October 9, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – How Easy Is It for Your Prospects to be Customers?

Previously we have discussed how you should make the buying process enjoyable and easy for your customers.  This past week, I observed some instances that cry out for attention and a revisit of this subject.  The following are some observations that show areas where businesses can improve the buying experience to make it easier for customers.

When you have a website for your business, it should provide information as to how a prospect can become a customer.  Your contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing address should be primary.  If you have multiple locations, all should be listed with their full addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.  Do not make the prospect have to go to your website and email your through that site.  Have valid email addresses that you provide to others.

When a prospect calls you, either at your business telephone number or on your cell number, answer the phone promptly.  If you are busy with another prospect, and the call goes to voicemail, return the call as soon as you can, providing for the gathering of information that may be required as a result of listening to the message.  There is nothing worst than the person who never answers the phone or never returns calls.

Prospects who call without leaving adequate messages are equally guilty of bad conduct.  Voicemail messages should include your name, your return number, and a question or statement as to the nature of the call.  Even if the person that you called knows you well, leave your name and number so that it will help them in their busy day’s activities.  Speak clearly and repeat your number slowly for the recipient of your message.

Do not attempt to make appointments through email.  Call the person with whom you want to meet so that both of you can consult your calendars together.  Attempting to make appointments through emails is confusing, frustrating, and takes the personal touch out of the process.  Make sure that you note the appointment in your calendar and allow enough time to get to the place of the appointment and engage in a meaningful meeting.

If you will be delayed for a meeting, call the other party; do not email or text them.  If you can use your phone to text, you can use it to call.  If you care about them and their business, call them and admit your problem and reschedule.  Do not, I repeat do not, stand them up without calling.  If you do not value their time, you will not value their business or their referrals.

During a meeting, you must turn off your phone.  It is very rude for a phone to ring repeatedly during a meeting, no matter how many or few people are present.  If it does ring, shut it off.  If it rings again, you should become acquainted with how to operate the phone.  Do not answer your phone during a meeting and have a telephone conversation in a public gathering.

We have previously discussed that people do business with, and refer business to, others that they know, like, and trust.  If you make it easy for people to do business with you, they will refer business to you, making you even more profitable.  If you would like to comment about this process, please do so.  You can also email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com or call me at 360-314-8691.  Who knows, perhaps we know the same people who make it difficult for their prospects to give them business.

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