Business Growth Club Meeting July 18

We had over 25 small business owners for this month’s meeting, with a packed agenda as ever including the following topics:

How to deal with negative reviews posted online – can be hard as we inevitably take personally, but all agreed we need to see as an opportunity to deliver and show we care, but we don’t have to roll over on every occasion – the key is to do something and respond. We had some great examples of how not to do it, including TripAdvisor responses to negative reviews which were highly personal and insulting!

FAQ’s are a vital part of any website, as they give an opportunity to raise an objection that is in the mind of the reader and answer it fully.  We had an example of a successful online suit company whose FAQ included the question ‘what if I don’t like the suit?’ to which they responded ‘that has only happened on two occasions’…whilst completely failing to answer the question. Bonkers response.

We should all be embracing FAQ’s as a key part of any online research a prospect will undertake.

We discussed the importance of a transparent pricing policy to reassure and show we are not frightened to disclose, as we offer value for money, with plenty of online examples of poor practice to include offers that were patently too good to be true, and upon further inspection were indeed!  Daft approach to try and hoodwink a prospect.

Following this line we examined an expensive advert in the local paper, and looked at how it could be improved together with a better website – the main issues being their lack of social proof, history, no prices even within a range, and no call to action.  All relatively easy to implement.

House of Fraser is in the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment. Their website features reviews for every product – and of course most have none submitted, which hardly creates the right impression as it looks as if nobody likes the product on offer – or even worse some show a single negative review. Their online strategy is deeply flawed.

We all know the importance of having an offer and a call to action to encourage people to do something, but of course the trick is to make the offer relevant to the target audience. McCarthy & Stone have an example relating to one of their new developments, with a target audience aged over 70 – they are offering a gift voucher towards what are essentially quite active holidays featuring amongst other things archery and fencing!

Our key focus this month was making what was essentially a service offering, into a packaged product – thereby making it easier for prospects to understand. We used the example of one of our members who repairs pc’s but has struggled to get people to see the value in what he does. Over the last month we created an infographic to outline the considerable expertise and experience that is used to solve their pc problems, making the process understandable and hence of great value.

We all seriously undersell ourselves and what we do – and therefore not surprising if customers don’t understand or value what we do, and that’s our fault!

We can all learn from this experience and aim to outline every step we take  in delivering our service, thereby demonstrating good value and moving the argument away from price.  As ever happy to help in this process and a number of our members are undertaking this project right now.

Finally, be aware Google Chrome will update sometime this month and following this, will warn viewers that any site without a SSL will be marked as unsafe.  Every site needs a SSL certificate!

Our next meeting is set for Tuesday 14th August – again with 2 start times – 8 am finishing by 10, and another starting at 11 am finishing by 12.45.