GRAPHICS PRO

June '21

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A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 7 6 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M T H E R I S I N G T I D E O F B U S I N E S S | A A R O N M O N T G O M E R Y GROW AND EXPAND BY FOCUSING ON 3 SIMPLE THINGS A s we continue to navigate what we hope is the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, our businesses can seem compli- cated. With all of the pivoting, figuring out new market- ing techniques, and navigating, how can we quickly grow and not get overwhelmed? First, we must understand why we are doing all this pivot- ing. The simple answer is to be able to serve our customers. What can be lost is that customers buy from us because of the experience, not because of the marketing technique or com- plicated systems. To simplify this needed growth and recovery, I believe that we need to focus on the three things customers care about. This way, we ditch the overwhelm (for ourselves and our customers) and refocus on the experience we provide for our ideal custom- ers. Along with simplicity comes some good news. According to new data from Podium, 28% of consumers say that price matters less since the pandemic. Attending to the customer experience is key, not the need to cut costs and lower prices. Before I dive into the three things that customers care about, I need to explain what I mean by customer experience. I'm talk- ing about an experience that exceeds expectations. It's not just enough to provide a quality product in a reasonable amount of time. That should be the minimum requirement to earn cus- tomers' business. It is no longer sufficient to grow and thrive. But by focusing on these three things that customers genuinely care about, you will create a cus- tomer experience that will exceed your customer expectation. Here they are: 1. Speed 2. Clarity 3. Empathy Let's break down all three and discuss how to focus and improve them in your business. SPEED Speed is a choice. I say this all the time and borrow this phrase from marketing and customer service guru Jay Baer. Speed can mean a lot of things when it comes to your business. But first, we must believe that it is crucial and believe we can be exceptionally fast. When a customer contacts you, what is your minimum stan- dard for a reply (and not just the auto-response)? Most compa- nies reply within one business day to emails, or return phone calls in a few hours. What if you always reply in 30 minutes to emails and return phone calls in 10 minutes? That is excep- tionally fast service. Some of you might say, "OK, he has lost it. How am I go- ing to reply to emails in 30 minutes without it being an auto- responder and still try to grow my business?" Here's the deal: When you decide that speed is important, you find a way. Start by getting a Virtual Assistant. I use a company called iWorker.co, and it costs $5.95 per hour. You can have them help you respond to emails during certain hours or help with other tasks so you can focus on your customers. However, you must first decide what part of speed is essen- tial to you and your customers. Then set a clear standard in writing that is something you "brag" about in your marketing. Make sure you, and everyone involved with your business, fol- lows the standard to the letter. Don't allow room for any gray area or exceptions. CLARITY Many of us are on the lookout for complaints about our busi- ness, but are we on the lookout for clarity warnings? When your customer says, I'm confused, how do I, or other indicators that they don't have all of the information, do they have to pick up the phone and call? According to Baer, 81% of millen- nials say they have to "summon cour- age" before making a phone call. So, lack of clarity is not going to result in a phone call. It will result in them moving to the next company that is clear upfront. Do you have an FAQ page on your website? Even if you do, update it reg- ularly. Go back through old emails, messenger threads, and other custom- er interactions and see what questions you have answered. I'd even suggest keeping a log by the phone if you field phone calls. Find pat- terns then figure out ways to explain your products and ser- vices more clearly.

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