Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Valentine's Day is a reminder to ask yourself this question. "Do our customers/clients love us?"  Today's a good day to answer a few questions about your business.  1. Are you delivering real value and a experience worthy of customers recommending you to others? 2. Have you mapped out every customer touch point? 3. Do those responsible for those touch points have a clear understanding of their role in driving customer satisfaction? 4. How do you measure customer satisfaction? 5. When was the last time that you as an owner or operator talked … [Read more...]

Super Bowl Power Outage – What’s The Lesson For Small Business?

There's plenty of talk today about yesterday's Super Bowl commercials ...  which one was the best, the worst, funniest, etc.  I say we should be talking about the power outage. Why?  It offers a valuable business lesson. If you're a small or medium size business owner/operator, what would you do if suddenly, the lights went out?  (Of course I'm speaking metaphorically.)  Think about it. What could be your Super Bowl power outage? Your top producing sales person takes another position A water pipe bursts over the weekend and floods your … [Read more...]

What’s Your Business’ Story

I love telling stories. I love listening to stories.  And the question I always ask a new client is, “What’s your story?”     Small and medium size business owners are generally passionate about their enterprise, but not-so-surprisingly, find it a challenge to tell you their story.  Sure, they can tell you how long they’ve been in business … the product they produce or service offered … whether sales are up or down. It’s all good information, but it’s not “the story.” Every business needs to find a way to weave together the reasons their … [Read more...]

Accelerate Profits – Don’t Just Hunt … Nurture Customers.

Own a small or medium size business?  If so, what's the balance of your sales and marketing efforts?  Do you spend more time and resources to "get customers" than on any other aspect? It's easy to overlook your most loyal clients and customers - the 30 percent who purchase with greater frequency and generate the most profit.  Hopefully, you're able to identify specifically who those valuable customers and clients are. Hunting for new customers is vital to any business - small ... medium ... or large. But it may be worth examining your current … [Read more...]

Get Rid of Your Customer Satisfaction Policy

  Do you have a "customer satisfaction" policy?  If so, announce that you are ending it immediately. Replace it with a "customer love" policy.  Today, no company - regardless of its product or service - can afford to keep merely satisfied customers or clients. Your marketing costs are lowered dramatically when your customers love you.  They'll tell others and you're on your way to higher margins. I know it seems so simple, but unless you have a strategy in place that makes "customer love" a core job responsibility of each and every … [Read more...]

Is Your Web Site Working For You? – Six Ways To Know For Sure

Understanding the behavior and movements of a website user has become easier. Drill-down metrics can track every click made on your website. Here are six essential metrics to help determine if your website is successfully attracting potential customers and to understand their movements on your site: Bounce Rate: How many people visit your home page, lose interest and leave? Does your home page draw users deeper into your site or do they bounce off immediately? Unique Visits: How many new people visit your site on a daily, weekly or monthly … [Read more...]

The Customer’s Experience Begins With …

I was meeting with a group of other business owners earlier this week and the topic of customer experience came up. The discussion centered on how to manage it for best outcomes. Various ideas were tossed about. Some said they charged their operations staff with the responsibility. One person said it was part of his sales manager’s duties. A side discussion broke out about the value of customer satisfaction surveys and whether you could rely on the results. I was purposely listening more than talking. Lord knows there were plenty of opinions … [Read more...]

Are You Nurturing Your Prospects?

Do you know this old parable?  A man has a large boulder in his back yard, and every day he goes out a hits it with a sledgehammer in a effort to reduce it to ruble so that it can be removed. Each day he hits it one time. This goes on for a year. And on the last day of the year, he swings the sledgehammer, and it cracks and crumbles in to a million small pieces. The question is: Was it the last strike of the hammer that cracked and crumbled the boulder, or was it the result of the man’s daily efforts? If you’re not converting as many … [Read more...]

Do Your Customers Know You Love Them?

I’m reading a book about Latonia, Kentucky right now. It’s where I grew up.  A couple of chapters are devoted to stories and images of small businesses in the town and how they served their customers. My grandparents owned and operated a jewelry store in Latonia that my great-grandfather started in the 20’s. As I read the book I was reminded by the way my grandparents nurtured their customers. They would (mostly my grandmother) would send handwritten notes to those who made purchases thanking them for their patronage.  They also sent birthday … [Read more...]