GRAPHICS PRO

October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 7 5 ways to improve the experience is adding some automation to the journey. As Jay Baer, author of several books, including "Hug Your Haters" and "Talk Triggers," says, "Speed is a choice." It is possible to respond to your customer's needs imme- diately, 24/7, 365 days a year. I'm guessing you want to sleep and take some time for your family. I'm not saying the expectation is to be available 24/7, but in an Amazon world, we have to understand our ideal customers and then deliver with the tools available to us. TECHNOLOGY TOOLS TO USE To close this out, let me share four po- tential technology tools you could imple- ment to automate parts of your customer journey. Social media post scheduling: Social media can be a huge timesuck, but it can become a gold mine of new leads and building trust and familiarity with your company if used and managed correctly. One of the best ways to manage the time needed for social media is to use a post scheduler, like the one built into Facebook (business.facebook.com/creatorstudio), or a third-party version like Hootsuite (hoot- suite.com), Buffer (buffer.com), or Later (later.com) to name a few. At Our Success Group, we plan and schedule all of the posts for the week on a single day. Then our time on social media during the week is only limited to replying and engaging with the comments and other posts that keep us "social." Call scheduling tools: Once you start engaging with a potential customer, sometimes jumping on a call with them or even a Zoom meeting to discuss the project and scope of the order will help them feel confident in your services. But the frustration of trying to coordinate a time with everyone's busy schedule can be enough to turn them away. I love us- ing a tool called Calendly (calendly.com), where I can share a link, and the customer can choose the ideal time for their sched- ule. There are other alternatives too, like HubSpot's meetings tool (hubspot.com/ products/sales/schedule-meeting), Calen- dar (calendar.com), and Chili Piper (chili- piper.com), to name a few. Shipping management systems: Once an order leaves your doors, it is in the hands of the shipping gods. Your cus- tomer thinks you're responsible for the shipping, even if you don't feel the same. It is an extension of your service, so the more details you can share with them, the better. For this, I love a shipping system called ShipStation. It helps you manage shipping for multiple online stores and various carriers and has full capability to send automated, branded shipping details and provide your customer with a branded tracking page and a delivery notification. The system notifies everyone to be on the lookout and thwart the porch pirates. Sales follow-up drip systems: Once the order is delivered, it is time to make sure your customer is pleased with the order and ensure they have all of the details needed to care for and use the products. You can put scheduled follow-ups on your calendar, but why not use the power of an email drip campaign to automate this step and then let your customer decide when they are ready to reach back out. My fa- vorite tool is ConvertKit (convertkit.com), but there are many others like ActiveCam- paign (activecampaign.com), Mailchimp (mailchimp.com), Emma (myemma.com), and AWeber (aweber.com). Making improvements to your cus- tomer experience and increasing the speed and clarity of your touchpoints with your customer is one of the most fruitful tasks you can do for your business. Not only will this make your customers happier and more likely to purchase again, but it will reduce time with customer service issues. Commit to tackling this project for your business. Even improving one or two small things will go a long way to greater success. GP AARON MONTGOMERY is certified by New York Times best-selling author Jack Canfield as a Success Principles Trainer and is the co-founder of OurSuc- cessGroup.com. Aaron has over 25 years of experi- ence with personalized products and small business development and is the co-creator of the "5 Keys of Business Success." You can also find Aaron co-hosting the decorator's industry podcast 2 Regular Guys Pod- cast (www.2regularguys.com). Also, check him out on his podcast channel called Small Business Saturdays (smallbusinesssaturdayspodcast.com). Antares, Inc. Engraving Cutters, Vinyl Blades & Router Tools for all your Sign Making needs www.antaresinc.net 418-4 Caredean Dr., Horsham, PA USA 1.800.355.5250

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