Small business owners have one of the hardest jobs imaginable. While working for oneself may sound like a dream come true to the individual who is pushing papers around a desk while being yelled at by their boss, there is a lot more that goes into running a small business. Being responsible for yourself all the time actually requires a lot of work. It also requires an attention to detail that many of us do not naturally possess. Luckily, with time and patience these things can be learned. One of the most vital details in the whole trade of course is to pay special attention to your base of customers.
A Small Business Owner Vents Her Frustrations
The New York Times ran a profile of small business owner Kelly Fallis and her quest to find the right way to please her customers. What she told the paper of record was that she found it difficult at first to find exactly the right customer relationship management software. As someone running a small-scale business, she lamented the fact that she had to spend a considerable amount of her time figuring out the technology of the software products that she had tried up to that point. She wanted to be spending more time focusing on her customers. In fact, she was quoted as saying:
“They were way too complicated for us and did not have a great user interface,” she said. “I need to spend time running my business, not figuring out technology.”
This is exactly why modern customer relationship management software programs are focusing more on making the interface cleaner and easier to use. It also means that the developers of these technologies are listening to their customers.
Social Media, E-Mails, And User Engagement
An exciting development in the way that companies interact with their customers today is the fact that so much of that engagement can be quantitatively analyzed. Data from multiple sources streams into a CRM software program as flawlessly as water flows from Niagara Falls.
Most business owners know that part of their job today is to be active both on social media but also through e-mail marketing programs. Certain marketing research suggests that older customers tend to be more prone to answer e-mail marketing attempts than their younger cohorts. However, the younger generation would prefer to be greeted by marketing that does not appear too brash on social media. Thus, both avenues have to be simultaneously monitored and utilized.
Centralizing the structure through which a company may respond to e-mail inquires and social media interactions helps save time and ensure that nothing is missed in the shuffle. Each customer that takes the time to respond to marketing material from the company deserves a response of some kind. Doing so builds up goodwill and a strong channel of communication with the customers that keep the business operational.
Reviews And Reputation Management
Maintaining a positive reputation matters both in the real world and in the online world as well. Entire websites such as Yelp.com do nothing but take reviews from real customers of various products to get their take on how a business is doing. It is easy to think that those opinions don’t matter, but think again. USA Today pointed out that Harvard-funded research has uncovered that online reviews have a direct impact on customer behavior:
A Harvard business school research says that a one-star increase on Yelp can lead to a 9% increase in sales. Four out of five consumers, or 80%, reverse their purchase decisions based on negative online reviews, up from 67% in 2010, according to the 2011 Online Influence Trend Tracker survey by Cone.
Without an evidence to the contrary, many customers will accept the online review of another individual who has used a particular product or service. Thus, the customer relationship management software that we personally offer for sale features the ability to track reviews on influential review websites online to see how things are going. It is highly recommended that any business that receives a poor review attempts to reach out to that reviewer to see how they might improve.
The full scope of the value of CRM software is often realized once it is in place and operational. Thus, we hope that you will contact us today to hear about our array of products. They can help you focus in on treating your customers in the most productivity and profitable ways possible.