Happy New Year!
Now that the ball has dropped, the clock chimed and the firework displays are over, it’s time to ensure we start 2023 off on the right foot. While personal resolutions are usually at the forefront of our minds just two days into the new year, this is also the perfect opportunity to make clear, strong — and most importantly actionable — resolutions for your business.
Regardless of where you are in your yearly strategic planning, a resolution can help steer you towards a clear goal while also engaging your team on a deeper level than bland targets and KPIs. A resolution is like a pledge: It comes from a deep-seated desire for change and improvement, which means it is more likely to resonate with your staff.
If the thought of making a resolution for your business has you drawing a blank, here are a few suggestions that could help attract more leads and ultimately increase your revenue.
1. Solidify Your Branding
What do you want to come to mind when people think of your company? That you are an expert in your field? That you’re relatable and approachable?
Branding goes beyond the company logo and colors. The image customers have of your brand is built by every interaction they have with you. It’s the tone of voice of your pitch emails, the look and feel of your website and even how well you handle customer complaints.
To have the best chance of prospective and current customers understanding your brand the way you want them to, you need to tell a consistent story. You need to take a clear, strong position with your product and services and make sure that your copy and employees reiterate and expand on that positioning. Then, you need to check that the rest of your operation aligns with your branding guidelines and adds to them to tell a coherent and compelling story.
But be sure to stay truthful when telling those stories. People hate being lied to, and can sniff out a lie more easily than you think. Imagine eating lamb at a farm-to-table restaurant in Paris only to discover the meat has come all the way from New Zealand. You would feel like the restaurant was a fraud, wouldn’t you?
All the choices that you make should add to and support the position and direction of your company. Live and breathe your values and your target customers are more likely to believe in you and your ability to relieve their pain points, leading them to choose you over your competition.
2. Switch to an OpEx Model
For an MSP, this is crucial. The days of selling physical PBXs are well behind us, as are one-off, large-sum payments. To move forward, you must embrace the cloud and subscription-style installments. However, it can be daunting for both you and your customers to switch from a CapEx model you know well to one that feels a bit like treading into the unknown.
But think of it this way: why would you continue selling something that will soon be obsolete? Yes, there are businesses that still prefer to own their hardware, but how will that benefit them when the traditional telephone system, made up of copper cables, is switched off? Thinking from a customer experience perspective, this is the time for you to really explain the benefits of moving to a cloud PBX and help them future-proof their businesses.
Moving to monthly payments is a win-win for both you and your customer, even if it may not seem like that at first. When you’re used to receiving all the money for a job at once, the first monthly payment seems like pennies in comparison. But remember, a customer’s real worth isn’t defined by one sale — it’s the total value of all the sales you expect to have from them now and in the future (lifetime customer value). Customer loyalty and building a long-term relationship with them can only benefit your business.
Besides, if they are already your customer and you have built a level of trust with them, it is much easier to sell them more features and functionality down the line. With those customers locked in, your business will be able to thrive and grow instead of solely depending on nurturing new leads to make even a basic sale.
3. Focus on the Customer Experience
Just because you have customers on a monthly payment plan doesn’t mean they will stay with you. If you’re hard to reach, if your service or product is substandard or if you don’t treat them with enough attention and respect, your customers will leave you for someone else.
Remember, it takes money and time to turn a lead into a customer, and if your business practices do not meet their expectations, you’ll have to go through the whole process of recruiting again and again. And as we’ve mentioned before, customers are only going to get harder to recruit even as more and more businesses make the switch to the cloud.
Nevertheless, customer experience goes beyond customer service and encompasses the whole customer journey. You need to make sure every touchpoint is user-friendly. Start with your website: is it easy to use? Mobile friendly? How quickly can potential and current customers reach you? Can they find information that will help them make informed decisions? As more and more B2B customers start their purchasing cycle online, put your best foot forward with a responsive website with direct calling and chat features, all available through WebRTC Kite.
Then, have a look at the rest of the buying process and your complaints system. If you’re not sure where the pain points are, ask for some honest feedback from your current customers. Here feedback surveys and ratings are helpful as people tend to be more honest when they’re sharing information anonymously rather than face-to-face. Once you have some feedback, take time to go through it to see where you can improve your service and processes to keep your customers happy. Remember, only happy customers will recommend you, and word-of-mouth advertising is the holy grail of marketing.
4. Start a Blog
As mentioned earlier, everything you present to your customers must tell the same story. With blog posts, you have a unique opportunity for more detailed storytelling than you do on your website, emails, letters, brochures and advertisements. You also, however, have to write with a different intention.
What would you rather read: something that is direct and talks only about a company, or an article where you actually learn something that can improve your life or business? Of course, it’s the latter. Most people don’t actively enjoy reading promotional materials or advertisements — they’d rather read something that educates or entertains them instead. So, if you want potential clients to understand your company and engage with it, make sure that the content you produce is actually something they want to read.
Here is where blogs really shine. A blog allows you to address questions and topics your customers may have, provide a learning experience and gives you the opportunity to add your own take on a subject. This is a great way to create positive experiences for consumers and a way to position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
The trick to starting a blog is creating a content calendar in advance and deciding on how regularly you are going to post — and sticking to that schedule. Consistency is key to building a following and improving your visibility. If you’re not sure where to start creating content, speak to your sales team to find out customer pain points and common questions. Keep an eye on industry news and competitors as well so you stay up to date with trends.
Remember, your focus is on your target audience, so if you notice their interests shifting from your planned schedule, don’t be afraid to adapt or modify it. Content calendars aren’t written in stone, but they are a great framework to help structure and schedule your blog.
5. Improve Your Social Media Presence
Love it or loathe it, social media is a great way for people to interact directly with your company. There are many things to consider when building a strong social media strategy, but just like with a blog, a good starting point is to think from your customer’s perspective — what would they like to see from you on social media?
Yes, many people follow brand pages to learn about new products and releases but they also want to be able to converse with you and join in with the conversation. Remember, social media’s key difference from your normal advertising channels is that it is social. You are there to join multiple voices, and you’re not the one in complete control of the conversation. Using your social media pages just to push your products, news and events is unlikely to gain much engagement.
Another social media secret is to create content specifically for each platform. Think about it: does LinkedIn want you to leave its site? No! So it is less likely to promote a link to a YouTube video than it is to promote one uploaded and embedded onto its platform. Also, do some research into what your audience is looking for on each platform. People sign into Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok for different reasons, so adjust your content for each site accordingly.
Once you’ve had a thought about what kind of content you want to produce and the frequency you want to do it, just like with a blog, create a content calendar so you can stay on task and keep your profiles active and engaging.
6. Create an E-learning Resource
Nowadays it isn’t just about selling a one-off product or solution, it’s about investing in long-term customer relationships. With a recurring revenue stream, you need to ensure that your customers stay with you for the long haul, and one way to do that is to make sure they understand the full benefits of your products and services.
You don’t have to go about creating online courses with detailed curriculums. Making sure customers can access manuals or walk-throughs (complete with screenshots) is a great first step. If you have any how-to videos, giving them access to these is also super helpful.
Your unique business resources and policies will dictate how you decide to share this information, whether you would be fine with it being on a public site, such as YouTube, or hosted on a more private page to increase the perception of exclusivity. Again, take into account how you want your brand to be perceived and choose the option that best fits your story.
Wildix: Helping You Start 2023 Off With a Bang
Hopefully the ideas above will inspire you to step back and take a good look at your business to see how you can propel it forward in 2023. Remember, regardless of your resolution, Wildix has resources to support you. Don’t forget to take advantage of our E-learning courses, blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, marketing kit and upcoming UC&C Summit on January 17. If you need help or advice on reaching your sales goals for this year, reach out to us at Wildix, the only vendor who supports you throughout your growth.
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