Are YOUR customers YOUR business?

Written by Val Burnett

Are YOUR customers YOUR business?

Customer support should be a high priority for any business, whether you are starting up or already established. At MBP Advertising, our motto is "Our business IS our Customers."

Daily, we strive to show our customers that their concerns, comments and their time is very valuable to us. By making customer support a high priority, it givesrepparttar customer a sense of trust in our company and they know that they can come to us with any question and we will answer it and usually pretty quickly.

You need to make sure your customers receiverepparttar 146770 same quick and efficient support. How you handle customer support can and will make or break a company. Too many companies now, concentrate onrepparttar 146771 front-end sale, but very rarely work at keeping that customer afterrepparttar 146772 sale has been established. If you have a website that focuses on "free" products or services, these customers should be treatedrepparttar 146773 same as if they were "paying" customers.

If you treat all customers, whether paid or free,repparttar 146774 same and with respect, you will find these customers will be there for years to come. It is these customers, that will help you establish your company and they will refer others to you and continue to purchase or use your services.

Without customers, where would your business be? Each and every customer support issue, you need to address promptly, honestly and in a professional manner.

How can you handle customer support issues?

There are quite a few tools, software or programs that will assist you with dealing with customer support. The most favorite now isrepparttar 146775 Help desk system. Many companies are integrating these support systems into their websites.

Help Desk Ticket System

This is one ofrepparttar 146776 more popular customer service systems being used now. With a help desk system, your customer can log a support ticket, they can trackrepparttar 146777 ticket and receiverepparttar 146778 response they need. With most ticket systems, they also include a knowledge database, this is a place where you can putrepparttar 146779 most frequent asked questions. By providing this, your customers may browserepparttar 146780 database and may very well findrepparttar 146781 answer to their question, before having to log a support ticket.

All tickets put in by a customer are logged and saved inrepparttar 146782 database. This is very beneficial, because you andrepparttar 146783 customer can track what was previously said, whatrepparttar 146784 issues were and just by saving it, it is a place where your customers can reference later.

A help desk system will also help you analyze your customer support promptness but also it allowsrepparttar 146785 customer to raterepparttar 146786 service they received. This is very valuable information and will show you if your customers are happy withrepparttar 146787 support responses andrepparttar 146788 time it took to receiverepparttar 146789 answers to their questions.

We use for our ticket system, it is affordable and is loaded with features. Liz Smith, handles our customer support and by logging intorepparttar 146790 ticket system, I can seerepparttar 146791 average response time as of May 2005 is 2 hr(s) 10 min(s) 35 seconds plus she has responded and closed over 5500 tickets since we installedrepparttar 146792 ticket system just over a year ago. Our customers have rated Liz's prompt and helpful responses 5 stars!

Do Your Adverts Get You More Sales?

Written by Jim Symcox - Marketing Magician

Philadelphia retailer and US Postmaster General, John Wanamaker, once said, "Halfrepparttar money I spend on advertising is wasted;repparttar 146647 trouble is I don't know which half."

If you’re spending £10,000 a month on advertising £5,000 is going straight downrepparttar 146648 tubes. That wastes £60,000 of your hard earned cash every year. Money you could spend on better, more focused marketing.

Imagine if you could work out which half works and spend only on that half. The good news is you can. All will become clear in a little while.

Inrepparttar 146649 meantime let me explain how advertising works.

Broadly there are two types of advertising. One is Branding and Positioning (BAP) andrepparttar 146650 other is Direct Response (DR) advertising.

Branding and Position Advertising Branding and Position concentrates on gettingrepparttar 146651 company’s name, or service or product continually atrepparttar 146652 forefront of its customer’s minds. As you can imagine this needs continual advertising activity and can cost megabucks. Companies doing this type of advertising include Coca-Cola, British Airways, Nike and MacDonald’s.

These are all major companies and everyone already knows their name and what they stand for.

Why do they do it?

The simple answer is that they’re in a highly competitive market. They want to retain their large market share by ensuring thatrepparttar 146653 most recent ad a prospect remembers is for their service or product. So when they’re thirsty it’s a Coke. If they’re hungry it’s a Big Mac if they want to fly they chooserepparttar 146654 World’s favourite airline.

Picturerepparttar 146655 mountains of money that go towards that aim. But picture toorepparttar 146656 accountants horror – they don’t know which campaign makes a profit.

Profit isrepparttar 146657 one thing that tells you if your campaign is working. If you know your ad makes more revenue than it costs to create, run and service you’d keep running it wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately Branding and Positioning (BAP) advertising can’t be evaluated. You just don’t know whether it’s worth doing or not. How do you know which advert finally persuaded your prospect to do business with you.

Interestingly Bill Bernbach one ofrepparttar 146658 founders of modern advertising said that, “Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it."

So why bother doing BAP advertising?

Probably because advertising agencies are happy to use BAP advertising for almost any company. Any slowdown in sales can’t be attributed to their adverts. Any increase is claimed to proverepparttar 146659 advert is working.

In reality you don’t have a clue.

Former Canadian policeman turned fabulously paid copywriter John E. Kennedy coinedrepparttar 146660 phrase, “advertising is salesmanship in print”.

Would you tell a salesman to go see a prospect and to strip customer oriented benefits from their presentation? Also would you tell them not to ask forrepparttar 146661 order? You’d be laughed at and if you insisted you’d probably go out of business and certainly lose your salesmen.

BAP advertising does exactly that to your customer.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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