Monday, December 30, 2013

Tips for Building Customer Relationships in 2014

With the start of 2014 quickly approaching, now is the time to reevaluate your customer relationships. What may have worked for you in the past may no longer do the trick. It's important to take time to reflect on how well you and your business are serving your customers. Building customer relationships goes beyond providing good customer service. There's more involved to building relationships than simply being friendly. You need to work on improving customer satisfaction as a whole; thus, increasing brand loyalty and profit potential in the process.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer service involves much more than simply providing a quality service at affordable rates. Not only must your customers be satisfied with the services you provide, but they also need to feel valued as well. They don't want to feel like you're only working with them for their money. Unfortunately, this is a major issue with businesses in current times. Evaluate just how well you're providing good customer service in all aspects, not just remaining friendly and professional. Are your customers really getting the answers to their questions? Are your customers feeling valued? Are you providing them with the services and help they need? Are your customers first in mind, or is your profit your main driving point

Reputation Management

Reputation management is often overlooked. You can't please everyone no matter how great of services you provide, but what are you doing about the customers who aren't happy? What are you doing about those bad reviews? Many business owners feel if they turn the other cheek or simply ignore bad reviews or customer complaints they will go away. This isn't the case. You need to address bad reviews and unhappy customers as it shows they are valued. Plus, it will help you build customer relationships as other customers will see you aren't just sweeping customer concerns under the rug.


Valuing Your Customers

The most important factor to improving customer satisfaction is making your customers feel valued. By actually showing that you value your customers it will be the thing that pushes you ahead of your competition. Your customers will turn to you versus your competitions because you've made them feel welcome and important. It's essential your customers feel as though their voices are heard. With 2014 right around the corner, evaluate how well you're showing your customers that they are valued and that you appreciate their business. Special discounts and incentives are a great was to accomplish this, as well as regularly interacting with your customers on a personal, yet professional level.


Reaching Your Customers

To build customer relationships, you need to make sure you're properly reaching your customers. Utilize the most appropriate marketing platforms to ensure you're reaching your customers in the most relevant fashion. If you use social media, remember, social networking outlets are diverse--each used by different demographics. If you aren't having any luck reaching your customers on Twitter, research which outlet your customers are using and then implement a marketing strategy. If they aren't on Twitter, maybe they are on Pinterest.


Fulfilling Customer Needs

Improving customer satisfaction and relationships also involves fulfilling your customers' needs. Are you providing them with the services they need? If not, broaden the services you offer. Can they reach you easily through a real person, not an automated system? If not, implement a system that's easier for them to contact you, which includes mobile marketing strategies. Maybe your website isn't meeting their needs. If so, then it's time for a redesign to make it more customer friendlily.

Simple things really go along way when it comes to improving customer satisfaction and building customer relationships. By achieving good customer service in all aspects, you'll increase brand loyalty; thus, increasing sales.

How do you ensure you provide good customer service to build relationships?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Simple Tips to Prepare Your Marketing Objectives for 2014

2014 is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to take a look at your online presence to push your marketing strategy to the next level. Start 2014 off right by taking the time to reevaluate your marketing objectives and begin taking the steps you need to make positive changes for the upcoming year. No matter if your business strategy is large or small, these simple tips will help you prepare for next year.

1. Update Your Website
Often, people forget to check their websites regularly, which results in outdated content and keywords. An important aspect of your marketing objectives is to properly maintain your website. If you haven't done so recently, evaluate your website's optimization and link portfolio. If your bounce rate is high, your keywords aren't performing as well as they should or you have broken or low quality links, take the time to resolve these issues. Also, make sure the information on your website is current, relevant and informative. Consider adding new content or pictures to freshen up your site. It's the perfect time to give your website a little redesign too, especially if you haven't done so in a while.

2. Update Social Media Profiles
It's easy to ignore your social media profiles; however, take the time to ensure your profiles contain accurate information and maintain brand consistency. Ensure all of the information is correct, as well as links, phone numbers, office hours and any other essential piece of information. Don't forget, your profiles represent your company, so make sure they are displaying a positive online presence.

3. Evaluate Your Content Marketing
Take the time to look back over the past year in regards to how well your content marketing strategy has worked. Was it effective? Did it target the correct audience? Did you use the right distribution outlets? No matter if your content marketing strategy was a success or failure this past year, take the time to analyze your content marketing objectives to provide you with a starting point for creating your new content marketing strategy for 2014.

4. Adjust Your Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a critical component for your company's online presence; however, the effectiveness of social media marketing can be hindered by a number of factors. Look back over the past year at how well your social media marketing campaign panned out. Was it effective? Maybe you lacked engagement? Maybe you need to step up your social media etiquette? Wherever the problem may lie, now is the time to begin developing a plan of action to fix these flaws for a successful year ahead.

5. Fix Your Online Reputation
To push your marketing strategy to the next level, you need to take a good look at your online reputation. Many choose to ignore their poor reputation, but if you have a bad reputation on the Internet, you need to fix it. Address those bad reviews and put in the effort to begin cleaning up your online reputation. Everyone and everything are Googled, so make sure the results that appear in front of a customer when they Google your company are positive.

There are many marketing objectives you'll need to determine as 2014 quickly approaches. By taking the time to start early to push your marketing strategy to the next level, you'll be one step ahead of the game and won't be so overwhelmed.

What changes will you be making to your online presence for the year ahead?