Keep your customers by keeping up with emails and more

How to be more responsive (even when you’re off the clock)

Running a small business is a 24/7 job. You always take your work home with you, and even if you’re not “on the clock,” you’re probably thinking about what you’ll need to do tomorrow.

As more businesses move their marketing online, a big part of “what you’ll need to do tomorrow” is becoming “responding to prospects and customers who contacted me today.” And for some of those customers, tomorrow is too late.

Once you start promoting your local business online, you suddenly have a whole new set of ways for customers to reach you:

  • Emails and form fills
  • Facebook messages
  • @ mentions and comments on social media
  • Text messages
  • Online appointment requests

All of those are in addition to the regular phone calls and in-person visits you’re already trying to keep up with.

There are only so many hours in the day, so here are some shortcuts that will help you respond instantly…get back to your customers sooner…and build goodwill for your business.

Make sure your voicemail sets the right expectations

No business can answer every phone call every time – especially after hours. Update your outgoing message to:

  • Ask for all the information you need to serve your customers when you call them back
  • Set expectations about when you’ll get back to them

“Thanks for your call. Please leave your name, phone number and the best time to reach you. One of our associates will get back to you within X hours / after X o’clock / as soon as possible.”

And don’t be afraid to direct customers somewhere else if you’ll be able to respond to them faster there:

“You can also reach us on Facebook Messenger, or visit our website at mybusiness.com to schedule an appointment 24/7.”

Check your email throughout the day, every day

We all struggle to keep up with our email inboxes – and most of us don’t have a personal AND business inbox to manage! However, if you’re going to promote an email address as a way to reach you, you have to be committed to checking it and responding every day.

Just like your voicemail message, you should create an email autoreply to set expectations:

“Thanks for your email. One of our associates will get back to you within X hours / after X o’clock / as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, please call 000-000-0000.”

Most of the other ways for customers to contact you online – like forms on your website and social media messages – will also send you an email notification letting you know that you’ve received a message. Your email can become the central hub that all your other digital marketing messages feed into.

Monitor Facebook for messages and more, every day

Assuming you have a business Facebook Page, start looking for messages you need to respond to there too. From @ mentions that tag your business on your Facebook Wall (or theirs) to comments to direct messages, you should expect your customers to use this incredibly convenient tool to reach out to you.

Facebook will even “rate” how responsive you are. On your Page, customers will see a general estimate of how soon you’ll respond.

To get the coveted “Typically replies instantly” rating in Facebook Messenger, you can set up autoreplies – just like you did for your email inbox.

“Thanks for your message. One of our associates will get back to you within X hours / after X o’clock / as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, please call 000-000-0000.”

You can also earn the “Very responsive to messages” badge, which is yet another way to build your customers’ confidence that you’ll get their message – and get back to them soon.

Don’t forget to download the Facebook Messenger app too! It’s the best way to keep up with direct messages from customers.

Update your hours everywhere online

In a perfect world, your customers would never reach out to you when you’re not available. The easiest way to align your availability with their needs is to make sure your business hours are listed correctly across the Web.

Start with the “big three” – your Google listing, your business Facebook Page and your website – and make sure you update your online business listings for holidays, vacations, special events and more.

Save time and build trust with faster responses

Checking your email, voicemail and social media more often is a new habit to get into, and it will take some practice. But with a little more dedication to communication – and some time- and labor-saving automated messages – you can show your customers that the time and effort they put into contacting you won’t go unanswered!


From keeping your current customers to connecting with new ones, see everything a dedicated marketing team can do for you at hibu.com.

This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog as Follow These 4 Rules to Be More Responsive to Your Digital Customers.

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Top Hibu Blog Posts of 2017

The best of what you might have missed

Start next year off on the right foot with our most popular posts, videos and more. Whether you’re looking to succeed on social…get more from your business website…or survive and thrive online, on mobile and more…take some time to catch up on these tips before the ball drops. It’s the easiest way to make sure your business doesn’t drop the ball!

1. Get savvy about turning social media into social marketing

The Smart Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media

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 2. The two things every website needs

How copy and design work together to build a quality website

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 3. What your site must say to drive business

The 4 motivating factors that turn your site visitors into customers

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 4. Everything you need to know about using Facebook for your small business

FREE Guide: Small Business Facebook Marketing

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 5. Ten simple, proven ways to promote your site

Top ways to promote your website online and offline

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 BONUS: The Small Business Digital Marketing Survival Kit (Free Guide)

FREE GUIDE: Small Business Survival Kit

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Ready to start the new year with some new business? Visit hibu.com to see everything that sets us apart — and how we can help set your business apart too.

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Hibu donates 47 turkey baskets for Thanksgiving

Hibu Thanksgiving turkey baskets in King of Prussia office lobby

Giving back for Thanksgiving 2017

This year, Hibu’s King of Prussia, PA office donated 47 (!!!) turkey baskets to the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and the Mary Howard Health Center — a comprehensive primary healthcare center for homeless people in Philadelphia.

From turkeys and gravy…to potatoes and stuffing…to vegetables, rolls and pie, Hibu is grateful to be able to support such a helpful, local organization and bring a little holiday cheer to those most in need.


Visit Hibu.com’s “News” page to see what else is happening at Hibu!

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Small Business Saturday: #shopsmall on November 25th

Don’t forget to #shopsmall this Saturday!

Celebrate local businesses — and your local community — by visiting small businesses in your area. Take a minute to look through the Shop Small Map to see all your friends and neighbors who are participating this weekend.

As a proud corporate supporter of Small Business Saturday, Hibu wants you to get out and shop small — even if it’s for big gifts or big savings!


There’s still time to get ready for this weekend! Here are 20 ways for your local business to prepare for Small Business Saturday.

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Small Business Marketing Checklist [Free Guide]

Hibu's Small Business Marketing Checklist on a laptop in an office

A simple “to-do” list to get more customers without spending more time

As a small business owner, you know that sustaining and growing your business is a must…but finding the time to focus on marketing can be a real challenge.

Like any big project, it helps to break your marketing efforts into smaller steps. You can use this guide to create an actionable plan that works for you to succeed offline…succeed online…and repeat!

Get your FREE Small Business Marketing Checklist now

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Update your holiday hours on all your online business listings

Make it easy for your customers to call and come on by this holiday season

For most businesses, there’s no busier time than the holidays. That usually means extended hours through the end of the year (and if you’re lucky, some much-needed shortened hours too).

Give the gift of convenience to your customers this season by making sure your schedule is updated everywhere they’re likely to look for you online:

  • Update your hours on Google
  • Update your hours on Facebook
  • Update your hours on your website

These are three of the most visible places for your most important business information, and Google and Facebook give you hands-on access to:

Even if you recently created or edited your listings, this is the perfect time to see what’s changed on your online business listings and develop a plan to keep them up to date all year round.


Ready to correct, protect and take control of ALL your business information online? Hibu can help you keep your listings consistent on sites, directories, social media, mobile apps and more — all from one convenient dashboard and backed by professional, dedicated service.

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10 Missing Pieces on Local Business Websites [Free Guide]

Tablet showing Hibu's "10 Missing Pieces on Local Business Websites" whitepaper

Puzzled about what your site needs today?

Trying to sort through all the advice about what your small business website needs like can be frustrating. Our short guide “10 Missing Pieces from Local Business Websites” will show you where to start putting the pieces together to win new business on:

  • Mobile
  • Search engines
  • Social media
  • Directory sites

See the big picture for your small business – get your FREE guide now

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20 Ways to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

We’re down to just under 20 days until #SmallBusinessSaturday 2017, we’d like to share 20 quick tips and tricks you can do to help your small business get the most out of the day.

On Small Business Saturday 2016, 112 million shoppers showed their love for their favorite spots, and spent a reported $15.4 billion at local businesses like yours!* Don’t miss out on this incredible annual opportunity.

Here’s are 20 easy ways to prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday:

  1. Plan a unique event for your small business – and see the best ways to promote it online here
  2. Utilize the American Express Shop Small Studio to promote ShopSmall (as well as your business)
  3. Update your social media with #ShopSmall profile pictures, cover photos and social posts
  4. Download Shop Small’s customizable marketing materials
  5. …or download ready-to-use materials
  6. Create your own #ShopSmall posters, event flyers, offer signage and save-the-date materials for your physical location
  7. Support other local businesses by partnering up with each other for the big day
  8. Visit the Shop Small Map to see what other small business are already participating around you
  9. Update your display – have fun and get creative with promoting #ShopSmall!
  10. Create holiday gift bundles for your customers to conveniently holiday shop for their loved ones. Think: “for him / for her / for your pet”
  11. Are you a restaurant or food service? Use the #DineSmall hashtag on social media to encourage your customers to support local restaurants
  12. For local restaurants that would like to get involved, create a special dish for the day
  13. Take this opportunity to debut new items on the menu for returning customers…
  14. …or to promote old favorites for new customers!
  15. Extend your hours a little to get the absolute most out of the day
  16. It’s going to be a crazy day – don’t forget to prioritize customer service!
  17. Make sure to send a follow up email to new customers thanking them and offering them a discount or invitation to your next event
  18. Stay connected yourself and sign up for Shop Small updates and reminders
  19. Stay true to whatever’s most authentic to you and your brand
  20. Remember that bringing your community together is what the annual #SmallBusinessSaturday shopping tradition is all about!

As a Corporate Supporter of the event, Hibu recognizes the important roles that small businesses play in our local communities. We encourage everyone to mark your calendars for Saturday November 25th – then do all you can to make the day a big success for small businesses in your area. Get out there and Shop Small!


See all the ways Hibu supports small businesses year-round at Hibu.com.

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Hibu Positive Review – Chickasha Granite

“A very big help to get our name out there.

The tools that come with the websites make it so easy to monitor the activity and actually guide me to how to get the best bang for my $$$.”

Daniel, Chickasha Granite


Have we helped your customers not take you for granite? Visit the Hibu client reviews page and let us know!

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Hibu Proudly Supports Small Business Saturday

Helping small businesses is at the heart of what we do here at Hibu -– that’s why we’re pleased to announce that Hibu is an official Corporate Supporter for Small Business Saturday® 2017, taking place on November 25.

For those of you who don’t know, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting local small businesses, strengthening local economies and celebrating communities across the country.

Small Business Saturday was originally created by American Express in 2010. The day serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States. In 2016, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.1 The day was also championed by elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

As a Corporate Supporter, Hibu will be promoting Small Business Saturday in a variety of ways –– on the new Hibu.com, on the Hibu Blog, and on social media –– encouraging our employees, partners and clients to be part of this special day.

All of us can support our neighborhood businesses simply by getting out and shopping on the 25th and sharing your favorite local businesses on social. Business owners who want to participate can visit http://ift.tt/2y8YfX7 for free promotional assets and prepared social posts.

At Hibu,we recognize the importance of supporting small businesses, the jobs they help create, and the stability and culture they provide local communities. According to the U.S. Small Businesses Administration, as of 2014, small businesses nationwide accounted for 63% of net new private-sector jobs created and represented 99.7% of firms with paid employees.2

We’re excited again this year to support Small Business Saturday – help us show our love for small businesses and “Shop Small!”


Visit Hibu.com to see all the ways Hibu supports small businesses every day. From mobile-friendly websites to professionally built and managed social media marketing campaigns on Facebook and more, Hibu believes every Saturday should be a small business Saturday.

1Estimates are based on consumer self-reported data from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express (November 27, 2016) and do not reflect actual receipts or sales.
2Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy Frequently Asked Questions, March 2014.

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