#BGB Tutorial- 5 Tips to Rocking Your Customer Experience
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Sometimes it’s easy to forget one of the biggest factors driving your business’ success—customer satisfaction.
I know, for shame right?
However business owners sometimes get a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to their day-to-day operations. Gotta make that money honey!
But keeping existing customers and attracting new ones is an ongoing process and one of the most important to boot.
So, regardless of your outreach strategy, you’ll gain a more loyal (and appreciative) following if you quit annoying your customers. Here are a few tips on how.
In this digital society that puts a premium on convenience, customers have little patience for out-of-date technology.
Update your own; it tells the world you’re relevant and forward-thinking.
Many business owners neglect to update their technology with equipment that is easier and more reliable to use. Easier, more reliable translates to a smooth transaction that your customer will appreciate.
Cut Wait Times
No one likes to wait, yet customer service call centers, understaffed retailers, and lazy employees insist on wasting customers’ time.
A fast-paced world demands fast-paced service.
Businesses that cut wait times will nab less irritable customers.
Drastic delays could require additional staffing, but if you implement small shortcuts like finding ways to cut down on paperwork, those can add up.
Customers want to feel like they’re being heard.
Even better they want to feel they are important to you. They want to feel, dare I say it? Loved!
After all, if you’re in business, your customers should be important to you… there is no business without them.
Reciting cliché phrases or giving non-answers to customers is as good as letting the phone ring and telling them in no uncertain terms that you just don’t give a donkey’s arse.
So what clichés should you avoid?
Inc.com compiled the five phrases customers hate the most:
Policy exists for a reason. If you’re unable to accommodate a customer, explain why in specific terms.
Don’t bother explaining there’s nothing you can do. Find someone who can do something.
Putting a customer on hold is necessary sometimes, but make it quick.
As resourceful as computers are, you’re a human with reason and insight. At the very least, you can go to the website for the customer.
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This is a guest post courtesy of Julie.
All this talk of empire building recently, and Julie is on a mission to build one of her own.
So, I agreed to her submission for two reasons.
She has a great story with wisdom to share, and I wanted to help support her by bringing attention to her Kickstarter campaign.
It’s hard to put yourself out there into the world, and try to create something out of nothing.
So people that are willing to take that risk deserve a little recognition and kudos in my book.
Post graduation, I had two options.
I could have taken some entry level marketing position at a media company, done a killer job, and slowly moved up with hopes of being promoted further.
Or I could do what I absolutely felt in my heart was what I needed to do at the time. Most people you speak to when you say you are starting your own business usually react in one of two ways.
They are impressed by your passion and your story, or they try to talk you out of it and don’t understand why.
My response to both would be, don’t bother talking me out of it and don’t be impressed by it either.
Built for Entrepreneurship
I am not doing it for the praise, or an iota of an expectation for immediate gratification. I am doing what I do, because I can’t imagine not doing it.
When you are an entrepreneur at heart, nothing else will ever feel good enough.
No job will ever give you the satisfaction of building something and creating something the way owning your own business does.
In no way did I think it was going to be easy, but I can’t say I was totally prepared for what was in store either.
That said, here are a few tips of my own as well as advice I’ve received over the past year and a half that have helped me immensely.
Whether you are an aspiring app designer, consultant, fashion designer, inventor or you have a dream of starting a millionaire dog walking business (true story), you must know it in your heart to be true.
This means a few things..
Speak Your Passion
When you meet someone new, they should know about your new business within moments of talking to you. (Unless it is in the beta testing, top-secret part of the r&d phase; see Sara Blakely, the Spanx founder story.)
What you are trying to accomplish should be so ingrained into who you are as a person, that you cannot help but talk about it.
So much so that you don’t understand why someone wouldn’t be super jazzed to hear about your next brilliant idea on gorilla marketing. (Because who wouldn’t be interested in all things gorilla?!)
Make Your Dreams Palpable
Surround your home with visuals. Perception is everything.
This is not so much for other people, as much as it is for yourself.
I took my spare bedroom, which I wanted to make into a walk in closet, painted it a striking royal blue, hung a rod for my samples, got some clothing racks, a clothes form, and boom; now its my showroom/ studio/ home...
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This is a guest post courtesy of Miz Sue Fenton.
If you’re feeling any kinda overwhelmed with your business and entrepreneurial shenanigans, it “may” be time to consider outsourcing.
Just throwing it out there.
Please make Sue feel welcome in the comments below.
If you run a business, you are likely to be (at least somewhat) familiar with outsourcing. Ie:
contracting for services with an external service provider
Outsourcing is a common, nearly universal practice among smart business operators and entrepreneurs because it offers a wide variety of benefits, from expansion of your business base to significant savings in costs of labor.
Yet outsourcing has its pitfalls as well, and you need to consider them carefully when deciding how, when and with whom to outsource.
The following is a brief, no-fluff guide for your first toe-dip into outsourcing.
Your reasons for outsourcing will be unique to your enterprise, and one of several reasons may apply.
1. One reason is to expand your business operation by arranging for a partner to perform core services. This is done to allow you to meet client needs faster and more efficiently than through internal expansion.
The outsourcing partner already has the infrastructure and staff in place to do the work you need it to do, so outsourcing to them can save both setup time and ongoing expenses.
You pay the outsourcing partner, they deal with headaches such as the heating bill and staff scheduling, and you don’t have to worry about it yourself.
2. Another major reason to outsource is to take advantage of another expert’s knowledge and talent pool in an area relevant to your business.
In our highly competitive global economy, not everyone can be a master at everything.
It provides both a superior service to clients and enhances business value when you can maximize the quality of services offered.
Should your expertise be in areas other than what you happen to need at a particular time, it pays to outsource for that expertise, instead of delaying client fulfillment to acquire secondary expertise.
3. Finally, the third major reason for outsourcing is to take care of ancillary functions that are not essential to your enterprise except insofar as they are essential to any enterprise.
For accounting matters you retain an accountancy firm or a bookkeeper, for the drafting of contracts you retain legal representation.
In a similar way, you can outsource ancillary services normally rendered internally by larger companies, such as accounts receivable and customer support.
This offers benefits similar to those involved in outsourcing core services.
What to Look Out For When Outsourcing
The main risk involved in outsourcing is the receipt of substandard value from your outsourcing partner.
For this reason, you are well advised to conduct careful due diligence on any potential collaborative ventures.
Research their number of years in operation,...
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Once upon a story, there was an online friend of mine named Nathan.
He used to run a blog over at NathanHangen.com, where, once upon the same story, I wrote a fantabulous (not to toot my own horn or anything) guest post.
On said blog, Nathan liked to talk a lot about “Empire” building.
He also liked to use testosterone filled words like “Sword” and “Sacrifice” and “Redemption”. (He’s such a dude.)
Nowadays, his blog is no longer up and running, but he kindly agreed to let me re-run that post here on #BGB.
Couldn’t let damn good content go to waste, now could we?
So let’s talk a little about empire building here on #BGB…
I think the whole concept of building a “digital empire” is a worthy goal. As an entrepreneur, why would you want to create anything less than an empire that you hold the reins to?
A virtual “machine” that not only makes you money, but impacts others in a positive way, brings enormous personal satisfaction, and can be molded into something you can pass down to your grandkids if you so choose?
And in the world we live in today, digital is just about the only way a single individual can build something so amazing and far-reaching, that can impact so many people, with nary more than a creative thought, coupled with a few inexpensive tools, readily available to the motivated.
Stop and think about that a minute
Literally the minute I hit publish on this post it is shot out into the mysterious cyberspace… available immediately to the eyes of anyone in the world who happens upon it. And a motivated person can make it happen over and over again with varying degrees of impact.
That’s a lot of potential power one person can wield
Now it’s the smart one that recognizes that potential power, and sets out to wield it with as much skill and effectiveness as humanly possible, to make the most impact they can.
And there’s never been a better time than now to do it.
Creative Thought + Handy Tools Are Cool
But not everything.
Sure they’re essential ingredients to building an empire; you can’t do it without ‘em.
But what’s creative thought if no one ever learns about them?
What’s the point of tools and “building” something, if you’re building it for a solo audience of one?
Simply put, what the hell is an empire, without the people who drive it?
You get one guess.
(OK fine, I’ll answer. I know pop quizzes are so hard.)
The answer is there is no empire without people. Duh.
Which then begs the question…
How Do You Find (And Keep) the People?
The short answer, all tied up with a bow?
Promote. Network. Make connections. Bleck.
I’m not a fan of “short answers” when there is so much more to be said on the topic, so let’s delve into that a little more deeply.
Sure it’s easy to say just go out and promote, network with like-minded people, and the connections will occur. But I don’t really feel that’s the...
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Alert- since Earth Day was just this week, I thought a little Mother Nature lovin’ to be an appropriate focus for today’s post.
Being an entrepreneur who is aware of the earth and its inhabitants, you strive to improve. (I did say strive now, no one expects perfection.)
You’re giving, and your intentions are pure.
She tells a story of an artist who gives the gift of a bookmark (instead of a brochure) to promote herself. This is a kinder, gentler indication that marries with her unique style.
When advertising your business, it’s important to be true to you and your ideals. If those ideals just so happen to include earth friendly initiatives, then rock it.
Help the planet by counting less on fossil fuels and more on sustainable energy.
Help people by offering them working, earth-friendly promotional products and support charities of all kinds by donating money and time.
By including your audience in the conversation, a relationship flourishes. They begin to trust your brand and will use their voices both on and offline, to be your personal walking ambassadors.
Love our planet at the same time by offering them a few environmentally responsible gifts with your company logo or brand to start the communication.
Did you know that water isn’t just life giving? It offers power without the use of (bleck) dirty energy.
Hydroelectric power represents 19 percent of the total electric output in the world, reports the U.S. Geological Survey.
Because it’s so natural and produces minimal pollution, we sometimes don’t even realize we’re using it for energy.
Heck, even your own body uses water for energy. When you’re dehydrated, you probably don’t feel very effective in your day to day. When you drink more, your energy returns, your body works efficiently, and you feel much better.
Oh and FYI- we can thank nature for the free water.
Try a water-powered calculator or desk clock as an exclusive and very unique promotional gift.
Curious how it works?
Water molecules are transformed into energy by acting as a fuel cell, emitting electrons to the internal converter. This provides a steady stream of electrical current. Neat huh?
#Dork Fact: The science of measuring time is called horology.
I know, you really felt lost not knowing that, didn’t you?
Stripping the bark from a cork oak tree doesn’t kill it, according to TLC.
Once the outer layer of cork grows to harvest, only the bark is extracted, and a new skin grows.
This is why cork is such an ideal material for a promo gift to your peeps.
It’s a natural, recyclable, biodegradable and renewable energy source can be formed into...
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This is a guest post courtesy of Roye Okupe.
While branding really isn’t rocket science, it is an area some businesses tend to fall a little short in.
Luckily, there are examples of bangin’ hot brands out there that know just what the frack they’re doing, and they do it well.
They might not be perfect all the time, but they are consistently doing shite right, and you can learn very valuable lessons from them. With that, I leave it to Roye to take it away.
Please make him feel welcome by commenting below.
Do It Like Apple
Apple is arguably at the top of the list of companies that get branding right.
From its innovative products to packaging, customers experience something different from this leading tech giant. How can you make your business stand out too?
1. Have an Awesome Offer
Apple makes complex technology products for simple people. Determine your offer and how will it help your market.
2. Care About Your Customers
Offer customers a great experience when interacting with your product or company. Keep customers first and foremost.
3. Have a Mission
Why are you serving your market? Define your mission and let it guide you in building your business.
4. Make Your Marketing Materials Stand Out
Your logo, website, and other branding materials should stand out from the crowd. Use consistent colors across your marketing materials and offers.
5. Focus On What Matters
Determine what you are really good at and make it your mission to be the best in your industry whatever you have chosen to focus on. I cannot stress this enough!
6. Offer a “WOW” Factor
Offer your customers more than a product or service. Give customers a reason to choose you over your competition.
7. Be the Expert and Deliver
Know your industry, be an expert and deliver. Connect with your customers at various online channels and educate them on their problems and how you can make their lives better.
8. Be Authentic. Be Different.
Make your offer different from that of your competition. Do not be afraid to do something unconventional to be different.
9. Do It Differently than Your Competitors
Analyze how your competitors deliver their products and do it better than them.
10. It’s All In the Name
Have a precise, easy-to-remember name. If you can get a single word name, this is best. If not, find a combination that will stick in your client’s heads.
11. Go Beyond the Logo
Brand your business beyond the logo. Use your slogan and other short messages that define your company in your products.
12. Send Your Message in Unique Packaging
Package your product to offer a unique experience to your customers. If you are providing a service, have a unique manner of starting or finishing your task that will leave an undeniable mark on your customers.
13. Sell Your Offer
Advertise your offer on the Internet and traditional media. Reach your prospects through all avenues you can.