Have you ever wondered why you aren’t seeing a return on your marketing? Or maybe you aren’t sure whether you are actually seeing a return or not. Either way, as a small business owner you face many choices when it comes to investing time, money and effort in sales and marketing. But let’s face it, without the right insights these choices become more of a gut feeling rather than a recipe for success.

As business owners we are pulled in many directions.  Here are 3 customer engagement and marketing retention areas with a little help can add real dollars to your bottom line in 2017.

How are your Online Reviews? Can your customers find you online? Can they find you on the most important review’s sites that consumers trust before choosing who to call for a service? Google, Yelp, Facebook, Thumbtack, Angie’s List, etc. are all great places to establish a presence and make sure you are optimized to receive reviews. Already there? Then how do your reviews look? If you don’t have any reviews it negatively affects your business. And believe it or not, a 4.8 Star rating might be trusted more than 5 Stars across the board! What’s more concerning is that every bad review (under 4 stars) you receive costs you an average of $30K worth of business every year. EACH ONE. That seems crazy but with 88% of new customers reading reviews online before booking appointments, it makes sense. Is your business winning the game of online reviews?

Referrals – Are you getting referrals from your best customers? Are you getting as many referrals as you should be to determine whether a referral program is successful? Here’s the great thing about referrals and why you want them to grow your business. Referred customers are 5x more likely to become loyal to your business and therefore 4x more profitable to you. In addition they are 10x more likely to refer you new customers and repeat the process. So this is HUGE. Focusing on customer referrals alone could quadruple your profit in 2017.

Repeat Business – Succeeding at your online reviews and customer referrals only leads to more good things.  Customer loyalty and a steady flow of repeat business should be the core foundation of your business. Boosting your reviews, referrals, and getting a clear understanding of what’s working in your marketing can be a confusing cycle, but if more of your customers are coming back and booking business regularly, then you are succeeding. When we analyzed the customer database of thousands of business owners this year we discovered that less than 20% of their customers are coming back more than once. That number should be at least double, and it’s not that hard to get there.

So how did 2016 look for your small business? You can take steps on your own to correct any missteps along the way. But you can also hire FreshLime for a fraction of what it cost to do these things on your own, and this is our business – to help your business succeed. While you focus on making your service to customers great, we focus on helping you grow your business.

FreshLime’s cloud-based retention marketing and analytics platform that provides thousands of local businesses with a simple way to build and manage key customer relationships. The platform automatically helps you capture customer, marketing, and transaction data to build a unique profile for each of your customers. FreshLime’s retention marketing engine uses this data to drive customer feedback, reviews, referrals, and repeat purchases.

Happy holidays to you from everyone at FreshLime! We appreciate your business this year and we are looking forward to growing even more small businesses in 2017! Let’s connect directly and through social media – or wherever you spend time in building your business. We can’t wait to get started!

Jay Bean, Founder & CEO FreshLime