August 5, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Provide A Consistent Customer Experience

Whether your business is big or small there are things that you can do to provide a consistent experience. Consistency will sets small businesses apart allowing you to offer the individuality and personalization that is expected from a small business and the comfort, predictability, and trust typically found with large organizations.

Consistency starts with the first interaction that a prospective client has with your organization. This first interaction is typically the Website. Here you set the tone for how all future interactions are going to be. Once you have set the stage you need to make sure that this tone carry's forward into all future interactions.

Don't deliver a product. Deliver an consistent customer experience. Handwriting on a napkin with a cup of tea

What can you do?

One of the keys to this experience is to make them as simple for the customer as possible. You need to ensure simplicity in your websites menu choices and call to actions. Try limiting your call to actions to one per page so visitors are not overwhelmed and know exactly what is expected of them at each stage of the process.

Now that you have set the stage, future interactions need to continue in the same manner. Keep the same tone regardless of what form that interaction takes, whether it's your emails, newsletters, or printed marketing materials.  Limit your call to actions to one per piece and make it clear as to what action that you want the reader to take. When a customer contacts you directly, by phone or email, they need to be experiencing the same tone.  Provide the same level of value that they have come to expect from the website, newsletter, email campaigns and print material. Social media needs to follow the same structure as well. Together this reinforces the organizations brand and builds trust.

Personal interaction needs to be consistent as well.  This is a bit harder to control, as we all know each person has their own personality, as well as good and bad days, that can affect an interaction.  Because of this, it is important that you provide scripting for how to answer the phone so that each customer is treated the same way… consistency builds trust.  Provide training on how to handle common client interactions.  This helps to ensure that no matter who the client is or who is working with them, they will have the same level of consistent customer service.

Why is this so important?

Customers have changed. They no longer are looking for just a "good" product.  It has now become the experience that they are looking for. Whether that is the feeling they have when they use the product, the feeling of being part of an exclusive "club" or "tribe", or the way you make them feel through each stage of the buying/user/ownership process.  These feelings are now what is leveraged when customers discuss the reputation or trust with a company. Positive feelings and trust are developed through consistency.  Consistency brings loyalty.  Loyalty brings revenue.

Additional Resources:

How to Create a Consistent Customer Experience (and Why You Should)  https://100mba.net/how-to-create-a-consistent-customer-experience-and-why-you-should/

7 Steps to Delivering a Consistent Customer Experience   http://journeys.getsynap.com/7-steps-to-delivering-a-consistent-customer-experience

Why Consistency Matters in Customer Experience   http://customerthink.com/why-consistency-matters-in-customer-experience/

April 21, 2016Comments are off for this post.

Branding: A Series – Research

Competitor Analysis

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Research is a necessary part of the branding process.  Well, actually it’s just a good thing to do if you’re in business in general.  You need to take a look around and see where your stand amongst your competition.  What audience to they serve?  Is their marketing geared to the same target audience as yours? How have they positioned themselves in the market place?  What colors are they using?  What connection do these have with their / your target audience?  What size of your desired market do they currently serve?  These are just a few of the questions that you need to look at when you are in the research phase of branding your organization.

As you can see, most of these questions are round the target audience and market share – Not the visual aesthetic. Obviously, you’ll want your materials to be distinct and not mistaken for your competition, but understanding your place in the market is about much more than your logo or color selection.

April 16, 2016Comments are off for this post.

Branding: A Series – Color

Color can be a powerful element in your branding arsenal.

color swirl

When you are determining the colors for your business you need to keep in mind the cultural influences of your target audience.

Color meanings variety greatly even within our own culture.  Look at the color yellow - happiness and joy on side and cowardliness and caution on the other. These variations only expand when you start looking at the color association of other cultures.  Some cultures view yellow as sacred and auspicious while others see it as a color of mourning. Whit this range of meanings it is important to understand your target audience and how they relate to the colors you are considering.

This doesn't mean you have to rule out or not use any color, but you should do so from a place of knowledge and understanding.  If you have an awareness of the possible connections that your target audience has with color, you can make your selections and usage decisions to support your intended message.

For more details about color associations across culture visit www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/cutural-color.html

April 10, 2016Comments are off for this post.

Conference

The W Hotel Midtown Atlanta, GA

This weekend I’m in windy Atlanta, Georgia. I’m at a marketing/business development conference. It’s been an interesting experience. I’d love to say it’s been wonderful, but unfortunately a broken shower, less than stellar food, and a chilly meeting room has made for a memorable weekend.

Thankfully, the Attendees have been nice and had some enjoyable conversations and networking.

Tomorrow it’s back to the office and to put everything into practice

April 3, 2016Comments are off for this post.

Acrobat – Rich Text Formating

Did you know that you can create forms in Adobe Acrobat that will allow you to change the font size, weight, and color of the text you enter into the form fields?

Rich-Text-Option

When you set up the text fields in your form make sure that you check the box in the properties dialog box that says to use rich text formatting.

Form Field Property (1)

Now when you are entering text into the form and press CTRL-E it will open up a contextual panels that will allow you to change the font, weight ( bold/italic), size, color and if you look under the advanced options even line spacing!Form Field Property Pannel

Why is this important? Well, for general forms this gives the person filling it out the form to use emphasis. It’s even better is when you are creating a form for a document that will need to have the copy changed and reused. For example, mailing labels, cd labels, and other documents that need consistent design, but a limited space for content, so you may eyed to change a title, or other content.

So next time you create a PDF form - include a little creativity and formatting freedom and set your text fields to Rich Text Formatting.

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