In honor of National Small Business Week, we’re celebrating the fact that small is big—in a lot of different ways. The little touchpoints your customers experience when interacting with your business add up to a big overall impression. Make the most of these opportunities, and you’re sure to create happy, long-lasting relationships with your customers! Here are 15 important touchpoints you don’t want to overlook:
1. Your telephone number. Is it easy to find? Easy to click? Be sure your number appears on every page of your website, and aim to make it clickable so smartphone users can reach you with a quick tap.
2. Who answers. Do your customers reach an impersonal voicemail box, a confusing phone tree, or a live voice? A cheerful, live person ready to help will make a fantastic impression on your callers.
3. Your office. Time to ditch the dying plants and dusty furniture! This touchpoint isn’t just important to clients who visit—a pleasant workspace can do wonders for your team’s attitude and productivity, and yours as well. If money is tight, try these low-cost tips for making your office inviting.
4. Your website. Prospective clients are likely to peruse your website from smartphones, so if you haven’t optimized your site for mobile yet, now is a great time. Be sure your phone number is prominently displayed and clickable—many mobile users would rather click to call your company than scroll through your site to find answers.
5. Your advertising. Print and online ads are a great way to show who you are as a company. These tips can help you create an appealing and effective look without breaking the bank.
6. Your blog posts. A blog is an ideal place to have a conversation with current and prospective customers. Sharing your knowledge and experience through blog content allows you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your field while giving readers a sense of your values and mission.
7. When you send a gift. If you have the budget for client gifts, try setting up a routine so you don’t leave anyone out. Generally, there are two reasons to send a client gift: to mark a standard milestone (you might send a welcome gift when a new client signs up), or for a special occasion (perhaps when a client gets married or has a child). Choosing specific, meaningful reasons for sending gifts will help ensure they make an impact.
8. When you send a card. A card is not as strict as a gift—in fact, any time you feel moved to write a note to a client, we recommend you do so! A friendly notecard can have an even bigger impact than a gift, for a fraction of the cost.
9. Your email communication. A collection of well-designed email templates can make your life a heck of a lot easier, and ensure your clients get the information they need when they need it. But avoid the temptation to cut and paste every time—when you have the opportunity to create a connection through email, add that personal touch.
10. Your packaging. Whether it’s a gift or a simple envelope, the container counts. When our receptionists order WOW gifts for clients, we ship them to our offices first so we can wrap them and add a card. Receiving a mysterious cardboard box just isn’t as fun as a hand-wrapped gift!
11. Your invoice. Yep, even when you’re asking for money, you can make raving fans out of your clients. This article proves it.
12. Your web forms. We’ve probably all had a frustrating experience with a poorly designed web form. If you ask clients to submit information online, be sure your web forms are easy to understand and easy to complete. Need help? Find design tips here.
13. Your follow-up. Doing what you say you’ll do is key here. If you commit to connecting with a client by a certain time, make sure you do, even if you don’t have anything new to report. Reliable follow-ups build trust, so set reminders to ensure you don’t miss them. If you’re new to a follow-up routine, start small—don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you check in once a week for four weeks, then switch to every other week without warning clients, they’ll likely feel let down.
14. Your social media response time. A speedy social media response makes you look good, while a slow (or no) response seems sloppy. It may feel trivial at times, but replying to blog comments, tweets, and Facebook posts lets customers and potential clients know you care. If you use social media for your business, be ready deliver timely, friendly responses.
15. Trade shows and networking events. Nothing makes an impression like a face-to-face conversation. Grab those business cards, polish up your networking skills, and get ready to mingle! Headed to your first trade show? Congratulations! These ten lessons can help you make the most of the experience.
Is there a customer touchpoint that’s had an effect in your business? Tweet us @callruby to share your story!