Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Caring for your customers

Most customers already believe they know what they want, very often they do not want your opinion, and want only for you to provide them with the product or service requested. While this is often ok, you should still try and understand what they are trying to achieve, or you may end up with poor reviews and an upset customer who feels they wasted their time. It all comes down to staying focused on the goals of the customer and the strategies for achieving those goals. Two primary questions to consider asking customers when attempting to understand their goals include:

• What is your goal for using or purchasing this product or service?
• What results are you expecting by using this product or service?

Asking these questions will help demonstrate a genuine concern for your customers and they will, most often, appreciate your sincerity.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Effective Communication

Many customers will discontinue business with you simply because they are confused about something or misunderstand your contract. Effective communication is key to a healthy relationship.

As a representative of your business, you should be involved in, and dedicated to, the satisfaction and growth of customer relationships within your business. When working with customers, know why the customer selected you in the first place.

Keep sight of customer goals and pursue those goals relentlessly to satisfy your customer. Chances are your customers have a good reason for wanting to work with your business or purchase your product or service. Ask what that is and why, today of all days, they chose to make the move.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Revenue Growth

When your business maintains a healthy relationship with customers, revenue will always increase considering current happy customers tend to purchase more. There is also the potential for a satisfied customer to purchase additional products or services when offered the option to bundle those products and services. For instance, if a satisfied loyal customer has home insurance from an insurance company that they trust, there is a high probability that the customer will also purchase property and auto insurance from that same company.

Retention Cost: The cost to service existing satisfied customers is substantially less expensive than that of acquiring new customers considering there is no acquisition cost, your business should already know the needs and wants of existing customers, and active customers will have fewer queries and complaints as they are already aware of your business’s processes, products, and checkout flow.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Customer Retention

Customer retention is a strategic process to keep or retain your existing customers and deter them from using other suppliers or organizations. This is only possible when there is a quality relationship between your business and the customer. Usually, a customer will remain loyal to a particular brand or product as their needs grow and only if those needs are properly fulfilled.

Referrals: The most cost effective approach to grow your customer base is through referrals. When customers feel satisfied, they are encouraged to become brand advocates for your business. These referrals are beneficial for your business considering there is little to no cost associated with this process. Referrals are an optimal form of marketing and profit generation.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an important measurement of how a product or service meets or surpasses the customer’s needs. It is a reliable indication of the potential for repeat business and brand loyalty.

Customer satisfaction can be attained only if your customer has an overall good relationship with your business and you consistently meet or exceed their expectations. In today’s competitive marketplace, customer satisfaction is an important performance factor and a basic differentiator of business strategies. Hence, the more satisfied the customer, the stronger the bond they have with your business.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Building a relationship with customers

The Courting. In relationships, everything starts perfectly. You show the prospect your best self as the ideal candidate for a long and fruitful relationship. The seduction begins. Promises are made, benefits explained, enticements for loyalty are offered, and declarations are made as to how you and they can create magic together. They find you to be a worthy partner and the two of you begin a wonderful journey.

The Breakup. As the months go by, they start to feel unhappy that you aren’t paying much attention to them. You forgot their birthday and the last time you were together you were caught flirting with another prospect. They stop answering your calls and the last time they visited something just felt different. Eventually, they start complaining about small things and indirectly question what you are doing with their money. You see it in their behavior that the relationship is coming to an end.

The reality is that the relationship was over a long time before it ended because of those small things that you did or didn’t do which got you to this point. It could have been something as simple as not responding fast enough to their email or text, not paying attention to their needs and wants, or that you’ve failed to notice and respond to how they’ve changed as a person. Either way, they are no longer attracted to you, and they no longer believe in your optimism about the future.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Customer relationships

As humans, we are greatly influenced by our relationships. We enjoy being members of loyalty programs and networking groups that align with our goals. We patronize certain supermarkets, gas stations, and banks, and make most of our purchases from select companies. This showing of consumer loyalty is due to an unspoken relationship that exists between us and the businesses and brands we support. They make us happy, we trust them, and their consistency is calming in a chaotic world with an overwhelming amount of choices.

Relationships are natural, and our preference for who we develop relationships with are often based on past experiences and expectations. Similar to dating, customer relationships involve courting and evolution into permanency or a breakup. At some point in every relationship, there is the question of whether the relationship has a future. At that moment of questioning, the relationship either continues down a happy road, or it ends.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Listen to your customers

If you’re a professional — whether an entrepreneur or an executive — you need proven, high-level strategies to really make your business grow, and it all starts with understanding the needs of your customers.

To sustain a relationship with a customer, you’ve got to think like a customer. Every time you visit, call, or send an invoice to your customer, consciously or unconsciously, your customers are asking themselves questions like: Why did I hire this company or purchase this product? Do I still need them? Is this worth what I’m paying? Am I making progress? Am I seeing the results they promised? Is this the best company to purchase from?

You must make it a priority to hear your customers’ wants and concerns. Focus on what they like, want more of, and what they want less of.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Using social media automation

Social media automation is the process of using automated tools to improve your social media presence through content curation and scheduling social media posts in advance. Automation tools can help reduce the amount of time spent gathering posts last minute so you can spend more time growing your account by engaging with your audience.

Automation can be a little addicting. Once you unlock efficiencies in one area, it is tempting to keep going until you’ve mastered your entire workflow. With social media, it’s important to resist the temptation—not everything is meant to be automated. Even big brands have struggled with understanding when and how to walk the fine line of automation and engagement. Progressive famously failed at automation by sending automatic responses to users trying to engage the company on a controversial topic.

Automating your social media can be useful for developing a content plan, so you’re always prepared.

However, it’s important to note that social media automation tools shouldn’t be used in any dishonest or unethical way. For example, automation tools shouldn’t be used to write your social media posts — they should just be used for scheduling, reporting, and content ideas.

Should you use text message marketing?

Text message marketing makes it easy to communicate directly with customers and send out newsletters, coupons, special deals or announcements with just a few clicks.

Text message marketing is the use of SMS (short message service) or text messages to deliver promotional messages to customers and other subscribers. Businesses use text message marketing to increase brand awareness, generate sales, provide news to subscribers, increase web traffic or promote something about the business.

The terms text message marketing and SMS are interchangeable, and can be used to refer to the same thing. Text message marketing works by allowing customers or subscribers to opt in to receiving texts from your business, then using a service to draft and send messages to those subscribers.

According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adult Americans have a cell phone capable of receiving text messages. As time spent on phones continues to increase, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking to implement text message marketing campaigns.

Text message marketing is a great way to connect with your customers on a personal level and provide customized messaging. Texting is also faster than other communication methods, and you can resolve issues and connect with customers without a long wait.

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