Analytics is the systematic analysis of data/statistics. Google Analytics is a tool commonly used by business owners to measure advertising ROI as well as tracking Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications. Familiarising yourself with your analytics gives you the tools to better understand your customers. Google have an academy of free online courses to help you navigate.
What is Alt-text? Alt-text or alternative text is the information given for an image on a website that tells viewers the contents of that image. This is inserted into the HTML of a page and helps screen reading tools for the visually impaired to describe what is in the image.
Why is alt-text important? Alternative text also helps viewers to know what the image should be if a page fails to load properly. This is important for search engine optimisation (SEO) as it helps to improve user experience and accessibility as well as providing more accurate relevance for your content to search engines, helping to drive more traffic to your website.
Businesses come in so many different shapes and sizes, but mapping the customer journey is simply a case of identifying the various stages at which a customer may interact with you. Some of them will only ever encounter one or two elements of the journey depending on where they start but you must have all bases covered and ensure their needs and expectations are preempted and then met every step of the way.
Typical elements of the customer experience
1. Your website
It should be easy to navigate, fast loading and mobile friendly. In the third quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 50.81 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the fifty percent mark since the beginning of 2017. (More statistics here.)
Is your website a sales or service tool? If your objective is sales, is the stock updated regularly? Are you showing opening times and making it easy for customers to get answers to their questions. Are you updating your FAQ’s every time a new valid point is raised? If on the other hand, you’re website is focused on service, do the internal links guide the customer through? Keep the navigation as simple as possible and minimise the number of clicks needed to perform a task.
2. End to end to journey
So your website is now seamless and optimised for mobile use. Now what? What about your stock levels, are there regular delays? And what happens with deliveries? Do you partner with a logistics company? Is the customer experience consistent with the expectations set by your website? If you have an in house installation team, are they trained to answer customer queries, resolve any issues and document that all important customer feedback? Miss this and you’ve missed a valuable opportunity to improve your customer experience and bottom line.
3. Your Agents
Whether you have a call centre or a chat facility, if there are long wait times you can bet your life it’s going to frustrate customers. Especially if you have a recorded message on repeat or awful hold music! When they do get through to a human is the experience related to where they are in their customer journey? Are your agents polite, friendly, properly trained, conscious that putting people on hold for extended periods will annoy them? Ultimately customers are looking to resolve issues in one short phone call/chat. If your agents don’t have the necessary tools and information to facilitate that, you’re adding another stage to the journey that will no doubt involve the customer being put on hold, transferred and having to repeat information. As you will no doubt know, that isn’t going to make for positive feedback.
Are physical facilities accessible to all? Have you catered properly for people with additional needs? Does the style, character and cleanliness reflect your online branding and provide a consistent experience? Do customers feel feel safe in the current climate? Your staff should all be welcoming, knowledgeable and customer focused whatever their role. They all represent your business.
6. online presence
“As of January 2020, the global social media usage rate stood at 49 percent.” So it is perhaps of even MORE importance that your social media messaging is doing it’s job than your website. Are your channels updated regularly? Is your messaging consistent with your brand guidelines. Are you monitoring comments about your brand, both on and off of your channels? Responding appropriately in a timely and professional manner?
All of these elements contribute to your overall customer experience. If just one falls short of customer expectations, that can discredit any previous positive experience. For instance, it’s easy to forget how quick and easy it was to buy that childrens bike online if it arrives with no assembly instructions. (And yes that did happen, right before Christmas. Good job I’m not a last-minute.com person isn’t it?! )
For a business to improve on the customer experience, it’s simply vital that the focus is placed on what matters most to the customers. And that means asking them.
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows when it comes to social media. You’re dealing with emotional beings in real-time. If they’re disappointed then everyone is getting to know about it. There will come a day when you receive feedback that may not be in your favour. There’s a chance that your brand may receive negative reviews, trolls or even bullies commenting on your posts. Don’t panic! It happens to businesses regularly. What you need is the right crisis communications strategy in place as part of your main social media strategy to help you manage interactions like these as they arise.
An effective strategy will address the fact that key people could be otherwise engaged when the worst happens so it’s important to have all aspects covered and decide on procedures to assist the person manning your platforms. Should an unusual situation arise, it’s helpful to have a strategy and response templates to refer to in order to respond in good time and avoid adding fuel to the fire. If responses have already been predetermined you’ll handle the situation with grace and hopefully a lot less stress.
Soothed the agitated party? Resolved the issue? All done? Wrong!
Now you need to dissect the whole saga. How did the error get as far as the customer? What checkpoints and preventative measures need to be put in place on your customer journey? Time to turn a negative into a positive and improve your service.
The 2018 campaign also resulted in a spend of (approximately) £812,000,000. Want a piece of the pie?
This year Small Business Saturday is on the 7th December. So what’s next?
Next, think about your #SmallBizSatUK offer. How can you stand out and capture the attention of your prospects?
- Promoting discounts is a great way to attract interest and convert prospects to customers.
- Sponsoring local events is the easiest way to involve yourself in your local community and should generate lots of positive social activity which will benefit all concerned.
- Tell a story. Your own! People get on board with this campaign because they want to support small business with all their little quirks. Tell them about you, why you’re in business, what makes you tick and why you LOVE your customers. Give them a reason to want to do business with you.
- It’s also a good strategy to countdown to the event on social media. Create a conversation by informing your followers about what you are doing to mark the event and ask them what they are doing themselves!
- Download your marketing pack from ‘My Small Business‘ and create your promotional social media posts using the logos provided. Don’t forget the hashtag whatever you do!
And, don’t forget to tweet me about what you’re up to. I love hearing about the different ways people promote their business!
What’s the point of attaching a GIF anyway?
Well in our humble, they improve engagement by making people smile. That, in fact, is a good enough reason to attach a GIF to your posts where possible if you consider why we’re all here in the digital realm and what we’re trying to accomplish; connections.
If you make someone smile, you’re evoking an emotion. And that’s memorable for them. They might even follow you as a result – who doesn’t need a little humour in their lives? Heard of the singing dentist? Google him, you’ll see what we mean.
You might even realise that you already have footage that could be converted into GIFS that are personal to your brand. Even better! We tweeted about an article by Hootsuite that gives you the low-down on creating your own GIF’s. It also discusses whether it’s pronounced GIF (Gif us a clue!) or JIF (please!). What do you say? Not squeezing you for an answer or anything…
— Spotty #Social (@SpottySocial) September 19, 2018
Despite the clue in the title, it’s staggering how many people still treat social media as a broadcasting service. Being sociable on the platforms your prospects use is KEY to getting your message across in the right way.
- Nobody likes to be sold to anymore. Did they ever, really? The internet means everyone is as clued up as Columbo (giving my age away there). They’ve already got access to all the information they need, to make a decision about any purchase.
- So, an obvious sales message is likely to annoy and repel your audience. Remember, your social platforms are your shop window(s). But you do not want to be the shop with the annoying salespeople bugging the customers and literally driving them next door!
- Instead, we are going to work out how to evoke an emotional urge to deal with you. Remember;
- We do this by presenting your target audience with the solutions to their problems. Some they’re actively looking for, some you’ll be educating them on. Because you’re standing in their shoes. Preferably one step ahead, already navigating their world. That’s why, whenever and wherever they come into contact with you online, what you have to say resonates.
- And if we’re doing our job properly and using great strategies, your customers will perceive your offering as helping them reach their goals in life. This will inevitably turn them into your agents.
- Because people share opinions,
- Especially on Social Media.
- In essence, adopting the view that Social Media is an ongoing PR Campaign is the right mindset when it comes to your strategy.
- So, build trust by demonstrating transparency when it comes to your standards, ethics, team, and service.
- Show evidence that you are inclusive, genuine and knowledgeable within your field.
- And, over time, prospects will develop a bond with your brand. Meaning that when you offer to solve their problem they feel an urge to let you.
I partner with my clients on a long-term retainer basis, managing social media accounts on a day to day basis and running promotional and seasonal campaigns as part of an annual strategy that adapts as we learn more about the audience we are talking to.
This works by putting a strategic plan in place and using a content calendar designed to appeal specifically to your target audience which is researched, profiled and revisited often.
You may be surprised by how much of your existing content I can repurpose to use initially. This can work well for busy clients during the early stages of working together, while we’re pulling together all of the relevant information that will form your ongoing strategy.
Monthly Retainer Options: 20 Hours £900 & 40 Hours £1600
Unscheduled requirements are charged retrospectively at £70 Per Hour