30 Apr

4 Reasons Promo Gifts Give You A Greater Brand

Posted in Promotional Products on 30.04.14 by John Meloche

Greatness Green Road SignPromotional products help to attract new customers and keep the ones you already have. For decades, these handy little gifts have worked wonders in establishing and maintaining relationships between business owners and their customers. There are literally endless reasons for you to adopt the promotional product strategy into your business. And the best part about it? It won’t cost you much at all!

Comparing the various traditional ways in which you can promote your business to using promo gifts to grow it, it’s easy to see how cost-effective promotional products are. Television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, flyers and other methods are not only costly, but they don’t leave lasting impressions. Promo gifts are memorable because they are actually useful.

Consider how often you use pens, key chains, mugs and water bottles. Now think about your customers using any of those items bearing the name, logo and contact information of your company. Promo gifts ensure that you’re kept on the minds of your clients on a regular basis. And, to reiterate, printing them up will cost you a lot less than the traditional modes of advertising that have weaker impacts.

Statistics have shown that promo products help to gain and retain significantly more customers than print ads, TV commercials and banners. Promo products have staying power. While most ads get overlooked or ignored, your promo gifts have the ability to remind your clients about where to shop on a daily basis. They are functional and useful for long periods of time. As mentioned, there are many reasons they work so well.

Greater Callbacks. According to Promotional Products Association International, when you mail prospective clients letters that include promotional products as part of the packages, you increase the number of prospects who may call you back by a whopping 50 percent! It should go without saying that promo gifts leave a better impression than the standard business card, right?

Greater Referrals. PPAI also notes that customers who receive promo gifts are a lot more likely to refer their friends, family members and colleagues to your company over your competition. Talk about getting a leg up on your competitors! A good impression clearly goes a long way. Your promo gifts show that you actually care about your customers and are willing to put in the effort to retain their business.

Greater Repeat Orders. Promotional Products Association International also reveals that promo gifts can help to increase the number of repeat orders you get from your customers by about 16 per cent. Who doesn’t like getting something for free? When you add that little extra to your orders, your clients are bound to want to keep ordering from you. Make it easy for them to remain loyal.

Greater Awareness. At the end of the day, you want more people to know about and love your company. Your promo gifts will greatly help to share the good word about your brand. PPAI notes that when business owners take their promo gifts to trade shows, they generally increase both awareness and preference of their brands by up to 70 per cent! Is there any reason to not use promo gifts to advertise your company?

Contact Synergy Marketing a call at 1-877-748-9884 to get your hands on some promo gifts today!

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29 Apr

4 Fabulous Ways To Promote Your Business Event

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 29.04.14 by John Meloche

During celebrationWith so many ways to promote your business, it’s hard to choose just one, isn’t it? At Synergy Marketing, our many years of experience have taught us that promotional products work wonders when used in conjunction with just about any type of marketing strategy. But, as we’ve blogged about before, a great way to generate greater interest in your brand is to host an event.

There are, of course, a variety of event-types that you can throw. With summer fast approaching, a business barbeque may be in order. On VerticalResponse.com, Lisa Furgison writes that everything from a ribbon-cutting to a charity auction provides an “undisputed benefit to hosting a live event: reaching your target audience in real-time.” Face time, of course, is the best way to pass along that promo gift of yours.

But how do you get these events up and running? While your event is a promotional campaign for your company, the event itself is something that needs to be promoted. With the help of Cathy Mueller, who is the executive director of Mapping Your Future, Furgison lists a number of steps that business owners can take to properly spread the word about their promotional event.

Use social media tools designed for events. Social media continue to be (and likely will for the long haul) very popular. Furgison suggests that you create a Facebook event to promote the upcoming festivities. Take a picture of something event-related and post it to Instagram. Use Twitter to send the message out as well. Be sure to never forget revealing the date, time and place of your event.

Don’t ignore traditional media. Going “old school” isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s still recommended. Furgison writes that you shouldn’t overlook your local newspaper or television station as helpful sources of getting the word out about the event you have planned. In fact, you should be making your event a newsworthy story so that you can ensure that it gets covered by the media.

Partner with a non-profit. This is always a win-win strategy, says Mueller. Furgison quotes her as saying that “this collaboration provides an opportunity to draw new and existing customers to the event, and it shows your small business is interested in the success of the local community.” Just be sure to pick a charity that fits well with your business type and the people you are looking to attract to it.

Create a calendar invitation. Be sure to email all of your loyal customers to remind them to attend your affair. After all, it should be about them. It’s often said that it’s harder to get new customers than it is please the ones you already have. The ones you already have, mind you, are the best forms of advertising for your business anyways. Word of mouth goes a long way. Be sure to get them talking about your event.

As mentioned, these events provide the perfect opportunity to hand out your promotional gifts. People love getting things for free. And when those things are useful, they are kept and used on a daily basis. Not to mention, promo gifts leave great impressions on your brand. And that’s the whole point in hosting your event, isn’t it? Call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 to order your promo gifts today!

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28 Apr

5 Ways To Advertise Your Brand To Kids

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 28.04.14 by John Meloche

Five happy kidsThe Synergy Marketing Blog is known for providing a wealth of promotional tips. But we know that not all businesses are the same. And because of that, not all tips are going to apply to all businesses. The way a mechanic promotes his body shop will clearly be different than the ways in which a restaurateur advertises her eatery. It’s also important to keep in mind the type of customers you’re advertising to.

We tend to think only of adults when we promote our brands because…well, adults are the ones with the money, right? But, believe it or not, children can play a huge role in the buying decisions that adults make. After all, parents do need to make purchases for their kids, don’t they? These days, it’s not uncommon to come across a business that caters to the needs of children.

Is it worth the effort to market to kids? According to Amber Keefer on Chron.com, it definitely is. She writes that children aged between eight and ten “recall more details and are able to remember what they see in an ad for a longer period of time.” Based on the findings of a Millward Brown study, kids tend to” take in more than adults from the advertising they see.” So what’s the best way to advertise to the younger generation?

Kid Appeal. Get to know what kids want, says Keefer. You may sell children-related goods, but are they the kind of products that truly speak to the youth of today? Keefer notes that kids between eight and ten are attracted to things that are fun. The bottom line is that they want to be entertained. Use characters that are popular within this age group to spark their interest, she suggests.

Get Their Attention. If you want to market to kids, you’ll have to advertise in areas where kids go. Keefer recommends that you distribute posters in “toy stores, bicycle shops, bookstores, community recreation centers” and other such areas. You’ll also want to use bright colours and interesting designs that will appeal to young children. Don’t forget to use catchy slogan and jingles that will stay in their memories.

Keep Your Name Out There. “Create a business logo with which kids can identify,” advises Keefer. Once kids are able to associate your business logo with a good time, they will find it hard to forget you. She writes that kids respond well to visual images and can often recognize hundreds of logos by the time they are ready to go to school for the first time. You may want to donate to a school’s fundraising event to spark some attention.

Television Advertising. Kids watch TV. We all know that. We can all probably attest to the fact that we first took notice of our favourite toys by seeing commercials for them during our Saturday cartoons. Keefer writes that “data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation show that children ages 8 to 12 watch the most television and are exposed to more minutes of advertising.”

Promo Gifts. Let’s be honest though. Advertising your brand on television is incredibly expensive. Promotional products, on the other hand, are not. By comparison, it’s an absolute steal to go the way of the promo gift to market your brand. Everyone likes to get things for free. And that goes double for kids. Give us Synergy Marketing a call at 1-877-748-9884 to discuss what promo gifts we have that will generate interest from children today!

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25 Apr

A Happy Staff Makes A Productive Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 25.04.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_26986651_xsWe’ve been talking a lot about happiness all week long, here on the Synergy Marketing Blog. To be specific, we’ve been discussing the happiness of your employees. Is there a more important element of your business than those who work for you? Of course, your customers mean the world to you. Without them, you’d have no business to run. But without your employees, how would you be able to run it? Keeping them happy is of paramount importance.

On BizFilings.com, it is stated that there are numerous reasons for employees to be unhappy with their jobs. And because of this, many businesses experience high turnover rates. In yesterday’s blog, we detailed a number of reasons that employees may want to leave their jobs in hopes that you may find solutions to a possible high turnover rate at your company. There is, however, one point that we neglected to mention.

Unequal or substandard wage structures. This is a point not be left out. When workers feel that they are not being adequately paid, there is a high probability of them wanting to move on to another job. According to the site, “a new worker may wonder why the person next to him is receiving a higher wage for what is perceived to be the same work. You should have a wage and job evaluation system in place not only so that you are sure to comply with legal requirements, but also to avoid this problem.”

The bottom – and obvious – line is that you don’t want a high turnover at your company. Getting yourself a competent and committed staff will have a huge impact on how successful your business is overall. BizFilings.com lists a number of costs that come with having a high turnover. And, in case you weren’t aware, the costs are plentiful and go a lot further than the financial impact that you may assume is the main issue.

Productivity. The more employees that leave your business, the less productive your business will be. This is because your other workers will have to take on the workload of the workers who have departed. As well, you’ll be forced to replace those former employees with new ones who know less about the job than their predecessors. No matter how you slice it, the higher your turnover, the less your company is able to accomplish.

Money. Here’s the one you may be worried about the most. And while it’s not the only problem your company will encounter by having a high turnover, but it’s certainly one that you can’t avoid. And who likes losing money? BizFilings.com reveals that “you may have to pay employees overtime to get them to take up the slack left by the former employee until a replacement can be found. You may also have to face unemployment claims and pay for the cost of recruiting and hiring a replacement.”

Time. So now you have to go and find new employees to replace your old ones. The site reminds us that you’ll have to spend time advertising your new positions, interviewing new candidates and going through resumes until you’ve found who you’ve been looking for. Do you really want to be spending a lot of time doing that? Let’s not forget the training of your new employees. Simply put, “when you lose a lot of employees, you’re wasting time and money.”

With all of that said, Synergy Marketing takes great pride in the enthusiastic and energetic staff that it has assembled. We do, however, maintain an interest in adding to our team. Are you looking to work in a fun environment where your hard work and dedication will be recognized and appreciated? Do you want to work among others who are motivated and determined at succeeding? Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884.

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24 Apr

5 Common Reasons For High Turnover Rates

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 24.04.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_26307355_sMaking your customers happy starts with making your employees happy. Over the past couple of days, we have taken the opportunity to blog about this all-important facet of your business. At times, business owners consider the many needs of their customers and forget how to incorporate the thoughts, ideas and feedback given to them by the members of their staff. Who better to listen to than your employees? Often, it is they who get direct access to your clients before you do.

An inability to consider the feelings of your employees is bound to lead to a high employee turnover. This only costs you – both financially and emotionally – according to BizFilings.com. The website notes that business owners need to take steps to prevent a high turnover rate by directly addressing problems that may exist within the workplace. A happy staff is a productive staff. So an unhappy staff has got to be counterproductive, hasn’t it?

“A high employee turnover rate, the rate at which employees leave a business, can affect the bottom line of businesses of all sizes, “ reads the website, “ However, the negative effect on small businesses can be particularly harsh due to limited resources and the investment in employees. Because employees who are satisfied with their jobs generally don’t give them up, high turnover is usually indicative of a problem.” So what are the most common reasons for a high employee turnover rate?

A bad match between the employee’s skills and the job. Let’s be honest. It all starts with you. It’s your job to ensure that you are going through the correct processes to hire talented staff members. If you’re not conducting the interviews yourself, make sure that your interviewers are well aware of exactly what qualities you’re looking for in a new employee. As the site points out, “employees who are placed in jobs that are too difficult for them or whose skills are underutilized may become discouraged and quit.”

Substandard equipment, tools or facilities. It’s important that you give your staff members the necessary tools for them to succeed. When the workplace doesn’t provide the necessities with which one can do his or her job sufficiently, that employee is bound to want to leave. As BizFilings.com notes, employees are not likely to put up with poor conditions for very long, especially if they can negatively impact their health.

Lack of opportunity for advancement or growth. You want employees who are determined to succeed and move up higher in the company. So bear in mind that such employees are going to want such opportunities for growth. You don’t want to position your job opportunities as “dead-end” propositions. Be sure not to mislead your employees about the available positions so that they have clear pictures about what their getting into. That way, you’ll better know what you’re getting into by hiring them.

Feelings of not being appreciated. Just like your customers, your employees hate not feeling appreciated. Your workers should want to do well, and you should want them to want to do well. Not acknowledging jobs well done isn’t going to provide much incentive for them to work hard. The website reveals that “even the most seasoned employee needs to be told what he or she is doing right once in a while. Make sure your employees know that they are appreciated.”

Inadequate or lackluster supervision and training. “Employees need guidance and direction,” continues BizFilings.com. It’s only right that you set them along the right path if you want them to be productive and your business to be successful. Especially when they are new on the job, your staff members require guidance so that they don’t feel that their skills are lacking. Be sure that you’re training program is thorough and informative.

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23 Apr

5 More Ways To Boost Happiness At Work

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 23.04.14 by John Meloche

headset womanIn yesterday’s blog, we discussed the importance of having a happy staff. After all, how can one expect to have happy customers if the people serving them aren’t happy themselves? Having happy employees is a necessity in order to have your business be the success that it deserves to be. So how happy is your staff? Taking the time to truly observe and get to know your employees will go a long way in establishing your business as a place where people like to work.

On AllBusiness.com, Jayson DeMers writes that many employees will tell you that they are happy when they really are not. He goes on to list a number of habits to look out for so that you’ll be able to tell if you’ve put together a team of truly satisfied staff members. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at a few more of those habits. If they are missing among the members of your team, you may want to re-establish the culture of your company’s working environment.

Conserving Company Resources. When an employee is happy, he or she will exhibit examples of truly caring about the company. DeMers writes that happy workers will make efforts to work within budgets and not misuse supplies. They will also work to conserve energy by turning out the lights of rooms where there are no workers. They will see to it that their computers are turned off at the end of their shifts. It is the “small things” such as this that can tell the biggest stories.

Keeping a Clean Work Area. People who take pride in their work stations are quite likely to be among the happiest members of a staff. When workers treat their work stations like personal property and take measures to keep them neat and tidy, it’s a sign of happiness on the job. DeMers writes that “unhappiness is uncleanliness. Cleanliness is a fundamental part of staying healthy, active, productive, and proud of our situations in life.”

Behaving Energetically. Keep in mind that an unhappy attitude is an energy-drainer, notes DeMers. If you have just one unhappy member of your staff, you run the risk of having that person bring down the moods of the people around him or her. It will only reduce the productivity of your company. Positive energy and enthusiasm, on the other hand, are just as infectious. Someone who behaves with a sense of excitement each day is a team member worth keeping around.

Demonstrating an Optimistic Attitude. Keeping your enthusiastic team members around is one thing. But encouraging them to strive towards higher heights is an even better way to guarantee their happiness long-term. Be sure to include them in the goings-on of your business. “Ask for your employees’ thoughts on the company’s current activities,” suggests DeMers, “Listen for negativity and positivity.”

Offering Solutions. All ideas are valuable, insists DeMers. And you should take to heart those that are offered to you by your staff members on the front line. That means those who deal directly with your customers are bound to know best what will truly satisfy them. You’ll want your team to feel confident that they can give you feedback that you’ll consider seriously to help the business. Making your employees feel like their ideas truly count is a great way to keep them happy.

At Synergy Marketing, it’s practically impossible to dampen the enthusiasm of our team members. Our sales staff is made up of very enthusiastic individuals who truly believe in the promotional products that they sell. Don’t be surprised to hear them excitedly tell you about our promo gifts in more energetic ways than your average salesperson. To speak with one of them today, please call 1-877-748-9884. We looking forward to boosting the “happy” at your work place!

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22 Apr

5 Habits Of Happy Employees

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.04.14 by John Meloche

Smiling BeautyPromoting your business is a full time job. But, too often, we consider the needs of our customers and think that we’re doing our jobs in figuring out what modes of business promotion will work best. As long as our customers are happy, all is right with the world, right? Well, you’ll never hear us, here at Synergy Marketing, say that your customers aren’t integral to your business. Of course, their needs need to be looked after.

But it’s important to never lose focus on your employees too. They, of course, are the people who are going to end up communicating your company’s message for you. They need to believe – as strongly as you do – in your company’s message and mission statement. That means that they need to have confidence in what you sell. But they also need to be able to truly stand behind the methods you choose to boost interest in your brand.

So how can you do that? You`ve got to make them happy! On AllBusiness.com, Jayson DeMers writes that not all employees will admit that they aren`t happy with their jobs. They will appear happy, but will still complain about the job in private. How then, will you know if your team members are actually happy with their jobs or not? DeMers lists a number of habits to look for. Here`s hoping your staff exhibits them!

Smiling. Surefire signs that people are happy, smiles can say a lot about the moods of your employees. But take notice of when they`re smiling, says DeMers. Are they smiling when they are speaking to you? Is there a genuine sense of joy when they are sharing their thoughts or accepting your feedback? Keeping an eye on smiles will help you to determine just how genuine their happiness is.

Customizing Their Positions. Okay, so maybe you`re thinking that there really isn`t all that much to a person`s smile. It`s what they bring to the table that really shows how satisfied they are with their positions. And this may be true. DeMers notes that “the perfect job is rarely attained, it’s most often created.” That means that your employees need to be motivated by the knowledge that they can excel in your company. Their dedication to reaching higher goals is a great way to display happiness at work.

Establishing Friendly Relationships with Co-Workers. People who make friends on the job are people who like their jobs. Having a team environment and hiring those who enjoy working with others is bound to help you establish a happy workplace. It gives your workers greater incentive to come in to work each day when they enjoy working with the people around them. Make note of those who don`t seem thrilled to be around their colleagues.

Showing Up To Work Early. If there is one thing that proves an employee`s dissatisfaction, it`s his or her continual tardiness. Showing up early, on the other hand, is a great showing of the opposite. DeMers also notes that workers who don`t mind staying a bit later are great examples of those who are truly dedicated and happy about their positions. People who take pride in their work are often the happiest members of a staff.

Participating In After-Hours Work Events. Speaking of employees who stick around a bit longer, do you have any who enjoy hanging out casually once the work day is done? Those people like their jobs a lot! DeMers recommends that you give “some serious thought“ to those who attend company events outside of working hours and to those who don`t. Establishing a fun and enjoyable working environment will go a long way in making your brand a very successful one.

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21 Apr

5 Ways To Truly Enjoy Your Time Off

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.04.14 by John Meloche

Father and son have leisure timeWe hope that you’ve enjoyed your Easter long weekend! As a business owner, you’re probably thinking that you didn’t have much of a long weekend at all. Many of you hard-working entrepreneurial types don’t know what it’s like to truly take a day off. You’re constantly thinking of your business. So even when you’re at home with the family partaking in some tasty holiday eats, you still have your business on your mind.

It’s okay. You’re allowed to relax. In fact, it’s highly recommended. If you didn’t take time off – mentally – from the goings-on of your business, it’s time you realize that taking a break is actually doing your business some good. You need to recharge and re-energize yourself and there’s no way to do that when you don’t leave your work at the work place.

We understand. At Synergy Marketing, we’re in the business of business promotion. It’s rare that we’re not thinking of ways to get our promotional gifts to you so that you can use them to boost your business. But that doesn’t mean that we all don’t deserve a break! On Entrepreneur.com, Donald Todrin shows that he agrees by listing a few ways that entrepreneurs can truly take time off from the business.

Trust your employees. This is understandably one of the hardest things to do. No one knows how to run your business like you can, right? But putting trust in those you’ve hired to help you not only allows you to truly take the time you need to relax and recharge but it gives your employees opportunities to prove themselves in scenarios where you’re not watching over their shoulders.

Disconnect. Turn the phone off. Stop checking your emails. Don’t even hop on to your company-related social media profiles. When you’re taking time off, you really need to tune it all out. According to Todrin, you should even avoid “emergency calls”. “Let them figure it out,” he writes, “There are never any real emergencies. That’s what insurance is for.”

No business networking. When you’re taking time off from work, it really needs to be time for you. That means not calling your clients or prospects. Todrin also advises that “if you need to have a ‘business lunch’ in order to gain a tax write-off, make it with an associate who is a friend, and keep the business talk to five sentences minimum. Otherwise, have fun.”

Keep family first. Your time off from work isn’t just about you giving yourself time to relax. It’s also about giving your family more of your time. And this isn’t time when you’re distracted by taking calls that are business-related. Go out on a date with your significant other or take the kids out for an entire day of fun. Giving your family your time is the best gift you can give them – and yourself.

Have fun. And this is the whole point, isn’t it? As Todrin notes, many business owners forget how to have fun in ways that aren’t making them money. “But this is an important part of living successfully,” he writes, “Remember to leave it alone and let it go. Remember also that your business and your employees probably need a vacation from you.” And the true recharging you give yourself will only make you a better business owner!

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18 Apr

Reigniting Your Passion For Your Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.04.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_26651271_xsAll week long, we’ve been discussing the concept of business rebuilding after a major slump or slow period. Inspired by the poor effort shown by our hometown Toronto Maple Leafs during their final stretch to make the NHL playoffs, our blogs have focused primarily on the various tasks that business owners can undertake to get their companies back on track.

But what if the business owners themselves are the ones who need to get back on track? Many hockey fans blame a lack of passion for the reason that the Leafs faltered late in the season and missed a playoff berth. Have you lost the passion that you once had for your business? Maybe you’re the one who truly needs a boost in order your for your business to get back to its winning ways. On EliteDaily.com, Stephen Edwards explores this concept.

“For many of us, it is hard to stay passionate about a venture for an extensive period of time,” writes Edwards, “Each passing day without noticeable progress seems to set back your interest further.” He encourages business owners in this situation to not give up hope. Additionally, he provides a list of tips that he believes can help reignite the fire they may have lost for their businesses.

Focus on the future. It’s hard to remain passionate when things aren’t going so well, admits Edwards. And that’s why you have to focus on the future. Stop reminiscing over the wrong turns you’ve made and how bad things have been lately. Focusing on the negative won’t help you. Can you remember why you were so committed to your work when you started your business? Recall what made you so passionate to begin with and go from there.

Try to learn from your failures. “The faster you are able to embrace failure as an unpreventable result of certain situations, the better off you will be,” writes Edwards. Often, this entails taking different routes to finding the success you want. It could mean working with new individuals or even changing locations. No matter what, it’s important to see bumps in the road as opportunities to learn how to drive yourself forward in new ways.

Take action. There’s nothing worse than procrastinating when it comes to overcoming bad moments in your history. When you don’t see the results that you want to see, it’s impossible to get them when you’re not working to achieve. Don’t dwell on your failures. See them as learning experiences that now make you a better business person. Make a schedule, suggests Edwards, set reminders and complete tasks daily.

Remain optimistic. Attitude is everything. Life will always get better, Edwards reminds us. A positive mindset is integral to you getting ahead. Keeping yourself in a bad place emotionally will only serve to limit your progress. You can’t get ahead by feeling sorry for yourself. This isn’t always easy. Take some time – a short time – to deal with your frustrations. But understand that things will improve.

Stick to your inner circle. Part of making yourself feel better about things is surrounding yourself with positive-minded individuals. “The key is to find a group of individuals that are not only a great fit personality wise, but also a great fit professionally,” says Edwards, “What use is 2,000 friends if none of them can contribute to your work life or personal life in any facet?”

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17 Apr

5 Ways To Regain Customer Confidence

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 17.04.14 by John Meloche

Thumbs Up Success Hand Sign“As you know, gaining your customer’s confidence can take years,” writes John Marshall on Results-Driven.com, “It takes hard work, exceeding their expectations, being there when they need you, and going above and beyond. And as long as it takes you to build their confidence, it can take only days or just one awkward situation to lose it. Yes, it can happen that quickly.”

In yesterday’s blog, we reviewed four steps – as outlined by Marshall – that should be taken by business owners when trying to rebuild their businesses. The steps, which came in the form of questions that entrepreneurs need to answer, are what need to initially be taken in order to set your business back on track. Falling off track in the business world is not all that uncommon, but finding your way back is as hugely important undertaking.

As Marshall insists, making good with your disgruntled customers is a big part of regaining a positive perception of your business. And if you feel that your customers have lost confidence in you, you’ll need to know what to do to set things right. Thankfully, Marshall lists a number of suggestions for ways that you can re-establish a rapport with your clients.

Admit fault. It doesn’t matter if it’s the order desk, the warehouse, the photocopier or even your dog, says Marshall, it’s important that you hold yourself accountable for the issues that your customers are having with your business. Taking the blame for making someone unhappy is the first step to reversing that feeling. Assume responsibility and work towards fixing the problem.

Apologize and mean it when you say it. “Don’t have the words sound hollow,” insists Marshall. This turns customers right off. We’ve all heard a “sorry” that didn’t sound sincere in our lives. It only serves to make matters worse. Be sure to apologize with a sense of honestly and humility and seek to make the customer feel better about the situation. Regaining a customer’s trust will play a huge role in how you move forward.

Meet your customers in person. If you really want to show how sincere you are about retaining a customer’s business, you should meet up face to face. This way, you’ll be able to show through your words, body language and the gesture of an in-person meeting itself that you truly care about solving the problem. Ask questions to discover exactly what is wrong. Take notes and work towards a true resolution.

Accept feedback. You’re not expected to be a mind reader. You may know the problem, but not necessarily know what will satisfy the customer in order to solve it. “Once you know the true cause of the issue, ask the customer what they feel is an appropriate solution to their issue,” recommends Marshall, “Often customers will ask for a lot less than you anticipate.”

Provide value through your solution. Don’t skimp out, says Marshall. Make sure that what you offer cannot be interpreted as “cheap or inadequate.” He uses the example of a bakery giving away “yesterday’s stale bread as a token of your generosity.” Your final gesture may literally be your final interaction with your customers if it is deemed unsatisfactory. Don’t lose your customer forever!

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