Archive for August, 2010

Salesforce.com for Customer Service

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Imagine a successful company for a second – what are some of its characteristics? Innovation, organization, and automation are definitely at the top of the list. These are some of the things that make a company sustainable in the long run.

Another important aspect of a successful enterprise is the quality of their customer service, both offline and online. In today’s digital age, there are many tools that help companies stay in touch with their customers via the Internet. And the best part is that it increases their sales. Customer relations can really be broken down into three areas:

-        New client acquisitions: sales process

-        Improving current clients’ experience: building a strong base of loyal customers

-        Repeat-business: long-term retention strategies

Before we had the Internet, there were tons of books written on each of these three categories. The tactics improved with time, and new ideas were discovered, but the whole “customer service” process has not undergone a massive change until the era of the Internet.

With that, many companies are still clinging to the old ways of doing business and are simply “testing out the waters” with their online marketing. Others, on the other hand, are jumping in with both feet – and reaping the wonderful benefits of modern-day technology.

A very useful piece of software that has become an integral part of many company’s successful customer service process is called Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. It’s a web-based program that is integrated into your company’s website and eventually automates many of your operational tasks, which saves you a lot of time and money.

Here is a quick list of some of its most essential components:

  • Sales process: this phase includes contact management, tracking of the sales process for new clients, and automatic price generation
  • Marketing: automatically qualifying and generating leads and measuring your success with various marketing campaigns (on and off-line)
  • Job scheduling: tracking of pertinent documents, scheduling and email correspondence between various departments; very useful for smooth collaboration between workers in remote locations
  • Social Media integration: brings companies into their clients’ social world by carefully reaching out through various social media campaigns

Salesforce CRM works not only within the framework of a web browser, but also on various smart phone devices. Instead of trying to come up with different software applications and trying to figure out how to make them work together (and they usually don’t), Salesforce CRM takes care of all your sales, customer service and marketing needs in one program. Wouldn’t it be great to have these processes automated? Learn more about it HERE.  

The Importance of a Professional Website

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Your website is your business card. It’s your resume. It’s your company’s reputation.

Yes, you can use a free Blogger or WordPress template or worse yet – not have a website at all! But consider the fact that every person who sees you online will judge you and your business by what your website looks like.

Would you rather do business with a professional-looking person in a nice, clean suit, with combed hair and neatly organized paperwork; or would you care if the person looked like he or she just rolled out of bed and “the dog ate their homework?” The point is that your website should be your online sales representative and serve as the face of your company just as much as a live salesperson would be in the real world.

If you are ready to take the plunge and build a new website or re-design your old website, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your customer will form an opinion about your company within the first 10 seconds of coming to your website.
  • Well thought-out web design gives an impression of business stability, which means your new clients will be comfortable with making the purchase or calling you.
  • An interesting-looking site will be intriguing enough to make people want to explore it.
  • If you are selling products online, a professional web designer will run you through all the options of making your website secure; the safer people feel with giving you their credit card info, the more likely they are to buy.
  • A good website will make you stand out above your competition.

There are so many things you can do with a website that without the help of a professional web design service you can easily get bogged down in all the minutia.  A web designer will not only make your website good-looking and functional, but he or she will also help you define your online goals and achieve them by using proper applications within your new site.

Some optional website features might include: use of social media icons on your site; email capture; live chat; “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) and targeted keyword insertion; addition of a blog; a video presentation for your visitors to see; and many other similar options, all geared toward converting visitors into leads primed for conversion into customers.

In addition, professional web design companies have lots of tricks up their sleeve as the Internet is constantly evolving and changing. Web development companies that have been in business for many years know the skills of the trade and can help businesses have a powerful web presence so that they can excel online.

WWWC Creates Bold New Look for P&N Distribution

Friday, August 13th, 2010

WWWC recently launched a new website for P&N Distribution, an HVAC wholesale distributor providing HVAC dealers in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with the quality products, competitive pricing, unwavering support and exceptional service they need to compete in today’s marketplace.

P&N Distribution, although primarily a Rheem distributor, also carries parts and services of other well-known manufacturers such as Honeywell, LG, Dunkirk, Modine, Benchmark and Lukjan. Priding themselves on next-day service, P&N not only sells and services parts but also provides instructional classes for service providers (see http://www.pndistribution.com/training/ for more information).

P&N’s new website boasts bold, primary colors and an open, airy feel with plenty of white space. Geared primarily for the trade, the site is easy to navigate with a simple text-based, horizontal “tab” toolbar at the top and a host of images that link to the manufacturers’ websites.

Behind the scenes of the site is a robust content management system (CMS) called WordPress, which enables the site owner to control content in the site and keep it up-to-date. Also, WordPress has built into it many features that are instrumental in achieving high search engine ranking. Helpful in this regard is the use of Google Analytics, which we set up for the site, so that the owners can view very detailed statistics of site traffic.

Keeping in mind that the purpose of the website is to attract and convert leads, on all the main areas of the site is a “Quick Contact Form” designed to make it easy for anyone to contact P&N. In addition, through the use of Google Maps, it is very easy to find each of the four locations as well as print out a map.

So congratulations, P&N, on your new site. We hope that it helps you find new clients, service existing clients and lets people know exactly what you do.

4 Ways to Master Social Media Marketing

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In the August issue of Inc. Magazine there is a terrific article on social media marketing called “4 Ways to Master Social Media Marketing.” The basic theme of the article is that social media is no longer an option; rather, it is a necessity.

According to Nielsen, 79% of large businesses are using social media “to engage their audience…build buzz, establish relationships, foster communication…and cultivate long-term brand awareness and consumer trust.”

The article claims that it doesn’t matter what type of company you are or how much experience you have. All you need is to learn a few simple rules. “Social media is not so much a new idea as it is a way to communicate ideas, and the nature of a good idea hasn’t changed. The same marketing principles from 50 years ago apply today; they are simply communicated in a different way.”

This is a very good article that offers concrete suggestions on how to use social media. There are four “take aways” that you can immediately utilize in your own business.

  • Raise Brand Awareness
  • Drive Valuable Traffic
  • Grow Consumer Loyalty
  • Build Brand Equity

In addition, the article gives a handful of very valuable examples of successful social media campaigns from which we can all learn.

Top 10 Social Networking Sites

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Here are the Top 10 Social Networking sites that drive the most traffic, as per Vertical Measures blog post. OK, so there are really 16; who’s counting? This is mandatory reading! Check out these sites and decide which ones make the most sense for your online marketing strategy.

1. LinkedIn

2. Merchant Circle

3. Facebook

4. Twitter

5. Yelp

6. Plaxo

7. Fast Company

8. MyWikiBiz

9. Ecademy

10. Spoke

11. 123People

12. BxBusinessWeek

13. Fast Pitch Networking

14. ZoomInfo

15. Google Profile

16. Naymz