No matter what the date on the calendar, it’s important to stop, reflect, and think about what you can do to improve your operation. We’ve found that these in particular, are hot topics within the small business & nonprofit communities and are proven to make a positive difference!
1) The Importance of Personalized Service
Most of us know what it’s like to not get a call back, or to never receive a response to an email. We all understand that our business contacts are busy people, but the fact remains that we want, and need, to be acknowledged. Sometimes business owners don’t realize the impact of this until a customer goes elsewhere. We DO NOT want this to happen to you!
If you do not have time to answer and return calls, consider hiring an intern for a couple of hours a day who can do this for you. In some locales high school students can work as interns for nonprofits on a volunteer basis and earn community service credit. This is a wonderful way to remedy the needs of both sides at no (or very low, if paid) cost. We also suggest that in most cases interns can also manage a reasonable portion of your email load. They may not have the bandwidth to respond to all, but these kids are smart, and they can flag or prioritize those that need a response from you in a timely manner.
2) Update Websites Regularly
Even if the details of the information on your website haven’t changed, it’s a good idea to make changes periodically. Add new graphics, reword and just switch things up a bit! If you have a calendar, or list of upcoming events, get in there and delete the old information while adding new. Don’t just let it sit. Your current customers notice when you are not updating in a timely manner, and it can give the wrong first impression to a potential customer. Your goal should be to have clear, concise and timely information at a new customer’s fingertips daily. And really, it’s not just the new customers that you cater to. It’s your tried and true customers that benefit from this as well. You-can-do-it!
3) Customer Reviews are the New “Word of Mouth”
Find a way to gather written customer comments or reviews of your business. Leave a review form on the countertop of your store front or add a quick survey on to the bottom of an email to a customer. Ask your customers for feedback! Studies show that consumers take product reviews VERY seriously. Most will base their future purchases or other business decisions on a review that they’ve read, therefore you need to make it easy for them to register a review. Add these reviews to your website whenever possible and reap the benefits!
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