Marketing is often a game of trial and error. You send out campaigns then analyze the results, test different strategies, discover what your audience likes and learn from your mistakes. You can usually recover from missteps and reengage your customers. There are some mistakes, however, that drive customers away. In order to avoid these pitfalls, you need to truly listen to your customers and provide excellent customer service. Here are a few of the most common mistakes that small businesses make and how you can prevent them from happening to you.
1. Not Making Educational Information Readily Available
Customers using a product or service often have questions throughout the process. If their question is a complex one, they may choose to call your support staff. But waiting around on the phone is frustrating, especially if their question is simple. Avoid customer dissatisfaction and confusion by providing helpful information on your website, social media pages and marketing campaigns.
Your website should have a comprehensive section dedicated to FAQs, instructional videos, articles with tips and so on. This provides a simple central location for customers to find answers to their questions. Another effective way to educate your customers and create loyalty is to share common questions and solutions to issues. For example, create a video based on a common customer question that you have been receiving lately. Share this video on social media and promote it in your email newsletter.
Automated marketing software helps you send out educational information. Schedule emails and social media messages to go out after you release each popular video or FAQ. This strategy saves you the time of promoting your educational content, while also increasing its reach to many customers and new leads.
2. Ignoring Customers Who Reach Out
Customers often contact small businesses with questions, concerns and comments. Many small businesses lack the resources they need to respond to all these messages. Yet if a customer's message goes unanswered you may lose their trust and even their business. It is essential to connect with your customers when they reach out.
Set up an autoresponder that sends the customer a message when they contact you. If you can't respond right away, this automated message will at least let the customer know that their message has been received. The autoresponder message should be basic yet informative. It should confirm that the customer's message was successfully sent, provide a tracking number for the issue (this is optional and is mainly to help your staff find a specific message quickly), and offer a resource where the customer may find more information while they wait for a response (link to popular FAQs, customer support phone number, etc.).
Ensure that you have a staff member (or a team, depending on the size of your business) dedicated to responding to customer messages. Check for customer interaction every day on your website, social media pages and company email addresses. They took the time to contact you and they deserve a prompt and informative response.
3. Failing to Provide a Simple Option for Feedback
The best way to improve your products is to ask your customers for feedback. Your products and service development should be based around customers' needs if you want to achieve lasting success. You should collect and analyze feedback regularly through surveys. Even when you're not actively sending out surveys, they should still be available for customers who wish to submit their feedback. If customers do not have anywhere to easily submit feedback, you may miss out on useful information and relevant suggestions.
Create automated surveys for your website and social media pages. Regular surveys help you stay up to date with your customers' needs. Automated survey software collects and organizes information so you may easily view and analyze it at your convenience. Listening to customer feedback and improving your products and services keeps customers satisfied and loyal.
Provide an incentive to make customers want to complete your surveys. The incentive should be simple, such as a coupon, special promotion, contest entry or discount code.
4. Advertising Without Providing Valuable Content
All businesses need to advertise. Promoting your products and services is how you gain new customers. But if you rely solely on advertising material to connect with your customers and new leads, you are bound to fail. In addition to regular advertising, you need to release interesting and educational content.
This type of marketing strategy is called content marketing. Content marketing is all about creating valuable content that will engage people and ultimately grow revenue and brand loyalty. Here are some types of content you should be creating and promoting in order to grow your business:
- Product guides ("How to Select the Ideal Vehicle for Your Needs")
- Blog posts ("5 Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a New Cell Phone")
- Infographics ("What Does a Basic Work Wardrobe Look Like?")
- Videos ("Apply Perfect Liquid Eyeliner in 3 Simple Steps")
- Real customer reviews ("Ann Smith's Review of XYZ Blender")
- Lists ("8 Ways to Save Money When You Travel")
- Case studies ("XYZ Company Gained a 40% Increase in Conversions Without Increasing Their Budget")
These are only a few types of content to get you started. Try anything that you think would interest or educate your customers. By putting out different types of content and analyzing the interaction you get, you will learn what engages your customers most effectively and leads to conversions and sales.
Manage Your Content Over Multiple Channels
When you're using several channels to communicate and do marketing, it is challenging to keep all your data organized. Try using an all-in-one marketing platform that includes multiple channels. If you keep all your data and campaigns organized in one place, it simplifies the process. Using a single marketing platform also saves time and money.
Sign up for a free 14 day trial of SimplyCast's all-in-one marketing platform. There is no risk and no obligation. We provide lots of helpful resources if you have questions. Our staff is ready to give you a free demo to show you the possibilities of marketing automation.