Lauren DowdleContent Writer, Social Media Specialist

A social-media-savvy writer and editor who loves to tell others' stories through a creative voice, I constantly pursue ways to improve my skill sets. Whether I'm editing videos, posting on Twitter, creating a catchy headline, packaging a magazine story or crafting a feature piece on a local business, I'm always looking for new ways to present information. My specialties include the landscape and construction industries, the South, social media, blogs, web articles, religion and interviewing.

Recent Answers

Start with these four simple techniques:

* Be Proactive and Responsive
* Be Communicative
* Provide Choice
* Be Thankful

Providing options for customers who might benefit from an advanced version of a product or service, or from a product that would supplement the use of their main purchase, is a great way to provide value (and gain an extra sale in the process).

But, again, if you push too hard to upsell or cross-sell your customer, they might walk away without even making the original purchase they planned on making.

You can find more effective sales techniques in this blog:

The first and foremost thing is to respond to all social posts. And that includes things on Twitter, Facebook and any other social channel including review sites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor. And I don’t care what industry you’re in, there’s probably a review site for your industry, where they’re talking about you.

And when I say, “Respond,” most people think, “Okay. They complain, I should respond.” No. Respond to every comment. I know that sounds like it could be big or daunting, but I think if somebody’s taking the time to write something nice to you, at least like their response, or recognise that you’ve read their response, you give them a little bit of feedback, even if it’s a sign of, “Yes, I like what you did. I re-Twitted you,” or maybe I actually make the comment.

Check out this video interview (and transcript) I did with customer experience guru Shep Hyken to see more:

It's obvious knowing your average customer’s age, gender, location and social class is essential for gaining an understanding of who they are as a person. And you can use six customer behaviors to better segment and then target them:
*Purchasing behavior
*Usage rate
*Benefits sought
*User status
You can read more about how to segment these behaviors in a blog from Fieldboom:

Upselling, cross-selling, and downselling can positively affect your conversion rates in a number of ways.

According to research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, the simple act of making recommendations for further purchases to customers can account for anywhere from 10-30% of overall ecommerce revenue. Over a decade ago, Amazon stated that upselling and cross-selling were responsible for 35% of the company’s revenue.

To be sure, this number is largely atypical. However, it’s generally accepted that upsells make up anywhere from 2-4% of a company’s overall sales numbers, and cross-sales represent up to around 2% of such (usually around .5-1%).

As downselling is more of an “on the fly” technique and is harder to track (i.e., salespeople aren’t likely to log instances in which they made a smaller sale in lieu of a customer turning away a larger sale), actual statistics regarding downsales are hard to pin down. However, it stands to reason that providing a more convenient or affordable option to prospects inherently nudges them closer toward making a purchase.

You can find more information in Fieldboom's blog:

Some good options include exit popups, lightbox overlays and squeeze pages.

According to Conversion Sciences, correct implementation of exit popups can reduce the amount of visitors who leave your site without taking action by anywhere from 10-15%. These popups are triggered when a visitor moves their mouse near the “back” button or toward the “X” to close out a window – or when they haven’t moved their mouse for a certain amount of time.

Lightbox overlays are similar to exit popups in that they appear on top of the content of the actual page a visitor is on – but they aren’t necessarily triggered during exit-intent actions. A good way to think about it is: exit popups are a type of lightbox overlay.

Finally, squeeze pages may include offers for further information or freebies, such as ebooks, customer testimonials, and how-to videos – but would require the visitor to enter their email address or other contact information before providing access to such content. In turn, not only will the visitor receive the content they requested, but they’ve also opened the door for the company to send further information in the future.

You can find more info on all of these — and how to grow your local business using them — in Fieldboom's blog:

You need to be able to target the customer exactly where they are in the funnel. Customer lifecycle marketing is a marketing approach that targets individual customers where they currently exist within the customer journey.
A proper customer lifecycle marketing strategy can:

* Increase consumer trust in your brand
* Increase customer retention and loyalty
* Reduce instances of customers abandoning shopping carts
* Reduce customer churn rate

Ultimately, all of this leads to a major increase in profitability. Not only is it inherently profitable to have a solid base of recurring customers spending their money on your products or services, but retaining customers is also much more cost-efficient than acquiring new ones.

You can get more on the how and why of lifecycle marketing in this blog from Fieldboom:

You can use to survey your audience, which will, in turn, help you create your personas.

By analyzing various aspects of your customer base – as well as how these aspects relate to one another – you can start to get a more complete idea of who your customers are, and what they’re looking to get from engaging with your company.

You can find more info on how to segment your customer base in this blog:

Here are some good questions to ask in a survey. You can have them provide short answers or choose a rating, depending on the question:

* What did you like best about our services?
* What did you not like about our services?
* What, if anything, has changed about our services since your last visit?
* How would you rate the staff’s ability to meet your needs?
* How would you rate the staff’s willingness to ensure your needs were met?
* How would you rate the staff’s ability to work together to meet your needs?

You can see more questions in this blog from Fieldboom:

Effective customer satisfaction surveys include three main sections:

* Overall Satisfaction Questions
* Dimension Questions
* Demographic Questions

Here are some good overall satisfaction questions to ask:

* How would you rate your overall experience with our service?
* How likely are you to return to our store?
* How likely are you to recommend our services to your friends and family?

You can check out a full list of questions in the blog about customer surveys, too:

Here are 12 of the top companies with killer customer service techniques: The list includes Amazon, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Features consumers now take for granted – such as product suggestions, customer reviews, and one-click checkout options – all have their origins in Amazon. Going back to our definition of customer service, consumers had no idea such convenience was even possible before Amazon implemented these services and made them par for the course.

While Amazon has its fair share of feel-good customer service stories, it’s the innovative, forward-thinking, customer-facing approach CEO Jeff Bezos and company take that earns them the top spot when it comes to customer service.

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