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Customer service

Lessons in customer feedback, from the Salt Lick

Posted by Jason Keith June 21, 2012 10:13 AM

Any successful business owner will tell you that customer feedback is vital to success, but it's especially true for small businesses. Knowing what customers want and what they don't is important, especially when one is just starting out. That means actively listening to customers but also going the extra mile to find out what they think about a business and how it could better serve them in the future. I ran across a great example of gathering customer feedback this week, when I was contacted by the Salt Lick BBQ restaurant in Texas.

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Follow Amazon's lead, focus on loyalty

Posted by Jason Keith November 29, 2011 06:00 AM

Amazon has always been recognized for customer loyalty, and now it might actually be costing them money. "Amazon Prime," a loyalty program rolled out years ago as a way to encourage more online purchases has been a dramatic success for e-retailer. By paying $79 a year, members get free, fast shipping for all purchases.

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The customer isn't always right: when to disengage

Posted by Jason Keith November 18, 2011 06:00 AM

Never has customer service been as important as it is today. With social media, online review sites and blogs, the customer oftentimes has more of a voice and influence than a company does. Budgets no longer matter as the power of influence has shifted. Customers have the power to shape the perceptions of a businesses brand, for better or worse.

But that doesn't mean that the "customer is always right," a long standing mantra for businesses everywhere.

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Local weather changes present small biz opportunities

Posted by Jason Keith November 8, 2011 06:00 AM
There weren’t a lot of people who managed to avoid the early season snow storm that came crashing through Massachusetts last week. Power was out across the state, with hundreds of thousands of families having to go “dark ages” and cope with things like gas, charcoal and good old fashioned blankets. 

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Turn Customer Comments into Powerful Testimonials

Posted by Jason Keith October 19, 2011 06:00 AM
I've written about online reviews and how to respond to them, as well as the importance of referrals as a small business owner.  Ultimately, these are just different forms of word of mouth marketing, which is always the most effective.  If you’ve got a lot of people talking about your product or service and how great it is, demand will grow. Apple has been a gold standard when it comes to word of mouth marketing. FULL ENTRY

7 ways to combat a negative online review

Posted by Jason Keith September 28, 2011 06:00 AM

Online review sites like Yelp, Zagat, and Citysearch have in many ways become too influential in determining the reputation of businesses everywhere, especially on a local level.  With the increased importance of online search, review sites are consistently popping up in local searches. So are reviews on Google Places, which always shows up on a Google search.  If you’ve got a website or established web presence as a small business owner, chances are it will show up in a local search query.  But what happens when a negative review about your small business pop up? 

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Create a survey to let your customers weigh in

Posted by Jason Keith September 23, 2011 06:00 AM
We’ve all taken a company survey at some point in our lives.  There’s little doubt the company that offered the survey took the answers and enacted changes based on the feedback.  Be it surveys about customer satisfaction, an order process, product quality or potential changes to the business, all companies use customer feedback to help inform decisions. They are an incredibly effective way to get insight into how customers perceive a business.  FULL ENTRY
About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email jasonpkeith@gmail.com.

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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