A couple of business colleagues recently attended the Enterprise Council on Small Business
Annual Summit. They shared their conference notes and summary with me and others when they returned. Information and knowledge share of meeting events is a great way to create conversation within your team and possibly create positive change in your organization.
One of the lists they shared with me was full of good principals that I thought was worthy to share and document on MerchantStand.com. It lists the top drivers for satisfaction when selling products and services to small business owners.
Top drivers of small business satisfaction in order of importance:
1. Make the message simple
Owners want a hassle free experience from suppliers. The same applies for individual consumers also. People like simple. People get simple. People use simple. So keep your message simple and on point.
2. Talk Straight
Talk about the problem you are solving for your customer, not your products. When you do discuss a price, show the price up front and give a dollar amount rather than a percentage off amount. Doing this will show that you are honest and credible.
3. Serve on their terms
Give small business owners control in service interaction. Owners are “take control” individuals, allow them to select the method in which they interact with your organization. This means traditional channels will blur. Some customers may choose to transact business with you on the phone, some on your internet site, others in person, and some via social media.
4. Commit Early
The first supplier of a product or service is most likely the one the small business will stick with for the foreseeable future. If part of your business plan is to become the first provider to new small businesses, then get in and commit your solutions early. This means becoming a recognized leader in your industry by participating in the conversations that are out there. It could be social groups, networking events, social media, blogs, etc.
It’s been tough to find time to write this past week with the kids school ending, kids activities, and home projects. I did come across an email from 1-800-Pet-Meds in my inbox. The email was a marketing promotion to reorder heart worm pills for my dog. They knew it was time for me to reorder because I had ordered a 6 month supply from them 6 months ago. We typically use this e-Retailer because they offer the same medicine as our veterinarian but at substantially lower prices.
Now, what was nice about this email was that it was composed in the form of the site shopping cart. The heart worm pills order was already in the cart. All I had to do was click to jump to their site and then click again to order with my profile information. 2 clicks and my order was complete. Fast, easy, and timely. Nice marketing job guys!
I believe this form of email marketing works well for a couple of reasons:
- It came from a merchant that I’ve used in the past (Trust)
- It offered a product that I’ve ordered in the past (Relevance)
- It came at a time when I would probably need to order this product (Timeliness)
- It offered a path to complete a transaction in two clicks (Efficient and Simple)
This type of email is an effective way to earn customer retention as repeat business. I believe it creates customer loyalty as it focuses on the need of the customer based on some simple analysis of past behaviors.
What loyalty marketing programs advertise to you? Do you appreciate targeted marketing emails like this?