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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58 results found, page 1 of 6.  
Brand consultancy completes overhaul of 19th century mill

Thursday 29 November 2018

Following six months of hard graft, a six-figure financial investment and what feels like hundreds of hours of finishing touches, The Engine Room has moved into its new home in Mirfield – York Mills. The former 19th century piggery – once owned by the employer of Anne Brontë – was purchased by The Engine Room’s managing director Lesley Gulliver and founder Darren Evans, in January 2017. The £225,000 investment was bolstered with £150,000 of funds – including £20,000 of support from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership – to completely transform the mill into the company’s new HQ. And what was once a dark, mouldy and disused property is now a vibrant 4,000 sqft space, with the ground floor a bright, open-plan workshop environment open to local businesses. Keen to salvage as many on-site materials as possible, scaffold boards have been re-used for the centrepiece staircase, for instance, and the old mill door is now the boardroom table. The original wooden flooring covers the entire expanse of The Engine Room’s first floor office, in which the mill’s original industrial hoist is also a key feature. Outbuildings have been cleared to pave the way for a 12-bay car park, sectioned off with metalwork from the roof. The former car port is now the main reception and an adjoining cottage has already been let. “It has been a real labour of love,” reflected Lesley. “We are lucky to have worked with some great partners on the conversion, but we’ve also spent many late nights deliberating over the details and managing the build, because we wanted to get it right. We’re definitely thinking of this as our ‘forever home’ – not to mention an extension of our brand – so we put just as much design, thought and effort into it, as we would one of our client projects.” Transformation of the cellar with brick-vaulted ceiling will continue in 2019. It is hoped that this space will be perfect for a number of small creative business lettings. Darren added: “It was a big move for us – not just financially, but because we’d been based in Huddersfield since The Engine Room’s journey began 17 years ago. But the timing is perfect. We’re maturing as a business, have shifted towards a pure brand focus, and have our eyes set on the next chapter of growth in 2019. There are two spaces for additional team members too, so York Mills is a very exciting place to be at the moment.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
A New Home for the Printasys team!

Friday 23 November 2018

Recently we made the decision to find somewhere to set up our base and create a space that allowed us to meet clients, connect with other local businesses and introduce them to CFH Docmail. It was important for us to have a base in the heart of our local town of Huddersfield so we could ensure we feed back into the local economy. We found a perfect solution that allows us the flexibility to meet clients and book out space when we need it. We are excited to announce that our new base is at the excellent 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and we couldn't be happier with our decision as we share the building with over 40 other businesses! We are also very pleased to be connected directly with the University of Huddersfield and we have had the chance to meet many of the academic team and students. We really look forward to working with them on projects in the future. Are you local or in the area? It would be great to see anyone who wants to learn more about what we do, or just to have a coffee and a chat. Let us know and we can book a time that works best for you! Get in touch: brian@printasys.co.uk or john@printasys.co.uk
Posted by Printasys Ltd
2018 Yorkshire and Humber Enterprise Awards

Friday 09 November 2018

We are delighted to announce that Equilibrium Risk have won the 2018 Yorkshire and Humber Enterprise Award in the Security and Risk Management category. The Yorkshire and the Humber Enterprise Awards returned to recognise the small to medium companies that have a positive impact on their customers in one of England’s most instrumental economic regions. The awards operate under a merit-based judging system which ensures all shortlisted organisations, regardless of their size and/or longevity, are assessed fairly and thoroughly. Katherine Benton, Award Coordinator discusses the success of this year’s programme: “Home to one of Britain’s most diverse economies, and containing cities established as leading centres of trade, Yorkshire and the Humber boasts a collection of traditional and modern businesses who are dedicated to promoting excellence within their industry. I am proud of all my winners and wish them the very best of luck for the future.” SME News, who host the awards, prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. Equilibrium Risk’s Director, Luke Appleby, said, “I am delighted that Equilibrium Risk has won this award, especially as this award is given solely on merit. I would like to thank all the team for their hard work and commitment over this last year. Their hard work and ingenuity have really helped us distinguish ourselves from our competitors.” “I would also like to extend my thanks to our clients who have placed their trust in Equilibrium Risk to support them in developing and implementing their security strategies. It is thanks to them, that we are in this position. I am very much looking forward to the next 12 months as Equilibrium Risk continues to go from strength to strength."
Posted by Equilibrium Risk Ltd
3 day Christmas Camp at The Zone!

Monday 05 November 2018

Our holiday camps are back at The Zone for the Christmas holidays, and this time we are doing a jam-packed, activity crammed, 3-day holiday camp for children aged 5-12 years old with competitions and prizes to be won! We’ve got it covered with a range of activities including dodgeball, table tennis, football, rugby, dance, athletics, arts and crafts, invasion games, a mini Olympics and a Stadium Tour! Our holiday camps give your child a chance to improve their physical skills, have fun and make the best teammates, all whilst staying active! Our fantastic coaches will support your children and make sure they have a fun and enjoyable experience in the safest of environments. All camps provide the opportunity for your child to meet new friends, develop their skills and techniques within the activity they have chosen to take part in. The 3 day holiday camp is only £40 for all 3 days, so what are you waiting for? Book today! Find out more: https://goo.gl/VLqzdm Book now: https://goo.gl/pcJ6SB Any questions or queries, please contact: reception@the-zone.co / 01484 442277 Kindly supported by The Maintenance Group
Posted by Huddersfield Giants Community Trust
Successful PPMA Exhibition for YPS!

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Between 25th and 27th September, Yorkshire Packaging Systems attended the PPMA exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, the foremost event for those in the packaging and processing machinery industry. The show, now in its 30th year, did not disappoint. The company’s newly redesigned stand, now incorporating a shrink film station, attracted hundreds of visitors over the course of the exhibition. YPS welcomed both existing and new customers on to their stand and so report that the sales team have returned to the office with scores of promising enquiries for shrink wrapping projects to follow up, both in machinery and film. YPS’s stand this year displayed a full complement of shrink wrapping equipment from their range, from entry level to high-speed, high-end machinery, and for a variety of different applications. The new ‘Servo X’ high speed side sealer and tunnel amassed a lot of interest from visitors who stopped for a working demonstration. As well as a machinery offering, the newly-launched B-NAT bio-based shrink film was showcased and as a result, YPS say that many visitors have arranged trials, impressed by its eco-friendly credentials. A further success was the popular ‘Bright Ideas Ambassador’ programme launched by PPMA this year, for which YPS managing director Glyn Johnson was put forward as the shrink wrapping expert. Finally, this year’s PPMA award ceremony was held on the evening of Tuesday 25th September at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham. More entries than ever before were submitted to the judges this year and so YPS are happy to announce that not only were they selected as a finalist for their B-NAT shrink film in the ‘Environmental Initiative’ category, but awarded with a ‘Highly Commended’ accolade in the ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ category.
Posted by Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd
Print marketing firm shortlisted for property awards

Friday 21 September 2018

A Huddersfield-based print marketing firm have been nominated for an award at the prestigious Negotiator Awards. Mr Flyer, who specialises in servicing the property industry is in the running for the “Supplier of the Year – Products and Services (Marketing)” category alongside 19 other nominees. It is the third year that Mr Flyer have been recognised at the awards, which are labelled to be “The Oscars” of the estate agency world, with the winners hand-picked from many hundreds of entries. The winners will be announced at a ‘grand gala dinner’ in London on November 30th. Mr Flyer’s director, Andrew Robinson commented, “I am extremely proud that my team has once more being recognised as one of the best suppliers to the property industry in the UK. We work tirelessly to offer the best service possible and are constantly looking for ways to improve our business offering.” He continued “I believe this year will be even harder than previous years, with more than 19 suppliers shortlisted for the Products and Services category.” Mr Flyer was established in 2011 with the aim of providing a reliable and quality leaflet distribution service. The company has experienced rapid growth over the last 6 years. As a result of their continuous growth, Mr Flyer now employs 23 staff and have now expanded their service offering to become a full print marketing company. To find out more about Mr Flyer, visit their website www.mrflyer.co.uk
Posted by Hellomint Ltd
Wordsmiths at Scriba PR set to donate 250 books to Yorkshire’s youngsters

Thursday 06 September 2018

Huddersfield-headquartered public relations firm Scriba PR is encouraging youngsters to delve back into books, with the launch of a new competition on National Read a Book Day (6 September). Recognising the cognitive and wellbeing benefits associated with reading at any age, Scriba has challenged under 11s from throughout the region to pen a short story of anything up to 250 words. Authors of the best five tales will then be hand-picked to each win a selection of 50 books for their school, nursery or community group. Open to anyone up to the age of 11 with a Yorkshire postcode, the competition marks Scriba’s latest drive to maintain or ignite youngsters’ passion for the English language. The business has long supported over 16s with lessons, workshops and internships, keen to promote the power of words. But this is the first time the PR team has turned its attentions to the region’s youngest readers and writers. Commenting on the launch of the challenge, managing director Katie Mallinson said: “We’re a PR company specialising in tech so I’m not about to dissuade children from embracing the importance of digital literacy. But we are wordsmiths too and don’t want youngsters’ eagerness to delve into books, to be lost. “Away from the academic benefits, reading is proven to help people relax, relieve stress, improve memory and boost concentration. Books can also provide entertainment, stimulation and education, not to mention the opportunity for pure escapism. Plus, worryingly, UK statistics state that 5.1 million adults don’t have the reading skills expected of the average 11 year old. “We therefore encourage anyone aged 11 or under to send us their best 250 words – fictional or not – for the chance to win some books to share with their friends.” Founded in 2013, Scriba began its fifth birthday celebrations this June. The competition – with five winners – is the team’s latest way to mark its half a decade in business. The closing date for the competition is 30 September. Winners will be announced and the 250 books delivered, by Wednesday 10 October. Any youngsters wishing to enter the competition, should send their name, address, age, nominated school/community group – and of course their story – to louise@scribapr.com or Scriba PR, Wellington Mills, 70 Plover Road, Huddersfield, HD3 3HR.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
High-voltage specialist Smith Brothers secures contract with CHP giant

Monday 30 July 2018

Elland-based high-voltage power contractor Smith Brothers has secured an Independent Connection Provider (ICP) contract with sustainable energy specialist P3P Partners, marking the electrical engineering firm’s first foray into the fast-growing combined heat and power (CHP) market. A leading provider of CHP services, P3P develops energy-efficient centres across the UK and has previously delivered state-of-the-art solutions to such household names as Jaguar Land Rover and Hilton Hotels. Having been appointed by P3P as the ICP for a new CHP facility in North Yorkshire, Smith Brothers will be responsible for delivering an 11kV connection to the local distribution network, handling all contestable elements on behalf of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), Northern Powergrid (NPg). The scheme of works will comprise the design, installation and commissioning of a 300m 11kV cable route from the Point of Connection (POC) to Point of Supply (POS) and the establishment of a new NPg substation enclosure – including all earthing and civils aspects, plus the development of a Ring Main Unit (RMU) and Metering Unit (MU). Due to landscape constraints, the team will be required to conduct specialist Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) for a 120m section of the cable route. Commenting on the partnership, P3P’s project manager Evan Thomson said: “We were introduced to Smith Brothers by a third party and had heard good things about the team’s efficient project management and delivery on similar connection assignments. We’re looking forward to working with the team on this and subsequent schemes.” With construction work on the CHP site due to commence this summer and energisation set for October, plans for future project collaborations between P3P and Smith Brothers are already taking shape. Dave Ogden, commercial director at Smith Brothers, elaborated on the P3P contract: “We’re no strangers to complex renewables assignments, having completed over 50 large-scale connections in the past year alone. But this is our first venture into the CHP arena, so we’re thrilled to be welcoming P3P into our growing client portfolio and working alongside one of the sector’s biggest players.” Headquartered in Elland, West Yorkshire, Smith Brothers is a high-voltage power engineering contractor and accredited ICP, specialising in delivering turnkey network connection packages across an array of sectors – including renewable energy, utilities, industrial and commercial.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Historic public school revamps digital presence

Friday 27 July 2018

An independent educational establishment based in West Yorkshire has revamped its digital presence as it marks almost 200 years since its construction. Silcoates – situated in Wakefield – provides academic learning to pupils aged between 3 and 18 years of age. But the website required a complete redesign to adequately reflect the forward-thinking approach of the school. Mirfield-based creative agency The Bigger Boat was appointed to provide the digital revamp for the well-established brand. The three-month project involved the design and development of a mobile-optimised Wordpress website – containing stripped back content and eye-catching images of Silcoates’ facilities and pupils – to better appeal to both current and prospective parents of attendees. The structure and accessibility of the site was overhauled, with less hard to find second and third tier navigation removed. Any area of the platform is now visible within 1-2 clicks, further improving the user experience and engagement as a whole. Already, statistics have shown a marked improvement on the previous site’s performance, with engagement quality up by 25% and a significant increase in the number of enquiries. Commenting on the redevelopment, The Bigger Boat’s co-founder and director Andy McCaul said: “The purpose of the new look site was to showcase the amazing facilities at Silcoates, as well as reflect its friendly and inclusive approach. One of the primary objectives of the project was to increase the number of potential customers visiting the school. “To achieve this, we have given the website a clean and contemporary feel, and added clearer calls to action throughout. Silcoates now has a platform which is better positioned to market the school, and is a great basis for further growth and functionality. With complete reporting integration, it will also enable data-driven decision making moving forwards.” Philip Rowe, headmaster at the establishment, added: “We’re thrilled with the new website, which shows Silcoates for the place it is – academic, welcoming, and inclusive.” Founded in 1820, Silcoates is based in Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, and has a wide range of facilities – including an indoor pool and drama studio – to match the variety of the curriculum on offer. In 2017, it was awarded the Yorkshire Society Community Award for raising £58,000 for local charities.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Businesswoman Completes Trio of 10k Treks for Charity

Monday 23 July 2018

Katrina Cliffe, the Managing Director of Huddersfield-based PR, Marketing and Social Media agency, KC Communications, has successfully completed a trio of 10k runs, and a mini-triathlon to raise money for babyloss charity, Tommy’s. Over the last two months, Katrina has completed three 10k runs in Manchester, Lindley and Leeds, plus a mini triathlon, which has seen Katrina raise over £1,000 in sponsorship for the charity who support research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. Over the past 14 years, Katrina and her husband John Cliffe, have collectively raised over £10,000 for Tommy’s the baby charity. Katrina commented: "Babyloss is an issue which affects thousands of families every year but is still rarely talked about. Babyloss has a profound physical and mental impact both in the aftermath and many years later which is why I continue to support such a vital organisation. The runs themselves were a huge challenge as I only started training mid-April and the heat during all four events was horrible, but I am proud that with each one my time improved and I finished with a 10k PB”. Even though Katrina has already raised a significant amount for the charity, she has no plans to stop, stepping up her distances to take on the York 10 Mile run in October, and the Leeds half marathon next year. In the meantime, if you would like to add to Katrina’s fundraising efforts, you can do so by texting: KCCC83 AMOUNT to 70070 or visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/katrinacliffe
Posted by KC Communications
58 results found, page 1 of 6.  
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