Why mobile first matters for your business

Did you know…

Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up. (ExpressPigeon, 2014)

Think about that. We have become so attached and reliant on our smartphones, often they are the first things we reach for each morning. And this shouldn’t necessarily be a distressing fact. Our smartphones connect us to the world and help us communicate quickly and effectively with a much wider world than we ever had access to before.

But what does this mean for small business owners who want to connect to new patients, customers, and clients?

Some stats on the importance of being mobile first

  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead (MicKinsey & Company)
  • Mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years (Email Monday)
  • 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important (Wolfgang Jaegel)

Your business needs to not only be mobile-friendly, but mobile first.

In an age where 80% of Internet users own a smartphone (Smart Insights, 2015), you need to be thinking about how to immediately connect with your patients and customers online. This includes:

Demandforce offers a complete communications solution for your business.

Demandforce helps you automate your communications and send relevant and timely communications to your entire customer base. These communications can all be optimized for mobile delivery and viewing, keeping you in front of your customers and available where they are most: online, and on their phones.

To find out how Demandforce can help your business be mobile first, visit www.demandforce.com.

Find out how to get more Google+ reviews

If you’re a small business owner, you probably already realize the importance of Google+ reviews for your business or practice. Google is often the first point of contact between a potential patient/customer and your office. The idea of searching on Google has become so ubiquitous, “Google it” is an instantly recognizable phrase.

Therefore, Google+ reviews are strong online currency that can boost your online reputation and make you the first choice for new customers. Online reviews strengthen your social proof, which refers to a human’s natural reliance on feedback and the actions of others to determine what is good or bad in a given situation. Social proof is the reason why studies often show that an overwhelming majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making a purchasing decision.

A 2014 study done by the marketing firm BrightLocal found that the more reviews a business has, the more trustworthy it is deemed by customers; plus, most customers read up to six reviews to make up their mind about a business.

How many Google+ reviews does your business have?

Don’t worry if that number isn’t as large as you might want it to be. There’s a simple way to generate more Google+ reviews for your business: request them from your previous patients and customers!

With Demandforce, this process is simple to set up. Google+ does not accept third party reviews, so we have created special email templates that you can send out to your database, to request Google+ reviews.

Here’s how to set up a Google campaign in Demandforce

Click on CAMPAIGNS and turn on your ONE-CLICK CAMPAIGNS, and select the “Review us on Google+” option. You can preview the email, and edit the audience or scheduled delivery to best fit your business. By default, the email will send to all customers who rated your business on Demandforce Local or another logged site four stars or above, and will run once every two weeks. However, rest assured – a single customer will only receive the email twice a year.

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Once your email has sent, you can view the sent and open rate results in the RESULTS section of the CAMPAIGNS tab. You can also edit or stop the campaign at any time in this area.

For more detailed information on how to set up or use the Google+ campaigns, click here.

Do Your Customers Love You? (Infographic)

In honor of Valentine’s Day this week, we wanted to share this fitting infographic with you.

As a small business owner, customer loyalty and retention are crucial to maintaining a healthy and successful business that is ready to grow when you are. If your customers aren’t happy, your business won’t thrive. But how do you know if your customers love you, and what can you do to keep them happy and coming back?

Follow this infographic, and be honest about your answers, to see the state of your current customer relationship.

However strong your relationship is, you can always improve it! Demandforce offers customer and patient communications solutions designed to help you stay connected with your base, and engaged. Through the use of powerful automation processes like automated appointment reminders, two-way text, custom email campaigns, and online review management – Demandforce can help you always send relevant and timely messages to your customers. To set up a time to see a personalized demo, click here.

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Do You Offer Online Booking? You Should.

Online booking made easy

In the age of streaming movies, on-demand TV, and two-day product delivery service, if you are a small business or dental/medical office looking to attract more business and grow, you definitely need to offer online booking.

Online Booking Is The Future (Now!)

According to an Accenture forecast for 2019, by that year 66% of health systems will offer patient self-scheduling, and 64% of patients will choose this option as a way to book their appointments. In today’s competitive marketplace, not offering your patients or customers the option to book online might send them to your competitors.

According to a 2015 survey conducted by the marketing firm Yodle, 60% of consumers want the local businesses they frequent to provide online booking, and one-third say they expect it as an offering. So why not give your customers what you want?

It’s Easy to Implement and Offer

Implementing online booking isn’t scary or difficult, and if you use a marketing and customer communications platform like Demandforce, this feature comes ready to use. Online booking can be added to your Yelp page, directly to your website, and via your Demandforce Local page, so that new customers can request or book appointments immediately after they find you online.

This is helpful because over 42% of online bookings happen after business hours, and the majority of customers polled in a recent marketing survey stated they would rather make an appointment online versus an appointment over the phone. Offering online booking not only extends your potential reach for new customers, but it offers your current ones the convenience and features they want.

Be Mobile First with Online Booking

How often do you check your mobile phone? According to a 2016 Smart Insights poll, over 80% of Internet users own a smartphone, and over 50% grab their phone immediately after waking up. For on-the-go customers, it’s imperative now to offer mobile first compatibility for your customers, and online booking is a mobile-friendly feature that will immediately boost your profile online.

Online booking will help you stand out from your competitors online, assisting you in customer acquisition and recall. It will also save your office time, as you won’t need to send quite so many reminders or phone calls, requesting follow-up or return services. Instead, you could set up a custom email campaign that links to a place where customers can go to book online.

These are just a few reasons why you should consider offering online booking for your customers and patients. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of online booking, and how Demandforce integrates online booking in with its other customer communications solutions catered to your industry, visit www.demandforce.com, or call us at (800) 358-5904.

The secret to leveraging online reviews for your business

We’ve all seen the stats and heard the success stories about how online reviews raised a company’s profile online, netting them more new customers and more loyal customers. But do you know the secret to leveraging online reviews to help your business?

The secret of online reviews

If you’re new to collecting online reviews, you might be nervous. Yes, your business is doing well, and you treat your customers well—but… you never know. What if one customer is unhappy, and decides to vent their frustration online? If you send an email to your entire customer database asking for reviews, don’t you risk collecting negative reviews as well as positive ones?

Well, here’s the secret to online reviews: all your reviews don’t have to be glowing 5-star raves. In fact, customers are often less trusting of businesses that only have glowing reviews, especially if you only have a small number. For example, a medical practice with only 4 reviews—all 5 stars—looks less legitimate than a medical office with 780 reviews, and a 4.5-star rating. 

Collecting more online reviews

Once you decide to collect more reviews, it’s time to figure out how to get them. You could individually contact each and everyone one of your past customers, either by a phone call or email, and ask them if they could take a few moments and submit a review. But who has time for that? With Demandforce, you can set up an automated email campaign to send out to a targeted audience—say customers who have visited your business within the last two days—and request that they post a review.

The email is pre-built and only requires a few clicks from your customers to fill out. The email is mobile-friendly as well, so wherever your customers happen to be at that moment, they can still quickly and easily respond.

94% of Demandforce customers saw a positive growth in their online reviews once they joined, and of those businesses who use the custom email campaigns, the average open rate for their emails was 30%.

Leveraging your new online reviews

While collecting testimonials and reviews is a great first step to building your online reputation and helping out your business, they aren’t helpful unless you leverage them. Another powerful feature of Demandforce is its ability to auto-post your reviews onto social sites directly, saving you the time of reposting or following up to make sure the reviews are live. This also saves your customers time, and thus encourages more customers to actually review your business. It’s a win-win-win that boosts your business’ reputation online, and helps you leverage online reviews to attract new business and grow your company.

To learn more about how Demandforce can help you build, extend, and protect your online reputation, visit our website by clicking here.

Setting up a one-click oil change reminder campaign for your auto shop

Demandforce is a platform that syncs with your current management system to help you automate your customer communications, and simplify the way you connect and engage with everyone who comes to your auto shop.

Don’t spend time sitting in front of your computer, setting up reminders or sending emails to every customer who’ve seen that week. With Demandforce, you can set up automated messages to send out to certain segments of your customer base to remind them to…

  • Set up an appointment for standard maintenance
  • Think about recommended shop services
  • Refer a friend to your shop
  • Post a review after an appointment

One of the easiest ways to get customers to come back to your shop is by sending them an oil change reminder, which you can do directly from your Demandforce platform. You can find the oil change reminder campaign under the One-Click Email Campaigns.

If you choose to send this campaign out to your customers, you can choose to send it to customers who have received an oil change with you within the last 12 months, and this campaign will run once a week, at most 6 times a year. You can choose to exclude customers who…

  • Have a future appointment scheduled
  • Have visited within the last 45 days
  • Have not visited you for an oil change in over 24 months

Segmenting your campaign like this is important so that your customers receive the right message, at the right time – and they don’t decide to opt out of a message because it’s irrelevant or received too often.

For a full step-by-step of how to set up a one-click oil change reminder for your auto shop, click here.

A Quick 4 Online Reputation Checklist

As the owner of a small medical or dental practice or small business, your online reputation is important to establishing your credibility to your patients and customers, attracting new business, and growing your bottom line. However, if you’re just starting out on the online world, you might not know where to start. But you need to stay conscious of what you’re posting on the Internet, and how quickly it can spread.

Here’s a quick 4 checklist you can use to determine the strength of your online reputation, and what you might need to focus on.

✓ Set up a Yelp business page, Facebook page, and Citysearch page for your business.

If you don’t have, or don’t maintain, a public profile on any or all of these sites, you’re missing out not only on the opportunity to attract new clients; but you also might be allowing a negative reputation to build itself online without your knowledge.

✓ Google your business and set up a Google Alert

You should always be aware of how your practice or business is being represented online, and who’s talking about it. Setting up a Google Alert for your business name, and even say—a competitor’s name or keywords for your industry—keeps you aware of what’s trending, and who’s talking about you.

✓ Collect testimonials and positive reviews to share on your website, on your storefront, and online.

Don’t know how to collect reviews? With Demandforce, you can send one-click online review requests to your patients and customers to help you collect more and better online reviews.

✓ Survey your customers to see what you can improve upon and what it is you’re doing that they like

Sending patient and customer surveys helps you keep appraised of what’s working for your customers, and what might not be. Plus, it shows your customers that you care, and that you’re proactive in accepting feedback and always looking to improve the customer experience.

Once you have addressed and set up these four aspects of your online reputation, you’ll be on your way to discovering a whole new world of potential patients and customers, and owning your online reputation.

Improve Your Practice’s Productivity in 2017 with These Top 5 Healthcare Automation Processes

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for another set of resolutions. But rather than deciding to choose the same old resolutions that never quite motivate you enough to follow through on them, why not focus on just 5 of the easiest, yet most effective, healthcare automation processes that will boost your practice’s productivity and keep you connected with your patients.

All patients enjoy a friendly, attentive practice—so if you’re too busy on the phone, or handling paperwork when you should be focused on your patients, you might lose patients, referrals, or new business.

Here are our Top 5 picks for healthcare automation processes that will help you better manage your time and eliminate time-consuming or repetitive tasks.

If you’d like to learn more about marketing automation and how it can help your practice, visit www.demandforce.com.

Appointment Reminders

Spend less time chasing down confirmations by setting up automatic appointment reminders for your patients. You can send advance email reminders, text alerts, or even an automated voice call to cut down on no-shows and forgotten appointments.

Recall & Check-Up Reminders

Increase the number of patients you bring back time and again by automating your recall and check-up reminders. Save time by setting up a schedule for when to send out recall emails and notifications so you’re not overwhelmed by all the scheduling.

Patient Surveys

Gathering patient feedback about the quality of service you’re providing, and showing patients you care about giving them a great experience goes a long way in attracting new patients, and keeping the ones you have. Setting up an automated system of sending and collecting patient surveys allows you to constantly gather data about your practice without worrying about this practice slipping through the cracks on busy days. 

Birthday Greetings & Special Offers

Sending birthday messages to your patients, or sending an exclusive offer to long-time patients is a proven way to retain lifetime patients, and promote practice advocates and referrals. Sending cards in the mail is costly and time-consuming, so why not automate this process and/or send email greetings to your patient base?

Requests for Online Reviews

These days, your online reputation is so important in attracting new patients, and establishing your practice as reputable online. That’s why the more online reviews you have from patients, the better. But we know that sometimes asking for those reviews, and following up with patients, can take up a lot of time. So why not automate your request for online reviews, so that a friendly email request is sent to all your patients shortly after they finish their appointments, asking for their review. Then you can quickly review and post these on the most popular social media sites; saving you time and the headache of sorting through various sites, and reposting.

These are our top 5 healthcare automation processes, but there are so many that we didn’t mention as well. With so many choices to help you better leverage your time and schedule, there’s no reason your should be sacrificing productivity in your practice. If you want to learn more about healthcare automation, and your options, click here.

The top marketing trends of 2016

Wow, what a year! As 2016 comes to a close, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the top marketing trends of 2016, and how they relate to your business.

Mobile email and mobile first

Mobile marketing saw a continued steady growth in implementation and use. It’s no surprise that more people are on-the-go and on their phones, and so marketing that is tailored to not only be mobile-friendly, but mobile first, did much better in 2016. 

Social media: not a strategy, but a channel

This was the year that saw a shift in how social media has traditionally been viewed. Social media is not a strategy, but instead a channel, one of many your business should utilize to support its broader campaigns. This is often why social media marketing as a tactic is often more effective than if it’s utilized as a campaign on its own.

Marketing automation

With better UI came a way to create easier multi-channel touch campaigns, and 2016 saw the merging of email marketing and marketing automation. More time was spent on marketing automations, and less on scheduled campaigns and email broadcasts. As it becomes easier to import third-party data to enhance a company’s information about its customers; and as technology continues to improve, marketing automation will become a foundation of future marketing campaigns and strategies.

Hyper-personalization and relationship marketing

This was the year of hyper-personalization and a trend towards relationship marketing versus the hard sell. Again, technology advancements in deliverability, testing, live content, remarketing options, and analytics helped create new ways to connect (and stay connected) with customers and prospects. Many businesses chose to focus on relationship marketing, which meant changing their marketing strategy to be longer-term in focus—building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement, rather than quick, short-term customer acquisition and individual sales goals. This helped many businesses develop strong, emotional connections to their brands that drive word-of-mouth promotions and lead generation. Relationship marketing and hyper-personalization go hand-in-hand, as the ability to know how to market to your customers comes from knowing more about them – through data.

Modular templates and interactivity for emails

An interesting marketing trend of 2016 was the choice of many major brands to begin a shift away from one-off, complex and unique emails for every campaign to choosing a more modular template design—one where you can have several different versions of an email from the same template. This saves time and creates a familiar brand identity for your customers, as they begin identifying a certain look to your company or service. Added to this was a rise in animation and interactivity in emails, as marketers sought to keep content fresh, unique, and engaging.

More visual content

Today’s world is one filled with so many different things competing for the attention and eye of your customer. This goes for emails and marketing as well. Your customers need more than plain text to engage. They want valuable content that not only educates, but entertains them as well. That’s where visual content can help. People remember visuals 6x more than plain text, and platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are great forums for visual content.

Debunking Email Marketing Myths [Infographic]

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re still talking about email marketing because it’s that important to staying connected to your customers. As the leading customer communications platform for dentists, doctors, veterinarians, salons, spas, and auto shops, the team at Demandforce knows emails.

One of the most powerful features of Demandforce is one-click email campaigns. These are campaigns that you can send out to your email database with—you guessed it—one click!

But before you send your first email, you might be wondering about some Best Practices for Email Marketing. There’s so much information out there, it can seem overwhelming sometimes. That’s why we created this helpful and simple infographic that outlines the 4 Email Marketing Myths we hear the most. Don’t fall for the hype and take the first step in elevating your email marketing!

We hope you enjoy this infographic, and if you want to chat with our team about Demandforce, set up a free consultation with a Demandforce expert by clicking here.

Email Marketing Myths

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