Authentic Customer Engagement

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

As a business, engaging your customers should be an absolute priority for you. You need to ask yourself not how you can sell to people, but how you can solve their problems. Customers come to you because you have a solution to their problem. If you are treating them right and putting them first, engaging them correctly, you are going to have loyal and repeat customers instead of just clicks in your online traffic. One-off marketing campaigns have always been the best thing to do for many years, but since the dawning of the internet and the digital age, customers need more than a few pretty posters to keep them interested.

Social media has become one of the biggest tools for marketing and engaging with customers. It allows a business to contact the people who are buying from them and it allows for conversations to be held in a public way, showing other people that problems can be easily solved. Customers head to social media first when they have a suggestion or an issue, and while there are plenty of ways to contact your customers when they sign up to your services, such as what you can find here, social media is always the first point of contact for new customers. The goal should be driving your customers into a deeper client/customer relationship with you, and helping your customers is the first way that you can get there.

Engagement marketing starts with what you say rather than your products. Anyone can buy a product, but if you’re not starting a dialogue with your customers or building a relationship, then you’re not going to have repeat business. Customers engage with content first, because it’s useful. The content tells them about you and what you’ve got to offer and the value of what you do.

When you’re engaging with your customers, you create a conversation with them. You get a chance to roll up your sleeves and show them what you can do. It also gives them a chance to learn about what developments that you have on the table for later and it gives your customers the opportunity to feedback about that. Of course, you won’t be able to take the advice and feedback of every customer out there, but there can be some excellent ideas on the table that you can keep in mind for other products.

Customers can be inspired by your business goals and objectives and make them feel like cheerleaders when they support you. This is a part of the entire engagement experience and means that you can offer more to them. Once you have customer engagement, you need to keep the conversation going. You should try to stay responsive to their needs and offer more to stay relevant. Customer engagement can mean everything to your business.

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When Selling Products, Clarity Is Key

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Selling a product is not an isolated event. It’s the culmination of a network of decisions, things that allow for the choice of purchase to be easy. There are a million small considerations and thoughts behind the products you buy on a daily basis and the same is true for your customers. Intense product scrutiny is a duty that businesses take seriously. It might be the shape, size, color, packing and general display the product comes in. It might be the price point, shelf life, long-term usage and general utility that product offers. All of these things should be considered and optimized.

Clarity is the biggest factor when selling a product or service. Clarity makes the difference between having to hard sell and letting the product or service speak for itself. Clarity offers so much in that process of convincing someone to buy. Here’s why:

It Reduces Consideration and Decision Fatigue
When someone is presented with the raw facts about why a product is great, they are much more likely to open up to the experience. Consumers want to make a purchase, they don’t want to cryptically analyze what you’re offering and how to fit it into their home life. Businesses can often confuse a product being mysterious and intriguing to being cryptic. At the end of the day, there is no excuse for a customer to be presented with your product and not knowing what it is, or what their value for money is for them. When they know all of this instantly, it reduces the amount of time they take to come to the purchasing decision.

It Makes Strengths Real
Consumers are used to being oversold and having products overhyped. They filter it out. They set expectations accordingly. However, when presented with an item clearly, they can see the strengths for themselves or are at least interested in figuring them out. Infomericals are the gold standard for this technique. By highlighting the real benefits of your product or service, you don’t have to work as hard to get customers to know what they are buying and why. They should also be able to refer to clear printable labels. This allows for the consumer to also feel like they have been directed in an honest way. When it comes to fostering brand loyalty, this is an excellent place to start.

Brand Loyalty
When it comes to brand loyalty, clarity is the key element. This is because many people feel that associating their identity with a brand is important. For example, people stick to a certain brand of phone or sneakers or anything due to how they perceive it. For example, if your business makes ethical decisions in manufacturing, people will consider that a proud emblem to be seen with. In the free market, businesses not only offer products but mini-identities. This can be good or bad depending on your perspective, but as a business leader, it can certainly be useful to use. Staying clear with your image, and how your products contribute to that, as well as demonstrating the good work done by other forms of your business will all contribute to that impulse buy, as long as you can directly communicate this with no trouble at all.

With these tips and insights, you should understand the power and intelligence of clarity, and use it more in your product offerings.

Content Marketing Isn’t Easy, But You Can Make it Work

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Content marketing is being treated like something of a panacea as of late. It’s cheap, it offers exposure, it allows you to really cement your brand and can convert more customers. However, writing up any old content isn’t going to do it. It takes time, effort and a real process to ensure that your audience is getting what they want and coming back for more.

Create your pipeline
If you’re creating a blog, an email newsletter, or another kind of content marketing system that relies on regular uploads, you have to be able to actually produce content regularly. For that reason, creating a pipeline that looks at content currently being worked on, researched, and considered can help you ensure you don’t run out of things to talk about. While you’re writing one piece, make sure you have another piece ready to write. While you’re putting together the abstract of other pieces, have other pieces you’re researching. Look for new ideas by getting inspiration from other content in your field or ask your customers directly what they want feedback or information on.

Have a process
You should manage the production and perfecting of content separately, too. Making sure that content fits internal standards and follows a stylebook (such as AP Style) to make sure everything maintains a layer of brand consistency. Content management software acts as more than storage for content in the works. It lets you apply elements like branding and images much more easily. If you can’t afford a copyeditor or proofreader, at least use some of the grammar and readability-checking tools. You don’t want your content being made inaccessible by highly preventable errors.

Test it for value
Before you hit publish, even before you start writing the main body of a text, you need to ask yourself one question. What is the value for the reader? Is it informative, educational, or helpful? Is it insightful or new? Sometimes, fun is enough to lend content some value. You simply have to make sure that readers have a reason to click links leading to your content, and that they feel like they come away with it having learners or experienced something new and worthwhile. Content without value is only more likely to sabotage your business. If customers believe that you’re engaging in time-wasting practices, it doesn’t look very good for your brand.

It doesn’t end with publishing
Marketing your content is a practice that requires some time, too, of course. Using social tracking software, you can see how many people are engaging with content and keep up with any conversations that spawned from the original post. You can also track conversations elsewhere in the industry to better learn what kind of content work and what doesn’t. Content can provide ongoing value for your business, you just need to keep following up on it. That’s how you really establish your reputation as a thought leader, not just another content producer.

Content marketing isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on it. It really is one of the most effective marketing tools of the online world at the moment, competing evenly with paid advertisements.

Three Reasons Your Sales Figures Are Low This Month

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Whether we like it, or not sales can often seem like the be all and end all of any business no matter the size, and if sales are low it can spark a panic from the top to the bottom of your organization. However, there are some ways that you can improve your sales figures. In fact, identifying the reason that they aren’t where you would like them to be and addressing these each, in turn, can be hugely helpful. Read on for more information.

Loss of motivation of your sales team.
One reason why you sales numbers may not be where they should be is that your sales team members are not working up to their potential. Of course, you will need to determine whether this is a serious issue or just one of the natural lulls you can expect in a month.

If it is the former than a shakeup of the team may be necessary? Perhaps accounts need to be swapped over to see if others can do better with them, or maybe some additional training is in order?

However, if your low sales figures are likely due to a lull, then it might be better to put a motivational strategy in place. To do this, you might consider offering percentage bonuses, although even earning points that can team members can exchange for tickets in an end of month raffle can also do the job.

Poor user experience.
Next, your sales targets may be low because the shopping experience that you are providing for your customers isn’t right. In fact, this is something that can affect online sales, and well as purchases made in your real-world stores.

Of course, while the general principle to improve these this is the same, the specifics are a little different. In particular, to enhance a customer’s experience online (UX) it is often necessary to create compelling stories and personas on your website.

However, regarding real-world customer’s experiences taking care of the way your store looks with ff&e logistics is more of a priority. After all, if you cannot provide them with a pleasant and enjoyable space to shop in, they will not want to spend time in your store and you will be fighting a losing battle with sales.

Fitting your shop out properly is essential to sales.

Your paid advertising isn’t landing.
Lastly, you sale figures may be suffering because the advertising you are paying for just isn’t landing correctly. What this means is that it is not appealing to your target demographic and convincing them to buy your product over your competitors.

, there are some things you can do about this. First of all, consider the platform that you are advertising on. Are you paying through the nose from print publication when you could reach your audience better through online adverts?

Also remember the power of personalization, in that by customizing what each shopper sees, something that it is possible to do online, you can help to tip them from an interested party to confirmed sale. Something that will definitely help to boost your monthly sales figures.

Essential Apps And Tools For Your Business Website

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

There’s more to a business website than pretty pictures and a contact page. Your business website will become far more useful if you add a range of apps and tools to improve its effectiveness for your operations. From generating more leads to boosting your SEO, here are some of the applications that will both improve your website and bolster your profit margin.

Generate more leads using this cost-effective B2B sales tool. It allows you to track those anonymous visitors who visit your website but never reach the end game (making a purchase). Who are they? Why did they visit? How long did they stick around? This lead generation tool will provide you with the answers, giving you an opportunity to both chase them up (if appropriate) and make improvements to your website to help with future sales.

Improve your search engine rankings with special plugins to help you with your SEO. These are some of the best WordPress SEO plugins for example, with customized options to help you optimize your website accordingly. These tools will help you place the right keywords, create backlinks and give you the ability to analyze your site visitors behavior. Don’t have WordPress? Some of the linked plugins will work across other website builders, and a little bit of online research will help you find further options to fit your site.

Enhance your customer support with helpdesk tools, giving you the ability to quickly respond to your customer’s concerns and queries. No longer will they sit twiddling their thumbs waiting for you to answer the phone, and no longer will you face the prospect losing them to someone else because you didn’t respond fast enough. Examples of customer support software include Freshdesk and HappyFox, with robust ticketing systems to help you improve the efficiency of your support.

Make the shopping process easier for your customers using designated e-commerce tools. By making their experience simpler, with smarter ways to add items to the shopping cart and faster payment processes, your business will profit as a result. We recommend Shopify, but other tools are available. Not only are these apps fast and efficient, but they are secure as well, something that will bring added peace of mind to any worried customers.

Save time traveling to business meetings by using a virtual conferencing app, be it Skype, Zoom, or ReadyTalk. You can sit in the comfort of your office and speak with anybody through your computer screen, be they in the same building as you or halfway across the world. You can share your screen with others, collaborate on projects, and transfer essential files, all with the click of a button. What’s more, some of these apps will work from your mobile devices too, so you can easily make those conference calls when you’re at home, on the train, or indeed anywhere (provided you have a good wifi signal).

There is a tool and an app for almost everything these days, and we have only touched the surface. Consider what it is you need to improve your website, and continue your research, using the latest tools and apps to enhance your business, and improve your customer’s experience.