Nancy McCord on important trends we are watching for 2019.
Site chat apps do generate leads which do turn into sales. I am a living testimony to that. Since I have installed the Drift app, which is an online chat app, I have had about 20 chats, some just about questions but four about services. One moved into contract and will spend about $2,500 for my services.
I’d say that having the chat function on my website has been good for business. What’s even better is that I am always on, but do not always enter a response immediately to a chat. Even with a live chat function, you can have weekends and a real life. Your business does not need to own you.
I do feel that my prospects do like the friendliness and immediacy of live chat. The paid version of Drift, which I am using as a free version, does has an automated bot that fills in the gaps with responses which is nice and I may upgrade to it if I get more big sales.
I find that the really serious clients start out on the chat app but then move readily to email and then to phone calls. The client that found me via my online site chat closed in less than one week.
So, if you are looking for more sales, I do recommend installing on your website an online chat function. Drift is just one of them to consider, but there are others.
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As more businesses work to tighten where they are spending their advertising budgets, some are dropping social media out of their marketing mix.
Advertising your website and services using Pay per Click is great, as it generates immediate traffic and increases the potential of sales, but social media also should have a place in every business’ marketing plan.
Not all businesses will need Twitter or Google+ status updates, but most businesses should be posting to Facebook and working to engage prospects in that arena.
For many clients, Facebook is the strongest and most important social media platform. Add Facebook pay per click advertising to the mix and your Facebook activity and comments on ads can really skyrocket. It is not unusual for a client who is really working Facebook to have over 5,000+ active users.
I have personally found that for some businesses, Facebook user’s will post comments on their ads which will need moderation to protect your reputation and to shape your message. Even though I never drive traffic to a Facebook page with their pay per click advertising, we always will get adjunct likes and follows just by the nature of advertising there.
I have one client who is getting great leads from Facebook at a third or even less, than the lead cost they spend at AdWords. Tie in Facebook remarketing and I have seen leads at under $5 a conversion.
But, it all starts with great Facebook status updates, integration with your website and blog, and at least 200 followers to make sense.
This is the struggle for businesses and it is real – get a bad online review and how do you deal with it and move beyond it.
First, you should not ignore a bad online review. That does not mean that you have to respond to each and every one, but you definitely want to think about your strategy and what to do if and when you get one.
Consider the following…
1. Review the legitimacy. Should you change something you are doing?
2. Decide if you should respond. Not every comment about your business deserves and needs a response.
3. If you do respond, don’t respond in anger. Craft your response and sit on it for several days, read and re-read your response. Make sure you are not venting.
4. If you know who left the review, try to fix the problem and then ask for an update to the review they have posted.
Negative reviews can be very damaging to your business but sometimes your own response can make it even worse. You should be regularly monitoring your business reputation online and looking at what others are saying about you. Especially as Google and Bing are now highlighting reviews that they find around the web and meshing them with location specific results in the Knowledge Graph side bar on their search pages in the four pack of location specific businesses.
For help on what to do with a negative review, ask for a short paid consultation.
As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.
Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.
Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.
- Reviews really do matter.
- People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
- Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
- I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
- If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
- Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
- People actually read what I post about a business.
- I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
- I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
- Reviews are more important than a nice website.
The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!
To get savvy help in writing rebuttals to negative reviews, contact us today.
Here are a few tips on how to communicate and keep staff on track and accountable as well as focused.
Use Technology to Communicate
Most of our staff is under the age of 30. I have found that assuring that they have mobile access to tasking is key. We use TeamUp for our online tasking and scheduling app. Each staff member has a smartphone with enough data monthly to access work. I require that when projects are completed that they mark the item done or drag that item to the day they will work on it.
Use Video to Show How
When I have complicated tasks, I do a video explanation followed up by an email. Some of my staff like to closely follow the steps in the email and others get the gist of what to do by watching the video. As a good boss I know which of my staff members needs what and I try to supply the information in the way that I know will be the easiest for them to get and understand. My videos are typically 4 to 10 minutes long and show as a hands on what to do. The emails are detailed so staff can print it out and follow step by step.
Although work gets done, assuring that they note that something has been completed in TeamUp or doing the required follow-up email or text can be a challenge. I use SMS Scheduler to send out reminder text messages on an automated schedule to keep staff on notice that they need to do the final step which is to let me know what they have done. I have found that text is the best way to get the attention of younger staff and email the best way to get the attention of older staff. The automation of the text messages allows me to set the reminders up once but to send out on a repeating schedule.
Working with remote staff does have its own special challenges. We do try to get together periodically face to face to celebrate and train on more intensive subjects, but I have found that these several tactics have really helped my business to be effective and grow.