Tuesday, June 28, 2022

5 Key Customer Service Skills and How to Develop Them

Above and beyond customer service leaves customers satisfied and impressed. 

Customer service is essential for many clients in determining their overall satisfaction with your company. Most customers have little patience for poor customer service.

Customers with a bad customer service experience are more likely to leave than those unhappy with prices. That’s a primary reason why 89% of consumers switched to a competitor after a poor customer experience. 

Customer retention saves your company money. Repeat customers spend more and in larger amounts while also bringing in more customers. Customer service is at the forefront of keeping customers happy and coming back for more. Providing top-notch customer service is imperative for the success of your business. 

Check out the qualities that make for great customer service. 

1. Customer service skill: positivity

Often, customer service representatives are dealing with angry customers.

It’s important for them to keep a positive spin on the situation while not being insensitive to the customer’s emotional state. 

Being aware of the customer’s emotions is a key part of empathy. 

2. Customer service skill: empathy

Consumers use emotions over information when evaluating companies. 

Therefore, customer service should focus on the emotions of the customer. This begins by being able to perceive these emotions and then meeting the customer’s emotional needs. Ultimately, the customer is going to take away how they felt during the encounter. Make sure it’s a positive experience! 

This task of guiding the customer’s emotions is greatly aided by clear communication. 

3. Customer service skill: effective communication

33% of clients say the most important skill a customer service representative can have is efficiently answering questions.

Unclear communication and an inability to clearly answer customer questions escalate the situation, turning dissatisfied customers into angry ones. 

Speaking isn’t the only form of communication. Written skills are important as well. Although often underlooked, writing within customer service can be more challenging because it’s harder to convey a tone. An email taken the wrong way will further aggravate the customer. 

One effective way to avoid aggravating customers is by responding in a timely manner. 

4. Customer service skill: timeliness 

The quicker you respond, the better. 

Of online consumers, 71% expect to be helped within five minutes, and 31% will go elsewhere if help isn’t immediately provided. Being available to quickly help customers is an important aspect of great customer service. 

It’s also important to streamline your methods because the more time you spend on one customer, the later you’ll be able to address another’s needs. Therefore, find the balance between being attentive and listening to the customer’s needs while moving things along in a timely fashion. Being tech-savvy and able to use the programs within your company can go a long way in speeding up the process. 

Having a genuine work ethic will speed up the process as well. 

5. Customer service skill: work ethic

A strong work ethic is important in any role, especially in customer service. 

Going above and beyond to meet customers’ needs will help your business stand out positively, building loyalty and trust. 

How to Develop Quality Customer Service Representatives

Quality customer service primarily comes down to hiring the right people who naturally possess the above qualities. However, there are specific actions your business can take to develop quality customer service representatives. 

1. Provide customer service training 

Customer service training can take many forms, such as a formal course, online resources, or a mentor/coach. 

Whatever form the training occurs, it should be effective. Your customer service representatives should feel confident in addressing various customer needs. Your employee should feel comfortable with company knowledge, knowing the buying process and your product/service. Learning all the ins and outs can take time, depending on the company. This is why employee retention is important. 

If your employee doesn’t know the answer to the customer’s inquiry, they should be able to get the customer to someone who can. 

2. Have a clear customer service pathway

If the customer service representative can’t answer the question, it’s imperative the next person in the chain can. 

Customers hate having to repeat themselves over and over to multiple people within the same company. The fewer people they need to talk to and the faster the problem can be resolved, the happier the customer is. 

It’s okay if the employee doesn’t know the answer to a question. Learning how to say, “I don’t know, but I know someone who does,” will help keep customers satisfied. 

3. Thank the customer 

Every customer complaint indicates about 26 other unhappy customers who remained silent.

Many unhappy silent customers leave. 91% of the 96% of unhappy customers who don’t complain will leave and never come 

Therefore, although it may be unpleasant to be on the receiving end of an unsatisfied customer, ultimately, the customer is doing you a service. They are pointing out a problem that has affected many others. Now, you can fix the problem and retain customers. 

After the altercation, consider sending the customer a thank you card for their feedback. This will further help your company get back on good terms with the customer while also elevating your business in the customer’s eyes. Perhaps provide a personal discount for the customer to further share your appreciation for their input. 

We’re here to help you satisfy your customers by printing marketing materials your customers enjoy. For all your printing needs, including thank you cards, we’ve got you and your customers covered! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

7 Direct Mail Strategies Based on Social Media

Direct mail has been around for as long as businesses have been around. Still, social media is relatively new in our world.

With that said, there are some things to learn from social media when producing direct mail. Take a look.

7 Direct Mail Strategies Based on Social Media

1. Test Direct Mail with Social Media.

You can use social media as a trial for your direct mail.

Before you print out a postcard, try using the graphics and text online on a social media post. Then see how the public responds to it.

2. Introduce Direct Mail Pieces.

Use social media to announce your upcoming direct mail. Try telling customers to look in their mailbox for special offers, catalogs, coupons, and deals.

3. Do It Often.

Social media has taught us that people like to see your information several times before responding, and this is true of direct mail as well. So, send out regular postcards, flyers, or mailers.

4. Ask For the Sale.

Social media is excellent for offering deals and coupons and asking for a call to action. When creating direct mail, we need to have a call to action to follow up with customers.

5. Find Your Target Customer.

When you use social media, you can see who responds.

There are lists available for direct mail that will do the same thing. Find your perfect customer and send them regular mail to boost sales.

6. Build Credibility.

Direct mail has more credibility than online ads.

Digital has come a long way in building trust, but consumers still cite credibility as a significant stumbling block.

7. Announce New Products to Customers.

Digital media regularly promotes new items, but it’s also not as in-depth as direct mail.

According to USPS, 54% of people surveyed tried a new product or business in six months in 2020 because they received a mail piece.

There are great ways to market your business online, but direct mail is still essential, and it makes people feel more confident in making buying decisions.

And if you are up for some new printed pieces, we’re here for you. Reach out today!  864-882-3609 or www.PrintitinColor.com

Friday, June 17, 2022

How to Prevent Entrepreneurial Burnout

Tait Shanafelt, MD, was a senior resident at the University of Washington in 2000, and he witnessed incredible burnout among interns.

He did a study to examine burnout trends among medical residents.

Their fatigue affected the quality of care and patients' health. How similar this is to entrepreneurial burnout. But what can be done?

7 Ways to Ensure You Don't Lose Your Edge

1. Burnout isn't a rite of passage.

Recognize you don't need to go through burnout.

It's not a rite of passage, and it's something to be avoided. However, if you are getting burned out, you need to stop the cycle and do something about it.

2. Spend your energy frugally.

Prioritize where to spend your energy.

You don't need to do everything yourself, and not everything requires your energy. Decide what you truly need to spend your energy on.

3. Document your procedures.

Document your standard operating procedures.

Then, if you need to hire some help, you can ensure that they know how you run your business and can carry on with your standards in place.

With documented processes in place, you won't have to think about everything when you start working or need to delegate a task, leaving more time for the important things, according to Marquiste Boyce, author and CEO of Side Hustle Mentor.

4. Anxiety doesn't have to be the norm.

"Running a startup is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss," said Elon Musk. "After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends."

So get a handle on it as soon as it shows up by talking to a professional if needed.

Learn to identify the stressors in your business and plan how best to deal with them.

5. Exercise can help avoid burnout.

Carving out 30 minutes a day for fitness can help you avoid burnout, according to Kumar Arora of Forbes Magazine.

In addition, taking a walk around the block and doing yoga or other aerobic exercises can help.

6. Meditation is helpful.

Meditation is associated with decreased blood pressure, lower heart rate, less anxiety, and reduced stress.

Not only that, but you don't need gym shoes, a membership, or fancy equipment to meditate.

Take a break, focus on your breathing and relax for a few minutes.

7. No comparison.

Don't compare yourself to others, and don't judge.

It creates negative self-talk, typically making negative talk about the other company. Either way, it's not a good road to go down.

Nearly half of U.S. employees report feeling burnt out, and 1 in 4 said they're feeling burnout due to the pandemic. With this said, we need to be sure to do all we can to avoid it.

We sometimes need to lean on others, and that's why we support you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Brand Your Business with Consistency

We all want to be remembered, and those who succeed know one thing: Consistency is the key.

“A report from Forrester says that 95% of customers use three or more channels to connect with a company in a single service interaction,” according to Grammarly Business.

To get people’s attention, you need several routes and types of interaction.

Businesses that brand consistently are 3.5x more likely to get strong brand visibility than inconsistent brands.

How do you brand more consistently?

7 Top Tips to Stay Branded

1. Brand Consistency.

There needs to be a similar message and experience for your brand.

Brand consistency is important for every business because it directly and immediately impacts the perception of your brand and company, both internally and externally.

If it’s not consistent, it causes mistrust among your customers, which causes them not to want to do business with you.

2. Remember the Rule of 7.

Marketers need an average of seven contacts (or touches, impressions, or interactions) to turn a prospective buyer into an actual buyer, according to Eyal Katz of Oktopost.com.

Of course, you don’t need to take it literally but remember it takes several contacts to reach a potential customer.

3. Use Paid and Organic Material.

Engage customers with ads, but make sure you add your own worthwhile content. Start a conversation about business or strategies with your potential customers to keep yourself in the front of their minds.

4. Create a Great Website and Keep it Updated.

Make sure your website represents your business well and that it goes well with the printed marketing you do. It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website, according to IWD Magazine.

5. Build Your Brand With Every Effort.

No matter what avenues you use to promote your business, you will need to be consistent. Make sure the images are similar, the logo is sharp, and the message is the same.

6. Keep the Same Tone and Voice.

When you create your copy for social media, print, or even the spoken word, ensure the tone is the same. If you want to be taken seriously, make sure the style is professional. If you are a fun, dynamic business, use those words. Just make it consistent.

7. Send Direct Mail.

Direct mail has a more believable delivery. Therefore, people are apt to read it and believe it, which leads to more sales for you.

Whatever you do to be consistent, know that we are consistently here for your printed marketing efforts. We are on time, reliable, and produce high-quality pieces.  Give us a call at 864-882-3609 and check us out at www.PrintitinColor.com  Reach out today!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Top Offline Marketing Tips in 2022

The digital marketing age has become an essential component of any company’s marketing strategy.

Since much of the world has moved online, search ads, blog content, email newsletters, and social media posts are relatively inexpensive and practical tools to increase a marketing plan’s reach.

Although we find many of our clients and customers online, we must not forget the importance of having a non-digital marketing strategy and getting out face-to-face with our potential clients and customers. 

What Is Offline Marketing? 

Essentially, offline marketing is any advertising, marketing, or promotional practice using channels that are not online or accessible via cell phones, computers, or tablets.

Though many do not always consider offline marketing because they feel it is an outdated practice, it can be somewhat effective. Using both online and offline marketing strategies, businesses can expand their reach and capture the attention of many more clients and customers.

Offline Marketing Tips for 2022

There are many things you can do offline to help market your business.

It may seem primitive to some to get out and meet others face-to-face, but in the long run, doing so, along with a solid digital marketing plan, can take your business to the next level. 

Some of the best offline marketing tips for 2022 include:

  • Join your local chamber of commerce and attend meetings and events.

  • Business cards work well, especially when wanting to set your business apart using a unique design reflecting your brand values.

  • Printed pamphlets and flyers offer an informational marketing tool that you can hand out at exports, events, and during networking meetings.

  • If you own a business, you are an expert in your field. Write and publish a book sharing your expertise with a larger audience.

  • Offer existing customers loyalty rewards and coupons and send unique coupons to attract new customers.

  • Send seasonal cards and gifts to your loyal customers and members of your mailing list.

  • Find another business that shares your values and business model to work together to co-develop products, cross-promote each other’s company, and co-sponsor events.

  • Get involved with the community by setting up a booth at local events, sponsoring local nonprofits, volunteering, attending government meetings, networking events, etc.

  • Host your community events and workshops, inviting other local businesses to join in for cross-promotion and providing entertainment for residents.

  • Send out press releases to local media outlets, including radio stations, new stations, and newspapers.

  • Try a local billboard to reach a new market and help your business stand out. 

There is a lot of untapped marketing potential in offline advertising. So take your business marketing efforts offline and get more involved in your local community. If done correctly, both digital and offline marketing can be very beneficial for businesses. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

5 Tips for Effective Product Packaging

Product packaging can be just as important as your product.

The packaging is what the potential consumer sees, influencing their purchasing decision. In fact, 72% of Americans say the product packaging influences their purchasing decision. Check out these five tips for effective product packaging. 

1. On-brand product packaging 

Your packaging should be a consistent extension of your brand. 

Your brand is how your company looks and feels. Follow your brand style guide when designing the packaging. If you don’t already have a brand style guide created, now would be a great time to get started. 

Your brand style guide is used throughout your business to create general guidelines for the look and style of your brand. It establishes colors, fonts, and much more to ensure the consistency of the brand. It should portray your brand’s personality and values. 

Just as important as staying on brand is functionality. 

2. Functional product packaging 

Your product packaging should fulfill its function before all else. 

Consider the product packaging’s use within the life of your product. 

First, it must adequately protect the product. You should be prepared for both gentle and hard handling. Make sure you account for any special care of the product, including light, ventilation, water, and heat concerns. 

Second, it must include all important information to abide by rules and regulations to avoid a potential lawsuit. 

Third, the packaging must fit within the size, weight, and volume constraints. Consider making it stackable so it can be easily stocked. 

Fourth, the packaging must be easy to open. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to open a package that makes you think the company doesn’t want you to get to the product. 

Fifth, if the packaging will be used throughout the product’s life, then make sure the packaging is adequately made for this purpose. For example, make it resealable and durable. 

Over-the-top packaging which does not serve a functional purpose can be a waste of money due to environmentally conscious consumers. 

3. Environmentally friendly product packaging

Consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. 

Many are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact on the earth, including reducing their waste. Therefore, they’ll want to look for companies that align with their goals. Environmentally friendly product packaging can have many different faces. 

  • Use recycled materials.

  • Use recyclable and/or reusable materials.

  • Reduce the weight and size of your product packaging.

Environmentally conscious product packaging can help it stand out, among other methods. 

4. Product packaging made to stand out 

Your packaging is the face of your product. 

Little things can make a big difference in customer purchasing decisions. Effective product packaging can trigger impulse buying from customers. If you can find ways to differentiate your product packaging from your competitors, you’ll be better able to stand out, increasing sales.

Research your competitors to see what they are doing. Brainstorm ways your product packaging can stand out. Consider: 

  • Shape

  • Presentation

  • Color

  • Design

  • Layout 

However, there are some things you don’t want to change. 

  • Keep your packaging within your industry parameters.

  • Include your product, brand name, and one to two main selling points.

  • Be honest. You’re going to want to present your product in the best light, but there’s a line between positive framing and lying. With great products, there’s no need to stretch the truth. And in the end, it’s counterproductive because you’ll anger customers who don’t get what they thought they bought after they’ve unboxed the product. 

5. Product packaging for unboxing

Lately, unboxing videos have risen in popularity. 

Unboxing videos include customers buying products and then filming themselves unboxing them. They rose in popularity because the viewer could receive second-hand satisfaction from unboxing new products. It also highlighted the importance of the unboxing experience for customers.

From a business’s point of view, unboxing videos provided authentic, customer-produced marketing. Products with unique packaging provide material for great unboxing videos. Get creative and try to generate ways you can enhance the unboxing experience. For example, include a thank you card or stickers.

Unique product packaging examples

Guidelines and tips can be vague, which is why examples are useful. 

Check out a few examples of creative product packaging. 

  • NYC Spaghetti. The designer created product packaging so the spaghetti resembled the Chrysler Building. This catches customers’ attention.

  • Butter! Better! Here, the butter container comes with a knife so the user can easily use the butter. This will fix the frustration of lacking utensils. The design expertly combines function and form.

  • Görtz 17 Shoelace Box. Here, the company developed more environmentally friendly bags while also keeping things creative. Being a shoe store, it perhaps wasn’t innovative to put a shoe on the box. But it was innovative for them to incorporate real shoelaces that extend from the box’s design. 

Hopefully, these examples can spark some product packaging creativity. 

Consult your printer about product packaging 

Product packaging can get overwhelming. 

There are so many details involved. But, we can help the printing be the least of your worries. We can point you in the right direction to avoid printing challenges resulting from your design not quite matching your material. We can also discuss costs and lend our general expertise. Happy product packaging printing!

Friday, June 3, 2022

7 Facts About Offline Marketing You Probably Didn't Know

Offline marketing consists of advertising conducted through traditional offline media, including billboards, print, and in-person events. Although conventional advertising methods like these are all around, there are many things you probably didn’t know. Check out these seven facts about offline marketing. 

1. It’s not online versus offline

It’s not a competition between online and offline marketing as both have their pros and cons.

Plus, your marketing strategy is usually more effective when utilizing multiple platforms, leading to greater brand exposure and returns on investment. Offline marketing effectively brings people to your business’s online website and social media platforms. This is why 58% of offline retailers use offline marketing to build online customer engagement without being too invasive. 

2. Offline marketing is not invasive 

As the market becomes more competitive, marketing strategies are becoming more intense. 

However, this can lead some consumers to find marketing to be invasive. 91% of survey respondents agreed that ads are more intrusive today than two to three years ago.

A potential client who finds your advertising invasive may not want to purchase from you. A helpful way around this problem is through offline marketing strategies such as direct mail, which tends to have a more positive reception. In a study conducted by Epsilon, 59% of U.S. respondents agreed with the statement: “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.” This positive reception is partly because offline marketing is less common.

3. Offline marketing stands out

As some companies move away from offline marketing strategies, a space reopens for your company to stand out. 

People naturally remember less common things. Think of all the ads you see and hear on social media, email, and your internet searches. You may struggle to remember them all. Now think of the advertisements you’ve received in your mail. They’re probably easier to remember because they’re less prevalent and because people remember print better than digital. But, just because it’s less common doesn’t mean it’s a dying business. 

4. Offline marketing is a growing business

Going off the language used around offline marketing, it may come as a surprise that it’s a growing business. 

In 2020, the spending on offline media in the U.S. was 182.2 billion. In 2021 it was 196 billion. In 2022, it’s projected to reach 207.6 billion. Thanks to its persuasive attributes, offline marketing has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

5. It is possible to track offline marketing 

Although offline marketing can be challenging to track, it’s not impossible, thanks to some creative solutions. 

The success of any marketing campaign is primarily measured through analytics and data and then using that data to inform your future decisions. Check out the following methods to better track your offline marketing. 

  • Custom landing pages. Insert a custom URL in your offline marketing campaigns. This will take the potential customer to a custom landing page, allowing you to track your offline marketing.

  • Discount codes. Distribute unique discount codes depending on the means of advertisement. For example, a direct mail discount code could be “DIRMAIL201,” while an online code from Instagram could be “INSTA202.” When the consumer uses that code, you can track the sale back to the advertisement method. 

However, it is important to remember that customer journeys are becoming more complex. Usually, a customer will see your company through many channels before looking the business up and buying. Allow room for this ambiguity by asking customers how they found the business and allowing them to select more than one option. 

Gaining new customers through offline marketing is wonderful, but those that stay are even better. 

6. Offline marketing boosts brand loyalty 

Various marketing methods are useful for specific purposes. 

Offline marketing is especially beneficial for building trust, brand loyalty, and customer engagement. This is why 60% of primarily online retailers use direct mail to build brand loyalty and awareness. 

7. Offline marketing is more versatile.

The non-online world isn’t constrained to a screen, allowing for greater opportunities.

Offline marketing allows you to get more involved in your communities by attending local events. It also allows you to play with the texture, size, and smell. 

The majority of people’s lives are spent in the offline world. Therefore, what better way to reach them? We can help you with your offline marketing campaigns by providing for your print needs. Reach out today at 864-882-3609, www.PrintitinColor.com or go EXTREME offline and visit our office at 11071 North Radio Station Road in Seneca, SC!!