Why and How to Listen to Your Customers

Your customers have high expectations and are very skeptical of the companies they choose to do business with. With just one missed expectations, customers would not hesitate to change providers for what they perceive to be a better opportunity. Stats show 82 percent of customers are willing to switch products or service providers after just one bad experience with a company’s customer service department.

To avoid losing your customers, it is important to pay close consideration to the demands of your customers and analyze their feedback so that you correct your mistakes. Listening to your customers is not just about hearing about their problems. It is not just about picking a phone and answering. To actively listen to your customers, you will need to connect with them and understand how you can help them achieve their goals

Here are some of the reasons you need to connect to your customers

Reduce churn rate

When it comes to churning rate, poor customer service is the second biggest contributing factor as to why customers switch providers. When customers don’t feel the value during a service interaction, they will be quick to look for your competitors to provide them with the value they are missing from you. Consumers will even be happy to pay for more to another provider if they are guaranteed value.

Improve customer loyalty

No matter how great your product or service is, you will never be completely safe from the churn. A single poor interaction with a customer may contribute to churn. This shows the importance of customer service. Your team needs to deliver an A-game to ensure customers remain happy and loyal to your brand. Listen to your customer feedback and handle all their expectations.

Increase customer retention

When your representatives listen to your customers, service interactions will without a doubt be smoother. Your representatives and customers should always be on the same page. You need to ensure there is no friction between you and your customers, as lack of friction will contribute to more customer retention. 90 percent of customers will remain loyal to your offerings if you can always deliver value to them.

Identify opportunities for upselling and cross-sell

Listening to your customers is not only a way to improve on customer satisfaction, but will also be a tool you can use to upsell and cross-sell to your customers. You might find yourself in a situation where you are troubleshooting an issue for a customer. When a customer explains their problem, they might highlight their frustration and the limitations they are encountering. You then get a chance to explain the benefits of a premium plan and how it could solve their problems.

When you actively listen to your customers, you will also create delightful customer interactions. You get a chance to make conversations to be personal. It is these simple delightful interactions that create lasting memories and solutions in the minds of your customers. Try as much as possible to humanize and create lasting moments with your customers.

How to Rethink Your Branding Strategy for The Future

With businesses starting to re-open and stay at home orders gradually getting lifted, it only natural to feel normalcy has started to creep in. However, we can’t be sure when everything will return to normal. So as a business, it is always a good thing to get prepared no matter for any adversities that may come in. There are plenty of works that any business needs to do, but of importance to us, today is branding strategy.

Since the pandemic started, many brands have opted to embrace hopeful and optimistic messages, to resonate with the mood of their followers. The post-pandemic world will bring its set of challenges. Here are a couple of ways to rethink your branding strategy for the future.

 

Identify key data patterns

You need to identify data patterns that point to the new normal. A crisis as huge as COVID 19 can bring massive changes to consumer behavior, with new data sets coming up. Analyzing real-time data can be very helpful in identifying emerging trends that might help your business more. Acknowledge any data that will help you make better and informed decisions on your branding strategy.

 

Focus on the human side of things

You need to go beyond data and focus on the human side of things. In a data-driven world, we tend to aim at sophisticated insights powered by artificial intelligence. It normally presents the best way to get through vast volumes of data and get more actionable information for better business decisions. However, you won’t be able to access the entire picture by only using algorithms. You must embrace the human side of things.

Set higher standards for your brand.

Setting new values will be perfect in rethinking your branding strategy. As things change, you must be ready to evolve as well. You need to review your strategy and create new priorities. Key issues such as health concerns and worker treatment must be placed at the forefront. You would expect audiences carefully scrutinizing your health measures and how you keep your workers safe. You also need to go to the extra mile of committing to social causes and giving back to the community.

 

Tighten up your ties with the community

This pandemic has greatly affected local communities. On a business level, people have now resorted to local for their daily needs. On a more general level, people are getting more connected to local volunteers and aid groups. Both have strengthened neighborhoods and increased a sense of community togetherness. These issues will have an impact on the way consumers see companies and also the way they do business with these companies. This should be an impact that should inform your branding.

From history, we get to learn that pandemics like this one have always brought structural changes that have had a profound impact on our societies. It can be hard to think that such things won’t happen again in the future. With that in mind, the suggestions we have discussed above act as a good starting point in rethinking your branding strategy for the future.

What Is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a road map that helps to introduce and deliver your products and services to potential customers. It doesn’t need to be long and complicated and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to complete. However, it takes quite some time in terms of research to have it developed. Putting in the right amount of time and resources to develop a marketing plan can be key to ensuring a company or business succeeds.

A marketing plan contains an outline of a business’s specific marketing strategy and includes concrete actions to be taken, as well as an explanation of anticipated results. The marketing plan serves as a road map for companies to execute and measure their marketing efforts over a specific time. A company can develop different types of marketing plans including;

 

–         Paid marketing – Which involves advertising and pay per click

–         Social media marketing – This involves the use of different social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and others.

–         Period marketing – Which entails campaigns used over a designated period.

–         Content marketing – Which entails the use of original content to showcase products and services

–         New product or service marketing – Where you plan to showcase a product launch.

How Marketing Works

An effective marketing plan will help a company understand its target market and competition, as well as the impact and results of marketing decisions. It also provides a roadmap and direction for future initiatives. You will not be able to develop a marketing plan without performing proper market research. Market research is needed to guide the direction of all your marketing efforts and gives you vital information on your target market (potential customers) and the feasibility of your products and services.

Proper market research will entail the following;

–         Monitoring industry and economic trends

–         Scouting the competition to figure out how to gain a competitive edge overpricing and customer service

–         Determining the best ways to reach your target market through means such as traditional advertising, social media as well as other channels.

Marketing plans will vary depending on the industry it is developed, the type of products and services involved, the goals you want to achieve among others. However, certain elements will always form part of any marketing plan. These include;

– Executive summary and business description

– Situation analysis

– Marketing goals and business objectives

– Target market and delivery plan

– Unique selling proposition and tactics

 

The executive summary contains a high-level overview of the marketing plan. It is a section that provides a summary of the plan, for those who may not be interested to read the entire document. The business description part talks about what the business is all about. It includes aspects such as location, business owners, company statements, core values, position in the market, external factors currently impacting or likely to affect the business, among others. It is important to put in place proper resources and time to ensure you come up with a comprehensive business plan.

Everything You Need to Know About Business Models

When you are starting a business, one of the most important aspects you have to get right is planning the business model you will adopt. At the first stage, you would want to determine what you will be selling and to who you will be selling. You will need to select a model that has proven to work and incorporate it into your planning and research. You will need to emulate a business that has consistently performed well and research on what they do right and things they get wrong to avoid those pitfalls.

What is a business model

A business model is an outline of how a company plans to make money with its products and services, in a specific market.  At its core, a business model will have four key things;

–         What products or services a company will sell

–         How the company intends to market its products and services

–         The kind of expenses it will face

–         How it expects to turn a profit

There are many different types of business models and these models keep on constantly changing.  Here are the most common types of business models you should know.

 

Subscription Model

With a subscription model, it can be applied to both traditional brick and mortar businesses as well as online businesses. Essentially, the customer will be paying a recurring payment every month, or at another specified time, to access a product or service. Examples of businesses using subscription models include Netflix and streaming sites such as Hulu, HBO among others.

 

Bundling model

A bundling model is as it sounds. It is a business model that involves companies selling two or more products together as a single unit, for often a lower price than they would charge while selling the products separately. This type of business model is used to allow companies to generate a greater volume of sales and perhaps market products and services that would otherwise be a bit difficult to sell.

Freemium Model

A freemium business model is one that has gained a lot of popularity due to the prevalence of online software as a service business. It has a simple basic framework. A software company will host and provide proprietary tools for their users to have free access such as an app or tool suite. However, the company will withhold or limit the use of certain key features that with time, their users will likely want to use on a regular basis. To gain access to those key features, users must pay for a subscription.

Crowdsourcing model

A crowdsourcing model involves receiving opinions, information, and work from different people on the internet or social media. This type of business model allows companies to tap into a vast network of talent without having to hire in house employees. An example is how many traffic apps encourage drivers to report accidents in real-time for the benefit of other app users. Others employing this model include Wikipedia, IMDB among others.