Loyalty Matters: How to Build a Customer Retention Plan That Really Works

Most people follow a three-strike rule when it comes to company patronage. Only about 33% of customers will drop you if you give them bad service once. Excellent news, right? Verily. We’re living in an age of excellent customer service. More than 80% of Americans report that businesses are meeting or even exceeding expectations in customer service. But is 80% enough? Would 80% be enough for you to trust your doctor-recommended birth control? Even that 99.9% success rate birth control sometimes fails. How do you beat the numbers? Customer retention programs, that’s how. Below you’ll find some of the best advice on the net on how to keep them coming back for more. 1. It Begins With Customer Service While customer service historically hurts rather than helps customer retention efforts, it’s still a hole you must plug. You might not gain customer loyalty, but you’ll be less likely to lose […]

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Why Businesses Outsource To Call Centers In The Philippines

For the first million years of human existence, per world per capita GPD did not rise above $140. From 1500 to 1900, multiplied five times to $680. Today the per capita GPD is over $6500. This increase in production across the globe is thanks in part to globalization. The Romans built roads. The Europeans built ships. And the Americans built airplanes. It became impossible for nations to isolate themselves. Economies thrived, tariffs dropped, and trade flowed. But what does this mean for you? It means you can save money by outsourcing to cheaper locations on the other side of the globe. Where is the best place to outsource your IT and customer service? It’s not India like you might have assumed. It’s the Philippines. Here’s why. Why Call Centers Anyways? If you’re a Millennial like me, you’d rather text your friends than call them. Phone anxiety is commonly talked about […]

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Does Your Startup Need a Competitive Advantage? Here Are 4 Things That Every Consumer Craves

Fulfilling customers’ needs and desires should always be job No. 1 for your business. July 2, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Are you struggling to find your competitive advantage and win your market? Well, you’re hardly alone. Many startup entrepreneurs are battling to find their own place among the top-tier companies.  Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric But what determines which businesses succeed, and which ones never see the light of day? Lots of things, to be sure. The top strategy, though, is a constant focus on fulfilling customers’ needs and desires. As Jeff Bezos said in regards to his company Amazon in September at the Economic Club of Washington, “The number one thing that has made us successful by far is an obsessive-compulsive focus on the customer, as opposed to obsession over the competitor.” The best way to gain […]

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3 Counter-intuitive Customer Service Lessons Entrepreneurs Should Learn

How a bad experience at a self-styled “luxury” Sydney hotel reminded me of the most important customer service lessons for small business owners and entrepreneurs. June 19, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. At about 1 a.m. during a memorable trip I took to Australia, I awoke suddenly in a hot sweat in my hotel room at the Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay. Supposedly among that country’s leading hotels, the Intercontinental bills itself as “Sydney’s Exclusive Bayside retreat,” where guests stay in luxury. According to the hotel’s website, air-conditioning is one of these luxuries. Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric But not on that particular night. In fact, the thermostat in my room was stuck at a stuffy 24 C. (75 F.) degrees. So, I turned the temperature down, but to no avail. When I called the front desk, I was informed that the […]

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9 Secrets to Having World-Class Customer Service

Hint: It starts with your people. May 10, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Good customer service is crucial to ensuring your business will continue to grow. These nine experienced leaders and Advisors in The Oracles, including Canva founder Melanie Perkins and clothing designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, share their secrets for guaranteeing a world-class customer experience. 1. Turn feedback into an actionable list. Melanie Perkins Image credit: The Oracles There are endless projects our team could be working on, so prioritizing goals is incredibly important. Keeping customers at the core of every decision makes that easier. It is vital to connect and empathize with our community. As we grow, one of the challenges is ensuring that we have systems to actively listen and respond to our customers’ needs. We’ve had over 800,000 pieces of feedback across all of our channels; so we […]

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8 Fool-Proof Tips to Keep Your Customers Happy

Word-of-mouth endorsements from loyal customers can be a great, free sales asset. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy talks about how to keep customers for long periods. Think about the second sale. It’s just as important as the first, because it shows that your product has value and you can deliver on your promises.  Don’t neglect word-of-mouth, either, because your customers can become a free sales asset. Concentrate on stellar customer service. Tracy says the way to improve customer service is through speedy, consistent responses to whatever questions may come up.  Click the video to hear more. Related: 7 Essential Strategies You Can Use to Grow Your Business Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms […]

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4 Keys to Satisfying 21st Century Customers

Make it easy for them, from interacting with you to paying their bill. March 29, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Achieving customer satisfaction has always been the priority of every serious business. This is a straightforward truth. However, the means to achieving customer satisfaction has always been anything but straightforward. The needs of the customer are consistently changing, and businesses have to change with it or risk the very glaring possibility of losing even the most loyal customers to the competition. Statistics show that customer loyalty to brands and businesses are dropping at an alarming rate. This is largely because the internet has bombarded the 21st century customer with a plethora of choices, each promising to do things a little better than the last. Customer loyalty has therefore become a more difficult task to pull. Related: 3 Essentials for Building a Loyal Customer Base […]

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How to Best Use an Answering Service to Convert Those After-Hour Calls You’ve Been Missing

Having somebody available to pick up the phone after hours may be worth every penny you pay. December 7, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A constant push and pull goes on in the world of small business and entrepreneurship: Do you set and work “business” hours, or do you personally handle anything and everything for your business, regardless of when those things happen? Some entrepreneurs are more than happy to work 100 hours a week, while others cite their need  for work-life balance as absolutely critical to their business success. Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric My own position is that, regardless of how many hours I work — or anyone else works — it’s often a good idea to impose limits on outside contact. Running a small business that offers 24/7 support  is just asking for pain. Virtually no task can […]

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Is Your Customer Support on Life Support?

Revive it with these three principles of outstanding and consistent customer service: culture, data/tools and care. December 3, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Retailers are having to relearn that the customer is always right. Over the past several years, the estimated cost of bad customer service has risen from $62 billion per year in 2016 to over $75 billion in 2018, according to NewVoiceMedia. Industries across the board are so fiercely competitive that customers can (and will) switch brands over any grievance, real or perceived. A Northridge Group found that a majority of survey respondents (54 percent) would try a new brand in search of better service and support. More than a quarter of consumers would even abandon a brand entirely because of bad service. Related: Customer Service is Ground Zero For Success It’s no surprise that bad service leads to disgruntled customers. […]

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Diva Marketing Blog – Marketing blogs and corporate social media strategies for innovative companies

Social Media Listening… Will We Learn? 12/30/2015 As we close out 2015 and begin the circle dance anew, there will be lots of predictions of what 2016 will hold in terms of marketing trends and must dos. This is not one of those posts. Time brings perspective. So instead, I’d like to look back at one aspect of social/digital media marketing that was suppose to change the marketing game: from gaining a better understanding of our customers’ emotional profiles, to casual research insights, to more responsive customer care.  Social Listening  Ten years ago, or there about, Social Listening exploded into the digital landscape. It was positioned as the golden grail that would be the beginning of authentic conversational marketing. It soon became clear that unless you wanted to bury the new data it brought in garbled buzz words, social listening had better lead to a new customer communication channel where the brand could directly engaged with its customers. Back […]

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The $62 Billion Reason to Improve Your Customer Experience

There’s a huge payoff to having a culture focused on outstanding customer experience. To get there, you need to do these four things. October 5, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Seven hundred and seventy million dollars in four days. That’s how much United Airlines lost after the world watched Dr. David Dao being dragged out of his seat on an April 2017 flight to Kentucky. According to a recent study by NewVoice Media, though, a paltry few hundred million is just the tip of the iceberg. U.S. companies are losing $62 billion a year due to poor customer service. Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric Is there any doubt left about the impact customer experience has on business success? Anyone? Anyone? So why, then, is horrible customer experience still a thing? It’s not just United, it’s everywhere. […]

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5 Signs Your Customers Have Questions You Aren’t Answering

You may be causing confusion somewhere in the customer journey. And confused customers don’t buy. September 17, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you come to my website, the first thing you see is me, a description of what I do and a button that encourages you to click on it. There are no surprises, no guessing where you should go next. I’ve laid it all out right in front of you. Related: The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience Not all businesses make things this clear. Some have too much clutter on their homepage, overwhelming visitors with information. In fact, 75 percent of consumers polled in research by Stanford said that they judged a company’s credibility by its website design. Such lack of clarity doesn’t apply just to websites. This could be a problem in your emails, your sales process, even your physical stores. And […]

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3 Super Simple Ways to Understand What Your Customer Wants

Entrepreneurs share their smart (and sometimes painfully simple) approaches to finding out how to better serve their customers. September 4, 2018 4 min read This story appears in the September 2018 Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Understanding your customers can be tough, but if you want your business to be successful, it’s crucial. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to get a grasp on who your audience is and what they like. To help, these three entrepeneurs chime in.  Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric Fred Stevens-Smith Co-founder and CEO, Rainforest QA Method: Ask for problems When Fred Stevens-Smith and his co-founder, Russell Smith, were accepted into Y Combinator, they thought they had a brilliant idea: Help businesses track (and curb) money spent on Amazon Web Services. But when they got their program in front of beta testers, users shrugged. “It just wasn’t a big enough problem,” […]

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Customer Experience Surveys? They Don’t Have to be a Pain.

Here are some strategies for getting customers to offer up the information you really need, about their experience. July 13, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How many times, during a customer experience, have you been asked to “just take a quick survey”? Whether you receive a pop-up immediately after buying something online or get a phone call a few days after an interaction with a service representative, you’ll likely agree that you rarely enjoy the experience. Related: 5 Steps to Creating Effective Customer Surveys In fact, you probably ignore most survey requests unless you have something very positive or very negative to say. The main problems are that: 1) these surveys come to you at inconvenient moments; and 2) there is no obvious benefit for you to take the survey in the first place. And while your answers will presumably have some sort of impact on how the company thinks […]

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Diva Marketing Blog – Marketing blogs and corporate social media strategies for innovative companies

Social Media Listening… Will We Learn? 12/30/2015 As we close out 2015 and begin the circle dance anew, there will be lots of predictions of what 2016 will hold in terms of marketing trends and must dos. This is not one of those posts. Time brings perspective. So instead, I’d like to look back at one aspect of social/digital media marketing that was suppose to change the marketing game: from gaining a better understanding of our customers’ emotional profiles, to casual research insights, to more responsive customer care.  Social Listening  Ten years ago, or there about, Social Listening exploded into the digital landscape. It was positioned as the golden grail that would be the beginning of authentic conversational marketing. It soon became clear that unless you wanted to bury the new data it brought in garbled buzz words, social listening had better lead to a new customer communication channel where the brand could directly engaged with its customers. Back […]

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How to Deliver Excellent Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, find a process and a rhythm that work for you and your client. July 11, 2018 4 min read This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps If you compare a business to the human body, there’s no doubt customer service is at the heart. Answering a client’s questions is more than just a conversation — it’s the accumulation of every interaction the client has with your business; it’s the pilot smiling from the cockpit as you board the plane, the barista handing you a straw with your coffee, the receptionist making sure your forms have been updated correctly. From the first conversation you have with a potential client to each email follow-up, you are providing customer service at every stop. And with so many opportunities to interact with your customers, it’s important to deliver consistent and exceptional service, every time. When communicating with customers daily, providing excellent […]

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Why Your Salespeople Need to Spend Time in Customer Service

You’ll never learn more about what people want than you will by really, really listening to them. June 25, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When I started running my own business, I did everything myself. I was in charge of sales, marketing, accounting, HR, customer service and more. And while this wasn’t the most effective way to run a business, I did learn a lot from spending time in each role. The biggest lesson I took away from that experience was that skills from one area of business are transferable to another, and if you know how to do only one thing, you’ll box yourself in — and your business will suffer. Related: Use Your Customer Support Staff to Improve Every Aspect of Your Business I find this is especially applicable to sales and customer service. The two departments are so intertwined that there needs […]

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Food Delivery Guy Goes Beyond, Getting Rid of a Spider for a Panicked Customer

It’s just the latest example of going above and beyond expectations for your customers. June 5, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A new saint was venerated on Twitter last week. Joe, a Deliveroo delivery driver, bravely conquered his fear and killed a spider per the request of customer and fellow arachnophobe, Demi Sweeney. Sweeney, a 22-year-old student in the U.K., woke to a spider on her ceiling Wednesday morning, and hit social media to find someone to dispose of the unwanted guest. In a Facebook message to Deliveroo, a take-out food delivery service, Sweeney asked if a driver could kill the spider if she ordered food. A representative informed her that it was up to the driver and to include it in the delivery notes. Shortly after, her hero, and KFC, arrived. My fear of spiders was taken to a whole new level […]

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Do Your Clients Trust Your Team? 3 Ways to Ensure They Do.

Employees who are treated well will treat customers and clients well, too. That’s just good management 101. March 30, 2018 5 min read A Note From The Editor Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now. Apply now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s 2018, so the importance of company culture should come as no shock. But treating employees well doesn’t just build a healthy, functioning company: It creates a culture of superior service for customers. Look at Richard Branson as a role model. He operates Virgin Airlines with the motto “Look after your staff, and the rest will follow.” Starbucks follows the same path, and in January, the company announced it would use some of its incoming tax savings to increase pay and benefits for its workers. These companies choose to invest in their employees in the hopes that […]

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Strategies for Getting Course Customers to Take Action

This month we’ve been talking a lot about online courses. We’ve spoken with people who have created successful online courses and to those who have even created online course software. There’s a lot of material in the Smart Passive Income archive where we’ve talked with people who have launched and successfully profited from creating online courses too, including SPI 136: How to Build an Online Course that Sells with David Siteman Garland, and SPI 137: A Product Launch Sequence That Works—How to Create a 3-Part Video Series with Amy Porterfield. In this post, I wanted to highlight ten specific strategies to help your course customers follow through and take action on what you’re teaching. One of the biggest struggles course creators have is trying to get course customers to take action. The reason why that’s so important is common: Online course creators spend a bunch of time building the courses, […]

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