People say that business is all about relationships, but the truth is that business is really all about communication. Communication is key to virtually every aspect of business—from acquiring and retaining customers to improving employee engagement and performance. At the most fundamental level, business can’t happen without communication. This is even more true in the era of globalisation. As geographic borders become porous and the world flattens, effective communication with customers, employees, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders across the globe becomes essential to successfully running a company.
The importance of consistency in business seems so basic as to not need discussion. Yet many companies, especially smaller ones, operate in a day-by-day, case-by-case fashion that is disorganised, undisciplined and certainly inefficient.
The frenetic, never-enough people/time/money reality of small business can make us feel like we’re chasing it down rather than leading it along, but if we get in front of it with consistent standards and practices (ideally working hand-in-hand with a strong set of values), every aspect of the business benefits.
Packaging plays an important role as a medium in the marketing mix, in promotion campaigns, as a pricing criterion, in defining the character of new products, as a setter of trends and as an instrument to create brand identity and shelf impact in all product groups.
The findings of our recent survey about this subject present new arguments and evidence confirming a central conviction held by the packaging industry: that the shopper appreciates and in fact explicitly wants to receive stimulation for the buying decision he is making when standing in front of the supermarket shelf, often even preferring this to other forms of communication. He is keen to be informed and inspired, tempted and pampered by surprising and persuasive functions, emotions and sensual impressions.
Refunds are no fun. You get that email, or a call, or worse yet, a public shout out on twitter or facebook that reads, “I’d like a refund.” Those four words can send any small business or solopreneur into a tailspin of self-doubt. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s how to handle a refund request and use it to boost your business, make a better product and not let “I’d like a refund” get you down.
Nurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a successful business. In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important.
At any moment, an unhappy customer can share their opinion with the masses through social media and the web and negatively affect your business. That’s why it’s even more important than ever to create an excellent experience for your customers to help develop your company’s relationship with them into love. Creating love between your company and your customers can help scale positive word of mouth that’s absolutely priceless.
So you want your website to make you look big. More power to you. But the business experts I talked to recently say small is cool with customers, too.
Small businesses, they say, have a personality, flavour and sensibility that big businesses can’t match. And when it comes to what you put on your website, they urge: Don’t be afraid to tout your smallness. Small businesses can have more fun with their sites. A small-business site needs to include something that reflects the creativity and personality of its owner.
As a general concept, research is the process of gathering information to learn about something that is not fully known. Nearly everyone engages in some form of research.
From the highly trained geologist investigating newly discovered earthquake faults, to the author of best selling spy novels gaining insight into new surveillance techniques, to the model train hobbyist spending hours hunting down the manufacturer of an old electric engine, each is driven by the quest for information.
Operational margins are narrowing; leaving business owners constantly looking for ways to reduce business running costs and increase profits.
Here are simple things you should do to reduce your business expenses and increase revenue without affecting productivity or quality.
Review Standard Operating Procedures
If a business has been in operation for several years, it is possible that some standard operating procedures have become obsolete or less efficient. It is important to re-evaluate operational processes from the bottom to the top, and make changes like trimming unnecessary steps that were needed before but are not anymore, or making new changes to labour functions.
Building a brand is about building a relationship with your customers. For this relationship to be long-lasting, it has to be based on something meaningful. That comes when a brand satisfies a real need, either better or in a different way to any other brand available.
Understanding customers is the key to giving them good service. To give good customer care you must deliver what you promise. But great customer care involves getting to know your customers so well that you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.
To understand your customers well, you need to be attentive to them whenever you are in contact with them. The potential rewards are great: you can increase customer loyalty and bring in new business through positive word-of-mouth recommendation.
Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.
Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it lower price, more flexible service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
Good customer service goes a long way in business; a happy customer is a customer who will recommend you to other shoppers, a returning customer,…. But so many companies just can’t get this right. They’re either putting their needs ahead of their customers’ or too wrapped up in finding new customers that existing ones become expendable.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with bad customer service. Here are some horror stories… and what you can learn from them:
I’ve recently bought 30 books from a man who started the negotiation with “I do not negotiate.” True story. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t want to give a discount for buying multiple items, but what was most frustrating was his attitude in general. It didn’t matter how much I was spending, or how pleasant I was trying to be, he does “not negotiate” (or he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed) and nothing was going to change that.
Do you know if your customers are happy? If not, you should.
It’s imperative that you fulfil your customer pillars of delight. Otherwise, you might lose customers to your competitors. 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more people.
Unfortunately, more of your customers are likely to talk about your poor customer service or a bad experience compared to those individuals that love your company.
Your customers are your biggest assets. Don’t give them a reason to leave. Customer loyalty should be your ultimate goal, but it cannot be accomplished if they aren’t happy.