For the Chinese translation, Click Here

Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Influences on Small Businesses for 2017: Competition & Customer Behaviors

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter July - August, 2017               Volume 14     Issue 78   Any small business owner or manager who has been operating over the past ten years has experienced big time changes coming at them.  It is no secret that changes and external  influences on small businesses are a constant we need to prepare for.   Any not willing to do necessary zig-zagging required to change strategies or pivot on a dime may well be gone now.  We have been facing more than a few significant external changes, trying to stay afloat.  Let’s limit this discussion to just two of the enormous influences on small business es and their success.  Two of those influencers and disruptors I [...]

Build Customer Loyalty to Grow Your Small Business

Acquiring new customers helps any small business grow.  Customers are known to come and go.  All customers that leave are not necessarily dissatisfied or disgruntled.  Customers may move out of your area for any number of reasons, or no longer need your products or services.  Worst case scenario would be that for some reason, you failed to build customer loyalty. To grow a small business,  former customers have to be replaced. Remember that current customers are the lifeblood of your business and keeping them satisfied should be your highest priority.  Their experience with your firm, your products or services and your staff needs to be exceptional.  For all of these reasons, it is imperative that you build customer loyalty. Statistics show that, on average, U.S. companies lose [...]

By | October 30th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|2 Comments

Calls-to-Action: Essential for Small Business Websites

Did anyone else see these unsettling statistics about small business websites on the SCORE website ?  They created a clear and concise infographic on small business websites you might find interesting.  The statistics revealed here (12/2014) are probably even higher today in terms of the impact of online sales from mobile device access. Only 51% of small businesses have websites.  If that isn’t bad enough, the following statistics cover other weaknesses of the sites that do exist: 70% have no call to action. 27% don't provide a telephone number. 68% don't have an email address on the home page. 82% don't have social media accounts. 50% of online sales are lost when visitors can't find content. It’s hard to believe that any small business is not yet aware [...]

By | October 27th, 2016|Customer Experience, Marketing|0 Comments

Millennials – Quit Thinking About Them Coming – They’re he-re!

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter March - April 2016 Issue                       Volume 13 - Issue 70   Talk has been going on for the past ten years that 'soon' Millennials would become a major force in the marketplace and the workplace. In case you haven't notices, they're here. They are here in massive numbers – large and in charge. If you have not seriously worked on your marketing strategy for reaching them, you are way behind. They are here and in force. The leading edge of 76 million of them are now thirty-somethings with the ability to seriously flex their economic muscle on any industry. Millennials need your attention - now.  It doesn't matter if you are a [...]

How to Handle Negative Customer Feedback

Sometimes, as hard as we might try to provide exceptional service to every customer, one of them will be dissatisfied about something.  In an ideal world, every sale or project would run smoothly and result in a highly satisfied customer.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  But, reality means that sometimes things will go wrong.  When things go wrong, sometimes it will result in negative customer feedback if the problem is not handled promptly. It would be nice if the dissatisfied customer would give us a call, explain the problem and let us resolve it. But, that's not always the case. Sometimes they will just sit back and brood about it, wondering why we haven't figured out what the problem is via ESP or mental telepathy. Then, after they [...]

By | January 7th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

Today’s Customers Are NOT Your Father’s Customers

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September – October 2015                     Volume 12 -- Issue 67 There have been various versions of the 'It's Not Your Father's (whatever)' on TV and in magazine and newspaper advertisements over the past few years. Ad Agencies must think we have yet to notice that things have changed and aren't the same as they were years ago. No surprises there. Of course things have changed. Almost everything has changed to some degree.  Today's customers are very different from those our parents dealt with in the past. Everything has changed.  Very few things are like they used to be.  Cars, clothing, homes, communication devices and the food we eat every day are not the [...]

Are You Selling Stuff or Providing Solutions – Very Valuable Solutions?

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter July - August, 2015                     Volume 12 -- Issue 66 "Do you really know what business you are in?"  I ask this question of small business clients on a regular basis. Often I get that 'deer in the headlights' look as they try to decide why I would ask such a question. There I am, sitting in their office or studio where their company name and identity is clearly posted. I know what they are thinking: "Is this a trick question?" or maybe: "Have I hired the right person?" "This one seems to know nothing about me, so how can they help improve my business?" I'm sure that a few even think: "What an [...]

By | July 18th, 2015|Customer Experience, Newsletter, Sales, Strategy|0 Comments

Customer Referrals: Get New Customers Through Old Customers

Every small business owner wants their customers to love them.  Well, we at least want them to be extremely satisfied with the products or services we provided for them.  In these situations, everybody is happy.  All small businesses also want new customers. More customers equal more sales.  More sales add to growth and success.  Each new customer also provides increased opportunities for more word of mouth customer referrals that can lead to even more new customers. Referrals are nice to get, but don't leave giving referrals entirely in the hands of the referrers. If you do, they will be in complete control over what information gets passed on about you, your firm and whatever products or services you provide. It is great when a customer [...]

By | April 2nd, 2015|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

5 Phases of a Customer Lifespan

What is a customer lifespan? Did you know that customers have a lifespan?  Or, that there are 5 phases in a customer lifespan? Perhaps life cycle is the better term. It sounds so much more on-going, doesn't it?  Once you've found a potential customer or client,  or they've found you, the business relationship is official. Some customers will come to you for one purchase or project. Others may stay for a long time, doing business with you over and over again.  You would think that the customer lifespan begins with the first purchase, or order, or signing of a contract to do business. But, That's not where the relationship begins at all. In reality, the lifespan begins before that first sale.  Following you will find more detail on [...]

By | September 11th, 2014|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships, Sales|0 Comments

Exceed Customer Expectations

Do you strive to exceed customer expectations?  If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors, this is an easy way to do it.  I recently placed an online order with L L Bean,  makers of outdoor clothing and equipment, who have been "Helping people enjoy the outdoors - since 1912".  It is admirable that any company has been as successful as they have  for over 100 years. Reading more about the company and how they do business answers that question: 'How have they lasted so long?"  Clearly, they have done more than one or two things right over the years.   I ordered a couple of pairs of shorts... a little bit of wishful thinking that summer will go on for a lot [...]

By | August 7th, 2014|Customer Experience, Marketing|0 Comments