Any business that wants to develop and grow its customer base needs to make sure all departments achieve satisfactory results. Your business should behave like a well-oiled machine and if one department is constantly producing good results and the other fails sporadically that will cause problems in the overall efficiency.
To ensure each segment of a business functions as it should, a business needs to have insight into their activities, results, and other relevant data and their effectiveness needs to be measurable so that you can compare it. With that in mind, let’s see which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) your business should track to determine the effectiveness of its different segments.
Oversee your brand mentions
In today’s digital age, an online presence is a must even for more traditional brick-and-mortar businesses because your customers will still search your physical address online, if not your offer. Different social media channels have become interesting even to older generations so they represent a perfect medium for increasing brand visibility and reaching out to people of all demographics. Customers use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to air their opinions, look for products and services, do their shopping, etc.
How you can use this to your advantage is to keep an eye on brand mentions so that you can connect with customers who mentioned you and establish a stronger bond. If you build a reputation of a business that cares about each (potential) customer, you can expect not only a boost in the efficiency of your marketing efforts but your sales as well. However, keep in mind that negative comments and messages are unavoidable but instead of ignoring them, you should respond to them too – you never know who among them can be turned into a loyal customer.
Mind your customer retention
One of the most prominent indicators that a business is successful is its customer retention power – you can have a substantial initial capital but if you fail to make a meaningful connection with your customers, you are doomed to fail at some point. Despite popular opinion, customer retention is not always the result of certain special things a business does for customers, such as gifts and discounts.
Actually, it is honesty that customers value above all else so you need to ensure you keep your promises. This means that the quality of the products and services is as presented on the website, that the delivery deadline is respected, and that there are no hidden costs. Only after you ensure all these points are taken care of can you think about the loyalty program, discounts for return customers, and other strategies.
Managing payroll costs
Employees are the glue that keeps your business together so their salary is more than a matter of finance. Underpaid employees might also seek another part-time job to boost their budget which will result in their lack of motivation to invest additional effort except when it’s explicitly asked.
However, if you want your business finances to be run tight, you need to take into account the difference in hourly rates, and the number of part-time and full-time employees since any mistake might cause a severe loss having in mind that it rarely affects only one employee. This is why many businesses automate the payroll process and introduce employee income cards so they can ensure the funds will be securely transferred to employees who will have quick access to it.
Keep in mind your working capital
The recipe for success needs to include a leader who is a visionary: imagine your business is unexpectedly granted with an opportunity to strike a deal with a large client. But instead of leveraging this potential game-changer, you realize that despite the fact you will earn a lot more, you just don’t have enough funds to invest in this project to give it the initial push.
This money you need to have ready is called the working capital and it represents the capital of a business which is used in its day-to-day operations so you need to keep an eye on this KPI at all times or an amazing opportunity may slip past you. You need to know the real state of your budget at all times.
Guest post courtesy of Elaine Bennett