Market to the Moment

Evaluating Your Customer Service

“All I want is one widget.”

For the client, it’s simple and direct.

They need something, they call, someone answers the phone takes their order, sends the product with their invoice and boom: they have their one widget. They’re happy. They tell everyone they meet that they’re happy.

People understand that you’re a great company to work with because no matter how simple the need, you fill it.

“All they want is one widget.”

For the small business that doesn’t understand this and needs to sell widgets by the hundreds per client to increase their profits, it’s a hassle.

The client is demanding just one small widget, the commission is low, the quoting process is long and drawn out, so you push the client need to the bottom of the list.

You’ll get back to it once you’ve filled the orders of your “important” and “big budget” clients. So, the client calls again. You tell them you’ll get back to them as soon as possible and, once again, the client waits. Their need becomes more urgent and they watch their deadlines slip past, but still no call. Now, they’re not happy. They vow never to return.

They tell everyone they’re not happy and not to bother contacting your company. The people they talked to continue to spread the word about your shoddy customer service to their own contacts.  The potential for lost clientele continues to grow.

People start to understand that you don’t value their business and your focus is on pleasing only the big budget clients.

So, if you’re a small business or entrepreneur, how do you handle your client needs?

Do you rank them based on potential value, first come first serve, or do you treat everyone the same because your main goal is to have happy customers, no matter how big their budget, spreading the word about your customer service.

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Starting an Online Business?

Are you thinking of expanding your business into the online marketplace?

Don’t waste hours, days or even weeks looking for start-up business information on the internet.

In How to Start a Business Website and Hire a Web Designer, the Remarkablogger, Michael Martine, shares secrets that will help you determine the perfect website for your business needs, maximize your search engine potential, find a skilled and reliable web designer, and have complete control over the entire process from start to finish.

The main goal of the book is to help businesses with no internet experience by defining common website terms, and explaining the most important factors involved in:

  • Getting a Domain Name
  • Getting Web Hosting
  • Understanding What a CMS is (and Why You Want One)
  • Hiring the Right Web Designer for the Job

If you are interested in starting an online business and don’t have time for a lot of run around and hype, this book is for you. Martine provides step-by-step information from picking and registering a domain name to hiring a designer and launching your business. His conversational tone leads you seamlessly from one chapter to the next. It’s a fantastic online business starter-kit. Before reading this book, I didn’t understand the many different ways a business owner can lose money by choosing the wrong website and  designer.

If you don’t know what you are looking for or how to tell the difference between a CMS or Non-CMS site:

Clients hire and pay me to fix these kinds of mistakes. They pay for the mistake twice over: once when they make it and once more when I fix it. Now, I like money just as much as the next guy. I still have to charge for my services, but it’s just not right that these good people got screwed before they met me. So I decided to write this book as a way to arm you with the right information to get a website and hire a designer in today’s world of online business.

For only $24.97 USD, Martine explains what to look for in a website, how to find the right Web Designer, the most important web design questions, and the one must-have website feature that gives you complete control over your investment.

The processes and strategies provided throughout the book can be used to screen any online outsourcing service. Martine reminds his audience of the many traps business owners encounter when hiring services over the internet. But he doesn’t stop there, he also reminds readers that professionals who offer freelance services should be treated with the same respect that they would expect during any business transaction.

This is a valuable resource. The lay-out is clean and easy to navigate. It’s quick reference for people who are serious about getting their business online right now. Bullet-points and tables help to simplify and organize the most important information. You can see how much Martine cared about this project by the amount of information that was researched and included in this book. I’ll certainly be implementing the techniques to discover what the competition is optimizing for.

And he doesn’t just tell you what you should look for, he gives you features and resources that you can compare and use right now!

It’s definitely worth more than the low price of $24.97 USD!

So, if your interested in avoiding costly start-up business mistakes, click the Buy It Now button below to be directed to the check-out, or use the link in the sidebar to read more information and testimonials about the book.

Buy Now

Buying this book now will save you time and money in the future. Read it before you spend a dime on online business services.

Know what you need. Get exactly what you want!

Pamela Weir is a Content Copywriter. If you are looking for a sales writer with experience creating website content, press releases, squeeze pages, and sales pages, please visit her Copywriting Services page for information.

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Interaction Builds Business Communities

As I discussed in The Future of Public Relations, blogs, social networking, and podcasts have changed the way people get ideas, share information, communicate, and respond. The web’s interactive communication style has changed how people want to learn, connect, and build relationships. Conversations are crucial to growth and the development of innovative ideas.

There are a couple of easy ways you can provide interaction on your website without having to invest in, build and maintain a forum or membership site.

Create and Maintain a Blog

Blogging forces you to analyze and organize your ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and how they are relevant to your business and market. Researching topics and developing relevant posts gives you the opportunity to evaluate current trends and design solutions for your customers.

Hosting a blog allows clients to pose questions about business topics, provide input on developing issues and engage others in conversation. Clients and prospects have the opportunity to hear new ideas not only from you, but also from others who are involved in the blogging community.

Comment sections are critical to a blog’s success and are a feature that not only allows, but encourages people to post their own ideas and replies. If you reply to everyone who comments, visitors will be more likely to leave new comments or continue the conversation. Analyze your most popular topics and pay attention to statistics that show you where people are coming from, and factor all of it into your marketing planning.

It can be hard to sustain a conversation, especially on a blog, when you don’t have anything interesting to say. If you find you are getting stuck and are groping for something to write, it may be a signal that you need to draw ideas from other industries, or ask others to post their own ideas to your blog. Consider asking some of your clients to post their own topics. Not only will this give them some free publicity, but it may entice their own readers to visit your blog as well.

Develop Free Teleseminars or Webinars

If you don’t have the desire to post regularly to a company blog, you may want to consider hosting remote seminars.

Organizing and running regular interactive seminars for clients and prospects enables you to learn what is on your clients’ minds and demonstrate that you are concerned about recent industry issues. You can host and direct each session yourself, or you can invite other  industry experts and speakers to come and discuss important issues that will add value for your clients.

You can start the sessions by posing what-if questions that challenge people’s assumptions, and let the conversation develop and take on their own direction. To promote real discussions, use themes that center around “Why?” and “Why Not?” questions. Encourage debates centered around new ways of understanding client issues.

Wrap up by asking your clients if they think you should spend time developing one or more of the ideas that emerged from the session. Ask whether that would be of value to them. Consider recording each session and offering the audio files as an incentive for joining your community.

If your participants know that they are involved in developing solutions they are more likely to become loyal members of your community.

The Point: Add More Value

Nothing builds relationships better than regular, meaningful conversations. Initiating and deepening relationships is more important than conventional marketing’s goals of pushing “awareness” and generating “sales leads.”

To have these interesting, meaningful conversations, you must have something to say. Develop fresh points of view and create new metaphors and language to express them. The message itself is only the beginning. Its value exists only if you dedicate yourself to initiating conversations with clients and prospects.

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Start-up Business Advice from ‘Knocked-Up’

I know. What does ‘Knocked-Up’ have to do with business, right?

The most important thing I learned from this movie: If you don’t plan and launch your business fast, someone with a similar idea will.

That wasn’t the point of the movie. I understand that.

I actually learned many things from that movie, such as:

  • If you’re going to sleep with random strangers, always be in charge of contraceptive devices.
  • Don’t tell your spouse you’re working when you’re really playing on a fantasy baseball league.
  • Small children should NOT use Google unattended.

My Point:

As a small business owner, I was struck by the familiarity of the subplot. One of the main characters, Ben, who is broke and expecting a new baby, plans to launch an online business with his friends (Flesh of the Stars). They are destined for failure because Ben and his business partners didn’t spend any time researching their niche or keeping track of possible competitors. While they were busy, doing nothing, another website with the exact same idea launched earlier, tested and became extremely popular before they could even determine a clear launch date.

And to top it off, Ben didn’t have a back-up plan. Essentially their business idea grew old while they spent too much time gathering information and content to fill their site, and they didn’t plan beyond these stages.

I know it’s a comedy, and their cluelessness was absolutely perfect, but just think of how many times this happens to real Small Business owners. Many of Ben’s business problems did arise from lack of focus, laziness and other hilariously exaggerated factors, but the point is, if you doubt, lose focus, nit-pick and over-think your plan, someone is going to take advantage of your hesitation and become smashingly successful.

Start with a business plan. Research your niche, customers and competition, and always be prepared to launch as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more successful someone else will become.

So, don’t wait until your site or business idea is perfect. It never will be.  Just launch, test, adapt, test again, and adapt.

That’s all we can do.

Just launch.

Pamela Weir is a Marketing Copywriter. If you are looking for a sales writer with experience creating website content, press releases, business plans, and marketing strategies, please visit her Copywriting Services page for more information.

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Delcuttering My Life with Marcia Francois

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marcia Francois, the Organisation Queen of Take Charge Solutions.

Marcia is a Time & Organising Coach who specializes in helping people realize how they are cluttering up their lives. She creates easy methods to assist you in organising your time, space and business.

Marcia really helped me identify the obstacles that are preventing me from accelerating my business. As we spoke, I fiddled with the piles of paper and endless number of sentimental items and geek toys on my desk. I’m a pack rat by nature, so it was tough hearing that it was going to stand in the way of getting things done on a daily basis.

Throughout our call, I learned:

  1. To identify my clutter personality,
  2. To release my mental clutter,
  3. The DREAM Method of organising any space,
  4. The one thing I must do so I don’t go crazy (or so I stay sane).

We had originally discussed speaking for about 30 minutes, but my questions extended the interview to about 60 minutes. Once you start chatting with someone, you realize that 30 minutes is just not enough to tackle the topic in a way that creates results.

I’m not a professional interviewer, far from it. Actually, my clients often tell me I sound about 15 years old. And I giggle. A lot.

So, take a chance. Go to her site and sign-up for Organise It! . She’s offering the same deal to her own subscribers. So either way, you’re getting a free newsletter, an interview chock-full of great tips, and a discount on some exceptional organisation tools.

(P.S. Organisation without the z is the correct UK spelling.)
<![CDATA[Marcia was kind enough to let me record the interview and offer it to my subscribers as a bonus for signing-up for my free bi-weekly newsletter: Market Moments. And because her greatness doesn’t stop there, she has also included a discount on her products. You just have to go to the Take Charge Solutions product page and enter the promo code.]]&gt;</p>

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Market to the Moment