May 25th, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
At our monthly NCAE meeting Monday night, our guest speaker was Anne Sandler of PIZZAZZ Communications. She spoke to us about how we could each develop our USP - Unique Selling Proposition. Anne explains that your USP is your ultimate benefit statement. It should be one line and stated in about 7 seconds.
To develop your USP, write down who your customers are and what their needs are. Then write down your services and what you do to fulfill your client's needs. Then what's in it for your client? How do your services benefit them? Then you can take that to write down your Unique Selling Proposition.
Here at Chief Virtual Officer, our USP is: "I help my clients go from employee to entrepreneur."
April 16th, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
Since my husband and I have worked from home since our six-year old was two, she's very familiar with running a business, having an office and marketing terms. So one day she takes a couple of small tables and sets up her office and desk in the play room. She's got her business cards, play computer and more. She asks each member of the family to be her customers and come check things out. So we do. However, the next day she wants us to do it again and we're busy and say it will be a bit later before we can come be her customers again.
When we don't come back immediately she comes to me and asks what she should do to get more customers to come visit. She wonders if perhaps she should move the location! Here's a six-year old realizing that she may need to do something differently in order to attract more customers.
What can you learn from the mouth of a babe? What can you do differently to attract more customers?
January 21st, 2009 by Sue L Canfield
Henry Ford said, "It's not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It's the customer who pages the wages."
Therefore, everything you do in your business needs to be driven by what the customer needs and wants. Every single person you interact with in your business is a customer. The people who work for you are your internal customers.
If your customers ever stop needing you, so will your company. So make sure that your customers are happy campers.
July 22nd, 2008 by Sue L Canfield
Today's topic is customer service. But first I want to explain why I chose Tuesdays to be 'small business' day. My husband teaches small business classes and for a couple of months he taught them at a local Borders Books & Music store here in Roseville during the week. They wanted him to teach on Tuesdays because that was the day they called 'Small Business Tuesday' and had small business classes taught. So, anyhow...
Customer service is an important topic for small businesses. Research shows it takes up to six times more effort to get a new customer than maintaining an existing one. An existing client is a source of referrals, they are comfortable doing business with you, and generally require less of your attention in order to keep their business.
An unhappy customer tells everyone...except the the business they're unhappy with. Usually they just stop doing business with that company and then that business doesn't even know why so they can't fix the problem.
The solution is to get customer feedback by conducting surveys. It's best to use an outside person to do the survey so your customer will give honest feedback. Customers will be impressed that you're going to such effort to find out how to serve them better and that alone can improve the relationship. The next step is to use the feedback to actually make changes. And let your customers know what changes are being made.
These surveys don't have to be lengthy. In fact one question will often suffice. Contact me to find out what that question is.
Always give your customer a little extra, more than he or she was expecting.
Watch for more customer service tips in upcoming blog entries.