Best Ways to Make Every Interaction With Customer Awesome

Towing service Arlington VA customers will always have very high expectations, and if a business can’t meet these expectations, they will leave for a competitor. In addition to getting products and services that work for your customers, customers also want to buy from companies that make it easy to get help whenever they need it and go above and beyond to ensure they feel valued and cared for.

At this moment, you should probably know that customer experience doesn’t end with a sale. It is an ongoing work in progress that companies should constantly be seeking to improve and iterate on. Here are some of the best practices that make customers love interacting with your business.

Customer Interaction

Customer interactions are all those instances when people communicate and engage with a business. These moments occur throughout a customer journey and are typically related to marketing campaigns, service-related issues as well as sales promotions. There are many reasons why customers interact with a business. Additionally, there are very many channels they use to make those interactions as well.

When interacting with a business, the first stage is normal awareness. At the awareness stage, the customer will be looking for a new product or service. The second stage is a consideration. Here, the customer is researching both the company and your competitors. The third stage is acquisition. Here, the customer decides your product is the best and goes through the checkout process to make a purchase. The fourth stage is experience. The customer is boarded to your platform and starts using your product or service. The fifth and the last stage is loyalty. Customers find success with your product or service and promote it to their friends and colleagues.

Here are some tips on how to make every interaction with customers count;

Show empathy and gratitude

With this point, we have to emphasize the golden rule that we need to treat others as we would like to be treated. In the same case, you want to treat customers as you would like to be treated as a customer. Make sure every of your customer interactions demonstrates your empathy for customer struggles and your gratitude for their loyalty will go a long way. Always thank your customers for everything.

Be conscientious.

It is always a good thing to be conscientious. You must express your responsibility to always follow up on every customer communication and engage your customers with a solution. Whether you are connecting with your customers on social, on emails on phones, always make it a habit to reach out to them and solve their issues. If you cant solve customer problems within the first interaction, provide them with an exact and reasonable timeframe with which they can expect a solution.

Be transparent

It is extremely important to be transparent and communicate accordingly to a customer. This should be the case especially if there are some errors you have caused yourself. Use your empathy and gratitude and do not hesitate to explain the situation you are facing. Additionally, apologize if you are wrong and communicate how your mistakes happened. If you have products and services that concern customer’s data, you need to take responsibility and ensure you treat your customer issues seriously.

What it Takes to Become a Great Leader

No man will be a great leader by doing it all by himself and wanting to get all the credit. A leader is constantly facing challenges and the and the biggest of which is to be a great leader. Great leadership is the foundation of any organization irrespective of the size, as has been the case with Vienna parking management leadership. It has to be noted that leadership doesn’t exist without followers.

Here is what it takes to be a leader.

Communication

Great leaders are known to be excellent communicators. They spend most of their time listening to make the best decision. When they speak, they are not just clear but also sincere and consistent with how they communicate. It becomes increasingly hard to become a great leader if you have not refined your communication. Be a good listener and make decisions after a thorough research and thought process.

Integrity

Great leaders ate mindfully of their core values. They share these values without any form of bias and do whatever it takes to hold to them. Their values set the tone and provide behavioral guidance to their followers. In terms of vision, they know where they are headed and why. Their values are so dear to them and they are always adhered to without any failure.

Passion

Passion is what fuels great leaders. It becomes a never-ending source of energy and is what separates doers from dreamers. It is also what initially attracts followers and inspires them. Additionally, great leaders are full of confidence. They know what it takes to get things done and have no fear in themselves.

Curiosity

The key to discovery is curiosity. Along with research and listening, great leaders ask a lot of questions. They have an insatiable appetite for curiosity. They are always and constantly learning to hone their skills. They are open about what they don’t know because their confidence inspires them to keep learning and adventuring.

Positive Attitude

Great leaders might go down from time to time, but that is never their typical outlook. They are eternally optimistic about great days ahead and look forward to achieving something valuable. They will always find a way to solve problems they are facing and no challenge is too big for them to tackle

To become a great leader, you must work on developing your leadership skills. You will need to understand your strengths and work on your weaknesses. It means you must be brutally honest and be humble in hearing what others view of you. The most insightful information you will get is on how others perceive you. Be a great listener and use this information to improve. Additionally, consider doing different types of assessments as they can help you determine what type of person you can be. Some of the notable tests you can take include personality tests, talents and abilities tests, influence potential tests, learning preferences, and leadership styles and traits test.

Guide to Starting Your Own Freelance Business

As compared to running brick and mortar stores such as a towing service, a shop, or a grocery store, freelancing is a business model that gives you the freedom and flexibility to be your boss and dictate your schedule. A freelance business is one that is started and run by individuals who work for themselves – which is generally through an independent contract. Freelancers have the responsibility of handling aspects that relate to their business that typical employees would normally not be able to achieve. Freelancers can determine their working hours, pricing, and what to pay as tax.

Starting a freelance business is an exciting adventure. If you are looking forward to starting one, here is how to go about it.

Understand what you want out of your business

Before you can get started with freelancing, you need to know a lot about yourself, your potentials, your skills, and your passion. You need to understand why you are starting a business in the first place. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. It is because you want to be your own boss, do you want to set your operating hours and will you be keeping your other jobs. You must commit the effort you are ready to put in your freelance business.

Set your goals

You need to set benchmarks to ensure your freelance business is going according to your set goals and expectations. Setting goals and objectives will help you to stay on course to achieving what you want. It will also help you build the confidence of knowing you are consistently doing something right. Be sure to set goals that are both short-term and long-term. A short term goal might be something like getting your website up and running within a given period and working on drawing traffic and potential clients.

Set up your business legally

You need to handle the nitty-gritty aspects such as administrative and legal aspects to ensure your business is legally set up and you can work without interruptions. You can take key steps such as formally organizing your business entity and setting up tax issues associated with your business. You should also have a plan in place for managing your cash. How and when money comes in in freelancing can be unpredictable and it’s important to ensure the money you get is properly utilized. Additionally, consider building infrastructure that helps you manage your sales, marketing, and customer service.

Create and maintain your online presence

You will need to have your website up and running as soon as possible and have your online presence set up for customers to contact and interact with you. A website will be your first point of contact with your customers. You need to have a great looking website that is easy to navigate and assures potential customers that your business is legitimate and they can trust to do business with you. A well established and visually appealing website will also distinguish you from other freelancers. Never forget the power of networking to bring clients to do business with you.

Essential Stages of Any Successful Startup

Starting any company, be it a simple roof Installation, carpentry, butchery, or complex ones dealing with software development, is always considered to be risky, time-consuming, and resource-draining. It can be hard and expensive to start a company with huge capital and planning required. Depending on the industry you choose to associate with, your startup may grow very slowly.

A startup is typically defined as a new business that is created to solve a problem for a specific customer segment. Startup refers to any type of entrepreneurial venture that is built to scale quickly.

For any startup, there are three main stages involved.

Ideation and business formation

entrepreneurs start companies for different reasons. Some start to make a lot of money, while others want to solve a business problem. Others just want to work for themselves and become bosses. Regardless of the entrepreneurial intent, most companies follow a very similar process while scaling through and going through different stages. The ideation and company formation stage involves answering a couple of questions.

You need to know the name of your company, its domain, and setting up a website and incorporation date. Set some things clear. Understand if you will be working for the company on a full-time or part-time basis. Why do you want to start the company and what problems will you be looking forward to solving? Have you thought about the personal and professional implications of being an entrepreneur? What kind of company do you want to build and where would you want to be in the next ten years?

The purpose of this stage is to define the map that your business will follow.

Proof of concept

The next phase of a startup is proof of concept, which is also the phase a business gains traction. It is a stage where a business starts to refine its initial idea and create a predictable sustainable business. The proof of concept typically includes making necessary improvements to the products and filling product lines. It is a stage where most startups grow their sales and marketing teams and pick their ideal customer persona based on improved products. It is a stage that normally includes a seed round of funding to help grow the business.

Scaling the Business

The final phase of growing a startup is scaling, which entails growing the business through its projection. It is a stage where a startup company will take the core group of entrepreneurs, add additional capital, and transition to a fully-fledged business. Depending on the industry and the business, that could entail opening additional offices, adding more products, and expanding teams. During this stage, there is normally enough data to strategize and come up with a clear competitive advantage that helps the business have an edge over competitors.

This phase of startup normally includes a series A investment that is led by a venture capitalist to give guidance and support and help a business grow into the established and sustainable entity.

How to Craft Your Content Strategy

When a business dealing with cleaning services or any service invests in content marketing, it stands at a better chance to improve its ability to engage with buyer personas and convert them into more leads. Additionally, such a business stands a better chance in terms of boosting its brand and connecting with its audience. There is a need for companies to actively invest in content marketing.

Content marketing takes different forms and businesses can take full advantage of all these forms to get the best out of content marketing. The first is to create topic clusters. When creating topic clusters, you will want to ensure that each customer touches on all the ways people are searching for a topic. You will want to start with a pillar page that will include all the main keywords you will be targeting. After that, you will need to come up with clusters or sub-topics that should be related to the specific angles of the topic. Your content will include a pillar page, which is clustered through an internal linking structure.

Topic Authority and multimedia content

Another important piece to establishing topic authority is introducing multimedia content, such as videos, images, infographics, and audio. All these types of media will greatly improve your chances of ranking. Search engine results in pages work to give online users the best results, and sometimes, the best way to achieve what you are looking for is through images and video.

If SERP results include multimedia and your content doesn’t, there is a possibility that your organic results will be pushed down the page and totally out of sight. You can perform a simple search for your target keywords to determine which media format will give you the best chance to get the highest rankings.

Think beyond search and rankings

If you are driving any content marketing strategy, it is advisable to think of ways to engage your audience in a manner that will not involve being fixated on rankings. You may tap into the unique voice and perspective of your company and create content that others are not. Additionally, you can start an interesting conversation and see how it can lead to building your audience.

You may consider publishing first-hand knowledge such as surveys, research reports or even focus group results. Additionally, think about creative ways to share emerging industry trends that matter most to your audience. You might consider sharing data through an infographic, which is the second most common form of media after videos. You need to put a huge priority on building links to boost authority and establish yourself as a thought leader. You need also to identify poor-performing tasks and share them via distribution channels to see if they are more successful among audience members there.

You also need to focus on the historical optimization of your content. You may consider keeping your blog content fresh by updating all topics, statistics, search intent, among others, that are relevant and accurate. You can tailor your content to your audience members’ interests, needs, and challenges as well. You can also consider adding smart content personalization tokens to your website to assist you.

Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Today, most marketing teams are fully focused on driving traffic towards websites such as construction equipment transport with the hope that the traffic will convert into qualified leads for salespeople to close. If this circle is successful and continues, the business will ultimately grow. What we have talked about above represents an oversimplified look of the standard marketing playbook, and it’s very relevant to most businesses and marketing teams.

However, for businesses to have sustained growth, they must focus on conversion rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action, which in most times is converting. In another world, the desired action may be completing a web form, signing up for a service, or purchasing a product. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing your number of conversions by visitors and multiplying that number by 100 to get the percentage.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of enhancing your website and content to boost conversions. A high conversion rate means your site is well organized and fully formatted and appeals to your target audience.

When you optimize a site, you stand a better chance to boost the number of highly qualified leads, increase revenue, lower acquisition costs and obtain greater value from your current leads and customers, and this places you in a position to grow better.

A site stands to benefit from conversion rate optimization in the following ways;

Homepage

The homepage is the first area to benefit. Homepages become prime candidates for CRO. In addition to making the first impression on visitors, the homepage also gives you an opportunity to retain those visitors and guide them further into your website. You can achieve the same by putting an emphasis on linking product information, offering free sign up buttons, and even incorporating chatbots to solicit questions from visitors.

Blog

A blog presents a massive conversion opportunity for a website. Additionally, publishing thoughtfully and helpful content about your industry is another chance that a blog gives you. You can use a blog to realize the full power of conversion rate optimization and convert your readers into leads. The process will often include adding a call to action throughout your articles and inviting readers to learn more about the topics you write about.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are fully designed for people to take action. Landing pages can be optimized with video to encourage visitors to take action that the video requests them to. Landing pages can also be used to share free resources with visitors and can be optimized with preview content from a resource that encourages visitors to download the content.

It has to be noted that there are those situations a CRO is right for business. If a business is attracting website visitors, then you need to consider taking CRO. No matter how established or large your company is, you will want to convert your visitors into qualified leads and your customers will become brand advocated.

With the process of conversion rate optimization, you stand to get more out of your existing website traffic while at the same time ensuring you are targeting qualified leads.

Ultimate Guide to Customer Reviews and Testimonials

When thinking about purchasing a new product, who should you trust more between a salesperson who profits directly from your purchase or a customer who has experience with your product you are considering and can give an honest review about it? There is no doubt you would pick the latter. Stats show that only 3 percent of consumers consider salespeople and marketers to be trustworthy. For the truth about your product, consumers turn to customer reviews.

People look into reviews and testimonials to determine whether or not they trust a product, service, or seller. On average, buyers read seven reviews before making a purchasing decision. Today, customer reviews are easier to find than ever, especially with the popularity of social media. Let’s break down some key points.

What is a customer review?

A customer review is a written reflection of customer experience and feedback on the use of a company’s product or service. Reviews are found on sites such as Google, Yelp, Amazon, and social media. Consumers make use of reviews during a purchase process to gain an understanding of how your product works, and conclude whether it’s worth it.

If you are a business, here are some of the steps you can follow to ask for customer reviews.

Bring it up naturally in conversations

If you are talking about your business with someone, or they tell you how they feel about your product or service, you get an opportune moment to ask them if they would be willing to leave a review about your product. If your product or service has superior performance, customers will be more than happy to leave a review of the whole experience.

Ask in response to praise

When someone tells you how much they love the experience or the purchase, be it in-store, online, or over the phone, request them to kindly share that information on a review. You can make it easier for the whole process by providing a link to your business review page.

Send an email blast

One of the best ways to market your products and services is by having an email list. If your company has an email list, you can send a message asking for honest feedback. Provide email recipient and easy to follow link or direction on how they can complete the review. Since reviews are not always anonymous, you can provide your reviewers with some rewards or just say thank you!

Apart from reviews, we also have customer testimonials. Customer testimonials are honest endorsements of your product or service. Testimonials are posted on a company’s website and are used as marketing materials. Testimonials will include information on someone’s overall experience and how your products provided value. They highlight the specific cases that can help prospects feel more confident in doing business with you.

All testimonials are unique, but should always be relatable, sincere, and specific. With these kinds of testimonials, a company stands large in building credibility. Customers trust other customers for their genuine opinion and advice.  Do all it takes to request your customers to record a 30-second video on how they found your product, then post these videos on your platforms

Strategies for Running a Lean IT Department

In this pandemic period, were are facing a lot of uncertainties. Businesses have tightened their belts and are being forced to implement hiring freezes. For IT leaders, this change means they are now managing heavier workloads with smaller IT teams. Tech leaders are being forced to find creative solutions to keep their departments going until the full recovery happens.

That said, here are a few strategies businesses can put in place to run a lean IT department while facing challenges in hiring.

Enable employee cross-training

There is a need for lean teams to be cross-trained to support more functions. This means leaders need to arrange training and up-skilling. You need to help your team learn new skills so that they can optimize their work, and do all essentials. With a cohesive work culture, you will keep your motivation high and employees will be more focused to deliver more.

Automate as much as possible

You need to focus on automation as much as you can. You can do this with vendor solutions that are focused on reducing your teams’ workload to focus on other areas where human attention is much desired. With proper automation, you will put yourself and your team in a position to deliver more with fewer resources. You need to focus on future business needs with a key focus on how you can automate as many tasks as possible.

Create more partnerships

You can partner with a staffing company to implement a contingent workforce. Doing so will help you target different talent segments and align your tasks with your current needs while at the same time taking advantage of the best available talent in the market. A staffing partner will help you to create a work environment that is collaborative, agile, inclusive, and safe, with the potential to attract and maintain top talent.

Look for cost saving opportunities

You need to look for cost savings for long-term managed services. With managed services, they can help you cut down on capital expenditure. You can also rely on managed service providers to do most of your IT work. Most managed service providers offer excellent deals to your problems. You need to take advantage of them by negotiating better rates and long term contracts.

You need to think of redesigning your organization’s structure and outsource where needed. First, redesign the IT organization structure to ensure its more efficient in delivering the required services. You can identify which services, be it security operations, desktop services support, among others, that can be outsourced to competent service providers. You also need to improve staff competency to manage any new technology without hiring new talent.

Think of restructuring

You also need to figure out what your core business entails. You need to be as lean as possible in product and service delivery, and avoid offering anything that eats on your resources without delivering value. If your core business is just running a health care company, then there is no need for you to run a data center in your premises.  Outsource any service or program that is eating on your resources so that you are left with fewer tasks to help you grow.

How to Write an Executive Summary That Gets Your Business Plan Read

An executive summary of any business plan provides a detailed overview of what is contained in the plan. Its purpose is to summarize the key points of a document for its readers and have them saved in an accessible format. An executive summary is more of an advanced organizer for the reader. It must be clear and concise and also entice the reader to get engaged with the rest of the business plan.

This proves the point that an executive summary is the most important part of any business plan. If it doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, the plan will be set aside and become unread. It can be a disaster if you write a business plan to get funding but it happens no one is ready to read your plan. Note the getting money from investors should not only be the motivating factor behind writing a business plan. A business plan should also act as a guide to see you through the life of your business.

What to write in the executive summary

The information that goes into the executive summary varies depending on the type of business you want to establish. For startups, one of the main goals of a business plan is to convince financing institutions to invest in your business by providing the much-required business capital, which normally comes in the form of debt or equity financing. To do so, you will need to provide a solid case for your business, and this is what makes executive summary a very important part of your business plan.

A typical executive plan will have many parts including;

  • A description of the business opportunities
  • Explanation of how your business will serve the market
  • A description of your customer base and target market.
  • Description of your business model, including the products and services you intend to sell.
  • A brief outline of your marketing and sales strategy
  • A brief description of the market and competition and your strategy for getting market share. This includes your competitive edge and the difference you intend to make upon your entry to the market.

For Established Businesses

For established businesses, the executive summary will typically include information about the achievements and growth plans. A typical executive summary will include information such as;

  • The mission statement articulates the purpose of your business. In a few sentences, you should describe what your company does and the core values and philosophies for your business.
  • Company information gives a brief history of your company by describing the products and services and when as well as where they are formed, the owners of the company, and other statistics such as the number of employees and business locations.
  • Business highlights are a description of the evolution of your business, how the business has grown, year over year revenues, profitability increase in market share, and stats about your customers.
  • Financial summary whose purpose is to update the business plan and seek additional financing for expansion and give a brief financial summary.
  • Future goals of the business. This is particularly important if you are seeking financing. It will explain how additional funding will be used to expand your business and otherwise increase profits.

How to Master the Key Elements of Effective Project Planning Today

Project planning is very important for the success of anything you want to carry on. Project planning forms part of the project management cycle and ensures there is consistency in four distinct areas including initiation, planning, execution, and closure. The importance of planning can never be overlooked.

With proper planning, projects run smoothly according to plan. You will be able to deliver projects on time and budget and everyone will have a mutual understanding of the objectives of a project. Everyone will understand all the roles in achieving their objectives and you will be able to manage time, costs, and risks more efficiently.

Here are some key elements to effective project planning;

Identify stakeholder’s needs

The first step to delivering projects in the right manner lies in identifying all the needs of stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone involved in a project including end-users, clients, and project sponsors. You need to identify the stakeholders, meet with them, and write down their needs. You can use a decision matrix to ensure you prioritize tasks in the right manner. When meeting with stakeholders, ensure you lead structured conversations and get everything in order.

Set out objectives

You need to set up smart project objectives. There should be clear deliverables and deadlines. You need to understand the specific products and services you must deliver to your clients. All deliverables need to be well written on what must be delivered and the time allocated for each item.

Come up with project schedule

You must come up with a detailed project schedule. Tasks must be assigned to each deliverable. You must specify due dates for tasks as well as who is responsible. By specifying who is responsible, you will be avoiding misunderstandings in the future. You should also identify dependencies. Are there any specific tasks that depend on the completion of other tasks? There might be chances where you need client approval on a design so that you can carry the tasks ahead.

Define roles and responsibilities

You need to be specific on who’s responsible for each task. Additionally, you must define all the roles that need to be taken up. Indicate who is responsible for the entire project, and each deliverable as well. Define the client roles as well as the reporting structure. When you have well-defined roles and responsibilities, you will need to perform regular check-ins to ensure everything is going per the plan. The check-ins may be in the form of meetings, weekly reports as well as daily conversations.

Have a well-defined budget

With a well-defined budget, you will be able to work on project costs and identify any shortfall. All plans must specify the upfront costs so that you can allocate budgets in the right manner and identify any shortfalls. Additionally, you must have a plan for monitoring and controlling costs. With such a plan, you will be able to remain on budget and keep the project running. There should be a solid communication plan in place as well, that will help to keep the project forward.