How to Celebrate Small Business Saturday

Celebrate Small Business Saturday

The holiday retail race will begin in just one week – is your business ready to take advantage of Small Business Saturday? Unlike Black Friday, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to show some love for small businesses in their local community. Statistics prove that people want to support their communities. In 2012, when the holiday was founded by American Express, $5.5 billion was spent in small businesses across America in a single day. Here are a few ways that both your business and your clients can celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Promote Small Business Saturday

As a small business, it’s important to get a head start on promotions so that you can stand out from your Black Friday competitors. Remind all of your clients about Small Business Saturday in advance by promoting the event on social media. Let your followers know about the history of the event and what your business has planned with posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to send out emails to all of your subscribers encouraging them to “shop small” with your business.

Create Incentives

Think about what makes your small business stand out from retail chain stores. Whether it’s personalized customer service or a local product that only you provide, highlight it in your incentive. It’s important that you remind your clients that all of their support for your business goes right back into the community.

Spending $100 at a local business results in an average of $68 that stays in the local community compared to $43 for national franchise businesses.

Any incentive that you offer your clients, can help the whole community in the long term.

Think Ahead

Small Business Saturday is a great event to boost visibility and sales for your business, but remember to look beyond this one day. You can use the shopping frenzy to the advantage of your business and plan your strategy going forward. Use all of the successful strategies from this event and repurpose them all year long to see increased business and client loyalty.

When small businesses succeed, the entire community succeeds. By encouraging your clients to shop local, you can help improve your community and your business’ bottom line. Celebrating Small Business Saturday is a guaranteed win for you and your clients.

DF Auto Announcement

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Fall 2018 has been an exciting time for our automotive vertical. We announced our newest brand DF Auto, making room for branding, features, and partnerships that have auto shop owners in mind.

Since our announcement, we launched Rep Boost, an online reputation-focused bundle that shop owners have been asking for. No muss, no fuss – just reputation management tools to help expand your presence online.

Stay tuned for more updates because the appreciation to your continued loyalty has only just begun!

Getting Comfortable With Upselling

Getting comfortable with upselling

Would you like fries with that? If you’ve ever been to a fast-food restaurant, you have likely heard those words before. This is a classic example of upselling, a sales strategy that businesses use to introduce clients to additional products and services. While you may not be in the fast-food industry, upselling is a valuable strategy for your business. It gives you the opportunity to increase sales and generate more revenue while providing your clients with products and services that they need. Use the following strategies to confidently and effectively upsell your clients.

Options Are Key

Many businesses feel uncomfortable upselling to clients because it can be perceived as “pushy”. A good tactic to move from this uncomfortable feeling is to instead approach upselling as simply providing your clients with options. If you identify an opportunity to sell your client a product or service that you feel better fits their needs, simply use the phrase: “We offer another option that I think you would like.” This subtle shift in language portrays your business as helpful and serves to please your clients. Creating a better option is after all the backbone of upselling.

Judge Wisely

All of your clients have one thing in common: they don’t want to be sold a product or service that they don’t need. Before attempting to upsell your clients, you need to first identify if it is relevant to their needs. If a salon client has just received a new haircut, it’s not exactly relevant for the hair stylist to suggest hair extensions. In this example, suggesting a new hair color or highlights would be a better upsell choice. Upselling relevant products and services will help generate more sales for your business and improve overall client happiness.

Show The Bigger Picture

The key to completing an upsell is making sure that the client can see the big picture behind your suggestion. If you simply suggest an additional product or service without any context, clients are likely to decline. Clearly explain why you think the upsell is a good idea. Pitch the idea behind the upsell, how it will be beneficial in the long-run and provide as much detail as possible. When the client can see the big picture, they will start to believe that the upsell is a good idea too.

Once you get in the habit of accurately identifying upsell opportunities, suggesting additional products and services to your clients will come naturally. By using the strategies above you can create a better experience for your clients, resulting in a huge win for your business.

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Making your website ADA compliant

The Americans with Disabilities Act aims to protect the rights of disabled people to prevent discrimination against a person’s disability. This law requires businesses to offer accommodations like wheelchair ramps and handicapped parking for disabled persons. However, when the law was passed in 1990, it did not provide any specific language to protect disabled persons from discrimination on the Internet. While there is currently no legal definition of an ADA compliant website, here are a few elements your website should have to ensure that your hearing and vision impaired clients have a seamless experience.

Contrasting Colors

Your clients with vision impairments have difficulty viewing web pages the same way as other people. While an artistic website design might seem clear to you, certain color schemes are difficult for vision impaired persons to view. Ensure that your website is accessible for everyone by choosing white background colors with a font that is dark enough to pop against the background. This color contrast is crucial to have on your website to make your content clear and accessible for all site visitors. While this is beneficial for your vision impaired clients, it is also beneficial in reducing bounce rates for your business website.

Large Fonts

Avoid small, ineligible fonts on your website whenever possible. Not only do small fonts make it difficult for vision-impaired clients to read website content, but they also don’t render well on responsive website designs that adjust to fit screens on mobile devices. Use large font between 15 – 18px on your website to make sure your content is readable across all devices from – desktop sites to tablets to mobile phones. It is also important that you disable any settings that prevent site visitors from adjusting the font size in a user’s web browser. Visually impaired persons need to be able to specify font size as needed to properly view your website content.

Hyperlinks and Buttons

Influencing site visitors to perform an action is the goal of virtually every business website. The best way to get your visitors to take action is to make sure they know what to do! Clickable elements like hyperlinks and call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your website should be large, clear and stand apart from the body text. Visually impaired persons often scan web pages to quickly search for links. Concealing important links in a block of text makes it harder for your clients to find them. Additionally, make sure the links are descriptive of the information they’re leading to. “Updated Office Hours and Contact Information” is a lot more descriptive than simply “Update”.

Screen Reader Friendly

Screen readers make it possible for blind or visually impaired persons to “read” website content via a speech synthesizer or braille display. While screen readers are a wonderful way for visually impaired persons to access website content, they do have limitations. For example, screen readers are unable to “read” an image if the image doesn’t have alt text. Adding alt text is helpful because it gives context to your website images that a screen reader can “read” to site visitors. Alt text is also beneficial to your website’s SEO.

The best way to reach more clients online is to make your business website available for everyone. By ensuring that your website is ADA accessible, you are ensuring that all of your site visitors have a positive experience on your website. This can translate into the best possible outcome: increased traffic and conversions for your website.

Free download: How to become a client-obsessed brand (Lifestyle)

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Is your salon/spa measuring up to client-obsessed brands? The salon/spa industry is growing rapidly with an expected value of $128 billion this year, as reported by GlobalNewswire. This growth indicates that customers no longer view these services as an unaffordable luxury, but as a lifestyle.

Help your clients indulge in your services by:

  • Implementing a partnership with your clients in mind.
  • Using your knowledge to give your clients unique experiences.
  • Involving your staff in protecting a client’s private information.
  • Letting your clients have more control, and more.

Enjoy our free download ‘The 5 P’s of Client Experience’ to learn about actionable ways your business can become a client-obsessed brand.

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Demandforce Customers: Top 3 Features to Use

Demandforce Customers: Top 3 Features to Use

Are you getting the most out of your portal? We want to make sure our customers are taking full advantage of all of the tools at your disposal. Trying out new features in your software is the best way to effectively optimize how you communicate with your clients. If you want to effectively grow your business, be sure to explore these marketing and communications features.

Thank You Emails

One of the best ways to show appreciation for your clients is to thank them! Business owners that aim to keep their clients happy and coming back for more shouldn’t overlook the value of a simple thank you email. Not only does it keep the lines of communication open between you and your clients, you can also turn it into an opportunity to receive more reviews. Include a link to your business’ review site in the email to encourage happy customers to leave a review.

Appointment Reminders

Missed appointments are a detriment to both your business and your customers. Ensure that your customers never miss an appointment again by scheduling appointment reminders. Once an appointment has been scheduled through the portal, our system will automatically send out a reminder email to the customer. You can control how soon the reminder is sent before the appointment and the delivery method (email, text or voice reminders). Our convenient system will help make no-show appointments a non-issue for your business.

Email Campaigns

Promotional campaigns and newsletters are a great way to draw attention to a specific product or service that your business provides. Using the portal, it’s easy to set up a custom campaign to engage with your customers. Choose the delivery time, the recipients and whether you want to create a recurring campaign. We also offer pre-built campaigns that your business may find useful if you’re just getting started with Demandforce. Whether you want to create a service specific campaign or a seasonal one, our system streamlines the process.

Give these three features a try for improved communications with your clients. Need help getting started? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions about our marketing and communication tools.

Are you asking customers for reviews? You should be.

Asking customers for online reviews

Today, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means your business’ reputation is important.* The success of your business is connected to your online reputation, so getting online reviews is key. One of the easiest ways to get reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers. Asking for reviews helps give you the power to control the conversation about your business. Online reviews provide powerful benefits too, including an increase in sales, visibility and credibility.

Online Reviews Boost Sales

Online reviews give potential customers additional insight into your business and influences their decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that when a business has recent, relevant online reviews, conversions are increased. In fact, according to Shopify, 63% of customers are likely to complete a sale if a business has online reviews. Ask customers to leave a review directly on your website or other popular review sites to see an increase in sales for your business.

Online Reviews Increase Visibility

Similar to the way Demandforce Local increases your business’ online visibility, online reviews can benefit your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines prioritize content that is uniquely worded, relevant and updated frequently –– content like online reviews. With more customer reviews your business will rank for more search keywords, resulting in increased visibility for your products and services.

Online Reviews Establish Credibility

The old phrase “the only thing worse than bad press is no press” can be applied to a business’ online reputation. Potential customers want to see what other people are saying about your business. If your reviews are scarce or non-existent, this can cause them to doubt your credibility. A good amount of customer reviews, even negative reviews, help to establish your business as credible. Businesses with a credible online presence can improve their online reputation and reach new customers online.

Online Reviews Build a Presence

As you begin to request reviews from customers, be sure to point them to different review sites that help establish your reputation. For example, Yelp could be where you have most of your reviews, while Facebook is bare and needs more attention. There are communications tools that can automate review request emails, pointing customers to a variety of online review sites while focusing only on the ones you choose.

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/#recommendations