Innovating Your Service-Based Small Business in 2020

2020 is your year. This is the year you finally take your small business to the next level by increasing your customer’s satisfaction and creating time to strategize and implement new ideas.

This may sound like it’s too good to be true. But by simply embracing some of the amazing automation tools and strategies available online, you can free up time, cultivate your leads better, and give your customers more of what they want.

It sounds like a lot and kind of like a late-night infomercial. But go with us on this.

Online Scheduling

Let’s first take a look at your scheduling system. By adopting an online scheduling system, you are allowing your customers to schedule at their convenience and freeing up you and your staff from a tedious administrative task. What’s more, you will simultaneously please and attract a younger crowd. Most of Gen Z refuses to interact with a call center for scheduling appointments, preferring to do everything online.

Consumers also perceive online booking as a time saver and, studies show, when faced with choices to save time OR save money, consumers will choose to save time every time. Online booking tools also come with options that will allow your customers to enter their contact info to receive automated appointment reminders. All of this means you and your customers save time and money by automating just one system in your business.

Customer Relations Management System

The next place you should look to for innovating your business this year is your process for customer relations. A customer relations management system (CRM) is a great investment for any growing small business. A CRM system does a myriad of useful things for your customer relations practice. The first thing it does is allows you to consolidate all of your customer information in one, easy to access place. This is everything from your customer’s contact information to their purchasing history to their communication history.

A CRM system is also easy to access by everyone on your team. This ability allows a higher level of collaboration by your employees so there are no crossed wires or duplicated efforts. The data provided by your CRM system will also allow you to build a better sales process with insights on when to contact your customers and to better anticipate their needs. All of this adds up to happier customers who are more willing to interact with your business.

Lead Follow-Up Plans

Did you know that 44% of small-business salespeople give up on a sale after one follow up? Did you also know that 80% of sales are only made after FIVE follow-ups? Many of the people that contact you through lead generation efforts are not exactly the hot prospect you may be looking for at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that they never will be that hot prospect. A system for short- and long-term lead follow-up is an excellent thing to create in 2020 to make more sales and cultivate more leads.

Let’s take a look at what you need to consider when designing your short-term lead follow-up system. First, don’t discount the impact a hand-written note or personal phone call is when initially following up with a lead. While an immediate thank-you email goes a long way, a personal phone call is even better. If you can get a snail mail card in the mail the same day as your first meeting, you can skip that email entirely. Once you’ve been able to qualify your lead, it’s time to schedule a follow-up. If your lead isn’t ready to buy after the first follow-up, it’s time to move them to your long-term prospect plan.

Your long-term prospect plan should be a good balance of soft-touch marketing and personal touches from your sales team. People aren’t going to spend a lot of money with you if you just send them e-books or white papers. It’s the personal touch that will make the sale. Your CRM system will come in handy with your long-term prospects as it will allow you to take notes on your clients’ preferences, allowing you to make much more personalized suggestions. Focus on the benefits of what you’re selling with these prospects. They don’t need to know how great you are, just how you are going to help them. And, as always, let leads go if they ask not to be contacted again.

Email Marketing

This year should be the year that you dive into email marketing automation. You may have an automatic email newsletter or marketing piece that automatically gets sent every so often to your email list, but email marketing automation takes that process a step further. An automated email marketing program allows you to add levels of customization that are impossible with just an email that automatically sends. You can add tags, custom fields, and can even move contacts between different lists if something about their status changes.

Conclusion

Remember, this is the year that you can take your business to the next level. By just putting a few new, simple processes in place, you can free up time for you and your staff. You can have happier customers by respecting their time and preferences and being able to create more personalized messages that better suit their needs. All it takes is a little upfront time to do your research and find what works best for you and then you are on your way to a more successful 2020. Schedule A FREE Innovation Call to discuss how Bold Eye Media can help your business innovate in 2020!

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