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Category: Customer Retention

Simple Survey Solutions

When it comes to surveys I’m all about keeping it simple. I’ve done it the hard way and simple seems to work better for me. That’s why when I talk about simple survey solutions for small business owners I almost always go with the email route.

Look – if you are just getting started online or offline, keep it simple. For that matter – if you are more advanced and have lots of experience, keep it simple.

How to survey customers and prospects is so much easier today than ever before but I want you to understand that you can overdo a survey and this just happened to me.

In a recent email the publisher of our regional business journal sent us a generic survey that was so broad it seemed liked they were fishing for information and it just kept going on and on and on. Overall this survey looked like it was generated by the advertising department to see which areas we subscribers were interested in. Not only was the survey generic and long but it didn’t show any personalization or have any followup built in.

Surveys are great for data mining and better connecting with your subscribers and clients but each survey should be finely tuned, short, concise and to the point. That way you can achieve higher responses, better connectivity and ultimately more sales.

Remember you are always looking to connect with your subscribers and surveys can work for or against you. So be mindful of this as you develop your surveys and implement them in your small business.

Ask pertinent and relevant questions that your subscribers and customers will be open to respond to. This way you’ll have more than enough responses to the survey which should help you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.

Now before I go any further I’m going to bring it up again and reiterate that a sale is a fragile thing and can break at any time. So you as a business owner, who is building a list of subscribers and customers, needs to keep this in mind every step of the way. Because the last thing you need is an ugly or long winded survey to come in and destroy all your hard work and cause a sale to be lost or delayed.

So here are Four Survey Options you might want to consider:

1. Email Survey are the best because you can use your email auto responder to do the heavy lifting and all you need to do is write a really simple message to your subscribers and clients. This message could be as simple as asking your subscriber for help and then listing a few questions.

2. Physical surveys work well if you happen to be a merchant, service provider or business with physical offices or location that has foot traffic on a continual basis.  Physical surveys can be implemented through hand outs, mail, in person on a tablet, and even the good ole’ fax(I know it’s really old school but some businesses still use it).

3. Phone Surveys are a great way to connect especially when you’re speaking to and    have the person live. There’s nothing like having a live human being on the other end of the phone so why not ask a few questions and find out what your prospects and customers like, dislike and throw out a few marketing questions if time permits.

4. Online Software is the last on my list because it’s the most complicated to implement and response rates might not be what you expect. This is not to say that online survey software isn’t good. Many companies use online software and must have good to great results. So if you as a business owner should decide to use online survey software – just make sure to shop around and do some testing before you dive in.

Happy Surveying…

Dave Krygier
Publisher

Secrets of The Tiny Store 

 

Customer Satisfaction – Your Ticket to Ongoing Revenue

Customer satisfaction and retention should be one of the most important areas in any small business, yet the tide seems to be turning in the wrong direction.

In all the years that I’ve been around small business I’ve never seen customer service slipping so much. It almost feels like you have to pull teeth to have someone treat you like a human being – let alone speak with a human being or even connect with one.

More and more I see companies letting their customer service slip which ultimately kills customer retention. And then you have those businesses that implement what they call customer relationship management policies and practices that makes you wonder if anyone really understands the customer?

There’s a disconnect and I believe that until the owner or CEO takes a stand and determines that retaining customers is a top priority, then nothing will change. Because customer service shouldn’t be like the price oil and fluctuate all the time.

In order to have customer satisfaction you need satisfied customers and in order to have satisfied customers you need to have whoever is handling the sale understand what your objectives are. And implement the objectives the way you want them, not the way your workers see it.

Time and time again I experience customer service that speaks of people who don’t care.

Is your business like this? Do your staff or outsourced workers understand what customer satisfaction is? Have you defined what customer satisfaction is in your small business and built your business around satisfying your customers?  Or is your model a revolving door with ‘one sale sam’ written all over it?

I mean you can be an online business owner with a small enterprise that is up and coming and the great thing is that you can provide better customer service than larger competitors. But you needs to satisfy dose customers. (I know my grammar and spelling are sometimes quirky on purpose) – dot, dot, dot. :0)

So get on the right right track and create a simple plan for your staff to follow and make sure to create an outline for both online and offline. More on this in a future post.

In the book “The Five Love Languages”, acts of service is one of the five areas that the author writes about. This is a secret that you may be able to use in your customer retention strategy.

What you do is during the survey process (and yes you should have one) – ask your new customer what is most important to him or her. Ask specifically and dig deep. Why – because this is how you find out what it is that your customer really wants, needs and desires. Call it survey to success and watch what happens after you do this for a few weeks to a month.

It really works – and customers will respond if you ask genuine questions and offer solutions.

So the ticket to ongoing revenue is to satisfy and retain your customers. Be real, add value and be available.

Stay tuned and glued to this channel and dial in to Secrets of the TIny Store to find out how a little know business from the Puget Sound region of Washington State – rocked the search engines for 6 years straight. And provided good to great customer service for 18 years…

Dave Krygier
Publisher

 

 

 

 

List Building – How to Connect with Subscribers-Part III

In part one and part two of this ‘How to Connect’ series I covered my first two rules when it comes to connecting and building relationships with subscribers and clients.

This article is about Rule #3 – Be available.

Be willing and open to connect with those people that opt-in and subscribe to your email list.

What this really means to be available is that when a subscriber sends you an email, you respond to them. And do so sooner than later.

This is one of the first tests that I do when I subscribe to a marketers list.

I send an email to inquire about something. If the message comes back as undeliverable, no response, with an automated reply, or with a support ticket system, then I know this marketer is not available. Or he or she has chosen to outsource email inquiries.

What this tells me is that the marketer is not really interested in connecting with subscribers and clients.

I did this just recently and the individual never replied. But then the next day his new message showed up to pitch me another product. The funny thing is that the product didn’t have a thing to do with why I subscribed in the first place.

The no reply and then follow up sales message didn’t do much to get me to buy his product. In fact it did the exact opposite and turned me the other direction.

When a subscriber contacts you, it’s usually because the individual is searching for more information or has a question about something pertaining to your product or service.

What you should do is make the personal connection and start the cultivation process. Because after all you are building relationships and if the relationship is strong, the better chance you have of selling your products and services.

Of course there’s the easy way out and you can simply say that … Shortcuts are the way to go. And then you look for ways to automate the replies or setup support ticket software.

I say – take the high road. Be available and Connect with your subscribers and clients until the day comes that you have so much business and are overwhelmed with emails that you have to search, hire and personally train someone to help you. More on this topic in another article.

To summarize our three part series: Be real, add value and be available to the people on your list –online or offline.

And if you still haven’t picked up the List Building Guide, go now and get yourself a copy.

To your continued success,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

List Building – How to Connect with Subscribers – Part II

In part one of this three part series I shared my first rule when it comes to my business and working with subscribers and clients. As an online marketer who specializes in list building, connecting with your list is critical.

So in his article I will touch on my second rule… Rule #2 – Add Value.

Deliver value in all that you do. Value added.

Value that says …This is worth it and I have put the time and money into it for you, my subscriber.

Value that speaks quality – whether it is free or purchased products or services.

Valuable content that your subscribers can use and implement in their lives.

Not rehashed, overused, repurposed and regurgitated content that has been used so many times that it looks like an old shop rag.

And it is not about adding bonuses to the sales letter page so your subscriber jumps for his or her bankcard.

It’s about value that raises the bar and sends a message that you deliver quality.

Because when you look at your business, yes I am back to that again – your business;

you need to realize that the people on the other end of the connection are looking for value.

They want and desire value and if you offer it to them in more than one way then you will find subscribers turning into clients

I believe it is very important that you as a business owner make every effort to create value in all that you do.

Whether it is list building, email marketing, an offline enterprise or maybe some other kind of online venture.

The value you add will make the difference.

Stay tuned for Part III in this series about how to connect with subscribers.

Dave Krygier
Publisher

PS- Need some help with developing your list – check out The List Building Guide.

List Building – How to Connect with Subscribers – Part I

When it comes to list building you need to connect with your subscribers and clients.

This three part series is about the three rules that I employ in my business. The reason I have these rules is to keep myself accountable to you my subscriber and client.

My rules are simple and the first one is to Be Real.

Yes, Rule # 1 is to Be Real.

This is not the normal run of the mill series about attracting new subscribers, or how to convert and increase sales. This series is about how develop, cultivate and connect with the people on your list.

So let’s begin…

Some marketers I’ve run across in the last five years seem to think that connecting with the people on the other side of the computer screen is just a pain in the you know what. They hide behind their websites and avoid any kind of contact with their subscriber and client.

Recently as I was doing research for a project I came across some very well written content but the writer (marketer) chose to hide his or her identity on the article page, and even on the associated blog site.

The funny thing is that this individual seemed to be working on developing a list of subscribers, so why would he or she hide and avoid contact?

This strategy might work for certain web based businesses, say if you are in content or CPA marketing, but when it comes to building a list of subscribers, why would you make it difficult for your ‘customer’ to connect with you?

This immediately brought up a red flag and put up a barrier that lead me to be very cautious.  So this marketer lost a potential subscriber and who knows maybe I would have become a client if the products offered met one of my needs.

This brings me back to the point about my rules…

Even though we are marketing our businesses through a web-based model, it is still important to create the connection and be real. We humans have a built in desire to connect with other human beings.  So hiding behind web pages and avoiding contact is breaking my rule about being real.

It’s one thing to squeeze the searcher at your squeeze page. It is very obvious and the searcher has options. They can opt-in, save the page or hit the back key.

It’s entirely another to hide and avoid contact – especially if you are in the business of building a subscriber and client list.

Rule #1 – Be real. Being real helps you to better connect with the people on your list because list building is really about the relationship. The connection.

I’ll dig more into rules #2 and #3 in parts two and three of this series.

Stay Tuned,

Dave Krygier

Publisher

PS- If you are thinking about building a list of subscribers or are already in the process of doing so and haven’t picked up a copy of my List Building Guide, go get yourself a copy here.

 

List Building & The Relationship

How can you grow your small business and build stronger relationships with prospects, subscribers and clients?

This article about list building and the relationship might give you some insights.

No matter what area of business you are in, the relationship you have with other people always comes into play. This even applies if you are working in an isolated area and the type of person that considers yourself an introvert or hermit.

It makes no difference what profession you are in – small business, big business, self employed – online or offline. You communicate with people and if you are in the business of building a list of subscribers and clients, then communication is vital and the relationship is built on levels of trust.

The Art of the Relationship is just that, it’s more of an art than science.

There are skills to learn and building solid relationships has a lot to do with communication. Some people are better at communicating than others. It’s understanding how to help some one get what they want. Finding out what their motivation is.

So my question to you is how do you communicate with your subscribers and clients?

Are you just selling, maybe sharing a little bit of content or a mix of both?

Selling alone is not the answer to building a responsive list. Because if all you do is sell, people will turn the other way and unsubscribe.

You need to offer high quality content and mix it in with your sales pages and offers. Write the content that you would want to read. And make it so attractive that the subscriber is excited to read your next message.

Your subscribers are the lifeblood of your list building business. They are the reason you have a business and learning to communicate with them is vital to your success. So develop the relationship with your subscribers and offer them products and services that they need and your business should grow as your list grows.

As I’ve said in past articles, posts and commentary – be real, add value and be available to your subscribers and clients.

If you want to learn how to further develop a business by developing a subscriber and client list, go get yourself a copy of The List Building Guide and get started today.

Dave Krygier
Publisher

How to Increase Customer Retention

During one of my frequent trips throughout the Northwest, I revisited a little airport diner that I had tested a few months earlier. This simple airport diner is one of the most unique dining establishments I’ve frequented in the last 10 years. Not only was the food really good but reasonably priced and came with great service to boot! As I got up to pay my bill, I noticed that the server had left me a...

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