Hey, customers are looking at you. How do you look? Do you look the part? Are you dressed up or are you falling apart? Are customers running away at the sight of you? When approached, do customers go silent after first contact? Is that you?
If that’s you, then it’s a new year, so leave that behavior in the past. Be prepared for your customers. Don’t allow them to turn away. Dress the part, show up polished, walk with confidence.
By this, I mean make sure your business systems are in order. Small businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs, are you using a professional email address, is your website up to date, responsive, mobile ready? Are you tracking interactions with your customers and engaging them? Are you carrying out transactions online, offering online payments, accepting online donations, providing scheduling and quoting online? Keeping your business systems in order does not always have to be a long drawn out process. Putting the right processes and systems in place early in the game can save you a lot of headache and maintenance down the road. And if you do have to shed some extra dollars, it may be well worth the cost.
Let this be the year to start putting your business systems in order. Don’t lose any more customers because of your looks.
Some things you can do:
1. Are you still hosting your blog/site using the hosting company’s domain, like myblog.wordpress.com? Purchase your own domain (on GoDaddy, SiteGround, Bluehost, BiRFT Hosting) to build a stronger brand and identity.
2. Are you still giving customers your personal Gmail or Outlook address? Set up a professional email with your own custom domain (using Office 365, Gmail with G Suite).
3. Are you using your personal number for business so now it’s accessible to the entire world? Get a dedicated business phone number to represent your business. You can always route calls to your private line (Grasshopper, Phone.com).
4. Set up accounts and company pages on social media to advertise your business (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin).
5. Build a website (WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Shopify) to further establish your identity.
6. Implement a CRM system (Hubspot, Zoho, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics) to stay on top of customer interactions.
7. Create and implement a marketing strategy utilizing the technologies you have in place.
And if you already have all of this, perhaps you’re already an established organization? Then:
8. Make sure your systems are all integrated and connected (use custom integrations to push and transform data among systems in your organization).
9. Review and analyze your business applications and cut out redundant systems and processes. Perhaps you have the same process being done manually as well as automated, or extra steps in your ordering process which add no value. Free up time and use your resources more efficiently.
10. Implement standard processes and documents (contracts, agreements, templates, workflows) that can be automated through your systems. These can be reused, avoiding rebuilding processes each time they occur or creating documents from scratch each time.
11. Did you purchase an application and it’s just sitting there or barely being used? Maximize the ROI on the applications you have already purchased by taking full potential of the features that apply to your business and making sure your staff are trained correctly to use these systems. It’s not good enough to just have the application. You need to know how to use it and how to make it work for your benefit.
Are you prepared?