Start-up Business Guide Checklist

One of the strongest tools a start-up can use to leverage itself is positive feedback by way of user/ customer comments. Not only are positive comments about your product or service crucial in gaining loyalty, but they also function as feedback on how to improve any areas where you might be vulnerable as an organization.

 

Here is a Start-up Business Guide Checklist to help you get started before advertising call-outs:

 

  1. Customer Service: Want to brag about excellent customer service? Then you better make sure your sales and customer support team are up to par on a positive experience when handling complaints or product issues. It’s bad PR to have a phone number listed and either have a sales rep be rude or unknowledgeable about your product. Even worse, if your call center does not have adequate training to handle customer conflicts. SOLUTION: Have a handy manual on your company mission, values, expectations, procedures and goals handy. It makes a world of difference when training your staff about your organization’s goals. I have trained sales staff with amazing gift for gab, but no concept of hospitality or emotional connection to understand what the customer needs.
  2. Flawless E-Commerce: Forget about the super-tech wannabe “Apple-esque” checkout apps. If there’s one thing that turns customers off is spending time browsing, clicking, deciding, filling in all sorts of color/size/price/quantity pre-requisites, etcetera and then finally at checkout, the darn site does not work or has internal errors!! Arrg! SOLUTION: Whether your site has a Google Checkout or PayPal payment process, take the time to troubleshoot your POS page and make sure everything is copacetic. Customers are more likely to return to your site if their shopping experience is a pleasant one no matter what the price of your service/ product is!
  3. Site Navigation: We all want people to notice our site. But first and foremost, make sure that the site layout is designed in a way that makes sense, without bombarding visitors. If you have too much stuff all over the place, visitors will get bored or overwhelmed and leave. SOLUTION: Have your consultant or designer present you ideas/ direction on what layout will best be suitable for your business goals. That doesn’t mean that a crazy design won’t work, but you can definitely marry the two elements of form and function to your site. Remember, when it comes to e-commerce, guts are more important than panache! Leave the “fluffy” stuff for Pokémon-Japanime sites and make sure your site is full of useful content. Which leads me to Rule #4.
  4. Content Quality: What you’re selling is your livelihood. That being said, information on your site should clearly state what your purpose is and what you can do for your audience. Think of this as a movie trailer. You would be disappointed if you were enticed with a trailer, pay for your movie and be disenchanted because the coming attractions were the bulk of the movie. Yikes.
  5. Comments & Feedback: Positive word-of-mouth marketing is every SEO expert’s dream. The goal is to get people talking about your product organically and watch your business flourish through established relationships your foster with your audience. Because this is crucial, NEVER ignore negative user comments or feedback posted on product reviews or discussion forums. Always make sure you either improve your process or address customers’ concerns, but never ignore those comments because negative comments = bad PR for your brand which can be damaging!

 

As my friend and Graphic Designer Mirna Centeno says: What you make with your hands don’t [expletive] up with your feet.  Don’t let negative comments ruin the integrity and quality of your brand.

 

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