Do your customers hate you? Chances are there are several that do without you even knowing it! As a profitable business, you’ve amassed a thriving customer base, sales are up and employees are happy. Suddenly, you begin to notice your company is trending #badcustomerservice on social media. Negative online reviews are pouring in, and you realize that your customers don’t really love you after all.
Don’t worry. There is still time to fix it. At Cayzu, great customer service is our forte, and we accomplish this by being real and honest with our help desk solution customers. If you’re worried about the future of your business, then read through our list of 7 reasons your customers hate you to ensure you’re earning their respect instead of losing it!. It might just make your customer base fall in love with you all over again.
- Not Responsive
One of the most frustrating things for customers is trying to reach a live person to answer a question and receiving only automated voice machines. Messages aren’t returned, calls aren’t answered, and soon the customer is so frustrated they give up. Silence breeds disrespect. One of the best things you can offer your customers is your time.
- You’re Not Empathetic
Just like your customers want your time, you want theirs. Be worthy of their time by providing a fast, efficient website and knowledge base that can solve most of their problems. In addition to the internet, utilize your live customer service support. Train the team to effectively answer questions and listen to the customer.
- You Made Promises You Can’t Keep
Most companies thrive on making promises to the customer when trying to close a sale. These vary from offering the best service, lowest prices, etc. A customer is going to take notice when you stop keeping these promises. Strive to keep all of your agreements and profusely apologize to the customer when a vow has been broken.
- You Don’t Value Them
While most businesses say that they value their customers, they often don’t show it. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you truly value your customer base:
- How many times have you sincerely thanked them for their business?
- How often do you check in with them?
- How long (on average) do you make them wait for customer service support?
Never underestimate the value of a customer. It can quickly lead to hate from them and 500 of their closest friends on social media.
- You Treat Everyone Equally
One of the biggest ways to lose the loyal support of your big spending customers is to treat them the same way you do a brand new customer. Don’t only provide discounts and sales for new customers. Give something to the loyal ones who have stuck around for years. Watch out for all your customers and provide exceptional service and support to everyone, not just the newbies.
- You Don’t Take Their Complaints Seriously
Instead of shrugging off a complaint by your customers, work on it immediately. Take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This will help keep the customer happy, save you time and most importantly, save your reputation. Our help desk solution can help you stay on top of customer complaints and compliments by efficiently organizing everything; allowing you to stay on top of your customers feedback.
- Always Trying To Sell Something
Your customers aren’t dumb. They sense when you are legitimately reaching out to them because you want to see how they are doing, or when you are simply trying to make a sales pitch. It’s frustrating when every interaction revolves around a sale. Instead, make regular contact with your customers regarding feedback and things you could improve upon and leave the selling for an appropriate time.
Throughout the years, every business will evolve and develop. Make sure yours remains deeply rooted in customer service and support. At Cayzu, we can help erase the hatred from your customer base. Our cloud based help desk solution will not only streamline your customer’s life and business, but it will also help you become a master at meeting their needs. Give us a call today at 800-410-1665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you.
What’s better than receiving during the holiday season?, Giving of course!
Now when we say “giving”, we don’t mean that you need to go out and buy expensive or lavish presents for your friends, family or even customers, because sometimes all it takes is a smile to make someone’s day! (or even week).
So give a little joy this holiday season and make your customers love you again by following the amazing tips found in some of our past favourite customer service blogs:
We all know how important Social Media is today but are you using it to improve customer service?:
6 Reasons Social Media Is Key to Your Customer Service Strategy
If you’re a small business that’s looking to improve their customer service game, you’ll need a help desk solution:
How to Choose the Best Help Desk Software for Your Small Business
So many of us have been in the situation where we knew the customer was wrong! But did it matter?:
Is the Customer Ever Wrong? Answer: It Doesn’t Matter!
Could you be providing bad customer support because you are BELIEVING your customers?:
Want to Provide Better Support? Don’t Always Believe Your Customers
Now that we know why we should use social media for customer service, let’s find out how:
How to use Social Media to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service
Everyone loves infographics so let’s checkout Cayzu’s Infographic: The Social Customer Service Experiment:
The Social Customer Service Experiment (Infographic)
And last, but not least (and maybe my favorite of the year)
How could we celebrate the holidays without singing a song?
The Twelve Days of Bad Customer Service (parody)
We hope you enjoyed our latest recap and we sincerely thank each and every single one of #HappyCustomers for your continued support! We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday from your friends @Cayzu Help Desk
I will be the first to admit that I’ve had a long and not so happy experience of dealing with a variety of web hosting companies in my life. And what I’ve learned the hard way is that you pay for what you get and when you try to go cheap, you will have problems!
So during a recent outage of my past web hosting company (this company is huge by the way) I decided to perform what I called: the Social Customer Service Experiment which involved me trying to get support during the outage through a variety of their different support channels. Initial and follow up response times have been documented and put into the below infographic.
The clear winner for me by far, with the fastest and most up to date information was the support I received through Twitter! Hope you enjoy!
Looking for a social media enabled Help Desk Solution? Cayzu can help! Check us out now for a free, no obligation trial!
All good things must come to an end and so does this 3 part series we call, The Complete Customer Acquisition Guide for Cash Strapped Start ups and Small Businesses.
This three part series has only one purpose, to teach you how to drive traffic! Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come! So roll up your sleeves and get ready to do some good old fashioned hard work!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Marketing Wizardry
This instalment is kind of a Hogwarts School crash course for start-ups and any business that hasn’t had their site tricked out by an SEO and Web Marketing wizard. And it can be used as a brief to hand to the wizard to let them know you’ve done your homework and you know what you want!
So we were able to track down veteran cyber warrior Hayden Bond to update our consciousness on SEO and Web marketing.
The following is Bond’s up-to the now report, with only a bit of necessary editing to make talking readable where necessary—here we go!:
I think a lot of people are stuck with this misconception that SEO is about number “1” ranking and that you’re going to see traffic coming to your site from your ranking on Google or referral traffic from other sites, but it doesn’t work that way any more.
That was back in ‘90s and maybe up to 2012, when you could manipulate search results and acquire all these customers, and do that by various technical means or spamming Google’s index, to make it seem like your site is a higher authority, but that’s no longer the case.
Now Google has been penalizing companies and businesses trying to manipulate their site rankings via links, spamming links—that was the Google Penguin Update. So if you’re just seeking out authorities’ sites and putting text links on there, and it used to work really well, now Google is saying, for example, if you’re a surf board company based in Santa Cruz, California, why is someone from Australia with a very high authority web site ranking on Google linking back to your web site in California with a key word that they are trying to rank for? The only reason that link is there is because the company in California purchased it and manipulated the system to give itself a higher authority.
[Note: Just to make sure everybody knows what the Google Penguin Updates are, before April 2012, most search engines used keyword density as a major factor to determine the relevance of a website and how well it should rank in its search results. If you wanted your site to rank for the keyword “red dress,” for example, you just place more instances of “red dress” on your page. So you can see how search results were not very hard to manipulate.
Also, the more links on other websites linking to your site, the more authoritative your site appears to be, which also affects search results ranking. The higher the authority of a site linking to yours the better. For example, think how much better your link on today’s super-popular site Red Dress Boutique is than a link on your local mom ‘n pop thrift store’s site.
It was easy for SEO experts to figure out how to get your site ranked on the first page of a Google search. The problem was, while your site might have ranked high in a search result, your site might have been useless for the person who had conducted the search. As in our example above, if you live in Perth, Australia, and you’re looking for a surf board shop, a link to a shop in California isn’t going to help you.
So this is the gist of Google’s Penguin Updates, and you can see how it’s a helpful thing for people searching for something to actually find it instead of being misled by a plethora of spam links.
Back to Mr. Bond . . .
How Google determines what a spam link is and what a relevant link is, is best explained by how Google’s “dwell time” metric works. Google measures how much time passes after you click on a link. If the page you access isn’t relevant to your search or isn’t interesting to you, you might stay there for a second or two. So Google determines that that link isn’t relevant, it’s just a spam link, and it gets red flagged. If there’s a lot of these short “dwell time” links referring to your site, Google will suspect that the site has spammed or bought the links, and penalize the site.
Then there’s the Google Panda Update, which applies to thin content. “Thin content” means, for example, if you are a bicycle shop, of course you sell red, white, and blue Schwinns—but in order to manipulate it you create a page on your site around the key word “red Schwinn bicycle.” But that’s of no use to the user. Of course that page may rank high in search engines for a red Schwinn bicycle, but what does that content on that page have to do with anything other than just finding creative ways to repeat that over and over and over again?
Google No Longer a Search Engine?
Another SEO misconception is people think that Facebook likes or Twitter posts correlate to a higher ranking on Google—but what they don’t understand is that in this day and age Google is no longer really a search engine in the original sense.
Because when you’re searching you’re essentially asking a question. And with the proliferation of mobile devices, your search and the information you’re giving—the search engine is now contextually aware, it’s now location-aware, and it’s historically aware.
If you’re sitting in your living room and you type in “pizza delivery,” the search engine’s probably going to know if you prefer Two Guys From Italy over Dominos, it’s going to know that you’re at home, and it’s going to serve you a link to that location, based on your history and your preference of ordering pizza.
If you’re in another city and you do that same query, Google’s going to know that you’re visiting that city, and it’s probably going to give you map results, and might even give you the place that has best reviews for thin crust pizza if that’s your historical preference—and with driving directions.
So now Google’s not just saying, here’s a page, figure it out, they’re trying to give you that complete answer. So your search is not necessarily about the ranking of a site that’s relevant to your search terms, it’s trying to give you the most specific answer to what it sees as a question—where is the best pizza for you based on your location, ordering history, and preference? It’s based on your profile and what it interprets is the intent of your query.
Another example is, if you enter the term “mountain bikes,” that’s probably your first “footprint” to do with mountain bikes, it’s general, so you’re in the research phase, and Google won’t know what brand you want, but it’s considering what your next steps will be. They’re looking at a metric called “dwell time.” You type in “mountain bikes,” which is your query, Google serves up a bunch of search results, you click on a result and when you visit a page, the longer you are on that page—that’s your “dwell time”—the longer you’re on that page the more relevant the content is to your query.
But if you just want to know the temperature in Mesa, Arizona, Google serves up search results, you click on one, see the temperature and you click off of the page right away—that’s a different metric.
Other examples lead in the opposite direction. If you type in “Who is Neil Young?,” the search results are going to include Wikipedia, other biographical sites, Neil Young’s web site, rock music sites—a lot of general stuff.
Or if your wife likes to shop on-line only at Nordstrom’s, when you search for “hand bag,” “watch,” etc., Nordstrom’s is going to rank highest in the search results based on the person’s shopping history or preference—even if Amazon or Macy’s would universally rank higher, because of your historical shopping preference.
They’ve Got You Covered
Even if you don’t realize it, you’ve got a mobile device that’s being passed, you’ve got an IP address being passed, so even though you’re blocking cookies or you’re “Private” surfing on Safari, Big Data has gotten so good that just by providing your zip code they can pretty much guess who you are.
Just recently there was a story in the news about a guy who was shopping at Target, and he gets something in the mail from Target for baby clothes, and it was addressed to his 16-year-old daughter. So he’s very upset and he goes into Target and asks them what’s going on, what’re they doing sending that to his daughter? Then he finds out his daughter is pregnant, and based on her recent purchases at Target they started sending her targeted mailers.
Every time you’re swiping a credit card you’re leaving a footprint—and especially with mobile devices it’s your location—they know exactly where you are to send you advertisements.
So that’s what SEO is now.
Don’t Let Your Customers Get Lost . . .
Let’s say you’re selling pressure washers for cleaning vinyl siding, and you’re based in the Midwest. Your key words aren’t going to be just “pressure washers” and “vinyl siding.” What type of people are you selling these to? People who are going to do this residentially, commercially? So the question you have to answer is, how are these people going to go about finding you? It’s a big question.
And when they land on your web site, how are you going to be relevant to them at that time? Is it because it’s convenient to get there or is the price? Your site hosts different models and customers aren’t necessarily familiar with the technical details of each, so you need to explain them all so they know which model to choose. Your customers need to know your location, how far away they are from them, how long it’ll take to get there and the directions.
So this is also the future of SEO: If you’re understanding your user’s intent in the context of their search, and you’re giving them real value—you’re going to earn organic links to your site.
Everybody says link-building is dead, and to a certain degree that’s true. But there are still relevant links that you’d want to get. You would want to put your business in Google business management, Bing business management, put it on Google Maps, etc. There’s a legitimate need to do that. But would I do that on every business directory and web forum out there? Probably not—that’s redundant, and it’s kind of spammy, just trying to get your web site linked to more and more pages across the internet.
Now, even more important than links in some instances, is something that’s called co-citation and co-occurrence. Google is aware that your company, company name, is a brand, an entity—it’s called entity search—and Google’s all about defining entities. What is this entity, what does it do? And then it classifies that information. So now, if there’s an article talking about what your company does, and it mentions you along with some high-authority sites in the same business as you, but there’s no link to them, that’s still valuable because your company is a start-up or not well known yet, it’s being mentioned along with these other high-authority sites. There’s not a link there, but these kinds of links don’t always drive traffic but can help with authority.
If you have a link on a high-trafficked site—there are certain instances where this happens, it’s called “barnacle SEO,” a link to your site on another site, but maybe not just a link in a blog post. But if you read a blog and it’s something cool, something interesting, and you’re looking for something specific, like WordPress magazine themes and you see a blog post that says here are the top 10 magazine themes, then, those links are probably going to get a bit of traffic.
So it’s not about link building any more, it’s about link earning—it’s someone saying, “You’re good, I’m linking to you.” By all means, list your site on Google Maps, Google Business Management and list your site in the appropriate business directories. . . . After that, think about contributing to the conversation and that’s what’s going to juice your traffic—sharing with your relevant audience, and how is it tying into your business goals, and target people you already know are authorities—it’s very easy to use research tools (like Buzzsumo) to find who the influencers are on-line on a particular topic.
For example, if you’re targeting someone for your marijuana legalization news website, your “holy grail” thing is for NORML to like your content, or mention it, or say this is a must-read. So you can directly target them via Twitter, or five other sites like them, hoping they’ll join the conversation. But more so, you should be participating with them— build up some rapport, share some of their stuff first, add something to a conversation if they’re doing something on Twitter, and then say, “Hey, guys, here’s something that I wrote, I really liked this other article, here’s something that I think complements it”— then go ahead and share, and those amplifiers will help spread your content around.
Social Media : )
With Facebook and Twitter, big numbers might be look good, might gain your trust—if you see a Facebook page with 80,000 “Likes” versus one with 6,000, but at the end of the day we’re looking at results.
The 6,000 “Likes,” the people might be real, they are actually interested in the product, have a use for it, and work within the industry. So when you run ads on Facebook or do social media promotions, you’re not targeting them with nonsense or broadcasting to fake people, you’re actually reaching real customers. And those 6,000 real people are more likely to share your content because it’s more applicable to them and their circles and the people they’re associated with.
Whereas the 80,000 “Likes” on Facebook or tens of thousands of followers on Twitter could be purchased—your place of business could be in Idaho and you have 10,000 Twitter followers in Bulgaria, from a list that the business purchased.
And Pinterest, which drives a huge amount of traffic, but what nobody takes into account is that Pinterest cares about the user, they’re all about the user. So what value are you providing to the user—are they engaging with your content, are they pinning it, curating it?
So it’s not a sheer numbers game. Sure, you can have a bot or a service add 80,000 people, but you’re going to get zero return. You’re better off finding 300 real people.
You can use a site like Followerwonk—there are numerous Twitter research sights, you could type in “LASIK for presbyopia,” for example, and see not only people who have talked about that, but people who have put that as an interest or who follow that particular topic.
So already you know whom to target. It’s not a crap shoot. The data’s there, in the searching.
Even with Tweet Desk, Twitter’s own management tool, you can search for a particular keyword and see who’s talking about it live and it populates in real time. So there’s really no excuse to go buy 40,000 fake followers when all you have to do is search for them.
Your “A” Game
So that’s what SEO is about, you’ve got to be on your “A” game, you can’t just willy nilly create keywords all over. If you think about it from a cost perspective, Google has made SEO harder for sure, and they’ve also made it much more expensive. But from a business model it’s smart for Google. Instead of always trying to stay ahead of the next SEO trick, they just price people out of the market who are trying to game the system with spam links and thin content.
Back in the day, you could just spam some links with a few dollars here and a few dollars there. But creating content, putting that effort, that blood, sweat, and tears into creating a web site that works across all mobile devices, which takes into account your users, provides them with that information . . . that’s expensive.
Bonus from Shark Tank!
The solely online business Red Dress Boutique has just earned phenomenal growth from 1.8 million in sales their first year to 7.5 million their second. How did they do it? Shark Tank’s October 17, 2014 episode, where Red Dress pitched the Sharks for investment, tells the story.
Shark Tank: How did you make this grow so big, so fast, and all on-line?
Red Dress: Through social media, but more than that, it’s because I invite people in. I put the question out there to my customers: “What made you all come to me, what makes Red Dress so special?” And they give amazing answers, they say, “Oh it’s the colorful clothes, it’s the fact that we can get a high-end look for under 50 dollars.”
Shark Tank: So you learned from them, you used social media, and you kept perfecting your business with their answers?
Red Dress: I developed a program called “Buy for the Boutique,” and when I go to my markets, I go every three weeks—I go to Los Angeles, I go to Las Vegas, I go to Atlanta, and I curate. But more than that, I see items and I will take a picture of them with my phone and throw it out into social media and say: “Do you love this, yes or no? Do you want this—do you want it in red, do you want it in blue?” And no one had ever done that before and they love it.
Shark Tank: And so word of mouth gave you 4x growth?
Red Dress: We have 27,000 Instagram followers, we have just shy of a million Facebook followers—organic followers.
I really do hope you enjoyed our 3 part Customer Acquisition Guide! With my farewell, I leave you with one burning question: Are YOU ready to bring your traffic driving A-GAME… ? I TRULY HOPE SO!
Cayzu offers help desk software to streamline your customer service, but we also want to help you learn how to better take care of your customers even if you don’t use our software. While you’ve more than likely heard the adage that the customer is always right, what do you do when you feel without a shadow of doubt that the customer is wrong? Do you call them out on it, half blame them, run away or do you take the full blame?
Who’s the Boss?
No matter how far up the ladder you might be or how many bosses or managers you answer to, you have to remember that your “big boss” will always be the customer. Without your customers and their financial support, there is a good chance that your business wouldn’t be here today. Just like you have to answer to your boss for your mistakes, the same rules apply to your customers.
There Is No Right or Wrong
Instead of focusing on whether or not the customer is right, your time will be better spent simply rectifying the situation. No matter if you have a large business or a small business, every single customer is essential to your overall success. Treat the customer with respect even when it’s obvious they are placing the blame where it doesn’t belong. Sometimes the customer simply wants someone to listen to them and doesn’t know how to go about it or express their grievances the right way. Don’t make them feel bad or unwanted because their communication skills aren’t great because you never know what type of day or problems that the person had to deal with prior to talking with you. Maybe there was a death in their family, maybe their car broke down and they don’t have the cash to repair it, whatever it was, be the bigger person and show compassion. You will be rewarded for it in the long run.
Should You Fire the Customer?
If you truly feel that a customer is wrong in their complaint and has been wrong before, then it may be time for you to let that customer go. Just like you have to let go of employees who don’t contribute to the success of your business, the same is true of unprofitable customers who seem to do more complaining than anything else. While you might feel uncomfortable letting customers go, sometimes it’s the only option that you have. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly and if you do decide to fire a customer, make sure to have documented reasons to do so because the last thing you want is a social media hell storm on your hands (Help desk software like Cayzu can help track customer history).
Educate the Customer
When the customer is genuinely wrong, be open and honest and show them why they’re wrong in a tactful and professional manner that will help them rather than embarrass them. Your customer probably isn’t as familiar with your products and services as you are, which means that they probably aren’t as knowledgable about the full capabilities of your product or services as you are. Treat the customer with respect and view every complaint as a learning opportunity for the both of you. Remember how essential true customer support truly is for the success of your business.
Keep the Customer Around
Before you respond to a customer complaint, remember how powerful your customers are. Word of mouth is an effective marketing and advertising tool, but it’s a tool that can turn against you. Make sure that your customers have nothing but great things to say about how you treat them when they talk with friends and family. If you seem unwilling to help a customer who has a genuine complain, they won’t hesitate to tell others about their awful experience, which can keep you from expanding your customer base because when it comes down to it, customer service is the new marketing!
All businesses start with a light bulb going off in someone’s head and after a lot of never ending hard work a product is released. Now comes the hardest part, how do I get customers to my web site to buy it?
Many business owners have the mindset that: If I build it, they will come. That is not always the case and is one of the most common mistakes and leading reasons that over 80% of businesses fail in the first 18 months of existence.
Every new and existing company wants to drive more traffic to their web site and everyone has the same question: how!?. After a lot of reading, researching and thinking back on my own personal experiences, I came up with the idea for the: The complete customer acquisition guide for cash strapped start ups and small businesses.
I’ve broken this guide up into multiple parts so make sure to subscribe to our blog to ensure that you get notified of each new release! This is part 2, and if you want to checkout part 1, click here.
Long Tail Keywords
What are long tail keywords and how can they help your business website? Long tail keywords are keyword phrases of usually three or four words, and are a major part of SEO.
When we all built our first website, we stuffed the keyword field so that there were more chances for search engine spiders to reach down into our keyword field, pull our keywords up, and give our site a higher ranking on the search results page.
Enter Long Tail Keywords
The theory with long tail keywords, and how it plays out in practice, is say you are searching for fresh organic Ceylon cinnamon. If you type only the word “cinnamon” in the search field of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., search engine, you will get, as I just did, “About 26,500,000” results on Google. If you search for “fresh organic Ceylon cinnamon” the search results will, in terms of probability, be fewer, because relatively few sites will have this keyword phrase in their content compared to the many many sites that have “cinnamon.” My search just pulled up “About 322,000” results. So by searching with the keyword phrase, we’ve reduced the number of results by more than 82 times.
Now think of that translating to your site, if you sell fresh organic Ceylon cinnamon (which I don’t), ranking 82 times higher in Google’s search results page!
This is also good because the potential customers for your products and services who search more specifically are more likely to purchase what they searched for when they arrive at your site than someone who searched generically for “cinnamon” and pulled up 26.5 million results. I mean, were they even looking for the best deal on cinnamon? And hey, we’ve got non-organic cinnamon on sale, if they don’t want the higher-priced higher-quality stuff!
All of this translates into the action item of you creating as many keyword phrases in your site’s content as fit the descriptions of your products and services. This way, you reduce the number of window shoppers way down and increase the number of buyers.
More Pages, More Long Tailed Keywords
Let’s think big. One big billboard I’ve seen recently says, “Okay, so you’re thinking big. Good. Now think bigger.” Bigger for a website means more—more pages.
Whereas a website can be one page, a website can also be many pages. That means Google and other search engines search not only one page, they search as many pages as your site has, but they are all your pages, your site. The more pages searched, the more long tailed keywords in your pages—in your site—and you already know what that means—more buyers. But beware the temptation of possible Black Hat SEO practices here, which may only get your site banned from search engines.
In the case of customer service, using long tailed keywords in your help pages provides more efficient help for your customers once they have bought your product or service.
For instance, on Cayzu Helpdesk Software’s tech support page, http://support.cayzu.com/, you can “Submit a Ticket” on the help you need. Or, alternatively, you can type in specifically what you need help with in the “How can we help you?” field. What you type in there is an example of a long tailed keyword.
All of the information available by seeking help in either of these ways on Cayzu, for example, is driven by our knowledge base. Thus a knowledge base, like a big website, has a lot of pages, wherein you can insert a lot of long tailed keywords—which, as in the case of the fresh organic Ceylon cinnamon, can improve your ranking in Google and other search engines many, many times.
Creating Long Tail Keywords
Always thinking bigger, thinking outside the box, etc., can be awesome. Remember, too, that thought precedes action, and now it’s time to execute the strategy of increasing the number of keyword phrases in your content—also creating more pages if you need to.
There are actually free and paid services that can help you create long tailed keywords. The bottom line here is creating as many relevant different keyword phrases that apply to your product, service, tech support or other customer service help issue.
You, of course, can “fill in the blanks” with your own stuff, but the free service that, for instance, Wordstream gives as an example creating keyword phrases for a site that sells fish tanks. The Free Keyword Tool generates 11 different long tail keywords, such as “fish tanks for cheap,” “huge fish tanks,” “fish tanks stands,” “gallon fish tanks.” So now the fish tank seller might create at least 11 more pages for the site—and indexed on Google—and attract more potential customers who are searching for specific kinds of fish tank.
And remember, current and potential customers who need help should be able contact you via any channel that they prefer which includes from your web site, knowledge base, Facebook, Twitter, phone and even chat and email. And that my friends is not old hat :)
Again, as a reminder. I’ve broken this guide up into multiple parts so make sure to subscribe to our blog (below) to ensure that you get notified of each new release! Enjoy!
Rather than view Twitter as another way to pass the day, here at Cayzu we recommend that you look at it more as a powerful resource to help with your customer service, we call it social customer service. Twitter offers a variety of benefits that you may not be aware of, but your competition might be. So just what are some of the ways that Twitter can help improve your business when paired with our help desk software?
Time is of the essence when it comes to customer service. Not only do customers expect to be able to connect with your business through a variety of channels, they also expect faster response times, and that’s especially true in an emergency situation. Twitter allows you to instantly be aware of when a customer is in need of help. Studies have shown that roughly 40 percent of users on Twitter expect to wait less than an hour when they have a customer service issue.
With Twitter you can give your customers a response in real time. If you like, you can even create a special Twitter handle dedicated solely to customer service. This will allow you to take care of your customers without having to worry about cluttering up your normal Twitter business account.
Truly Useful Tools
When used right, hashtags can become another useful customer support tool. A hashtag that’s specific to your business can be used to follow and track conversations and invite your audience to get in touch with you on Twitter should they ever need help. We recommend that you also search for hashtags that are popular in your specific industry in case there are common issues your customers need help with. Even if you have the best help desk software monitoring your Twitter account, you can still improve your customer service if you have the right information and social media platforms.
Even though a blanket response is a great way of saving time while making sure your information reaches as many people as possible, it’s not a good way to form one-on-one connections with your customers. With Twitter you can have a personal interaction with a single customer. Simply type “@” before listing the customer’s Twitter handle and you’ll be engaging them in a direct conversation. There’s nothing to make a customer feel truly appreciated like connecting to them on a one-on-one basis. You can also send direct messages on Twitter if you’d like for the correspondence to remain private and your Twitter feed to remain uncluttered.
While there are several great things about Twitter, there are also a few downsides to the platform. For one thing, if a customer decides to complain about your level of customer service on Twitter, there’s a very good chance that their complaint could spread like digital wildfire before you’re even aware of it. It’s best that you keep an eye on @mentions every day in case there are some problems that demand your immediate attention. The best time to put out a fire is when it first starts and a help desk solution that automatically monitors Twitter for you is a game changer.
The help desk experts here at Cayzu would be more than happy to keep an eye on your Twitter feed so that you never have to miss another customer complaint. Get in touch with us today for more information or if you’d like to learn more about our help desk software.
All great products and services start with an idea. From the idea comes the prototype written on a napkin and after a lot more hard work the product is released. Now comes the hardest part, how do I get people to buy it?
Many entrepreneurs have the mindset that: If I build it, they will surely come. That is not always the case and is one of the most common mistakes and leading reasons that 8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months of existence. Because let’s face it, if no one sees your product how will they ever buy it?
Every new and existing business wants to drive more traffic to their site and everyone asks the same question: how!?. After a lot of reading, researching and thinking back on my own personal experiences, I came up with the idea for the: The complete customer acquisition guide for cash strapped start ups and small businesses.
I’ve broken this guide up into multiple parts so make sure to subscribe to our blog to ensure that you get notified of each new release!
Website Referral Traffic:
SEO and Content Marketing
Customer acquisition online depends mainly on two things: (1) people visiting your website either when they do an Internet search for something you sell, or via a link to your site on another web page, in an email, or link or referral in social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc; and (2) your website, to inspire people who arrive there to purchase your products or services, or both, once they get there.
The purpose of Search Engine Optimization is to increase website-visitor count by getting your website home page ranked very high in the results of search engines. When shopping around for an SEO expert to help you with your site, it’s just as important that the individual or company follow ethical principles of SEO.
On the subject of SEO, at the end of last year Google started penalizing websites that used “Black Hat” SEO. This is something you may want to avoid. Courtesy of WordSteam: ‘Black Hat SEO is a practice that increases a web page’s rank in search engines’ results through means that violate a search engine’s terms of service. The term “black hat” originated in Western movies to distinguish the “bad guys,” who wore black hats, from the “good guys,” who wore white hats.’ For a good look and feel of this, find a “Spy vs. Spy” vignette in an original Mad magazine issue.
Black Hat SEO really works, and it can really bump your page up to the top of a search list. But as WordStream adds: “Implementing Black Hat SEO tactics and strategies can get your site banned from search engines, excluding you from the number one traffic referral source on the Internet.”
WordStream also explains “How to achieve Black Hat results without doing anything immoral or jeopardizing your long-term business,” and balances that enthusiasm with the cautionary section, “How to Report Black Hat SEO.”.
Startups and other entrepreneurs take heart—here’s where it begins to get positive. Mashable responded to Google’s SEO clamp-down with an article titled, “How do you combat Google’s new initiative to stop the SEO benefits that link-building [a Black Hat SEO trick] businesses bring?”
Mashable conducted many interviews including one with social media expert and entrepreneur Sarah Ware, CEO of Markerly, who says: “We are entering into a new Internet age, and the best way to build your page rank is by writing quality content that organically gets read and distributed. A more effective and faster alternative is to pay for sponsored content [we will see about that, Sarah, in our “Sponsored Content” section below, heh heh heh]. This will bring traffic to your site and increase awareness and page rank. Work only with respected content agencies because Google will penalize and remove any publisher [i.e., website] that does not disclose sponsored content correctly on Google News”—so you can tip your Black Hat (SEO) to sponsored content….
If you are a startup or an already started-up business and want to increase the power in your online marketing strategy, you are probably looking extra hard for the right help. Maybe Google did you all a favor by imposing SEO restrictions, which placed due focus on content—as another expert weighs in on Mashable’s Google discussion, Kelsey Meyer of Contributor Weekly: “Link-building by simply dropping irrelevant links into content just isn’t okay any more. Ask the [SEO expert you are considering hiring] if they . . . care about the content. High-quality contributed content will work better in the long run.”
Sure, maybe the “long run” strategy sounds okay for later, but what about if you are set in the blocks and ready to start off—or start up—on a 100-meter dash to launch your enterprise’s website and/or start making some good money immediately? By now I think we are beginning to see that SEO and content are walking hand-in-glove, and that you would do very well to hire experts to provide both.
Getting to the Content
Good content on your site drives traffic to your site. One of the best ways to energize visits to your page is to create good content that will appear on other sites and link back to your site. “Content is a big driver for SEO and very important for link-building. A good piece of content will be shared on social media and possibly picked up by other sites, which will add organic links back to your websites. If you find somebody who has strong and organic relationships with bloggers or PR sites, then it might make more sense to work with them,” says Andy Karuza of Brandbuddee, in the Mashable article. Karuza also says, “[For example,] I was published for my commentary here [on Mashable] with a link to my website”—as is also done for him here in this blog—good on ya, mate!
So, you can see how we are modelling this exemplary content marketing strategy. Because someone writes good content which helps you, they get kudos, props, and maybe you as at least a window shopper and referrer.
Where the rubber hits the road about now is your finding the SEO and content experts who will work professionally, ethically, and who are to your personal liking—after all, it’s your advertising, marketing, and product or service—your brand—that’s going out to the world, to hundreds of millions of potential customers. We break this out into a suggested list of experts we trust at the end.
To sum up here are a few specific words to the wise about hiring anybody. By the way, as you probably know, whether it’s hiring a potential long-term employee or for a one-off project, whom you hire to do anything is just as super-critical as any other business dynamic and decision.
So whom will you hire to do your SEO and content?; and it might be two different companies or individual experts. According to Brett Farmiloe of Digital Marketing Agency: “Many SEO companies are scams. Get a name, a number, and social media accounts of the person who will do the SEO on your site. Why? If you don’t know who will be doing the SEO on your site, there’s a good chance the vendor is simply a front to accept your business and outsource everything. Buyers should know from whom they are purchasing and what they’re purchasing. If they do give a name, allow a 60-day period before you hire them. During those 60 days, you’ll see if the person working on your site is someone you feel comfortable working with. Call the person a few times and ask questions. Does your contact answer his phone or respond to email, or do your questions go unanswered? Does he check out online? Make sure the person is real.”
While this may seem like overkill, again, the importance of hiring the right or best people cannot be overemphasized.
Word of Caution on Sponsored Content
Last but not least, content gurus at Contently have just exploded the sponsored content syndrome. What is sponsored content? American Press Institute describes it as “native to the specific publication or platform [i.e., the website or page] it appears on, mimicking the qualities of [the site or page]…. It is generally understood to be content that takes the same form and qualities of a [site’s or page’s] original content. It usually serves useful or entertaining information as a way of favorably influencing the perception of the sponsor brand”—i.e., attempting to influence you to purchase the product or service advertised.
Doesn’t sound all that nasty, or does it? Contently’s research poll reveals the following:
(1) Two-thirds of readers feel deceived upon realizing that an article or video is sponsored by an advertiser.
(2) 54 percent of readers don’t trust sponsored content.
(3) 59 percent of readers believe a news site loses credibility if it runs articles sponsored by an advertiser.
And speaking of nastiness, in a move that almost equals using sponsored content on your site, Fortune scooped the Contently article the same day and published a version of the story almost as if it was Fortune’s original idea! I mean, is this cyber-cannibalism or what? The Fortune piece does get some good licks in, though, such as a meme with a funny photo with this caption: “Everything was going well until John realized that the hilarious list of management failures he was reading was sponsored by a burrito.” That’s kind of like the meme of the toaster turned on its side to make grilled cheese, which shoots out the toast ‘n cheese onto the floor :(
After Contently had only plunged the dagger in, now they twisted it. “But how do readers feel about sponsored content?,” the article asks. In his research, “Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat,” revealed that only 24 percent of website visitors read sponsored content, and that they only scroll down about one-third of the way. Whereas 71 percent of visitors read “normal content”—that’s the good kind, “White Hat” kind. Contently says Haile’s research is “a damning indictment of the quality of sponsored content at large.”
Ultimately, every startup is his or her own creator of his or her own site, its content, and how the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the cyber-way will drive there and shop. Beep beep, tout tout… Oh, better get a move on…to…
Again, as a reminder. I’ve broken this guide up into multiple parts so make sure to subscribe to our blog (below) to ensure that you get notified of each new release! Enjoy!