Being a small-business owner comes with a unique set of challenges. You're managing employees, plotting marketing campaigns, and keeping your business afloat. On top of this, you're figuring out how to deliver more services digitally. The problem with keeping so many plates spinning is that you risk dropping the one that matters most: your customers. Finding a better way of doing things is easier said than done. But a good place to start is by integrating your processes—and you can do this with marketing management technology.

How streamlining processes can help.

Well-designed marketing management tools are a game-changer because they make it easier to promote your brand. They collect the right data along the way, putting vital information about customer preferences and expectations at your fingertips.

Where this tech shines, however, is with its ability to integrate marketing, operational, and resource allocation tools. Not having to juggle multiple systems frees up valuable (and often billable) staff time, letting you focus on delivering quality service and a seamless customer experience. According to Salesforce, 80% of consumers value the overall customer experience as much as the products or services your business offers.

Long story short: the customer experience matters more than ever.

Your marketing management toolbox.

Two marketing management tools, in particular, could save time and streamline your operations.

Centralized online review monitoring.

An online review monitoring tool can help you get your name out there, build better relationships with your customers, and uncover operational insights.

  • New business. According to BrightLocal, 93% of consumers in the United States searched online for local business information in 2020. Online reviews are a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing. They're social proof that people look for when deciding whether or not to visit a business. A good reputation can help drive customers to your business, so it's critical to stay on top of the online chatter.
  • Better customer relationships. An online review monitoring tool also helps you to track customer reviews in one central place. You'll receive alerts when new reviews are posted so you can take swift, strategic action. When you receive a good review, repost it to your social media channels to spread the word and expand your reach. Add it to your website to strengthen your brand and reputation, too. The more raves you get and the quicker you respond, the more traffic you'll get from consumers and search engines—and the more visible you'll become.
  • Deeper operational insights. Not-so-good reviews are opportunities to make things right. Negative reviews could alert you to lengthy response times to service requests or invoicing problems. They could also tell you how well your employees are performing and where you stand among your competition. By tracking, responding to, and learning from negative reviews, you can improve operations, repair relationships, and regain consumer trust.

Appointment-making on demand.

Almost two-thirds of consumers will continue using digital technologies more than they did before the COVID-19 outbreak, Deloitte reports. And Salesforce says that more than half of consumers expect businesses to expand their customer engagement methods in response to the pandemic.

Customers want to enter the digital age. They want to make appointments online and on demand. Consumer-friendly appointment booking technology makes this possible.

But using appointment booking tools isn't just good for your customers. There are upsides for you, too. More ways to engage with your services means more customers, and automated reminders reduce last-minute cancellations. A simpler but more transparent booking process improves resource planning and employee scheduling as well.

Appointment booking tools can also offer great marketing help. The data collected during the booking process helps you keep customers up to date with your news and promotions. And the really clever tools will provide integrated payments for extra convenience.

Helping you grow.

The customer data you get from the marketing management tools can drive your growth strategy. Monitoring customer preferences and expectations can help you figure out how to:

  • Offer new services to existing customers
  • Expand into new markets
  • Widen your reach by partnering with complementary, noncompeting businesses
  • Drive repeat business by segmenting and targeting customers with personalized offers

COVID-19 changed how customers think and shop, and consumer behavior will continue to evolve. How you respond can help your business grow, even in tough times.

Adopting automated marketing tools is a win-win. Customers can take advantage of digital convenience to do things how they want and on their own time, and you can stay organized with less effort and be more attuned to your customers' changing needs. Supporting customers wins hearts and builds loyalty.

Share this post