7 Ideas to Boost Client Engagement

 
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Congratulations on your new business! You have the passion, energy, knowledge, and [hopefully] some resources to accomplish your vision of meeting the market’s need for your unique product or service. You [ahem, now aka your BRAND] are about to develop many, many relationships with individual clients and potential clients. And relationships are hard. Relationships require intentional work and oodles of communication.

From our perspective as a business strategy consulting firm, “client engagement” is the term that encompasses any interaction with our clients that reinforces our brand integrity and strengthens the relationship with the client. Interactions with clients range vastly from thoughtful recognition gifts for professional accomplishments to actionable feedback tools to the friendliness of the well-informed receptionist answering a client’s phone call. Every interaction – email, phone call, survey, personal note, gift, professional membership, referral, and on and on – has an opportunity for strengthening the client relationship and developing mutually-beneficial two-way communication.

All that a new business needs is a genuine focus on the client experience coupled with the desire to develop positive relationships with them. New businesses don’t employ a “Client Happiness” Coordinator to make sure all strategic client engagement activities are happening with perfect timing and high personal touch. New businesses don’t have financial means to employ marketing research firms to make sure clients are satisfied. New business owners don’t have time to create, execute, and monitor a large-scale client engagement plan. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make client engagement a priority!

Here are 7 free and easy ideas to foster a positive relationship with the individuals who support your brand:

·       Personal thank you notes for their business and/or referral of new business

·       Personal congratulations notes for professional accomplishments (and for an even more personalized touch, accompanied by a laminated newspaper clipping of the announcement)

·       Recognition of long-term loyalty via note or gift (i.e., repeated orders, client anniversaries, etc)

·       Regular feedback loops that let customers know that you care what they think – there are many free online survey tools that you can use (learn more about creating an actionable survey HERE)

·       Referral of new business to your clients

·       Follow clients on social media platforms and respond to their posts

·       Shout outs on your blog or “featured” client success story

Why is creating a positive relationship with your client/customer so important? Satisfied customers will make repeat purchases, develop brand loyalty, promote your product or service, and refer new business. Satisfied customers will help you strengthen your brand and increase your profits. Satisfied customers will offer meaningful feedback that will help you improve and grow your business further.

BluePrint Strategy grows new businesses. We’re cheering for you! Schedule your consultation today!

What's in a Message?

 
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Marketing is saying the same thing over and over. Beyond that, if you haven’t already read Donald Miller’s book “Building A Story Brand,” well, there’s no easy way to put this - you’re missing out. Our hope for you by the end of this read is to generate a sense of #FOMO, Fear. Of. Missing. Out. Good news, we’ll go ahead and spoil a few of our favorite overarching themes, that has literally made all the difference in our messaging.

Dearest goal-getter, we see you. From side hustle to full time passion, this book lays the foundation for clarifying a message that is notably you. And not in a sappy way either. Let’s take 2.5 seconds for some tough nuggets. Passion alone does not sell. Passion combined with strategy and a familiarity of your audience will take you far, my friend.

Step back and imagine your life as one giant story. Think about all of the experiences you have had - the good, the bad, and the just plain rotten evil. Next, soak in those moments in which there’s a light, that somehow, someway pulls you back together and gets you back on track. Do you remember those who influenced you along your journey to success?

Now, take that same idea and apply it to everyone in the world. They are the characters or your audience. And with all good stories, these characters have some type of dilemma or problem. They need you. You my friend, are the who will provide a solution that will make them the hero. And this becomes your message.

Can you say, snackable? This is incredible content that not only satisfies, but is so good, you just can’t help but to share. So, when thinking about your message, what is that problem that only you can solve. By you, I mean your brand. If you can figure this much out, along with some market research (snooze-town, I know - but incredibly important), then you’re onto something. Ok, so how’s that #FOMO? We’ll let you get to the reading...let us know what you think about the book.

Join the discussion at our next workshop Friday July 26, 2019. Save your seat by clicking here.

As always be Notably, you!


An Actionable Survey for the Win-Win

 
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I love a good survey. When given a chance, I’ll provide honest feedback about my recent dining experience or about a service call by my plumber. A successful business strategy will meet customers’ needs; and the way to know how well those needs are being met is to ask. However, simply asking the question is not enough…customer feedback should prompt action that improves the customer experience moving forward.

I’ve had experience with a wide variety of marketing research tools over the years while working with business clients and community projects. My favorite tool for collecting customer feedback is a thoughtful and targeted survey – paper or online, doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality, timeliness, and actionable feedback gleaned from the survey.

When creating a survey, I am guided by these questions:

·       What do we want to know? (goal)

·       How should the questions be asked to give us the most valuable data/feedback? (approach)

·       How will the results of the survey be used? (application)

·       To whom should the survey be administered and when or how often? (respondents/timing)

·       If applicable, how much demographic data about the survey respondent is relevant? (respondents)

Using these guiding questions, here is a concise description of one of my recent survey projects.

Client Satisfaction Survey: This online survey measures client satisfaction with provided consulting services at multiple defined points during a consulting project/contract. Scaled questions measure 1) client satisfaction overall and with various aspects of the consulting partnership, and 2) perceived progress toward shared goals. Additionally, open-ended text forms guide consultant-partner(s) with specific feedback to identify potential areas for improvement and whether project goals need to be modified. The survey link will be sent to the primary contact(s) for the client account on a pre-determined schedule (example: 30-day/6-month/annually), and client feedback will be received and reviewed by the assigned consultant and his/her supervisor to determine necessary action that addresses clients’ feedback.

A strategically designed and administered survey provides a direct line of communication with customers that must be respected as a call to action. I feel valued when given the opportunity to share my opinion, and I respect a company that wants to hear what I have to say. The company can continue to develop my loyalty as a customer and is able to use the insight to improve its products or services. Win-win.

BluePrint Strategy prioritizes meaningful client engagement in its own service delivery to clients and within strategic consulting for growing companies that strive to always meet customers’ needs.