Does Your Net Promoter Score Matter?

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Your Net Promoter Score (or NPS), can be summed up as a measurement of how likely a customer is to recommend your business to a friend. Businesses ask their customers the familiar question: “How likely are you on a scale of 0-10 to recommend our products or services?” Customers who indicate 0-6 are called detractors, 7-8 are neutral, and 9-10 are known as promoters. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to reveal your NPS. Here is why NPS is an important measurement for your business.

Online Reputation

Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for businesses and NPS can show you whether the talk is positive or negative. There is no marketing campaign a business can launch that will ever outshine a trusted recommendation from a friend. The same logic can be applied to online review sites – the first step in the decision making process for many people. After identifying the promoters in your customer base, encourage them to leave a review of your business. Their positive reviews signal to others that your business is trustworthy and values customer service.

Referral Boost

Research has proven that referred customers provide a greater ROI than other customers –16% over the customer’s lifetime. This is likely explained by the fact that referrals arrive in your office with pre-established trust in your business, trust that you would typically have to earn with other customers. These customers are also likely to be more receptive to upsells of other products and services that you may offer. Your NPS can help bring in more referrals by identifying promoters and leveraging their customer satisfaction to your benefit.

Improves Churn

Customer churn is a problem that businesses of all sizes deal with everyday. Disappearing customers can be a tough blow to your business’ morale, particularly for small businesses. NPS is useful in combating churn because it allows you to identify and reach out to your detractors. Following up with those unsatisfied customers will make them feel heard and appreciated, which is usually enough to prevent churn. Resolving these issues also helps to turn a detractor into a promoter. By using NPS, you can identify the root cause of churn and stop it before it happens.

First-class customer service is one of the main goals of all businesses. NPS will help your business reach that goal by showing your your business the path forward to improve and maintain customer satisfaction.

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.

Demandforce Customers: Sending Email Campaigns

Demandforce Customers Sending Email Campaigns

Email marketing is one of the most effective methods to reach and engage with your clients. Pew Research data shows that 92% of adults in the United States use email, with 61% of these users using it on an average day. It is also one of the simplest ways to market your small business, gain appointment requests and alert clients to upcoming promotions. Demandforce makes it easy for you to create email campaigns, whether your goal is to gain appointment requests or referrals for new customers.

1-Click Campaigns

Our 1-click campaigns are beneficial to small businesses because they can be created in minutes, which saves you valuable time and money. Creating an email campaign is as easy as click, edit and send! Select the campaign that aligns with your goals, customize it for your business and send or schedule the campaign for a future date. Demandforce creates new 1-click campaigns each season, providing a wide range of email campaigns all year long.

Email campaigns are not only useful for special offers and promotions, they also help keep your business front of mind with clients. Many clients neglect to schedule regular maintenance appointments, resulting in fewer visits over time. Frequent emails from your business help encourage the occurrence of repeat business and increased revenue.

Create Your Own Campaign

Demandforce also provides you with the freedom to create your own email campaigns. Customize all of your content from the email copy to your business’s unique images and branding. Customized campaigns can include newsletters, promotions or thank you emails that show your appreciation to valued clients. Creating your own email campaign gives you the added flexibility of incorporating a call-to-action that links to your own custom URL.

Email campaigns help build brand awareness, loyalty and trust in your business. With the growing popularity of mobile devices, your email campaigns can reach clients immediately, whether they’re at work or in line at a grocery store. Email campaigns are both convenient for your on-the-go clients and vital to your business’s bottom line.

3 ways having an optimized website can bring in more cash flow

3 ways your website can bring in more cash flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of every optometry practice, and your website may play a bigger role in having consistent cash flowing in than you think. Yes, direct mailers with coupons will always be one of the strong contenders in your traditional marketing strategy. But patients, both current and prospective, are now also responding to digital marketing because it feeds their need for instant information, and offers them the convenience they require to be satisfied. Your website can play a big part in that. Here are 3 ways having a website can bring in more cash flow.

1. Online Booking

Usually when a patient’s day dies down is when they remember to catch up on personal tasks like scheduling their doctor appointments. The catch is your practice is most likely closed at this time. Because life is so fast-paced, it’s important for both your practice and your patients to have options outside of making a phone call during office hours to book an appointment. This is where having an ‘Online Booking’ feature on your website is imperative.

Not only does it keep your current patients coming back to your office, but it also gives potential patients the option to try your services. If a prospect is scrolling through your website they are already showing interest in having their eyes checked at your practice. That is the most optimal time to try and generate new visits – by offering them a prominent ‘Schedule Online’ button.

2. Content Marketing

Content is king – even Google says it when referring to the power it has on SEO. 59% of patients are saying they access health information more frequently. With the flood of both accurate and inaccurate health information on the web, your practice can take the lead in engaging your current and prospective audience with interesting articles or email newsletters focused on eyes and eye health. If your content has quality ideas and is done consistently, you can retain your patients with loyalty while bringing in new patients who are persuaded by your thought-leadership. There are also marketing solutions that offer a robust collection of industry-specific content.

Your website is also a great place to list your specialties, services and the different insurance you accept. Though this may not directly point to more cash flow, it will reduce the phone calls your office receives and gives them more personal time with patients to offer a positive experience.

3. Optimization and Reputation

As mentioned earlier, content is an effective tactic in the strategy to enhance your SEO. But managing and expanding your online presence is just as important. First things first, build a profile on the main review sites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Then, implement some ways you can easily direct your happy patients there to leave a review. Some ways could include ‘Thank You’ emails with a ‘Review Us’ link, or simple requests via text message to leave your practice a review. Your staff can even ask verbally if the moment is right. The more positive (4+ star) reviews and visibility your practice has, the more inclined new patients are to try your services.

Another opportunity for visibility and an optimized online presence is online business listings. There are hundreds of data-aggregating listing sites that pull your information – whether it’s correct or not – and post it. These need to be managed and completely filled out just in case a prospect finds you on one of those listing sites. If the site offers an online booking link be sure to use it. You never want to pass up an opportunity to acquire someone new.

Seize your cash flow opportunities to protect your bottom line, and when you can, implement tools that will fulfill this need for your staff.

Demandforce Customers: Easy Ways to Collect Email Addresses

Collecting Email Addresses for Marketing

One of our best tools to convert current and prospective customers is our Email Campaign builder. Just like you experienced in your demo with your sales rep, you can segment your emails by products purchased and services received, or simply send appointment reminders and recall campaigns via email. But in order to get started, you have to collect email addresses from your audience. Don’t worry – there are easy ways to do this! Here are two options that the Demandforce portal offers you to help you collect email addresses.

Offline Form

Offline forms ask for the information necessary to send your customers emails and text messages. ‘Offline’ stands for customers who either don’t have an email address in your management system, or are simply not subscribed to your email communications.

The easiest way to tackle receiving email addresses from your current customers is by printing this form for the day they come in for their appointment. Go to your ‘Appointments’ drop down in your menu and click ‘Appointment Calendar’ to choose the day you would like to print your Offline Form. Then you can click the blue link ‘Print Patient Forms’ and choose if you want print forms for every patient that day, or a different audience listed in the drop down.

It’s recommended to add this to any other paperwork your customers are filling out, or have them fill it out quickly while they wait for their appointment to begin.

Email Finder

Email Finder is an add-on service we provide within your portal, and it’s a great option if you have little-to-no email addresses to start with, or your business is fairly new. It’s also helpful for a promotion or announcement that you want to extend your reach with.

This service searches through national opt-in databases using your customer’s name and physical mailing address. Once you start with Demandforce the Email Finder already begins searching, and let’s you know how many it has found. This happens every month and is no extra charge. Only once you click ‘Let’s do it’ are those emails purchased for $0.99 per valid email. The good news is – we give you 500 emails for free just to get you started! Be sure to take advantage of that deal no matter how big your email database is.

Outside of what Demandforce offers you, there are a variety of ways you can gather email addresses from current or prospective customers, including:

  • Business card fishbowl for a prize giveaway
  • Email signup field on your website
  • Social media ads

Just be sure to email your customers no more than once a week, and no less than around every three months to stay at the top of their mind.

7 Text Messaging Stats that Will Make You Wonder Why You’re Not Texting Customers

Text Messaging Statistics that will make you want to text your customers

Text messaging is more than a communications tool – it’s a retention tool. From faster responses to more referrals, if you’re not texting your customers – here are 7 stats that will make you wonder why.

1. 97% of Americans use text messaging.

2. 75% of millennials think that text is a helpful way to receive appointment reminders.

3. 19% of millennials don’t check their voicemails.

4. It only takes 90 seconds for a response to an average text message.

5. 77% of consumers aged 18-34 will have a more positive perception of a company that has text messaging capabilities.

6. Customers are 28% more likely to recommend a company to friends if it offers a text messaging capability.

7. The response rate to a text message is 8x higher than the response rate to an email.

So if you’re looking for a quick way to get a customer to gain a follower on social media, redeem a coupon, or learn about a promotion – send them a text message. Make sure timing is in line with your hours of operation, but not late at night like 9PM when some people’s evenings may be winding down.

After you’ve sent your text campaigns, make sure to look at your opt-out rates for each message to know what works for your audience. If your opt-out rate is high, you may want to consider trying new messaging.

http://www.offthecusp.com/texting-your-patients-statistics/

Success Story: Advance German Car

Demandforce Success Story - Auto Shop

About Advance German Car

Rudy Brandes has been a professional in the auto industry for more than four decades. He has been a customer of Demandforce since 2011. Brandes opened his shop, Advance German Car in 1983, specializing in German automobiles such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz.

We were excited to read about Rudy’s experience with Demandforce in his success story. Here are top highlights from Rudy’s experience that any auto shop can benefit from by using Demandforce:

Keeping in Touch to Keep Customers Coming Back

After years of sending communications with customers manually, Brandes has saved time, energy and increased revenue by having the ability to communicate with his customers instantly using our text and email features.

“It has allowed us to get more business, as well as communicate better with our customers,” Brandes says.

More Time to Serve More Customers

By using Demandforce, Brandes estimates that he has increased his customer base by 15 percent, and has seen an increase of loyal customers and referrals.

“It’s totally freed up my time,” Brandes says.

Ready to learn more? Request a demo from one of our experts and they will get back to you shortly.

 

Announcing Text Reviews

We would like to announce the addition of our all-new Text Reviews functionality that enables merchants to collect feedback faster by sending review requests where customers are sure to see them: via text message on their smartphones.

Collecting reviews from customers has always been challenging for merchants, as phone calls and emails requesting reviews have historically yielded low response rates. Our Text Reviews offers customers the convenience of providing immediate feedback about their recent visit by sending a review request via text message to their smartphone.

To send text review requests using Text Reviews, merchants get verbal consent from customers to send them text messages. A one-time text opt-in request is then sent to the customer’s confirmed number, providing an easy way for merchants to collect text opt-ins for future text communication with the customer. The customer then receives a text message with a link to a review request containing a unique URL. Reviews submitted from the unique URL are then posted on any merchant web pages and Facebook business profiles connected to a merchant’s Demandforce dashboard.

Demandforce Text Reviews is the latest Demandforce innovation designed to help merchants improve customer satisfaction and retention using technology. Text requests see a 98% open rate compared with just 20-30% for email requests according to a recent Velocify study. This greatly increases the odds that customers will provide reviews with actionable feedback for merchants that can be used to improve the customer experience.

More information on Demandforce Text Reviews functionality, which is available immediately, can be found here

Customer service advice for small businesses

If you’re a small business such as a dentist, medical specialist, auto shop, hairstylist, or veterinarian, you know how important each customer is to your bottom line. You can’t afford to lose a customer or patient due to a bad experience, and many of your customers might come to you specifically because they want the “white glove” customer support you can give them.

Every small business should strive to provide best-in-class customer support to its clients. The business that can make its customers feel special is the one who will foster loyalty and return visits. Additionally, your reputation – both online and via word-of-mouth marketing – will improve.

A Starter Guide: Customer Service Advice for Small Businesses 

Treat every client like they’re you’re only client… to a point

For any business, quality customer service and support are vital in keeping customers happy and willing to recommend you to their family, colleagues, and friends. If you strive to treat every client like they’re your only client, it’s a win-win. Just make sure you’re not neglecting other clients. Some advice:

  • If you can, assign a Customer Success Representative to each client, and try to have this be the point of contact for that client. Establishing a consistent representative for your business can help make your customer feel more comfortable and understood.
  • Avoid canned responses, and when possible, tailor your communications directly to your client, making sure to keep their preferred communication method and channel in mind.

Set boundaries and expectations… make sure you’re on the same page

If you’re going to grow your business, you need to recognize that some customers are better for your business than others. What this means is that as long as you show respect for your customers and treat them well, they will (and should) respect you and how you run your business. This is the customer that will help you grow, and the kind you want to keep coming back. If you don’t set boundaries with your customers, they can end up creating unneeded stress and consuming valuable time. Some advice:

  • You don’t need to be a 24/7 business if that doesn’t fit within your business model. It’s important that you run your business on your own terms and establish a clear day-to-day schedule with your customers. If you continue making exceptions, your customers might understandably not even know when you are truly open, and continue to expect “after hours” service.
  • Keep your business listings online up-to-date and send out text and/or email communications to your customers when you have modified or changing hours.

Handle things promptly… remember who your audience is

When you’re dealing with anything on social media, it’s critical to always respond quickly and in a professional manner. According to some studies, over 67 percent of Internet users are on social networks, and this means that you need to develop strong relationships with your customers on and offline. Think of it like a relationship: if one side thinks the other isn’t communicating, listening, or engaging, then a breakup might be on the horizon. Remember…

  • On social media, silence leads to losing customers – no response, or a slow response, can be read as apathy or coldness by customers
  • You don’t need to respond seconds after a post, but you should respond. Some incentive? A Harris study showed that 18 percent of people who posted negative reviews and received a reply went on to become loyal customers. And 70 percent reversed the content, either by deleting the negative comment or posting a follow-up positive one. 

It never hurts to ask… for referrals and testimonials 

If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you probably know that referrals are one the most effective ways to grow your business and attract new, loyal customers. However, you also may HATE asking for referrals, or just not know how. Don’t assume that your customers will just talk about your business, and your great customer service. Remember: the more you ask for referrals, the more you’ll get. Here are some tips:

  • Make asking for a referral part of your routine. With some systems, like Demandforce, you can automatically send a referral follow-up to customers who have just visited your business. These are great ways to not only collect feedback on how you’re doing, but also allow your customers to review you and post those reviews online. Remember that most people like to help out others, especially if it’s not a complicated process.
  • Combine asking for referrals with requesting testimonials – consider creating testimonial cards that you can pass out at your front desk, so that someone can write one and then either drop it in the mail, or email you back. You can also send a targeted email requesting a testimonial or feedback from customers who have rated you highly in a review.

Looking for more advice on how to provide best-in-class customer service? It’s always a good idea to improve your communications, and Demandforce can help. Contact us today to see a demo. We believe in stellar customer service as well! Every Demandforce customer is paired with a Customer Success Manager, who will help you set up and optimize any and all Demandforce features to best suit your business and business goals. Call us at (888) 272-7821, or visit demandforce.com.

 

How to improve your customer onboarding experience

What is onboarding?

Customer onboarding is a term used to describe the process that your customers experience at the beginning of their customer journey with your business, and if you think that as a professional, you don’t have to consider onboarding, think again! The beginning of your customer journey is one of the most important, especially in regards to fostering future engagement and retention.

Why is onboarding important?

First impressions matter, and this is the foundational idea behind having a strong onboarding process. The first one-on-one experience your customer has with your services sets the tone for their entire relationship with your business. If it’s stressful, confusing, or convoluted, you could risk losing their business and develop a negative reputation.

Especially if you acquire a new prospect via a special promotion, discount, or free trial, if you want to limit the number of drop-offs immediately after this special ends, a strong onboarding experience is key.

How to build a strong onboarding experience for your customers

The goal of customer onboarding is not only to reduce churn, but also to showcase the long-term value of sticking with your business as opposed to a competitors. A good onboarding experience will:

  • Build trust between you and your customer
  • Guide your customer through any initial forms or required registration
  • Create engagement with you
  • Set expectations for the future
  • Impress them

Some aspects you an utilize in your onboarding process

Here are some suggestions we have for you to try in your onboarding process.

Customize your welcome

Adding a specific person’s name to even the first welcome email you send them goes a long way to setting the tone for the relationship you’ll have with them during their entire customer lifecycle. Sending custom emails and notifications to them is simple with many online marketing platforms, and can increase long-term retention and customer satisfaction.

Assign an individual representative

Assigning an individual representative to each customer is not only something simple your business can do, but it adds a personal touch to your relationship, and gives your customer a point of contact they can connect with in the future (which often makes them more willing to connect with you!). Even if you have the same representative act as the main point of contact, letting each customer know that they can call in and ask for someone by name goes a long way in onboarding that customer.

Set check-in milestones 

The first time you meet with your customer, set some milestones for the future, and let them know that there will be certain moments where you’ll check in with them, to see how they’re doing, whether they need to come in again for another appointment, or if they’re all good for the time being. Establishing this during the onboarding process plants the seed early in your customer’s mind that you will be in touch later, and thus – they will be more likely to engage with you in the future.

Showcase success stories

All customers enjoy knowing that others have come before them, and enjoyed their experience. So if you can, during the onboarding process, showcase some success stories you have had in the past, so that you not only highlight the positives of a long-term relationship with your business, but you set your customer’s mind at ease: they have made the right choice to choose you.

These are just a few ways you can work to improve your customer onboarding experience so that you set the right tone for your customers in the first days of their time with you. Remember, excellent customer onboarding not only keeps your customers happy, but it keeps them coming back and referring you to their friends and colleagues.