Automate Processes To Streamline Your Business
When speaking with clients about marketing and what they could do to get even more from their online business we often heard “there’s not enough hours in the day”. If you know me you may have heard me say this 8-9 years ago, and then I changed the way I ran my business. Every business we have come across and helped, we found that we could make alterations and modifications to their website or a process which they did on a daily basis or on a client basis.
We are a firm believer in, if it can be automated then automate it. This applies to all business models with one exception, if it effects the quality of service or experience your clients have then don’t do it. Lets take a look at some of the ways we have helped our clients, hopefully you will be able to implement some of suggestions into your own business.
One of our clients used to take a payment for a service through their website, once they had received the payment they would then get in contact with the client to find out more information. They offered a tailored service, but require certain pieces of information before they can begin the campaign. They would ask the same questions depending on which service their customer chose, so we looked at this process first. We highlighted where they could save time, make the process smoother for their customer and give the company the information it required for the campaign. We implemented a form for each service which the customer would automatically be redirected to after making payment. The form had the questions they would normally ask, we also gave them the ability to add, remove and change the questions for each service using a protected admin area. We actually implemented the admin area into their websites existing admin area.
So once the customer had made the purchase, they would then be instantly redirected to the form where they would fill out all the necessary fields for their campaign, the form would then get sent to a specified database where staff would be able to see the information for each client. This alone made their business more streamlined, it gave the customer a better experience as they wouldn’t be waiting around for contact, where as now they could get their campaign going straight away.
Another client of ours was spending too much time responding to customers emails, customers were asking the same questions 20 times a day. In this particular situation we converted their Contact Us page into a knowledge portal, we included FAQs based on previous customer inquiries, we also added useful links to various parts of their website. This halved the amount of inquiries instantly as customers now had access to the answers they were looking for, plus they would now have access to answers to questions they never thought of asking. By making your contact us page more than just a contact us page, you can actually turn it into a sales page. Use the FAQ section for example to subtly promote your business, services and/or products.
Every business wants to know how they can improve their customers experiences. One way that we catcher feedback from our own customers is to send them a short survey once we have built their website or completed their SEO service. Getting users to fill out the survey is another matter, we’re happy to entice our users by offering them a small discount off their next order. We want users to submit feedback, because if they feel our service can be improved then they will tell us. By giving them a discount on their next order it also means they should be back to spend more money in the near future,
When it comes to marketing there are ways you can do some of the process automatically. For example if you have multiple social media accounts then you can use software like HootSuite to automate the sending of your messages. You only have to fill out one status and it will get published across all of your accounts. HootSuite is good to get you going, its free and easy to use, however they do charge a small fee if you want unlimited social media profiles and better analytics etc. There are tons of different services out there you that you can choose from, you just need to look around.
If you have a database of customers and you want to let them know about a promotion you are running, you might do this using mailshots. There’s tons of php scripts around the internet, most of them free. You can use a php mailer script to send the same email to a set list of users. You can also use variables to fill out the customers name and website, making it appear personal and hand written. You don’t just have to email them about promotions, you can email them about changes to your website, removing or adding of services, the latest industry news and so on. Its good to build up a relationship with your current customers and potential customer, the quickest way to do this is via email. Giving away free tools, software, trial services and more is a great way to start building a relationship between you and your customers. If the quality of the free item is to a high standard then the chances are they will be impressed and eager to try out something paid.
Think about considering our points if you haven’t done so already, if you need help or want us to take a look at your business then feel free to drop us an email.