimar shah
Gursimar shah at Webpro India
I feel keeping the things free for some time to promote your product or services is good practice. But i believe that if you offer 100% refund policy for services / product if unsatisfied will be even better than offfering it absolutely free. We applied same for our Seo services and Web design services and if was more effective than giving it 100% free.
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.
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Customer acquisition and retention

8 Steps to Make Customers Love Your Brand

Just like with a romantic relationship, the courtship can never end. read more

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