How to Build a Loyal Audience

How to Build a Loyal Audience

By now you know that attracting new customers is crucial to the success of your business. However, it is even more important to form a lasting impact on your current customers to gain and keep their business. Quality customer service, great products and services are an important part of building up a loyal audience. The best way to instill trust in your customers is to show them that you understand and see them. Here are a few ways to build a strong audience for your business.

Build a connection

One of the best ways to connect with your patients is through social media. Your business’ social media accounts present a great opportunity to give it a personality, and connect with customers outside of the office. From sharing special promotions or engaging with your followers on Facebook and Instagram, regularly update your social media accounts with fun and relevant posts to reap the benefits of customer loyalty. It’s also important to respond to your customers to further cement that loyalty.

Be the expert they trust

Often customers get nervous when they are recommend to add on a service. They may feel it’s a unnecessary cost. The best way to ensure their is trust when you are suggesting an add-on service is to explain in detail why you feel it’s necessary. If you can offer an alternative option as well, especially one that is more affordable, that’s even better. Trust is everything when you’re trying to build a loyal audience.

Thank your customers

A quick ‘thank you’ note goes a long with customers – whether it includes a promotion or not. People genuinely love to be appreciated for their time. The best time to thank them is within 24 hours after they’ve visited, and most customers prefer to receive their thank yous via email. But if your business can do it, a handwritten ‘thank you’ note will blow them away.

Finding the right way to engage with your customers is a great way to foster loyalty. Once you have discovered a strategy that works, you can easily amass a following of customers that will keep coming back to your business for years to come.

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.

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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The benefits of using social media tools

The benefits of social media tools

Managing social media pages can be overwhelming for small businesses, especially when first starting. Once you create a profile your staff has to carve out time to think about content – both copy and images – while also taking part in social conversations, and answering client questions. Though the rewards may sometimes take long to reap, or even hard to pinpoint, the work that goes into social can bring in more clients. But what can your staff do to make social media easier to manage? Bring on a tool that does the groundwork for you.

Consistent branding

Compelling images are probably the hardest to attain as a small business with limited resources. Some social management tools, however, will also offer professionally designed profile images across all of the main channels. This will help your online presence look consistent so current and potential clients know they found the right business.

Reduce content creation time

If you’re looking for true value, find a tool that can offer you pre-written content that’s specific to your industry. This feature can act as a hired writer but without the cost of training, computer equipment, experience, etc. You will also be able to have the post scheduled in advance so your team can plan ahead.

More time on engagement

With your posts being taken care of your team will have time to spend on what’s most important: engaging your audience. Your audience includes people who follow you, as well as people who don’t.

For those who do follow you, they may predominantly be clients who are already loyal to you with a mix of potential clients. Both will use the channel to ask customer service questions. Research has shown that more than 80 percent of customers expect responses from businesses within 24 hours, with almost half anticipating a reply in less than an hour.*

For those who do not follow you, the best acquisition strategy to look for industry-specific conversations and take part in them. This will grow your following, and in turn expand your online presence to find new clients.

 

Social media is a must for your business, so it’s a great idea to find a tool that will save you time, and keep your staff focused on their main roles.

*https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/need-quicker-response-times-social-media/

How to Measure the Value of Your Website with Google Analytics

How to measure the value of your website with Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is an analytics tool that can help you understand how powerful your website is in your marketing strategy. You can measure how many returning visitors you get versus new visitors, what website pages are the most popular, and so much more. Because it offers a lot of measuring opportunities, sometimes GA can seem overwhelming. To get you started, here are some essential metrics to measure the value of your website to your business.

Turning it on

First things first – you have to open an analytics account and add GA to your website. The tool is free, so all you need is simple information like your website URL to get your GA code snippet. Highlight and copy the entire snippet of code once you are ready to add it to your website. You can access this snippet of code anytime in your GA settings.

If you have a Business Plan website with WordPress.com, adding this code is simple. Just install the Google Analytics plugin created by MonsterInsights, as that is the plugin trusted by WordPress. Once installed, go to the settings of this plugin on your WordPress dashboard and add your snippet of code.

You can also add GA to WiX, Squarespace and most templated websites. If your business has a custom website built by code from a developer, you should contact your developer or IT professional. It may take a day or two for your website to start recording data. You won’t be able to gather any data from the time period that you did not have GA.

Behavior: Popular Pages

Now for the fun part: measuring! Right off the bat you’re going to want to know what pages are working for you. Your homepage will always be the most popular by default, so it’s better to pay attention to the top three to five pages on the list. On your left hand menu in GA, click Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Once you arrive make sure you adjust the time frame on the upper right corner of the page so you can be specific on what day or days you want to measure.

Now that you are looking at your top pages, pay attention to some of these details:

  • Pageviews and unique pageviews: it’s interesting to see how many of those views are unique.
  • Average time on page: you want to see something above 1 minute and 30 seconds so you know users are truly reading.
  • Bounce rate: how often are they on the page for only 0 seconds? This percentage should be lower – ideally under 50 percent.

On your popular pages, don’t make too many content updates because clearly something is working. Make sure you have strong CTAs and feel free to add testimonials to these pages since they have a good chance of being viewed.

Acquisition: Where are Visitors Coming From

With this data there is no more guessing what social network works best for your brand. You can also learn about other channels bringing traffic to your website like paid search if you’re running Google Ads, referral websites if other websites are linking to yours, or email if you’re sending email campaigns.

On your navigation click Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels. Right off the bat you’ll see what channels are bringing the most traffic to your site. If you click on a specific channel like Social, you can track what specific networks are bringing you the most traffic, and decide which ones to stop posting on every week. And remember – take the bounce rate into consideration when you’re deciphering which channel is working the best for your brand.

Audience: Know Your Visitors

This is a great tool to help you pinpoint who your website audience is. If you click Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning on your navigation, you can easily see who you’re content should be catered to. Maybe your website is mostly returning users, while your social media pages are where new customers find you.

While staying in the Audience tab, explore the Demographics, Interests, and Geo subtabs to really get to know your users. This information is great for inspiration on sales, promotions or incentives you hold.

Marketing only has meaning to your business when it is measured. Although there are many ways to analyze the different marketing channels you use, Google Analytics is one of the best for understanding the power of your website, who is visiting it, and where they came from.

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.