Customer-Retention StrategiesEven if you have been in business for many years and have an established customer base, the only way to continue to grow your business is by keeping your customers satisfied and happy.

Your satisfied customers will help you produce more customers by way of positive online reviews, word of mouth recommendations and referrals. Growing your bottom line with their repeat business is also a major benefit to implementing sound customer retention strategies. If you want to build and maintain customer relationships, try these four valuable customer retention strategies.

Blogs

Consumers love to keep up with the latest news and trends. No matter what type of business you run, keeping an updated blog that focuses on industry news and the issues your customers are dealing with will keep your customers interested in your products and services.

Search engines love blogs, so having a blog can help drive traffic to your website. You can also use your blog to promote new products, sales, or upcoming events so your customers can stay involved in your business.

Loyalty Programs

For many companies, a significant amount of their  income is generated from repeat sales; that’s because it’s more costly to acquire new  customers than it does to keep your current ones.

It’s obviously smart business to focus on retention, but few businesses do. Adding value to your existing customers experiences will keep them coming back and loyalty programs are a low-cost ways to accomplish this goal.

Discounts or free products will often appeal to customers who love your products and services. Implementing different types of rewards programs will help you generate repeat sales from your existing customers.

Questionnaires & Surveys

Your customer have opinions, whether good or bad, they may want to share their opinions. Offering questionnaires & surveys to your customers helps them feel involved in your company and lets them express their needs and wants.

Show them their opinions are valued by implementing their suggestions where viable, or by offering to remedy any negative situation they may share with you.

Email Newsletter

Maintaining relationships should be a priority for ever business. You don’t want to be the kind of business that only reaches out to your customers when you want something (a sale) from them. A monthly email newsletter can be an effective way to maintain relationships with your customer.

An email newsletter that goes to your own “tribe” of people consistently is one of the best low-cost marketing strategies you can implement.

But the key is to provide an email newsletter that is valuable to your recipients.
One that informs and educates them on issues that are interested in. Retaining your customers must be based on mutually beneficial relationships.
If your newsletter content is only ads and sales promotions , it’s the wrong way to go.

You work really hard to acquire new customers, if you don’t have retention strategies your customers will feel neglected and you’ll make it easy for your competitors to raid your customer base. By implementing these four valuable customer retention strategies, you’ll continue to build your business by taking proactive steps to develop loyal, long-term customers or clients.


Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals.  Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca

Here’s a question for you… what’s one of the most CRITICAL predictors of your remarkable business success?

Answer: Whether you’re moving forward and progressing every day in your business or falling backwards. 

In business you are only moving forward or backwards. If you’re standing still it’s the same as moving backward, because everything around you is moving forward. So how do you make sure you move forward and not fall behind?

Well, I follow the philosophy of life-long-learning. I’ve made a commitment to learn something new about marketing, sales or business development every single. 

I recommend reading, watching or listening to something about your industry or business development everyday, for at least 20 minutes to an hour. You goal should be to become a recognized expert in your industry.

I understand that you’re probably strapped for time, but you can’t use that as an excuse, you have to make the time to WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS. 

In your office doing paperwork, why not listen to a podcast in the background. While driving to your next appointment instead of listening to the radio, how about listening to a training CD. Out for a walk or on the treadmill, you could listen to something educational on your mobile device.

A good place to visit every day is my YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/primetimewpg

The more you learn, the more you’ll earn IF you ACT on what you learn. 

Far too often fear of failure holds us back from taking ACTION to IMPLEMENT what we learn. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, but it’s probably not good for your business.

Sometimes I fall  into this trap too, so I have to constantly remind myself that I will never succeed if I’m not willing to fail. success never comes without challenges.

Anytime you attempt to make improvements there will always be setbacks and hurdles. I’m in the process of upgrading my computer systems and I’ve had some setbacks and delays, but in the long run I will be able to provide you with better services.

Quote: “Failure is the OPPORTUNITY to start over again more intelligently.”       

 

small business marketing winnipeg

mobile-marketing-mistakesMobile marketing can have very positive effects on your brand and boost your profits, but only if you’re doing it correctly. The mobile channel has become one of the most powerful ways for you  to interact with your target market.

The truth is, many marketers (including myself ) are still learning about the  most beneficial ways to use mobile marketing. Mistakes are still being made. You can improve your mobile marketing results by learning seven of the most common mistakes and how to to avoid them.

1.  Directing Mobiles Users to Your Desktop Site

In order to do any kind of mobile marketing, you need a mobile version of your site. Mobile users will get frustrated trying to navigate a website designed for desktop computers on their smartphones. They’ll click the back button fast. No matter how enticing an offer you’re making, they won’t stick around. You’ve got to have a mobile site.

2.  Killing People with too  much Text

There needs to be a major change in strategy when you go mobile. You’ve got to tone down the text. Your website should use it sparingly and you should avoid using long blocks of text. A mobile website crammed with text will make mobile user’s run for the hills.

3.  Forms to Fill out

Have you ever tried to enter a lot of text on a smartphone? It’s not a pleasant experience. If you’ve got a sign up form that makes people input a lot of information, they’re going to give up halfway through. As you know from personal experience, typing is hard work on most mobile devices. Instead, make use of the touch screen by offering a selection menu.

4.  QR Code Confusion

Yes, most of the world knows what QR codes are and what they do, but not everybody. If you slap that code on your ad with no indication of what it is, lots of people won’t know. And even the ones who do know need a little encouragement. Tell them to scan here with their phone. You should also tell them why they should do it. Some will scan out of curiosity, but more will engage with your QR Code if they understand there’s a juicy reward waiting there for them.

5.  The Wrong Content

You can give your mobile users downloads, videos to watch, apps and any other kind of content, but make sure they work on all the different mobile devices first. The last thing you want to do is make your audience a great offer, get them to click and the video won’t play. Test all of your content on a wide range of devices beforehand. I’ve run into this issue myself.

6.  Developing Apps That Offers No Significant Value

You can develop an app, but the key is to develop one that gives your audience something of value that they will actually use regularly. I read on the Digital Trends blog that only about 16% of apps downloaded are used more than twice. What would make your target market’s life  ten times easier?’ Answer that question and you’ve got an app that will make people say… WOW!

7.  No Strategic Plan

Don’t start mobile marketing without a solid plan. Think strategic, not tactical. What role will mobile marketing play in your overall marketing plan. Decide exactly what you want to achieve with your mobile marketing efforts. Make it clear and measurable, and then you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get the best return on your investment. Surveying your current clients could shed some light on what objectives you should consider.

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Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals.
Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Sessionwww.MarketingCoaching.ca

 

Text Message Marketing is Very Affordable!

WINNIPEG TEXT MESSAGE MARKETING COMPANYDid you know that 9 out of 10 people with mobile phones regularly use them to send and receive text messages? It’s really amazing: A form of communication that didn’t even exist 25 years ago is now the fastest-growing way people interact with each other.  Back in 2012 Bloomberg news stated that about 8 trillion text message were being sent a year. I think it’s safe to assume that number is much higher today.

Ninety percent of text messages are read within three minutes. On the other hand, Benchmark Email reports, the average open rate in email marketing is 25.3 percent. And it usually takes at least 24 hours to achieve that number.

Texting is now more popular than speaking on the phone or even holding a face-to-face conversation. Whatever that says about our society, one thing is certain: Businesses that want to get their marketing messages literally into the hands of their customers and prospects, need to have a text messaging marketing strategy.

Why Text Message Marketing?

Most text messages are received instantly and opened within just minutes. So when it comes to staying connected to your customers, Text Message Marketing holds more weight than other types of messaging, such as emails, Facebook post, Tweets, and other social media messaging.

Not only that, but sending out text messages is extremely affordable when compared to other types of marketing.  So it’s a great way to produce more revenue without an extremely high investment.

The best Text Message Marketing campaigns are those that regularly engage and build a two-way dialogue with customers.

Did you know…? 

* Text coupons are redeemed 10 times MORE than traditional coupon offers

* 70% of consumers feel that text messaging is a good way for a business to get their attention

* 64% of mobile consumers have made a purchase as a result of receiving a text message

(Source: Forbes Magazine)

For a more detail look on how your business can benefit from text Message Marketing I recommend you download my Free E-book : Top 10 Q&A About Text Message Marketing.  Instant Access Click Here.

 

Mobile marketing company winnipeg

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Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca

group on daily deals

Groupon and other coupon services are very popular right now, but do they support the long-term success of local small businesses? Sales reps from these companies will tell you that’s it’s a “win-win” situation because of the increase traffic to your business, but increase traffic doesn’t always mean increased profits.

I heard about a situation with a Greenhouse that almost went out of business because of a coupon campaign. I decided to do some research on the issue. I’m convinced that coupon services are good for the consumer, but in the long-run the merchant too often gets the short end of the stick.

Here are my three reasons why I believe daily deals coupon campaigns too often turn out to be a bust:

1. Most small business owners have no written marketing plan; so the decision to run a coupon campaign is often made with very little strategic thinking as to how it will affect the business in the long-run. No marketing goals or objectives are usually set.

The decision is usually based on tactical thinking without asking some key questions like: will you be able to meet the increased demand? How will we get a return on our investment? Should we put a cap or limit on the number of coupons we want to sell?

2. I see these coupon campaigns like bands with one-hit that you never hear from again, the “one-hit wonders”. Also, they remind me of lost-leaders in the retail industry. Chances are the merchant is barely making a profit (if any) on the campaign. Big companies might be able to absorb the cost, but most local small businesses can’t.

3. I called one of these daily deal services to find out if they provided the merchant with the contact information of everyone who bought the coupon, the answer was no. Based on my 20 plus years working with small businesses, I’m betting many merchants don’t have a strategy to capture the contact information of customers when they come in.

So how the heck do you follow-up with these mostly “first-time” customers to start building a relationship and turning them into REPEAT CUSTOMERS? Smart business owners know the real profit is in repeat sales. Most of the people who buy these coupons probably wouldn’t have visited the business if it wasn’t for the coupon and are not likely to come back without another coupon.

To take full advantage of these coupon campaigns local businesses must implement a follow-up program or relationship building program, before they sign the contract with companies like Groupon.

Coupon customers should be treated like VIPs, make sure you have a talk with your employees so they know they have to roll out the red carpet service to ensure people have a great, memorable experience.

Many of these coupon services will tell you to think of the daily deal as an advertising campaign, but does the short-term bit of PR or advertising make up for the loss in profits that could have a long-term negative effect on your business?

My intent isn’t to denigrate companies like Groupon. For some businesses this could be a profitable experience. The larger points I want to make is that you must have a marketing plan, think strategically not tactically, don’t make hasty promotional decisions, ask the right questions before you sign the contract and do some research to find out what results companies similar to yours have had with daily deals coupon campaigns.

Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 204-783-6342 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca

small business marketing

Are you marketing to your current customers?

The most overlooked marketing asset of any business is their existing customer/client list. Do you market to your current customers?

What’s your strategy for hanging on to your current customers?  If you have no strategy, you’ll probably  lose customers faster than you gain them. One effective strategy to make sure your business continues to generate profit and grow is to market to your current or past  customers on an ongoing basis.

What’s Your CRM Strategy?

Do you have a marketing database with information about your current and past customers? If you don’t, it’s very important that you create one.  Not having one is costing you money.

Look at old invoices, work orders, patient charts, your stack of business cards with the rubber band around it. The information from these sources should be placed in  a Customer Relationship Management  (CRM) database  like ACT, Maximizer or Salesforce .

Don’t use Excel if you really want to do this right. But if you already have an excel database most CRM programs make it easy for you to import your file so you wont have to retype the information.

Using a CRM program is probably one of the best investments you can make in your business in 2016. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. You can buy something like ACT  for about $200.00.

Are You Neglecting Your Current Customers?

Studies show that about 65% of people stop doing business with companies because they felt neglected and unappreciated. What are you doing on an ongoing basis to make your current or former clients feel important and appreciated?  Remember you don’t own your clients, it’s a privilege for you to serve them, so don’t take them for granted.

It’s critical that your marketing database has the ability to segment the people or businesses on your list. For beginners, I recommend three key categories: current customers, past customers and potential customers.

What information Should You Be Collecting?

If you’re marketing business to consumer, personal information like marital status, whether they have kids, hobbies, occupation and birthdays is a must.  Of course their contact information, including email address and phone numbers. You should also find out what social media sites they might be using.

For business to business marketing, include how much they spend yearly with you. Their industry, number of employees and how you acquired them initially.   You can also include personal information of the key decision makers. There are many other pieces of information you may want to collect depending on your individual situation.

The bottom line is if you don’t have a marketing database you’re probably not marketing to your current or former clients regularly. And the result is you’re leaving a lot of money on the table and inviting your competitors to go after your customers/clients.

 

Author: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals.
Call 204-783-6342 for a FREE Marketing Assessment.

2016-marketing-trendsWould you like to increase your sales and grow your business in 2016? If your answer is yes, then you need to have the courage to fail.

If you’re truly committed to growing your business in 2016 then you can’t do the same marketing strategies and tactics. You can build on what worked for you in 2015, but you must also have the courage to implement new ideas, even knowing that not everything you try will be a resounding success.

Remarkable success requires that you have the courage to fail.

“PROFITING BY FAILURE will teach you how to make stepping stones out of all of your past and future mistakes and failures. It will teach you the difference between “failure” and “temporary defeat,” a difference which is very great and very important.” (Napoleon Hill)

I talk to many small business owners and sales professionals and 100% of them would like to increase their sales. But only a few are willing to try something new. Most want to do the same things, while expecting different results.

“If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting.” So if you want different sales results in 2016 you’ve got to be willing to invest in new marketing ideas and strategies.

Before you invest in new marketing, I recommend that you do an assessment of your current marketing efforts. If you’re not sure where to start, contact me for a Free Marketing Assessment.  No sales pitch, just practical, helpful feedback.

I wish you a very prosperous and profitable new year.

Whenever I ask small business owners what they think marketing is I usually get two words; advertising and selling. Marketing isn’t just advertising or selling.

It’s a strategic approach to acquiring new prospects and customers. It’s the process of finding individuals or businesses that are most likely to need and want your product or service and can afford to pay for it.

Marketing is about finding out what the needs of your potential customers are;their challenges and problems; then educating them on how your products or services will benefit them by solving their problems.

It’s also about implementing activities that will develop relationships with customers and prospects so you can get them to like and trust you, while encouraging them to give you referrals and repeat business.

So next time you hear the word marketing, think way, way beyond advertising and selling. Don’t just think of it as one single event or ad.

Marketing is most effective for small business owners when they use many different strategies and tactics, working together to achieve a common goal, like increasing your sales.
According to world renowned management guru, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, business has two main functions: to INNOVATE and to MARKET.