Small Business Start Up Coaching A Great Story

I’ll be very honest. My digital marketing agency doesn’t attract many high fliers with appreciable budgets – my agency has always attracted small businesses, Mom and Pop businesses, and clients with less than deep pockets. And that’s ok. To me, it’s very important that the average guy have a shot at making his or her dreams come true too.

My focus as a digital marketing agency is to establish that very special, one on one, personal relationship with my clients. The business coaching they receive leaves no question in their head that they can trust me, and that I know what I’m talking about. They have no question who will handle their account, their questions, their needs. It’s me. They don’t like to be passed off to an assistant, or anyone else. That being said, the close personal bond ensures that 90% of my clients stay with me for the long haul.

And so today it was my distinct pleasure to be able to help an emerging women’s fashion client to finally see some light shed on her venture, her dream, her project. We specialize in WordPress and Shopify e-commerce clients who want that custom look but more importantly that custom set up.

She started this project two years ago. Life got in the way. She phoned me a few months ago and said she was ready now to move forward. I set up weekly / biweekly meetings with her as our schedules permitted. We keep it moving forward.

Last time we met she wanted me to evaluate her choice of a dropshipper. I told her quite honestly that the one she picked would not be a good thing for her business. I also laid out a plan of action that we would need to follow through on in order to keep things going in a positive way. I presented other dropshipper options to her, and sent her home to think about it.

Today we met and she decided I was correct about the original dropshipper for the reasons we had discussed. She also like one of the other’s I had picked out for her, based on her ideas and goals for her new business.

So, we dumped #1 for #2. I suggested we explore different templates as the original shop template she picked out I wasn’t crazy about from a functionality and esthetics standpoint. After a few samples, we settled on a template that we both liked and would serve her very well.

We loaded a few products into her store just to get an idea of look and feel. So far so good. We decided on her branding details, so that her domain name, Instagram handle and Facebook handle would be uniform across the board. We purchased her domain name.

I explained the process to her, and how each of the parts of the process would work and in what order they needed to be addressed.

When we are eventually done, she will have a beautiful Shopify store, a shop on Facebook and a shop on Instagram. Then we tie it all together with expert marketing and SEO to generate traffic so she can make the sales.

And so it goes. Another satisfied client well on the way to making her dream of an online fashion boutique a reality.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Did Your Business Just Get a Less Than Stellar Review?

Did your business just get a lousy review on Google or Facebook? Did you just get dinged with a one star review? What exactly can you do about it anyway?

Negative reviews have to be handled with restraint and professionalism. Especially if your company is at fault, even in the tiniest way.

If your company is not at fault, that’s a different scenario. Let’s handle that reputation management case first.

Let’s say someone came into your shop, or did business with your company somehow, and for all intents and purposes, nothing at all went awry. However, the next thing you see is a negative review on Google or Facebook that leaves you shaking your head in total disbelief.

Nine times out of ten, someone who does that is a troll. Because, nine times out of ten, they will say negative nasties about your store, business or product, and in the next line, they will be comparing you to another business for which they have the highest praise. What are they playing at anyway?

The troll is simply using your business as a way to promote someone else’s business. Game over. Trolldom.

Your knee jerk reaction is to fire back with a sharp, witty reply that’s actually going to make you look negative and sarcastic, and your next knee jerk reaction is to get 15 of your family, friends, and best customers to give you amazing, stellar reviews.

What have you just done?

You’ve just showed the entire world, including potential customers………. that you are:

A) enabling the troll’s behavior by acknowledging them

B) that you are exhibiting needless defensive behavior over a baseless claim.

C) Instead of being reactive, be proactive.

Reply to the troll that you are sorry to hear¬†(way different than being sorry) that they feel¬†they had a less than wonderful experience with your business (way different than they actually had a bad experience) and invite them to revisit your business any time they like. This way, you have not enabled their bad behavior, you’ve put the ball back in their court, and you didn’t waste a whole lot of time on them. Instead, a simple, professional two liner from you and you get back to running your business. Troll Game Over.

Now. Second scenario. What if your company is actually at fault, and somehow did drop the ball, however inadvertently, your reputation management issue now requires you to apologize and do some mild groveling.

It happens, Buttercup. Get it done and get on with good customer relations.

First of all your reply must be again with restraint and professionalism. You cannot show anger, sarcasm, or negativity. The customer is NOT always right. But when your company has indeed dropped the ball, that changes the universal shift just a wee bit.

A) First, apologize nicely, letting them know that you are truly sorry for the inconvenience / bad experience / issue at hand.

B) Admit to whatever part of being wrong that you need to.

C) Do NOT make excuses. Yes, something slipped through the cracks. We all know it happens, stuff happens. Admit to it.

D) Offer nicely to make amends. If that means giving them a free product, a discount, a mea culpa of some sort, then do it.

E) Bottom line. Address the issue, admit the fault, make the goodwill overture. Keep it simple, show them you care, and be professional. No need to go overboard and sell off your firstborn.

End result. They either accept your stance, and you’ve retained the customer, or, they do not, and you will both part ways.

How do you end up looking? Quite good. You’ve just showed the world that you can handle the sticky situation with class and finesse, and people will be much more willing to do business with you.

Why? You just successfully turned negative publicity into positive publicity for your business without degrading the incident into something ugly with he said, she said overtones.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.