Monthly Archives: November 2019

Nov 19

Three Steps to a More Productive Team

By Shanda Packard | Team

Have you ever noticed that you’re stuck on an endless cycle of inventing and reinventing the wheel?  Do you get tired of starting over from square one Every. Single. Day?

To get your business humming along without your constant supervision of every detail, follow these three words of advice: STOP OVERTHINKING IT.

Ok, ok… it may not be quite that simple. But if you often find yourself rocking in a corner, repeating “How do I make my business more efficient and productive?”, here are three simple steps to get you on your way: 

Document Everything

Use whatever software you like, or go completely analog with sticky notes or a whiteboard, but start writing down everything you and anyone else in your company does. Get really detailed and break down every step.

If the concept of writing every last detail of your daily life down on a sticky note is overwhelming, don’t sweat it. This doesn’t have to take more of your time (I’ll save you the “slow down to speed up” diatribes) — you can document as you go without missing a beat. Let Loom run in the background while you work, and send the video to a VA to document your every move. Tada! All the details, zero extra time. 

Formalize Sticky Notes

Put all your documentation into a step-by-step list of who does what and when (for the visual folks, it may be helpful to “flow chart” it all first). Have everyone review the list to make sure it says what they meant and means what they said; and then follow that list to a T.  The next time the process is triggered, follow it like it was Grandma’s special cookie recipe and you’ve never baked a day in your life. 

A word of caution for you perfectionists out there: done is better than perfect. If you’re doing it right, you won’t start with a super dialed-in process. Just like Grandma’s cookies, these things improve over time. Which brings me to my third and final point…

Race, Rinse, and Repeat

As you follow your newly documented processes, time yourself and see if you can improve your speed without losing accuracy. Is there anything in the process that would improve with a little tweak? What parts of the process are redundant? Are there any parts of the process that are missing? Is there something you can do that may add a little time but exponentially improve the outcome? Which steps of the process are taking the longest? Are there any opportunities to automate a set of tasks? 

Before you know it, you’ll have a dialed-in process so clear a temp could come in tomorrow and take over all the tactical parts of your job, leaving you to contemplate the finer points of your business strategy in a hammock on the beach. 

You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient your team can be by taking the guesswork out of what they need to be doing. And you can finally get past reinventing the wheel in your business, so that you can move on to more pressing matters. 🍹🏖

Nov 12

Automate Your Agency Lead Generation Funnel

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

… get better conversion results, save time and sanity

What is the lifeblood of any business? Clients, customers, leads, prospects – people who buy your products and services. If you are running a marketing agency (or any other agency business) you need to ensure your business gets a constant flow of high-quality leads that your sales team can turn into high-quality clients. 

There are a couple of elements you need to take into account and make sure you have in place to ensure the “constant flow of high-quality leads” happens AND that the flow is as smooth as possible so you are not losing any leads throughout the process. Let’s dive into the two most important elements.

Automated lead generation – if you want to have a healthy business with a strong pipeline of leads you need to make sure you have a strong lead-generation system in place. 

Relying on referrals is not a good option since you cannot really control this source of leads. You cannot force people to talk about you and bring you business. You cannot give them a script to follow to ensure they warm-up leads to work with you. Going to conferences and networking is a great way to get more business, BUT it relies on you (or your business development team) to take part in those events and that can be quite an exhausting (all those drinks to consume…), time-consuming and pricey experience (event tickets, flight tickets, hotels, entertainment). 

So having an automated funnel that will help your business get more leads is one of the best decisions you can make. Build a landing page with an offer, send traffic to that landing page, jump on a sales call and voila – pipeline full.

Pipeline flow – as you put the automated lead generation in place, it is just a matter of how much traffic you send to your landing page to get busy. This is – obviously – a huge simplification, as the number of leads you are getting is a function of the traffic source, offer and the effectiveness of your funnel, but once you have everything dialed in, it really is a matter of how much ad budget you have to put behind the traffic that hits your landing page. 

This brings me to the next very important element – more leads. With a good automated lead generation process you will end up having tons of new leads every week asking to work with you. The volume of leads, questions, emails, discovery calls will have a huge impact on your operations and can lead to chaos. How do we deal with that? I’m glad you asked. 

You need to prepare your business for the flood of leads and the best way to do it? Automation. Make sure that your CRM/emailing system is set up in a way that it moves leads through your pipeline automatically. 

For example, If your lead-generation and sales process relies on discovery calls, your CRM/emailing system should receive the intake form, tag the contact as a lead, check if the contact has scheduled the discovery call with you, send an automated email if he/she hasn’t scheduled to incentivize the lead to schedule the call, send an automated welcome video etc. All of that is set up once, and just works in the backend as new leads come in. There is no need to send emails manually, send reminders, find contact info. Set and forget.

So, there you have it – two CRUCIAL elements to achieving a state of zen in your business. The leads are coming in on a regular basis (aka a cracked funnel) and your system takes care of a smooth flow of those leads through your funnel steps.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Nov 05

How Messenger Bots Are Changing Relationships

By Karen Sahetya | Strategy

Chat bot, robot hand with icons. Artificial intelligence concept online.

Remember the good ol’ days when you called a business and got to talk to a human? Do you also remember how different answers could be depending on who picked up the phone? Or maybe you remember waiting on hold for what seemed like an eternity only for someone to come back and tell you that they don’t know the answer to your question. 

There’s a lot of buzz in the marketing world about how messenger bots are solving these problems. I tend to agree with the idea that messenger bots are improving the customer experience IF used correctly. 

Here are a few ways messenger bots are changing business, but more importantly changing relationships because that’s what business really is after all. 

Supercharging The Ability To Scale

One of the biggest opportunities messenger bots offer businesses is the ability to scale. Even the best customer service chat agent can handle only so many chat conversations at the same time. It’s financially and logistically difficult for most businesses to hire and train a full force of customer chat agents to manage every conversation from start to finish. 

Messenger bots supercharge relationship building because the customer service experience goes from one-to-one to one-to-many direct conversations at the same time. The conversation begins with a messenger bot that zeroes in on the issue or opportunity; and if the scenario needs to escalate to a customer service agent, they can be faster and more effective in finding the resolution. This means you have the opportunity to positively impact more people with your zone of genius.

Driving Consistency In Processes

I remember calling a company, asking my question, and if I didn’t get the answer I preferred I’d just wait a few minutes before calling back to get a different customer service person with a different answer. While I might’ve enjoyed working the system a bit, this is a liability for any business. With messenger bots your company’s relationship with customers becomes more consistent and predictable with less training needed for customer service employees.

Saving Customers And Businesses Time

Think about the beginning of any customer service conversation whether it’s by chat or phone. The entire beginning of the relationship is a customer service representative asking the exact same questions he or she just asked on the previous 100 calls, and you’re left explaining in painful detail what you need, usually only to get transferred to another rep where you get to start all over again. 

Messenger bots (when done right) reduce the amount of time and frustration involved in a customer service relationship. There’s no need to repeat yourself as you navigate through automated questions that channel you to the right representative or directly to the right answer.

One-Sided Relationships

How many truly healthy, blossoming relationships do you know that are completely one-sided? None, right? The best relationships are two-sided, they depend on clear communication, and they’re mutually beneficial. 

Instead of having a sales page on which businesses talk AT their customers, integrating messenger bots or chat widgets allows the conversation to become a two-way one. You learn about what your customers need directly from your customers. Businesses pay big bucks for extensive market research, but there’s a way to communicate directly with your customers to find out what they need. 

As an added bonus: not only will you pick up what might have been lost revenue without the opportunity for a two-way conversation, you’ll also know what your sales page is missing based on the questions that repeatedly come through your chat widget. 

It’s Not All Or None

I hear this objection to messenger bots all the time: it’s so impersonal. If your messenger bot is impersonal, you’re doing it wrong! The right way to use a messenger bot improves the relationship and remains conversational. 

It’s also not all or nothing when it comes to bots or any chat feature. Your bot should be your frontline. It should offer quick resolutions and segment your audience in a way that then strengthens the handoff to a real live person. That’s right! The idea isn’t to get rid of all human-to-human conversations, it’s to make them more efficient, connect the right people, and nurture relationships at scale. 

Now a word of caution. Messenger bots work so well in part because they’re convenient and have high open rates as they’re right in your personal messenger inbox. When you’re in someone’s inbox, you have a responsibility to treat that relationship with care. Don’t blast irrelevant messages, don’t spam your customers or leads, and always offer value. Messenger bots are still in their infancy and have massive potential to improve relationships, but as with all relationships they should be treated with care.