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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39 results found, page 1 of 4.  
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
New Apple IT repair centre opens in Huddersfield

Wednesday 28 March 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 (Huddersfield) Ltd
Check out our New! Print Centre in Huddersfield

Wednesday 28 March 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 (Huddersfield) Ltd
Your Local Apple IT Repair Specialists

Wednesday 28 March 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 (Huddersfield) Ltd
Holmfirth property specialist recognised as a leading business figure

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Amy Wray – managing director of Holmfirth-based estate and lettings agent Applegate Properties – has been announced as one of Yorkshire Business Insider’s ‘42 under 42’. Established three years ago, the accolade recognises outstanding entrepreneurs in the region and predicts who will be leading business figures in a decade’s time. Each year, 42 professionals – all under the age of 42 – are hand-picked by the Business Insider teams from the North West, South West and Yorkshire. These individuals are selected not only for standing out within their region and industry, but also for demonstrating the potential to grow their businesses on a larger scale. Having founded the company in 2010, Amy has steadily expanded it and built a reputation for Applegate as the fastest growing estate and lettings agent in the Huddersfield and Holmfirth area. Starting out as a team of one, she has significantly expanded the workforce and now employs ten members of staff. Alongside the other to be recognised by Yorkshire Business Insider, Amy will be invited to a celebratory dinner at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. With some of the region’s most promising entrepreneurs and business figures, the event is set to be one of Yorkshire’s top networking evening for rising starts in the business world. Commenting on her achievement, Amy said: “I feel honoured and privileged to have been picked out from many other amazing business owners in the region. This is a great reward not only myself, but for the Applegate team as well. The business simply wouldn’t be where it is today without them all and the effort they put in. “It is thanks to every single employee – and the exceptional service we deliver – that over 70% of our new custom comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, and 98.9% of our existing clients would recommend us to someone else. I can’t wait for the dinner and I’m thrilled to have been invited to attend alongside some of the best professionals from the region.” This most recent acknowledgement follows the firm scooping up gold and silver in the 2017 Negotiator Awards – the UK’s leading programme for estate and lettings specialists.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Scriba PR wins business of the month award

Monday 19 March 2018

Huddersfield-based technical B2B PR firm, Scriba PR, is the latest company to scoop up Eaton Smith’s Business of the Month Award. Established in 1995, the accolade has previously been awarded to a diverse range – and size – of firms, and aims to recognise achievements made and also celebrate hard work, brilliance and innovation in business. Scriba has been selected as February’s winner of the award, which is open to applicants from organisations in the Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield regions. Each successful company is then automatically entered into the Business of the Year Award, where the overall annual victor will be revealed at a breakfast ceremony on 6 July at Huddersfield’s Cedar Court Hotel. Phil Clarke, Partner and member of the judging panel said: “Scriba PR stood out as a company that has grown through an innovative offering in a crowded marketplace. It is clear that there is continual reinvestment in the business, both in terms of developing systems and technologies, as well as staff training and well-being”. Katie Mallinson, managing director of Scriba, also commented on the firm’s achievement: “For the progress and hard work of the business to be recognised is so rewarding – and a great start to 2018! “I am so proud of our team and the consistent client growth over the past couple of years and I can’t wait to see what is next for Scriba – it is an exciting road ahead.” This acknowledgment follows Katie being awarded the Forward Ladies Start Up of the Year Award on both a regional and national scale, towards the end of 2017. Scriba PR was founded in 2013, and has boosted staff numbers from three to eight – and doubled its client base – within the last year. The firm provides communications support to technical B2B companies – in sectors ranging from waste & recycling to cyber security – who find it difficult to tell their complex stories.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Harrogate to Host Digital Knowledge Conference

Tuesday 06 March 2018

Harrogate Convention Centre is set to host the “Go Digital – Live” conference on the 23rd March. The conference, which is organised by the Digital Knowledge Exchange, part of the Digital Enterprise programme in partnership with BQ Live and Stray FM, is open to all SME’s in the Leeds City Region who are looking to boost the digital knowledge enabling them to upskill and grow their businesses through advances in technology The one-day conference which opens with a keynote speech from Deputy Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Cllr. Graham Swift will also provide delegates with access to a range of industry experts including Becky Boyd from the Google Digital Garage who will be giving insight on digital advertising, Leeds Beckett University will be discussing the rise of chatbots and how to implement them into your business successfully, while Pascal Fintoni of Arclight marketing and Media will be offering advice on how to launch your own live video show. In advance of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit will also be advising on advances in cybercrime and how to mitigate the impact cybercrime has on companies and their customers. With up to 150 delegates anticipated to attend the conference, they will have the opportunity to register in advance to “Meet a Mentor” providing the ability to obtain on the day one to one support. To end the conference, there will be a Q & A Panel Session hosted by leading digital and tech specialists. A range of exhibitors will also make up the conference, providing delegates with the ability to discover some of the region’s most successful digital technology-related businesses.   To register for the event, visit https://www.godigitallive.co.uk/
Posted by KC Communications
Digital agency unveils new image following its biggest year to date

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Marketing agency Splitpixel Creative has unveiled a fresh brand identity and a new website following a record year. This change is the largest facelift to date for the West Yorkshire-based company, which was founded in 2008. Following growth of 30% in 2017, and sizeable investment in new staff and premises, the agency plans to focus on further development of skills and technical processes over the next 12 months, as it celebrates a decade in business. The new website is built in WordPress, with marketing automation platform HubSpot integrated for lead generation and management. Following the approach used by the agency for its own clients, the new site places a greater emphasis on advice-led thought leadership content and downloads, in addition to highlighting key projects Splitpixel has completed in recent years. To retain recognition, the new logo has been simplified with a very light touch, and the original brand colours have been repurposed in various ways. Splitpixel designer, Rob Marshall, said, "As well as the branding, the previous custom-coded website was no longer a true reflection of the company. We wanted the focus to be on the content rather than intricate design, so it's been completely stripped back. The overpowering block colours of the previous iteration have gone, leaving a more grown-up, bold use of white space." The team of 12 – whose clients include West Yorkshire Playhouse, Arville Textiles and local charity Unique Ways – was recently shortlisted in the ‘Best Website’ category at the Northern Digital Awards, recognising the work completed on their biggest project to date, for Sodexo. Splitpixel's director, Charlie Herke, said, "To remain current, you need to evolve, and we've had a fabulous year of change – we’re still the approachable team we've always been, but our professionalism and results focus are now being represented. We wanted a fresh new image to show that the company has matured – and that we're ready for the next ten years. “The new website will be pivotal in positioning us as a strong digital agency within West Yorkshire, and in enabling us to work with other businesses who wish to realise their online potential.” The new website can be viewed here: https://www.splitpixel.co.uk/
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Kirklees’ Biggest Business Conference Returns

Tuesday 06 February 2018

Following on from the huge success of the 2017 Conference, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is delighted to be hosting their 2018 Kirklees Business Conference (KBC) at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield on Wednesday 21st March. The free, one-day conference has become an unmissable event in the local business calendar which is dedicated to helping businesses to connect, learn and grow. Attracting over 600 business people and 50 exhibitors, KBC includes a fantastic programme of engaging seminars, a discussion panel, surgery sessions and open networking throughout the day. This year the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is proud to announce an official partnership with Google bringing a Digital Garage to KBC as part of the seminar programme. Running alongside the four seminar sessions, more surgery sessions will also take place following their success last year. Held by local businesses located in the stadium boxes, the surgeries will provide the opportunity for companies to run their own seminars, workshops or one to ones. Rory Bourke, Events & Sponsorship Co-ordinator at the Chamber said: ”Kirklees Business Conference is definitely shaping up to be a day not to be missed. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to raise your profile, make new contacts and learn from other experienced professionals. There are many opportunities for local businesses to get involved through sponsorship, exhibiting or attending as a delegate.” Confirmed conference sponsors and partners include; AD:VENTURE, The John Smith’s Stadium, The Design Mechanics and Social Progress. Delegate tickets are free but registration is essential, significant interest is anticipated therefore early delegate booking via www.kirkleesbusinessconference.co.uk is advised to avoid disappointment. For further information about the conference follow @MYBizConfs and #KirkleesConf on twitter. To find out more about sponsoring or exhibiting at the event please email events@mycci.co.uk or call 01484 483679.
Posted by Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
39 results found, page 1 of 4.  

Events Posted

2 results found 
Image for
How To Get More Clients Using LinkedIn
Wednesday 25 April 2018, 16:30 - 18:00
Firth Street, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3BD
Free Entry - 18 places
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How to Start a Business Blog - 7 Secrets You Need to Know
Monday 11 June 2018, 10:00 - 12:30
Brian Jackson House, 2, Yorkshire Childrens Centre, New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JP
£35 - 8 places
2 results found 
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