For SMEs, standing out from the crowd is a difficult thing to do. There are so many pressures with not enough hours in the day or manpower on the ground.
At Hopewiser, an SME ourselves, we understand the challenges. We are a success story that has been thriving for 36 years, therefore, we thought we would put together a few key steps in order to help you prosper in the world of business…
Take a Look at Your Sales Pipeline
One of the key aspects we have found to help make us prosperous and profitable is to keep delving into our Sales pipeline.
Your Sales Processes will consist of a series of steps that a prospect goes through on the way to becoming a customer. By taking a close look at the stages involved, you can define where your best contacts come from, what triggers their decision to do business with you, how you can incentivise the process, what needs to happen to close a deal, and how you can encourage repeat business. You also need to focus on customer retention: it’s generally accepted that the cost of retaining existing customers is less than that of sourcing new ones. If that’s your experience, then giving thought to the right strategy to attract and retain customers must be a business priority.
To acquire and retain customers you need to make sure that you stand above your competitors. One way to do this is to give the very best service.
For many of us the first point of contact is crucial. We need to make sure that we have our customer’s details captured and stored correctly. Whether you are a major Utility provider or an online flower seller, having your customer’s correct name and address stored is paramount to the success of the business. With incorrect details not only will business analytics be useless, but the services you provide will not be going to the right person at the right time in the right place.
According to Ofcom, following an audit of the Royal Mail, the number of complaints in 2017 rose by 3%. Plus according to Royal Mail’s top ten complaint categories, Lost Items was the top one at 28.5%.
It’s also a good idea to review your business overheads from time to time. Although every business person understands you must spend money to make money, overheads can become a significant drain on the bottom line. Looking at potential savings across the board.
Again you can relate this back to accurate data. Lost revenue, mis-delivered mail, poor return on investment for marketing activity, bad business analysis will all come down to inaccurate data. It is essential you check your data against files that tell you who has died and who has moved. For example in England and Wales in 2015 more than 1.3M people moved home and in the five years up to 2015 more than 2.3M died. Marketing to the wrong address is bad for customer relationships and could ultimately impact on your revenue.
For an SME, investing in new technology can be a very expensive option. Outsourcing can be easier with the added benefit of external expertise, coupled with the fact that as an SME you don’t have to train staff. For data cleansing the latest service in the market is online data cleansing which allows a user to upload spreadsheets and databases securely into an online solution.
Not having the requisite skills, qualifications, and experience can have a major effect on productivity and profitability, which is another case for using online self service providers for data cleansing. Some companies may not have access to up-to-date suppression files which means they run the risk of mailing to deceased persons or those that have moved house. At Hopewiser we have an array of suppressions available to our clients to ensure that their records are accurate and verified. For example, The NDR National Deceased Register and the GAS Goneaway Suppression.
A recent study revealed that PayPal issued a letter to a deceased woman stating her death was in breach of the company’s rules, even though her husband had already informed them that she’d died. This is a prime example of bad data equalling bad customer service.
We hope that you have found this guide useful and that you can take some tips away to improve both your staff and your business.
For all your data enquiries, whether that be our data cleansing service to de-dupe, verify, and enhance your company records, or even an accurate address lookup service to be installed on to your website or within businesses software, get in touch today at www.hopewiser.com or call 0161 924 2800.
, updated 12th July 2019.