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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10 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners

The proliferation of digital marketing and social media resources has made it easier than ever to pitch to Main Street–without Madison Avenue budgets.

Mickey Mantas, ‎global agency and partner education consultant at LinkedIn, says these options let you be selective in how you spend digitally, and only “build a presence on the platforms that best represent you and your company.” Don’ t think of it as a one-time campaign; it’ll evolve and grow as your business does.

Chase assembled a panel of digital marketing experts—from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp—to help you plan your 2017 social campaigns. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. Go mobile: We consume virtually all information on-the-go, so your marketing platform should be “mobile-centric” instead of just “mobile-friendly.” Messaging that isn’t designed for mobile access and search will be less valuable in 2017.
  2. Create compelling content: Our attention spans continue to drop—now just eight seconds, on average, according to a Microsoft study. Grab readers’ attention with information tailored to their needs and they’ll come back for more. “Put your products, services, business and employees in your content,” says Christian Eberhardt, sales manager at Twitter. “Use imagery and video to drive engagement.”
  3. Dive into data: Modestly-priced data-mining software can unearth sales and other customer information within your spreadsheets and reports, for insights you can act on: Personalizing offers and improving customer service.
  4. Think big (without spending big): No business is too small for digital marketing. These resources let you spend wisely, to elevate visibility and reputation. Facebook’s Global Head of Financial Services Strategy, Neil Hiltz says, “if people aren’t aware of you, they’re not going to buy your product.” Focus on keyword search and search engine optimization to attract more attention.
  5. Pay the piper: Relying on organic means to find your audience stack the odds against you. Amplify your presence, impact and reach through paid advertising on key sites.
  6. Build a profile: Spending a few minutes on your LinkedIn and other social media profiles—and amplifying that visibility with well-placed, paid social media posts—will raise your digital profile and attract new customers better than traditional networking would.
  7. Ask permission: Nobody wants spam. Earn the respect of your customers, prospects and influencers through permission marketing—a selling approach that requires explicit agreement to receive emails, newsletters or texts. Send “push” content only to those who want it, and leave everyone else off your distribution lists.
  8. Try “buy” buttons: Consumers can make purchases in one click, without even leaving Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites. These “buy buttons” are gaining popularity and increase the likelihood of a completed purchase, while freeing you from investing in costly app development.
  9. Look locally: A hyper-local paid strategy targets customers by zip code, neighborhood or street name, connecting you with the audiences you most care about.
  10. Email often: The so-called death of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, email continues to be one of the most useful, cost-effective marketing tools: 78% of consumers aged 35–44 rank it as the communication platform they most prefer, according to MarketingSherpa. Used appropriately, it can be a powerful marketing tool.

Source Chase

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