How to Understand What Customers Want and How to Provide That

Through many years of trial and error, brick and mortar retailers in tow truck industry perfected how to capture sales by building engaging in store experiences. Just like any other business, physical location matters. Many retailers found out that window displays were very effective at brining customers in. Once customers get in, what matters next is exceptional customer service to close a deal. Marketing was way simpler with partnerships and events increasing visibility. Additionally, word of mouth was priceless. Things didn’t change from traditional to digital that fast. Online shopping didn’t change all aspects of brick and store, but there were couple noticeable changes. Customers have continued to change their expectations. They are now on their phones more than ever; they are buying from the comfort of their places and they are obsessed with convenience.

When it comes to customer expectations, there a couple of things customers don’t want. There are three main things leading to high bounce rates from online stores. Customers certainly don’t want to pay for shipping, they want to test for products prior to buying them and don’t want to experience any hiccups in checkout process.

Paying for shipping

Many online brands have to factor shipping costs into their budget as a marketing expense, because it can really make a huge difference in whether or not a customer makes a decision to convert or not. Paying for shipping is a turn off for many consumers. Additionally, not having a wide range of shipping options can deter customers who need your products delivered to them asap. It is good to set up a minimum purchase amount so as to qualify for free shipping, especially if you are fiscally unable to provide free shipping all the time. Additionally, it encourages customers to buy more to reach the barrier entry to get free shipping, and this helps offset the cost of free shipping.

Not being able to test a product

Nealy half of all online shoppers cite the fact that they are not able to touch, feel or try a product as one of the things they don’t like when doing online shopping. This explains the reason why some consumers are hesitant to pay for shipping and returns, in case they get a product they didn’t like. Some of the brands that best compensate for this problem go ahead to offer videos and other content that show a product in action, and by doing so, they have a better chance of winning the sale.

Bumps along buying process

More and more shoppers are now turning to their mobile devices to make a purchase. The more customers choose to shop online, they have less patience for a difficult or slow shopping experience. Consumers have listed difficult return policies and having to wait for orders to be delivered as two of their biggest pains when it comes to shopping online. They also not so quality onsite experiences such as poor navigation and tedious checkout processes to be a major pain that deters them from finalizing a purchase. Some businesses are now offering free shipping and returns and are also proactively displaying customer service numbers at home page.

A Simple Guide to Digital Customer Experience

In today’s digital age, no tow truck business is complete without having a good website or app. 65 percent of consumers say their experience on a website or app is very important to interacting with a business. It is not enough to simply launch a site and call it a day. You need to create a customer experience that is fully engaging, very user friendly and quite delightful. There are a couple of digital steps you can use to attract and retain customers for your business. Digital customer experience refers to the customer perception of your website or app. It accounts for all interactions that occur on online channels and how they affect customer journey. It is very important to create a digital customer experience and here are some of the steps to follow.

Pay attention to mobile experiences

Whether you have a detailed website or just a simple app, it is important you put a lot of focus in mobile experiences. 82 percent of customers make use of their mobile devices to make a purchasing decision. This is because smartphones allow customers to compare companies as they do their shopping. They can easily compare how brands stack up against competition. When designing your digital customer experience, ensure that it is mobile responsive. This is to mean when it is displayed on a tablet or phone, the interface automatically adjusts to a smaller screen.

Adopt Analytics

Like any other part of your business, you should be actively looking for new ways to improve your website or app. It becomes easier for you if you have reporting tools you can use to monitor the digital experience of your customers. With these tools, you can track the features and pages that customers use most and use your team to look for areas that need improvement. You can also pinpoint all the areas where leads are abandoning purchase and work proactively to prevent churn. For returning customers, you can observe their behavior and adjust accordingly. Having these insights on how customers are engaging with you will help you to optimize the experience you give.

Collect Feedback

Another way you can gather information is by asking customers for their feedback. You should have them fill out a survey using a website or app and ask them if they would recommend the same to their customers. You can use NPS surveys to gather both qualitative and quantitative data on your digital customer experience. Doing so will give you a good idea on how your customers are reacting to your content. Additionally, you should conduct user teasing. User testing presents a great way to determine how much customers are enjoying using your website. Select a group of customers and ask them to test your products and give you a feedback about their experience.

Create omni-channel customer experience. All these channels generate customer delight because they provide more communication options for customers. People can engage with a business on different mediums depending on how comfortable they are. Create as many experiences for them on those channels.

Digital Marketing Collateral You Should Be Creating

Marketing materials for roof installation businesses should not be limited to just conventional outbound advertisements, especially if your business is B2B. We all know that capturing attention is part of the battle, but what will happen if prospects visit your site and see nothing but only product descriptions and pricing pages? You need to include some materials to show that you can walk the talk. One kind of what is needed to be included is what we call marketing collaterals. Marketing collaterals refers to all forms of media that is typically more informative than conventional advertisements. It is designed with the aim of projecting authority, establishing legitimacy and building trust with your prospects with the aim of supplementing your sales efforts.

Here are the different types of marketing collaterals you need to include for your business.

Blog Posts

Producing good marketing collaterals is often a matter of consistently providing a lot of value to your audience. One of the best platforms to ensure you can advance the same is through publishing these materials on a blog. A blog allows you to supplement your sales efforts with helpful insights arising from audience engagements. When audience visit your blog, they drive traffic to your website and generate leads through actionable advice, expertise as well as entertainment. Just like any other kind of effective marketing collateral, good blog posts can project authority in the industry you are involved in. You will want to show you are staying ahead of others in the industry you are involved in.

E-books

E-books are similar to blog posts in that they project the authority of the industry you are involved in, through engagements. However, they tend to be longer and have more depth than typical blog content. They are the types of marketing collaterals that attract prospects who have vested interest in your industry. E-books can be likened to extended blog posts. They generally contain accessible language and directly actionable advice. No matter where your company stands, you will most likely have the resources and knowhow to channel industry specific knowledge into thoughtful eBooks.

Case Studies

Case studies offer specific documents that provide details on how specific customers saw success as a result of leveraging your products and services. Every case study is made in collaboration with a satisfied customer. It is a form of cross-production that shows what your products or services are like in practice. It presents a roadmap that lets prospects imagine what you could do for their business. If you can point to reputable customers who are willing to vouch for your business in extensive details, you stand a good chance to bolster your company’s reputation and image.

Another important marketing collateral is testimonials. Testimonials are essentially condensed, snackable case studies. Prospects don’t have time or  interest to delve onto a full on case study. If you want to reach them, you will need to provide quick-hitting content that they can glance over passively. Testimonials should be visually engaging, clearly establish who provided the quote and reference specific benefits.

Most effective ways to get funding for your startup

Capital has often been cited as one of the problems many entrepreneurs face when getting started. Many great startups struggle to raise funds for their business despite their potential. There are however many options for raising funds for your startup. Here are the six most effective ways to get funding for startup businesses.

Exchange a Service for support

Various costs are associated with operating a company. If you do not have the money to pay for the services your business requirements, you can opt to offer your services for support. You can, for example, opt to provide computer support in exchange for accounting or legal support. This method might not give you direct funding but will reduce your capital requirements significantly.

Exchange Equity

When getting started, the only thing that you have is ownership of your company. You can offer equity of your business in exchange for support, capital, or a line of credit. One of the most important things when giving out ownership of your company is the valuation. Make sure that you accurately value your company to avoid any future regrets. When negotiating with a potential investor for capital, ask for a line of credit just in case your business requires more funding in the future.

Join a startup accelerator or incubator

Startup accelerators and incubators are mostly associated with large companies, major universities, or community development organizations. These organizations popular because they support startups with free resources which helps them be competitive. An incubator or accelerator like Y Combinator will assist you with seed funding, office facilities, consulting services, and other resources as well which reduces your operating expenses.

Look for venture-capital investors or local angel investor groups

Venture capitalists are professional investors looking for startups that are looking to scale. They target these startups and invest institutional money in them. If you have a proven business model but require a lot of capital to scale, solicit such investors. Accel Partners is an example of venture-capital investors. Angel investors, on the other hand, are high-net-worth individuals looking to support startups. Such persons can syndicate millions of dollars to support qualified startups. You can find them locally or on online platforms such as Gust.

Online crowdfunding campaign

You can also fund your startup simply by starting a crowdfunding campaign online. Online sites like Kickstarter allow you to do just that. These sites enable you to start a campaign where others can donate, make pledges to your startup, or even pre-buy o pre-order the startup’s product for later delivery.

Bootstrapping and pitching to family and friends

Since the cost of starting a business is lower today, you should seek to self-fund your startup instead of giving away ownership (equity) or leveraging your young business. It is said that over 90% of startups self-fund and you should try and do that too. If you cannot raise the necessary capital, look closer to yourself and ask for support from your friends and family.

Your ability to raise capital will determine whether your business will take off and scale or not. Raising funds for a startup used to be a daunting task but not today. There are many options, but these six are the most effective. Decide on your debt appetite and the equity you want to give away and then take a decision on the appropriate choice.

Best Ways to Deal with Underperforming Employees

Employee absenteeism can have a major negative impact on a business. Alongside revenue, employee absenteeism can negatively impact the morale of a team as well as its productivity. Your team will not be able to perform to its level best when some of the members are absent. While it not always an easy problem to solve, it is very important to determine the root cause of absenteeism and try to come with mitigation strategies. If you don’t address the problem the earliest time possible, it could have detrimental effects on your workplace culture and the long term success of your company.

Employee absenteeism is a term that describes when employees are absent, for either planned or unplanned reasons. Planned absenteeism includes annual leave, paid off tome, staff developments, paid off time, medical treatments, among others. Here are some of sure strategies you can implement to decrease employee absenteeism and improve workplace satisfaction and engagement.

Implement wellness programs

Organizations that implement wellness programs stand at a better chance in reducing absenteeism among employees. A wellness program can help to mitigate health related absences and at the same time lowers health care costs and reducing employee stress. Additionally, a wellness program can help in improving morale and workplace culture and increasing on productivity. If you can take necessary steps to create a workplace culture that prioritizes on health and wellness, you will be able to decrease unhealthy habits that lead to employee absenteeism.

Vacation Days

Times are changing fast and the era where employees had to work so hard without taking a vacation are over. The traditional nine to five is no longer necessary. With modern technology your employees can work from anywhere whenever they want. If you hire an exceptional talent who is dedicated in getting results, then you should give them your trust to manage their time. Employee absenteeism is often as a result of burnout or employee feeling they need to take some time off to focus on some personal obligations. If you can offer some fair amount of paid off time, you will make your employees feel happier about their work life balance and mentally recharge.

Consider Flexible Hours

Numerous studies have suggested that working less hours correlates to higher levels of productivity. If you can offer your employees the option to take breaks, leave early in the afternoon or arrive later in the afternoon, you will be giving them a lot of flexibility to work when they are at their peak productivity and take breaks when they are not. Additionally, offering a remote option could have a significant decrease in employee absenteeism. Working from home can enable your employees to take care of sick kids, run some errands among other issues, without getting overly overwhelmed. It is upon you to set up flexible working tome and let your employees do what is right for them. You also need to work on what it takes to improve workplace morale. If your employees are not excited to come to work, it can be a leading cause of absenteeism.

Creative Sales Motivation Tactics That Don’t Cost a Dime

Sales managers often motivate their reps with cash and other incentives. It is a trued and true sales motivation strategy as monetary rewards normally produce a lot of results. However, they face a challenge on how to motivate the entire staff, with only the top performers benefiting. It is always a good idea to ensure your whole staff is properly motivated. In most cases, monetary rewards may not be the best way to go about it, if you have a big team that needs to be rewarded and motivated. Here are some important sales motivation tactics managers can use to ensure your entire team is fired up to deliver the best results.

Provide coaching

Coaching and feedback are not the same things. While feedback, whether good or bad is valuable to employees, it is rarely going to be motivating. On the other hand, when presented correctly, coaching can be a big motivational force. Sales managers should treat coaching as a gift. Instead of just having it served to every employee, have it presented correctly in a rewarding manner. Frame it in such a way that employees understand its value. Let an employee understand that you plan to put some coaching time on their calendar, and that way, they will put a lot of focus and hold the coaching session with a lot of weight.

Use Leadership

The first part of this point involves tapping leaders in the company to donate their time and resources for the benefit of every employee. Additionally, extend leadership privileges to high-achieving reps. There are key ideas on how to use leadership for sales motivation. You can try a sales contest where the price is you. This means you work for the leading rep for a few hours doing whatever they direct you to do, such as doing calls, demos, and presentations. Doing this will motivate your team as it shows you are not afraid to roll your sleeves and deliver. Additionally, as CEO, you can take a member of your team out for lunch. Most reps crave to have one on one time with a senior leader to share their thoughts and get insider information on the future of the company.

Bring in Clients

Your clients possess incredible motivational power. You can often bring customers into the office to arrange conference calls so that reps can hear how the product they sell is changing someone’s life. Invite customers into team meetings or events so that they chat with reps on how they are using your products and services. They will also understand why they chose you over the competition, and what they liked or not liked about your sales process. Allow a session for questions that helps reps optimize to be more productive. After they have spent some time with a client, they will be excited to get hack on their phones and start selling.

Invest in education

You need to help your reps continue their personal growth and learning. You need to check and see if your human resource department has an educational stipend they can use to advance knowledge for your reps. If there is a class or course they are interested in, you can give them some time to attend. Additionally, encourage them to keep learning and developing their personal or technical skills.

Awesome Benefits of Diversity at Work

Diversity in workplaces can have an increase in returns on investment, can lead to more innovative ideas as well as fostering a more productive workplace environment. Companies that have a high placement on diversity are 35 percent more likely to have bigger and better financial returns above industry medians. Embracing diversity is a critical step for your business to grow and make an impact on a global level. However, sometimes, it is difficult to discern the true benefits of diversity, and if you are not aware of the true benefits of diversity, it becomes hard for you to push for a chance.

Here are some key benefits of diversity you should know

Diversity perspectives fosters innovation

There have been numerous studies to support the notion that diversity breeds creativity and innovation. That makes a lot of sense. If you have a team of people who have diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, you will have a broad range of solutions to offer. Diversity strengthens innovation capacity and unleashes the potential of employees to deliver exceptionally. Ultimately, it is also critical to have a diverse perspective as it enables your team to brainstorm out of the box solutions to complex problems and challenges facing a team.

Diverse teams perform better

It is no secret that diverse teams perform better and come up with better ideas. If you have a team of people with different skills and backgrounds as well as prior experiences, they are more likely to offer unique ideas and solutions when they brainstorm together. Additionally, diversity is good as it enables you to create a culture in which everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. If you have a team of different people, among them, there will be one who has fantastic ideas on what need to be done to bring the much desired change in a problem facing situation. Creating a company with diverse teams helps in inspiring more creativity and enables a solutions oriented culture.

Helps with becoming a global leader

Diversity can help you become a global leader. You will have a likelihood of working with clients and vendors on a global scale. By having employees who speak different languages and understand other cultures, you are more likely to succeed in the global market. Success f many startups comes from their ability to enter the global market through diverse employees. You will need to have a diverse team of employees who all have unique cultural backgrounds so as to combat foreign challenges and satisfy your clients from other countries.

Improves company culture

Surveys have shown that people consider diversity as an important factor when making a decision on where to work. To attract top talent, it is very important that you incorporate diversity into your workplace. Along with attracting top talent, diversity also helps you to improve on your company culture and retain current employees for long term. People come from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and everyone will have a difference in terms of opinions, skills and abilities.