Regular audit and review of the Touchpoints in your business is not only a good marketing discipline but could also result in new business through identifying and reaching out to your ideal targets.
Unsure what a Touchpoint actually is? Dictionary definition coming up: ‘Targeting, and a point of contact or interaction, especially between a business and its customers or consumers. Every Touchpoint must reflect, reinforce, and reiterate your core brand strategy".
Let’s examine the way that Touchpoints can work positively for you as a small business owner:
1. Your current client base
If you have a proactive attitude to customer care and staying in touch with your clients, you will find it’s always easier to get additional business from a current client that prospecting new business. Ongoing engagement and regular contact should give you the ideal opportunity to call them to introduce a new service or idea, or simply to pop in for a complementary review or update of their business and marketing related requirements.
It can also do wonders for ongoing client retention if they’ve been challenged with a particular issue and you happen along to provide the solution! Whilst you think you’ve told your clients all about what your business can offer, you may be surprised to find that many of them don’t realise the breadth of your capabilities and service offer.
2. Associates and Professional Contacts
Always be mindful of the impression you as a business owner make on professional associates and contacts you meet in the course of your daily business life. Ensure they know the key points about your business, your values, your objectives and reach out to them for support and referrals. In addition, make sure you know them and their businesses. Note them down in a Directory so that when a client or prospects asks for help you know ‘a man that can’!
3. Your Company Website
If your website is between 2-3 years old it’s time to review and update it. It’s your shop window and many businesses forget this. At least the content should be kept fresh with, for example, news items, blogs, case studies, testimonials and new achievements in your business. Plus short video clips if you can. When did you last review your content and messages? It’s a fact that potential clients will always check you out by looking at your site and you don’t want to switch them off with historical content.
4. Business Networking
How often do you network? Does the thought of networking fill you with horror? If that’s the case go along with a trusted business colleague to sample different networking opportunities. You will generally find a group with whom you are comfortable and can begin to develop strong business relationships.
Make sure your ‘pitch’ is polished. Practice this in advance ensuring you can present confidently within a given time slot. This will usually be anything from 30 secs, when your ‘Elevator Pitch’ should be honed to perfection, up to around 2 minutes. The prime objective is that people understand instantly exactly what you do along with the benefits that you deliver. Make sure you specify clearly the type of referral you are looking for and the ways in which the Group can help you.
5. Social Media
Choose the channels that will work best for your business and don’t waste time with the rest. Present and message consistently and cross reference between platforms. Be relevant and topical as well as authoritative. Without doubt your LinkedIn profile and engagement will speak volumes about your attitude to your business so pay particular attention to this. Try your utmost to post regularly and if you don’t have time for consistency consider outsourcing this aspect of your marketing.
Supporting a charitable organisation or event will extend the number of Touchpoints your business reaches and will give you an opportunity to raise your profile through the promotion of your CSR policy and desire to share your expertise on a pro bono basis or at a reduced rate.
7. Recommendations and Testimonials
Make it a matter of course to ask all clients and associates to give you a recommendation as often as possible. Testimonials are great to back up how you work and the benefits you deliver. Formalise the requests and be disciplined enough to make it part of your follow up procedures.
8. Send something in the post
How often do we do this these days? My clients tell me they are more likely to read mail that drops onto their desk rather than into their e mail inbox. What to send without incurring huge cost? It can just be a simple letter detailing a news snippet – whatever the subject – use it as a Touchpoint to reinforce your messages and service offer.
9. People you meet by chance!
Arriving at home the other day, a neighbour was walking his dog past my house. We passed the time of day. We chatted about our respective businesses, discovered we have potentially a lot in common, arranged a 1-to-1 and have now passed our first business referrals. You just never know where striking up a conversation may lead…
10. Speak at an event
Eyes and ears! Look out and listen out for opportunities to speak on a business related topic where you can share experiences and knowledge. Conference presentation is not for everyone but mentoring young entrepreneurs or students might be. Again this increases your range of Touchpoints and opens the door to new contacts.
Rosemary Hepburn, Founder and Managing Director of Lyndon Associates Marketing Limited.
Providing clients with intuitive marketing solutions, helping them to grow since 2004. www.lyndonassociates.co.uk