Business Articles

7 Quick Ways to Get More Upsells and Referral

Your current clients/customers are likely an untapped resource of additional revenue. After all, it is much easier to sell to someone who already likes you than it is to win over a new person. But there’s a lot of competition out there. There’s a saying in the restaurant industry that a diner who described their meal as “satisfactory” will never be back again. In order to get return customers, upsells, and referrals you must do better than just meeting expectations. You must exceed them. Thankfully, as they say, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra. In this article, we’ll give you seven quick ideas on how to create those extra opportunities that will translate into greater upsell and referral opportunities. When someone is “wowed”they will buy more and talk about you (exactly what you need for referrals).

How to Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary for More Upsells and Referrals

1. Offer samples without people requesting them. When someone is looking at something in your business, offer them samples. Don’t even ask. One restaurant brings individual samples of gelato to the table at the end of the meal. Even if the diners don’t buy any, they leave with a (literal) pleasant taste in their mouth which could yield a return visit or referrals.

2. Send/give swag. If you mail your products or bag them, consider adding something unexpected in the package. Pure Vida sends branded stickers. Some companies stick in a postcard. The surprise needn’t be expensive. The point is it’s unexpected and that is delightful.

3. Invite engagement. Make sure every purchase is accompanied with a request to engage on social media but don’t make it about you. Most people are excited when they make a purchase, and they want to show it off. Invite them to share a picture of themselves using the product or service. Give them a hashtag and perhaps some incentive to share such as a contest entry or a future discount. If you have a well-known brand sometimes simply retweeting them and being on your radar is enough.

4. Send “just because” discounts. Some companies send birthday offers but not everyone feels comfortable giving you their birthdate these days. Instead, send “just because specials” periodically and thank them for being a fantastic customer. If they haven’t purchased recently, tell them you miss them and give them reason to return.

5. Drop expiration dates. If you use coupons, don’t turn someone away because their coupon is past the expiration date. Make it well known that you will accept coupons whenever the customer is ready to use them.

6. Put everyone to work. It may not scale to have your CEO or owner answer customer support questions all day. However, giving leadership the opportunity to field the occasional question or post a response on social media or to a review can make someone’s day and get them talking about you. The customer will be in shock that leadership responded. And it will make them (and everyone who reads the interaction) think that leadership is reading every review or comment.

7. Follow and respond on social media. Don’t simply post what’s going on in your world. Learn what’s going on in your customer’s as well. Set Google alerts for mentions of your business, what you sell, and your area. Listen to conversations going on around you and join them when it makes sense and when you can add value. Also, don’t hide behind the brand. When you are posting, use your name even if you’re responding from your brand’s account. People are more likely to interact with a person than a company name.

If you want to cut through the noise and get more upsells and referrals, you want to make people feel special and valued. Think about experiences you’ve had as a customer. How can you replicate those in your business?

How to Get Backlinks and Why Your Local Business Needs Them

When I was in marketing for a tech company in the beginning days of content marketing, links were gold. Every time someone linked to our content my boss got excited. While I loved the free publicity and SEO awesomeness we acquired from links, I hated the act of actively pursuing them. It felt like we were begging people to like us and—let’s face it—we were.

But while a lot of things have changed since that time, the importance of links is still relevant. Search engines use links from other sources to your website as an indicator of quality content. While it’s not the only indicator, it is an important one.

Your business website needs links to show the search engines you’re loved by others. But not all links are of the same worth. Here’s how you can get some great links for very little effort.

Some Links Are Better Than Others

First, let’s talk about how things used to be done and what you can no longer get away with. Back in the early days of link building, there were link farms and sites that offered to link to your content for money. It was lucrative for everyone involved but that practice has ended. Google grew wise to it.

Now it ranks links by the credibility of the website. A site like CNN that linked to your website would bolster the importance of your content in the “minds” of the search engine. However, you don’t need a site like that to get good vibes from the search engines. There are a lot of easier options out there such as the following:

Good Ways to Get Great Links

If you want good quality links back to your content, try these easy solutions.

  1. Chamber of Commerce. Your local chamber of commerce probably has excellent credibility from a search engine prospective thus making it the perfect place to get links from. Whether it’s a listing in their directory, a mention on their website, a link to your business as a sponsor, or a guest blog post with attribution, as long as it’s not a “no-follow” link it will help you improve your credibility to Google. Ask your chamber about link options. You might be surprised by the variety of ways they can help.
  2. Referable Content. Very few people will link to your content if it stinks. You want to create content that people will find value in. Consider producing a reference guide that people could use when shopping for your product/service or a checklist or calculator that people would want to come back to. If you create something like this, writers creating articles on your topic may refer others to the tool you’ve created or the advice you’ve given. In fact, long form content receives 77% more links than short articles. A couple of good, well-researched long form pieces can be all you need to garner good links. If someone asks you if they can use your content or a quote from it, always ask for an attribution with a link back to it. Also, if you have a keyword alert for your business (and you should have those set up), or you come across someone using your work, ask that they give attribution with a link. Most people will accommodate you. If you read an online article that you believe could benefit from your expertise or a link to your article or resource, don’t hesitate to reach out to the author. But be specific about what your piece could add to theirs.
  3. Business Associations. Business associations or industry magazines are always looking for content. If you’ve created something you are proud of, pitch it to your industry magazine. Ask for the link.
  4. The City. During COVID, a lot of cities have created business pages to help visitors know what’s open and what’s not. Ask to be included and ask for a link. Make sure it’s not a no-follow link.

These are all easy ways to get credible links. If you want to know more about how Google and other search engines weigh links, click here.

Written by: Christina R. Metcalf 

6 “Better Than Surveys” Ways to Find Out What Your Customers Think

A few years ago, a trend hit—customizing your offerings to what your customers wanted. It involved surveying every part of their experience and shaping your business based on results. Customer-designed offerings kept a lot of businesses alive during COVID. The idea is a great one, give them what they want, make them feel important, and they’ll return.

This premise was so widely adopted that we all became professional survey takers. Now every moment you spend with a business (online or in-person) is followed by a survey on your experience. From airlines to doctors, they’re all doing it. These requests are exhausting and make people regret giving out their emails.

But it’s important to ensure your business offerings are in-line with what your customers want, right? So how do you ensure this without giving them survey fatigue? Here are a few ideas that will help you get the information you need without annoying them.

survey, business article

Skip the Survey: Learn What Your Customers Want in More Meaningful Ways

  1. Exit Drop Box. If you have an in-person business, at the end of the transaction give people red and green poker chips (they can be made out of cardboard) and ask them to drop the color that best fits their experience today in the box by the door. The other one can go in the recycling box. This gives you a quick idea of whether your customer experience for a given day is as good as it should be.
  2. Website Pop-up. At the end of an online transaction, give your customer a single question based on something you want to know. Make it a radial button answer for a quick response. Don’t ask a generic question like “did you enjoy the experience?”. Make it something more revealing like “did you find our website easy to navigate?”. Ask different questions each week but stick with one at a time. Add a meaningful thank you message after they answer.
  3. Social Media. Post a customer experience or product/service question to social media but invite people to answer in a fun way by using emoticons, for instance to signify their most recent experience doing business with you. Or ask them to use a gif to describe it. It’s not exact science but it can be fun.
  4. Interactive menus. Thanks to COVID, a lot of businesses like restaurants aren’t using paper menus. They’re using QR codes to access online menus. If you’re using online menus in your business, make them interactive. Allow people to hover over and see pics of the items and add comments or use emoticons. These “comments” then serve as social proof for future customers.
  5. Remember passing notes in middle school asking someone if they liked someone else? You can do the same funny type of question using SMS. Make it creative and fun and people are likely to respond to it. You can use that same middle-school format leveraging you against your competition in an “us or them” rivalry. You may not always get the answer you want but it can be fun for you and your customers.
  6. Forget polls and surveys. Those things are just for your own info and other than giving you an idea to change your business for the better, they don’t really do anything for you. Reviews, on the other hand, do. So, the next time you want to put a survey in front of your customers, consider asking them to review you instead.

Surveys are great tools for learning more about customer experience but these days they’re too overdone. No one has time for them and they’re mildly annoying when they clutter up the email inbox. That doesn’t mean you should forgo asking your customers’ opinions. You just need to do that in a fun, less intrusive way