Focus on New Horizons

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Focus on New Horizons

“No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.”  Zora Neale Hurston

As the new year comes into focus, personal resolutions are made. Intentions are set to develop a healthier lifestyle, pursue further education, or spend more time with loved ones. Even as these various personal resolutions are made, business owners should make resolutions to improve their companies by increasing the health of the organization, increasing educational opportunities for leadership and employees, and designing new engagement opportunities for customers. Aligning business resolutions with personal goals can make it easier to achieve success.

It is recommended that we visit our primary care physicians for yearly wellness checks. Likewise, gather your leadership team for a yearly wellness check of the business. Annual reviews can be seen as cumbersome or time-consuming, but they are well worth the effort to realize the goals of the company. As a component of continuous improvement, take the time to examine your business from top to bottom, run some tests, and ask relevant questions. Start by pulling out the mission and vision statement of the organization. Are you still operating within the purview of the mission and vision? Have you strayed away and need to assess current practices? Or is it time to update the mission and vision? Is the organization operating with the most effective technology and business practices? Similar to improving personal health and wellness, start the year by assessing where you are versus where you want to be. Determine what’s holding you back and resolve to reach a new horizon.

In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of continuing education as a tool for employee engagement. Even as business leaders are seeking to attend networking events, conferences, and possibly gain advanced degrees to make them more effective in their roles, employees are seeking the same. Employers who compensate employees for continuing education practices enjoy a higher retention rate. Supporting personal growth while providing a benefit during or after the education is complete will encourage staff to pursue advanced degrees and remain with your organization afterward. Improved employee retention rates provide stability within your organization and a strong foundation for future growth. Allow leaders as well as staff to pursue educational opportunities and reach a new horizon.

Fostering consumer engagement is a goal every business person must reach. Three pillars of consumer retention are partnering with customers, growing with customers, and appreciating customers. Just as we support our loved ones during good times and bad times, business personnel must learn to ride the waves of client satisfaction. Partnering with customers to appropriately celebrate life events demonstrates that each buyer is an individual not a dollar sign. Growing with clients includes offering what they need now even when it’s outside the scope of your business. Offering referrals to reputable third-parties builds trust and goodwill between you and your clients. Customer appreciation is as simple as saying ‘thank you’. Thank you for being a customer. Thank you for sharing feedback and suggestions. Thank you for allowing our company to come alongside you and reach a new horizon.

Focus on new horizons this year both personally and professionally. Go further and do more than you accomplished in previous years. Develop success strategies for leaders and personnel. Most importantly, remember that little can be accomplished alone. Form a team to support you with the physical tasks and provide emotional/spiritual encouragement as you move to reach a new horizon.


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Attracting and Retaining New Customers

Attracting new customers is as easy as defining your target market. Keeping them comes down to delivering out of the ordinary results in the area of customer service.

Defining your target market is the first step to attracting new customers. Simply stating “men aged 30-40” is a good place to begin, but identifying your customer does not end there. Be as specific as possible. Become clear on their habits, their enjoyments, consider where they do business currently. Narrow your focus using well-developed segments. Include those things that make them happy, sad, excited, etc. With your target market identified, create a plan to reach your potential customers.

While most businesses opt for a direct marketing strategy, both startups and young businesses could benefit from “host-beneficiary” marketing. This strategy involves reaching out to other businesses whose customer database includes your target market. Present the established business (host) with the idea of offering their customer a gift or complimentary service from your company as a loyalty reward. The host company benefits by having a new thank you gift for customers that costs them no money and little effort. Your company (the beneficiary) gains exposure to an established database of potential new customers. This strategy generates a win-win. Utilize this strategy with as many host companies as you can handle when averaging a 10-20% response rate from their customer base.

A clear plan of action for receiving and retaining new customers is imperative. The customer service focus of your staff encourages new clients to become loyal patrons. Prepare staff for the expected increase in customers, remind them of your company’s values and customer service models. Prompt staff to gently encourage impulse buys or future service requests. Above all, remember to follow up with each new contact you receive through your host-beneficiary marketing. This closes the loop in your marketing strategy and brings solidity to the newly-formed relationship.

Contact At Your Service Consulting for more tips on retaining customers through improved customer service.