WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Focusing on Customers

The most successful businesses understand their customers intimately; the harsh reality is that you can’t target a customer if you don’t know who they are!

Think about it from the other side of the coin … if you offered to help my business and asked who I’d want introducing to?  If my reply is, “I’m easy to refer to, anyone is good for me” then I’ve really not helped you at all.  If, instead, I explain that I can identify customers as “other businesses looking to directly talk to new start businesses, accountants, solicitors, printers, designers – ideally based in Yorkshire”  then I’ve given you some direction.

Your sales and marketing activity should be based on identifying customers and making sure your branding and marketing materials are geared to reflect their needs.

Brilliant questions that you should be able to answer when thinking about identifying customers include:
  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What is their income?
  • Where are they located (and where are they when they consider your products or services)?
  • What time of day do they purchase your products or service?
  • Where do they go for information when thinking about purchasing your products or services?
  • What is their level of education?
  • Do they need your product or service or is it a luxury purchase?
  • How will they use your product or service?
  • What do they value the most about your product or service?
  • Do they impulse buy or save for it?

Identifying customers and being able to answer these questions is essential to being able to make your marketing work for you.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.


Dealing with customers
 

Getting customers and keeping them is what it’s all about.  It has to be one of the key messages your brand conveys and a critical area of focus to ensure your business can be successful.

The research you have undertaken will give you clear insight into the levels of expectation within your chosen market.  Your business plan should have this as a consistent theme throughout.

Gaining and dealing with customers is always a challenge, particularly for new businesses.  To give yourself the best chance to do this successfully is to delight them!

If you are willing to go the extra mile, and ‘over deliver’ against expectation, that’s even better.  A good experience for a customer will bring repeat sales, loyalty and you can build a long term relationship that will help you grow the business with a solid customer base.

Word of mouth is a powerful thing and it’s a well known fact that poor customer service is ten times more likely to be shared with others and can have disastrous consequences for your fledgling enterprise.

An exercise, similar to the brand development, where you compare and contrast good and bad customer service in the commercial environment is always useful.  You can learn a considerable amount and, importantly, avoid making the same mistakes where you identify short comings.

Someone once said “its not necessity that is the mother of invention, it’s inconvenience”.  Whilst its not expected that you invent something, the message is about ease and convenience being a big driver for customers when they make buying decisions … having ways to do that makes your success much more achievable.

How to take your customer experience to a new level
When looking at dealing with customers and ‘customer service’, always consider how you would like to be served and exceeding against expectations is always a good thing.

Key points to establish and maintain good customer service would be:

  • Honesty – a must when dealing with customers, even if the conversation is difficult or the news isn’t good.
  • Deliver – if you say you will do it, do it!  As stated, if you can over deliver, even better.  An old selling technique is called ‘selling the out’ where you deliberately build in a lower level of expectation in the customers mind.
  • Expectation – you need to build trust and managing customer’s expectations is key to developing that trust.
  • Delight – make it easy for them to deal with you and give them a good customer experience by removing barriers and resolving issues.
  • Appreciate – like anyone else, customers like to be appreciated and it helps to build strong commercial relationships.  When dealing with customers, it’s work formalising a ‘thank you’ but don’t allow it to become stale – it needs sincerity.
  • Communication – make sure your customers are kept informed but always be willing to listen to them in regard to ways you could improve your product or service.  More often than not, your customers will let you know if it’s not going well – but they’re less likely to tell you when it was all ‘fine and acceptable’ … in this case, you need to ask and seek their opinions.
  • Good customer service will lead to long term loyalty and underpin any commercial relationship.  Ensure you talk to customers regularly and ask them about their needs or requirements.  Failure to do could potentially see your customer go somewhere else as a result of lacking loyalty.

Dealing with customer complaints
On a slightly more negative note (and we won’t dwell on it but needs mentioning) you will invariably receive customer complaints at some point.  If you do, the objective should always be to turn a negative into a positive.

The one upside is the complaint allows you to address the customer head on – many don’t complain and just go off and find another supplier – and you’ve just lost an opportunity to put things right.

Even if the customer does eventually decide to take their business elsewhere, you can learn from the experience to improve your overall customer service.

The key thing is to listen to, or look at, the complaint carefully and then address the issue professionally. Respond promptly, politely and amicably to any complaint received to ensure you don’t make a bad situation worse.  Try to reach a solution quickly, which suits both parties and, if necessary, be willing to accept liability if the facts show it to be so.  In which case you need to repair the damage quickly and to a level that satisfies the customer.

In the modern world, a lot of people will use social media to complain now.  Many businesses think that ‘deleting’ these complaints is the best way to handle them but the reality is that this generally makes things worse.  Publicly dealing with customers on social media is part of the ‘deal’ if you are using social media for your marketing and the best examples are when issues are addresses openly, with appropriate levels of apology and recompense being publicly issued.  This then portrays a professional, caring business and instils trust in prospective customers.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Selling more to existing customers
 

Every business needs new customers to exist, but don’t underestimate the value of being able to sell more to existing customers.  Your business will be a success when you can make sales and it is a well-known fact that it is cheaper and more effective to sell to your existing customers than it is to market to new customers.  There is often little cost as you already know who they are and what they need.

Existing customers already know who you are and they trust your business  There is no need to put out large advertising campaigns to attract new customers and then run a follow up campaign.  With existing customers, you can easily and simply start a dialog and see if they are in the market for an upgrade of their current product or service, or if they are looking for something your business can help them with.

When you launch your business you might be able to easily stay in contact with your customers on a one to one basis.  But as you start to grow and gain more customers you will need to look at other ways to stay in contact and let them know how you can benefit their business.  Email marketing, social media and running events are good ways to stay in touch with larger customer bases and allow you to sell more to existing customers.

This is not cynical though.  The aim here is not to bleed your customers pockets dry, the aim is to use this as a way of showing your customers you care about their success by offering services or products that are going to benefit them and not just selling for the sake of selling.

Always approach this as a way to boost your reputation with your customers.  In time and with the correct execution you can increase the chances of these existing customers recommending your product or service to their friends and bring in new business for you.

As always, making sure your service is as good as possible, developing your product, listening to your customer, dealing with issues professionally – all this encourages loyalty and repeat business.  

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Attracting new customers
 

Owning and running a business means you should always be attracting new customers.

New customers mean more revenue and more growth and when you are starting a new business there is nothing more important.  Attracting new customers helps to cover your costs and get you on target to reaching profitability.

Here are some key areas to focus on when you are attracting new customers:

  • Plan – When attracting new customers, planning is key.  Knowing your ideal customer where they spend their time and why your product or service is something they need.
  • Identify your ideal customer – be specific here, we’ve talked about this in previous articles.  The more specific you can be about who will buy your product the better you will be able to attract new customers and allow you to be more cost effective with your efforts.  Identify their age, demographic, average income and most importantly where they spend their time so you can reach them at that point.
  • Following up – as a new business owner you might be a little nervous of following up.  You may think you are being a ‘cheesy salesman’ but this isn’t the case.  You need business and if you’ve identified this person as someone who needs your product or service … so you must create a follow up cycle that will keep them engaged enough until they buy from you.
  • Networking – you will have heard many people tell you that word of mouth is the best form of marketing and it is.  If a friend recommends a product or service to you, the chances are you will be more likely to buy it.  Networking can build your word of mouth marketing efforts by giving you the opportunity to meet others who might be in the market for your product or service.  They might have people in their network who might be interested in buying from you.
  • Design – ‘Packaging’ your product or service into an ‘easy to grasp’ solution is an underrated way of attracting new customers.  Above we spoke about identifying your customers, this is also important that your branding, marketing materials, website and point of sale is  designed for your customers and not you.
  • Outsource – if your efforts following the advice above work at attracting new customers you will be busy working and may end up struggling to continue marketing when you’re busy.  That doesn’t mean this should stop.  For the best results it is advised to hire in extra help from marketing agencies and other companies to ensure your customer base is always growing.  You can easily outsource marketing activity such as copy writing, email marketing and social media posting to keep the noise going.

Whatever your marketing efforts, you should remember that ‘marketing’ will only ever get you to 90% of the sale. You still need to pick up the phone, ask for an order, knock on the door!  If you’re attracting new customers then you’re doing it right – just do more of it!

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

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News

44 results found, page 1 of 5.  
Kirklees TV Interview

Saturday 02 June 2018

We recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Liz Hey from Kirklees TV as part of their series of business programmes. We were delighted to be able to discuss how important using the Objective Management Group sales evaluation and sales candidate assessment tools can help improve sales performance in companies with sales teams. We also had the opportunity to discuss how we use the tools of one of other partners Sales STAR to help develop sales managers into super coaches. Enjoy watching the interview. http://bit.ly/2JlyThB
Posted by Ventas Sales Ltd
Local Businesswoman To Take On Sporting Challenges for Babyloss Charity

Friday 11 May 2018

Huddersfield businesswoman, Katrina Cliffe, is set to take on a series of physical challenges over the next three months to raise money for Tommy’s the baby charity. Katrina, founder and MD of Lindley-based marketing agency KC Communications, will be challenging herself to the Manchester, Leeds and Lindley 10k’s along with a mini triathlon to raise money for Tommy’s. Tommy’s the baby charity raises money to undertake research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births helping to save babies lives along with providing support to families experiencing such a traumatic time. Tommy’s have supported a significant number of families and their research has reduced stillbirth by 22% in Greater Manchester. Katrina unknowingly had a condition which led to the loss of her first child, Casey, who was born too soon at 20 weeks in June 2004. With subsequent pregnancies, Katrina was under specialist care which resulted in operations, bedrest and 100s of injections. Research undertaken by Tommy’s identified new treatments which can help to prevent premature birth and due to this Katrina’s eldest daughter Stevie was born healthily at 33 weeks, whereas youngest daughter, Jaime went to full term following further successful research undertaken by the Tommy’s team. Katrina commented: “Losing my son was an absolute shock as there were no warning signs that I might not be able to carry to term. Although I have since gone on to have two healthy daughters, losing Casey had a significant impact on my life and while it has been a driver to success, it has also had affected my mental health. Over the years we have raised almost £10,000 for Tommy’s and I plan to continue this to ensure more babies are born safely and that their families are supported through such a traumatic time. I signed up for these challenges last year and have only recently started training as I did not think I wouldn’t be able to see these challenges through, but I’m back on track, motivated and feeling much better in myself for it. My daughters are proof that the research undertaken is absolutely vital and I’m proud to once again be supporting Tommy’s”. To sponsor Katrina visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KatrinaCliffe or text KCCC83 £AMOUNT to 70070.
Posted by KC Communications
New Apple IT repair centre opens in Huddersfield

Friday 11 May 2018

Check out our new Huddersfield service centre. Castlegate Huddersfield. This is who we are and this is what we do. HAD-IT Limited & HAD-IT (Huddersfield) Ltd incorporating HAD-COPY and HAD-PRINT Specialise in the Service and Support of Apple Products including Macs, iPads and iPhones etc. Our Apple Certified Engineers offer repairs from a simple Screen Replacement to Hard Drive Issues, Upgrades, Tuition and Training at very competitive prices. We also Supply and Support a full range of State of the Art Technology Colour and Mono Copier/Printers from simple Desktop to Large Format and Feature Rich Multifunction Machines with Full System Document Production all with a variety of Service, Maintenance and Support Contracts. In addition, our Printing Division offers a complete Graphic Design and High-Quality Printing Service to AO Size.
Posted by HAD-IT
Check out our New! Print Centre in Huddersfield

Friday 11 May 2018

Our Experienced Print Bureau Staff have a wealth of knowledge to make your Print and Graphics Project stand-out from the crowd.
Posted by HAD-IT
Your Local Apple IT Repair Specialists

Friday 11 May 2018

Hello, I’m one of the team at Had-It Limited. Our IT Technicians have a background with Apple Products, and have Apple training in their careers. We specialise in the repair of iPhones, through to Macbook and Apple desktops. So if you’ve had a slip and smashed your screen, we’re here to help. Prices vary on device and problem.
Posted by HAD-IT
Branding specialist launches customer experience workshop for local businesses

Tuesday 08 May 2018

Huddersfield branding consultancy The Engine Room is kickstarting a series of workshops for local businesses, focusing on how to enhance the customer experience. Aimed primarily at established companies looking to find a competitive advantage, the first event will explore how teams can better engage with existing and prospective clients by boosting brand performance. The 3-hour session – ‘Designing the customer experience’ – will be hosted on Thursday 24 May at Bates Mill, Colne Road in conjunction with Design Network North. Practical and activity-based, the workshop will immerse attendees into a ‘design thinking’ mindset – equipping them with the tools to better understand their customers, map out their consumer journey and balance brand promises with deliverables. With more than 17 years’ experience in strategic design consultancy, The Engine Room advocates the importance of conveying purpose and values within brand identity – as well as matching customer expectations with the experienced reality. Commenting on what attendees can expect from the workshop, founder and design director Darren Evans said: “The session is sure to be fast-paced, as we want people to leave with a real understanding of the importance of crafting a great customer experience – as well as the steps they can take to do this. “We’ll be talking and walking attendees through a series of practical tools, which they’ll be able to put to good use in their own businesses. It will benefit anyone who is serious about making their organisation stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive advantage – whether within the private or public sector.” Having previously delivered numerous workshops on strategic branding and design, the consultancy is planning to run further brand experience training sessions for start-ups in the coming months, as well as sector-specific workshops homing in on key industry issues and opportunities. Elaborating on the importance of brand experience, Darren continued: “Businesses that invest in understanding who they are and what value they deliver are the ones that survive. How you design your organisation around these purposes is key, and many of the clients we work with place a huge emphasis on this. “So many companies want to portray their passion for delivering an exceptional service. But we’ve found that it’s only when this care is incorporated throughout the entire brand experience, that the business is able to deliver on its promises.” Tickets for The Engine Room’s ‘Designing the customer experience’ workshop can be purchased now through Eventbrite, at £40 for Design Network North members or £80 for non-members.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Yorkshire Businesswoman Appointed to the Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Wednesday 25 April 2018

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Huddersfield-based businesswoman Katrina Cliffe, as their SME Ambassador on the Yorkshire Regional Board. Katrina has worked in the marketing industry for almost 20 years working for a variety of businesses across multiple industries before establishing her marketing agency, KC Communications in 2014. Katrina has been a member of the CIM for almost ten years and has completed two CIM Diplomas in marketing communications and digital marketing. Speaking of her appointment, Katrina commented, “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Board in this new role. Supporting SMEs with the development and implementation of marketing strategies that positively impact on their business and regional growth is something I am truly passionate about. As an SME business owner myself, I understand the challenges faced by SMEs, and I hope to be able to use my range of contacts and the variety of professional activities I already undertake to promote the benefits of both the CIM and how marketing can play a key role in the success of a business”. Diane Earles, Network Manager for CIM, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Katrina to the board and I am sure she will be a real asset to the team.”
Posted by KC Communications
Marketing provider unveils updated web presence

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Leading print and marketing company Webmart has launched a brand new website to coincide with its expansion from print, into a more diverse marketing offering. Designed by The Bigger Boat – a digital marketing agency based in West Yorkshire – the new-look website reflects the firm’s unique approach to business. The Bigger Boat was tasked with communicating Webmart’s credentials as a marketing partner that has a focus on creating savings and generating results. The website also needed to reflect its vibrant, quirky and unique personality. Oxfordshire-headquartered Webmart – which also has offices in Yorkshire and Scotland – was founded in 1996, and over the past few decades has built a reputation as a solid print partner for major brands, although it has more recently become a leading expert on a wide breadth of topics, including data enhancement and media buying. Managing Director at The Bigger Boat, Andy McCaul explained: “The purpose of this new site was to raise Webmart’s online profile and communicate their marketing services, as well as highlighting the results that they generate. “Webmart was already a well-established brand, but the company had completely altered its tone of voice and direction in recent times – developing from a print partner into a real marketing collaborator. The team needed the input and expertise of a specialist digital agency like ours, to be able to achieve their objectives. The creative challenge was to design a website that could showcase Webmart’s well known bright colour pallet and quirky personality, whilst remaining serious about the results that they can provide.” The three-month project required Webmart’s internal .Net development team to work alongside the digital marketing agency to bring the assignment to life. The Bigger Boat created the design and front-end development, whilst Webmart handled the back-end Umbraco element of the project. Commenting on the job, Stuart Payne, Webmart’s chief growth officer, said: “Since the launch of the new site, we have already seen an improvement in performance, with traffic and engagement levels increasing, and – most importantly – the quality of enquiries being significantly enhanced. For example, we have recently secured a large contract with a high street brand, which started purely from a live chat conversation on our new website.” The Bigger Boat has worked with Webmart since 2017, and its wider clients include toy giant Little Tikes, door manufacturer Deuren and global chemical manufacturer SNF.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Record growth for Yorkshire digital agency

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Creative digital marketing agency The Bigger Boat has achieved a record 43% increase in turnover for the period 2017-18. This substantial uplift in revenue follows significant change for the Mirfield-based company – founded in 2010 by directors Doug Main, Lee Boothroyd and Andy McCaul – whose services include branding, digital and search marketing. Creative director Doug recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme, after a successful application to this national – and well-recognised – scheme. Launched in 2010 – and designed to provide high-quality and practical support to leaders of small businesses in the UK – the opportunity was established to unlock the growth potential for more compact companies. Commenting on the course, Doug said: “It was fantastic to be chosen to participate and learn new skills. But the chance to liaise with – and bounce ideas off – fellow business owners has been invaluable, and left me with a real hunger to inject some fresh and forward-thinking ideas into how we run The Bigger Boat moving forwards.” The agency’s biggest growth to date also comes hot on the heels of a duo of key appointments, paving the way for an increase in their 60-strong customer base. Ruby Ribbons joins the team as a junior account manager, following a degree in communications at Northumbria University. She will be working on a number of client accounts – including UNTHA UK and SNF – and providing social media support as part of her role. Another notable staff member to join the creative crew is senior account manager Emma Heslop. With a wealth of experience in marketing – including 20 years in the design and print industry – Emma is already heavily involved in numerous client projects, and is currently handling the design and digital marketing for the agency’s biggest client, Little Tikes. Managing Director Andy McCaul said: “Both Ruby and Emma have the digital skills that we look for in all our staff – and have slotted into the team perfectly. With Emma’s vast experience, I am confident that she will bring a wealth of creative knowledge to the table.” Andy continued: “And Ruby has already embraced her role with an impressive level of commitment. We are looking forward to watching her grow and evolve in this environment.” The 11-strong agency is now on the lookout for a further account manager to increase its number, as their expansion continues into 2018.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Global Branding Agency Announces Launch of Accelerator Hub to Support Yorkshire Creative & Tech Start-Ups

Tuesday 03 April 2018

Elmwood, the world’s most effective brand design consultancy, is set to launch its first accelerator programme in June 2018. Elmwood LaunchPod is a unique project bringing creative and technology start-ups together into a thriving creative community, collaborating with them over a 12-week programme designed to take their businesses to the next level. Initial details about Elmwood LaunchPod, which will be hosted at Elmwood’s studio in Leeds (United Kingdom), have been released today, with the official launch of the accelerator programme taking applications from Monday 16th April until Friday 8th May. The inaugural accelerator programme is aimed at promoting the development of innovative consumer health start-ups, with Elmwood inviting both technology and creative (STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) businesses who are innovating how people manage their health to improve their quality of life. As a global brand design consultancy, Elmwood is uniquely placed to o?er start-ups the guidance and support they need to ensure sustainable business growth beyond the 12-week programme. By bringing emerging technology and creative businesses into their community, they hope to discover how technological innovation can enhance brand experiences for both clients and consumers. Elmwood anticipates working with 5 start-ups when the 12-week accelerator programme commences, helping to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are already hard at work to bring emerging ideas to market that will shape the future of consumer health. Throughout the 12-week programme, successful applicants will receive specialist insight from a world-class community of marketers and creative designers and free workspace at Elmwood’s creative and dynamic studio. Participating start-ups will also have access to expertise across Elmwood’s industry-leading global clients as mentors, as well as access to investors. Sarah Dear, managing partner at Elmwood and managing director of Elmwood LaunchPod, commented: “This is a unique project bringing together businesses with breakthrough ideas propelled by the power of design. “The future inevitably starts with an idea and some of the most innovative ideas are found among start-up businesses. Elmwood prides itself on being at the intersection of creativity and innovation and we’re looking forward to supporting the aspirations of health-focused entrepreneurs who are eager to develop the next generation of consumer health experiences into successful businesses that help improve people’s lives.”
Posted by KC Communications
44 results found, page 1 of 5.  

Events Posted

3 results found 
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UltraFast Internet Connectivity
Tuesday 26 June 2018, 08:30 - 10:30
John Smiths Stadium, Office Part Second Floor North Stand, Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PG
Free Entry - 10 places
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Basics of Social Media
Thursday 26 July 2018, 09:30 - 12:30
Storthes Hall Park, Storthes Hall Lane, Huddersfield, HD8 0WA
Free Entry - 30 places
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Basics of Social Media
Thursday 27 September 2018, 09:30 - 12:30
Storthes Hall Park, Storthes Hall Lane, Huddersfield, HD8 0WA
Free Entry - 30 places
3 results found 
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