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6 Mistakes Dropshippers Make When Starting Out

May 26, 2019


AmeriCommerce estimates that retail e-commerce businesses account for as much as $220 million in revenue annually. Dropshipping has the potential to be a major edge for online sellers for several reasons, from reducing overhead to shorter shipping and fulfillment times for orders. These benefits can only be realized with proper implementation of the factors that contribute to successful dropshipping.

The sad reality is that many new e-commerce entrepreneurs are either ignoring these basic steps or completely unaware of them because they seem trivial. To increase your chances of success in an e-commerce venture, don’t make these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Betting all your chips on one supplier

Having a unified supplier is a benefit in several cases: There’s only one point of contact, and all products are shipped directly from that one location to your customers. However, the situation of a supplier running out of stock or being unable to meet demand does arise on occasion. Researching and keeping in contact with a secondary or backup vendor is a necessity.

This assumes that the primary vendor you’re engaged with doesn’t require you to only deal with them. Pay attention to the contract you sign with your supplier for any predatory clauses like this before signing it. They could be the reason your e-commerce business sinks or floats.

Mistake #2: Getting the wrong supplier for the job

The choices for suppliers are myriad in the world of dropshipping. You need to make several decisions before you choose one. Do you prefer products made locally or shipped from overseas? What are the overhead costs and the inherent benefits and drawbacks of each? There’s a long checklist you ought to go through before settling on a supplier. Shopify notes that the steps in selecting a supplier vary by industry and the type of …

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3 "Secret" Ingredients That Consistently Drive Business Growth

May 24, 2019


Is it a question of mindset? What can we learn from those companies that have achieved a pattern of stable growth throughout the decades?

Hard work, talent, dedication, commitment to excellence and even more hard work. These things – especially an unending supply of hard work – make up the not-so-secret secret formula used by companies that have attained consistent growth. On top of that, the leadership within these companies keeps a future-oriented mindset. “This business is being built for years – and generations – yet to come,” is a much better leadership outlook than one that says, “I have built this by myself and for my own glorification right now.”

But really, it’s all about hard work. That’s why the secret formula is really pretty obvious. We all know the value of hard work, and we all believe in it. Some of us even practice what we preach when it comes to hard work. But do you know exactly what hard work looks like? Have you ever realized that hard work takes many shapes and forms? Does your company – do you – work hard at everything you do?

Shortcuts are not hard work

Shortcuts look smart. They look efficient, easy, quick and painless. They offer a chance to deliver a higher volume with little or no extra effort. But they are not hard work. Working smart and keeping up with best practices is crucial to your product’s quality, but it should never be the end you seek. The product’s quality is all that matters; that, and your character, are all your customer will ever really see. Minimal effort work (i.e., work that’s full of shortcuts) produces a minimal effort product. Minimal effort is what your competitors provide, inferior quality from others is what drove your customer to you …

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4 Tips for Outsourcing Your Customer Service

May 24, 2019


According to research by Microsoft, 96% of respondents said that customer service is important in determining if they stay loyal to a brand. Without it, your business is surely losing out on revenue, conversions and a happy, returning customer base.

Here are four tips for outsourcing your customer service department so your business reaches its goals and stays on the path to success.

1. Evaluate your business needs.

Do you know your goals for customer service? Do you know what you want it to achieve? What are your company’s guidelines for handling and solving customer issues? If you don’t know, it’s time to lay these issues out and answer them as specifically as you can.

 

Editor’s note: Looking to outsource your customer service to call center agents or an answering service? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

 

 

It’s important to establish your brand voice, tone guidelines and business goals for your customer service team. Without clear steps or directions to follow, it’ll be more difficult for your team to sync when tending to customers. Consistency within your brand is essential, because it’s what ties the whole operation together and makes every facet of your company cohesive.

2. Offer adequate training.

Evaluate the onboarding process after you hire your customer service team. Is it thorough and informative? Are your employees’ questions answered adequately so that there’s less room for errors, or are they left wondering how to perform certain tasks or speak to customers? Without proper training, you’ll spend more money fixing customer issues than on other parts of your conversion strategy. [Need a team of agents to handle your customer service? Check out our best picks for call center and answering services.]

In the Microsoft survey, 30% of marketers said …

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How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

May 24, 2019


According to Harvard Business Review, a customer journey map illustrates the steps your visitors take when they engage with your company, which could be products, services, online experiences, and so forth. The map allows you to gain a clearer insight into your audience’s motivations, needs and pain points as they move through the conversion funnel.

If you have yet to create a customer journey map for your audience, now is the perfect time to start. There are endless benefits that come with it that can help you understand your target market so you can serve them better.

Why you need a customer journey map

You might be wondering why your business needs a customer journey map in the first place. For one, it helps you find out more about your visitors so you can provide them with a seamless user experience. A journey map also helps you refine your target market so that you aren’t trying to target too broad or general an audience. The more you can narrow down your target, the better off you’ll be.

According to the Huffington Post, only 34% of businesses have implemented a customer journey map into their marketing strategy, meaning that too few marketers understand its importance in business growth and success. You can stay one step ahead of your competitors by creating a CJM that’s effective and brings about results.

Create customer personas

You should already have customer personas, or buyer personas, created for your ideal customers so you have details on how to cater to their needs. If not, now is the perfect time to flesh them out. Include as much information as you can, including their demographics, buying behaviors, income, education level, issues they need to be resolved, and more. Monitor your analytics to get this information or …

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Sustainability Is Changing How We Do Business … For the Better

May 23, 2019


The idea of going green to succeed in business is a relatively new one. In previous generations, it was enough to simply sell a quality product or service. Customers didn’t ask about supply chains, livable wages or carbon footprints. Whether a company was run ethically was entirely up to its board of directors.

This all changed once millennials began to flex their buying power. And, yes, millennials actually do have buying power – they may often be labeled as perpetually broke, but millennials make up one-quarter of our population and are expected to spend $1.4 trillion in 2020.

While our nation’s avocado-loving youth has been accused of killing everything from cereal to homeownership, millennials have undoubtedly brought sustainable business practices into the spotlight. Their penchant for living green and buying local, compounded with growing concerns about climate change and social equality, has prompted a growing number of businesses to find more ethical, sustainable ways to be successful.

Here’s how sustainability is transforming business all the way from the consumer to the investor.

Consumers are supporting their values with their credit cards.

From the great straw ban of 2018 to the backlash against Nike’s Kaepernick campaign, consumer spending is increasingly tied to personal beliefs about everything from environmentalism to fair trade to political loyalties. An Edelman study spanning eight countries found that 64% of consumers are belief-driven buyers, meaning “they choose, switch, avoid, or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.”

While it might feel polarizing to find your business on the downside of a controversial issue, it could be a boon for your business and your cause if your stance resonates with your customer base. In fact, 89% of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, and …

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