In this digital age, having a website for your company is essential. However, keeping your website and its content up to date is equally important. Your website is, without a doubt, a representation of your company. In fact, it may be the only part of it that some people see. As such, keeping your site updated and relevant will go a long way toward generating a positive impression on both current and potential customers.
Here are a few reasons to keep your website up to date:
- Your website can help your business generate revenue, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill among clients and target audiences, plus deliver powerful marketing messages around the clock, 365 days a year!
- Keeping your website’s material current contributes to the development of relationships between you and your customers, which ultimately helps to build trust and credibility in your company. Customers are most likely looking to your site for relevant information that helps them stay in-the-know.
- Customers are likely to feel comfortable using your services when your company has a high-quality website. Plus, your website can help its visitors feel confident that they will have a positive experience in all aspects of your business.
- Because search engines like Google place a strong emphasis on local results, having a website is even more important if you are a local business. More people are using the internet to find local businesses than ever before so if you don’t have a website, they may be unable to contact or locate your company.
- When your company has an updated website, you will have an increased ability to communicate with customers in real time. This is especially true when your website’s content and social media are integrated. Your social media pages all work together to increase your website traffic and boost revenue.
- The ability to attract new customers is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in updating your website. Since the visitors to your site will be at various stages of the sales process, including researchers, comparers, and buyers, you’ll want to make sure you have offerings for them all. The goal is to convert website visitors into leads, so speaking to their needs and providing them with a clear action plan to take the next steps will help make the process smoother.
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Imagine you are out window shopping one day. Suddenly, you come across a lovely new store with an incredible selection of exactly what you have been looking for! How exciting! You cannot wait to start shopping, so you walk on in. However, once you start looking around the store, you start to feel a little uncertain about shopping there. Something just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Then suddenly, you realize what’s going on…there is not a single person around to talk to. Not one.
Who is going to answer your questions or help you with your purchase? What if you buy something but need to return it? Who is minding this store? Unless you prefer a completely automated shopping experience, you are probably going to leave this beautiful store and never return.
Surprisingly, albeit it virtually, this scenario occurs on a regular basis for many of us on our favourite social media pages. And, unfortunately, there are far too many pages with large numbers of fans who receive no responses to their questions or comments. With someone to “mind the store,” so to speak, these pages would potentially see increased reach and engagement, as well as more trust and brand loyalty from their fans.
Why is community management so important?
There’s no doubt that social media use has exploded since 2004, and the numbers of users continues to rise. As a result, community management of social media pages on the major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn has become a critical component of customer service. Good community management is key to retaining current customers as well as acquiring new customers, especially through referrals.
Are you still not completely convinced? Check out these statistics:
- As of 2020, there are 3.78 billion social media users, which equates to about 48% of the current world population. (Statista)
- 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that same brand to their friends and family. (Ambassador)
- In 2020, nearly 6 in 10 consumers preferred visiting social media pages of brands before deciding to visit their websites (an 81% increase from 2019). (Digital Information World)
Clients and Community Managers work together!
The relationship between a client/brand and its Community Manager is critical for a variety of reasons, but especially because it requires complete confidence for them to delegate the critical task of engaging with their consumers on their behalf. Although it can truly be challenging at times, it is important to understand both the tone of voice, and the industry jargon. This ensures that engagement with the clients’ followers on their social media pages is reliable and genuine.
Community Managers are on the front lines to promote and protect their clients’ reputation. This includes responding to negative feedback and all comments in a timely and respectful manner. All in all, the client is counting on their Community Manager to “mind the store”. By interacting with customers through social media platforms you are showing them that you care. What may seem like a simple gesture will often go a long way toward establishing positive customer relationships.
At MYOB, our Community Managers research your brand and competitors to develop a strategy to meet your marketing goals. They will prepare an audit of your existing accounts and offer recommendations to move forward. MYOB can help you mind your own business better!
We’ve all had a bad customer service experience or two in our lives, but how often do we actually “complain” to someone who can turn a bad situation into a good one? According to a recent statistic, as many as 96% of us will say something about a negative experience to 15 friends, without speaking to anyone within the organization we are upset with. Here’s a thought: perhaps being proactive with a tailored approach to customer service from the start of the relationship can help to prevent a negative situation from the get-go. After all, it’s about the customer!
Here are three suggestions for providing excellent customer service.
- To earn customers’ trust, make them feel seen and heard.
Successfully competing in the market involves more than offering the best prices. Nowadays, potential customers are drawn in and compelled to stay when you provide top-notch customer service. At the very least, they expect to be treated with kindness and respect. With a global average of 59% of consumers having higher expectations of customer service, continuing to use outdated or ineffective strategies may cause you to fall behind your competitors. To attract and retain customers, it is critical to make each individual feel special by providing them with personalized customer service.
Another important factor in attracting and retaining customers is to meet their needs. Being aware of your target market’s customer service preferences can also benefit your business, since approximately 54% of consumers say they base their purchasing decisions on the quality of a company’s customer service. Furthermore, more than 19% say that the quality of service is one of the most important factors influencing their final purchasing decision.
- Proactive customer service will set you apart from the competition.
It is pretty clear that any type of service—for example, being greeted by name, being recognized from previous interactions, and receiving contextualized support—is appreciated and makes a customer feel valued. In addition, anticipating your customers’ support needs can give your company a competitive edge.
- Communicate and interact with your customers to build stronger relationships.
At the end of the day, remember that cultivating relationships with your customer base does not end with the sale. That is only the beginning. To keep connected, you must provide excellent, consistent, and meaningful customer care. The key is to listen to your customers and act on their feedback to demonstrate that addressing their concerns is a top priority. There are many ways to stay connected including seasonal cards, birthday cards, newsletters and phone call check-ins. Continued interaction sends a strong message that you care.
It’s better for dissatisfied customers to talk to you than about you.
Following these simple steps will help you in maintaining open lines of communication with your customers. That way, if they have a negative experience, they will be far more likely to tell you directly rather than complaining to 15 (or 1,500!) of their friends. And, with a higher level of trust between you and your customers, you have a much better chance of making things right and reinforcing their trust in you.
Social media provides a great way of connecting with potential clients and customers. However, if you don’t know where to begin, the task can feel overwhelming. It’s important to start off by figuring out your business’s target audience. For example, who would benefit from your services the most, and how old are they? Once you establish the target demographic, you can make decisions about the best social media platform for communication.
Communication can start with monitoring the feedback received from customers on your social media pages. Thank them for taking the time to reach out. If you receive negative feedback, reach out to them personally, and ask what you can do to improve the situation. This is also an opportunity to ask clients and customers what they like about the services you have to offer, and ask questions to encourage engagement with your business.
Once you have established client and customer connections, it’s important to maintain them. Always follow up on customer feedback. If you haven’t heard from a customer in a while, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask how they’ve been; as well as giving them a brief update on services they might like to use in the future.
At MYOB, we manage communication for our clients. We’ve been growing their social media to multiple platforms to expand the reach, crafting their monthly newsletters to provide business updates during COVID-19, and refreshing their websites to ensure messaging is strong and consistent throughout. We’d love to hear some of the ways you’re connecting with customers at this time. Tag us on social media @MYOBVA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share your stories!
Eventually, you will have an unhappy customer who calls to complain. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding that can be explained quickly and sometimes the customer has resisted complaining for quite some time and has finally reached the limit of their patience.
In all cases, listening to the full explanation is critical before responding.
Recently, I called the local newspaper to complain about my delivery service. The delivery had been unacceptable for three months and I finally reached the limit of my patience.
The customer service representative was CLEARLY reading responses to me, starting with “I’m sorry you are having this problem” followed by a scripted response.
I asked two questions: Does your newspaper still promise delivery before 7 a.m.? Do I have a new delivery person? The response was complete silence, presumably while the representative was searching for the answer to read to me.
I was offered the digital version of the newspaper for the day that I called, but I CLEARLY explained my complaint was not just about TODAY, but about the LAST THREE MONTHS.
Perhaps this was not in the handbook of canned responses because I got silence again.
Finally, I said “please note my file that I have complained about my service” and ended the call.
I left the experience with more aggravation than I began. Now I am considering cancelling my service entirely.
Hopefully your front line customer service team is sincerely devoted to customer retention.
If you have an unhappy customer:
First, listen carefully.
Second, apologize and repeat back what you understand the problem to be.
Third, if the solution is not obvious, it’s OK to ask the customer what outcomes they would like to see. In my example, I wanted two things – a note on the file that delivery was not acceptable, and moving forward, delivery daily by 7 a.m.
Fourth, offer to touch base in the near future to make sure that the problem is solved.
Show you actually care and are not just hiring people to read scripted answers. Make sure that your website has a place where your customers can write to you and then make sure the emails are monitored and a response sent in a timely manner.
At Mind Your Own Business, we can help with solutions to help you mind your own business better.
Does your company have a Customer Service policy? Or does your company respond to what the Customer would like? At Mind Your Own Business, we spend time with our customers during the “Meet and Greet” at the beginning of our relationship, to find out what communication and processes will serve them best – you could say a custom approach to Customer service. After all, it’s about the customer!
We have been experiencing huge growth in the bookkeeping area of our business services and when we ask the new customer what was lacking in their previous service, the answers are becoming familiar. We hear that some other companies don’t answer the phone, are slow to return calls, accept the questions and don’t respond with clear answers and are unclear about billing.
Some customers want each email acknowledged, while others would go crazy with this additional activity in their inbox. Therefore, a customer’s expectation and expressed wishes become the foundation for being able to provide superior “customer service”.
Are your customers feeling like they are getting the best customer service? If not, they might be our next new client.