Turn a Post-Sale Experience in to New Business!

Well, you invested in the creation of a great product, earmarked a healthy budget for marketing, and made the sale. Now what? In todays economic world it is entirely possible that even a company with moderately high sales revenue may have to consider one or all of the following: shrinking margins, loss of market share, customer attrition, or simple loss of profitability. Certain factors are completely out of the control of most businesses, things like government regulation, supplier price increases, or a drop in discretionary consumer spending. In such a world, it is ever more important to recoup the investment your business makes in acquiring a new customer or client especially if your business is a niche market or involves large, infrequent purchases. But, in all cases, it is a truism that positive word-of-mouth and repeat business are the hallmark of most successful businesses.

Unfortunately, most companies adopt a Field of Dreams philosophy, an “if we build it, they will come” model of customer satisfaction. The it being, of course, a high-quality product or service. No one will argue that quality and value engender referrals and repeat buying, but what happens when youve engaged a fleet of six-sigma gurus, created layers of stringent QA processes, and then a third-party, like a distributor, dealer, or other channel partner drops the ball? Lets face it, mistakes in manufacturing and services occur, businesses experience loss of talent pool, or partner vendors arent as quality oriented as they could be, so, knowing that even an unhappy customer can be saved by a quality follow-up process, what do you do? Even more critical, how do you even uncover if there are problems or obstacles to repeat business or referrals within your sales process?

Many organizations do sales follow-up, like customer satisfaction outreach, which is a laudable endeavor and exactly what this article intends to address. With that in mind, there are some important factors not to ignore when starting down this road. First factor, there are some new wiz-bang ways to reach out to people; email, tweets, and SMS. While these are viable methods, there is a catch with this kind of approach; not all consumers are connected or tech-ready, and you dont just want to hear from a demographic slice of your market you want as varied feedback from as many end users as possible. And, the telephone is still the most pervasive means of communication, because it has a more personal touch and more credibility with a larger segment of people.

The second factor to consider is to not just engage some existing staff members with a little extra bandwidth to make an outbound effort! There are a few serious problems with doing customer satisfaction research in-house. They include competency, bias, credibility, and expense. Believe it or not, making possibly hundreds or thousands of calls, asking the same questions over and over, without sounding like a drone or worse, like an antagonist, is a rare skill. Also, asking questions and recording responses without adding bias or spin can be difficult especially if you are, as you should be, invested in the success of the company or are friends with peers being criticized in the resulting commentary.

But lets say you make the decision to handle the job within the company, and youve gone through an unbiased effort to reach out and capture experience satisfaction, and you uncover that there is a lot of positivity about your product or services that you should share with the world. How credible is it to toot your own horn, and will it be taken seriously if you do? After all, every criminal in prison is innocent, and every manufacturers product is the best on the market just ask them! Additionally, one needs to consider that setting up the infrastructure, sourcing and training agents, capturing the data, and synthesizing and analyzing the results will be a considerable expense; especially if your sales volume is seasonal or you need a scalable solution.

One easy way to overcome these difficulties is to outsource the work. Outsourcing call center work means a company can worry about innovation in its goods and services, instead of call center technology. (Source: Mike Hasler, “3 Signs Its Time to Write That Call Center RFP,” Blue Ocean Contact Centers.) However, during the process of vetting and hiring a big call center company that does outbound calling or other out-reach processes, you find that this kind of outsourcing can also be very expensive, and the vendors agents, particularly non-native language speakers, may not be subject matter experts, have communication gaps, or may have a turn-over rate approaching 300%! So, what is the answer? Times are tough, competition is fierce, customer satisfaction and retention are even more important than ever, but you dont want to possibly damage your customer or client relationship by putting too much distance between you and the end-user communications.

The answer is to enter a partnership with a smaller, more invested contact center that is more concerned with quality than volume and more committed to not only helping you deal with problems, but also helping you promote the good news. In short, you use a small contact center, because the benefits of a smaller, strategic service bureau are agility; a smaller provider has less bureaucracy and responds quicker. Less expense; a smaller firm has less overhead, less corporate governance to satisfy, and will take on smaller, strategic jobs and charge less. Even if a larger bureau is cheaper, there is focus; in order for a large firm to be so cost effective, they will generally pool your calls into a general call queue, or the agents they employ must utilize tens and possibly hundreds of scripts in a given shift, or may even be overseas and use English as a second language.

A smaller contact center group typically has five or less clients, so the agents can focus on your customers and quickly become subject matter experts. They usually also have Agents based in the US who wont be as prone to miscommunication as off-shore workers. A greater command of English and familiarity with American culture means greater satisfaction with customers and fewer complaints than foreign call center workers. (Source: NPR, “Outsourced Call Centers Return Home,” August 25, 2010). Then there is responsiveness; managers of smaller centers generally have a more involved relationship with the entire Agent staff and are more personally involved in your business, meaning critical information flows outward to your consumers faster and more seamlessly.

Finally, and just as important, is motivation; generally speaking, a small vendor that loses an account feels a much deeper impact than a 200-seat house would, and is therefore more motivated to be an engaged partner in your customer retention efforts. A smaller, strategic contact center can be a true partner and can act as an extension of your customer service division or department.

In the end, what will best serve your sales channel is an easy, affordable means for unhappy and happy customers or clients to talk to you, so that the investments your business makes in talent, product quality, advertising, and sales dont just mean the benefit of a single sale you want a process creates repeat business, and even more importantly, referral business.

It is harder to turn a profit today, and you can lower costs until you are cutting into muscle, or you can find ways to increase your ROI by effectively listening to your current customers, generate a positive buzz about your brand, gain customer loyalty, and uncover what works and does work about your product lines as well.

After Sales Service – Benefits Of After Sales Cloud Processes

Numerous sales staffs are not able to comprehend the immediate ROI that might accrue to an organization through a sound after sale service. Most employers are of opinion that post the sales procedures and commissions spent, any further time contributed to a customer or client is a waste of valuable time. They think that the sales staff is not gaining remuneration to retain a customer. However, effective after sales follow ups lead to grater profits and revenues.

Market analysts harps on the significance of an efficient after sales service process at work. As a sales staff is following up with client(s), he is delivering more value than the client has paid for. This very aspect would result in increased referrals, word of mouth promotion, greater business, and sales. Business consultants suggest three important steps:-

Continue selling
Work up to playing a chief role when a customer/client meets any issue with account management
Try to be accessible 24×7 for customer inquiries

Concisely, after sales service refers to running and organizing the products after selling them and dealing with client behavior. Today, numerous organizations have come up with after sales service solutions by using cloud processes. They render users a competitive advantage. As a result, your company would own a greater market share. Other benefits include reduced after-sales related overheads on products and services and better customer retention. Ten essential components of after sales cloud process are:-

Master data management
Business process network
Business process rules and business process management
Cloud process systems dedicated to end-user members
Performance management
Cloud process hosting
Cloud process customization
Process improvement services
Information management and monitoring
Third party best-of-breed cloud brokering

In addition to that, there are certain advantages that a company would witness from after sales solutions using cloud processes. They are-

Approximately 68 percent of returns are free of technical faults
Lead time minimized by 20 to 50 percent
Improved customer satisfaction
Cost reduction of 10 to 50 percent
Improved control

In the recent times, the market scenario is competitive where each brand or organization wants to make great profits and leave a mark. A sound after sales service procedure guarantees increased sales returns as well as greater customer maintenance.

Benefits Of Integrated Gym Management Software

Integrated software solutions have relatively long history but only a small number of software vendors provide integrated solutions in the segment of gym management software, limiting the selection of valuable integrated modules to a handful of choices. Thus, even large corporations still utilize different software applications to deal with day-to-day business activities, failing to realize the benefits of integrated software or unwilling to implement integrated solutions that reduce overall business costs and improve inter-departmental communication and efficiency as a whole.

Modern-day integrated modules are capable to deal with various aspects of running a successful gym business, including accounting and billing, marketing, sales, and relationships with current and prospective customers. An integrated solution can also feature social networking capabilities that complement their built-in functionality aimed design of efficient and targeted marketing strategies. Those integrated solutions, suitable for both large chains of fitness centers and single gyms, eliminate the need to install, run, and support numerous business software applications that deal with different business processes and procedures, which in turn results in unexpectedly high return on investment rate within a very reasonable period.

Initially, gym management systems have been designed with only core business processes in mind, before software vendors to start realizing that they can borrow from concepts of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and incorporate similar functionality into advanced fitness center management systems. Evidently, gym management applications have more limited functionality compared to sophisticated ERP systems, nevertheless integrated gym management solutions are capable to deal with complex tasks, providing advanced functionality at markedly lower prices. Therefore, integrated business software solutions are enjoying growing popularity among gym owners willing not only to modernize their gym management software but also to witness lucrative ROI rates.

Ease of use is considered a major advantage of all and every business software application and gym management software is not an exception from the rule. Thus, software vendors that offer rich in functionality integrated modules have started to pay more attention to user friendliness and development of easy to use and intuitive interface. Software companies experience fierce competition, therefore integrated solutions in the sphere of gym management now feature rich functionality and carefully designed interface, securing competitive advantages to both customers and software vendors although in different ways.

The price of software for management of fitness centers is essential when owners have to decide whether to invest in new software while it is much harder to evaluate the indirect benefits from gym management system implementation. An integrated gym management solution reduces overall business costs through introduction of functionality usually covered by various business applications such as accounting, scheduling, or marketing software. Furthermore, payroll costs can be lowered because of the high level of automation as well as advanced functionality, like sales force automation (SFA), provided by integrated software. Overall, gyms are allowed to save money on numerous business applications or spreadsheet solutions by implementing an affordable integrated solution that provides functionality covering the full scope of business procedures and all processes involved.

Gym management solutions gradually evolved into fully-functional business management systems, featuring all the functionality required run a successful business in a highly competitive environment. In addition, worthwhile integrated solutions are even more affordable these days for many software vendors offer monthly payment schemes, instead of one-time license purchases, intended to reduce the average cost of investing in gym management software.

How Can an Automotive Business Benefit from Online Display Advertisements

Display advertisement is considered as one of the most successful advertising strategy on Internet. According to the latest IAB report, online display advertising market represented 37% ($5.5 billion) of the total online advertising market during the first six months of 2011. Among the various forms of online display ads, banner ads constituted for majority of revenue ($3.414 billion) representing 23% of the market.

Different forms of online display advertising
Online display advertising is a form of web marketing where promotional messages in the form of text, logos, audio, video or pictures in static or animated form are displayed on the relevant websites or search engine result pages. These online display advertisements are of 3 forms banner ads, pop up ads and text ads.

Banner ads are the most common types of ads and are similar to the traditional banners, highlighting the business name and giving a small description of the business.

Pop-up ads are similar to banner ads in their design, but their placement is different. These ads are not steadily placed and pop-up suddenly, mainly during navigating from one content page to other.

Text ads are limited only to text content. They can be easily downloaded and they can be made effective using right keywords.

Online display advertising is very helpful for automotive businesses as they are product oriented and this marketing strategy best serves the purpose of quickly engaging the customers. Below are few benefits that assure success of your auto business through this advertising strategy.

Attractive display of auto models catches the attention immediately: Display advertising is a perfect strategy to promote your automotive products. A well designed display ad with graphic images (static or animated) of the vehicles and their description in the audio/video form grabs the attention of the viewer immediately. In short, display ads can act as a miniature version of your virtual or traditional showroom showcasing your auto models.

Targets the audiences searching for automobiles: Display advertising is targeted and thus, effective in generating leads and creating conversions for your business. An automotive business can target its audience based on behavior, geography and context.

In behavioral targeting, your auto business ads appear if the user is searching for auto products or content. Geographical targeting is the best way to make business, as it enables your ads to be displayed when a user browses from your local area. And contextual targeting is a way to display your ads in the websites which are in any way related to auto business (like auto spares retailer, auto new websites, auto forums, etc.). By targeting the right audience you can eliminate wasted impressions.

Highly interactive marketing strategy: Display ads are highly interactive and entertaining ways of advertising. Especially, for an automotive business, as it needs an interesting and knowledgeable illustration of the auto models to attract customers. You can be as creative as possible in explaining your automotive business in the limited web space available. Remember, an effective display ad creates brand awareness and affinity for your brand even if the viewer does not click your ad.

Can easily track the success of business strategy: Online display advertising gives immediate results. The click through rates and conversions rates help in tracking the effectiveness of a display ad. These ads can be adjusted, improved and replaced immediately based on their performance. Regular tracking of the progress of various ads helps you save time and money spent on the ad and assures success for your marketing strategy.

In addition, display advertisements are cost-effective. You can purchase these ads through pay per click or cost per impression. Based on the performance of the ad in generating traffic and ROI, you can increase or decrease the spending on that ad.

Here Are 3 Conversion Rate Optimization Benefits Your Online Business Cant Ignore

Although conversion rate optimization (CRO) is often confused with SEO (search engine optimization), the two services are quite different. SEO experts drive more traffic to your website in order to generate more sales. CRO experts, on the other hand, boost online sales from existing traffic sources by optimizing key website components, such as:

1. Copywriting on Key Landing and Sales Pages 2. Website Design 3. Layout of UI Features and Special Sales Tools 4. Website Programming 5. Marketing Funnel(s) 6. Shopping Cart/CMS/Core Site Platforms

But I get it: Who cares? After all, what Internet Marketing service out there doesnt promise to boost online sales? The real question is: What kind of return on investment can you expect from conversion rate optimization?

Because at the end of the day and if everyone is being brutally honest: Most Internet Marketing services produce absolutely appalling ROI. You are literally lucky to generate 3 dollars in revenue from every 1 dollar invested in SEO, PPC, or even social media marketing. So by the time you also take overhead, fulfillment costs, and labor into account: Most Internet Marketing services honestly dont move the needle in terms of the ROI they deliver for your online business. Conversion rate optimization, however, is a completely different beast.

Companies like Google, Apple, and even heat mapping sites like Crazy Egg are hiring CRO companies and boosting overall online conversions by up to 150% or more. And sure, those might be exceptional examples and not even close to what an average website owner could expect from hiring CRO experts. But with conversion rate optimization, you dont need to generate massive gains in the overall conversion rate to see a massive ROI or a dramatic boost in online profits. In fact, here are 3 bona-fide benefits of conversion rate optimization that no serious website owner can afford to ignore:

CRO Benefit #1: Permanently Increases Conversion Rate

You know why the ROI is so low for SEO, social media, or even content marketing? Because the minute you stop investing in new content, your traffic levels will quickly drop along with your sales. But one of the biggest conversion rate optimization benefits is the ability to continue driving new sales and increasing ROI for months, in some cases years, after the CRO experts have wrapped up the project. That means even modest gains in overall conversion rate will not only drive increased sales this month, but next month, and the month after that, and so on. By making permanent changes to your copywriting, web design, and other core website components, CRO experts optimize your website to generate more online sales and a growing ROI that far exceeds anything you can expect from traditional Internet Marketing services.

CRO Benefit #2: Increased Online Sales without Increasing Your Marketing Spend

You know the biggest problem with driving another $50,000 in online revenue from SEO, social media, or especially PPC advertising? The answer is the bane of every website owner reading these words because they know its quite simple: Because generating an additional $50k in online revenues might require an investment of $20k or more in PPC, SEO, or social media. And when you include overhead, what, if anything, is left over for all that hard work and investment?

Financial Services with flexible finance options for investment opportunities

Financial services encompass a broad spectrum of services ranging from financial jobs to investment planning. The services offered by experienced companies profess to boost the earnings of their clients companies by aiming to get back most of their Return On Investment (ROI). Financial analysts manage the money, transfers and fund switches of hundreds of customers. Many people are quite poor when it comes to managing their money and they look to these professionals, who with their fiscal expertise will secure a safe future for their finances.

People who want to manage their money on a long-term basis approach reputed financial companies, which offer them several finance options to protect their money. Finance options could be in the form of Insurance, Mutual Funds or Wealth Management. While doing business with a finance service company, the customer always looks for more options and banking with the top companies in Ireland will help them with their money. Exceptional customer service, internet banking facilities and award winning products these are three main things that clients look for in a Financial Services company. The rising demand of personal asset management has risen considerably over the years as people devote more of their time to strengthen their financial base.

People who are looking to save on taxes and create wealth also look for several Finance options. One of them is to make specific investment options; there are certain investments through which the client will be exempt from taxes. They can manage their funds through good financial plans and generate wealth in the same mode. One major area of converting available liquid cash into a favourable proposition comes in the form of investment in property. When people do not have enough money to buy a property, they approach finance services for loan options. Of all the loans in the world, Investment Property Financing is the toughest of all. It is a risky business and many lending companies are not willing to take the risk. The first reason that most companies expostulate is that the buyer of real estate is not living at the said property. The second reason that goes against Investment Property Financing is that the property value could drop below the loan amount. This causes financial companies to charge high rate of interest for Investment Property Financing and most clients shy away because they are unable to pay it. Most of the time, such property has no resale value.

There are quite a few reputed business and finance portals in Ireland where clients can gauge valuable and updated information of various financial services. It helps them with their stock market and e-commerce. The portals help the client make clever investment choices by placing the most favourable investment strategies in front of them. These Finance companies will track the clients reports over a set period of time and switch funds to investment plans with better returns. Once the client chooses a company to do business with, he expects the company to be straightforward, reliable and competent. There are several such institutions in Ireland, making the country the most favourable place to do business. The opportunities for starting new businesses in Ireland are quite favourable because investors have instant access to a huge range of funding options. The clients companies are offered attractive support packages to develop their business and maximize their ROI. Some financial services have trained experts who will turn out to be a big help in making smart investment decisions.

Strathclyde Associates Investment Guide Investment Strategy

A well-planned investment strategy is essential before having any investment decisions. A business strategy is generally based upon long run period. Formation of business strategy largely dependent upon the factors such as long-term goals and risk on the investment.
As the return on investment is not always clear, so the investors prepare the strategy so as to face the ongoing challenges in investment. A balanced investment strategy is generally required in the process of investment, which possesses long time period and some risk tolerance.
In the case, when a strategy is aggressive the chance of attaining a higher goal is higher. An efficient strategy can be obtained from portfolio theory, which shows good estimates on risk and return.
Strathclyde Associates Investment Guide: Investment Strategy is usually considered to be more of a branch of finance than economics. It is defined as set of rules, a definite behavior or procedure guiding an investor to choose his investment portfolio. For example, investing in mutual funds has recently emerged as a very favorable investment strategy.
An investment strategy is centered on a risk-return tradeoff for a potential investor. High return investment instruments such as real estate and mutual funds usually have more risks associated with it than low return-low risk investment opportunities. Return on investment can be calculated on past or current investment or on the estimated return on future investment.
Symbolically, it can be expressed as: Vf/Vi -1 where Vf denotes final investment value and Vi is the initial investment value. (“f” and “i” should be noted as subscripts)
Strathclyde Associates Investment Guide: Return on investment (ROI) is profitable when Vf/Vi-1>0 and the investment is deemed to be unprofitable when the value of final investment is less than that of the initial investment. ROI is calculated to be 1 or 100% when the value of the final investment is twice the value of the initial investment.
Types of investment strategies can be defined as follows: A passive investment strategy attempted to minimize transaction costs.
An active investment strategy guide used to maximize returns based on moves such as proper market timing. This usually mean, “buying in the lows and selling in the highs” or buying investment instruments when they are cheap and selling them off when their price appreciates. This strategy, however, is not very beneficial for small time investors.

Small time investors can adopt the buy and hold investment strategy to invest in equities, which although volatile in nature, give favorable long run returns. Investing in equity markets for small time investors is associated with the investors holding on for very long periods. In the case of real estate, the holding period extends the lifespan of the mortgage. Notably, in case of this strategy, indexing or buying a small proportion of all the shares in market index or a mutual fund is a purely passive variant of the above strategy.
The strategy of value investing, a classic investment strategy propagated by Benjamin Graham simply concentrates on the strategy that an investor buys shares of a company as if he was buying off the whole company without paying any attention to the stock market scenario or any exterior conditions such as the political climate. At the end of the day, if he can buy the stock at less than that its actual future worth to the buyer, the person is said to have discovered a “value investment.”
Investment strategies can also denote the investment strategies a national or federal government should follow to bring about economic growth in a country. This can only be achieved by domestic investment as well as significant FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows to particular sectors of countries, especially the less developed ones of Asia and Africa.
In case of India, infrastructural problems, excessive government intervention, rigid labor laws and corruption are stifling the flow of FDI in the critical sectors. Less developed countries such as those in the Asia- Pacific region and Africa can bring about much needed development in these economies.
An investment strategy in mutual funds is probably the best bet for a profitable investment. Mutual funds is defined as a pool of money supplied by different investors and in turn used by the mutual fund company to invest in various assets such as stocks and bonds. However, a detailed research has to be conducted for choosing the mutual fund companies and only those should be considered which have a professional investment manger. This will ensure that the funds get channeled towards the right investments. This also applies for investing in stock markets where a decision to invest should follow a through research about the past and current trends of the stock prices and their Net Asset Values (NAV). Analyses from market researchers about the predicted future trends should also be considered otherwise gains from capital appreciation; capital gain distribution (in case of mutual funds) and dividends might not be realized.
Lastly, investment strategies leading to green investments or investments in renewable sources of energy will be the next big thing in the investment spectrum. From Economy Watch. Economy, Investment & Finance Reports.

Strathclyde Associates is a full service brokerage firm with many years experience in providing a wide array of services globally to a vast group of clients that include private individuals, financial institutions, governments and corporations.