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What has stopped from putting client agreements in place as part of client relationship process?

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Customer acquisition and retention

How to Earn and Keep a Customer's Trust

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Customer acquisition and retention

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

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

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Fast feedback means faster customer growth

When it comes to building a fast-growth, scalable startup, there are many resources out there that...read more

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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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Brad Lyons at Rodcha
I currently live in Thailand however the majority of my clients are in Australia. No issues with client relationships as long as you have a good line of communication. As you said "Never underestimate the power of a phone call".My clients love that they can just call a local number and still come through to me no matter what country I am in. The time zone can be an issue if you are not prepared however I still live by the Australian time zone. I am up and ready to work by 9 am AEST. Thailand is only 3 hours behind so no major issue there. I believe it is important when working remotely from another country you should make the effort to visit your clients in person. his could be by attending a industry conference or organizing a trip back to Australia and arrange as many meetings as possible. Nothing is better than face to face contact, it builds trust and if you have new clients they will want to meet you. Every year I come back to Australian and meet with current and new clients. However making sure you are setup correctly to work remotely is very important. For example I have a QLD and NSW landline number clients can call, comes through to me even if I am in Thailand, Cebu or anywhere else in the world. Clients only pay the cost of a local call and they love that.While clients love being able to make a call at times they want answers without having to call. Having an online CRM gives your clients the ability to do this 24/7 so there are no issues with time zones. They can leave messages, request updates, make changes to jobs etc. Online CRM's don't cost a lot of money, in fact there are a lot of free ones out there. I would recommend even if you are still in the same country as your customers, setup systems and processes so you can operate from anywhere in the world and your clients will love you for it.
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 :-)
Customer acquisition and retention

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

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

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Mary Mai Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Brad Lyons at Rodcha
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 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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What are some issues smaller businesses have with trying to reach potential customers?

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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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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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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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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 hitting... 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

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

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 earn... 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!