Everybody is talking about it: your business needs a website, a CRM, business emails, social media… The list goes on, but the main concept is clear: businesses need to get digital to thrive.
While this is undoubtedly true, it isn’t always clear how adopting technology is going to help your business thrive. Spoiler alert: it won’t if you just go ahead without understanding how each tool fits in the wider strategy. That is why I’d like to briefly explain what technology can help you achieve and how, from lead generation to building loyal customers.
Click on any steps below to learn about how technology can help.
People need to discover your business before they can ever become your customers. Through social media, paid advertising, and an SEO-optimised website, you can easily achieve this. What’s best is that it’s likely to cost you much less than doing it offline. Not only you can ensure potential customers find you when they need you: you can start building a relationship with your audience even before that, showing them your brand on the websites and platforms they already visit. For example, a fishing-equipment shop can show their ads to people interested in fishing who live in their target area, while they are not even thinking about fishing. What an opportunity to remind your audience to follow their passion, and to introduce your brand!
What’s the first thing most people do when they find out about a brand they might be interested in? They check it up online! They look for a website, Facebook page, and any information they can find. They are interested in finding out what your past customers think of you, and seeing pictures of your products, services, or locations. What if they don’t find you? At best, you would have missed a chance to convince them that you are worth their trust. In the worst case, they get convinced you are not professional, experienced, established, or good enough for them. And what if they do find you, but your presence is not well managed? A poorly designed website, or a Facebook page with few and low quality posts are a huge deterrent for people who may otherwise become loyal customers. Digital tools help you build credibility and initiate your relationship with your target audience.
While it is difficult (and illegal) to follow your customers around in the physical world, online you can be sure to reach them wherever they are at any time. That is, provided that you have the right technology setup. From the moment they have their first interaction with you, you can digitally tag them and keep interacting with them. You can remind them of your brand and products/services while they are doing other things on their phones. You can keep them in the loop through your newsletter. You can even gently nudge them to complete the purchase they left halfway through. While it may seem creepy, it is something we all experience on a daily basis. If well planned, it can actually feel really helpful to your customers and build a positive relationship, without ever becoming a nuisance. The trick? Always try to give them genuine value and always follow their lead. They’ll reveal what they like and dislike with their actions and your technology will let you know through actionable data.
Thanks to technology you have built a relationship, which means you have a pipeline of smoking hot leads. Whatever your sales process involves, technology can assist you into increasing conversion rates. First of all, it will flag any issues with the current customer journey. For instance, with the right tools it’s easy to find out where your website visitors are abandoning the path that leads them to complete an order. Secondly, there are tools (even for free!) that allow you to track your interactions with your leads online and offline. Let’s say you call a customer, or email them, or have a meeting: you can keep track of it and schedule reminders for a follow up. This way you keep your leads in your sales funnel and ensure you don’t lose any of them by mistake.
Once a customer has bought from you once, they will come back to you if they need your products/services again. Unless you disappoint them along the way. Technology can help you be more efficient, with better time and project management, more organised file storage, and better coordination within your team. This allows you to serve your customers faster and avoid mistakes. Technology can also help you handle after-sale service and customer feedback. This way you can make an amazing impression on customers even when something went wrong.