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Everyday Marketing: What You Need To Pay Attention to. . . To Keep Your Business Growing
Published on Jul 9, 2012
Read our article, 'Everyday Marketing: What You Need To Pay Attention to to Keep Your Business Growing' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
By Matthew Toren
Contemporary marketing tools such as social media can make a real difference in the success of your business. But it’s easy to get distracted from the kind of marketing that may not be as sexy, but can still make a real difference. It’s good to experiment with new ideas, but be sure to keep your eye on the basics – those things that you need to focus on every day.
Appearance: Do you have a dress code for you and your staff? Does the look of your team say “expert” or “cool” or whatever it needs to say to keep your customers comfortable and confident in the capability of your business?
Property: Does the look and style of your brick-and-mortar operation -– if you have one -– promote confidence in your brand? Is it clean, well organized and inviting to your customer base? Does it send the message that you’re successful and care about the little things? Are your windows clean? Potential customers will develop an opinion about your business before they even walk in the door.
Service: Are you and your staff knowledgeable about your products and services? Does everyone behave politely and professionally? Do customers feel welcome and well taken care of when they’re in your operation? Are your customers treated as people rather than transactions?
Collateral: Are your business cards and brochures professionally designed and printed? Have you ensured that there are no typos or grammar and spelling errors? Is the style of your materials and your logo fresh and appealing? Does the look match the message you want to present to your customers? Is every piece of paper related to your business crisp and clean? Your collateral is a representation of your business. Make sure it reflects you well.
Follow-up: Do you make sure that everyone on your team keeps any promises made to customers? Are all phone calls returned within 24 hours or sooner? Are deliveries made on time? Do your salespeople make sure they’re on time or early for appointments? Are sales proposals submitted quickly? Lack of follow-up is one of the primary reasons for losing business.
Handling complaints: Studies have shown that if a customer complains and the problem is resolved quickly, you will keep that customer. However, if it takes a long time to resolve a problem, even if the customer is satisfied with the result, chances are good that the business will be gone.
Phone behavior: Is your phone answered quickly? Does your staff have a standard greeting for your customers? Are people kept on hold for only short periods of time? Can the people answering the phone answer most of the common customer questions? Make sure to train new staff to handle the phone well.
Now you may be saying that this is not marketing, but just good business. Everyday marketing is taking a close look at how your customers interact with any aspect of your business at any time. Make sure that you are well represented at every customer exposure, and you are more likely to keep them satisfied and loyal.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of the award winning books, Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right. Their latest project is a free classified ads network called: iSell.com.