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customer care

High-Touch Customer Care

customer care

High-Touch Customer Care

TASK Virtual Assistant

Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur and one of the most sought-after public speakers today, has stated that the best marketing strategy ever is to simply care, and high-touch marketing shows that you care.

Now imagine if you took that same marketing strategy and used it in your customer care program.

High Touch, as defined by yourdictionary.com, is dealing with or interacting with a human being as opposed to transacting with computers or high-tech.

High-touch customer care focuses on human interaction, dealing with or interacting with your clients as human beings in a personal and empathetic way using low-tech methods.

High-touch involves ensuring that you increase the human factor in all your client-facing efforts. Even though most of your business may be conducted online today, your customers still value social interaction, and because of this fact, high-touch methods can be the differentiator for your accounting firm.

As an Accountant or CPA, there is one thing that can set your business apart from the giant multinational corporate firms - the individual care you can give a client. You can offer a better experience to your clients because you understand their journey and how it relates to what you can offer them at that point in terms of service and education.

High-touch consists of creating hyper-personalized experiences for your clients.

Clients value experiences today more than ever in the history of humans. The great thing is that you can do that more easily because, as a small Accounting firm, you are able to personalize the client experience, individually. The hard part is developing that experience, virtually.

Many Accountants and CPAs had to pivot to a virtual environment during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and, as a result, those online businesses and websites had a more attentive audience.  Now that restrictions have lifted and people are slowly returning to a life outside their home, and away from the computer, you want to be careful with how you nurture that audience; finding the correct balance to keeping their attention, without coming across as a used-car salesman.

Clients Want to Feel Special

The higher value client experience will translate into your customers feeling like VIPs.

When clients feel like very important people, they are more willing to pay more for that upgraded experience. People will pay for value and feeling special makes them feel important.

High-touch customer care creates excitement and passion because they are getting more of what they really want from you. That means your client is likely to stick with you long-term, thus increasing your lifetime earnings from each new client acquisition. And, as you develop more trust through your actions, your clients will transform into advocates for your brand.

The most important marketing skill you have is to listen to your clients.

Really get to know your client.  Read all correspondence between your firm and the client. Take notes about their problems, issues, and happiness. Fill in the information in your client file as you discover it.

Using your client files, create a full profile for each of your top clients that include their name, demographics, family information, services they receive from you and potential areas of growth, communication history, social media profiles, websites, and more. The more information you can find that is relevant to your offerings, the better.

Do make sure to set a schedule for learning about your top clients, as doing this can be remarkably interesting but quite time-consuming.

Create personalized interactive communities for your VIP customers to join and really bring the conversation with your best clients to a new level. Bring your clients closer to you so that you can help them more and they can learn more. The more open you are, and the more they learn from you, the more likely they are going to stick around when you announce your price increases.

Another way to get to know your clients is through their websites.  Find their websites if they have them based on the information you can find in your system. If they do not have websites, that’s okay. You can find out information by who they follow on social media, and the sites they like to visit.

Social Media is Not a One-Way Virtual Street...

Friend/Follow their social media. Ensure that you follow or friend them based on the information they have given to you. If you discover that you do not have that much information on them, see if you can find them following you on your social media platforms so you can follow them back. If not, invite them to follow you so you can follow them back.

High-touch customer care is using personalized marketing methods that provide a lot of human touchpoints and can easily be incorporated into your business model by:

More Segmentation – The more you can segment your audience, the better. Using the technology to break down your customers into smaller, more personalized groups will help you develop the right offers as well as content to market those offers.

Extreme Personalization – With extreme personalization, it can’t be automated. This is going to include doing things just for one client at a time. For example, sending a thank you note in the mail after they sign on.

Personal Phone Calls – Give your clients a call to thank them and offer your personal help. Most of the time, you’ll end up leaving a message, but they’ll still feel super special getting a call of thanks from you.

Relationship Building – Find out who your top ten clients are and focus on following them on social media and interacting with them more. You can also send surveys to incorporate technology in helping build the relationships closer.

Customized Packages and Offers – Develop a special offer that is just for your top ten. Talk to them and let them tell you what they want, then give it to them.

Ultimately, high-touch customer care is all about super personalized marketing that provides a way for you to include your unique human touch for your clients - all of them, not just the top ten.

Incorporating high-touch customer care into your business model is going to grow your business and your bottom line like nothing before! It is truly a win-win for you and your clients.

Wondering if you need a virtual assistant? Imagine if you could get rid of all the time-wasting tasks that clog up your schedule, and just focus on what matters most to your business. Sounds good, right?

Contact me at Info@thetaskva.com for more information, or schedule a quick 15-minute chat.

Take our quiz and see if you need a helping hand

defining a virtual assistant

Getting the Help You Need Virtually

defining a virtual assistant

Getting the Help You Need Virtually

Defining A Virtual Assistant

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Keeping up with all of the routines can be difficult for those who work hard in their company or personal life.  There are fifty million things to accomplish in one day with too little time and too few people to help.  If you want to begin saving time, you can invest in a virtual assistant who will take some extra things off your plate.

The best way to evaluate whether you need a virtual assistant (VA) or not is to see what you are doing all day.  If you are spending time on administrative correspondence and not your vision, then a virtual assistant might be the right answer.

When you need an extra helping hand, look to a virtual assistant.  Most VAs offer a variety of services, from administrative to technical to creative, and will advertise themselves in their area of expertise.  For example, some assistants will focus on designing websites for you and maintaining the website or database after completion.

One of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is cost savings.  They will work for you from their own home office; they are not employees, so you do not need to pay employee tax or benefits. Partnering with a VA allows you to pay for the work you need and not for idle time.  Simply put, if there is no work, you don't pay them.

Finding A Virtual Assistant

Finding the right virtual assistant means looking into the most well-known areas for virtual assistants.  There are many resources available, all of which can help get you to the right person.  For example, VANetworking, the VA industry's market leader since 2003,  thoroughly vets their VA's and the businesses looking to hire and will help you find the best Virtual Assistant for your business needs.

Pricing a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, you know the important questions to ask before you get involved in anything.  One of the common questions you have probably grown familiar with asking is, "how much will this cost me?" Knowing how much each service will cost with a virtual assistant can help you define what work you want and need to complete and what isn't essential to get done.

Pricing systems vary among VAs. Some will charge by the hour or on retainers, and others might have standard pricing for projects or packages such as website maintenance or social media management.

Long-Term or Short-Term

You can hire a VA for long-term management projects, such as ongoing social media management, or short-term projects, such as planning an upcoming event or building a website.

Short-term projects usually focus on a specific function or task; however, they can also be on-going, such as performing maintenance, which requires regular updating.  For example, bookkeeping is typically a short-term project because it only needs to be maintained once every quarter.

No matter what type of extra help you need, you can find a virtual assistant who will see your vision and help you to reach your goal.  You can easily find a virtual assistant who will do what is in your company's best interest.

Have questions? I'm here to help! Set up a NO OBLIGATION, and TOTALLY FREE call to discover the possibilities!

Outsourcing The Key to Success

Outsourcing: The Key to Success

Outsourcing

Outsourcing: The Key to Success

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Think back to when you first set out to build your business. Do you remember what your “wants” were? For most, whether building a small business or becoming an entrepreneur, the first need, or “want,” was to have a business that provided the income you needed without overtaking your life.  Working in the Corporate world was sucking your life away. Sure, you had an awesome career, maybe an excellent salary and title, but at what cost? Long commutes, long hours, you were missing out on the joy of life. So you decided to take matters into your own hands.

Fast forward – six months? One year? Five years? Are you enjoying your business success, living that full and rich life, both professionally and personally? If you are, Congratulations! But I’d be willing to bet you are still overworked.  So how do you build that successful business and get everything you want? The key is outsourcing.

My Story

My story is very similar to many independent contractors. I was in the Corporate world, living the dream. I had an excellent, well-established career, a fantastic salary and benefits, and a commute from hell. But I loved my job. Then my company had a corporation-wide restructuring, and I found myself without a job. Trying to land another job in an unstable and volatile employment outlook proved futile and frustrating, so I stopped looking and decided to build my own business. My first thought was, “what do I want to be when I grow up.” After careful deliberation, I knew what would make me happiest would be helping others.   I thrived when I was employed as a secretary, an administrative assistant, even an assistant manager. I was at my best in these positions because I was helping, I felt needed, and I knew I was making someone’s life a little bit easier.

So I did what makes sense to me, leveraged all my years of experience and skillset, and became a virtual assistant to help give you back your time to do the things you love, to focus on growing that business you worked hard to build. This is the number one reason why virtual assistants exist and why we outsource our skills to you. Keep on reading to learn how outsourcing helps your business.

How Will Outsourcing Help My Business?

  • Grow - Well planned outsourcing can improve your efficiency, cut costs, speed up product creation, and give you time to focus on the important planning and directing that a business owner must do, aside from doing the actual tasks in the business.
  • Boost Resources - adds key resources and skills to your arsenal. No need to learn how to manipulate Excel or take a coding class when you can hire someone to do it when you need it.
  • Save Money - Outsourcing means you use an independent contractor only when you need them and not pay someone for non-productive hours.
  • Remove Bottlenecks - When you start to outsource tasks in your business, you’ll notice bottlenecks start to clear up, and tasks are being completed more efficiently. Because the truth is, in most small businesses, the bottleneck is the business owner.
  • Frees Up Your Time – As a business owner, you have a lot to do, but you don’t have to do it all. You started your business to offer your expertise, your point of difference, not spend your day on mundane and overwhelming tasks. By hiring an independent contractor, you focus your talent on doing things that only you can do.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction and Reviews – The truth is, someone else can probably do some things better than you. Because of that, if you outsource to the right people for the right things, you can improve your offers, thus improving your customer satisfaction dramatically.

How Do I Outsource Successfully?

Before you start the search, define what it is you want to have done. Being clear on the parameters of your project is half the battle.

  • Evaluate contractors carefully – Look at testimonials, examples, and always make sure they are who they say they are. If needed, ask for personal references. Most independent contractors will not be willing to provide client contact information but may have personal references available.
  • Make your decision based on their skill and expertise, not price – Don’t always hire people based on the lowest price. Sometimes a higher price ends up being a lower price due to time and expertise. “You get what you pay for” is true for outsourcing.
  • Start Small – Choosing a small task or project to outsource will help you determine how well they meet deadlines and stand by their work, as well as fit in your environment. They may be capable, but a bad match will leave you feeling frustrated.

Outsourcing is the biggest key to your freedom. Remember that many things you need to be done can be done by someone else. You really can hire experts remotely for a lot less than you think and increase the capabilities of your business fast. I'm going to leave you with a few final tips to help you choose your awesome, amazing independent contractor for your business needs:

  1. Know What You Want – Write a detailed job or project description highlighting the expected deliverables, timetable, and budget.
  2. It’s OK to hire more than one contractor for a project – Hiring out for parts of a project, such as writing, editing, and formatting, may turn out a better product. And if one gets sick, the project doesn’t come to a halt or fall back on you.
  3. Know Your Budget – You need to know the range you’re able to pay for the projects you’re trying to outsource.
  4. Do Your Research – Visit their website, check out their social media pages, read their reviews and testimonials. Remember the saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Always check up on anyone you plan to work with, especially if they will be associated with your business name in any way. You would do this if you were hiring an employee, and you should do it anytime you plan to have someone work in your company, no matter the status.
  5. Respect Their Business – Chances are, your independent contract will not be exclusive to you as they are not your employee. How many active clients they have or how they produce your deliverables is not any of your concerns. The important part is that they deliver the results you paid for, on time, as per the agreement you both sign.
  6. Communicate Regularly and Quickly – A regular touch base is important, especially with long-term projects or retainer bases services such as office admin and management. When your contractors have a question, try to get back to them as quickly as possible with the answers.
  7. Pay on Time – This is probably the top three if not the number one complaint most independent contractors have. If you promise to pay them a certain amount of money for their service, pay them according to your agreement. Don’t hire people if you don’t have the funds to pay at that moment.

Many awesome independent contractors want to work virtually, so if you know what you want and do your due diligence, you will find them.

Need a virtual assistant? Schedule a call with me personally! Let's talk about your business and how I can help you.

Are you considering starting a virtual assistant career? I recommend checking out VA Networking. (write up). Unsure how to start? Check out the free resources or enroll in the VA Career program, everything you ever needed to start up a VA business including a made-for-you website/hosting/domain name.  A positive investment in your future!

 

 

 

Negative Social Media Comments: How to Deal

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Social Media Is A Relationship Building Tool

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As you become more popular you’re going to get more people who love you, but also more people who hate you. Some people don’t even hate you, they just like to be trolls. It’s important to know how to deal with these types of people so that you can use social media marketing to build traffic, make more connections, and increase your return on investment.

Develop a Policy

If you have many people helping you manage social media, you need to develop a policy. There is a difference between a troll and someone who has something negative to say. Therefore, you want to treat them differently. A troll should be blocked, and their comments deleted. Someone who is negative might just need some extra attention to turn them around.

Ignore Real Trolls

When someone is a real troll they have nothing useful to say at all and are intent on disrupting a discussion or even an entire business. These types of people may even be paid. You have no way of knowing. The best course of action is to ignore them, delete, and block them. There is an exception to this rule. If the issue becomes widely known due to not deleting fast enough you may have to fight back by outing the troll for who they are and let your real audience deal with them.

Make a Joke Out of It

Sometimes trolls and negative people are a little bit funny. It depends on your audience of course, but if you can make a joke out of something that’s a great way to deal with it. For example, if someone asked you what’s taking so long for a shipment to get to them and you know you mailed it the day they ordered it you may need to point out in a humorous way that you have no control over the post office.

Look for The Deeper Message

Sometimes trolls or people who make negative comments are just unhappy people who need something. If you can read between the lines and find a better message answer that message and ignore the nastiness. Killing them with kindness can work very well for riding your feed of trolls.

Hire or Get Volunteer Moderators

When your community grows very large you may need to get help managing your social media to prevent the proliferation of spammers and trolls from taking over your page or community. One of the reasons some big-time coaches have ended their Facebook Groups has to do with poor group management. If it’s getting too big, get some help.

Build Relationships with Your Community

Don’t just talk one way to your community. Don’t just sell them all the time. Have real conversations with members of your community and let them get to know you. When someone is nasty or trolling they’ll report it and probably attack the offender on their own even if you’re sleeping in bed.

Show the Facts

If it’s appropriate baffle the negative person or troll with facts. If you have facts you can prove with real study and research, you’ll find that most of your community will value what you’re saying a lot more than someone who drives by with some negative info.

Dealing with trolls and negative people can be daunting. But, if this starts happening take heart in the fact that it’s mostly because your community is growing, which is a good thing. But don’t take it personally. When it’s possible the very best thing you can do about a troll is not provide a platform for them and delete and block them.

Social Media is a Relationship Building Tool

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Social Media Is A Relationship Building Tool

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Social media is an amazing invention that puts word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. It’s like having a coffee shop, community center, and bar all from the comfort of your home where you can talk to a wide variety of people about almost any topic you can think of. That’s why, at its heart, social media is a relationship building tool.

Building relationships online takes a little time and effort but the pay off is huge. Let’s look at some ways you can use social media to build relationships.

Be Authentic

No one likes to find out someone they admired lied. If you’re not running a six-figure business don’t try to tell others how to do it and don’t make people think you are. You will be found out. Instead, just be who you are, because that’s so much easier. You won’t ever have to feel fake or get nervous because you are who you are.

Understand Your Niche

Every single day keep studying your niche and your audience. Killer apps come along every single day and disrupt businesses all across the world. It can happen to you too if you’re not keeping your ear to the ground and paying attention to industry news. Consider how fast technology is changing in relation to your niche so you can stay ahead of the game. Plus, when you show a deep understanding you can better engage intelligently with your audience.

The Customer is Right

Most business owners hate hearing this but even when the customer is wrong, on social media the customer needs to be right. Do not fight with customers on social media. Even if they say hateful things cancel out all that and address only the issue at hand that you can fix for them. They likely told you how they want you to fix it, so now it’s up to you to do that, even if they’re really wrong because the optics of this type of situation on social media can spell the end of any business fast.

Create Brand Ambassadors

One way to make your customers rave about you is to rave about them. Share projects with them that aren’t complete, ask their advice. Use social media to communicate directly with your audience. Make them feel as if they’re part of your company because you listen to them so much that the products and services you create make some of your audience feel as if you’re reading their mind. You can even incentivize some of your customers by making them referral partners if you wish.

Follow Everyone Back

On some social networks, you have a choice of following people back who follow you or not. But, you should follow them back. The more people you have in your social networks the better. You never know who they’re connected to that might see something they “like” or share of yours so always when possible reciprocate. One exception is your personal Facebook Profile where you only get 5000 friends.

Building relationships with your audience can take some time. But, once you set up a process for succeeding with social media marketing to build traffic to your website, if you don’t skip the engagement portion of social media marketing you’re going to do fabulously.

Evergreen and Immediate Social Media Traffic Tactics

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Evergreen and Immediate Social Media Traffic Tactics

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When using social media to drive traffic it’s important to recognize that some activities provide short-term, quick bursts of traffic while others work for the longer term.

For example, when you post something on Twitter, it runs through the feed and people either see it and click on it, or they don’t. When you put something on Pinterest it’s searchable for as long as it’s on Pinterest and will send traffic for the long-term.

Ensure that you have a good mix of evergreen content and trending content with the focus primarily on evergreen content. This tactic allows you to use social media marketing successfully to drive traffic all the time, not just when you share something in the moment.

  • Read Industry News – This is a great way to find things to share on Twitter, but also provide good fodder for original content that you can create for other platforms like Pinterest or a blog post for your blog.
  • Provide Quality over Quantity – Whether it’s evergreen content or trending content ensure that anything you create, or share is high quality, accurate, and relevant to your audience. In the quest to find content to drive traffic it can be tempting to skip that step but if there is no reason that is relevant to your audience to share the content, don’t do it.
  • Mix it Up – Do both Evergreen content and trending content. Set up your Social Media Planner according to your promotions you already know about, industry events you already know about, and then keep up to date on the news so that you can add in trending information. Share all of it across all of your social media platforms.
  • Change up The Format –Don’t focus your content on only text content. Use different formats to present the same content. For example, if you read a trending article that really made you think, make a video about it to introduce it and then link to it.
  • Add in Seasonal Content – One type of trending content that you should consider adding if it’s appropriate for your niche is seasonal content. Let’s say your industry group is having a Christmas party, that’s something to talk about and to blog that will get a lot of attention.
  • Share Everything – Whether it’s evergreen content or not, focus on sharing it in its various forms on every social media platform that you use. That way you get both short bursts of traffic plus set yourself up for having traffic build slowly over the long-term.
  • Focus More on Evergreen Content – The most important content you can create for your business is evergreen content. That is content that will be useful to your clients for a long period of time. With today’s advancing technology it may not be good forever, but evergreen content should be good at least a year.

Evergreen content, for the most part, will start on your blog. It doesn’t matter if it’s text content or content in another form, but it's on your blog too. Trending content sometimes will go on your blog first, but often it’s a matter of sharing it because someone else talked about it. But sharing it is important too, because it shows that you’re paying attention to your industry.

The Importance of Being Consistent in Brand and Message

Social Media Traffic

The Importance of Being Consistent in Brand and Message

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Your brand, whether personal or business, is how other people view you. If you use the right methods, you can control the message and optimize how your brand is presented to others. This is called branding. If you want to be known as your brand, it’s important to be consistent in brand and message across all social media platforms.

Know Your Audience

Everything you do starts with your audience, so it cannot be repeated enough. Remember just because you studied your audience last year doesn’t mean you’re done. They will continue to grow and evolve so it's important you keep studying your audience.

Consider that Dove has been around for a long time, but if you look at their marketing, it’s changed because, while their customer’s demographics have not changed, the way they talk to them has. Why? Because the customers have changed with the times. Yours will too.

Find Your Brand’s Voice

A great way to determine your brand’s voice is to think about what you want to stand for and how you want to talk to people. Do you want to be soft and subtle, polite and nice, or do you want to be bold, irreverent, and maybe even loud?

One way to accomplish this is to look at how you are as a person. If your company involves you as a solopreneur that makes it easy. You are going to be more comfortable if your brand mirrors your personal brand. Another way is to look at your competition and determine how you can use your brand’s voice to differentiate your brand from the others.

Repurpose Content

You don’t have to make brand-new content for each social media platform. You can share the same exact content across all channels. But, what you want to do is change the blurb, change up the images in terms of size and type of image, but you want the message to be the same regardless of the channel you’re delivering it on.

Stay Relevant

To maintain a brand takes a lot of work on your part. You’ll need to stay up to date on what’s new within your industry and niche so that you can improve your knowledge and be the go-to person in your field. But, don’t do that by changing your brand’s voice, logo, images, and so forth because you want people to recognize you on any platform.

Maintain Consistency

You’re more trustworthy when you are consistent. It’s also easier to find and recognize you. Ensuring that you are consistent means that you’ll see a steadier stream of prospects, develop rewarding partnerships, and your perceived value will increase. Your audience will feel listened to and inspired because the more they see you the more they’re going to trust you.

It’s a lot simpler when you realize that you want to be the same person/business on each network. All you really must tweak is how you deliver the message, not the entire message or the content that you’re linking to. Keep the same business name, personal name, logo, and colors across all networks and you’ll become recognized.