December 14, 2017
During this holiday season make sure your Customer Service staff is not acting like a Grinch to your customers. Everyone can recall a time when they’ve received excellent customer service. Whether it was the clerk who was extra helpful or the hotel staff who went above and beyond, we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately though, the bad customer service is almost always recalled more easily. Consumers have the power to negatively impact your sales and reputation right on the palm of their hand. That’s right, I’m referring to their smartphones. One click and they can spread the word on Facebook, Google, Yelp and others. So make sure you have a plan for good customer service, but make sure you also review the things you don’t want your employees to do with your customers.
In the pursuit of excellent customer service, several dos and don’ts should be followed:
Instead of merely listening to your customer’s needs, a business needs to understand their unexpressed wishes and anticipate their next move. Staying one step ahead of them—literally giving them what they didn’t know they needed—is how you will stand out from the rest. This builds exceptional rapport with your customer and makes them feel like you really, truly value their business (Forbes). They will want to come back, and what’s more, they’re going to tell their friends all about your customer service.
If you haven’t heard it yet, here it is: customers want to feel appreciated and they value an honest-to-goodness relationship. If your customer service staff can build, nourish and manage relationships with your customers, then you’re golden! One way for you to build the relationship and make them feel special is by genuinely caring about what they’re telling you. Listen to them grumble, show sympathy, laugh when they laugh and don’t be afraid to get personal (Inc.com). Something as minute as memorizing the name of their granddaughter or asking about their last trip to Hawaii will help solidify your relationship.
Digitally speaking, doing this well means using social media to engage in a conversation and being open and transparent online! Your online customer service is as important, if not more so than the face-to-face interactions. At the root of it all, the customer wants to feel that they’re spending their hard-earned dollar on a business that cares about them!
While it’s up for debate on whether customers are always right, the fact of the matter is, you are the expert and not your customer. You should always have the answers and be able to deliver. That is why product and service knowledge is the most vital skill a customer service representative can possess (Digitalist).
If you don’t have the answer, try your best to find it out or direct the customer to someone who can answer their queries. Avoid saying the phrase, “I don’t know” at all costs. Remember, you’re the expert. Having the answers and delivering them promptly and respectively will build trust and confidence in your customer.
Customers hate to hear the word, “no.” It’s a fact of life. Though it’s not always possible to say “yes,” best practice dictates that you should be as flexible and accommodating as possible for your customers (Customer Service Manager).
If there’s one thing a customer hates to hear more than “no,” it’s that something is “company policy.” Why? First of all, the customer likely doesn’t care what your store policy is. Second, they don’t see you as a customer service provider following policy, but rather as the company as an entity restricting them from getting what they want. Another reason this is such a big no-no is that it’s like putting a big road block in the conversation. With both you and the customer at a loss for what to say, the interaction (and possibly the relationship) is subsequently squelched.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that getting assistance and service should not be more painful than the problem itself. Behold! The wonders of a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page! If this isn’t really your style, and as a necessary fall back, the next step is to make your customer service staff incredibly accessible. You know what they say: a quickly diffused customer service issue keeps the bad reviews away. Right?
Speaking of which…
Feedback, no matter its form, is always a plus. Who better to hear from than the customers who are literally the lifeblood of your business?
Embracing the good, the bad and the ego-deflating will ultimately help you to strive for better in the long run, we promise. You’ll be able to understand your customer better, identify and solve your pitfalls and grow bigger and better (MinuteHack)! So, the next time a customer wants to give you their feedback, don’t brush it off, but rather see it as an opportunity to improve.
Good customer service always will be an essential part of a business. It’s your customer’s first point of contact with your business and allows them to connect and build trust with your business or brand. In today’s world, delivering excellent customer service is sometimes more effective than any advertisement could be!
Follow these customer service dos and don’ts so people talk about you for all the right reasons.
November 28, 2017
If you attended our Workshop you know we delivered value. If you didn’t attend no problem. Below you’ll find the 2 hour video with lots of good content to help you grow your business. Real Digital Marketing strategies you can use today. The special holiday workshop about how to Reach Customers during the 2017 Holiday Season, streamed live from Google HQ was an absolute success. We want to ensure your business gets the latest and greatest tips on prepping for the 2017 holiday season, we’re teaming up with the Small Business Administration, Facebook, Constant Contact, and Square for this one-of-a-kind event. The livestream included a live Q&A. Topics covered included; Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click ads (PPC), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Payment Options and much more. Prediq Media held the event at the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce in Boca Raton.
Get Your Business Online Workshop.
November 9, 2017
Our team hosts dozens of workshops each year. The Digital Marketing Workshops are meant to educate Small to Medium Businesses in the area of Digital Marketing. The material is always changing in this fast evolving digital world. Whether it’s Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Advertising or Email Marketing it’s always changing . In this workshop we partnered with Google, Facebook, Constant Contact, Square and the SBA to bring together some of the most important tactics SMB’s could use this holiday season to grow their business. For more information on future events and workshops visit our Events page. Below you’ll find the 2-hour long workshop filled with strategies and useful tips to help grow your business. We would also like to thank the Boca Chamber of Commerce for providing their conference room for our 25 attendees.
June 5, 2017
Is Your Website ADA Compliant? Neither Is Ours. What To Do Next?
Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has required places of public accommodation to meet specific standards for accessibility by persons with disabilities – and now, those “places” have expanded to include websites. The goal is to make websites more accessible to individuals with disabilities ranging from blindness and low vision and deafness and hearing loss to learning and movement limitations and speech disabilities. Any company with a website should test its site with the available web accessibility tools, which will search for things like alternative text that can be read through special devices which translate the text through the proper medium, whether it be audio, visual, etc.
Some best practice ideas for ADA compliant captions include:
It’s important that businesses are ready for this transition, which is likely to be formalized in the next year. Prediq Media has the tools and skills to review your website and help make any adjustments necessary to better conform to the web accessibility guidelines. Contact us today for more information!
March 10, 2017
Digital Marketing & Websites For Small Businesses
A Game Plan For Small Businesses To Better Understand How To Manage Their Website & Digital Marketing.
First off, I know few of you have time to read long articles and most of them can be boring. But the truth is we never learn anything of great value from reading short articles or posts. My goal is to always create valuable content. That being said, if you’re a small business owner who is struggling to figure out what to do with your website and how to create marketing campaigns that will help grow your business, then you should invest time in learning more about how your website and digital marketing can work for you. In this article I’ll cover the basic elements that should be in place in order to help you succeed with your website design to the digital marketing.
Why should you listen to me? I have over a decade of experience. I’ve built 3 small businesses using similar strategies. I’ve worked on thousands of campaigns from small to large size companies. I’ll give you the real deal and help you figure out what you need to do to generate more business from your online channels. Before I start I challenge you to define your target audience and the geographic area you want to sell your products and services in. Look at your current client list and figure out what they want. For your new prospects find out where they go online.
There are a number of variables to consider before a business can determine what they should invest (not spend) in a website and digital marketing. There’s also the question of whether you should hire an in-house person, a freelancer, a design shop, a marketing agency or a combination of all these. Owning a business and making these types of major decisions can be one of the most exhilarating things in life. On the other hand it can be challenging at times. This is especially true for Small Businesses where the owner/operator is wearing multiple hats as they should. The small business owner starts their day thinking about their Customers, from there they move on to Finances, Sales, Marketing, Employees (HR), Product, Logistics, Technology, Contracts (Legal), Purchasing and the list goes on and on. Love it or hate it that’s the reality for most small business owners. The good news for small businesses is that if they’re paying attention and implementing procedures and strategies within each department the job will get easier over time. I think owning a small business means different things to different people. Some enter the world of entrepreneurship as a means of an investment, others are looking for freedom, some just want the opportunity to be the driver, but whatever the reason I applaud the millions of small business owners who wake up every day, actually sometimes they don’t get much sleep at all- and give it their all to make their business succeed. In this blog I’ll briefly covers the following areas to help you navigate through the difficult world of web design and digital marketing.
Questions you should ask yourself
There are tons of technologies available for small business owners to make their business run more efficient. The one technology that is often overlooked or just seen as a Marketing and Sales tool is their Website. So the question is, how much should a small business invest on their website and digital marketing? First and foremost, the majority of businesses need to view their website as the most important tool to communicate with their customers, vendors, employees and the community.
Side note: if you have a brick and mortar operation fewer and fewer people are coming into to buy products. Now if you’re a business like a Dry Cleaner, Restaurant, Gym, Medical Practice, Salon and Auto Repair Shop to name a few then people have to come in to consume your product and service. But it doesn’t mean they have to come to your business. It use to be that if you had great customer service, a decent product, a convenient location and fair prices it was enough to build a lifelong relationship with the customer. That is definitely not the case anymore and nowhere is that more evident than metro markets. It’s not just the Millennial generation.
Ok, back to websites and digital marketing. So let’s start with the most important factor for small businesses. Price/Cost! Then I’ll move on to features that may help you run your business more efficiently and help you increase awareness of your brand. How much does it cost to build a great website and maintain it? Well that depends on a number of variables and what direction you want to go into with doing it in-house or hiring a company to design your website.
Questions you should ask yourself
· Will I be selling products on my website?
· Do I want to generate leads on my website?
· Is being an expert in my field a priority?
· Are my competitor’s ahead of the curve?
· How many pages do I need?
· Who will create the content?
· What is my time frame to complete the project?
Once you answer some of these questions you’ll be ready to determine whether you should have the project completed in house or outsourced. In the case of companies who already have an up-to-date website it’s a matter of who will maintain it. By up-to-date I mean your website is responsive or mobile optimized. After all the majority of searches are coming from mobile devices. You can easily spend $10k,20k,50k on a website if you don’t really know what you want and what your objective is for your business as it pertains to the internet. It pays to consult with a Marketer or Digital Marketing agency who understands how to pull all the pieces together. While a Web Design shop may be a good choice for designing the website they may not understand your business model or your goals from a Marketing perspective. My advice for small businesses in pricing the design of websites is to look at their overall expense budget and create a line item called Digital Marketing. Once you’ve done your research and consulted with a Marketer to determine how much more business you’re expected to earn through your new or improved website then you can determine your budget. The truth is it will take time to get a return on investment.
Below I’ve created a simple chart to give you an idea for how much you should invest in your website. The investment is based on company revenue. There’s a good reason I did it this way. That reason is based on a growth strategy and 15+ years of experience budgeting for marketing campaigns that would generate leads and satisfy a company’s objective and help their sales team acquire more clients. Ultimately, I know that some small businesses will only invest what they can, but my advice is to seek experienced designers and marketers who understand your business goals. I can’t count the number of times that my team and I had to tell a business interested in our services that we would not be able to accomplish their goals based on their budget.
Chart to show you what you should budget for a good website
· Revenue up to $250k per year – Budget for $7500
· Revenue up to $500k per year – Budget for $10k
· Revenue up to $1 million per year – Budget for $25k
· Revenue up to $2 million per year – Budget for $50k
· Revenue up to $5 million per year – Budget for $100k
As for the ongoing Digital Marketing budget you should budget the same amount you invested to build the website for your digital marketing spend. It truly depends on your goals and how aggressive you want to be in building a lead generation campaign. You have to consider other factors that will impact the cost in a big way. Content creation, SEO, PPC, Social Media and Email Marketing should definitely be included in the Digital Marketing plan and strategy.
7 Features To Include In Your Website Design
The features of any website truly depend on your business model and on the needs of your clients. In this section I listed 7, but there are hundreds of features depending on what your clients desire and what your competitors are offering them. For example your target audience may expect to have a member portal to login to a dashboard.
1. Smart forms integrated into your CRM
2. Marketing automation to set up email drip campaigns
3. Appointment setting
4. Payment processing
5. FAQ page or Knowledgebase page
6. Install an SSL Certificate
7. Automatic Backups
10 Trends To Consider In Web Design
When it comes to web design trends you’ll find that you’re limited in what you can implement. As new features pop up it does not mean you should try to incorporate them into your website just so you can look like you embrace the trends. When it comes to trends I’m mostly referring to redesign or new design. However, in the case of video and storytelling this is a trend you can incorporate into your current website by adding a new page. Maybe you can add a plugin that will display your videos in a creative layout and give you the opportunity to tell your story in an interesting way.
1. Color with Vintage Quality
2. Menu Buttons that standout
3. Custom Scrolling
4. Blending Tactile with Digital
5. Subtle animation and micro-interaction
6. Cinematic experiences
7. Immersive Storytelling
8. Grid Layouts
9. AI chatbots like Messenger
10. Less Stock photos and more Authentic photos
12 Questions To Ask a Web Designer or Web Design Shop
If you don’t already know there’s a difference between web design and web development. I don’t believe in unicorns or jack of all trades, but I do believe that you can find a good designer and a good developer who may or may not be on the same team and work well together on your project. It’s important to understand what the designer and developer which may be working in 1 agency will be charging you for discovery and revisions. If your budget is set than you’ll want to start by creating a map of your website and the designer will be able to build a wireframe. Every agency, design shop and design approaches this from a different angle. They may use mockup tools like Balsamiq, Invisionapp, Mockingbird, UXPin, Visio and others to get you a prototype. You should expect to pay for this service. Think of it like building a house. You pay the architect to create the basic design. If you choose to hire them to create the blueprint then you’ll have to pay for the plans too. If the architect happens to work with the builder, you may or may not choose that builder to build the house. I would say that the biggest complaint I hear from businesses is that the web designer or agency hired to design/develop their website took twice as long as what they agreed to complete the website. Make sure that the designer or agency you hire can give you clear timelines.
1. Can you send me a list of sites you designed?
2. Do you charge hourly or by project?
3. Do you have a project manager or 1 contact for the entire project?
4. How many revisions am I allowed?
5. What are the payment terms?
6. What CMS will you build it in?
7. What support do you offer once the site is live?
8. Do you work using templates/themes or build custom sites?
9. Will the website be responsive?
10. Who will write the content?
11. What services do you provide?
12. What kind of results can I expect?
8 Questions To Ask a Digital Marketer or Marketing Agency
I could add 100 questions to this section, but I chose to go small and really focus on giving solid advice. I’ve been a Digital Marketer for over 10 years. In that time I’ve attended hundreds of conferences, taken dozens of classes, tested thousands of campaigns
1. Have you created a campaign in my vertical?
2. How will you measure your efforts?
3. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest techniques?
4. What kind of tools do you use?
5. What kind of reporting will you deliver?
6. How long will it take to see results?
7. How much will it cost?
8. Who will be working with you on my campaign?
Technology Tools To Consider Using
When it comes to software and technology tools it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your company. Below is a short list of the companies, ideas and tools you can use for designing your website and managing your digital marketing presence.
1. Simple Web Design: Wix, Squarred Space
2. Semi-Custom Web Design: Creative Market, ThemeForest
3. Advanced Web Design: Hire Agency, Web Developer, Marketing Consultant
4. Freelance: Thumbtack, Associations, Colleges, LinkedIn, Upwork, Fiverr
5. Marketing Automation: Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot
6. Social Media Management: Buffer, Hootesuite, Sprout, Klout
7. Email: Constant Contact, MailChimp, Emma, AWeber
8. CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Sitecore
9. Develop: Code.org, Gitbub, Bluemix
10. Data: Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Google My Business, Google Search Console , Lucky Orange
11. PPC: Google Adwords, Bing, Wordstream
12. SEO: Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Spyfu
13. Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Pinterest,Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo
14. CRM: Salesforce, InfusionSoft, Insightly, Zoho
15. Communication: Basecamp, DaPulse, Percolate, WP Plugins, Slack
16. Design: Canva, Stencil, PicMonkey, Pablo
17. Content: Buzzsumo, Mention, Epicbeat, Right Relevance
December 6, 2016
If you have a website you need Google Analytics. The website analytic tool was launched in November 2005. Believe it or not there are many businesses and website owners who still don’t have GA installed on their website. As for the websites that have GA installed it always surprises me that people don’t really understand the value of the data it collects to help you optimize your website. Take a look at this short presentation to learn why and how you should use Google Analytics to make better decisions for your website.
November 21, 2016
Giving Tuesday will take place on Tuesday November 29, 2016. The holiday is to non profits what Black Friday is to Retailers, Small Business Saturday is to mom and pop businesses and what Cyber Monday is to online retailers. $117 million was raised in 2015.
Here are some ways you can take your campaign to the next level.
|Step 1: Go to your organization’s Facebook page and apply to accept donations via Facebook. Learn more: https://nonprofits.fb.com/
Step 2: Go to your personal Facebook page and create a Fundraiser campaign. Create a campaign for Giving Tuesday with a specific cause. See the screenshot below.
Step 3: Share your personal fundraiser campaign with all your friends, family, colleagues, board members and donors.
Check out our presentation on Slideshare for more ideas.
October 31, 2016
Happy Halloween! Halloween is a big marketing machine for companies like Party City, Spirit Halloween, Walmart, Target and others. In general holidays have a huge economic boost to the US economy. Halloween is at the top of that list at number 5. Over 157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween and spend over $7 billion dollars. See the National Retail Federation site for current stats.
Here are the numbers from the previous years.
|Year||Americans Celebrating||Total Spending|
|2015||157 million||$6.9 billion|
|2014||162 million||$7.4 billion|
|2013||158 million||$6.9 billion|
|2012||170 million||$8.0 billion|
Check out this infographic from History.com
October 4, 2016
LinkedIn is one of my favorite websites, social networks and digital tools. I’ve made lots of connections around the world because of LinkedIn. They make it easy to nurture and maintain relationships. Here’s their description on the app store:Connect to people. Connect to Opportunity. The LinkedIn app makes it easier to connect to the people and things that matter in your professional world. Accelerate your success by: – finding people and jobs – getting updates on your professional industry and interests – telling your story and building your professional brand – growing your network – reaching out to people
While LinkedIn is not a social media platform for your personal life it can I still get to stay in touch with many professional friends around the globe on a business level. This is something that’s much harder to do on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (both personal and business accounts). LinkedIn has no close competitor’s so there isn’t much to compare to in terms of others offering a better social media platform for professionals. Alignable is getting traction, but they’re positioning themselves as a business owner network.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share with you all the LinkedIn features in short summarized posts. If you’re new to the platform it will make it easier for you to understand all the features and functions. To start I’ll breakdown the Home Page. Eventually I’ll breakdown your Profile, My Network, Learning, Jobs and the Interest pages and features + Business Services & Try Premium For Free tabs. For part 1 I’ll review what you see when you login to LinkedIn from your Desktop. I’ll breakdown the 7 sections you see above the fold on the Home page.
September 14, 2016
Does your child like to doodle? Then you should enter them in the Doodle 4 Google contest. The winning masterpiece will hang on the Google homepage for a day, receive a $30k scholarship and $50k in technology funds for their school from Google.
Parents, teachers, babysitters, camp counselors or non-profit leaders out there are encouraged to enter your art-loving K-12 students here https://doodles.google.com/d4g/