Customer Service

Aspects of a Top Customer Welcome Email

July 25, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Welcome emails are vital because they anchor a stronger customer relationship. Welcome messages boost engagement, create personal outreach, and help to predict long-term subscriber behaviour and revenue potential,” – Janet Choi Commerce and technology have collaborated since ancient times when … Continued

“Welcome emails are vital because they anchor a stronger customer relationship. Welcome messages boost engagement, create personal outreach, and help to predict long-term subscriber behaviour and revenue potential,” – Janet Choi

Commerce and technology have collaborated since ancient times when Greek and Roman ships sailed the high seas as handmaidens of exploratory and commercial ventures. Improvements in shipbuilding and navigation technologies enabled those intrepid businesses to sail further, and fill the gaps in demand and supply that pervaded overseas markets. In modern times, electronic connectivity technologies have attained ubiquity and have emerged as vital enablers that help brands and enterprises to connect to individual customers through the welcome email. We must note that this device has emerged as a primary means of initial communication between an electronically enabled business and its new customers. This device affords the creation of a significant space that enables the introduction of a commercial enterprise to its human customers.

When we consider the architecture of the welcome email, we see that different enterprises have a distinct approach to the creation and content of the said communication. For instance, an online retailer may choose to create a matter of fact email template for all its customers, populating it sparingly with important connectivity information. The essence of the message is akin to a business card that resides inside the mailbox of every individual customer that receives the email. On the other hand, a jewellery business may commission the creation of a lavishly designed welcome email that impresses the customer with many bells and whistles. In both cases, the businesses choose to inaugurate an email-driven relationship with new customers, but the format and content may differ as chalk from cheese. That said, we note that business information should ideally form the crux of such communications, because the business wants he customer to maintain a line of electronic communications with said business.

An ornate ‘thank you’ can dominate the content of the typical welcome email issued by a business enterprise. This conveys a sense of gratitude from the business to the customer and can mark the beginning of a fruitful and extended commercial relationship. Other facets of content may include certain playful animations that attract customer attention, connectivity co-ordinates, and some upselling content in the form of new business offerings. The telephone number or email address of a relationship manager can be included in said email in an effort to establish the seriousness of the business relationship. We must note that every business should invest thought and effort in the creation of the welcome email because this device allows the business to cast a first impression on new customers.

Businesses need to create an incremental relationship with customers, and stakeholders and the welcome email represent an appropriate device that can be used to outline key business achievements. This may include key numbers that provide a snapshot of business performance in recent years, examples of outstanding customer testimonials, a brief message from the chief executive officer, awards and accolades accorded to said enterprise, and a brief range of new merchandise available for sale. This content can be arranged appropriately in the email for the benefit of viewing customers. High definition images from recent publicity campaigns can be appended as email attachments and web-links to significant sections of the flagship website can be included in the welcome email as well. The intent behind this format is to enable the customers to familiarise themselves with the business and to spur commercial engagements in the future.

The welcome email may be followed by corporate newsletters, sent directly at regular intervals to the inbox of customers. These newsletters can outline recent initiatives and point the customer to electronic discussion forums that can spotlight customer voices, feedback, and reactions to the company’s goods and services. This approach to building a two-way relationship can be viewed as a step forward to deeper customer integration and an extension to the welcome email. Brands and businesses should remain sensitive to customer feedback and opinions because these can feature regularly in the mention two-way dialogue initiated by businesses.

Modern commerce hinges heavily on online technologies and sales channels. Therefore, the welcome email can be leveraged to offer customers a flat discount on online purchases made within 72 hours of receiving the said email. This offer carries monetary value for the customer and therefore must figure prominently among the email content. We must note that such offers are discretionary and businesses may or may not opt to include such marketing offers in the welcome email. However, businesses that choose to be pro-active in such matters can make windfall gains every time a new customer acts on the said offer. Online sales remain a significant metric for most modern businesses and the use of the email represents an astute marketing mechanism. Thus, the welcome email can be used as a marketing device that offers a distinct value proposition to every new customer while helping the business to boost its sales figures.

Businesses and customers now operate in the age of mobile technologies and bear universal mobile connectivity; therefore, the welcome email should be optimised for mobile viewers. Statistics reveal that many marketing messages miss the mark because targeted customers are unable to view such messages in their smartphones and connected tablet devices. This may be interpreted as a gap in marketing communications and may portend a series of missed business opportunities. In light of this information, it is incumbent upon modern commerce to engineer emails for mobile customers. The design of the email and the visual impact should be calibrated for maximum effect on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. This represents behind-the-scenes planning on the part of the marketing department; such actions remain crucial if enterprises are to gain the maximum possible traction in every market situation.

Social media is crucial in modern business environments and represents an important technological aspect that spurs commercial operations. That said, we must note that social media buttons should find prominent mention in the welcome email so that customers have the use of these shortcuts to access the social media profiles of brands and businesses. Certain customers may choose to activate these buttons at the first instance because these may represent the most exciting part of the business email. Therefore, the world of commerce should enable such excitement and point the way to potential opportunities for enhanced interactions. Social media platforms can also serve to deepen customer relationships and create interesting conversations. In light of the above, businesses should direct special efforts to cultivate a lively presence on social media.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the aspects that can help to create an outstanding customer welcome email. Modern brands and businesses should leverage this opportunity to instil customer confidence in their operations, boost the brand equity of a business, and create a distinct identity that helps the business to dominate the commercial competition. Business managers must view the email as an essential device to lock on to an enhanced pool of customer dollars. They must be reminded to view the welcome email through the prism of future sales and as part of business development campaigns. To that end, every brand and business should consistently work to refine the concept of the welcome email in an attempt to raise the level of customer engagement.

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Purchase Drivers of Individual Customer Segments

July 24, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“One way to be predictive about buying behaviour is by gaining deeper insights into value drivers. Choice is a powerful element into why buyers make purchase decisions,” – Tony Zambito Modern commerce comprises brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, and enterprises that rely … Continued

“One way to be predictive about buying behaviour is by gaining deeper insights into value drivers. Choice is a powerful element into why buyers make purchase decisions,” – Tony Zambito

Modern commerce comprises brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, and enterprises that rely increasingly on streams of complex data and market information to achieve key business objectives. One of the aims of such commercial enterprises is to isolate and examine the purchase drivers that drive consumer behaviour, purchase decisions, and customer choices. These drivers act as key motivators and propellants that enable customers to assess a product or service, negotiate the pros and cons of the same, and arrive at a purchase decision. Therefore, every industry must closely analyse the factors that drive purchase drivers in order to create the publicity and advertising campaigns that are designed for different customer segments. We must note that these drivers are distinct from each other and should be studied closely, in an attempt to decode the motivations, requirements, choices, and preferences that populate individual customer segments.

Repeat customers represent an interesting sub-set of modern customers. These individuals have experienced the promise delivered by a brand or product and therefore, should be prized by all businesses. When we examine the purchase drivers that animate this segment, we find that tangible business value lies at the core of their transactional activities. Repeat customers represent the success of a business enterprise in terms of consistently making good on its delivery promises. Every firm or enterprise must treat such customers as a business asset because the continued custom from such entities enables the business to boost its bottom line. This customer segment is less likely to consider options in terms of a product or a service and therefore, businesses must exert themselves to retain the custom of such individuals. Repeat customers are motivated also by the probability of receiving preferential treatment from a business enterprise. This represents one of the important purchase drivers; such treatment is likely to boost the customer’s confidence in the brand or business. We must bear in mind that the quality of the product or service figures prominently among the motivations that govern the behaviour of the repeat customer.

The very nature of certain businesses imposes a restricted market on such enterprises in terms of the gender profile of their key customers. For instance, the cosmetics and beauty products industry predominantly caters to women customers, and are guided by the preferences and tastes that illuminate this customer segment. The purchase drivers that attend this industry will typically include the quality of marketing communications devised and deployed by a particular industry.  The quality of the fine chemicals that constitute cosmetics and beauty products, the level of persuasion that can be brought to bear on individual customers by sales staff, the word-of-mouth publicity , social proof deployed by the industry, and the public perception of brands that operate in said industry prove indispensable. Consequently, the industry needs to maintain a fine balance in terms of actively wooing its customers, presenting a definitive value proposition that transcends generations of women, creating new product lines, educating customers on the need to adopt a wider range of cosmetics and beauty products, etc. We must note that the purchase drivers should be mapped consistently by said industry so that it can offer multiple product and service choices to its customers under each of the mentioned drivers. It must be noted that purchase drivers can vary according to geography and climate; this holds true for the cosmetics and beauty products industry. For instance, deodorants and perfumes may find significantly large market traction in equatorial countries and regions that have warm climate. Similarly, purchasing power can govern certain aspects of purchase drivers because affluent nations are more likely to offer deeper markets for top quality cosmetics when compared to other markets.

The impulse shopper is driven by a particular set of purchase drivers that may be exclusive to this class of consumers. Impulse shoppers typically make purchase decisions guided by the moment and this behaviour buckets such customers as an unpredictable marketing segment. The motivations for such a customer segment may include an element of pure whimsy, a need to conform to certain social constructs, a depressed role of logic and reason in making the purchase decision, an immediate response to a crafted promotional message, the recommendations from friends and colleagues, casual disregard for budgets, among others. These attributes make the impulse shopper a creature of exuberance and excitement, which can be adroitly leveraged by marketing departments to further their commercial objectives. The purchase drivers of this customer segment sets it apart from other segments and this should be acknowledged by marketing and business development teams. We must note that impulse shoppers are more likely to capitulate to ambush marketing techniques, thereby gaining deeper significance in the development and construction of marketing campaigns. In light of the above, we may state that business enterprises should work to convert the impulse shopper into a regular customer and must devise the means to enable a smooth transition in the wider interests of the business enterprise. A successful conversion may see the said shopper expending significantly higher volumes of customer dollars, thereby accelerating the achievement of immediate business goals.

Young citizens and young adults comprise the youth among customer demographics and are motivated by a different level of purchase drivers. For instance, this group of customers is more likely to be influenced by peer pressure and relies increasingly on modern technology (such as social media). They also prefer to opt for group discounts, are more amenable to the idea of trying new products and services, are exploratory in its approach to market offerings, considers social proof as sacrosanct, and is more likely to indulge in binge buying. Clearly, this customer segment offers an exciting proposition to business planners and marketing groups. Therefore, brands and businesses should create specific campaigns to cater to the tastes and choices of this customer segment. This course of action is highly recommended because this particular demographic (or customer segment) will mature in the future and may heavily focus its custom on brands that made an early impression. For instance, a bicycle manufacturer can lock on to young citizens as regular customers and be assured of a steady stream of revenue as the said demographic matures. This can be appended to the fact that early converts will recommend their brand choices to their friends and other constituents of their peer group, thereby igniting a virtuous cycle of sales and servicing requirement for the said business operator. We must note that these outcomes are the product of a deep analysis of the purchase drivers that animate the mentioned customer segment.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined a section of the key motivations that spur consumer decisions across individual customer segments. Businesses and markets must realise that each customer segment is a different creature and is animated by a variety of wants, requirements, preferences, and tastes. The sticker price may not be a factor for the well-heeled customer in any market, but may be a primary concern for a different customer segment. Similarly, product quality can be a key consideration for some customers, but may be take second place in certain markets that prize value for money. These differences need careful monitoring and acknowledgement by the enterprise, which chooses to operate in the heavily competitive markets available today.

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Understanding Regular Customers through Routine Items they Buy

July 23, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming No two individuals are the same. Even twins, who are born of the same mother … Continued

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming

No two individuals are the same. Even twins, who are born of the same mother at the same time, have been known to have vastly different personalities, likes, and dislikes. As a company trying to sell the same product to more than one customer, it is important to figure out what the customer wants. Understanding regular customers can be a challenge if the demographics of the population are wide. For instance a personal hygiene company can cater for products that will be used by infants, teenagers, single people, and married adults. These are the end users of the products, but are they really the company’s customers? Not all of them. The infant does not choose i brand of baby wash, the mother of the infant does. The mother does not pick up the deodorant, the teenager does. The person who actually buys the product is the customer that the company is trying to woo.

The final decision of a customer to buy a product is dependent on a variety of triggers. These could be cultural, personal, religious, or social. Understanding regular customers, and their triggers, can be very helpful to providing them with an experience that fosters brand loyalty. Some people pay more attention to quality of the product as they are focused on good health. Others may be looking for sales and discounts of known brands, as they not only want quality, but financial savings as well. Unfortunately, while it is possible to study how a test group of customers is triggered to buy things easily, it is more demanding to find ways to decode the triggers of a much larger customer base. For this purpose, it would be easier to monitor actual sales that have been made by the company. It would add more in depth knowledge about the buying behaviour of customers, if it were possible to analyse all the routine items that a customer usually buys. This is a regular part of market research, which can help with customer relationship management.

Harnessing the power of technology and apps can make it easy to monitor what customers tend to buy regularly. When a customer downloads an app from a company and regularly uses it to make repeat purchases, the customer is supplying the company with a clear buying history. Certain strategy firms obtain data on existing customer spending patterns, which are then studied to help in understanding regular customers purchasing triggers. Many credit card companies are known to data mine their customer’s buying patterns and offer them for companies that require marketing research done. The customers may be buying things that are unique, or have some novelty to them on special occasions. Such as a monogrammed pen may be a special birthday gift. However, the majority of the time, they will buy things that are economical and dependable. Things they use on a daily basis and need to replace constantly. These are repeat purchases, and as any marketing guru worth their salt would agree, a repeat customer is a powerful success story for the company’s bottom line of profits.

Even in these everyday purchases, lies a story behind their individual choices. Behind the choice for buying a loaf of bread, there is an emotional connection to the product. Why does the customer pick that particular brand of bread? Is it because that is the brand that the customer has seen being bought even as a child and the trigger is brand loyalty based on years of association? Or does the quality and nutrition promised by that brand of bread, seem more in tune with the personal health goals of the customer? What about the bread that comes fresh from a bakery? Here the customer may be triggered by social needs to be accepted as part of the community when buying locally and supporting the bakery owners. Such behaviour may be seen in a customer who has recently moved to a new location and is trying to make friends and a mark socially speaking. Understanding regular customers, triggers decision-making, and can be the key to providing the customer with a tailor made product that will naturally trigger the purchase response for them.

One of the most powerful triggers for customers making routine purchases is savings. Not everyone has money to spare. In fact, most customers want their hard-earned money to be spent judiciously. Say a customer regularly buys a particular product, such as a shaving gel or soap. When they go to the store to buy it, they find that the product is on a discount sale. They are much more likely to buy more numbers of the product, as they know that it is something routinely utilised and not a product that would spoil while sitting on the shelf. It would represent a substantial financial saving for the customer and such behaviour makes sense and is logical. However understanding regular customers is not always so easy. The customer may use a different brand of shaving gel, but may be persuaded to buy the one on discount disregarding brand loyalty. It is therefore, never possible to predict with exact precision how the customer will react.

Understanding the triggers for regular customers is only part of the journey. Following this understanding is the application of the marketing mix to the product with special attention to the triggers. It is important to understand what problem of the customer, the product is solving. Care should be taken to price the products in a manner that the customer finds acceptable. After all the customer may spend exorbitantly on an exclusive, vintage dress, but will definitely choose a pair of jeans that are durable and cheap. The place where the customer is likely to shop and make a purchase is also important. It has to be convenient for the customer to access and shop from, on a regular basis. Final part of the marketing mix is the promotions that the seller runs. This is a direct communication addressed to the customer and can either make or break the sale. By taking a proactive approach, it is possible for the company to meet all the checks that a customer may set up in their mind before buying a product.

The customer will not consider very in depth research for products that they buy often. At the same time for a product that is expensive, and may not be bought again for a few years, a lot more research will be undertaken. Very often it is the easy availability of a product that makes it popular for regular use. While it is the promise of good and lasting quality that will sway the deal for a more expensive product. However, understanding regular customers through their routine purchases requires that the company pay attention to the internal factors that affect their buying behaviour. Their attitude, self-image, level of learning, perception of brand, and semiotics, all provide motivation for the final purchase. It is up to the company to understand that while external factors such as socio-economic class, cultural preferences and geographical availability, all play a part in the customer’s decision-making matrix it is essentially what triggers an emotional connection with the customer, that will make the sale.

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Best Ways to Reward Customers for Referrals

July 22, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Building a successful referral program means using tactics. Remember, incentives are an important part of the equation,” – Luther Mosley Commercial referral programs are often created and operated by brand and businesses as a low-cost approach to expanding business. These … Continued

“Building a successful referral program means using tactics. Remember, incentives are an important part of the equation,” – Luther Mosley

Commercial referral programs are often created and operated by brand and businesses as a low-cost approach to expanding business. These programs are primarily instituted with a view to leverage relationships with existing customers and to gain important business objectives over the long term. These programs can help businesses and enterprises to acquire more customers and therefore, to grow and expand their operations. We must note that the modern customer must be suitably incentivised for referring friends, colleagues, and family members to preferred business enterprises. Therefore, businesses must reward customers for such activity and beyond material terms, this should be undertaken primarily to encourage more referrals. Observers have noted that the best referral programs often tend to cement relationships between a business and its customers.

We must bear in mind that every commercial referral program represents an extension of a business transaction. In light of the above, businesses would be well advised to scrupulously administer such programs so as to leave no scope for ambiguity in the minds of their customers. Regular and consistent professional stewardship should be applied to the administration of referral programs. In addition, the business requirement to reward customers should not be weighed in purely transactional terms. A referral should be viewed as a customer’s resolute vote of confidence in a business enterprise. Therefore, the business should view participating customers as business ambassadors that elevate the brand (or business) through their advocacy activities. That said, interested business enterprises should reward customers by deploying preferential treatment regimes, institute special discounts, disburse personal gifts, etc. An accretive approach to a referral program could include the regular addition of a certain percentage to special discount offers. This implies that the business rewards its customers for each individual referral.

Businesses should consider a diverse approach when they formulate a referral program. This would enable business planners and managers to think out of the box and devise genuine referral programs that offer tangible value to participating customers. For instance, a software manufacturer can institute a referral program that encourages regular customers to add fresh customers to the business. One part of the mechanism is the business’s ability to reward customers with a software upgrade on their preferred device. This approach can impart significant momentum to the said business enterprise based on the success of the referral program. However, we must note that the flavour of said reward program does not hinge on the customer’s material gain; instead it pivots on a software upgrade for an already installed software package in the customer’s preferred computing device. This approach to a referral program is distinctive because the business incurs no additional cost or expenditure in its chosen procedure to reward customers.

Banks and financial service institutions can deploy referral programs during specific times in a calendar year. This strategy can be considered by said businesses because it offers an immediate boost to the bottom line of the business at no additional costs. The said businesses can choose to reward customers by offering them a free add-on credit card, or the discounted use of a bank locker for a period not exceeding six months. Additional modes to reward customers can include the creation and presentation of a personalised cheque book, preferential treatment during loan disbursal, etc. These actions may attract new generations of customers to the said businesses, may help the businesses to amplify the offered value proposition, and create a distinct competitive edge in the market. We must note that banking remains a heavily regulated industry in most countries. Therefore, business managers in such institutions operate under certain constraints when they design referral schemes.

Context plays a significant role in the construction of referral programs and the institution of reward mechanisms. For instance, a travel and tour planner can offer discounted travel tickets to customers that bring in fresh references. Participating customers may be offered the choice to accumulate their discounts over time and use the same once a certain threshold is achieved. We must note that the ability of an enterprise to operate referral programs and to reward customers indicates sound commercial health of said business. It also indicates that the business enterprise remains interested in further expansion and therefore, is likely to engage with an expanding roster of existing and new customers.

Small referral programs may not be able to muster significant business resources. These programs can deploy the use of small gift cards to reward customers. The implied dollar value can be printed on each card and participating customers may redeem said value during future business transactions. Small denominations of such cards can be used to boost the referral program at regular intervals and integrate the strategy into overarching business plans. The use of small gift cards to encourage customer referrals may be operated over the years and the program may acquire a life and identity of its own. We must acknowledge that small-scale referral programs can be engineered and re-engineered without the risk of incurring substantial costs. These programs can prove their efficacy to business management groups when monitored at regular intervals. In addition, we must note that this approach to rewarding customers for creating referrals may be termed “small time” but reflects positively on the ambition of the business enterprise.

Certain business organizations may espouse a social cause in the operation of their in-house referral programs. For instance, a furniture retail business may choose to donate a pair of shoes (or other footwear) to a non-profit organization every time it entertains a referral customer. We may note that this is an obtuse approach to reward customers because customers are not personally benefited by the reward. However, the customer may identify closely with the social cause being pursued by the business and this could help to create further motivation for active participation in the referral program. This technique invokes morality and human emotion, both of which remain powerful emotions that can be harnessed to drive business outcomes. Businesses that choose to endorse this approach may also claim tax benefits from the competent authority on the basis of operating the said program. In addition, word-of-mouth publicity may also ensue and enable the brand or business to acquire the halo of a socially responsible corporate enterprise.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that can enable businesses to reward customers for participating in referral programs. We must note that the typical commercial referral program is located at the intersection of competing interests. The business seeks to enhance its pool of paying customers, while participating customers are interested in the reward (or payoff) that follows a successful referral. Some scope for abuse certainly exists in these arrangements, but brands and businesses should attain hygiene standards in such transactions in the wider interests of the business enterprise. In addition, businesses can work to ignite healthy competition among customers in a bid to accelerate the implementation of referral programs. The means to reward customers can also undergo an evolutionary process because not every reward needs to be pecuniary or tangible. There is serious scope for educating customers in this regard and every business should work with customers to create an enduring value proposition over the long term.

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Using Customer Data to Understand Why they buy

July 21, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Customers, through their devices, are leaving vast footprints of customer data for marketers to leverage,” – Blake Darcy Modern marketing campaigns are powered by a variety of techniques that are premised on various types of information. Brands, merchants, and businesses … Continued

“Customers, through their devices, are leaving vast footprints of customer data for marketers to leverage,” – Blake Darcy

Modern marketing campaigns are powered by a variety of techniques that are premised on various types of information. Brands, merchants, and businesses gather customer information by studying commercial transactions, online browsing behaviour, consumer surveys, buying habits, customer testimonials, social media interactions, Internet discussions, etc. The motivation behind such actions is simple: by using customer data, businesses can help to create a picture of evolving customer behaviour and gain deep insights into consumer preferences, motivations, needs, choices, and tastes. We must note that the use of such information may vary depending on the industry, but the primary objective of analysing such data is to read the customer’s mind.

An e-commerce operator can choose to examine its customer’s shopping behaviour by studying browsing patterns on commercial websites and on mobile apps. The marketing strategies of the said business may hinge on using customer data to fashion the various aspects of said strategy. Modern technology enables businesses to record and analyse such data through a granular approach. For instance, impulse shoppers can create a particular signature trail when they browse e-commerce websites and apps before they arrive at a purchase decision. This pattern can emerge clearly, when businesses examine the relevant data and can help enterprises to frame a strategy that caters to such shoppers. Information accumulated from multiple shopping sessions can point to a strategy wherein, the business makes a decision to reward impulse shoppers with random discounts and free shipping offers. We could say that the e-commerce operator is using customer data to boost business outcomes, while rewarding frequent shoppers at the same time.

Different aspects of customer shopping behaviour can be used to frame a marketing strategy. A brick-and-mortar business may create a pre-campaign activity wherein the business actively monitors the time of day during a regular week that registers the maximum sales. Business managers may realise that a certain span of hours in the evening represents the busiest shopping sessions at the store and may tweak their selling strategies to suit said timeframe. New stock can be rolled on to the aisles in anticipation of said timeframe owing to the high likelihood of sales during said hours. We could state that the business would be using customer data, to frame an active marketing policy. Similarly, an online business may register the maximum sales during weekends. This information can be got by studying the shopping habits of customers; it could prompt the creation of a marketing strategy that hinges on boosting product availability for online shoppers during weekends. The strategy could be a roaring success because the business managed to decipher the fact that customers have substantial amounts of free time during the weekends, which, they devote to online shopping.

Online and offline businesses typically witness the highest number of footfalls during festivals and the weeks prior to the holiday season at the end of the calendar year. This applies to commercial enterprises all over the world and presents an exciting time for marketers to study and analyse consumer behaviour and shopping patterns. By using customer data, marketing departments can create specific offers and discounts to boost the uptake of merchandise in both the online and offline domains. We must note that an observant marketing department or an astute business management group can infer that customers have been saving their dollars to buy gifts for family and friends during the festivals and the holiday season. Customer motivation premised on such intent remains common all over the world and therefore, a business must prime itself to cater to the upsurge in market demand during said timeframes. We could also infer that discretionary shopping tends to meld with mass shopping patterns during festivals. These nuggets of information can prove priceless for brands and enterprises that seek to gain a deep understanding of consumer buying behaviour.

Loyalty programs operated by merchants can yield significant amounts of information pertaining to customer behaviour. For instance, a retail merchant that operates from physical business premises should be using customer data to analyse customer requirements and preferences. We are aware that loyalty programs typically reward customers that spend consistently at a shopping establishment. Daily shoppers or weekly shoppers are best positioned to gain from loyalty programs and should be classified as such. However, the discretionary shopper may choose to direct his or her custom at the said retail establishment only at certain times. This information should be recorded and the motivations behind such actions can be analysed in an effort to upsell to discretionary shoppers. Clearly, the motivations behind the different types of shopping behaviour remain distinct from each other. However, the analysis of such motivations can offer a trove of valuable insights to the merchant and marketing strategies may be tailored accordingly.

An apparel business that primarily deals in school uniforms can expect an upsurge in business at the beginning of the busy school season. This pattern of consumer behaviour is obvious and need not be analysed from any angle. However, by using customer data, the said business can identify customers that order school uniforms at different times of the school year. This could lead to insights into the shopping patterns of individual customers and may trigger a business decision to offer discounts to said customers. The reasons behind such shopping behaviour may include the purchase of reserve sets of school uniforms, the physical loss of such clothing leading to a fresh order for uniforms, a transfer student that has joined a school in mid-session, etc. These insights can be leveraged by said enterprise to fashion customer-facing policies that will likely improve the customer’s in-store experience and boost the business bottom line.

Modern commerce generates huge amounts of data that emanate from commercial transactions with customers. Big data and analytics software-driven techniques can be utilised by businesses to understand the prime reasons of customer behaviour. For instance, an online travel ticketing business can be found using customer data to analyse the various aspects of customer behaviour. The typical destinations and time of year chosen by customers can help to create buckets business travel, leisure travel, holiday travel, etc. This analysis can help the business to create specific promotional offers targeted at different types of travellers. We must note that in most instances, the customers of the said business will likely avail these offers because they can discern a distinct value proposition in said offers. The outcome of such actions will likely include happy customers and improved business profitability for the online travel business. In addition, by using customer data the business is demonstrating serious intent to create customer goodwill, which, can be classified as a priceless intangible and a critical tailwind for said business enterprise.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the customer motivations that can be got by using customer data. Every business enterprise must realise that modern commerce has been changed irreversibly by the advent of the information age. The use of customer data to drive business outcomes is now mandatory on the part of every serious enterprise. The use of such information can be leveraged to drive business profitability and in the creation of an impeccable brand reputation.

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Changing Customer Behaviour through Top Class Content

July 20, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Excellent content gets repeated in social media and increases word of mouth mentions; it’s the best way to generate buzz about a product” – Marsha Collier Online connectivity and Internet technologies have irreversibly changed and influenced the world of modern … Continued

“Excellent content gets repeated in social media and increases word of mouth mentions; it’s the best way to generate buzz about a product” – Marsha Collier

Online connectivity and Internet technologies have irreversibly changed and influenced the world of modern commerce. Every business needs to attract customers in order to thrive and one of the most efficient techniques available to online businesses is to deploy top class content. We may state that this is as inevitable in a world characterised by the ubiquity of electronic connectivity, the rise, and on-going proliferation of e-commerce businesses, modern consumers facing a multiplicity of brands and products, multiple social media platforms, the growing legions of online shoppers, among others. Content adds value and in light of the above, the importance of content as a competitive strategy cannot be overstated.

Businesses that primarily operate in the online domain should consider the use of top class content to influence customer behaviour. This strategy should encompass multiple parts that may include a survey of customer tastes and preferences, the creation of a road map to achieve the objectives of content creation, developing and deploying appropriate forms of content, and testing customer responses to such a strategy. We must note that these components of the strategy may be brainstormed and may be pursued simultaneously. The feedback from each stage can be used to enrich the other components until a well-rounded strategy finally takes shape. The top class content should be used effectively as a business tool that can enable enterprises to attain the desired outcomes. For instance, a cosmetics brand that is also a purveyor of beauty products can choose to create genuine customer testimonials in a tasteful and aesthetic video campaign designed to highlight the merits of its many products. Television and the Internet can be the prime vehicles to launch and broadcast the publicity campaign. We must note that this content-backed marketing campaign can help customers to relate to beauty products; the outcomes of said campaign may include a significant uptick in the revenue generation of the cosmetics business enterprise.

An online business strategy that hinges on the deployment of top class content should take care of context. For instance, a toy manufacturer can choose to initiate a regular web campaign premised on animated entertainment. The website and the social media handles of the toy maker are appropriate locations for the said digital campaign. The cartoon-powered entertainment series should primarily comprise original programming to qualify as top class content. To that end, the said enterprise may hire the services of qualified digital animators and dovetail said digital series into its marketing mix. We may infer that such a deployment is likely to raise the profile of the enterprise in relevant markets, attract attention from existing and fresh customers, significantly boost business earnings, and consolidate the brand image in the eyes of all stakeholders. In addition, the business appends content from the digital campaign in its print advertising to amplify the business impact of the initiative. This can be viewed as a relevant instance of the online domain collaborating with the offline world to further business objectives.

When we examine some of the basic nuances of human behaviour in the world of publicity and marketing, we note that mild provocation can be deployed effectively in the creation of top class content. Visual images with a mildly provocative flavour can be used in the creation of such content. This technique is documented in the case of a readymade clothing and apparel manufacturer that deployed images of multiple human models from different ethnicities in its advertising, print, and digital campaigns. We must note that this approach should be monitored strictly for adherence to the norms of decency and once that is accomplished, the potential for creativity becomes endless. The use of bright colours and different skin pigmentation in the visual images can send a powerful message to all observers. We must note that this campaign can be thoughtfully stewarded to include social messages. It comprises an instance wherein top class content can garner significant attention from both online and offline audiences.

Great literature can be deployed as a crucial component in a campaign that hinges on top class content. For instance, a digital publisher can use excerpts from world literature in an attempt to attract online traffic to its Internet presences. The use of brief portions of literary greatness curated carefully can be brought to the attention of the online masses. This technique has the effect of introducing great pieces of writing to fresh online audiences, while spotlighting the business message. We must note that the legal aspects of using such literary creations (copyrights, etc.) should be weighed carefully by businesses before the campaign is set in motion. This instance of using top class content can induce readers to explore the different offerings of the digital publisher on a regular basis. We may note that a dedicated community of such readers can emerge in time and this pool can represent a distinct business win for the enterprise. These actions and their aftermath can translate into higher sales and boost the bottom line of the said business.

User-generated content can be actively pursued to create a publicity campaign that has the power to mould customer behaviour. For instance, an athletic goods manufacturer can use user-created videos and authored pieces to attract attention to its website and social media handles. Amateur athletes and regular users of sporting equipment can be invited to reflect on their experiences. These pieces of video and text can be submitted to the website for publication. We may note that such invitations can attract submissions from a wide range of customers that feel free to share their experiences in their chosen domain of sport. Interesting insights and online interactions can follow the implementation of such a strategy underpinned by top class content. The online community can also exchange all manner of information and the business can gain a lot of exposure for its brands. This strategy offers a number of possibilities, which can be explored in the pursuit of consistently spreading a commercial message.

Businesses may choose to add a different high quality image (or high definition wallpaper) to their website in an attempt to influence online customer behaviour. For instance, a travel website may opt to offer its visitors free high definition wallpaper featuring modern modes of travel (via land, water, and air). We must note that this technique hinges on a basic human need to novelty in our daily lives. The free-to-download wallpaper should reflect the choices and tastes of its daily visitors and customers. Social media buttons on the web page can encourage users to share their reactions via emoticons. We must note that this technique represents a different facet of using top class content in the service of a business enterprise.

In the above paragraphs, we have sought to examine some of the instances wherein, top class content can be leveraged in the pursuit of business objectives. Every online business enterprise should consider the use of such techniques because the outsize returns more than justify the business investment in said strategies. High quality content can help businesses to elevate the level of customer engagement and hence, should mandatorily figure in the playbook of every online marketing strategist.


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Reasons a Prospective Customer would Choose a Competitor

July 19, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“If you are losing customers to your competitors it might be because you don’t have a very good website,” – McKay Allen Competition and conflict are common phenomenon in the natural world and have emerged as major aspects that define … Continued

“If you are losing customers to your competitors it might be because you don’t have a very good website,” – McKay Allen

Competition and conflict are common phenomenon in the natural world and have emerged as major aspects that define modern commerce. Every business enterprise operates in and thrives in competitive modern markets and must primarily work to expand its customer base. The vicissitudes of modern markets can create situations wherein a customer may choose a competitor over an existing business enterprise. This is normal when we consider the fact that modern customers are offered a plethora of choices in terms of brands, products, services, and commercial offers. Therefore, it is incumbent upon businesses to analyse the causes that underlie such a situation and initiate action that is designed to remedy the same. We could state that such a situation emerges when customers are confused with market offerings, when certain businesses offer a short term incentive to gain customers, and when a new competitor enters an existing market.

Enterprises that cater to mass markets must constantly innovate their product and service offerings in a bid to stay relevant in the market. The downside of a failure to do so can encourage their customers to choose a competitor. This may disrupt business operations, retard the process of commercial expansion, and may create a situation wherein, the business may lose customers even as the competition gains ground. One of the primary reasons behind this situation could be a lack of customer outreach. Every business should work to develop this aspect because outreach can help build customer confidence in an incremental manner, boost business goodwill, and raise the profile of a business in the public eye. Therefore, any laxity in this aspect of commerce carries the risk of customer migration and a dipping sales curve. We must note that mass markets can be temperamental and businesses should work consistently to expand their customer outreach programs. This can be accomplished through a steady stream of tiny discounts offered to regular customers, free gifts with every purchase made during the festive season, carrying out a regular conversation with shoppers, among others. These techniques can help businesses to avoid a situation where customers choose a competitor over the said business.

High technology businesses should make it a priority to offer customers top notch products and after sales services. This implies that the business values its customers, is serious about its market image, and invests substantial efforts to create high quality products. For instance, a software manufacturer can choose to survey the market and create bespoke products that address a gap in said market. Quality marketing strategies can be fashioned and executed in order to introduce the software product in said markets. The business should monitor instances wherein customers prefer to choose a competitor and address the reasons to reverse any commercial losses. We must note that a careless approach to sales or customer service can accelerate the forces that lead to customer attrition. In addition, a lack of management initiative can create obstacles in business operations, thereby ceding priceless customer segments to the market competition. Further, a lack of momentum in addressing customers’ concerns and suggestions may encourage customers to choose a competitor. These issues should be clearly marked and addressed with alacrity so that the business enterprise may thrive in competitive markets.

A careless approach to marketing or a less than impeccable attitude towards publicity campaigns can build up negative forces that may force clients and customers to choose a competitor. For instance, a small processed food manufacturer must invest substantial resources to market its wares. This should be a sustained and consistent effort because such activities can help to broadcast and elevate said brand in public markets. Any inefficiencies in said processes can erode the brand image and may lead to a loss of sales momentum. We must note that the negative outcomes that emanate from a lack of seriousness will likely accumulate over time and lead to a loss of brand reputation, customer confidence, and depressed sales volumes. We must also bear in mind that sloth in such actions can negate other business operations such as new product development, the consistent generation of quality products, etc. In light of the above, we note that publicity campaigns and product advertising represent the lifeblood of any business. Therefore, these actions deserve fair amounts of corporate resources and energy at all times.

The creation and cultivation of a distinct competitive advantage should be a watchword for every business enterprise. This advantage cannot emerge from thin air and therefore, businesses must invest time, effort, and energy in the creation of such intangibles. A lack of competitive advantage may drive an enterprise out of competitive markets and may force customers to choose a competitor. For instance, a cement maker can define its competitive advantage through superb customer service. The said business can work with customers to define and create a superior product that has the potential to gain new swathes of an active construction market. This aspect of the business enterprise can help it to win new customers and to make its mark in virgin markets. However, the lack of said competitive advantage or a distinct competitive strategy may create turbulences in its business performance. This could lead to customer migration wherein, customers actively choose a competitor. One of the dangers that emerges from such carelessness is manifest in the fact that customers may broadcast their lack of satisfaction with the products generated by said enterprise, thereby hastening its commercial demise.

Broken promises can be lethal for a business enterprise and the fallout of such actions can encourage a customer to choose a competitor. For instance, a trading house needs to make good on its promises to its suppliers, vendors, and customers. This should be accomplished in a timely manner and must be executed consistently. Too many instances of lapse in terms of failed business commitments can lead to the serious erosion of customer confidence, thereby irreversibly denting the commercial prospects of the said business. We may note that such negative situations essentially highlight a lack of commitment to business ideals and could lead to a situation wherein, the said stakeholders are forced to choose a competitor. The loss of goodwill and brand reputation aside, the said enterprise exposes itself to punitive legal actions when it fails to close its accounts in a manner deemed satisfactory by all stakeholders.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the situations that can drive customers away from an enterprise and force them to conduct business with competitors. We must note that such situations must be averted at all costs by every business enterprise that remains interested in long term business performance. Entrepreneurs and corporate chieftains must analyse the data that emanates from business operations in order to assess the efficacy of doing business, set course corrections as required, ideate to boost the creation of tangible business value, expand the customer base of the business, and conduct regular conversations with major stakeholders. These actions should be pursued with sincerity and interest because any slack in these matters may create negative outcomes, trigger the flight of customer dollars, disrupt business operations, and mar finely cultivated business reputations.


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Proven Ways to Increase Average Order Value

July 18, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“An increase in the average order value for an online retailer bears a strong correlation to an increase in profit,” – Armando Roggio Online enterprises must sell products to their customers in order to sustain business operations, expand the remit … Continued

“An increase in the average order value for an online retailer bears a strong correlation to an increase in profit,” – Armando Roggio

Online enterprises must sell products to their customers in order to sustain business operations, expand the remit of commerce, and to remain profitable. Every e-commerce operator needs to stay abreast of market trends and enlarge his customer base. Every online visitor is a potential customer for an online business and therefore, such businesses must work to convert every visitor into a shopper. To that end, online businesses must monitor and expand, inter alia, the metric named average order value. The average number of dollars spent by each customer in the course of a single shopping session denotes the average order value. We must note that this metric is crucial for the success of e-commerce operations because it helps online enterprises to understand and assess customer shopping behaviour, analyse purchasing patterns, ensure the continued success of an online brand, and to amplify the customer experience.

Cross selling represents one of the core techniques that can help a business enterprise to enlarge the average order value. This action implies selling additional products to online shoppers in the course of a single shopping session. Businesses can opt to offer products to customers related to the merchandise that is already inside the shopping cart. For instance, a shopper that intends to pay for a pair of running shoes can be offered ankle socks to complement the original product. In addition, shoe cleaners and shoelaces can form part of the cross selling technique because these items can be used by the sports enthusiast. The net effect of such actions culminates in a wider range of products inside the shopping basket and a larger bill of purchase. Some merchants may choose to sweeten the deal for online shoppers by offering a minor discount on the additional items; this provides the shopper an added incentive to complete the transaction successfully. In light of the above, we note that online shopping mechanisms afford the merchant significant scope to practice cross selling techniques.

Businesses may choose to offer free shipping to online customers when the value of the merchandise in their shopping carts exceeds a set amount of dollars. This technique is widely practiced by e-commerce businesses in pursuit of enhancing the average order value. The free shipping offer must be communicated to each individual customer in the course of his or her shopping session in an attempt to incentivise the individual. This creates strong motivation in the shopper to attain, if not exceed, the set amount of dollars. We must note that product-shipping prices represent a significant cost in online shopping and if the merchant agrees to excise the said cost, the customer may feel empowered to invest additional dollars in the purchase of online products. Additionally, free shipping offers can encourage customers to share their shopping experiences with their social media contacts because the empowered customer is at liberty to announce his or her triumphal experience of shopping online. This can have the effect of expanding the customer base of the said online business because such communications can attract more business to the enterprise.

Discounts always work wonders in commerce and these can be leveraged by online businesses to boost their average order value. Modern e-commerce operators, in a bid to encourage customers to increase the quantum of their online shopping, may tweak this concept. For instance, a business can choose to offer customers a flat 20% discount on their final shopping bill when the value of items in the shopping cart exceeds a certain amount. The number of items of merchandise and the value of each item becomes immaterial in such an approach and this should be communicated to the online shopper. We must note that this clearly illuminates an example of a business speaking directly to its customers. The initial buzz generated by such an offer can create a clear upsurge in online sales, enabling the business to steal an edge over its market competitors. An added bonus is manifest in the fact that each customer’s average order value registers an uptick and this helps the enterprise to attain its stated business goals.

Time sensitive offers represent an exacting approach to expand average order value. This technique may be used in conjunction with flash sales to boost the volume of customer dollars earned by an e-commerce business. Most business operators offer their customers a 48-hour window to shop online and avail a range of time sensitive discounts. This technique can ignite the shopping equivalent of a feeding frenzy in online business models. In addition, the fact that we live and operate in an electronically connected world helps to boost online traffic because early bird shoppers may broadcast their experiences through social media platforms. We must note that such techniques remain equally valid for both online and offline shopping models; this approach to selling also helps a business to clear out its inventory of products, thereby creating space for new merchandise and a fresh inventory. In terms of online businesses, time sensitive offers can be broadcast through emails, text messages, in-app messages, and banner advertisements on e-commerce websites. The exciting messages can help to pique shopper curiosity, boost Internet traffic, encourage impulse shoppers, increase average order value, and boost business bottom lines.

The use of social proof in online shopping destinations can create a powerful and pervasive incentive that bears the potential to boost customer intent. A celebrity of no mean repute can be requested to endorse certain products or category of products, thereby creating a powerful visual message for online shoppers. This technique can attract considerable shopping interest and helps to boost the average order value. This technique can also be extended to spotlight customer testimonials regarding a specific product or service. We must note that social proof acts as a powerful sales propellant in cyberspace and must be leveraged to attain the desired business outcomes. Social proof can also highlight the use of transparency in the world of online commerce and thus helps businesses to deepen the connection with customers and business prospects.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the methods that are available to online businesses that wish to increase their average order value. We must note that every online business can use these techniques or a combination thereof, to boost sales and to earn customer dollars on a consistent basis. An expanding average order value speaks volumes about the success and future prospects of any online business and these techniques must be pursued ceaselessly by modern online enterprises. That said, businesses must realise that their primary duty lies in establishing and sustaining a flawless rapport with existing customers because this alone can help the business to flourish and establish an outstanding business presence. Customer confidence is quintessential to every business enterprise and must be treated as sacrosanct by every business operator. Impeccable product quality and top-notch service delivery can also help businesses to carve an effective brand identity and win legions of new customers. These actions will inevitably help enterprises to boost average order value and thereby compete successfully in open markets.


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A Great Social Media Marketing Strategy could Gain Customers

July 17, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Social media helps to create communities. Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers,” – Eric Qualman The rise of social media platforms is a recent phenomenon in the world … Continued

“Social media helps to create communities. Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers,” – Eric Qualman

The rise of social media platforms is a recent phenomenon in the world of commerce. Businesses of every hue are working to define and create an appropriate social media marketing strategy in their pursuit of increasing customer engagement, expanding the business base, creating an enhanced mind share among paying customers, and highlighting their business to the legions of online business prospects. This strategy is driven by the realisation that social media represents an important aspect of the marketing mix that is operated by modern businesses; another aspect of such motivation stems from the ubiquity of the multiple social media platforms that populate cyberspace and the implied volumes of new customers that emanate from such platforms. We must note that the serious enterprise is increasingly allocating substantial resources to devising and implementing a social media marketing strategy in an attempt to highlight its business and to attract online customers. In light of the above, businesses must work to refine constantly their marketing strategies on social media and work intuitively to create an outstanding brand presence for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Active communications with all stakeholders, notably customers and consumers, should form the crux of a social media marketing strategy operated by a business. This gains significance when we consider the fact that communications represent the lynchpin in every marketing strategy. Businesses that operate an active and vibrant social media presence should converse with customers regarding the products and services offered by the business; this helps to expand the scope of consumer awareness and enables the business to get a sense of the customer’s wants and requirements, his or her preferences and proclivities. Businesses can also gather feedback and customer reviews from social media platforms when they invite customers to click on web-links that afford customers additional space to air their views. This information can be systematically gathered and analysed in order to impart relevance to every business action. We must note that this aspect of the social media marketing strategy also helps the enterprise to perform in terms of delivering prompt and precise customer service to every individual customer.

The primary intent of every social media marketing strategy should be to attract and retain new customers for a business enterprise. To achieve this objective, businesses may consider creating and deploying top class content to boost customer engagement. We must note that this is an old strategy pre-dating the dawn of electronic communications but remains just as relevant to a modern social media marketing strategy. In addition to visual and video content, business enterprises can create blogs, quizzes, exclusive online deals, discussion forums, etc. to bolster their marketing strategy on social media platforms. These actions help to create and sustain an on-going dialogue with customers, boost consumer satisfaction, and customer confidence, create healthy relationships with online audiences, enforce transparency in transactional actions, and create a fine corporate identity on the Internet. We must note that top class content cannot be conjured from thin air and therefore, a business must plan to allocate resources to create and deploy content through social media handles.

A refined end-user experience should help a business to gain significant return on investment through its social media marketing strategy. From a utilitarian point of view, such an experience could mean smooth and uninterrupted connections between the social media handle and the business website. This is important because such connections can prompt online customers to initiate and complete a business transaction that starts at the said handle and culminates in the transactions page (or online cart) of said business enterprise. This component of the social media marketing strategy is crucial because it can enable impulse buyers to transit from the social media handle of a business and swiftly close a transaction for a desired product or service on the website. Such actions hold especially true during peak shopping seasons when a business might announce a limited edition product on social media followed by immediate customer conversions as reflected by completed sales in the corresponding website. Further, some enterprising business operators may choose to create a micro-site for special products and this may be advertised on social media, accompanied by a web-link to said micro-site. We must note that these mechanisms can be exclusively orchestrated through social media handles and have the potential to boost business profitability at short notice.

Businesses may choose to use relevant keywords and hash-tags on new posts that grace their social media handles as part of their social media marketing strategy. The use of such devices is important because it helps to drive online traffic to the social media handles of commercial enterprises and can boost participation from online audiences. For instance, a quick service restaurant may choose to use hash tag “#hotdogs” to attract customer attention to a hotdog festival at its physical premises. This is essentially a conversation that piques the curiosity of fans and customers of the business and can translate into higher sales numbers at the said premises. Online customers may be offered a special discount when they attend said festival and display the hash tag at the checkout counter; this remains a popular technique to boost sales and drive conversions.

Customer testimonials can be deployed as part of a social media marketing strategy by businesses that are keen to attract new customers. This action should be used sparingly because each testimonial should be accorded its own space in the social media handle; the business should work to create the impression that it values each individual testimonial and should highlight the same for a considerable time. The effect can be dramatic at times because customers tend to trust the opinions of other customers; such citations may allow a temporary uptick in customer traffic. In addition, interesting dialogues and fan interactions may emerge following the posting of such citations on social media. We must note that customer testimonials must be treated as sacrosanct and therefore, online businesses must cite these opinions verbatim.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that can be used to craft a great social media marketing strategy. The average business enterprise that seeks to leverage social media platforms in its marketing mix should bear in mind the fact that social media has become one of the permanent platforms that power customer interaction; therefore, it is incumbent on all enterprises to speak the language of social media and connect to customers at a deeper level. These actions have to be methodically mapped out and consistently executed before they yield a sustained return on investment. In addition, we must bear in mind that social media remains a fluid platform that can ignite customer comments at any time and therefore, businesses must be vigilant in their monitoring of social media handles. This assumes importance because negative comments and feedback can be damaging to a brand and its brand owners; this fact necessitates a quick and nimble approach in terms of conversations on social media. In addition, every business needs to invest substantially to flesh out a cohesive and well-rounded social media marketing strategy in order to gain the full benefit of such actions.


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Optimising Conversion Rates

July 16, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic,” – Jeff Eisenberg E-commerce has emerged as a fact in the commercial world in recent years. The unique business model that underlies such … Continued

“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic,” – Jeff Eisenberg

E-commerce has emerged as a fact in the commercial world in recent years. The unique business model that underlies such commercial activity has been employed by such enterprises in a bid to create a distinct identity. We must note that online businesses typically thrive by converting visitors into paying customers; this process hinges on conversion rates that can be boosted by employing a variety of techniques. We must bear in mind that ideally, an online business should continuously work to expand the base of paying customers and this alone can enable business profitability, the ability of a business to serve its customers, to offer a distinct value proposition, and to boost the viability of its commercial operations. We could say that conversion rates represent a key aspect of online business operations because this particular metric represents the percentage of online visitors that engaged with a business enterprise – through a transaction or other actions.

An online business can choose to boost its conversion rates by initiating an information-centric approach to the stated metric. This implies that the business pays sharp attention to the proportion of online visitors that registered above average interest in the offerings of said business. The constant monitoring and analysis of the metric affords the business deep insights into customer behaviour, the ability to examine issues that may be decelerating selling mechanisms, the general levels of success of marketing campaigns, etc. We must note that the information that emanates from such analyses can be used to refine and re-engineer business processes, re-examine the core value proposition offered by a business enterprise, and to re-visit fundamental business practices. In addition, we note that the monitoring of conversion rates can reveal any underlying pain points, the key customer attractions, and can help to uncover customer motivations.

Conversion rates can also be boosted when a business works to expand its activities in public relations exercises. These include sponsored advertisements in print media, television commercials, direct email campaigns, and sponsored live events. The efficacy of such a strategy lies in the fact that it helps to enhance the outreach of an online business enterprise, thereby fuelling higher exposure and boosting visibility among members of the public. We may state that such a strategy essentially hinges on raising the public profile of an online enterprise for offline audiences. The outcomes of such business strategies can manifest in a larger number of online visitors, higher conversion rates, and a deeper integration of the said business in the commercial fabric. The management cadre of a business enterprise must seriously consider the possibility of regularly investing in the previously mentioned activities in the interest of boosting business outcomes.

The use of online contact forms should be encouraged by businesses that pursue the target of boosting online conversion rates. Prima facie, the online form is an attempt to elicit standard information from online visitors, but the intent of such activity extends to boosting customer interaction with an online business. We must note that the presentation of online forms represents an invitation to further the cause of customer engagement because an interested customer is more likely to fill in information on said form. In addition, the information captured by an online form can be leveraged by businesses to send online newsletters to customers, generate and broadcast business text messages, and to enrol the customer’s participation in future business actions. Further, online forms remain a viable tool to boost conversion rates because the customer’s interaction with such media increases customer interest in the business enterprise. All these factors must be considered when a business chooses to deploy online contact forms for every individual customer.

Broadcasting business information through emails can be a useful strategy for businesses that are interested in conversion rates. A standard email template can be designed for disbursal among existing customers and business prospects. This technique can be repeated at regular intervals and may include embedded web links that point the customer to various facets of the online business. We may state that this strategy essentially works as a targeted advertisement and bears the potential to expand the ambit of conversion rates. In addition, an intelligent business enterprise may choose to append special business offers to said emails in an attempt to pique customer interest and boost the chances of customer conversion. We must acknowledge the fact that email continues to be a relevant vehicle for promoting business and should be considered seriously by modern businesses.

The modern connected business enterprise should actively contemplate the creation of a vibrant presence on social media platforms in an attempt to power conversion rates. This technique holds significant relevance for all business operators because the maximum number of online consumers and customers actively endorse the use of social media. Ergo, businesses must cultivate an active social media persona to attract customer attention, boost their presence in the public eye, and significantly increase the possibility of online transactions. We note that this strategy essentially hinges on the immediacy of social media interactions wherein, a business can choose to initiate and sustain an on-going dialogue with its fan base and customers. These interactions are essentially conversations that help the business enterprise to get a sense of customer expectation, gauge customer requirements, and reduce the distance between the business and its customers. We note that such actions invariably increase the quantum of customer engagement, expand the scope of business profitability, and boost the competitive element in a business enterprise.

Live conversations can be used to deepen the customer experience with a business enterprise and to optimise conversion rates generated by an online business. The use of live chatting typically serves to remove customer misgivings about a product or a service and can therefore assure online customers regarding the efficacy of business transactions. We must note that businesses should employ human staff members to operate such online conversations because the human element remains basic to the selling experience. Live chats also enable customers to open a direct line of communications with the business, therefore augmenting customer confidence and generating goodwill in the long term. In addition to answering customer queries, live chats can help to create an independent rapport among businesses and their customers. This can be extended to the concept of customer advocates, wherein committed customers can use a variety of platforms to convince other customers to transact with a business. In light of the above, businesses would be advised to include live chat options on their websites as a mandatory tool designed to optimise conversion rates.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have analysed some of the mechanisms that can be deployed to boost conversion rates for online businesses. Businesses must realise that the multiplicity of brands and online commercial operations make for a very busy marketplace that can confuse the most determined customer. Therefore, every business must make it a priority to create, develop, and sustain a unique brand proposition that will attract customers and expand profitability. Business owners and the management cadre of online enterprises must make it a point to create a fine entrepreneurial culture that dovetails with commercial obligations in the interests of boosting the desired business outcomes.

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