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Level 4

The Customer Is Always Right (and Will Pay You More If You're Nice)

I'm pretty excited about this - if you've been reading my blog for the past year or if you've read some of my comments and discussions in communities (like QBcommunity), you know that I've been changing the way that I'm doing business. 

Once you've got your small business off the ground, you want to make it better, more productive, more profitable, more powerful - but often we just keep on doing the same things over and over. 

Depuhl-Business collage.jpg

 

 

Next Friday (November 17th) I have the opportunity to share what I've learned with entrepreneurs, small business owners and freelancers in Dallas (for more details click on the Link to my Website link in my profile). 

There are four priorities that an excellent business needs to have -according to Horst Schulze, the former CEO of the Ritz-Carlton:

1) Keep your current customers 

 

I'll share how this -the most important priority- is also the easiest to achieve since it's the little things that matter. If you care about your customers, just a little more than your competition, you will have an engaged and loyal customer for life. 

 

2) Find new customers

 

Marketing today is all about inbound marketing and I'll share some of the marketing hacks I've used in the past to keep my business front and center in a Google search (you won't believe what all goes into SEO these days - spoiler alert, pretty much everything you do online and in real life).

 

3) Be as efficient as possible

 

Today's technology allows the sole proprietor to appear like a well-oiled company, with automation, cloud technology, and even the good old-fashioned post-it note. Automating your business processes frees up your time to do the really important work.

 

4) Make as much money as you can

 

Lean and mean is the name of the game and thanks to the web it's never been easier to put together teams for specific projects, find suppliers halfway around the world, and reach out to leads in the blink of an eye. 

 

If you're in the greater Dallas area, come join us at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center Coworking Space. You'll meet some local small business owners and learn how you can improve your customer service to build an excellent business yourself!

Solved
Best answer 11-10-2017

Best Answers
Highlighted
Level 4

The Customer Is Always Right (and Will Pay You More If You're Nice)

1) How do you care for your customers more than your competition and make sure they know it? 

"Great service is easy - all you have to do is care a little more." Horst Schulze.
The secret to loyal customers is to build trust and you build that trust by showing your customers respect. Every customer has 3 expectations:

 

  • a defect-free product
  • delivered on time
  • by people who are nice

Obviously, the details will vary from business to business - a defect-free hotel stay looks different than a defect-free photoshoot or a defect-free tax return.  Timely delivery again varies from industry to industry - a returned phone call can take a few minutes, a house that's being build can take a few months, but a customer expects any of these to be delivered with a little bit of personal attention. 

 

2) What's your number one marketing hack or tool?

My favorite marketing hack is anything that burns my brand into my client's brain. That can be as simple as sending them a book we spoke about in a conversation as a gift (takes a couple seconds to order than on Amazon and costs a few bucks) and can be as complicated as flying an airplane halfway around the world to park it in an airport hangar, for a movie premiere. In short, anything I can do that my competition is not doing, so I get to stand out from the crowd. And remember all your marketing hacks can influence your SEO and as you know placement in search is key today.

I wrote a series on MarketingHacks on my blog (go to my profile for the link and search for MarketingHacks to find that series). 

3) What's your favorite organizational tool that keeps you organized and efficient?

Evernote, SalesForce, Zapier and IFTTT. Cloud-based services and apps are amazingly powerful, but if you can let them work together, their power increases exponentially. Take for example Evernote, it's basically my digital filing cabinet and all documents end up in there. I can forward an email into Evernote, take a photo of business card and have it stored Post-It productivity.JPG in Evernote, photos, handwritten notes (I use an Evernote Moleskin notebook for EVERYTHING), invoices all live in Evernote. It's easy to find everything with the powerful search feature and yes, Evernote even reads my handwriting. And I haven't even started on how a simple Post-It note automates my productivity. Now combine Evernote, with SalesForce - my CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). SalesForce will look for any Evernote note tagged with a job number, opportunity, account, etc. and automatically display it in the record I'm looking at. Having all this data pop up automatically, while I'm in my CRM feels like magic.

 

 

I've written extensively about small business efficiency on my blog (go to my profile for the link and search for MarketingHacks to find that series) or just type in the URL that's on written on the Post-It note in the photo :)

 

4) Do you have a go-to website to find suppliers and teams? 

 

This really depends on your industry. There are associations, guilds, organizations that I am a member of that allow me to search my local membership for crew members. It doesn't do any good to list them here, but every industry has online groups you can go to for help. I also get 5-10 emails a week of people contacting me and inquiring if they can work with me. They find me on Google as my business is the first organic listing, and I have found some great coworkers that way. BTW, that's also a great little test to see how well you're doing on SEO - if you're getting unsolicited requests for work, or people contacting you to sell you their service or product, you're doing well :)

View solution in original post

3 Comments
Highlighted
Level 7

The Customer Is Always Right (and Will Pay You More If You're Nice)

Thank you for sharing your excitement with us, @photosbydepuhl! I definitely can see how these four things should be a priority and they're all things I can apply to my business.

 

For example, even though I live in a small town and have found all of my clients via word-of-mouth (by making my current customers a priority!:smileywink:), I am ready to expand my business and will need to put in more marketing effort to get to the next level. 

 

That being said, I have a few questions, if you're willing to share a little bit pre talk! :smileyhappy:

  1. How do you care for your customers more than your competition and make sure they know it? 
  2. What's your number one marketing hack or tool?
  3. What's your favorite organizational tool that keeps you organized and efficient?
  4. Do you have a go-to website to find suppliers and teams? 
Highlighted
Level 4

The Customer Is Always Right (and Will Pay You More If You're Nice)

1) How do you care for your customers more than your competition and make sure they know it? 

"Great service is easy - all you have to do is care a little more." Horst Schulze.
The secret to loyal customers is to build trust and you build that trust by showing your customers respect. Every customer has 3 expectations:

 

  • a defect-free product
  • delivered on time
  • by people who are nice

Obviously, the details will vary from business to business - a defect-free hotel stay looks different than a defect-free photoshoot or a defect-free tax return.  Timely delivery again varies from industry to industry - a returned phone call can take a few minutes, a house that's being build can take a few months, but a customer expects any of these to be delivered with a little bit of personal attention. 

 

2) What's your number one marketing hack or tool?

My favorite marketing hack is anything that burns my brand into my client's brain. That can be as simple as sending them a book we spoke about in a conversation as a gift (takes a couple seconds to order than on Amazon and costs a few bucks) and can be as complicated as flying an airplane halfway around the world to park it in an airport hangar, for a movie premiere. In short, anything I can do that my competition is not doing, so I get to stand out from the crowd. And remember all your marketing hacks can influence your SEO and as you know placement in search is key today.

I wrote a series on MarketingHacks on my blog (go to my profile for the link and search for MarketingHacks to find that series). 

3) What's your favorite organizational tool that keeps you organized and efficient?

Evernote, SalesForce, Zapier and IFTTT. Cloud-based services and apps are amazingly powerful, but if you can let them work together, their power increases exponentially. Take for example Evernote, it's basically my digital filing cabinet and all documents end up in there. I can forward an email into Evernote, take a photo of business card and have it stored Post-It productivity.JPG in Evernote, photos, handwritten notes (I use an Evernote Moleskin notebook for EVERYTHING), invoices all live in Evernote. It's easy to find everything with the powerful search feature and yes, Evernote even reads my handwriting. And I haven't even started on how a simple Post-It note automates my productivity. Now combine Evernote, with SalesForce - my CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). SalesForce will look for any Evernote note tagged with a job number, opportunity, account, etc. and automatically display it in the record I'm looking at. Having all this data pop up automatically, while I'm in my CRM feels like magic.

 

 

I've written extensively about small business efficiency on my blog (go to my profile for the link and search for MarketingHacks to find that series) or just type in the URL that's on written on the Post-It note in the photo :)

 

4) Do you have a go-to website to find suppliers and teams? 

 

This really depends on your industry. There are associations, guilds, organizations that I am a member of that allow me to search my local membership for crew members. It doesn't do any good to list them here, but every industry has online groups you can go to for help. I also get 5-10 emails a week of people contacting me and inquiring if they can work with me. They find me on Google as my business is the first organic listing, and I have found some great coworkers that way. BTW, that's also a great little test to see how well you're doing on SEO - if you're getting unsolicited requests for work, or people contacting you to sell you their service or product, you're doing well :)

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Level 7

The Customer Is Always Right (and Will Pay You More If You're Nice)

Thank you so much for the additional insight into your upcoming talk. It sounds like it's going to be an incredible wealth of knowledge! Best of luck during your time in Dallas. :smileyhappy:

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