While you may already have a website and even a few social media profiles, there is much more you can be doing digitally to reel in those lucrative new customers and boost your selling power.
A digital strategy is a plan on how you are going to use technology to improve your business. When developing your strategy, it’s important to identify exactly what you want to achieve.
Some businesses jump right in, build a website and expect the phone to ring. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
As your business grows and you need to spend more time on it, rather than in it - here are some things you can do to be more digitally active and win more customers.
1. Optimise your website
Take an objective look at your website and ask yourself, ‘How easy am I making it for my customers to buy from me or even contact me?’ At the end of the day, you want to convert as many website visitors as you can.
A prominent and clear “call to action” should be the starting point for facilitating those conversions, such as “click to call” or “get a free quote” buttons. Make sure they stand out so visitors can easily spot and use them.
Likewise, consider how you allow customers to contact you. Traditionally, most small business websites have a minimal contact form. However, our research indicates the more relevant questions you ask, the more invested the user feels by completing the online form.
So, get creative, design your contact form to ask specific questions that relate to the type of work your business performs so you can provide your customers with more in depth information the first time you call.
2. The importance of CRM
Storing useful data about your customers can lead to an incredibly powerful ongoing engagement campaign. For instance, Oneflare records over 2 million data events per week, which helps us segment, analyse and uncover different and unique ways we can add value for our customers.
From a small business point of view, Customer Relationships Management (CRM) is equally important and can help maintain relationships with customers.
When you interact with a customer, you may be able to record information like contact details, what service they purchased, when they last engaged with you and what preferences they might have.
As an example, a few years ago I used a local cleaner. To this day, they still send me promotions via text messages every spring as a reminder to get my house “spring cleaned” - usually with some sort of promotion. And the great thing is, they know the size of my house already so the quote is super accurate.
There are many free tools you can use to record information, like Google Sheets. However, more advanced customer relationship management tools, such as InfusionSoft, allow you to do so much more.
You can segment your customers and perform automated tasks, like send timely text messages after a job has been completed asking the customer to leave a review on popular review sites.
3. Build your business profile on local service marketplaces
Local service marketplaces are online tools that help customers list their job needs and do all the hard work matching them with quality local service professionals.
A local service marketplace can provide a great source of quality customer leads for your business, at a fraction of the price of traditional online advertising methods. Local service marketplaces provide small businesses a place to build their profile, configure their service area and lead notification settings and start connecting with clients - in real time.
When building your business profile on local service marketplaces, do your research and consider aspects like:
- Will this target people in my geographical area?
- How will I be notified about possible leads, via email, SMS or push notifications?
- What profile information can I share on the site?
- How many visitors does the site get?
- How credible is the site?
- Is the site easy to use and easy for customers to search?
- Does the site rank well for common Google searches specific to your industry?
- Does the site also allow customers to leave reviews?
- If the site has a membership fee, what other benefits does it offer?
To get ahead of your competitors and stand out, you need to stay on top of your digital strategy so that new customers find you and you stay top of mind with existing customers.
Take a look at your digital strategy to see what you could improve.
James Martin is the head of technology at Oneflare.
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