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

28 results found, page 1 of 3.  
The Bigger Boat welcomes new account manager on board

Monday 24 July 2017

A digital marketing agency has recruited Alison Lee as account manager, in the latest of a series of key appointments for the Yorkshire company. The hire will strengthen the support provided on existing client accounts at Mirfield-based The Bigger Boat, whilst paving the way for the firm’s ongoing expansion. Alison has played a major role in various projects already – including brochure production, supporting a client at the Retail Design Expo and managing various email marketing campaigns. With a strong public relations background, she has an impressive CV. A PR graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University, she has since held senior roles in both marketing and digital arenas, within a range of companies spanning from International Personal Finance to Best Western. Most recently she ran her own copywriting business for 18 months. Commenting on her return to the office environment Alison said: “Running your own company can be lonely. I wanted to get back into the heart of a thriving organisation, where I can work alongside others and experience a feeling of being ‘in it together’.” This latest appointment marks further growth for The Bigger Boat, who moved into their current vibrant office space – in a converted water mill – in late 2016. The business has seen year-on-year expansion, with a 25% increase in revenue in the last 12 months alone. Andy McCaul, joint founder, says: “We’ve always said the best talent needed for a successful business is not always found in the large cities of Leeds and Manchester. As a professional working mum, Alison has viewed our rural location and proximity to home and schools as a huge plus.” He continues: “Her appointment is a real win for the team – we’ve gained her wealth of significant experience, and our clients have already started to benefit from that.” Alison joins a team of 11, whose clients include HR software provider Cascade, print finishing specialists Celloglas and luxury door manufacturer Deuren. When asked what she is relishing in her new role, Alison said: “Getting involved with the variety of clients excites me, alongside the chance to use my skills on fresh projects. The diversity of the work involved and the fast-paced nature of the business will certainly play to my strengths and I’m looking forward to the future!” Following on from their office relocation, and their more recent Eaton Smith Business of the Month award success, things are certainly on the up for the agency, which has also taken on two web developers within the last month alone. Andy concludes: “The team here is going from strength to strength – the new recruits are bringing fresh ideas to projects, as well as learning from our very experienced crew.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
New Partnership for Momentum

Wednesday 05 July 2017

As a business we specialise in working with businesses to help them improve sales performance. We put the science behind selling by providing predictive tools which are based on extensive research. We have been a UK partner of Objective Management Group for nearly 2 years and during this time we have been able to bring their knowledge and expertise to a range of businesses in the UK that are looking to improve their sales performance. We are delighted to annouce a new partnership with a company called Sales Star, who are based in New Zealand. We will be using Sales Star's proven sales training and methodolgy to help businesses and sales teams to further improve their sales performance. For further information about Sales Star, then go to www.salesstar.com As a result of this partnership, we are delighted to offer a complimentary 2 hour sales audit to any business within Kirklees which has sales people. For further information please contact me at pete@momentumss.com
Posted by Momentum Sales Solutions Limited
Scriba PR to launch communications workshop for local businesses

Monday 26 June 2017

Huddersfield-based PR technical specialist Scriba PR has announced the launch of a press release workshop, in the hope of aiding Yorkshire companies with their communications activities. The two and a half hour sessions will be open to people from the wider business community, to give an overview of how PR can raise the profile of their work, and provide practical tips to help them better tell their story. Hosted at Scriba PR’s new headquarters in the loft of Heritage Exchange, Lindley, the first workshop will take place on Thursday 13 July, from 9-11.30am. Managing director Katie Mallinson will lead a small group of six will be led through the whole press release process – from taking an effective brief, through to drafting compelling content, pitching and issuing it to journalists. Commenting on the launch of the training session, Katie said: “Many technical businesses come to us with the key goal of raising their profile in the media. This often boils down to being able to prepare well-written, engaging and newsworthy press releases that will capture the attention of their target audiences – not to mention discerning journalists. “So, this is a service we happily provide, as we want to empower people to undertake more meaningful conversations with their public, however complex their subject matter.” Comprising of group tasks and discussions, the workshop will see Katie showing her ten years’ PR and copywriting experience, providing guidance and advice to business people, as she covers a range of topics surrounding the perfect press release. And it won’t be a one-off event – the PR specialist is hoping the first session will kick-start a series of wider workshops to come. Pre-registration for ‘How to write the perfect press release’ is essential, with places costing £99 + VAT per person. Anyone interested in attending the July workshop, or wanting further information about future sessions should contact louise@scribapr.com.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
ABL Business expands into North Yorkshire

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Yorkshire-based business support consultancy ABL Business Ltd are expanding their operations into North Yorkshire. The company, which offers commercial finance and marketing support to SMEs, has engaged Fraser Irvine as an Appointed Representative to cover the county. Based in Harrogate, Fraser will be operating across the area, offering a full mix of commercial finance services. He will assist SMEs in raising the funds they need to trade, grow or stabilise their business, using all the funding lines and capabilities of ABL Business. It marks the third recent growth for the Cleckheaton-based company, who recently set up a new office in Scotland with two representatives just over a year ago and expanded into the North East region in March this year. Fraser Irvine is an experienced Independent Commercial Finance Broker and joins the company with an extensive career in financing businesses under his belt. He has spent almost 30 years working with asset and cash flow funders, which gives him a deep understanding of the financial needs of an SME business. Fraser has worked with new start businesses, as well as more established companies, arranging funding facilities to suit individual needs. His interest in business finance has also enabled him to gain extensive experience in the Management Buy-out, Management Buy-in and transactional market as a whole. He said: “I have known ABL Business and its owners, Andy Redman and Alex Beardsley for many years and really like the independent and client-focussed approach they adopt, so I’m very excited that I’m now joining the team. “ABL Business has access to a vast range of funders, which means I will benefit from being able to offer clients financial solutions that are tailored to bespoke needs. I am keen to help clients from new starts to multi-million turnover businesses to grow and achieve their full potential.” ABL Business Ltd and their appointed representatives have access to over 70 funders, enabling them to find an appropriate solution, no matter what a client’s financial requirements may be. ABL Business Director Andy Redman said: “We’re delighted to welcome Fraser to the team. He has a wealth of experience, which he brings with him from the financial sector, and in business too. Fraser, with his connections and knowledge, will be a real asset to ABL Business and to companies across North Yorkshire. His appointment has enabled us to expand our reach into yet another area and help even more businesses find funding packages that suit their specific needs”.
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
World-renowned decommissioning consultancy appoints Scriba PR

Thursday 15 June 2017

A specialist decommissioning consultancy has appointed technical public relations specialist Scriba PR. Having managed over 700 complex, high-hazard and large-scale decommissioning, dismantling and demolition projects over the past 25 years, RVA Group has an established global presence in the petrochemical, chemical, power generation, oil, gas and pharmaceutical sectors. But strategic communications activity will prove pivotal to the team’s next chapter of international expansion. Having previously worked with Scriba’s founder Katie Mallinson – a CIPR member with more than 10 years’ industry experience – RVA’s managing director therefore turned to Scriba to undertake this new PR assignment. Commenting on the firm’s appointment, Richard Vann said: “Ours in a highly niche field of engineering, EHS and project management, which requires an in-depth level of understanding and technical accuracy. Katie is well connected in the decommissioning and wider vertical media which, coupled with her knowledge of our operations, will prove crucial to us securing the quality of media coverage that we seek.” Providing an array of PR and copywriting services including media relations, web content development and social media support, Scriba will also investigate a programme of conference and webinar content for the experienced 15-strong team. Elaborating on the 12-month rolling contract, Katie explained: “RVA already has a truly global presence having recently completed projects in Canada, the US, France and the Netherlands, to name just a few. Over the last four years the company’s Singapore branch has also been fully engaged in the management of the three largest decommissioning and dismantling projects ever carried out on Jurong Island, the country’s vast industrial heartland. “This is an organisation that already has an enviable – yet justifiable – reputation. But as they prepare for their next 25 years in business, it is important that they maintain and develop their profile in the global decommissioning arena. “Due to the inherently hazardous nature of their work and the extensive expertise within the multi-disciplined team, our activity will undoubtedly be rich in authoritative, advice-led and value-adding content.” Scriba was established in 2013 and continues to be based in a converted textiles mill in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Win Free Tickets to Bulldogs V Bulls with Comoodle!

Thursday 15 June 2017

Comoodle is offering 5 lucky winners the chance to watch Batley Bulldogs take on Bradford Bulls at the Fox's Biscuits Stadium, on Sunday 16th July. You'll enjoy free entry to the game and complimentary refreshments as you watch the match from the executive area. To enter the draw, simply register at www.comoodle.com and offer to share something, no matter how small, with your community. Once you've done that, Direct Message us on Twitter at @Comoodle Good Luck and happy comoodling!
Posted by Comoodle
KC Communications appointed by print management specialists, ABS UK Ltd

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Huddersfield-based marketing communications agency, KC Communications, has announced that they have been appointed by fellow Huddersfield Town Football Club partners, ABS UK Ltd, to increase their national profile through PR. ABS UK Ltd, based in Elland West Yorkshire, provide document production and print and document management services to a huge variety of businesses, charities and schools across the M62 corridor. The contract will see KC Communications assume responsibility for the company’s PR requirements which will include developing and delivering their national PR strategy. David Lees, Marketing & CSR Director of ABS UK Ltd commented: “It’s a pleasure to be working with KC Communications. After nearly 30 successful years in business, we are looking to broaden our customer base across the UK as well as expand our service offering. In addition, The ABS Foundation has some exciting projects coming up and with the help of the team at KC Communications, I’ve got no doubt that we will see some fantastic results in raising our profile over the coming months.” Sarah Benson, Account Manager at KC Communications added: “We are delighted to have been appointed by ABS UK Ltd to manage their PR strategy. The company have some really exciting things in the pipeline and we’re really looking forward to getting started and supporting them in achieving their growth plans.” This latest contract continues the momentum of business growth for KC Communications following a successful start to 2017; the business is on track to increase turnover this financial year by 75% following its recent relocation to Independence House and recruitment this year has included an Account Manager, a Marketing Executive and a Social Media Executive.
Posted by KC Communications
KC Communications appoints Account Manager

Monday 05 June 2017

Huddersfield-based marketing communications agency, KC Communications, have appointed Laura Batchelor as Account Manager. Laura’s appointment follows the recent recruitment of a Social Media Executive and a Marketing Executive and comes after an impressive period of growth with the business on track to increase turnover by 75% this financial year. Laura joins the team from CreativeRace, formerly known as Gratterpalm, having worked as Account Director for Asda Local. Prior to that Laura worked as a media planner/buyer for JDA in Leeds.  Laura commented: “I am delighted to have been offered this role and to join the team at a local and fast-growing agency. I feel that with my experience from larger agencies I can really make my mark here at KC Communications.” “I’m looking forward to working on new and exciting projects with all of the team. This is a busy and exciting time for KC, with a number of new clients coming on board and I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”  Katrina Cliffe, Managing Director at KC Communications added: “Laura joins the team at a really exciting time for the business following our recent account wins and an office relocation. Laura brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to further develop our offering; she’ll play a key role in client services, while supporting business development and growth. It’s been a fantastic few months and we’re delighted to have Laura on board to help us continue our achievements.” In response to the continued growth of the business, KC Communications has recently relocated to larger premises at newly established business centre Independence House in Huddersfield, which has seen their office space increase by 900%.
Posted by KC Communications
Social Progress MD selected for Digital Women Debate Panel

Saturday 03 June 2017

During the Digital Marketing Roadshow - Wigan on Wednesday 7th June at DW Stadium five leading industry experts will be coming together to discuss diversity in Digital and how gender balance is being addressed. The day has a very exciting list of digital related seminars throughout the day including a Google Digital Garage session on 'Reach New Customers Online & Know your Business with Google Analytics.' The Digital Women Debate is being hosted by Naomi Timperley who runs Coo Digital & is a Tech North Advocate. Social Progress, owner and MD Janet Bebb is one of the five panelists discussing gender balance in the digital along with Debbie Edwards, F Disrupters, Wendy Bowers at Role, Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director at Magma and Aaron Crewe from novi.digital. Big Screen Social our highly visual Twitter Wall will also be featuring at the event displaying the photos, branding and messages of delegates, exhibitors and speakers via hashtag #DMRoadshow helping to spread the word about the full day event and reach an online audience. This free to attend event is part of a series of Digital Marketing Roadshows taking place across the North West of England organised by Launch Events. https://www.socialprogress.co.uk/social-progress-selected-for-digital-women-debate-panel/
Posted by Social Progress
Yorkshire Spring Manufacturer appoints Vizulate as digital marketing agency

Friday 02 June 2017

Yorkshire spring manufacturer JB Springs (John Binns & Son (Springs) Ltd) has appointed Brighouse-based Vizulate Digital as their web and digital marketing agency. Following a review of the JB Springs’ marketing strategy Vizulate will be working with the directors and internal sales and marketing team to implement a range of digital marketing activities, including the design and development of a new website aimed at increasing sales leads. Established in 1895, John Binns & Son (Springs) Ltd has witnessed many changes in the manufacturing landscape, whilst remaining a family-run company. John Binns now proudly operates from purpose-built premises equipped with the latest technologies in the production of springs and wire forms. Speaking about the appointment of Vizulate Digital, JB Springs Director Alex Driver said: “The increased investment in our production technology over recent years is testimony to the company’s commitment to stay at the forefront of spring manufacturing in the UK. “We wanted an agency that could not only help drive our future growth digitally, but also understand our heritage and pedigree, which has been built on delivering exceptional customer service. The appointment of Vizulate as our digital agency partner is a reflection of our commitment to investing for the future and our desire to utilise digital communications to enhance our customer engagement.”
Posted by Vizulate Digital
28 results found, page 1 of 3.  

Events Posted

8 results found 
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A Taster of Chinese Language
Tuesday 1 August 2017, 19:00 - 20:30
Med One, 10-12 Westgate, Huddersfield, HD1 1NN
Free Entry - 10 places
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Facebook Advertising Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Facebook for Business Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Social Media Marketing and Branding
Wednesday 16 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Content Creation and Blogging for Business
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Creative Analysis Ltd And Social Progress Ltd, 2, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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LinkedIn for Business Workshop
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Twitter for Business Workshop
Thursday 14 September 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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MAKE YOUR WAY INTO THE CHINESE MARKET - Business visit to China
Tuesday 24 October 2017 - Tuesday 31 October 2017

Free Entry - 20 places
8 results found 
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