If I hadn’t watched any NFL games this year, I would be shocked if you told me the Detroit Lions were one of the best teams in the league. I find it nearly impossible to keep track of every game even with today’s technology. However, as I found myself watching post-game shows and browsing game recaps, I noticed something ‘ we are all naturally inclined to listen to others when we need to be updated about a topic we are unfamiliar with. So when commentators and other experts tell me Matthew Stafford ‘ the third year quarterback for the Lions ‘ is an elite player and his team are legitimate playoff contenders for the first time since 1999, I believe it.Imagine my excitement when I made the connection between the Detroit Lions and the business world. No really ‘ imagine you are a web geek like me. When consumers need advice about a company or product, they don’t just make assumptions and go with the first plumber to knock at their door. They do some research online, get word of mouth referrals, and arm themselves with knowledge before they make a hiring decision.That’s why web marketing can play a major role when it comes to customer retention. Repeat clients are the most reliable source of revenue for established businesses and are generally the most profitable customer segment.
Today, businesses who want to remain competitive and keep their best customers should consider these three Web marketing suggestions:
Be easy to find on the Web ‘ especially locally. When one of your customers needs your service, you want them to call you. In 1995, if they didn’t have your phone number memorized, they would grab the Yellow Pages and look you up. In 2011, if a customer doesn’t know your number off the top of his head, he is far more likely to Google you to find your contact info. And increasingly, on-the-go consumers will be Googling you from their smartphones. If you don’t have your business name and contact information claimed on Google, your competitor’s contact information might be displayed before yours ‘ even if a customer types in your exact business name.Google has openly stated the importance of local search. Each potential customer is searching for you in his or her city and if your business isn’t coming up on Page One of Google’s local search listings (called Google Places), you’re missing out on a major source of business. If you already claimed your listing, start optimizing it. Contact us if you need help doing so — Google Maps Optimization is one of our specialties (and our lowest cost service). Of course, some customers will go to great lengths to track you down. But if you can’t be found on the Web easily, you will lose short-attention-span consumers to your competitors who are only one click away.
Listen to what customers are saying about you online. Whether you are a “just the facts ma’am,” or a silent Gary Cooper type who would rather have a tooth drilled than to ask for customer feedback or testimonials, you can still listen to what customers say about you and your employees. Google’s business pages contain ratings and reviews sections where customers can give you 1 to 5 stars and speak their minds about how well (or how poorly) you did your job. Whether or not you regularly listen to what customers have to say, these online reviews are powerful sources of feedback. Some business owners tend to focus just on the one or two negative comments they might read. But smart owners who want to retain their customer base should read everything and determine if there are consistent issues that could be addressed.Online ratings and reviews are also an excellent way to proactively seek feedback from your best clients. By asking those clients to go online and give an honest assessment of the work you do, you are showing them you care about their opinions, which helps maintain a good customer relationship, which thereby improves customer retention.
Use Social Media to maintain a dialogue with your customers. Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter create an easy and somewhat informal channel for two-way communication with your clients. With a Facebook page, you can humanize your business and create a more personal connection between staff and customers. Done right, a Facebook page can build trust and provide meaningful insight about customers who “like” you. Twitter makes it easy for you to share professional advice and best practices with clients and makes it easy for them to communicate with you about a service issue that, left unaddressed, may fester and ultimately create an opening for a competitor to welcome a new client ‘ yours. If need advice or want help about getting started with Facebook and Twitter just contact us.
Quote:“Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.“ ~ Vince Lombardi (NFL Hall of Fame head coach)
Griff’s Last Stand
With today’s technology, there is no excuse to make uninformed decisions when hiring a service professional ‘ or when following sports for that matter. Whether you need to hire someone to paint your house or you want to know which teams have the best chance to win the Super Bowl, the internet is the place to go for all your needs.
Set up your business listing on Google. It’s free and people are going to be looking for you on the Web. Think about how many times you used the Internet recently to look up something or someone. You can’t afford to miss out.
While you’re there, make sure to read up on the Detroit Lions, so when they make the playoffs you aren’t left out of the loop when everyone is talking about them.
(PS ‘ Want to talk more about web marketing, client service, or anything else Internet related? Call us at 1-888-381-6925 to talk to someone right away or email me at [email protected] and I’ll reply as soon as I can. We’re always happy to help.) This article was written by Market Hardware’s Griffin Davis. Reach Griffin at [email protected] or reach anyone on his web expert team at 888-381-6925.
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