“The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.” Henry L. Ellsworth, Commissioner of the Patent Office 1843.
It was reported that he said “Everything that can be invented has been invented”.
Making money whilst you sleep
Increasingly smart business owners and marketers are looking for new and emerging ways to effectively increase revenues and decrease costs. The right way to do this involves thinking through how people engage with your business and what happens once an enquiry is generated. Online technologies provide 24/7 x 365 support to your offline activities, and when set up appropriately automatically generated workflows internally plus notifications to customers that ensure superior service is provided.
So what should you do:
- know that each enquiry needs to be managed effectively and customers now have much higher expectations than ever before
- understand that this involves the integration of online, web forms, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to empower the customer centre and the sales force – or even the single person service business
- assess your business process and determine critical points that need improvement
- get a strategy to get your business to operate better than your competition
Read on to understand why…
A study by the The Economist Intelligence Unit indicated that around 90% of executives and business managers believe that customer engagement is very important for their business. Reasons given for this belief included the views that engaged customers:
- recommend products/services to others
- frequently purchases products/services
- provides frequent feedback on products/services
- is less concerned about obtaining the lowest price
- is more understanding if the company makes a mistake
So, you might be surprised – and perhaps dismayed – to know how little these executives and managers thought that their customers were engaged. For example, only 13% of customers were perceived to be very committed to their products and services. This means all of their other customers are at risk of being potentially seduced by a substitute product.
So, how do we get better engagement?
There are two parts to the equation:
1. People – a training and culture issue
2. Supporting technology (incorporating efficient process)
You may be pleasantly surprised to know that the kinds of integrated web-based CRM systems and approaches are now much more cost-effective than ever before. They are also much quicker to implement than in the past as well as a result of internet technologies.
There are a number of online business systems that can facilitate this approach, from specialist systems that have a unique role through to integrated systems that provide a myriad of tools such as content management, blogs, forums, email marketing, web forms, shopping cart, analytics and customer relationship management. If you are interested in a detailed look at the system used with Emergination clients, please click here.
So, back to making money whilst you sleep. I was nearly asleep after a long day when I received a contact request via my website from a prospective business partner at 10pm on a Thursday evening. I was alerted by an SMS to my mobile phone (I wasn’t online at the time). The enquiry was automatically entered into my CRM system from the website. I responded by SMS to the prospect and met with him at 7.30am for a breakfast meeting the next morning. I save time and stay current through an automatic collection of data through webforms, setup to automatically add to my database and opt-in subscription to this newsletter. Speed of response is everything…
Take aways & actions:
- look at how customers begin their web interaction with you
- review what your competitors are doing, as well as competitors in your geographic market as well as overseas, as a source of ideas that will deliver you a competitive edge
- get the systems in place to make it happen
- continue to build, refine and improve – it is a never-ending process
- consider how you can assist in stimulating enquiry via your website through the provision of useful information