Tag: customer engagement

SaaS Branding

Quality Customer Service Will Make You Stand Out

The most effective way to get ahead of your competition is to set up high-quality customer service. The success of your business relies on the relationship with the customers. By building great customer relations policy, you’ll manage to edge your prices above the competitors. Your customers will feel good when they visit your website or store, and they’ll keep coming back. Take a look at guidelines below, and start working on your new improved customer service.

Be available all the time

In order to build great relations with your customer base, it is crucial to be accessible. If you don’t have enough time for that, make sure to hire a customer support representative and they’ll be available for all questions your clients may have. Feel free to extend your accessibility. Your contact form should be available across different channels.

Start from social media, website, and email. Most of the communication will be done online, but don’t forget to provide people with your phone as well since some of them will prefer that way of communication.  As you increase channels of communication, make sure you increase the number of employees, so they can take care of everything in a timely manner.

Be quick in responding

People like to get the answer in a timely manner. Try to remember how contacting some companies can get frustrating. You really don’t need unsatisfied customers, so go ahead and make specific business policy. For instance, determine the timeframe of 24 hours, and instruct your workers to stick to it. That means that every call or email must be returned within a day. Don’t forget to make that information public, so your customers can see it. With that type of transparency, your clients will feel respected and will wait for their service.

customer-support

Concentrate on your customers

Your client base is that one thing that keeps wheels turning. Your business will grow just in case you have great customer service.

Because of that, open your ears widely and listen what they have to say. Sometimes, you will hear something you don’t want to hear but listen through all of it since there might be a thing or two you can learn. Avoid defending yourself and your company, but learn from the customer’s feedback. Their opinion counts and you should try to adapt to their needs in order to grow.

Improve weak points

Every company has its own weaknesses and so does yours. Put some effort into resolving the most common issues your clients pointed out. If there are more than 5 people who reported the same issue, you should slow down and try to take care of it. Set high standards for your firm and your staff. That way, everybody will know their job and get it done accordingly. In addition, try to be as much transparent as you can toward your customer base. Meet the needs of your clients even when they are wrong. You want them happy at the end of the day, and you want your revenue to increase. It’s a win-win situation.

Think about the big picture

Your business isn’t just your product or service, it’s much more. People like to spend money at the places they feel comfortable and happy. Because of that, you should improve the whole experience around your business. Your office will be busy during the day, and people in line should be entertained in some way. You may set up a little library, install a TV or even hire a photo booth as an additional way for your clients/customers to kill some time while waiting. Your customers will be happy with that kind of treatment and will be eager to continue doing business with you.

Educate your employees

The chain is strong as its weakest link. In order to make the strong and sustainable system, it is crucial to make some rules. Once you start hiring new employees, you should invest some time into their education. Present them with company policy and insist on sticking to it.

Of course, be flexible and modify it when needed. If you want to build great customer service, all of you must think as one. It is bad for the business if you answer the same question differently than one of your employees. This issue can be resolved with prepared templates which can be modified in certain situations.

Final thoughts

Making a big and successful company isn’t easy and it takes a lot of effort and time. As an entrepreneur, you should be aware of all challenges you may stumble upon and give your best to resolve them quickly. As much as it is important to have high sales and healthy revenue, you shouldn’t forget that most important people are your customers, so take care of their needs all the time.


This post was written by Ian Pearson. Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in business consulting, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.

Digital Branding

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them

At some point in time, every company is faced with the decision to rebrand. Rebranding isn’t easy. Changing your message, mission, culture, or target audience is guaranteed to alienate part of your customer base. Many rebrands are unsuccessful. It takes more than a new slogan to create a successful rebrand. A successful rebrand must win over the minds and hearts of customers to be successful. Changing how people think of you is no easy task. However, by taking the initiative to do things like engage in creative marketing, focus on the consumer, develop a quality product, and address public concerns, successful rebranding is possible. Take a look at how these five companies have rebranded successfully.

Old Spice

old-spice

Clever marketing revolutionized the Old Spice brand and gave a big boost to their bottom line. Old Spice’s sales were slowing down and they needed to take a fresh angle to rejuvenate their brand. After realizing that females made up over 50% of their customer base, they started a viral marketing campaign that sold directly to women, instead of men. Old Spice’s first over-the-top commercial starring Isaiah Mustafa went viral and generated millions of views on the internet. But, they didn’t stop there. They went on to release 186 video responses to online comments on their YouTube channel from celebrities and bloggers to drive engagement. It worked. Within the first six months of the campaign their sales increased 27%.

Creating clever, viral advertising and using social media to reach your customers directly can pay huge dividends. Old Spice was once only seen as a product for older generations and now has become a staple of a younger audience.

Harley-Davidson

harley

In 1982, Harley-Davidson was in debt $90 million and no banks wanted to lend them money. The motorcycle company had a solid customer base and brand but they were failing to generate any profit because they didn’t have a quality product. The company almost went bankrupt in 1985. Instead of going under, Harley-Davidson started focusing on providing a better product to their customers. They improved the reliability and quality of their products and it paid off.

Focus on your customers. Make sure you’re providing them a great deal of value and it will pay off.

Lego

lego

Danish toymaker Lego was facing bankruptcy in the late 90’s and was forced to make a change. Lego dropped hundreds of different products and was able to successfully turn itself around. Lego took the approach of marketing to an audience that had fond memories of their brand (adults) and then used that connection to establish a bond with a younger generation (their children). Lego uses a lot of social media and user driven content. You’ll routinely see customer creations on Lego’s social media accounts. They focus on engaging with consumers.

Remember that your customers are actual people. People want to engage with brands that they admire so make sure that you give them an opportunity to do so.

Apple

apple

In the 90’s, Apple nearly went bankrupt and was facing tough competition from its competitors. The company needed to revamp its image. Steve Jobs launched the “Think Different” campaign to turn the Apple brand into a lifestyle, rather than just a computer company It is now estimated that Apple will soon be worth more than $1 Trillion. But it wasn’t just an ad campaign that brought Apple back from the brink. The company focused on producing reliable, quality products that are beautifully designed. They have also instilled their core values in all of their employees and make sure that their message is communicated to their consumers as well.

What can we learn from this? Don’t just sell customers a product or service. Sell them your core values. Customers who share your beliefs will turn into loyal fans. Also, you can’t go wrong with investing in creating quality products and keeping your customers happy.

McDonalds

mcdonalds

McDonald’s has been a juggernaut in the fast food industry for quite a while but they have had their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. McDonald’s has been criticized for being a cheap, unhealthy restaurant with products that promote obesity. To avoid this, McDonald’s has focused on providing healthy options such as salads. In its advertising, the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It” has been coupled with images of young people and families enjoying their meals. The company has also been able to reach the coffee crowd with their premium coffee product line McCafé. These initiatives have worked and have driven a rise in sales.

What we can learn here is that it’s important to listen to your customers, the public, and the media. But, don’t just brush off negative comments. Take a look inside your company and see how you can address these concerns.

Conclusion

Your brand is vital to your business and should be protected like your first born. Rebranding, when done properly, can pay off in a huge way. However, a hasty rebrand can have adverse effects so make sure that you tread carefully.

SaaS Branding

A Guide to Deciding When and How to Offer a Free Trial of Your SaaS

The free trial has long been a part of the SaaS marketing and sales arsenal. Many companies including SalesForce.com, Citrix: Go to Meeting, and Concur offer free trials. Yet according to Totango, which does an annual study of trends in SaaS conversion, about 37 percent of SaaS companies choose not to offer a free trial. Workday is one of them.

Is a free trial right for my SaaS?

Is a free trial right for my SaaS?

There’s no universal answer to this. SaaS businesses should take into account several variables to make the decision. Ask yourself:

  • Is my software intuitive and easy to use?
  • Will potential clients see the value of the software immediately?
  • Can I afford to support back-end operations for clients who haven’t paid me yet?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then a free trial will probably help sell your software to customers. If you answered no to any (or all) you might want to explore other options like preview videos, demos, or blog posts.

How long should my free trial be?

How long should my free trial be?

Again, there’s no easy answer to this. In fact, it’s been a matter of hot debate in recent years. Conventional wisdom says 30 days.

  • Is my software complex enough that it takes time to understand?
  • Do some functions of my software (like payroll) happen on a bi-weekly or monthly basis?
  • Can I afford a longer sales cycle?

If you answered yes all of these questions then a 30 day trial may be right for your software. If you answered no to any then a shorter trial may be right for you. Try offering a 14 day trial instead. This shortens your sales cycle and helps users maintain a sense of urgency. If your software is exceptionally simple or its value is transparent on minimal use, then you might even reduce your trial to 7 days. Skype is one example of a company that does this.

Short trials may not be right for all users, even if they’re generally a good fit for your product. In those cases you can offer potential clients a trial extension. A good time to offer an extension is when a potential client is getting close to the end of a free trial but has not yet converted.

How do I convince potential clients to try the product?

Offering a free trial does not guarantee that every visitor to your web site will try your product. Just because something is free doesn’t mean people want it.

  • Have I made the free trail difficult to find on my website?
  • Is it difficult for potential clients to understand what the product does?
  • Am I asking trial users for a credit card up front?

If you answered yes (or maybe) to any of these questions, you may need to rethink your strategy. Your website should always feature a prominent call to action, usually in the form of a button. You don’t have to use the words “free trial” because “test drive” or “try it now” work just as well, but make sure the trial is front and center on your website. Pair your action button with a clear description of what your product does, focusing on how it can solve a problem for your potential client. Fancy features don’t mean anything if a client can’t visualize how they’ll apply to his business.

As for credit cards, it seems obvious that getting a credit card from your potential client is a good idea, that way when a potential client is ready to convert, you’ve removed a step in the process. But not so fast. Requiring a credit card can scare users away. They may worry that you’re one of those businesses that is just waiting for the minute the free trial to run out so you can drop a huge charge on their credit card before they remember to cancel the trial. The jury is still out on this issue. You’ll have to decide based on conversion analytics.

But how do I turn free trials into sales?

But how do I turn free trials into sales?

Not every user who downloads a free trial will buy your product. Some will abandon the trial after a few days. Others will let the trial expire without doing anything at all.

It may be hard to tell why customers dropped out without analytics and some basic follow-up in the form of customer responses or surveys, but once you have that information ask yourself.

  • Does my product have the functionality the user was looking for?
  • Does the user have the basic technical skills and equipment to run my software?
  • Is the price point right for the user?

If you answered yes to all of these questions and the user still isn’t converting you may have a problem of communication. The goal of a free trial is to let the software sell itself by getting customers to engage with it in a hands-on way. They may need guidance on how to do that, or direction on where to find the most valuable tools for their business.

Communicate with your potential clients throughout their free trial. Don’t just send a welcome email. Show them where to find blogs, videos, and step-by-step guides that direct them to the most useful or impressive elements of your software. Offer a demo. The product should sell itself, but you can help.

Ultimately, the free trial is a conversion tool. If offering a free trial isn’t helping you convert customers, or if it ends up costing more money than it’s worth, buck the trend and start charging up front.