Posts Tagged ‘technology’
Systematizing Your Client Experience Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
A typical entrepreneur has a million different things coming at them at any given time. Because of all the different balls you have to juggle and the limited amount of time with which to juggle them, it can be difficult to make time to work on your business. Your client’s experience is one of those areas that get pushed to the back of our minds.
One of the reasons juggling tasks can be overwhelming is due to the proliferation of online communication tools that we have coming at us on a daily basis. The proliferation of e-mail through smart phones, social media, etc may have you thinking that technology is more of a curse than a blessing. What if you could turn this curse into a system that delivers the type of client experience that sets your business apart from the rest?
Technology has made delivering the right client experience easier than ever. I won’t get into all of the specifics of total experience design, you can read more about experience design here. What I will do is give you a few handy online tools for automating aspects of the client experience that your business is trying to deliver.
My list consists of the most common areas where I see business owners being inconsistent or working too hard with their experience delivery.
Doing What You Say You Are Going To Do- Clients won’t have a great experience with your company if you can’t deliver on the promises that your business offers. For small businesses, this starts with the business owner. A simple tool for helping business owners remember things is Evernote.
Keeping Your Clients In The Loop- There are a lot of tools to help with this but a simple and inexpensive tool is AWeber. Aweber is an e-mail service that helps you manage your e-mail database and allows you to send messages to these lists. When it comes to keeping your clients informed and educating them, this is as easy as it gets. I still see business owners keeping their lists on a spreadsheet and sending out e-mails manually.
Managing Projects- Getting your team on the same page and getting projects completed on time can be challenging. We created a project management system called Akomplish for this very reason. Now we can share projects with team members, sync activities with our calendars and have a daily snapshot of what needs to be done.
Those are three of the biggest areas that business owners seem to struggle with when it comes to delivering a client experience. The great news is that there are tools to help you automate what you are doing as you interact with clients and create the experience.
How have you overcome challenges with delivering your client experience?
Manage Your Business Relationships To Show Your Clients That You Care Friday, May 20th, 2011
Not to sound too clichéd but your clients really are the most important people in your business. Before you congratulate me on being Captain Obvious, my point for today is to have system for managing the important relationships in your business.
Our clients want to know that we care about them and what they are trying to accomplish. Telling them that we care is one thing. Demonstrating that through our actions is what really sets you apart.
We all need help in delivering value and service to our clients. One way that we do that at The Business Blueprint is through the use of technology to keep us on task.
Social media is a great relationship builder and has been touted as so. Social media use is just one piece of the puzzle, however. Social media can’t manage every facet of your client relationship.
For project management we have used services like Basecamp and Highrise HQ. My partner in The Business Blueprint, Billy, decided that those services weren’t good enough for him so he and his brother went out a created their own project management software as well as a client CRM for The Business Blueprint’s clients.
The name of the project management software is Akomplish if you want to check it out.
Using software to manage the workflow allows us to stay on top of deadlines and stay in communication with our clients. We have learned through our own shortcomings with managing clients and projects that if you don’t have a solid system for communication and follow up, you risk upsetting your clients. Utilizing online tools allows us to do that.
The great thing about most project management and CRM programs is that they are cloud based which allows you to access your account regardless of where you are at. You just need access to the internet. Now if something unexpected comes up with a project or a client, you can access their information from your smart phone or laptop.
Communication is a huge component to having a successful relationship with your client base. The better you are at communicating with them, the stronger the relationship that you will have and the more likely that you are to create favorable results for your clients.
For those of you who consider yourself “people persons”, technology doesn’t replace that in your business. It just works to enhance the connections that you are already good at developing.
If you don’t have an online system for managing your client relationships, I would suggest checking a few out ASAP and find a system that works best for you, your business and most importantly, your clients. Happy relationship building.