Last week I talked about my fab dentist and their awesome customer experience. I talked through exactly how that adds 25% more revenue to their business without costing them a dime.
Afterwards, I heard from a few of you who said, “Cool! But my business isn’t a dental office – how I can I make this work for MY business.”
Fair enough. Let’s walk through it, step by step. Shall we?
No matter what your business, there are three steps to improve your existing business to increase profits and get out of overwhelm.
- First, nail down the foundational systems and processes.
- Second, solidify the customer experience to activate and retain existing customers.
- Finally, acquire and engage new customers to scale and grow.
Let’s break these down.
Nail down your foundational systems and processes.
The dentist example included a system for setting up consistent appointments with clients. That’s what drives revenue for them, so they have an outreach system with postcards, email and an automated SMS tool that makes it dead-easy for customers to get to the dentist every six months.
What tools do YOU need in your arsenal to communicate with customers effectively?
For starters, pretty much everyone needs a way to get in front of customers via email.
How’s your email outreach going?
Maybe you’re already collecting email addresses from clients. And you’re entering them into a back-end system so you can send out automated communication. This may be an email provider (like Mailchimp or Infusionsoft), it might be your POS system, or it might be something else entirely. AND you’re actually making use of the system. Consistently.
Once your email is on point, there are additional systems and processes needed for your business.
They’ll be unique to you and what you do. Here are some that are relevant for everyone:
You train employees so it’s obvious what you want them to do and how to do it. And your procedures are clear and clearly explained for Every. Member. Of. Your. Team.
- Your Facebook fan page is optimized.
- Your website is current, and it explains your unique flavor of awesomesauce.
- And your reporting systems spit out the exact customer information you need.
In other words, everything you need on the back end to deliver the customer experience you want.
Once your systems and processes are nailed down, it’s on to step two.
Solidify the customer experience to activate and retain existing customers
Every business has customers.
- Maybe not as many as you want. (Hang on, we’re getting to that.)
- Maybe they don’t spend as much as you wish. (Yup, that too.)
Now that your systems are set up and functioning like a well-oiled machine, what’s the customer experience you want to deliver?
How do you make customers fall in love with you?
Ah…love…let’s pause for a romantic interlude…shall we??
Aaaand, we’re back.
This question of love isn’t a general query.
How DO you make your customers fall in love with you?
Many business leaders tell me their business is simply “a place customers love.” It sounds great, but relying on that as your answer leaves a lot of money – and relationship – on the table.
The relationship you have with customers is too important to leave to chance. To really take your business to the next level, you need to be exactly clear on the journey you want every customer to have with your business.
- How do you greet them?
- How do you celebrate them, so they feel seen, heard and valued?
- How do you follow up in ways that bond customers to you and cultivate loyalty?
At my dentist, I’m greeted by name. There are notes about me in the CRM system. They probably have an upsell track they use to encourage me into cosmetic or other optional offerings. (Which is part of the reason I’m nine months into Invisalign as I type this.) Without the systems and training, the team can’t bring me along the journey.
A customer journey doesn’t happen by accident. It’s mapped out. There are specific action steps built on the foundational systems that were set up in Step One.
The journey itself is what makes loyal, repeat customers who purchase more often, spend more and refer like crazy.
Referral is just one aspect within Step Three.
Acquire and engage new customers to scale and grow
The more you know about your existing customers, the more easily you can find new ones that will also love you.
We’re talking about knowing these customers at a deep level.
- Are they married or single?
- How old?
- How much money do they make?
- Where do they shop?
- What do they read?
- How do they spend their free time?
- What stresses them out?
These are just a few of the questions. When you can answer them all, it’s much easier to find other folks who fit the same mold.
- That means being able to micro-target advertising in smaller, less expensive venue.
- Reduce your ad costs on Facebook.
- Partner with other business that reach your same demographic to piggy back off their customer list.
There’s an old saying, “if you’re talking to everyone, you’re not talking to anyone.”
Getting clear on the “who” means you can get laser targeted on everything else.
It also makes it easier to create opportunities for existing customer to bring their friends into the business.
Existing customers are your BEST source of finding new customers because they are advocates for what you do. And since their experience with you is stellar, they’re generally thrilled to share!
Conquer the three steps:
- Nail down the foundational systems and processes.
- Solidify the customer experience to activate and retain existing customers.
- Acquire and engage new customers to scale and grow.
Before you know it, you’ll see your existing business blow out profits and operate with ease.
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