As a startup business, the quest for survival and growth is not easy. You’re probably attempting to grow your business with little resources too, and you’re not alone as most startups are also strapped for cash flow and investment.
Many business areas are vying for what little cash resource you have, so deal with this challenge by prioritizing where to put your money. Getting found online to compete with other small and big companies for consumers’ attention is a great place to start.
Luckily, there are many tactics out there for startup businesses to encourage customer support through response programs. This article looks at five examples of response programs that can make a huge difference to new businesses’ quest for customers!
1. Improve Customer Service
Small businesses can develop deep and meaningful connections with their customers. This is often done through personal communication and creating helpful content. Your customer will appreciate it if you build meaningful relationships with them.
Did you know? Almost 90% of people use customer service as a deciding factor when evaluating a company. It’s worth the effort.
Become a leader in your market with content that goes the extra mile with your customers. This is a strategy that not only pulls customers to your website but also leaves them with the knowledge that your business is there to make their life easier and more enjoyable.
Writing posts and articles on your blog and guest posting on other blogs also creates content for your SMM (social media marketing) and email marketing. Commit to writing and sharing unique, relevant informational content every week for a low cost and high reward result.
2. Find Small Business Programs
There are various programs out there focused on startup business loans and investments. You need to appear credit-worthy and convince these programs that you deserve a fighting chance.
Some of these programs include:
- Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF)
- CDFI Fund
- Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- and many more.
Some issues can arise, however, when every company starts cranking up selling. This is especially true in the energy sector. Imagine if everyone would start increasing their energy usage at the same time? That’s why demand response programs have been developed.
3. Use Live Chat Software
In this digital world, speed is really the king. If you want to impress investors and your customer, you need to be responsive. One of the best tools for this is live chat software.
This software allows you to have conversations in real-time. It’s quick, and customers love it because they are being helped a hundred times faster than any other channel type. This method also increases sales, reduces support costs, and builds trust. It’s the perfect growth tool for startups.
Live Chat can use chatbots to handle the initial conversations, so customer queries are instantaneous.
Chatbots are using AI and more specifically natural language processing to respond faster and more accurately to customer queries. However, when the answer is beyond the bot, a ‘human’ is alerted to join the conversation and manage the customer’s query. It is so seamless sometimes the customer is unaware of the transition from bot to person.
4. Have a Defined Customer Audience
As part of your startup business plan, you need to define and segment your customer audience. If you’re competing against large companies, it’s in your favor to identify a niche audience and target them effectively.
You will gain the advantage of knowing what exactly your customer wants. It can also make it easier to find new customers by searching for similar groups online. Data is everything. The more you know about your targeted customer, the less guesswork is required.
Your marketing spend goes further insofar as you can use the intel you have about your customer’s preferences, likes and needs to hone your messages to get a higher conversation. Targeted marketing campaigns in social media or emails will result in your customers and targeted audience taking action and landing where you want them – on your website or in your online store.
There is so much your business can learn and improve with customer data. For example, products can change when your customers tell you what they like or don’t like about them. Your customer base is everything to your business so treat them according to the privacy and data protection laws and rules. Plus protect your business from data breaches.
5. Create a Loyalty Program
You can create a loyalty program as a small business as well. Incentivize customers with a reward for continuing to purchase your products and services as well as referrals. We all love recognition for a job well done as well as a show of appreciation for loyalty.
Loyalty programs should incite excitement, so choose your reward carefully! Ensure the program is easy to understand, transparent, easy to achieve and redeemable as soon as it’s been earned.
Some examples of loyalty programs include:
- Reward Points For Every Purchase – Total spend accumulates in-store points redeemable in-store
- Free Gift When A Target Spend Is Reached, e.g. Spend $200, and you get a gift worth $50
- Buy nine coffees, and the 10th is free
- Social enterprise – buy one, and we will donate one
Startup Businesses Have a Growing Chance
Larger companies often overshadow small businesses. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. Using various programs, startup businesses have a fighting chance of delivering valuable products and services to their audience.
If you want to read more posts about advice for startups, then head to our blog for more valuable content – like this article on technology trends and startups!