We live in an age where consumers are skeptical of companies. The internet is full of scams and misinformation, and the customer just doesn’t believe anything anymore.
It’s your job to earn their trust. The best way to do this is to position yourself as an expert…someone they can trust. How do you do that?
Become an avid reader—I love reading. I’m constantly checking out my favorite advertising and marketing blogs, and I have more books than I can count related to copywriting and marketing. I’m truly committed to learning something new every day, and I’m always working to incorporate the new things I learn into my work. Constant learning is the most important thing you can do to truly become an industry expert.
Talk to others in your industry—Chances are you know some other people who work in the industry. Try to connect with these people and bounce ideas off them. You can soak up valuable information from others because everyone has their own way of looking at things and going about their work. If you don’t know anyone you can talk to, get online and seek these people out in forums and social networks.
Conduct your own studies—Have certain concepts you want to explore? Wondering if old study results still apply? Rather than waiting for someone else to discover the information you’re looking for, try doing your own studies. You’ll learn new things, and if you decide to publish the results, you’ll position yourself as an expert in your field.
Experiment with new ideas—You never want to ignore traditional, proven techniques in your industry, but you also don’t want to stop exploring for new ways to become better at what you do. The true experts are always experimenting, trying new things out to help push their industry forward.
Strategies for Positioning Yourself as an Expert
Now that you know how to gain the knowledge to become an expert, let’s quickly talk about some things you can do to share your expertise and get others to view you as the expert you are.
Blogging and guest blogging—Blogging is one of the most popular tools for sharing your expertise with others. By posting quality content on a regular basis and also guest blogging on other blogs, you let your audience see that you’re a thought leader. The result? They begin to trust you, and they’re more comfortable doing business with you in the future.
Article marketing—Article marketing has a negative connotation attached to it, but when done properly, you can still get results. Publishing high quality articles on trustworthy websites can increase your exposure, helping to build your credibility. Of course, it’s also a good way to build links back to your website, so it’s a win-win.
Strong social media presence—Get active on Twitter and other social networks to highlight your expertise. Note that this doesn’t mean publishing a bunch of self-promotional content. Instead, it involves taking the time to interact with others, answer questions, offer your insight, and share valuable content.
Active PR campaign—I highly recommend signing up for HARO. Every day, 3 emails are sent out that contain opportunities for you to get quoted in news stories. Simply put, reporters need expert sources, and this could be your chance to get your name out there and let the world know you’re an expert.
If you’ve seen a Staples commercial during the past few months, you know this rant you’re about to read is justified. If you’ve yet to witness the most annoying commercials since Six Flags introduced that old man dancing to a really irritating song, take a look at them below:
From the first time I saw this commercial, I was annoyed and vowed never to return to Staples again. Of course, I think I’ve only been to a Staples like once or twice before (I remember the prices actually being higher, not lower, than other places), but that’s beside the point. The point is that you can’t annoy people into doing business with you. Creating a loud, hyper, and screaming commercial isn’t the way you want to get customers’ attention. Sure, this commercial gets their attention, but it’s not the kind of attention you want. Unless you’re Billy Mays (R.I.P.), yelling is NOT a good sales technique.
The commercial grates on your ears, and it forces you to frantically look for the remote so you can either:
a) Turn down the volume
b) Change the channel
c) Throw the remote through the screen
But that’s not my only problem with this commercial. The truth is Staples is treating their customers like they’re idiots. They create an intentionally loud and annoying commercial, which shows you that they think this is the kind of low level garbage their customers will respond to. I’m not saying advertisers need to treat their commercials like they’re creating an Oscar award winning movie, but seriously, this mindset of “appeal to the lowest common denominator” has got to stop at some point. It shows poor taste, and it’s really just insulting and rude to heckle and yell at your customers.
Another thing the ad agency that made this commercial didn’t seem to think about: If you’re trying to attract new customers who don’t shop at Staples or already have a negative perception of Staples, do you really think this will bring them into the store? If anything, it only forces them to harden their stance against Staples, ensuring that they definitely don’t step foot inside this store. The annoyance technique only causes people to associate the Staples brand with being annoyed.
I truly hope I don’t know anyone who likes this commercial. Otherwise, it’ll be like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry stops dating a girl because she found a Dockers commercial to be smart and witty.
What do you think? Am I overreacting? Or is this really an early leader for worst commercial of the year?
If you can improve your customer service, you’ll increase client retention and create a more positive image for your brand. Simply put, excellent customer service is necessary for growing a successful business. And it’s not just enough to say “We care about our customers”…you need to actually show it.
Here are several simple things you can do to transform your customer service from average to extraordinary.
Train your staff to be the best—Michael Jordan didn’t become the greatest basketball player of all time just by showing up for the games. He trained constantly so that he could improve his skills and be better than everyone else. The same concept applies to your customer service team. You can’t rely on them to be great just by throwing them on the phones every day. You need to spend time training them, helping them learn specific strategies they can use to better help customers and to keep clients happy.
Reward great employees—If your employees aren’t happy with their jobs, how can you expect them to have that bright, friendly attitude they need to help keep customers happy? Your employees are your most valuable asset, so you need to make sure they’re happy. You can do this by rewarding employees who do great jobs. This shows them you appreciate their work, and it gives them an incentive to provide excellent customer service.
Get to know your customers on a deeper level—Don’t just treat your customers like a number. You need to build relationships with your customers. Get to know who they are, what their likes and dislikes are, what their expectations are, and other important things about them. The more information you have, the more able you’ll be to satisfy them and target them in your marketing efforts.
Show your customers how much you appreciate their business—I don’t know about you, but I’m much likelier to do business at a company that actually shows me how much they appreciate my business. From extending a simple thank you when a customer makes a purchase to offering exclusive discounts and freebies to loyal customers, there are several things you can do to show your appreciation to customers.
Be willing to deviate from company policy—You can never forget the emotional and personal side of customer service. Don’t treat your company policy like it’s the law of the land. Sure, it’s an important guideline, but you need to be willing to bend the rules to keep customers happy. This will help you understand the customer’s pain better, and it will allow you to create a response that keeps them satisfied.
What are some other things companies can do to improve their customer service? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.
Although sites like Hulu and YouTube are allowing visitors to vote for their favorite 2010 Super Bowl commercial, BrandBowl 2010 decided to speed up the process of determining the most popular SuperBowl 44 commercials by monitoring and analyzing the large amount of data available on Twitter.
Since the BrandBowl 2010 website ranked the Top 10 Super Bowl ad brands but didn’t embed the brand’s commercials on their site, I thought everyone would enjoy having an ordered list that made it simple to watch any of the twenty-one commercials aired by the Top 10 Super Bowl Brands of 2010:
1. Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl Underdog, Snack Attack Samurai, Casket, House Rules
It costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one
Almost 70% of customers stop doing business if they receive poor service
A happy customer will tell 5 people (even more with social media)
I could go on and on with these statistics, but the point is this: Keeping your customers happy is crucial to the health of your business. Happy customers are loyal customers. Loyal customers also often generate referral business, helping you grow your customer base at a low cost.
So, what can you do to keep your customers happy? Here are 7 tips to get you started.