Entries from January 2011 ↓

What Happens After Someone’s Been On Your Website?

customer service

You are taking your online marketing seriously.

You’ve invested in a great website, you’ve hired a professional copywriter to create some fabulous copy and your search engine optimisation strategy is ensuring you have a steady stream of traffic to your site.

Once people have landed on your website, they love what you have to say and click to your contact page to get in touch.

Then what happens?

If you’ve managed to achieve a website that delivers customers to you, you must ensure your customer service doesn’t let you down.

1. Email

As a customer there is nothing more frustrating than someone not responding to your emails.

If you receive an email from a potential client but can’t answer their question immediately, send a holding email to acknowledge their enquiry and tell them when you’ll have an answer for them—and make sure you fulfil that promise.

Try to reply within 24 hours or sooner if possible. Remember this is probably the first interaction they’ll have with you so it’s vital you make a good impression.

2. Ring ring

Answer your telephone!

When a potential client phones, if you don’t answer they’ll hang up and phone someone else.

If you have an automated system try and make sure they reach a real person quickly. There is nothing more maddening that having to go through umpteen menus before you get to speak to a human.

3. Live chat

The option of live chat on your website is a great idea. It gives someone the ability to immediately speak with you while they are on your website. There’s no need to hunt around for a telephone number or email address—with just one click they can contact you and ask their question.

This transparency and ease of contact will show you as a company that puts their customers first.

4. Knowledge is key

When your prospective customer makes contact (either via live chat, phone or email), make sure the staff that deal with their enquiry are knowledgeable.

If their enquiry is dealt with quickly and efficiently you are going to impress. But if your staff member is uncertain about your products/services or inefficient it won’t put your company in a very good light.

5. When things go wrong

If one thing in life is certain it’s that things will go pear-shaped from time to time.

Despite your best efforts something is going to go wrong, but it’s how you deal with that that matters.

Be grown up about it – apologise, put it right and follow up to make sure the customer is happy with the outcome.

A mistake won’t lose you a customer, how you deal with that mistake could.

Whatever business you are in, customer service is vital. It doesn’t matter how cheap or how wonderful your product is, if the service is bad people will walk away.

Are You Making Twitter Bloopers?


Once you get to grips with Twitter, it seems to be the easiest thing in the world to use.

All you have to do is squeeze your message into 140 characters and away you go.

You can tweet to thousands of people instantly which is why you need to make sure you are not making the 5 classic Twitter bloopers.

Social media has transformed the art of communication. Now customers have a very loud voice so you must make sure you convey yourself with dignity at all times—because if you don’t, that’s when you can get into trouble.

5 Classic Twitter Bloopers

1. You talking to me?

There is one thing you must accept—not everyone is going to like your company.

Twitter is a powerful outlet through which dissatisfied customers can rant. But don’t get drawn into an online slanging-match.

Arguing the toss through Twitter may be entertaining to some, but it will do untold damage to your reputation.

Your other followers will watch to see how you deal with the situation (and that will tell them a lot about the type of company you are).

Diffuse the situation quickly, resolve their issue and apologise.

2. Autofollow

Some people on Twitter are obsessed about amassing huge numbers of followers.


For example if you 40,000 followers and yet only follow 600 people, unless you are a huge brand  name or a celebrity, you’re going to look like a spammer.

My advice is to follow only those people you want to follow. Don’t use the autofollow feature. By all means when you get an email telling you someone new is following you take a look at their profile. If they look interesting and tweet great stuff, follow them. But if they don’t, don’t follow—it’s as simple as that.

Also the more people you follow the harder it gets to keep up with what’s happening. That’s when it’s a good idea to create Twitter lists – you can set one up for best friends, business contacts, celebrities etc., to help you keep track of what’s going on.

3. Tweet carefully

There are plenty of users out there who only tweet about their business, constantly linking back to their website.

If you just do that, you’ll be viewed as a spammer.

Twitter is all about conversations and sharing. If you read a great article, see a funny video or hear something in the news that’s interesting, share it with your followers. Be seen as someone who adds value to the Twitterverse.

4. Have a personality

Many corporate tweeters make this particular blooper.

If your tweets are boring, mundane and lifeless, people aren’t going to follow you.

Twitter is something you can have fun with—use it to show your company has personality. When engaging with other tweeters it’s important to make sure you show your human side. It will make you appear more approachable, a company that cares and that is prepared to listen.

5. Listen

Using Twitter isn’t all about what you can cram into 140 characters. You also have to listen to what people are saying.

Monitor it and track any mentions of your company. If someone has experienced a problem engage with them, find out what went wrong, apologise and sort it out.

If you’re on Twitter and you don’t do this, people will see you as a company that doesn’t care—and news like that will spread fast.

Twitter is a great tool for your business. It will help you engage with your customers, attract new ones and solve problems should they arise.

Just make sure you use it wisely.

This post is brought to you by Sally Ormond, freelance copywriter and social media queen.

Getting The Most From Internet Marketing

internet marketing

The one great thing about internet marketing is that it offers numerous channels through which you can interact with customers and prospective customers.

Never before have you, your brand and your company been so exposed which is why how you present yourself online is so important.

The advent of social media means there are more ways to communicate than ever before. Once upon a time if someone wanted to speak to you, they had to pick up the phone. But now they can send a tweet, post on Facebook, comment on your blog or use one of the many internet forums.

There are many ways you can enhance your online reputation, but here are three simple steps you can take to make sure your company is always seen in a good light.

1. Thank you

‘Thank you’ simple but powerful.  When someone retweets you, comments on your blog or sends a new referral your way, make sure you thank them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and will show you as someone genuine; someone they’d want to do business with.

It also pays to keep an eye on the web in general to see what people are saying about you. I use socialmention.com to keep track of what people are saying about me or my business. The alerts are simple to set up and can offer a great insight into how you are perceived as a brand online.

Again, should you receive any positive feedback or mentions, remember to make contact and say thank you.

2. Blog

Running a blog is a great way to add value to your business relationships. Through your posts you can provide information and tips to make your customers’ lives easier.

But however well written your blogs are if they are not covering topics people want to read about they will be ignored. For example if you are a holiday company don’t write about your special offers, instead write about the countries you go to, their cultures, their sights, their people – something that will inspire your reader to take a trip there to experience it for themselves.

As a freelance copywriter I use this blog to talk not only about copywriting but also about general marketing issues, social media, email marketing etc.; all topics that business owners find useful.

3. Benefits

Whenever writing about your products you must write about their benefits to your customers, but never lose sight of the fact that most people will buy from you because of who you are.

From my own experience, I will only buy from someone if I like them as a person. Why should I give someone my hard earned cash if they come across as arrogant or disinterested?

People will always buy from people so make sure you use your online marketing to connect with them. If your message resonates with them they are more likely to trust you; and with trust comes cash.

When wrapped up in marketing your business it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters – your customers. You’re so busy trying to come up with new blog ideas you forget that your customers still want that personal touch. Just because they can’t see you or shake your hand doesn’t mean they want to deal with a faceless company.

Go that step further and show your human side online.

How Do You Work Out Your Customers’ Needs?

discover your customers' needs

How do you know what your customers want?

That’s a dilemma that faces every business.

If you can’t tailor your products or services to your target audiences’ needs you’re in trouble. If they aren’t the perfect fit they won’t fly off the shelves.

Many companies make the mistake of assuming their customers want the same things they want.

Big mistake.

I really enjoy cycling, in fact some of my clients also enjoy cycling but that doesn’t mean they all do.

Your customers aren’t a mirror image of you

Making decisions about social media use and marketing based on your own personal beliefs and preferences is a recipe for disaster.

If you want your business to succeed you must research your market and work out what they want, how they want it presented and what they’re willing to pay.

Even when considering dabbling in social media you have to work out where your customers are ‘hanging out’ because if you interact in the wrong place, you’ll simply be talking to yourself.

Some common misconceptions are:

  • MDs of B2B companies thinking that as they don’t use social media, their customers don’t either. Yes they do—you just have to work out how they’re using it and where they are.
  • Companies that use Facebook tend to update their status during the day whereas most of their ‘fans’ don’t log on until the evening or weekend.
  • Sticking with Facebook, just because someone ‘liked’ your page doesn’t mean they want to be bombarded with promotional emails from you. Guess what? The ‘like’ button is not an ‘opt-in’ button.

No matter what business you’re in –retail, IT, manufacturing, copywriting, shipping etc., the only way you can discover what your customers want is to ask them (or survey them).

A scientific approach wins every time, guesswork doesn’t.

How to Be a Social Media Success

social media

Not everyone finds participating in social media easy.

The thought of communicating to an unknown crowd can be quite daunting; it can seem completely unnatural mainly because of the way we behaved as children.

Cast your mind back to your school days. At that time (for most of us) the thought of standing out and being different was abhorrent.

The last thing we wanted was to be singled out. We wanted to conform, be mainstream, blend into the crowd—no body wanted to be known as the ‘odd kid’.

But with social media being ‘odd’ helps.

Stand up and be noticed in social media

When using social media it is good to be different, to stand out from the crowd with a personality that shouts “Hey! Look at me”.

Social media is about being noticed, being something different from the norm – if you act ‘low key’ on line you’ll fade into the background like a beige cardigan. But if you become a character with real personality, people will stop and take notice of you.

But of course there is a big difference between being a personality and being completely fake. Remember there is a good chance that you may meet some of your online network at some point. If and when that happens they will expect to meet the person they know online. You’re going to look pretty stupid if you’ve been faking it.

As far as they’re concerned, if you lie about who you are why should they trust you in business?—so be careful.

Companies on social media

It’s all too common for businesses, when they dip their toe in the social media waters, to get it all wrong.

They believe that they must portray a very corporate image; everything must be very starched and business-like.


You are trying to convince people you are a great company to deal with so don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality.

Show you can be fun, chatty and approachable and people will engage with you, like you and do business with you.

At the end of the day, social media is a platform to show people who you are and what you do. By becoming a personality you bring a human voice to your business and that’s something people want. They don’t want to deal with a faceless corporation; they want to deal with people.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter