Business Competition

This is What Causes Your Customers to Run to Your Competitor

It’s every marketer’s worst nightmare: Churn.

It’s what happens when customers, who are notoriously fickle with their loyalties, come to a company, only to leave eventually for your competitor.  If you’ve experienced this, it’s probably not specifically about your company. Every company experiences churn.

Customers are easy to lose, and that’s just a fact of marketing. Today, experts estimate that out of 26 unhappy customers, only one will complain directly to your company. The rest will simply leave. This may lead you to wonder what you’re doing wrong, why your customers are leaving for your competition, and how you can improve your level of customer service. If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone. This post is designed to help you understand how to retain customers, why they leave, and what you can do to stop at the whole churn cycle.

Why Customers Leave: 5 Things That Will Send Them Through Your Competition’s Doors

While some amount of churn is random, owing largely to customers in decision or preferences, lots of churn can be prevented. The first step is to understand why it happens. With this in mind, here are the five most common reasons that customers churn in today’s environment:

1. You Play Favorites

We get it, there’s some level of intelligence associated with paying the most attention to your loyal, returning customers. Those customers are worth more, and it’s easier to sell to them. Despite this, though, you don’t ruin returning clients by neglecting the clients that are coming to your company for the first time. If you do this, customers will catch on. If they feel like you’re playing favorites with your more established customers, they are simply going to leave.

With this in mind, focus on customer service. 84% of customers say that salespeople don’t share enough information with them and that this causes frustration which makes them want to take their business elsewhere. Once this happens, you’re in a deep, deep hole. It takes an average of 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for a single negative experience.

With these things in mind, it’s clear that you’ve got to start treating all your customers equally. Instead of rewarding loyal clients for expected Behavior, start focusing on nurturing new clients, as well.

With these things in mind, it’s clear that you’ve got to start treating all your customers equally. Instead of rewarding loyal clients for expected Behavior, start focusing on nurturing new clients, as well. When you pay your full attention to both pursuits, you have a better chance of creating a more balanced client base.

2. You Make Things Inconvenient

Customers love convenience. When you make working with your company inconvenient, it’s not going to fly. In an age where Amazon rules everything, virtually everything can be had within 2 days, and for free.

Customers or shopping online more than ever before and it’s clear that offering an inconvenient or clunky sales process will just earn your abandonment. With this in mind, focus on making your buyer’s journey as simple and streamlined as possible.

If you can look at your pipeline and identify where you’re losing customers, you’ll be able to find a way to resolve the pain point and retain business. Additional elements, like a mobile app, or online payment processing will go a long way toward making your shopping experience more streamlined as well.

3. Your Wait Times are Too Long

If you work in retail, it’s likely that you still have some checkout counter somewhere. Well, these checkout counters can be fantastic because they allow you an opportunity to interact face-to-face with your customers and create a real relationship, they can also be a serious liability.

Today, 86% of customers will leave it a store if the line to checkout is too long. With this in mind, it’s time to start asking if you have developed a line management system for your retail business.

If you haven’t, now is the time to start thinking about why, and how to build one. The answer may lie in building more check-out stations, hiring more staff, or utilizing a technological waiting line management system, which can also be helpful.

4. You’re Not Innovating

Customers today get bored. Who can blame them? There’s so much to look at in today’s retail environment. Modern customers have the option of choosing from countless companies, countless products, countless marketing schemes, countless checkout options, and more. There are dozens of ways for them to get the things they want.

Because of this, your company can either innovate or sink. If you are offering customers the same old products, goods, and services they’re used to, and you’re finding that you’re experiencing a lot of churn regardless, the answer might be that you’re not innovating enough. Innovation isn’t something that you can Plateau on. It requires constant maintenance and a close attention to detail. Once you’ve done it once, you need to keep redoing it, adjusting it to your customers, and ensuring its scaling with your business. The process goes on forever. To ensure that innovation is as efficient and targeted as possible, identify a couple of common pain points in your business. Next get your team to put their heads together to find new ways to route around the issue and provide better service for both employees and customers.

5. Your Competition is Just…Better

Nobody wants to hear this, but sometimes customers leave because your competition offers a better product good or service. In this case, it’s time to put your feelings and offensiveness aside, and figure out what action you can take as a result.

While every founder wants to think of their company as the best on the block, this isn’t always true. The great news is that you can use this as a lesson. What is your competition doing that you’re not? How can you mimic or improve upon their offerings?

Are they paying attention to customers in a way that you are not, but should be? Thinking about all of these things won’t make you any weaker as a company, it will only improve your offerings and make you more aware of your surroundings. If you’re not sure what your consumers like about your competition.

Consider sending out an email survey to past customers. The feedback might be hard to read, but it will certainly be illuminating.

Keeping Customers in Your Store

Although there’s no way to retain 100% of your customers 100% of the time, there are ways to reduce churn in your organization and ensure that the customers that you worked hard to earn stay where they belong.

But improving your customer service, taking lessons from your competition, and understanding how you can treat each customer equally and compassionately, will improve the offerings of your organization, and ensure that you are building long, happy customer to client relationships.

Facebook Marketing

The 5 Things People are Going to Your Facebook to Learn

Today, there are more than 2.23 billion monthly Facebook users. This represents an 11% increase from last year. In case you had any doubts about the functionality of Facebook, this statistic should put it right to rest.

As if that weren’t enough, there are also 1.15 billion people using Facebook on their mobile device each day, which represents an increase of 23% from last year. With all these people on Facebook, we’ve got one question: what are they coming to learn?

If you’re not familiar with Facebook as a platform, or you’re working on ways to make your interaction on the network more functional and effective, the first step is understanding what these people (or at least your portion of these people) want from you. What are they coming to your page to learn? How can you give it to them as effective as possible? What can you do to make your interactions on the platform more effective and straightforward?

Here’s your complete breakdown.

Why You Need a Facebook Business Page

If your business does not have a Facebook page yet, its time to make one. With upwards of 60 million active Facebook business pages, participating in on this social platform is now becoming essential to ensure you’re connecting with your customer base.

Based on the sheer size of Facebook, having a presence on the site is an effective way for your business to gain the insight it needs to be successful in the social media space. A Facebook business-centric feature called the Insights tool allows for real-time updates on how your content is performing and your followers’ responses or lack thereof. This useful and compelling data for a business in the midst of creating a strategy for delivering strategic content.

Creating a Customer-Centric Facebook Page: What Users Want

With so many customers on Facebook, it’s essential to ensure that you’re giving your clients what they need. If you don’t know what those things are it’s impossible to make it happen. Fortunately, we’ve got the answers to those questions. Here’s what customers are coming to your Facebook page to find out:

1. Customer Support

One of the primary reasons customers come to a Facebook page is to locate customer service. Facebook is the ideal platform to respond publicly to customer inquiries, as well as a great place to provide one-on-one private conversations.

Today, more than 1 billion people use Facebook Messenger each month. That’s a huge number! Since it’s integrated automatically with each Facebook page, though, it stands out as a powerful tool for answering customer questions and ensuring your clients are getting what they need from your page.

Facebook users and businesses right now send more than 1 billion messages daily. This is a huge amount, and yet 87% of all customer queries on Facebook go unanswered.

Facebook users and businesses right now send more than 1 billion messages daily. This is a huge amount, and yet 87% of all customer queries on Facebook go unanswered. While this isn’t great for the customers issuing unanswered questions, it represents an opportunity for companies who want to capitalize on the customer service offerings of the platform.

Wondering how best to deliver customer service on the platform? Chatbots are a great option. They respond immediately to customers and are a great way to ensure customers are getting what they want from your business.

2. Deals

Everyone loves a bargain, and your Facebook audience is no different. If you’re like most Facebook users in your own right, you probably find yourself following many brands just because you know they’re posting outstanding deals, codes, and giveaways. You’re not alone in this. Today, 35% of all Facebook users like pages so they can participate in promotions.

Not sure what kind of contests you should be running? Caption-style contests are a great option, as they bring in more than 5.5x more comments than other posts. You can also feel free to use your creativity to find a contest type that works for you. No matter what you do, it’s essential to ensure you’re providing value for your customers. This is the key to winning their hearts for good.

3. Content

The most important part of Facebook is content. While customers come to your page for dozens of reasons, content is one of the most central and essential. While it seems obvious, you’d be shocked to learn how many companies share content on Facebook that’s more confusing than it is helpful.

No matter what you do, don’t forget that customers are coming to your page to learn more about your company, and they need to know that you’re going to make it worthwhile for them. Sharing information and content is the best way to do this. No matter who you are or what kind of business you run, your content should be informative and useful. Make sure it’s relevant to your business and industry.

4. Information

Lots of customers start their interactions on Facebook for the sake of finding out where your company is located, what your hours are, or how they can interact with your brand more effectively. With this in mind, be sure you’re offering the information your customers need.

Your NAP information should always be current and up-to-date, for example, and should change whenever any of the information within it does. You’ll also want to update your hours according to your holiday hours and anything else that may change.

5. Community

Facebook users want to share the things they love with other people. When someone loves a brand or product on Facebook, they naturally want to share that product and brand with other people. This is where the importance of the community comes into play. Think about how you foster community in your daily life.

The same goes for people on Facebook. They want to come to your page to find a sense of community and excitement. This is essential. With this in mind, encourage interaction among your Facebook community. Ask questions, promote a vote on a selection of choices, and watch your participants create discussions and keep comments going. It’s a great way to foster community on your digital page.

3 Fast Features of Every Great Facebook Page

Checked off all the essentials? Here are three features to add to your Facebook page to stand out from the crowd:

  • Plenty of photos. Only have a few, low-quality photos of your building, office space, or products? Change this up, starting right now! Customers are highly visual creatures, and they want to be able to flip through their fair share of beautiful photos when they come to your social page.
  • Fresh content. If your page doesn’t have fresh content, you’re missing out. In addition to posting your own pages, blogs, and materials, be sure to share items from other companies or similar pages in your industry. As a general rule, 80% of your posts should be original to you and your brand, and 20% should be curated from outside sources.
  • Quizzes. Encourage customers to get interactive with your brand by offering creative, unique quizzes. Not only are these fun for your customers, but they allow you to get to know your customers better and to use that information in future marketing.

Welcome to Your New, Customer-Centric Facebook Page!

Facebook doesn’t have to be a difficult place to interact. And as we stated above, its time to finally make one or to overhaul an outdated page. By focusing on your interaction in the ways above, you can create a customer-centric Facebook page that which engages potential consumers while continuing to grow your brand.

Need help overhauling your Facebook page? Contact our team today to learn more.

Customer Appreciation

How to Host a Remarkable Customer Appreciation Party

If you’re planning to throw a customer appreciation party, there’s one thing you have to do, no matter what: make sure it doesn’t suck. Because the stated purpose of a client event is to celebrate your customers, recognize milestones, and say “thank-you” for all the business that has kept your company afloat and growing, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting it right when you begin the efforts of throwing a client appreciation party.

The stakes here are high, and you can’t afford to miss the mark.

Think of it this way: the last thing you want to do is invest largely in the event, pouring time and money into it, only to realize that it isn’t creating the ROI you want. Mistakes, in this arena, are costly, and it can be very damaging to try and rush a party without taking the time to pay attention to detail.

Here’s what you need to know to create a customer appreciation party that drives results.

How to Host an Event That Knocks Everyone’s Socks Off

Never was a party planner? That’s okay. You don’t have to be, and it’s still possible to throw an event that keeps everyone wanting to come back for more.

There’s a catch, though, and that’s simply that throwing a “wow” event requires ongoing planning and organization, as well as careful attention to detail. Depending on the size of the event, you’ll want to start planning about 3-6 months in advance.

This gives you enough time to iron out details without sacrificing anything, and not enough time that your customers have forgotten you’re even having a party by the time it comes around.

If you have a team that’s going to help you plan the event, it’s a great idea to meet a few times a month to discuss details and ensure everyone is on the same page.

5 Things to Consider for Your Event

The most overwhelming part of planning a customer appreciation party is that the process involves dozens of easy-to-miss details. Luckily, this list will help ensure you’re not overlooking anything you should be paying careful attention to:

1. The Purpose of the Event

Sure, a customer appreciation party is meant to show your customers you appreciate them, but what else are you looking to create at this event. For example, if you want to lightly drive attention to a new product, good, or service, now is a great time to do it. If you’ve laid the right foundation, your customers will be primed, shop-ready, and more than willing to hear about what you have to offer, regarding new products. Bonus points if they go out into the world and tell their friends.

This is also a great time to announce a shift of direction in your company or to release any exciting new news regarding management, location, ownership, etc. that you may have.

This is also a great time to announce a shift of direction in your company or to release any exciting new news regarding management, location, ownership, etc. that you may have.

2. Who Does What

Defining responsibilities is an essential part of ensuring the party goes off without a hook. It’s also critical for making sure nothing gets overlooked or neglected as you take your customers down to party town. To this end, be sure to lay out key details, such as who does what, the theme of the party, the event’s budget, date, and initial guest list. From here, team leaders can assign more specific tasks and work together to ensure every base is covered, from start to finish.

3. Invitations

How will you invite your customers? This is a major consideration and one that comes down to how you typically interact with your customers. If you send a great deal of direct mail, for example, you may choose to mail out paper invitations. You can also invite on social media or send out digital invitations, via your email newsletter or a service like Paperless Post. If you send out emailed invitations, be sure to follow up about 6-8 weeks before the party date.

4. Entertainment

Entertainment is essential to any great party. What you choose to hire depends, in large part, on the type of company you’re running. If you’re in touch with local bands you know and trust, consider hiring one of them to play the party for you. You can also look into creating an office band or making a move to bring in some outside entertainment that you’ve heard good things about.  

No matter what, entertainment should be exciting, appropriate, and something that your customer base will enjoy.

5. Your Venue

Depending on the size of your event, you may choose to have it at your office, or offsite, somewhere else.

The type of venue you choose depends, in large part, on the size of the party, the theme, and the budget. If you’re on a budget, consider looking into non-traditional venue options, such as parks, local community buildings, and restaurants. These are all great places to hold a unique event without going over-budget.

If you need help finding a good venue, you can always look to local party planners, your local chamber of commerce, and party rental companies who may have some great recommendations.

What About ROI?

Now that you’ve planned a killer customer appreciation party, you’ll want to come up with a plan to gauge the ROI for the event. After all, why put all this money into a party if you’re not getting something back? This is especially true if you’re offering things like coupons, vouchers, discounts, or other “appreciation” prizes to your customers, or if you’re giving them free items or materials as a “thank you.”

To gauge your ROI, you’ll want to refer back to the goal you initially set. For example, if the goal of your party was simply to encourage engagement with your customers, you’ll want to find a way to tie new business back to the people who attended your party. You can do this by adding an option to your “how you heard about us” form or by simply tracking coupons, discounts, and vouchers.

This is a great way to keep an eye on how far the effects of your party truly go, and whether your ROI is positive or negative. It’ll also provide a basis for planning future parties, and learning what to do and what not to do.

Making Sure Customers Appreciate Your Appreciation Party

The point of your customer appreciation party is to thank the people who keep you in business and allow you to keep growing, changing, and reaching for your goals. Because of this, it’s a significant event and not one you want to take lightly. Fortunately, these five tips can help you cover your bases and create an event you know you’ll be proud of. They’re also an excellent way to make the most of your existing customer base and ensure they remember your brand as one that cares deeply about them. So, what are you waiting for? Get planning!

Need help putting together an award-winning customer appreciation party? Contact our team today for top-quality assistance!

Local Search

5 Website Elements That Will Make Your Local Customers Happy

Did you know that more than 50% of customers who conduct a local search will visit a store within a day? What’s more,78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase, and about 56% of all “on-the-go” searches have local intent.

To put this another way, local search is BOOMING, and now is the time to hop aboard.

If you’re wondering how to optimize your website to speak to these local customers, wonder no longer.

This post is here to guide you through the process.

5 Must-Have Website Elements for Local SEO

If local customers are everywhere, how do you attract them to your website? Here are seven actionable tips to implement right now:

1. Keep Your NAP Consistent Across All Directories

NAP stands for name, address, phone number, and refers to the “how to find us” information you must always keep consistent. The reason for this is simple: NAP information is instrumental in ensuring customers know how to locate you. If it’s inconsistent or inaccurate, you thwart the best attempts of your customers to track you down.

Unfortunately, about 49% of businesses never update their NAP information online.

Unfortunately, about 49% of businesses never update their NAP information online. To make the most of local search, don’t be like these businesses. Instead, keep your NAP information consistent and update it across all major listings whenever anything changes.

2. Collect Positive Reviews

If you want to build credibility for your business, collecting local reviews is one of the best things you can do. The reasons for this are many. The most important, though, is trust.

Right now, 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. Because of this, collecting a few high-quality online reviews is one of the best ways to position your company as trustworthy and reliable, and ensure those local customers keep walking through your doors.

If you’re not sure where to start collecting reviews, turn to social sites like Facebook, your Google listing, and relevant platforms like Yelp and Angie’s List.

3. Create Local Content

If you want to dominate local search, you need to focus on dominating local content, as well. Local content serves a few essential purposes when it comes to your site’s SEO. To start, it makes it possible to earn links and get the “link juice” you need to ensure search engines are pointing customers to your site.

Secondly, creating local content positions you as an authority in your industry, and ensures that customer will turn to you for information and knowledge.

Finally, having a large amount of local content in your holster gives you material to share on social media and boosts the likelihood that you’ll land positive press mentions, which, in turn, make it possible to grab the attention of new customers and earn the business you deserve.

4. Optimize for Google My Business

Google is the most dominant search engine in the world, and it wants to focus on sharing content it can support and verify.

While Google uses dozens of different metrics to verify a site’s quality, Google My Business is their primary tool. As it stands now, Google evaluates My Business listings to determine if a business is authentic, learn what it offers, and push listings to customers.

With this in mind, it’s essential to optimize for Google My Business. Here are a few steps to do that:

  • Create and verify a Google My Business page
  • Use Google Posts within your account
  • Gain reviews on your Google My Business page
  • Encourage customers to post and respond to reviews online

Google automatically assembles this information for your business based on other data they can find about your business online. This is important because, unless you claim your business listing through GMB, you could be missing out on positive reviews and feedback left about your company across the web.

5. Optimize Web Content

The final step in optimizing your site for local SEO is to turn your attention to your lesser-noticed content, including your URL, title tags, headers, and meta description.

While a great deal of local SEO is just showing up and making it possible for customers to find you, there’s also a very technical aspect to the process. Since Google indexes your pages for later use, it pays to ensure all of your content is optimized accordingly.

With this in mind, check your URL, title tags, site and page headers, and meta descriptions for relevant elements like keywords, geo-targeted information, and more.

Not only will these elements help your content appear in search engines, but it’ll make it possible for highly desirable local customers to find you.

The Case for Local SEO

Today, four out of five customers turn to search engines to find information on local businesses. Because of this, you could miss out on about 80% of your possible customers by simply failing to optimize for local search.

Fortunately, positioning your website for local search is easier today than it’s ever been, and following these five tips is a great way to get a leg-up on the competition.

While SEO is always changing, the importance of local search will only continue to climb, and now is a fantastic time to hop aboard.

Need help with your website? Contact our team today to start your project!