Why Measuring Results In Your Businesses Is Crucial
Measuring results is crucial! As a self-employed person, you know how business can be unpredictable. Since everything keeps changing and you need to keep adapting to every change, it is important to constantly measure your business results.
All businesses have ups and downs. And when you’re in a down cycle, there is nothing better to help you get up again than looking at the results and evaluating them. Conversely, when you are in an upcycle you want to measure what is working right so that you can repeat your success.
The Importance of Tracking Lead Indicators and Lag Indicators
There are two types of Key Performance Indicators: Lead indicators and Lag indicators. Lead indicators are measures of what happened today and this week. Examples include the number of today’s and this week’s prospects, the number of prospects you have converted into customers, recent customer reviews, etc. Lag indicators measure what happened in the past. Examples of Lag Indicators include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
When you are looking to measure the results of your small business, there are many different methods or approaches that you can use. My preference is to use lead indicators and lag indicators. But in both cases, you want to track your results as quickly as possible. If you are using Quickbooks it is possible to have your income statement in real-time. That requires you or your accountant to enter all of your sales and expenses daily.
Here are some Key Performance Indicators to consider for your business:
#1: Determine Your Customer Satisfaction:
Measuring results is crucial with customer satisfaction. As a self-employed person, you know that the ultimate goal is to have good customer satisfaction. In fact, there are some business owners that only use customer satisfaction when they are measuring results. However, I’m not that extremist even though I believe this is a very important method.
The reality is that if a customer isn’t happy with the product or service they bought from you, they won’t buy from you again. So, how can you start measuring results?
Getting Online Reviews
One easy way is to have your customers to give you online reviews with Google, Yelp or other Social Media platforms. The rating scale is 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor. You have to be pretty confident of your service or product because your rating will be posted for the world to see. The upside to doing this is if you have great reviews everyone will know it! One downside is that you may not be able to track certain aspects of your service that you may want to improve.
If you want more specifics you can use a survey with specific questions and ask for a review or feedback, or you can simply ask your customers directly. Doing this allows you to understand how certain departments in your business may be working such as reception, reservations, operations, billing, etc.
What if You Get a Bad Review?
One thing that you need to have in mind is that you won’t be able to make everyone happy. There will always be a couple of customers that won’t be happy no matter what you do. However, don’t let this affect you. Take note of their opinion and try to improve the services or products that you are selling. If the negative review is online always respond to the review with an online review and apology and an offer to remedy the situation. Finally, bury that negative review under a lot of positive reviews! Be proactive about asking for reviews; the more the better.
#2: Measuring Results With Your Financial Statements:
Measuring results with your financial statements is crucial; they tell a story. The story of your recent performance of how much you sold, how much you spent, and how much was left after doing your selling and spending.
While you may not be an accountant and don’t understand financial statements very well, you want to learn how to read them. After all, you need to make sure that you know how much money your business is making and how much it is spending.
Measuring Results Using a Cash Flow Statement, a Balance Sheet, and an Income Statement
The main documents that you really need to understand are the cash flow statement, the balance sheet, and the income statement. The cash flow statement will allow you to know how much liquid cash you have. The balance sheet is a great tool to see how much you own and how much you owe. Last but not least, the income statement will show your profits and losses in a specific period of time.
When you look at them all together, you’ll get a great perspective on how your business is.
#3: Determine The Number of Prospects That You Are Getting:
Measuring results with your prospects is crucial. You should know how many prospects you need in order to win a customer. Your marketing activities should bring you the number of prospects that you need in order to meet your sales goals. Begin to track every inquiry that you receive through phone, through email, and through social media. Find out how these prospects found out about your business so that you can measure the results that your marketing activities are bringing to you.
#4: Determine The Number Of New Customers That You Are Getting:
One of the best ways of measuring results in a small business is to look at the number of new customers that you have on average. While it is important to keep your current customers happy, it is also important to get new ones. After all, when you don’t have new customers or you have one or two new customers a month, you can say that your business is stagnant (in some industries, and depending on the products or services that you provide).
In case you have no idea about how to start measuring results in this field, you can start right now. Simply create a list with your current clients and their email addresses, for example. As you have a new client, add him to the list with the date. This way, it will be easier to know if you are increasing your average of new customers, reducing it, or if you are stagnant.
#5: Measuring Results With Your Employees:
While keeping monitoring your financials as well as your customers’ overall satisfaction, your employees’ input is also crucial. So when you’re measuring results, you can’t forget about them. After all, they are the ones work hard so that your business can reach the goals you defined.
One of the things you can do is to conduct performance reviews once or twice a year. These will allow you to see if employees are happy with their current job position, with their responsibilities, and with their payrolls as well as they allow you to determine if they are completing their tasks in an efficient way.
I also recommend reviewing all your Key Performance Indicators with your employees and getting ideas from them on how to improve your performance.
As you can see, there are a lot of alternatives to measure results. And the best thing is that you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can (and should) use as many methods as you can so that you can truly start improving your business results.
What measures do you use? Have you tried any that have not been helpful to you? Tell us in the comments below.
Guide to Business Success and How Businesses Succeed
Every entrepreneur wants to create a successful and profitable business; this is a basic and obvious statement. But what does not seem too obvious to most small business owners is how to run a successful small business. To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business doesn’t just happen as such. In this article, we’d look at business success – what business success is all about, how businesses succeed, and some key tips you can apply to your business to achieve business success. So, keep reading.
Business Success Definition
A successful business makes efficient and effective use of resources like human capital, money, inventory, plant, and equipment. A successful business is a living, breathing organism that contributes to everyone’s wealth and quality of life. It is crucial to remember that business success is never a certainty or a final goal. It is a journey that never ends since any one of the factors that could have an impact on a business’s success could alter at any time.
Business Success Dimensions
Personal: For entrepreneurs, the process of creation – starting with an idea and producing something that lasts – provides immense gratification. Seeing your family name on the corporation gives you a sense of ownership. Successfully confronting problems and, as a result, discovering abilities and strengths you didn’t know you possessed are undoubtedly parts of personal success in business.
Financial: Successful businesses provide a significant return on investment for the shareholders who put their money into the endeavor. The company’s founders, who are typically also stockholders, can produce riches for their families and future stability while simultaneously living a more wealthy lifestyle. They define success as being able to offer a better life for their children than they had for themselves when they were younger.
Social: Business success is also measured by the benefit they provide to society. Some of the products and services they provide have explicit social purposes, such as helping the environment or offering educational opportunities for children. Others are really dedicated to philanthropic giving and becoming good corporate citizens.
Longevity: With the number of organizations that fail or start off strong only to falter in the competitive marketplace a few years later, the capacity to sustain success in the tumultuous, ever-changing business environment is another measure of corporate success.
Customer Satisfaction: Many of the goods and services we use every day were established to assist clients in solving an issue. Seeing that your goods have made a major difference in the lives of your consumers is one of the driving elements that keeps company owners working persistently to build even better solutions. Praise from delighted clients creates a sense of success that is as significant to some company owners as the financial gains they get.
Employee Satisfaction: Business owners can be able to assess whether the satisfaction of their employees is their topmost concern by assessing how hard their workers work and how dedicated each member of their team is to the goals of the business. This component of business success is measured by how many employees stay with the company for five, ten, or more years – sometimes their whole career.
How Businesses Succeed
Certain key attributes make a business successful and can be synthesized into a stepwise process of how businesses succeed.
1. Pursuing a defined mission
The purpose of a small business is critical to the operation of all areas of the organization. It assists the entrepreneurs in growing the firm with a large aim in mind. It offers employees something to strive for and provides them a feeling of purpose. It also informs clients about the company’s values and fosters personal relationships.
Your goal is more than just a flag proclaiming your support for something. Your company should operate by its goal.
2. Pursuing long-term goals
Successful businesses have both short- and long-term goals. Long-term goals are vital, whether they be investments in new technology that will not be available for several years or aiming for a particular level of growth in the next decade. Instead of bouncing from tiny success to small success, a long-term aim integrates those modest victories into a larger image.
3. Focusing on customers
The most successful businesses prioritize customer care and the customer experience. The first stage is to develop items and services that clients desire. However, concentrating on customers extends beyond your products. Customers are fed up with dealing with businesses via phone menus and automated chat bots. They are looking for a human connection. A consumer wants to know that their company is appreciated and that you will endeavor to address their difficulties. A few negative client experiences may have a significant influence on how well-liked a company is.
4. Retaining employee talent
Good managers help a successful business maintain good personnel on the payroll. Another approach is to create a purpose with strong core principles in which workers may believe. The most successful businesses identify and seek to retain their top employees. That entails more than just good compensation and a few perks.
Offering additional training opportunities and other incentives such as telecommuting days are common approaches for businesses to retain their finest employees. Another example is benefit packages that provide flexible sick and vacation day options. Finally, employees must be aware that chances for advancement, such as moving up the ladder or laterally within the business, exist. You won’t lose someone to a similar position at another firm this way.
5. Employing a great management team
Successful businesses, large and small, require effective management, from the top down to foremen and shift supervisors. Quality leaders provide communication, a natural business culture, and clear goals and objectives to their staff. Criticism is constructive, and employees feel appreciated while also knowing where they need to improve. A good leader embodies the corporate culture, follows norms and rules and serves as an example to workers. Finally, successful leaders make their staff feel appreciated.
Being a bad leader isn’t just about making poor decisions for the company. In fact, a bad leader can make good financial or marketing decisions, yet lead a team of miserable employees. From failing to empathize with an employee who struggles to communicate in an unclear or frustrating manner, bad leaders inspire employees to quit or switch departments left and right.
In picking out leaders at your business, it is important to have an expert who whispers advice and coaches you on what suitable steps you can take.
Do you need the services of a small business coach for your business? Then click here to book a free callwith one of our small business coaches now.
6. Keeping detailed financial records
Financial records are an important part of how businesses succeed. Businesses must have a clear understanding of how much money they make and spend. Keeping track of money allows organizations to identify beneficial tendencies as well as potential financial hazards. Businesses that understand their finances might choose to invest, seek innovations, or pay for new equipment or suppliers. It is also how firms determine when they need to hire extra employees.
7. Continuous innovation
People will imitate you if you make a high-quality product. That’s why the most successful businesses are always inventing, whether it’s improving on existing items or creating totally new ones.
Improving a product, finding a means to give a reduced price, or inventing new ways to express gratitude to clients are all examples of effective innovations. Never give up on amazing ideas.
15 Keys to Business Success
1. Provide a Great Product or Service
While marketing is important for building excitement and increasing visitors to your brand, it can only get you so far. Once the consumers arrive, the items or services must be good enough to meet or exceed their expectations. This is how you develop a lifelong repeat consumer who will aid the business by spreading the word.
Making consumers become brand ambassadors is one of the most successful and cost-effective strategies to get a small business noticed. However, this can only happen if the service is of high quality and, most all, delivers an amazing solution to a real problem that fits a market demand. Many entrepreneurs have created mind-blowing and unique goods that fail, while others with a simple idea dominate the market – Why? Perhaps the first group became so focused on the end product that they forgot to resolve an issue, whereas the second group solved a common problem to which many potential buyers can connect.
2. Focus on Customer Service
A NewVoiceMedia research found that 51% of customers won’t do business with a company again following a negative service encounter. Additional research also shows that it usually takes numerous happy customers to make up for one unhappy one.
Make providing excellent customer service a top priority since devoted consumers are much simpler to sell to. To make sure that your small business is offering a service that is superior to that of your rivals, evaluate your existing customer service and implement the necessary modifications. You could need to spend money on employee training, change your return policy, or make simple adjustments like immediately answering consumer voicemails or emails.
3. Expand Your Marketing Efforts
You must use effective marketing to boost your sales, but doing so doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several low-cost alternatives to sell your goods and services, such as:
Advertising your business on your vehicle with a vehicle wrap
Cold calling (yes it can still work)
Creating and using a promotion kit
Developing business partnerships and doing cross-promotion with complementary businesses
Giving free workshops or classes related to your products or services
Involving the newspapers in your grand openings, moves, or charity events
Joining professional organizations
Sending out promotions with your invoices
4. Do Your Research
Business is never simply business; it must be extremely personal as well. This is not to say that entrepreneurs should throw caution to the wind and launch firms based simply on their own opinions. For example, you may believe that walking a cat on a leash is a terrific idea, but will a cat leash business be successful? Gut instincts are useful, but they are not the same as information. It is derived from data, which is derived through study. How large is the prospective consumer base, and what qualities do these people have? To effectively target customer profiles, it is vital to understand what drives and motivates them. One of the most important factors to small company success is research.
The competitive assessment is another important part of the research. To establish a brand that meets the demands of the market, you must first comprehend the playing field. Here are some questions to think about asking:
Are there any companies that may be considered competitors?
What can you learn from your rivals?
Is there one that sticks out as a leader in the industry?
If so, how did they rise to the top?
What were the secrets to their small company’s success?
Have they made any errors that you might have avoided?
5. Update Your Business Plan
One of the key factors for business success is to regularly update your business plan.
Before establishing your business, you did create a business plan, correct? For several reasons, including determining the viability of your business idea and obtaining a loan or equity funding, a business plan is essential for startups.
It’s not too late to make one if you haven’t already. Successful, well-established companies revise their business plans every year to assess their successes (or lack thereof) and choose new objectives or paths.
The income statement, the cash flow forecast, and the balance sheet, which is all included in the business plan’s financial section, provide an overview of your company’s financial health. From there, you may decide how to increase sales, decrease losses, or reduce costs to make your company more lucrative. You require a strategy to achieve your goals if you want your company to be more successful.
6. Keep Things Organized
This point cannot be overstated. Access to information quickly and effectively will make a huge impact in the everyday operations of a small business, whether it is through a real file cabinet or an ordered digital folder structure in your computer. It is strongly advised to retain individual folders for each part of the business that are suitably labeled and structured in a way that makes sense to you and is intuitive enough for everyone in the firm to access as needed. Backups of digital information are very critical, particularly when it comes to financial data. It is critical to keep them in a secure location to avoid potentially catastrophic circumstances later on.
7. Detailed Record Keeping
Proper bookkeeping allows you to understand the financial health of your company and what may become an issue in the future. It might be the difference between becoming a success story for a small business or not. At the same time, it can help to envision future forecasts and aid in company planning. You must grasp how much money the company makes and how much it sells. While many entrepreneurs consider hiring an accountant to perform their taxes as needed, understanding your statistics entails much more. You must be able to make changes to your business every quarter to ensure that you stay on pace to meet your annual goals.
It pays to clean up your records when it comes to excellent tax record keeping. Here are three other ways that accurate records might benefit a small business owner:
Identify income sources: Using the books, you should be able to distinguish between business and non-business revenues and taxable and nontaxable income.
Maintain a record of deductible expenses: everything should be noted as it happens to prevent leaving anything out when completing tax returns.
Support items listed on tax forms: If the IRS requests extra explanation on the items reported on the tax returns, a comprehensive collection of precise and thorough documents will be crucial to speeding the inspection.
8. Keep Focus & Have Patience
Here’s another amazing small company success tip: to help you stay to a plan and avoid distractions, make a “to-do list” every night before going to bed and attack it first thing in the morning. However, it is critical to create a realistic to-do list in order to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
Maintaining focus on a specific objective is critical to achieving business success. The overarching aim must be determined, and smaller milestones must be established along the route.
That being said, it is equally critical to be resilient, not just in the face of everyday problems, but also in the face of overall company success expectations. Most successful firms do not emerge quickly; it may take years for a company to reach its full potential and become a small business success story.
9. Be Prepared to Make Tough Decisions
Every business owner must make sacrifices for the betterment of the company. However, there may come a time when the most difficult decision you must make is to set your ego aside. Pride may be fatal to a business, and not all decisions will always reflect your values and ideals. And, while a small business owner should have substantial personal and emotional stakes in the company, these should not be the driving force behind every daily decision. You should realize when you need assistance and acknowledge that there are individuals who may know more about some parts of the business than you do.
It is OK to seek assistance as a business owner. You must be willing to leave your ego at the door and listen to what others have to say, especially if it comes from your consumer or business coach. It is difficult to approach a problem with humility and an open mind, but it is the greatest way to make smart business decisions.
10. Keep Your Overhead to a Minimum
One of the keys to small company success is cash. Most business owners recognize the importance of capital liquidity as the first line of defense against any unanticipated issue. However, not all small firms can maintain a substantial enough reserve to sustain unexpected income losses or expenditure spikes.
A decent rule of thumb is to not increase the company’s overhead above what its cash reserves can support. It is far simpler to expand the firm as cash liquidity improves, rather than being forced to reduce later because the business couldn’t afford its overhead expenditures in an emergency.
11. Know the Operational Needs
You must understand everything about your company, and this knowledge should not be restricted to figures. It is critical to understand what the organization needs to function efficiently. Employees, equipment, supplies, and everything else required are all included. However, there is also the intangible factor to consider. Efficient operations and inventory management may have a significant impact on operating expenses. Researching best practices in a certain market and testing to see what works best for the firm (by trial & error) may be a time-consuming and laborious task. However, it will increase the profitability and performance of your company.
12. Build Your Online Presence
Your small business has to have an online presence since it is very quick and simple to create a professional-looking website. According to statistics from the E-commerce Wiki, 88 percent of shoppers now do their shopping research online before going to the store.
Many small businesses only need a basic website that outlines who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch with you. Your website should at the very least include:
A summary of what you do—your products and services
Your mission, e.g. “We make the best pizza in town…”
Social media may also be a terrific tool for marketing your company, depending on your target demographic. For the majority of businesses today, creating an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram isn’t really optional for some businesses these days.
13. Hire the Right People and Treat Them Well
This is one of those areas that may come under making difficult decisions, but the organization must have A+ team players. All small business success stories have one thing in common: they understand that the people they recruit are critical to their company’s success. Every employee at a small firm, more than in a huge corporation, must be trusted to perform his or her daily tasks with as little monitoring as possible. To reduce overhead costs to a minimum, the structure must be as lean as feasible. As a result, no small business can afford to squander a job by recruiting the wrong person. The converse case, however, is true. No small business can afford to lose a top-notch employee. So, create a team and treat them nicely. Listen to them and assist them in growing.
14. Always Look to Improve
To achieve business success, stay away from becoming complacent and innovation-blind. It’s time to start searching for methods to improve once things get going well and the company finds its rhythm. Perhaps it involves adding a new item, developing a special taste, automating a manual step in the process, or opening during more hours. Whatever it is, keep in mind that there is always an opportunity for development in any company. To prevent becoming stagnant, you must remain active. Innovation is crucial to your success as a small firm.
15. Build Word of Mouth for Your Business
Word of mouth is more crucial than ever, whether you run your business in a small town or a big city. Building a solid reputation is essential to the success of your business because the majority of customers use the internet to research businesses before choosing where to purchase.
How can you spread good word of mouth? By offering excellent, professional service, establishing and maintaining a solid local (and online) reputation, and obtaining recognition by supporting and sponsoring neighborhood groups and charities. This all adds up towards lasting business success.
So, there you have it. We trust you found this article helpful.
Business growth is a vital aspect to running a successful company. Large enterprises and multinational corporations are quite familiar with the conventional strategies that can drive further growth for their business. Some of the things they do, such as overseas market penetration and mergers & acquisitions (M&As) involve deployment of huge number of resources and people. But internet users have grown exponentially in recent years, and this has changed consumer behavior and even the marketplace.
Businesses would now have to maintain online visibility to be able to sell their products. This made them realize the need to upgrade their IT capabilities. If you’re aiming for some high-value growth this year, you might want to have a conversation with professionals, such as Houston managed IT services team and other similar sites to further enlighten you regarding the latest trends in technology.
Here are some unfamiliar alternatives to help your business growth in this very competitive industry.
Outsourcing Your IT Requirements
One way to expedite growth for your business is to outsource their IT requirements and capabilities. Getting a Managed Service Provide for IT (MSP-IT) will allow you to benefit on their core competencies and efficiency. The internet itself is a vast network of potential buyers and customers. But you’ll need the expertise of IT professionals to make the most of these networks and your interactions with potential buyers.
A vast number of businesses have already initiated, and some have already completed, their digital transformation programs. Digitization is the buzzword among business nowadays. This is about engaging the buyers and consumers who are now spending more time online than elsewhere. This is crucial for marketing and advertising because of the basic principle that you can only sell something to a potential buyer when you can capture their attention.
The MSP IT can help you use analytics for your marketing and sales campaigns. This is a detailed analysis of the behavior of account owners and users of various websites, ecommerce accounts, social media platforms, podcast and video sharing sites. Moreover, your MSP IT consultant can also help you develop an online marketing strategy which will deploy your resources and materials to those market segments who are most likely to be converted into sales.
Digital Advertisements Assist Business Growth
With the shift of buyers and consumers to the online space, companies have also shifted their advertising strategies and campaigns to the internet. In recent years we have seen how online ad placements started to immensely take over the digital space. However, they still place some television (TV) and radio advertisements now to target the older age group.
It all started when all the traditional channels of advertising in the olden days started to transform digitally, making offers to their advertisers to place their ads in their digital sites. But with the fast-paced advancements in technology, even the process of advertising evolved exceptionally. Now in every click of a mouse, ads will most likely be there, giving businesses the opportunity for a wider reach and brand awareness, resulting to higher revenue.
This is one of the opportunities to drive further growth for your business. Digital advertisements in social media platforms have proven to be effective in increasing the conversion of leads into sales. The accuracy of the analytics in social media platforms enables even small businesses to identify the largest segment of the market who have the highest likelihood to buy from them.
Keyword Search Optimization
This is also something which your MSP IT consultant can help you with. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy of using keywords in your website, links, and online advertisements that would make your website more relevant to the frequently-searched phrases on search engines.
SEO works when the search engine algorithm ranks all the websites and Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in its database according to their relevance to the phrase or key words typed by the user in the search box. For instance, if the internet user types ‘best IT services’ in the search box and then adds the location, the search engine will return with a list of the IT services within the vicinity of the location that was specified.
Another SEO criteria that’s necessary is consistency. Aside from the relevance of the website to the searched keywords, it means that your website should contain consistent information about what’s being searched. If the information about your company throughout the internet contains numerous inconsistencies, the search engine algorithm will give you a low ranking, thus, preventing your website to land on the first page results when searched.
Content Writing Helps With Business Growth
Another possible but an unfamiliar method to make your business thrive is to make use of content writing. Content writing has the power to pique the interest of the audience or reader by incorporating your product or service proposition within the article in a very casual way.
Before, companies would hire Public Relation (PR) firms and advertisement agencies to produce write-ups for them promoting their products and services. The goal was to build up more awareness about the product through these articles posted in traditional mediums, such as newspapers and magazines.
In this day and age, content writing is being used efficiently by almost all businesses and is positively yielding exceptional results. Moreover, content writing for online audiences has a distinct advantage over those who still write in paper publications, because it has the advantage of link-building. This is done by including links in the article that lead to the landing pages of the client which seeks to drive more traffic and more growth for their business.
Giving Free Consultations And Assessments
This is one of the most underestimated ideas to drive growth to your business revenues. The marketing principles is the same whether you’re in manufacturing, trading or in services. At the end of the day, you’ve got to sell or provide something to your customers or clients, which they’d be willing to pay for.
This is easy for trading businesses and those involved in business-to-business (B2B), ecommerce, and online retail. They can provide sample products and items which they can give to their prospective customers and buyers for free.
On the other hand, professionals and service providers can provide free assessments and offer consultations to their prospective clients. It’s the equivalent of sample products from merchants and traders, and taste test from restaurants and food producers. By doing this, you’re somewhat giving your prospective clients a ‘taste’ of your product or services.
Conclusion on Business Growth
Companies are used to spending huge budgets on TV advertising and marketing to sell their products and grow their businesses. But there are now unfamiliar alternatives to drive business growth that were unheard of before the internet became as pervasive as it is today. The advancement in technology and social media interaction has created opportunities that are less expensive, not too familiar, but high-impact drivers of business growth.
Your customers have high expectations, and if you can’t meet them, they’ll go somewhere else. Customer interaction management can assist with this. They would want to buy from businesses that make it easy to receive help when they need it, go above and above for them, and make them happy pre- and post-sales.
Customer loyalty is increasingly based on how successfully a business interacts with its clients right from the start. In today’s competitive business climate, exceptional service can result in selling more products to more people for more profit.
While it may sound simple, many businesses today are failing to provide excellent service, and customer satisfaction is declining. While customer satisfaction is declining, customer demands are rising. People demand everything, anywhere, and at any time in this fast-paced, technology-enabled culture. To help you meet and understand customers’ demands, you need to manage customer interaction wisely.
What Is Customer Interaction Management And Why Is It Important?
Customer Interaction Management (CIM) as the name suggests, is the way businesses interact with their customers. This is a system that facilitates engagement with customers. Also, CIM is a subset of CRM meaning customer relationship management. CRM is a catch-all phrase, abbreviation, and is the most diverse technological segment.
Keep in mind that CIM is more of a post-sales activity for a business. Its importance as a customer satisfaction tool through optimizing communication channels like email, phone, self-service, and chat is clear. By managing customer interaction, a company can develop a long-term consumer base. How so?
Your company can make data-driven decisions and readily focus on areas that can assist improve the end-user experience.
Customer interaction can help organizations rethink their customer satisfaction approach. This can also assist reduce client turnover.
Managing interactions effectively allows you to simply provide a great client experience across communication channels and promptly resolve issues.
Interacting with customers enables a business to study and comprehend the customer’s behaviors and pain points.
Successful interactions increase the likelihood of customers endorsing your business to others. Referrals are a great way to grow your business, so don’t be afraid to follow up with a request after a positive service interaction.
To get you started, here are some ideas to master customer interaction management:
Your service representatives must realize that they’re not machines. Customers don’t want to interact with robots. Reps should show empathy, patience, and concern. The entire interaction will appear insincere if it feels rehearsed or formal.
Individuality and creativity will endear you to your customers while remaining professional. Build rapport with the clients. This way, they will feel more at ease and certain that you will assist them.
Here are some tips to do that:
Empathize with your customers.
Focus on the positive, not the negative.
Be attentive, courteous, and receptive to your consumers.
Know your product and technology.
Learn from every consumer.
First Impressions Are Key
If the first staff a customer interacts with is impolite or grumpy, it ruins the purchasing experience for them. It will make your customers look for new pastures. Put your happiest, most productive team members in charge. Your company’s first impression should be welcoming. That’s the way to get them shopping.
Consider Using Multiple Channels
Customers can reach you via a range of channels, so build a strategy that covers more than one. Customers expect to interact with your organization in new ways. Customers can contact you via live community forums, social media, live chat, and review sites. While every interaction is unique, it must nonetheless be customized to the environment.
Not every issue can be resolved on every channel. The public nature of social media makes it improper for account and billing issues. Move the customer to a more private, secure channel. Remember to not rush customers. It’s considerably easier for everyone if you can close the engagement on the same channel the customer started it.
You’ll receive a full view of how your staff communicates with clients and can regularly check for quality. It’s critical to monitor your team’s and consumers’ reactions. On one side, you want to please your clients. On the other hand, you want to know which areas your staff needs to improve on.
With the correct tools, you can track productivity and efficiency to uncover gaps and opportunities for development.
Use Software And Automation
The right technology can help customer experience managers and contact center workers handle client interactions across several channels. Start off by having CRM software. There are a lot of different ones you can choose from, depending on your needs and budget.
The CIM system allows workers to easily engage with customers, updating them on case progress and requesting additional information. It can also be used to deliver upsell messages after a service interaction or appointment reminders. So, clients are always kept informed and system administrators can set it up to send messages automatically.
Keep A Good Reputation
A poor experience with an employee or another customer can lead to social media criticism. If your organization is known for horrible customer service, it’s difficult to regain trust. Avoid losing consumers due to a bad reputation by observing how others view your business.
Ask customers to complete a service survey and use their feedback to enhance customer service. Of course, few people will do a survey without an incentive. Therefore, give them a little bonus. The survey and discount will bring back customers.
Act On Feedback
You can’t just say ‘valued customer,’ you have to ask for and act on it.
Asking for feedback from consumers is an efficient technique to discover possible issues before they happen. A survey allows customers to express their opinions on your product or service in a way that makes them feel valued, and it allows you to fine-tune your processes or recognize staff who go above and beyond.
If your organization currently regularly solicits feedback, don’t overburden your customers with additional messages that could lead to survey tiredness.
If your organization currently asks for feedback, make sure you do so in 1:1 dialogue with clients. No matter how anonymous it is, qualitative feedback will help you develop your services, and buyers will enjoy the opportunity to express themselves.
There’s never a wrong timing to improve your customer interaction, and it will only get better after you put in place a customer interaction management plan.
Prioritizing your clients will always benefit your business. Therefore, begin exploring ways to engage them on a deeper level immediately.
Your business’ success depends on customer satisfaction.
If you have unhappy customers, you will lose sales and clients, and end up with a bad reputation, all of which will negatively impact your business. Businesses understand the repercussions of this, which is why they do their utmost to prevent this from happening and take all measures to ensure happy customers. The possibilities for increasing customer satisfaction are numerous, and the digitalization of processes is actually simplifying them. Continue reading if this is something you’re interested in. Our goal in this blog post is to provide you with five quick ways to improve customer satisfaction.
Let’s get right to it.
What is customer satisfaction?
The concept of customer satisfaction refers to the degree of satisfaction customers have with the products, services, and capabilities of your company.
Why is customer satisfaction important?
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of any business, regardless of its size.
A satisfied customer can bring many benefits to your business. The following are some of the most relevant ones.
1. Increase in sales
One of the main advantages of satisfied customers is the increase in sales. A happy customer, for instance, who receives exceptional support will be more likely to make a purchase from your business. Profits will therefore rise significantly.
2. Loyal clients
Clients who are happy are more likely to return again and again, thus becoming loyal clients. Having loyal clients means you will experience consistent sales periodically, allowing your business to grow.
3. Better brand reputation
The clients who are satisfied with the products and services you provide and the services your business has provided are likely to leave positive reviews. Positive customer reviews are a powerful tool for influencing future purchases from other clients and improving the reputation of your business.
4. Free advertising
Customers who are highly likely to become loyal customers will serve as brand ambassadors. They will more likely spread positive words about your business, product, and services to their friends, relatives, and so on, or also on social media. This means you will get free advertising, which means more clients and sales.
How to measure customer satisfaction
There are multiple ways through which you can measure the satisfaction of your customers. Listed below are a few of the most reliable methods.
Conducting surveys is a good way to determine if there is anything wrong with your business or if you can improve your service or product in any way. These tools will allow you to ask questions to clients and potential customers and receive insightful answers. By analyzing these, you can identify the pain points in your business and take steps to improve the experience for your customers.
There is now a wide variety of survey templates available on the web. You can learn more about how to use survey templates if you’re interested.
Read reviews and comments on social media
Examining all reviews and comments under your social media posts is another effective way to measure customer satisfaction. Critical reviews and negative comments are all red flags that indicate that something is wrong with your product, service, or business.
Even so, you can also use negative reviews as a tool for improvement. Indeed, many bad or neutral reviews contain suggestions for improvement. If you respond to bad signals about features of your product, aspects of your service, or aspects of your business, you’ll improve customer satisfaction.
Analyze information from live chat and support service
In websites and apps, live chats and tickets can be a rich source of information. As part of the conversation, you can either analyze the most common requests, issues, and doubts of the client, or you can provide the client with a quick survey or review.
By taking these actions, you will be able to gain insight into how your support service is working and the level of satisfaction your customers are experiencing.
Calculate and analyze KPIs for customer satisfaction
By calculating and analyzing some specific and useful KPIs, you can be more specific about the satisfaction level of your customers. The following are some of the most relevant and representative KPIs.
Churn rate refers to the percentage of clients you lose over time. A high percentage indicates poor customer retention. Although this percentage may not exactly tell you what’s going on in your business, it can be a great indication that something is amiss.
Dividing the number of customers you lost last quarter by the number you started with last quarter gives you the customer loss percentage.
Return customer rate
The return customer rate indicates the percentage of customers who make a second purchase from you. The higher this rate is, the better it is and indicates a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Return customers / total customers x 100
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS measures how loyal your customers are. The Net Promoter Score measures a customer’s willingness to tell their family, friends, and colleagues about your brand’s products or services. The score is determined by analyzing the answers to all surveys you conducted.
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
The CSAT score indicates the percentage of customers who are satisfied with the company’s products or services. The CSAT score is expressed as a percentage. 100 percent would be great; 0 percent would be lousy.
This score can easily be calculated by providing clients and other people who interact with your business with a one-question survey that specifically asks them to rate their satisfaction with your products or services.
5 quick ways to improve customer satisfaction
There are a number of ways through which you can increase customer satisfaction. Listed below are a few of the most effective ones.
Provide an omnichannel experience
The social media revolution has made it possible for businesses to promote their products and services across multiple social media channels and other platforms, and they should be able to provide the same level of support and experience to their clientele across these platforms as well. In addition, by exhibiting professionalism and competence on every channel, you will improve the satisfaction of your customers.
Offer money-back guarantee and free returns
Money-back guarantees and free returns will certainly increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. For instance, in the case of selling clothes, not offering returns or making people pay a price will discourage sales, since most people will not be sure if the clothes they choose will fit them.
Rather, clients who are able to order and change products and request a refund if the products do not meet expectations will be more likely to make purchases.
Pay attention to all reviews
As mentioned previously, reviews are opinions and tell about the experience your customers had using your product or service. When these are negative or neither exceptional, potential customers will be discouraged from buying from you, and they’ll most likely buy from someone else. On the other hand, positive reviews will make new customers want to buy from you. This explains why it is important to read all the reviews and pay attention to them. In many cases, they include suggestions for improvements or describe bad experiences with the product or service you offer.
Identifying all the bad aspects of your business and addressing them will keep you from losing customers, and you can improve your product and offer a better customer experience.
Provide exceptional customer support
Customer support refers to the service you provide when a client or potential customer contacts you about a problem with a purchase, product choice, or with their experience with your service or product.
In today’s world, customers are highly discerning when it comes to customer support services; they expect them to be fast and provide effective solutions. If your business fails to provide this service efficiently, it may result in bad reviews and unhappy customers.
Therefore, you should invest in providing efficient support in any way you can. In order to achieve this goal, it is recommended that you create extensive FAQ pages, incorporate Live chats and chatbots, and make sure that it is available 24/7.
Offer loyal programs
At some point in their journey, returning clients feel the need to be recognized as such and to be rewarded for their loyalty and their efforts. This explains why more and more organizations are adopting and implementing loyalty programs. With these programs, loyalty customers can receive specific rewards depending on how much they spend or how many times they order.
The presence of loyalty programs makes loyal clients feel appreciated and special, which strengthens the relationship between your brand and them, building brand loyalty.
Conclusions on Customer Satisfaction
The key to business success is customer satisfaction. Increased sales, loyalty, improved brand reputation, and a good reputation go hand in hand with happy customers. Today, there are many ways through which a business can improve customer satisfaction, including excellent support service and loyalty programs. Putting into practice some of the strategies listed in this article will ensure that your business has higher levels of customer satisfaction. I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. Hope it was helpful and informative for you. If you’d like to know more about this topic, check out this blog post on five easy steps to create a killer customer success plan.
Flavia Silipo is a skilled SEO copywriter and digital marketing specialist with over two years of experience. You can find her onLinkedIn.