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It can feel like a constant uphill battle to both attract new customers and keep the current ones happy. There’s only so much time in a day to interact, and so many new features you can roll out.
However, we’re all just human. We polled a group of entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council about the small, surprising ways to make a big difference to your repeat customers. Their best answers are below.Offering Thought Leadership
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.Checking In
Our customers really appreciate how often we reach out to them, whether it’s a phone call or an in-person meeting. When we have an ongoing project with a client, we make sure to check in and touch base at least once a week.
– Simon Casuto, eLearning MindRemembering Their Tendencies
One surprising way to delight repeat customers is to remember their day-to-day tendencies. From specific protocol to ideal working hours, keeping in mind a client’s personal preferences shows that you not only appreciate the relationship, but you are actively working to make their day-to-day experience with you easier.
– Kim Kaupe, ZinePakSending Them Anniversary or Milestone Gifts
When clients get an unannounced flower arrangement because it’s our working-relationship anniversary with them, they are stunned. Plus, it reminds them that we appreciate our ongoing relationship.
– Beck Bamberger, BAM CommunicationsAsking Them for Help
– Alisha Navarro, 2 Hounds DesignRemembering Small Details
Remembering small details is often overlooked, but can make a huge impact on repeat customers. Whether it’s their anniversary, their child’s name or remembering their last purchase or upcoming annual trade show — knowing and bringing up unexpected things makes a huge impact on their perception of how much you care about them and their business.
– Angela Harless, AcrobatAntShowing You’re Willing to Go Above & Beyond
We keep our clients’ best interests in mind at all times, and this has served us really well over the years. If we don’t think something is a good idea, we tell the client. This also means coming up with new ideas. If you think something will do well for a particular client, let him know. This tells the client that you are always looking for opportunities that might help him.
– Justin Beegel, Infographic World, Inc.Targeting Your Email
We use a tool called Retention Grid to measure customer activity for the purpose of increasing repeat purchases. The Grid measures the length of time from a purchase as well as the number of purchases they made. Each customer segment of The Grid has their own monthly email marketing strategy. We’ve seen incredible results by targeting our emails and not treating each customer the same.
– Brett Farmiloe, MarkitorsExplaining Challenges the Business is Facing
Asking for customers’ opinions on specific issues related to their customer type has helped us in terms of humanizing the business while helping building a different relationship with our business beyond just customer. I think it elevates people’s connection with our company and has been the source of new ideas and initiatives from customers.
– Kofi Kankam, Admit.meResponding Quickly
Being “on” all the time is super important to me. I love to respond to customers when they don’t think I will. It could be after hours or on the weekend and they’ll get my response. It not only makes them feel important, it shows that I’m willing to take our relationship where others won’t. They’ll remember that and you’ll see more business because of it.
– Mark Samuel, FitmarkMaking Communication More Personal
As easy as technology has made communication, I always marvel at how powerful one phone call, handwritten letter, or visit can be. Of all the options available to me, I’ll take a personal meeting or chat over anything else to increase the likelihood of a customer coming back for more business.
– Brennan White, Cortex
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Creating a compelling offer requires extensive knowledge of your target audience and their specific needs and challenges
There’s one thing no business can thrive or operate profitably without – a compelling offer. It’s the heart of any business success and the lifeblood that keeps all the business processes moving seamlessly forward.
That being said, whatever it is that you’re offering (a product, service, education, consultancy, and so on), you’ll have a much better chance of success if you make that offer as compelling as possible.
But what does a compelling offer mean exactly? To paraphrase Marlon Brando in The Godfather, a compelling offer is that irresistible offer your target customer simply cannot refuse. Usually, it comes immediately after the lead magnet.
Creating a compelling offer requires extensive knowledge of your target audience and their specific needs and challenges, but you must also be very familiar with the industry and your niche, have excellent copywriting skills and the ability to deliver on what your offer promises.
To make things easier for you, we’ve identified four key elements you should include in your offer to make it as compelling as possible.1. Attractive offer
Obviously, a compelling offer needs to contain the offer itself. It needs to be something attractive that will make your potential customers even more likely to buy. There are at least two things every compelling offer has in common – it’s clear (non-deceitful) and it offers great value.
First, there has to be no doubt about what exactly you’re offering. It has to be completely clear what it is that you’re selling (this should go without saying, but so many brands and businesses out there make this mistake), as confused people aren’t very likely to purchase from you.
How to make sure your offer is clear and direct enough? Here you need to employ your copywriting skills to ensure the offer is accurately depicted and not shrouded in a veil of mystery. Plus, whenever suitable, you should use numbers, percentages, dates, and quantities to specify the details of your offer.
Second, as already mentioned, you need to offer something of real value to your customers. Make sure not to overpromise or underdeliver. In many cases, offers that don’t deliver real value end up being disputed and often lead to a refund and/or a bad review.2. Risk reversal
Of course, it’s quite easy if you’re Nike or Apple and already have an established base of loyal customers who are familiar with the quality of your products. But what if you still have a quality product or service to offer but are new in the business and just trying to get your share of the market?
People who are not familiar with your company, brand, or products are going to be wary and skeptical. They’re not going to buy from you just because you say that you have a good product. Instead, you need to ease their worries and convince them that you can deliver on what your offer promises – and this is where risk reversal kicks in.
In fact, it’s been proven that risk reversal can double your conversion rate. That being said, your compelling offer needs to include some kind of a risk reversal incentive. Some of the most commonly used risk reversal techniques are a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
When there’s risk reversal involved, people know that their money is not just going to disappear leaving them with a bad product or service and, as a consequence, are more likely to buy.3. Bonuses
It’s an indisputable fact that customers simply adore bonuses. Just think about all the times a bonus offer, bundled up with the main product, has smooth-talked you into buying something. Bonuses can come in many shapes and forms – it can be an additional product, a discount, a voucher, a gift card, and much more. They are essential to your compelling offer.
Keep in mind that “a bonus” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lower your prices or give something away for free – it just means that you’re adding more value to your initial and main offer, making it more compelling.4. A sense of urgency
A sense of urgency is a powerful mechanism that can make your offer appear even more appealing (than it really is) to a potential customer. In most cases, a sense of urgency is created by tying an expiration date to your offer.
It’s inherent in human nature that we don’t want to miss out on something potentially great (there’s even a phenomenon called FOMO – fear of missing out). That being said, a countdown timer (in combination with risk reversal or a bonus) is often more than enough to kick us into action and get us to buy before the time runs out.
Let’s take Marcus Taylor as an example. He is an entrepreneur who launched a kind of a Groupon deal for musicians back at the time. While A/B testing his offers, he managed to increase his sales by 332% after adding urgency to one of his offers.
In case you don’t want to put an expiry date to your compelling offer, you can create a sense of scarcity by limiting the number of items or slots available.
To put theory into practice, I’m going to provide you with three examples of compelling offers in three different online business areas – consultancy business, e-commerce, and SaaS business.Compelling offers in the consultancy business
Tony Robbins, one of the best-known life coaches in the world, plays the card of risk reversal by offering his clients a free 30-minute session to have the initial talk and see if the potential client is interested in booking a consultation.
This method is particularly popular amongst consultants, coaches, marketing experts, and so on, as it provides both client and consultant with an opportunity to check whether they’ll be a good fit for each other.Compelling offers in e-commerce
E-commerce is filled to the brim with compelling offers. From technology to beauty products, almost everyone in e-commerce uses compelling offers as a legitimate and highly effective means of increasing their conversion rates and revenue.
After taking a skin care quiz and seeing the results, its website visitors were offered a sample selection of skin care products for just $10, a $10-coupon for future purchases, a money-back guarantee (risk reversal), and a free ebook (a bonus).Compelling offers in SaaS
There is no doubt that SaaS (Software as a Service) is the future of doing business online. That being said, SaaS businesses are not immune to utilizing compelling offers either.
Let’s take Shopify as an example. Shopify is a platform that enables you to easily set up your online shop. It also does an excellent job with compelling offers. In addition to offering a 14-day free trial (risk reversal), it also offers you a possibility to sign up without credit card details (a bonus), which is not something many of its competitors offer.Conclusion
As you can see, compelling offers come in many different shapes and forms and can be used to significantly improve your overall sales and revenue.
Whether you decide to offer a free trial, a bonus product or feature, a discount, or a money-back guarantee, hopefully, some of the tips I shared above will help you make your customers a compelling offer they just can’t turn down.
When he entered my room all he saw were fences, barriers: academic, cultural, and economic. He pretended he didn’t care. “You can’t do this. You can’t do that,” was certainly ingrained into his psyche. So, I made sure my first words to him were, “You can.” Day after day he wrote, quite horribly, about his favorite football team. I said, “You can.” And each day a splinter of light squeezed through the fence.
Days passed, then weeks. He tested me. I said, “You can.” He improved. He worked hard. He could see through the fence now, just a bit. We started creating music in the classroom. I said to bring in your instruments. Nobody did, but him. I sat at my desk waiting for the class to arrive and to my surprise I heard the faint flutter of a harmonica from the hallway. I hurried to the door and opened it. “Who was that?” I asked. A little girl pointed at him. He smiled. I picked up my guitar and said, “Let’s jam.” He shook his head no. I asked why. He looked at the class and said, “They’ll laugh at me.” I said, “I can fix that.” I turned to the class, smiled, and threatened, “Anyone laughs while we play and you’re in for recess.” I winked. The class knew. I said, “You can.” We played. The gap in the fence widened. He had something they didn’t. And it felt good.The American Dream: Big
Your students will encounter (and create) all kinds of fences in their life. I helped my student find a gap in the fence by giving him choice and encouraging his musical talent. Obama touched upon this idea of finding special talents during his back to school speech. “And it is true that we each have our own gifts, we each have our own talents that we have to discover and nurture.” I’m sure the President means well and believes every bit of it. He said, “Dream big.” But how can we, students and teachers alike, dream big, discover our hidden talents, be creative, and learn to learn when all we’re doing is preparing for a test? It’s no secret that in the name of accountability creative thinking has been bashed to kibbles-n-bits. And if our students fail to reach the level of political proficiency needed to be a “productive citizen,” who takes the blame? Not the system, or the parents, or the peers; not culture or economic downfall. All fingers will point at the teachers. Then what? Will we all be Waiting for Superman to swoop down and guide our hands to drastic educational reform? Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, it is Hollywood.Less Drama, More Impact
I’m not sure that merit pay and charter schools qualify as reform (as Waiting for Superman suggests). Author and professor, Thomas Newkirk, argues against large, sweeping reform in his book, Holding on to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones: Six Literacy Principles Worth Fighting For.
“In this age of big reform, this focus on the small and immediate may seem timid. Yet it always seemed to me that great teachers are great not because they are constantly engineering revolutions in their classroom–but because they are alert to the small changes, the small victories.”Shifting Perspectives
“Timid” classroom success stories like mine happen every day of every moment around the world–the student who solves a tough math problem, the kid who finally finished a whole book, the shy soul who speaks up for the first time. Are teachers really failing America’s kids or are the little victories in the classroom going unnoticed? It’s a hard question. You can’t test that question, put it under a microscope, and enter the data into a computer. You can’t make a Hollywood movie about it because there’s no way to focus on all of those little victories happening every day that keep us trucking along and our students coming back for more. One might say it’s boring. But it just might be everlasting. “Our pleasure in teaching should come from something smaller,” Newkirk states. “…And I would argue more permanent.”
So help your students find gaps in the fence and put on your own climbing gear. Get ready to scale the political barriers greased with Hollywood reform and big industry money. No worries, though. Listen close to me. Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be. I know, fellow teacher, that in your heart you hold all of those tiny victories that stiffen your upper lip and push your legs forward through fatigue and exhaustion. And if our boring victories aren’t rebellious enough to be noticed, so be it. Your efforts will be remembered, my friend, because your students will hold on tight to those moments when it wasn’t just a teacher and a student. It was quite more than that.
Sorry Mr. Superman, job’s filled.
The finest organizations and those that aim to be the best differ significantly in important ways. We can learn from the top-performing companies’ recruitment of a new generation of C-level personnel. That’s true, the top-ranking human resources manager is no longer the one in charge of paperwork and minor difficulties. Now, more companies are discovering the value and necessity of a qualified CHRO to manage the entire human resource component of an organization.
Consideration should be given to executive salaries, succession planning, and public relations management. They might “alter the game” for a company. A successful CHRO must be aware of the duties and obligations he or she has towards an organization since these roles and responsibilities could make the organization or break it.Here are the top 6 most desirable traits of a CHRO. 1.A Smart Strategist
A CHRO must first and foremost perform the task that all C-level executives are expected to excel at developing strategies. He or she must be able to think strategically, act strategically, and predict how present actions will affect the future. The most fundamental yet challenging task that a CHRO must be able to complete to establish his or her value is this one.2.Knowing Exactly How to Communicate
A superb CHRO must be able to articulate the benefits of the human resources division to the company. The usefulness of a CHRO is frequently overlooked by other C-suites and the board of directors. This is true, but not necessarily because of a flawed perspective that “cannot be corrected.” A successful CHRO would be able to compete with any other C-Suite executive and demonstrate the value of the position by actively participating in and contributing to the achievement of corporate goals and by making sure everyone is aware of how they did it.3.Business Focus
The business side of human resources is the focus of a good CHRO. A CHRO should fill the gap between these two distinct elements of the organization. It is crucial to consider how human resources might affect the business, such as how tools and trends in human resources can be used to make sure the organization is reaching its needs and expectations. A strong CHRO will be interested in the business’s operations from a global viewpoint, not only from the standpoint of a single discipline (i.e., training, compliance, or recruitment). To find out how he or she may contribute to results, he or she will pose insightful inquiries.4.Understands Different Elements of The Business
A leader in human resources must be an outstanding manager of people. A top-level human resources leader, nevertheless, would also be knowledgeable about the organization’s other departments, including sales, marketing, finance, and operations. This equips a CHRO with solid knowledge, experience, and insight and enables him or her to develop innovative plans that, seen from a wider angle, achieve the objectives of the firm. For instance, it’s important to examine talent management tactics from all perspectives, not just the HR officers. This necessary experience is naturally rooted inadequate experience and cooperatively working with other C-Suite level officers (after a certain period).5.Global Experience
As they all claim, the market is becoming more and more international. In contrast to the past, a highly varied workforce now exists around the world thanks to immigration and technology. Only via foreign and worldwide experience can one effectively gain intercultural communication skills, tolerance, and diversity management. The HR executive will be able to manage a diverse staff more successfully the more adept they are in this area. By increasing the company’s talent pool, enhancing employee morale, and enhancing the company’s reputation, diversity can be a key factor in the success of the business.6.Change the Driver
While it’s always nice to have extra help–in the form of a personal assistant, an accountant, or a lawyer, say–it’s also nice to cut costs. Small and medium businesses often can’t afford to hire salaried professionals for all of those extra tasks that must be done.
If you already operate on a shoestring or need to cut costs–and perhaps water cooler chatter–read on for virtual services you can “hire,” instead of an extra employee.Replace Your Personal Assistant or Secretary
Hiring a dedicated personal assistant or a secretary will cost you around $35,000/year ($2900/month), plus benefits. But you can easily outsource much of the work of a personal assistant to the virtual world for just a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional, especially if you know what tasks you need the most help with.
If you do a lot of traveling and entertaining, RedButler offers personal assistant and concierge services (such as making hotel reservations), and it features a special membership card that allows holders to receive discounts at hotels and restaurants. RedButler memberships start at just $36.95/month for 15 tasks (each phone call or hotel booking constitutes one task) and a membership card.
If you’re looking for more of a dedicated personal assistant, Habilis and AskSunday offer hourly membership plans. Instead of being billed per task, you can sign up for a certain number of hours per month. Habilis plans start at $350 for 40 hours, while AskSunday plans start at $150 for 10 hours. Both offer personal assistant services such as making phone calls, handling e-mails, and making reservations, and they feature 24-hour availability.Replace Your Lawyer
While I don’t recommend completely outsourcing your legal needs to technology, free legal Websites are a valuable resource. Because lawyers charge by the hour, doing your own research, or at least finding the correct legal form, can actually save you a small chunk of change.Replace Your Accountant
If you’d prefer not to be tied to your desktop, online accounting services are another option. QuickBooks features an online version whose cost ranges from $12.95/month to $63.16/month and has a lot of the features of the desktop version, including invoice and expense tracking, payroll support, and online banking support.
FreshBooks, whose plans range from free to $40/month, is more suited for small businesses larger than one person. FreshBooks allows you to track invoices and expenses, and to create and manage inventory, and it even creates and mails invoices for you via snail mail at a nominal additional cost.
Even if you end up hiring an accountant anyway–just as an extra pair of eyes before tax time–these services are worth it. After all, if you have your finances in relative order, it will save your accountant time–which translates to saving you money.Replace Your Customer Support
Customer support is an essential–yet tiring and time-consuming–aspect of running a small business. Fortunately, a few online tools can make customer support a relatively easy, painless process.
Zendesk is a virtual help desk and more of an organizational tool for customer support. Instead of crowdsourcing customer support as Get Satisfaction does, Zendesk allows you to solve customer problems using helpdesk trouble tickets. You can embed Zendesk into your company’s Website, enabling customers to open a ticket when they have a problem. Zendesk helps you manage, organize, and resolve open tickets.
Zendesk is nicely transparent in that customers can see who is working on their ticket and when it’s expected to be resolved. Zendesk can also help users help themselves with its ticket tagging–certain tags will pull up forum and discussion suggestions that may resolve the customer’s issue. Zendesk starts at $9/month for up to three customer service agents.
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Windows 11 isn’t the first operating system Microsoft has tried to get working on tablet devices, but it’s probably the best attempt yet. The software is quite comfortable on touchscreens and tablets that lack a keyboard and mouse.
If you have a Windows 11 tablet or a laptop that can transform into one (a 2-in-1), you’ll see that the OS can automatically adjust some settings itself when it notices there are no input peripherals attached and you’re just using touch to move around the system—for example, the icons on the taskbar get a little bit bigger and a little more spaced out.
But there are also options you can adjust manually to make sure your Windows 11 tablet experience is the best it can be—from increasing the size of on-screen text to bringing up the software keyboard built into Windows 11.1. Know your gestures
Windows 11 supports a number of useful gestures that you can use with tablets (and laptops with touchscreens) to get around your apps more easily. For example, swipe down with three fingers to hide all application windows and see the desktop; swipe up with three fingers to bring the program windows back again.
You can also swipe left or right with three fingers to switch to the application you were using just before the one you’re currently looking at, then repeat the gesture to go back to the first app. In other words, swipe left or right with three fingers on the screen to keep switching between the two most recently used programs.
If you use virtual desktops to organize your windows (press Win+Tab to manage and create them), you can use gestures to move between them. Press and hold on the screen with four fingers and the current desktop should shrink in size. Keeping all four fingers pressed down, you can then swipe left or right to move between desktops.2. Scale up the interface
Having bigger menus, buttons, and other screen elements can make working in Windows 11 on a tablet much easier. To set the size of interface objects, open Settings, then choose System, Display, and Scale. You can choose from the options provided or enter a custom scale level between 100 and 500 percent. The higher you go, the larger everything on screen will be.3. Turn on rotation lock
One of the ways Windows 11 tries to help you while using a tablet is by readjusting the screen orientation as you move the device—from portrait to landscape and back again as you rotate the tablet around.
Most of the time, you’ll want this to happen, but there might also be times when you want the rotation to stay fixed instead. From Settings, pick Display and turn on Rotation lock. You can also specifically set the orientation via Display orientation.4. Automatically hide the taskbar
If you’re using Windows 11 on a tablet, you’ll want to make sure there’s as much space on screen as possible for your programs—and what’s more, you won’t want to be accidentally launching applications or settings panes by touching the wrong part of the display.
One way to fix both of these problems is by having the taskbar automatically hide itself. You can always bring it back if you need to. Open Settings, then pick Personalization, Taskbar, and Taskbar behaviors, where you’ll need to check the box marked Automatically hide the taskbar.5. Open the virtual keyboard or trackpad
Make sure the on-screen keyboard is only a quick tap away. David Nield
When you’re using Windows 11 in tablet mode, without an attached keyboard, the on-screen keyboard will show up automatically whenever you have some typing to do (like when you need to enter a password).
You can also bring up the keyboard anytime you like by tapping the keyboard icon on the far right-hand side of the taskbar. To make sure it’s always visible, go to Settings and choose Personalization, followed by Taskbar and Taskbar corner icons.6. Use snap layouts with your windows
Windows 11 lets you snap program windows to the side of the screen, a trick that can be useful for keeping everything well organized on your display. To snap an application window, press and hold on its title bar, then drag it to the left or right edge of the screen as needed.7. Buy a stylus
Jabbing around on the screen with your finger is fine, but investing in a stylus for your Windows 11 tablet can elevate your input game to a whole new level. From digital drawing and handwriting to menu selection, it makes everything simpler.
That’s partly to do with the way that Windows 11 handles stylus inputs. If you point a connected stylus toward buttons on a menu, for example, a floating cross will appear on the part of the screen you’re aiming at, making it easier to select what’s on the display. Speaking of selecting, highlighting large blocks of text or big groups of files are other tasks that are simply easier to do with a stylus.
We can’t fit in a full stylus buying guide for you here, but a quick web search should reveal some strong candidates for the job. When your new tool arrives, you can add and manage your stylus devices from Settings by selecting Bluetooth & devices and then Devices.
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