With Customer Appreciation You Have the Advantage

How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input or effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it?

That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you.

As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you have to keep, you might forget to do the little things like genuinely saying “thank you” that make a whole world of difference in other people’s lives.

Appreciation Is Important

According to data obtained from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) office on client retention surveys, 68 percent of clients leave because they perceive the business does not care for them. Compare that to 14 percent because of product dissatisfaction. At the very least, you can rebound from having a bad product, but where the client feels you do not value them, they will leave and it will be much harder for you to bring them back.

How people feel about you and their desire to transact with your business are closely related, if not directly proportional. And it’s true in reverse scenarios, too. With the exception of a business offering low prices, you will buy from someone who treats you kindly, smiles, and lets you know how valuable you are to them. So why not do the same for your clients?

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

To understand properly the effort you need to put into your appreciation efforts, you have to think like your customer or client. Remember, in their eyes it is all about them. Thus, you need to put other’s needs before your own if you are to succeed at conveying genuine appreciation.

Genuine appreciation is heartfelt and sincere. Fake appreciation is easy to spot and cultivates a level of distrust in the recipient that is hard to shed.

You have to identify the personality traits that make working with a particular client pleasurable to you and praise that. It’s more like giving compliments, and you also don’t expect anything in return.

More Than Just Appreciation

Even as you go about being appreciative to the people you interact with that make your business grow, you have to think continually of ways to make the customer experience better and easier. Make it easier for customers to transact with you through a number of ways, like having an easy-to-remember phone number, fast responses to email and social media queries, and easy to fill online forms.

Encourage customers to give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about doing business with you. Customers have with them a wealth of knowledge that is useful in your efforts to improve your services and overall attitude.

Lastly, never forget to say “thank you.” Don’t just say it when customers purchase from you. Make appreciation a consistent theme in your work and life, and clients will take notice and want to associate with you. Happy customers will likely come back, and they’ll share their positive experiences with others, thus expanding your potential reach.

That’s something to be thankful for, isn’t it?

Source All Business

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2018 SBA South Florida Small Business Awards

Congratulations to Orlando Espinosa, co-founder of Emineo Media! Orlando was recently announced as winner of the 2018 State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Florida SBDC at FIU was proud to have nominated him for this well deserved honor.

Read about some of the other winners here:
SBA

MIAMI – U.S. Small Business South Florida District Office recently announced the winners of the SBA’s 2018 District and State of Florida Small Business Week Awards.
Rockledge, Florida-based SeaDek was named the SBA 2018 Small Business National Exporter of the Year. The company, nominated by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida, will be travel to Washington D.C to receive their award during the 2018 National Small Business Week Awards Ceremony.
“This is a celebratory announcement for the entire South Florida region,” said Lynn Douthett, interim district director for the South Florida District Office. “First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire SDBC at UCF team for their contributions towards SeaDek’s success. Rewarding this company on a national stage for their hard work and dedication will help to inspire other entrepreneurs considering expanding their business into the international trade marketplace.”
Exporter of the Year (National, Region IV, State of Florida and South Florida District)
Serenity Gardner, chief operating officer and Jason Gardner, vice president of marketing for SeaDek in Rockledge, Florida
Women’s Business Center of Excellence (Region IV, State of Florida and South Florida District)
weVENTURE at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida
Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)
Anais Badia, chief medical officer and owner of Florida Skin Center in Fort Myers, Florida
Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)
Brian Butler, president and chief executive officer of Vistra Communications – an 8(a)-certified and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) in Tampa, Florida
Community Partner of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)
The Miami Bayside Foundation in Miami, Fla.
Small Business Advocate of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)
Orlando Espinosa, co-founder of Emineo Media and 2016 SBA State of Florida Advocate of the Year, located in Miami, Florida
Young Entrepreneur Small Business Person of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)
Luisa Santos, founder of Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream in Miami, Florida
Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)
Moises Montañez, owner of Alta Quality Builders and SBA Region IV Regulatory Fairness Board member, located in Miami, Florida
Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)
Karen Viera, owner of The Med Writers and 2016 SBA Emerging Leaders graduate, located in West Palm Beach, Florida
Winners will be presented with their NSBW awards during various ceremonies throughout the District.
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Digital Marketing Changes Quickly

Digital marketing has taken the marketing industry by storm. While print marketing still holds power within the industry, it’s the digital marketing trends that are proving to hold precedence. While Web Strategies reported that in 2016 the five digital channels that saw large gains were email marketing, social media, online display advertising, mobile marketing and search, you’re likely wondering what this year will bring. After all, the internet and all of its trends are constantly changing and what was a marketing powerhouse last year could very well be old news this year. To help you strategize a marketing plan that will take your company to the next level, here’s our list of the digital marketing trends anticipated for the rest of 2017.

Live Video Streaming

Without a doubt, live video streaming will take off fully this year. Facebook and Instagram have already integrated live video capabilities into their channels, and other platforms are expected to follow suit. From the presidential debates to the Oscars, local news stories and personal experiences have been shared online via a live stream. It’s a trend that has the potential to draw in millions of people who are eager for a look at something that is happening right now.

People are drawn to the idea of seeing someone else’s perspective first hand and now live videos cater to this desire. This can significantly improve the way you build brand awareness and customer loyalty as you form a personal relationship with your customers. You’re offering them an exclusive look inside that not everyone will see. That is unless they’re online at that exact time.

Augmented Reality

The Pokémon Go trend may have died just as quickly as it grew in 2016, but it showed marketers the power of augmented reality. It proved that people are enthusiastic to indulge in AR experiences. The trick is to find out why Pokémon Go wasn’t successful for longer. Once you’ve figured that out and made the tweak, augmented reality could very well be the key to success in 2017.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to figure this out yourself. App developers and marketing experts are already working on this. On the other hand, you may want to start thinking of ways to can incorporate AR into your business, whether it’s with an advertisement, game or application.

Virtual Reality

Continuing from the previous theme, virtual reality is expected to be just as popular as AR in 2017. However, there seems to be some confusion over AR and VR, and in order to capitalize on these trends, you need to understand them.

To put it simply, AR is where you use technology in the real world, such as Pokémon Go to distort or add to what they are actually experiencing. People are able to interact with a different world within their own. VR is putting your consumers into a different world, using technology to escape reality.

As such, it’s predicted that companies will start to provide VR experiences to reach a wider range of consumers. Real estate agents can provide various property showings all in one place with VR and consumers can interact with other people from their living room. It’s a marketing trend that is inarguably going to change the industry in 2017. It’s the next step in evolution and because it’s so different from what companies, marketers and consumers are used to, it will be important to capitalize on it before you’re left behind.

Viral Marketing

“Viral” is one term that has flooded the internet as of late. Everyone wants their content to go viral. Whether it’s a video, article, status, photo – companies are now focusing on producing quality and catchy content that has the potential to go viral instead of producing batches of smaller, generic content. It’s about quality, not quantity.

Google’s algorithm considers the social status of your content to determine the ranking in the search engine. So the more likes, shares and engagement you have on your material, the better your search engine ranking will be. It’s a new twist to SEO that is expected to hold precedence over other SEO tactics.

Behavior-Based Email Marketing

Some countries, such as Canada, have an anti-spam law which has changed the way businesses interact with their consumers via email. This law has been in place since 2014, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, consumer behavior continues to change, which results in the need for email marketing to also evolve and adapt to the trend.

Although consumers may have opted for your newsletter campaign, irrelevant content is now causing them to unsubscribe. As a result, behavior-based email marketing is expected to trend. Just like the ads on Google, emails are now tailored to what the consumer is doing online. For example, if your consumer is searching online for content marketers, your next email to them should be about content marketers. Generic emails are no longer a success and spam emails will jeopardize your marketing success, whether the anti-spam law is active in your country or not.

 Visual Content

Forget about long social media statuses and blog posts; 2017 is the year for visual content. While you’ll still need to produce written content for search engine optimization, visual content will be the main source for driving traffic and leads. Everything from infographics to photos, digital guides, presentations and graphics will become the ultimate way to generate new leads.

Let the visual content captivate your audience and your written content keep your audience.

Digital marketing trends are constantly changing year by year. What’s popular at the beginning of 2017 may be old news come the end of the year. It’s important to always stay current with any changes within the industry to ensure an optimal marketing strategy throughout the year. However, these top digital marketing trends are looking like they will not be going anywhere anytime soon. They’re a big hit with consumers and can be an even bigger success for your company.

Source Forbes

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