Technology
to Communicate
Take Pictures and Videos With your SmartPhone and Upload to Facebook and Your Website

People always want to know what's new. Fortunately, today it's easy to provide that information - you just have to begin thinking of everything as a photo opportunity.

Do you have new inventory? Have you finished a job recently? Did you solve someone's problem? Take a picture or a video with your SmartPhone. Transfer it to your computer and upload it to Facebook or your website.

Summary of benefits:

  • Continually fresh pictures and videos show that your company is active and current.

Difficulty level: Low, once you get in the habit of taking pictures

How to implement:

  • Make sure you have permission to photograph the person or property. You can put in your initial contract that you will take "before" and "after" shots and will only use them with their approval.
  • Begin to think of everything you do as a photo op.
Be visible: Get on YouTube!

More than 25% of all online searches are on YouTube. Can people find you there? If not, you are missing a great source of free advertising. Google owns YouTube, so if you post videos on YouTube, your Google rankings will probably improve.

But before you go rushing to create a video and post it on YouTube:

  1. Take time to identify who you are trying to reach and what they are interested in.
  2. Look for existing videos on YouTube that are in your industry. Look at the ones with many responses and try to determine what makes that video more successful.
    • This research will pay off later. Once you have a video, you can go back to these videos and post your video as a response to them.
    • This will automatically connect your video to theirs, so that you can benefit from their traffic.
  3. Look at videos OUTSIDE your industry. Your target market has other interests that you may be able to use in your video.
  4. If your video relates to other industries, you can post your video as a response and your video will automatically connect to theirs.
  5. In general, a YouTube video will not generate a direct sale, but it will encourage people to take the next step to find out more about you. Therefore, it is critical that you include a next step for the viewer (call-to-action). Ask them to:
    • Rate your video.
    • Follow you on Twitter and Facebook
    • Embed the video on their Facebook or webpage
    • Post comments
    • Share the video with friends.
    • Visit your webpage
  6. Use keywords and your website in the video description. Search engines can't find you, if you don't give them information about what the video is about.
  7. Once you have posted your video, create a playlist. Find similar videos from others and put them together. This makes your business part of something bigger.
  8. Connect your YouTube video with all your other promotion: on your website, emails, Facebook, Linked-In, blogs, etc.

Most popular videos on Facebook are not professionally done. But they are interesting, entertaining, unique, or informative. You can use a SmartPhone or video camera to create the video, and then edit it using your favorite video editor.

Online Chat

Many customers expect to instantly communicate with you. Others can speed their purchasing decision if they have a way to quickly ask questions. Online chat is an easy feature to add to your website - either for free (usually with an ad or branding) or low cost. You put a code on your website where people can access the online chat. Then, on your computer, you log on to the chat service so that your channel is open and available. Usually if you are not available, the service will email you with the person's comments or questions.

Summary of benefits:

  • Answer customer questions instantly
  • You can now get online chat to go to your cellphone so you don't have to be at your computer
  • (downside) For customer satisfaction, you should respond instantly to an online chat.

Difficulty level: low (requires code to be installed on your website)

How to implement:

  1. Decide if you just want chat to go to your computer and/or to your cellphone.
  2. Choose a provider online.
  3. You will given given code to install on your website.
  4. You need to logon to the computer or use an online app so that people can chat with you.
Customer e-Newsletter

Customer e-newsletters are popular ways to communicate regularly with customers. The downside is that they take time to create and only some of your customers will ever open and read it. Even though they don't open it, receiving an e-newsletter reminds them about your business - which is good. So, if you are a person who likes to create newsletters, this is a great marketing tool. If it is a burden for you, you should probably skip it - and find other ways to connect to customers.

If you want to do a newsletter, you need a create a mailing list. You can do that by having customers complete a form at the point of sale. You should also put a form on your website where people can enter their email address.

The 15 Best Email Newsletter Tools in 2020.

There are many online e-newsletter services to choose from. Some are free if you have a small email list, others are low cost. They provide newsletter templates, but it is important that your business logo and colors be used in your newsletter. Consistent business branding is important for people to remember who you are.

Summary of benefits

  • Allows you to communicate regularly with your customers - and to remind them of your business.
  • You can include coupons or incentives to revisit your business.
  • Level of difficulty: High because it is an ongoing obligation and you need to continually work to add people to your email list.

How to implement:

  • Decide what the purpose of your newsletter will be - and what action you want people to take because of it.
  • Search online for an e-newsletter service that is easy to use.
  • Begin getting your customer email addresses along with their permission to send you a regular (monthly, quarterly - you choose) newsletter.
  • Develop the basic ideas for three or four newsletters. Your customers should get some benefit from opening it - either a coupon, a laugh, new knowledge, or a feeling that they are part of a community.
  • Take pictures of your business and clients (with their permission) to use in your newsletter.
  • Write the first newsletter in detail and send it!
  • And do it again!
Customer Survey

Customer surveys are easy to set up and implement. There are many free and low-cost services available. However, the response rate is usually very low - so you need to understand the purpose of your survey. Sometimes surveys are only to give people the opportunity to give feedback - and if they don't, it doesn't matter. Sometimes, surveys are used to actually make decisions. In that case, the response rate is critical - and you will probably have to provide incentives or contact people directly to get enough responses.

It is important that surveys be very short - because people will give you less than a minute of their time. Have 10 questions or fewer. The questions should be easy, where people can respond quickly. Each question should have a specific purpose - or don't waste people's time.

Summary of benefits:

  • Customers expect a mechanism for providing their opinions - and if it isn't provided, they will use outside services such as Yelp.
  • You can track satisfaction levels so you can see trends over time.
  • You can identify areas of weakness in your business.
  • Level of difficulty: Medium because you need an email list and you need to carefully develop your questions. If you need a specific response rate, the level of difficulty is high.

How to implement:

  • Identify what you want to accomplish with the survey.
  • Develop 8 to 10 questions that can be answered quickly
  • Search online for an online survey service
  • Load your email list, develop your survey, and send!
  • Customer Survey Tool

Here is an easy and free way to survey your customers. Using this tool, you can put a link on your website and add a link to your emails. The link leads to a ten question, confidential survey. When a survey is submitted, you will receive an email with the results. You can change the questions to fit your business.

This tool surveys individual customers. If you want to create a survey and send it to a large number of people, use one of the many online survey companies.

This survey asks for your email address and to create a password so that you see all your survey results.

Sample survey questions - your survey may look different