In today’s hypercompetitive small business landscape, selling high-quality and unique products is not enough. To attract and retain customers, you need to set yourself apart from your rivals.
If you are not sure where to start, here are a few tips to help you.
Work on your Online Presence
Whether you are a local brick-and-mortar store or an online retail company, building an online presence increases your branding efforts. It increases brand exposure, awareness, and recall. Most importantly, it gains customers’ trust. Namely, 63% of shopping occasions begin online. Therefore, if they cannot find you online, customers may decide to go to your competitors.
Have a Website
Building a website is the nerve center of your online presence. Make sure you hire SEO professionals and web designers right from the start. Their collaboration is essential to building a user-friendly website that is optimized for search engines.
Content marketing is another proven way to improve your online presence and build trust with customers. Start by running a blog on your website. Produce relevant, data-backed, and helpful content. The goal is to solve customers’ real-life problems and provide them with the hottest industry insights. They will perceive you as a knowledgeable industry player and, therefore, be more likely to buy from you.
Build your Presence on Social
Finally, social media marketing is an essential aspect of your online presence. Social networks let you show the human side of your brand and connect with customers on a more personal level. Share thoughtful content, respond to customer comments, and provide consistent customer service.
Create Social Impact
According to research studies, 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that supports an issue they agree with. Furthermore, 71% believe it is essential for a company to take a stance on social movements. Therefore, to build trust with target customers, your business should be highly socially responsible.
Create Social Impact
One way to create social impact is to develop ethical business policies. In other words, ensure that your value proposition and commitment to social change are the foundation of your business operations. That involves providing safe work conditions, treating staff with dignity, encouraging diversity, and offering fair salaries.
Give Back to the Community
Also, you want your name to be synonymous with philanthropy. For example, you could encourage employees to volunteer, participate in fundraisers, fund local sports teams, or collaborate with local non-profit organizations. For instance, Apex hosts Fun Runs. Apart from helping schools raise money, these elementary and middle school fundraisers also promote fitness, student engagement, and leadership.
Solidify Customer Service
With the rise of wearable devices, social networks, and cloud technologies, the mere approach to customer service has changed. Product pricing and quality are still important, but there is one more deciding factor to consider. Of course, we are talking about the quality of customer service. Statistics back me up on that. According to Microsoft, 90% of Americans consider customer service when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Moreover, Salesforce found that 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.
Now, you can improve customer service in multiple ways. For starters, expand your customer support channels and meet customers on the platforms they use.
Live chat has gained momentum over the past few years. It is more natural than back-and-forth email interactions. By integrating it with your website and social channels, you can engage consumers, provide faster feedback, and humanize your brand. That way, you increase overall customer satisfaction.
Self-service is immensely popular among savvy mobile users. Studies found that 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. Make sure you have a detailed knowledge base on your website. It should answer customers’ most common questions and provide detailed resources, such as tutorials, helpful articles, product descriptions, or guides.
Phone calls remain a vital segment of customer support. Therefore, consider shifting from analog phone systems to VoIP ones. VoIP technologies integrate with your customer service CRM, making sure your representatives have insight into customer data while talking to them.
Finally, investing in a reliable CRM is essential to your customer service success. With a customer service CRM solution, you can centralize customer data under a single location. That is how they can access customer information and personalize user experiences.
Build a Strong Company Culture
Your company’s branding starts from within. You know what they say – happy employees create happy customers. That is why you should build a strong company culture. For starters, determine your company’s goals, values, and missions. Incorporate them into every aspect of your business, from hiring to customer service.
Most importantly, when hiring new employees, do not focus on their industry knowledge and experience solely. Make sure their values and attitudes align with yours.
Next, make sure your employees feel valued. Keep them informed about the latest company events and ask them for their opinions. Have detailed internal communications channels that let you share information and collect feedback in real time.
Above all, provide your employees with career advancement opportunities. Be they new training programs or higher salaries, incentives boost employee satisfaction and encourage their retention.
Over to You
To stand out from your competitors, you need to build a solid brand presence. That includes having an amazing website, creating social impact, and boosting customer support.