Simple Online Business Development

SEO Discovery Page

Businesses listed on the first page of Google receive almost 95% of web traffic.

67% of that traffic goes to the top 5 listings

This means if your business isn’t listed in those results, you’re practically invisible to online customers looking to purchase your services or products.

We can help.

Optimizing your business for better online presence is what SEO (search engine optimization) is all about.

It’s important to realize SEO is a LONG-TERM strategy. Results can take 6 months or more depending on competiveness of your business type and market.

Our services deliver the best results for businesses that already

1. Have active and healthy interaction in their area.

2. Have a consistent flow of leads and customers.

3. Have a good reputation and solid service or product.

If your business meets the above items, please fill out the short form below. The answers you provide give us what we need to design a plan that will deliver maximum results for your business.

IMPORTANT: We only work with a small number of SEO clients to ensure our complete focus to detail and achieving results for our clients. So, fill out the short form below now


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Direct Mail Page

Direct mail is one of the most effective ways to reach your potential customers. We offer a full range of done-for-you mailing services.

Please tell us about your project by filling out the short form below. This allows us to recommend the best course of action for the results you’d like to achieve.

This form is quick and painless, so fill it out it now.


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Mobile App Discovery Page

68% Of The Population Owns A Smartphone”

81% Of Mobile Device Users Generally Search For A Product Or Service Online”

Simply put, when you have a mobile app for your business, you are adding to your business. You’ve also just improved the ROI  (Return On Investment) because now you have a way to generate a loyal customer base.  You’ve also set yourself up to communicate with that customer base on demand!

This means your mobile app (or website)  is often the first contact your potential customer will have with your company.

Even if you have a website, it’s important to supplement with an app that establishes trust, showcases your services or products effectively, and moves visitors to take action by contacting your business.

If you don’t already have a mobile app for your business, We can help and it’s very affordable.

To see how we can best help you, please fill out the brief form below.

The more thorough you are in your answers, the better we can make solid recommendations to help.

We only have space to work with a limited number of clients, so fill out the form below today!


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Customer Complaints | How To Handle For Your Local Business

Local Business reviews

How to Handle Customer Complaints About Your Local Business

Customer complaints are a reality of running any business. While receiving negative feedback can be unpleasant, it can be helpful for making improvements to your company practice and ability to hold onto customers. 

customer complaints

Is there a way you can lessen the sting of negative reviews by people who take time out of their day to complain about your product or services? 

Yes. Acknowledge them! 

When a customer feels heard, they will more than likely go away happy- even if not satisfied with what was done in response. The whole point is to respond. 

Best-case scenario, your customer may even have a more positive view of your business after a complaint is resolved simply because you acknowledged it. 

What Are Customer Complaints?

In business, there is always a chance that a customer will be disappointed with the product or service delivered. This alone can lead to customer complaints and negative reviews overall. 

Customer complaints demonstrate that there may be a possible mismatch between the product or service delivered and the customer’s initial expectations. Although you can’t manage expectations, you can acknowledge complaints.

When complaints are one-off occurrences or mistakes, they can be interpreted as negative feedback and the relationship between the business and customer can usually be salvaged. If there truly was a mistake or error, apologize, and if possible, make amends. If the errors (complaints) are consistent trends in your business, you must  address them at a more fundamental level.

This conflict in expectations and results can be due to a variety of reasons: 

  • Unreasonable expectations that are hard to meet.

    Occasionally customers have a long list of demands that are difficult for any business to meet. They may have unreasonable expectations regarding pricing, the level of service, or they may have misunderstood the product’s purpose. 
  • Situations that are outside your control. Sometimes things go wrong and they have nothing to do with your business or its offering. 
  • Misleading marketing around the businesss offering. Sometimes businesses misrepresent their products or services through their marketing and social media campaigns, and customers may feel that they’ve invested in an offer that didn’t meet their expectation
  • Administrative failures. Sometimes businesses may have a great product or service but fall down when it comes to the fulfillment. This can happen when businesses that don’t fully train employees.

Where Are Customers Most Likely to Complain About Your Business? 

Depending on your business model and location, customers may have multiple ways to file a complaint.  Customer reviews and feedback can appear publicly and/or privately. 

If you are providing channels for private negative feedback you’re more likely to be able to handle these issues outside of the public eye. 

Here are some of the top ways customers usually choose to complain: 

  • Frontline staff. If you own a store-front business, your customers may be more likely to complain in-person to a staff member who happens to be on duty.
  • Surveys. If you send out regular customer satisfaction surveys, they may use it as an opportunity to share complaints about your business or offers.
  • Online reviews. Sometimes dissatisfied customers will use 3rd party review sites like Google, Bing, etc.  for complaining about your business. If you do receive online negative reviews, remember it is really important to acknowledge the feedback, be empathetic, and if possible, remedy the situation.
  • By phone or email. Businesses that provide a more personalized service to a smaller group of customers, may receive more complaints directly to their phone lines or through email. Again, it’s important to acknowledge them.
  • Social Media. It’s increasingly common for customers to leave comments and reviews on social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, etc. It is critical to have a policy in place because social media is so public.

What Do Customers Typically Complain About? 

Regardless of what industry they represent, businesses will be met with some form of customer complaint at one point or another. It is just a part of doing business. Whether it is as a result of an error you made or due to something they felt was impossible for your customers to overcome, there are certain scenarios that tend provoke customer complaints the most.

Having an awareness of what your customers typically complain about will not only help you improve your business’s offering but also help you and your staff prepare for handling common complaints.

If you want to save time and make your customers happy, perhaps before they file a negative review, then don’t hesitate to collect feedback from them in advance. It takes just a little bit of work every day for both the customer and business owner alike in order to avoid confusion or conflict.

Here are some of the most common areas that customers typically complain about and plausible solutions to those complaints.

Slow Customer Service 

Whether you run a restaurant or plumbing business, customers appreciate efficient customer service. Customers like to feel that their time is respected and they don’t want to waste any of it on waiting in line while talking on the phone with your company’s team.

Long wait times mean that your business does not prioritize customer experience and may be unable to deal with customers efficiently.

Heres what to do: 

  • Training! Helping your staff understand how to communicate with customers when wait times exceed expectations can decrease complaints.
  • Improve the way your business operates! Things like adjusting processes, adding staff, being aware of inventory or signage are also good ways to pre-emptively address potential bottlenecks

Out of Stock Inventory or Unavailable Services

In the world of business marketing, an out-of-stock product or fully booked service is better than a sold one. Your business must be doing something right if customers are willing to wait for you without being able to purchase what they want from your store. 

However, outdated inventory and no available services can make potential clients lose interest in your company quickly so it’s important that these items stay on hand at all times.

Customers may keep calling and emailing your business for updates about these unavailable services and products. 

Ultimately they may leave you negative feedback either online or in-person. 

Heres what to do: 

  • Train your staff to communicate empathetically with customers for the inconvenience is a good start…
  • Setting realistic expectations by communicating when you next expect to have these products or services available is ideal.

Low-Quality or Defective Products or Service

All too often, people are left disappointed after buying a product that breaks shortly afterward. When this happens and customers will complain about it.

When customers lodge a legitimate complaint and they don’t receive any kind of suitable solution, they may feel doubly frustrated and lodge a second complaint. 

customer complaints

Here’s what to do: 

  • Apologize for the slow response and explain that the team recognizes the problem searching for a suitable solution. 
  • Clearly communicate the expected timeline for follow-up communication and the final resolution…and follow it!

No Follow-up

Even if you have the best intentions of resolving a customer’s issue, they may feel anxious about your progress and want to know how it is going.

If customers are in need of help with time-sensitive requests or complaints, then they’ll be looking for updates on what information you’re able to find.

It’s important to be upfront about expected response times and stick to them. This way, you can give all customers the best service possible without disappointing some people just because their expectations are too high.

Here are a few follow-up best practices:

  • It’s ok not to have the solution right away. Its a good idea to communicate with the customer that you are actively trying to solve the issue. 
  • Set customer expectations with realistic timelines for resolution. If you know it will take a few days to resolve the problem, don’t promise a solution for the next day. 
  • Think about the channel through which the customer made the complaint and the acceptable response time. 24 hours is acceptable for a negative online review or an email, but a few hours or less is generally expected for in-person or phone complaint
  • If a complaint is time-sensitive, reassure customers by providing a few regular updates.

How Should Local Businesses Handle Complaints?

Your business will be able to turn complaining customers into loyal advocates if you are aware of the issue and resolve it, as well as effectively communicate throughout. This is a great way for both sides to win!

  1. Make it Easy for Customers to Complain

Customers will not feel inclined to go through the hassle of complaining when they know that their feedback is only going to be met with a formality.

To help create a solid customer experience, customers need to feel that the business cares about their thoughts. When customers complain, it should be easy for them to share their honest opinions and thoughts with a business. 

You could encourage customers to share their thoughts by:

  • Putting a form on your website to encourage feedback and complaints.
  • Posting a feedback link in your newsletter, social media platforms, and in-store.
  • Actively ask your customers for their opinions.

Proactively asking your customers for honest feedback is a great way of preventing complaints from escalating. Sending out customer satisfaction surveys at regular intervals helps you gauge how they feel about your business and if there are any problems that need to be addressed before it’s too late!

It can be used as an opportunity for uncovering valuable insights such as what may not be working for your business. 

When customers complain, ask valid questions to dig deeper into what caused the issue in the first place. 

When a customer registers a complaint, consider asking the following questions:

  • Could you elaborate on that point more? 
  • Could you clarify what you mean by that?
  • Help me understand how we can meet your expectations?

Here’s the thing, although customer complaints are never comfortable, it’s also a good time for some self-reflection. 

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need any further details? 
  • Why is this complaint significant for my business? 
  • What happened to cause the customer to complain?
  • How can we prevent this from recurring?

Asking the right questions will help you uncover the root of a problem so that it can be resolved. Depending on how your business is structured, you may choose to assign one team member as customer complaint specialist who handles complaints and uncovers insights about what needs improvement in order for customers to have an even better experience with your company.

  1. Respond Proactively and Efficiently

Acceptable response times depend on the nature of the complaint.

Here are some complaint response time best practices: 

  • Respond promptly.Negative feedback requires a swift reply and resolution to show care and action from your business.
  • If the feedback is public, respond publicly. It’s an opportunity to show future customers you’re responsive, capable and willing to right a wrong.
  • Read through the complaint thoroughly. Use the customer’s own words to personalize your reply. This goes a long way to display empathy!
  • Offer a solution.  Showing empathy for the situation and being respectful is vital to successful response management, but a solution is at the core of what the customer wants. Providing a solution that’s appropriate to the complaint, whether that be compensation, a refund, or replacement. 
  • Put the right person in charge. Make sure that the person replying to negative reviews has the authority to offer solutions.

Taking time to regularly monitor your customer complaints is important to ensure you don’t miss one. 

  1. Follow up to Verify You’ve Solved Their Problem with a Suitable Solution

When you’ve found the cause of a customer complaint, identified an appropriate solution and proposed it to them, don’t forget about follow-ups. It can be hard for customers to let go so make sure they feel heard by following up on your proposal in order see if their problem has been addressed or not.

Customers appreciate businesses that care about their experience and their overall satisfaction. 

You can then follow up with customers by: 

  • Asking them if there’s anything else you can do to help them.
  • Simply asking if the solution worked out for them. 
  1. Record the Complaint and Analyze Patterns

When you receive a complaint, it’s important to record the type of complaint and who it came from. 

The complaint could come from: 

  • A regular customer 
  • A one-off customer
  • A high-value customer 

If you receive multiple complaints about the same issue from a similar type of customer point, you can identify trends in your operations!

It’s important to identify high-volume complaints as these can point to dominant issues throughout your business. 

Identifying repeat complaints and take steps to address the root cause, it’ll becomes easier to prevent future complaints! 

Here’s How You Can Support Your Employees to Properly Handle Customer Complaints? 

Business managers should provide employees with the proper training to help them resolve customer complaints in a timely manner.

Clear guidance and policies will help ensure that each customer complaint gets a standardized level of attention from staff members, while those complaints are recorded properly.

Create a Clearly Written Complaint Handling Document

Writing a guide to handling customer complaints professionally and effectively is a good idea. This document should be comprehensive so employees know how to deal with different situations as they come up, both on the job training-wise and in a pinch when no one else is around for guidance.

As we mentioned earlier, if you’re consistently collecting feedback, you should be familiar with common customer complaints and have a specific way for your employees to be able to handle them. That way, employees will understand what’s expected of them as the complaints arise. 

Try to provide guidance on how they should react, how to escalate the complaint, and provide possible solutions.  

To avoid complaints, make sure your complaint handling document is easily accessible to all staff members. After reading the document you should feel confident in making judgment calls and tackling different situations on your own.

Give Your Staff Resources to Resolve Complaints

If you want to make your employees feel confident in handling complaints, consider providing interactive training sessions. You could incorporate role-play situations where we show them the potential set of customer problems that can occur and force trainees to come up with solutions on their own.

Re-evaluate How Your Business Handles Complaints Routinely

Handling customer complaints is one of the more difficult aspects of working in a customer-facing role. It’s important for employees to feel well-equipped when handling these types of cases, so it’s necessary that managers check on their staff quarterly and provide high quality training sessions if needed.

customer complaints

Final Thoughts On Customer Complaints

Complaints are inevitable when running any business but they can also provide useful information about where improvements need made which will ultimately benefit customers as well!

Customer Support is a big part of your businesses’ marketing! It tells a story of how your business values your customers sentiment. Take it seriously!

It is important to make the effort to work on the issues that customers complain about, and proactively improve how your business deals with negative feedback. You might want try implementing a few of our suggestions for handling complaints and see if you can retain more loyal customers.

Regina Floyd

Regina L Floyd
Regina@SimpleOBD.com
(808) 400-1460
Facebook.com/SimpleOBD

Take a look around our site, and if you have any questions, Contact Me

Mobile App

Why A Mobile App For Your Business?

Simply put, when you have a mobile app for your business, you are adding to your business. You’ve also just improved the ROI  (Return On Investment) because now you have a way to generate a loyal customer base.  You’ve also set yourself up to communicate with that customer base on demand!  

Mobile App Strategy

Here’s the lowdown on having a mobile app strategy for your business. Especially when it is such an affordable option. 

  1. Increase visibility for your business. The average person spends at least 162 minutes a day on their phone. (more for some)  Imagine the potential growth for your business if your app is in front them as they scroll. 
  2. Customer Loyalty. Your new app allows you to communicate and engage with your customer.  In app promotions through communications have a great impact on your loyal customer. 
  3. Brand Recognition.  Having an app helps you create and maintain your branding and exposure. 
  4. A Marketing Channel That is Direct. Gone are the days of people opening emails at high rates. If you want to get messages and promotions open, you must be on their phone.  Your new mobile application lets you communicate, book appointments, receive messages, entertain with video, and lets you put pre-determined information in front of them. 
  5. Sales Increase. We all know that most people connect to the internet via their phone in todays world. Having an app means you now have a responsive website that can adapt to all screen sizes: Phone, desktop, tablet, etc. Did you know that when Dominos launched their mobile app for placing an order, in store pickup and delivery, they saw a 28% increase in sales!?!
  6. Improved Customer Service.  A Mobile App helps take your customer service to a whole new level.

Mobile App Solutions for All Industries

No matter what your business model and project size, we can tailor a customized mobile app solution for your business in a very cost-effective way. Here are just a few or the industries we can serve. 

These are just a few of the industries we can help. Contact Us to learn more

mobile app banking
Sales/Ecommerce
Business Mobile App
Service Industry
Mobile App Developer
Food & Beverage
Health Care
Retail
Health & Fitness
Real Estate
Hospitality
Trucking/Fleet
Education
mobile application

People

Which users in the organization would benefit most from mobile technology?

Applications

What business processes and ‘ user activities are the best candidates for mobility enablement?

Devices

Why should the organization sanction the use of specific mobile devices versus company-owned or employee-owned (BYOD) devices

Security & Management

Why should the organization sanction the use of specific mobile devices versus company-owned or employee-owned (BYOD) devices?

Top-class App Development

Getting a top class app for your business does not have to cost a fortune and take weeks to months to accomplish.  Sign up below to take advantage of our Launch Special and get yours within days – to weeks (depends on demand at the moment)

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So Many Ways and Reasons To Use A Mobile App For Your Business

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    Apple Maps: How To Add It To Your Local Business

    apple maps

    How To Add Your Local Business To Apple Maps

    Apple Maps (AM) is the third most popular map service on the market today and if you have a business, you WANT to be on it. With 23 million monthly unique visitors, they are right behind Google’s 154 million and Nokia HERE’s 27.7 million

    So you may be wondering: Is it worth the time for a local business? 

    As you’ll soon discover, you bet it’s a worthwhile investment and a key part of your local search and review management strategy. 

    Apple Maps

    In this remainder of this article, I will be covering the following:

    • What is Apple Maps?
    • Apple Maps vs. Google Maps
    • Siri with Apple Maps
    • Apple Maps and CarPlay
    • Who uses Apple Maps
    • How does Apple Maps handle Ratings and Reviews
    • How to get your business listed in Apple Maps
    • The future for Apple Maps
    • Why Apple Maps should be a Priority for your business

    To begin with, this map service is a web mapping service exclusive to iOS, iPadOS, WatchOs and macOS. As the name suggests it’s built by Apple Inc., but before launch in 2012 they announced that their app would include turn-by-turn navigation, 3D maps with Flyovers from your phone or tablet (or computer), as well as Siri – all of which are designed exclusively for you!

    In Case you didn’t already know, Maps in  Apple offers a variety of features that most people find extremely useful. Features like:

    • Turn-by-turn navigation with spoken instructions for vehicles, pedestrians, and public transportation.
    • Apple customers can use the app while driving via CarPlay, and via Siri, Apple’s voice assistant app.
    • It can also be used to see real-time traffic information. Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, is integrated into navigation.
    • Maps display points of interest provided by approximately twenty companies, including Booking.com, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.
    • Users can drop pins on the map to save places for later retrieval.
    • The satellite view features Flyovers, three-dimensional satellite views in designated locations.
    • The Nearby feature displays points of interest for each category. Points are shown with their names, distances, and reviews on Yelp.

    This particular system also integrates with many third-party providers, such as Yelp and Booking which means you can use it to find a restaurant or hotel without having to switch back and forth from one service’s app to another. How cool is that?!

    Apple Maps (AM) vs. Google Maps

    So what’s the difference between these two maps? AM is an exclusive application to Apple devices, while Google Maps is available for both Android and iOS. There are some important differences that you should be aware of before installing either app on your device:

    • Apple shares data contextually taking a subtle approach. Google gives the user everything.
    • Apple has flyover mode, a 3D landscape of buildings and structures. Google has Street View.
    • Apple integrates Siri tightly with Apple Maps, and other apps in your phone (e.g., location data for your photos) tell Siri where you’d like to go, and navigation is seamless.
    • Google Voice Assistant works in a similar fashion but isn’t as tightly integrated with the rest of the software and hardware in your device.
    • Both Apple and Google integrate Maps with mobile devices, vehicles, watches, and smart speakers.
    • Apple Maps doesn’t hold onto your data!  Apple goes out of their way to protect your privacy. According to Apple, “When you use Apple Maps, your route from A to B is scrambled into sections on Apple servers because nobody else should know your entire route.“

    If you want a navigation experience that’s seamless, one where the app is natively integrated with all of apple products, then it may be the best fit for you.

    On the other hand, Google Maps is the best mapping tool on the market, providing you with detailed data and giving you access to a wide variety of information.

    Both of these platforms are the best of both worlds and in my opinion, it’s a really good idea to add your business to both Google and Apple Maps. 

    Siri with Apple Maps

    Using Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, you can perform several different types of searches starting off with the activation  of the app by saying “Hey Siri.”

    For example, you might say things like: 

    • Hey Siri, take me home.
    • Hey Siri, where is the nearest Pizza shop?
    • Hey Siri, what’s the traffic like in Philadelphia?
    • Hey Siri, what time is the Phillies game tonight?
    • Hey Siri, show me Independence Hall in Philadelphia?

    Siri is remarkably intuitive, handling searches with several variables.

    AM With CarPlay

    With CarPlay, iPhone users can now start their car with a simple touch of the screen. And even better than that, you’ll never have to look down at your phone again – just take advantage of Siri’s voice control! And yes, It’s all hands-free of course. 

    CarPlay with Siri voice control gives you the hands-free experience and navigation of AM without ever taking your eyes off the road. You can use both car controls as well or report issues using Apple Maps.

    Who uses this maps system? Is this for you?

    If you’re an Apple user then your maps are on apple’s map service. It was the default mapping app for all of their devices until Google Maps replaced it in 2012.

    After all this said, this is why Apple Maps is important.

    Apple says 1.65 billion Apple devices are in active use overall and 900 million to 1 billion+ users in 2019 with a total of 4.66 billion internet users worldwide as of 2021

    and, Here’s why that should matter to you.

    Apple Maps is more popular than Google Map on iPhones and Apple devices, as evidenced by its 3x greater usage. Yea, read that again!

    But wait, There’s more.

    Did you know that DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps to display maps and navigation data in their search results?  I just learned this too!

    Although DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect user information, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number of users. However, earlier this year they hit an important milestone: 100 million searches per day! 

    More people are using DuckDuckGo and although this may not seem like much, it’s significant because Duck Duck Go’s new users come from Google and Bing. It’s indirect competition!

    This should be another huge reason to consider getting your business on Apple Maps!

    ==================================================

    How does AM handle ratings and reviews?

    Initially, Apple Maps relied on third-party providers like TripAdvisor and Yelp but has since decided to start rating businesses in their Maps app. For now, these ratings are being provided by third-party sources but it is only a matter of time before Apple decides to offer them themselves.

    Apple’s rating system for products, services and businesses went live in 2019 with the MacOS 14 beta 6 update. This thumbs up/down ratings system allows users to rate their favorite things – it is a work in progress! 

    Apple’s new rating system will allow users to leave reviews about local, regional and national businesses so now is a good time to get in with your business info.

    The company has not shared the specific timeframe for adding content to their ratings and reviews yet. They have, however, mentioned that they hope “to add more services and features in future.”

    Apple Maps

    Now that you know all of this helpful information, Here’s how to get your business listed 

    You can add your Apple Maps listing via Apple Maps Connect. A free Apple ID is required. Here’s how you do it.

    1. Head over to mapsconnect.apple.com
    2. Sign in with your Apple ID (you’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one)
    3. Search for your business using the search fields above. If you don’t see your business, you can also add it
    4. Once you’ve found your business, you’ll be prompted to verify your account
    5. Once verified, you’ll be able to edit the content on your page

    At this point in time, you can add the following information to your listing:

    • Business Name and Phone Number
    • Business Address
    • Hours of Operation 
    • Place Status (Open / Closed)
    • Links to your apps, website, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter Profiles
    • Apple Pay Accepted (or Not)
    • Categories

    Apple makes this a simple and straightforward process. Just follow the prompts, provide the necessary info, and your business should be ready to go!

    You might be wondering what’s the future AM

    Apple Maps is an essential part of the Apple product ecosystem, and it’s a service that offers marketers something different than Google does. Where other platforms want to lure in advertisers with slick marketing campaigns or free services like Waze, Apple prefers focusing on developing groundbreaking new products instead. As their line-up matures, they have moved into creating subscription plans for many features within its map app – such as traffic updates and satellite images.

    Apple seems to be taking on Yelp and TripAdvisor with its own ratings service. The features of the reviews will most likely look very different than what we’ve been accustomed too in order for Apple to make a name for itself as an innovator.

    This means the time to prepare is now and get in on the ground floor of this today!

    Apple Maps should be a priority for your business

    If you’ve got a business in this century and you want it to grow and expand, One of the biggest mistakes you could do is putting all your eggs in one basket. Not only does this risk your business, but it can also be an inconvenience for customers who want to leave a review with another site and need you to sign up first before they do so. 

    This means that while Google receives the lion’s share of reviews, enough negative or mediocre ones could cost them potential new clients down the line if people associate these past stories as current occurrences instead of just bad luck or timing-related incidents.

    In order to put a new innovative spin on your digital marketing strategy, take the time for review management. If you notice iOS users in analytics surveys and follow-ups, make sure that Apple Maps is part of your plan moving forward. Particularly because Apple makes it super easy!

    We hope you’ve found this information helpful to your business. If you have questions, or need some help, just Contact Us

    Regina Floyd

    Regina L Floyd
    Simple Online Business Development LLC
    Regina@simpleobd.com
    808 400 1460

    Check Out Our Free Google My Business Video Course

    Blog

    Enjoy Local Marketing Tips & Resources

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    Creating Local Content

    4 Tips For Creating Content For Business

    Creating content is critical for local business so it’s always a good time to focus on content creation for your business. That means more than simply putting your local keywords into general content. You’ll need to show casual visitors to...

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    6 Local Lead Generation Tips for Local Small Business Owners

    6 Tips for Local Lead Generation

    6 Local Lead Generation Tips For Small Businesses

    When it comes to owning a small businesses, lead generation can be the difference between success and failure. As a business owners, you need repeat customers to stay afloat but you also have to look for new leads online if you want your business to scale.

    In today’s age of technology, it seems that everyone has a computer in their pocket in the way of a smartphone. 97% of people learn about local companies through the internet, on their phones,  so if you’re not online to meet your customers’ needs and wants, they’ll go elsewhere for what they need!

    The local lead generation strategies mentioned here provide a way for you to capture business from these searchers. It doesn’t require much cash up-front to generate leads and local customers who want your services when you know how to go about it. 

    If your marketing budget is slim to none, this is the most efficient strategy with lack of resources and your business can’t afford expensive advertisements, but your business still needs more people walking in through the door!

    If your audience is localized in a small area, your competition can be high. The good news is,  you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on ads or marketing strategies when there are other ways (shared here) for your business to get the attention it needs without spending money you just don’t have. Lead Generation doesn’t have to be expensive.

    lead generation for business

    The following are 6 Lead Generation Tips for Local Businesses:

    1. Build an Email List Through Localized Lead Magnets

    Lead magnets are a creative ways to obtain and collect contact information of prospective leads. But since you’re a local business, there’s no point in sharing a generic lead magnet that will attract people across the globe. 

    Instead, create one specific for your target audience and localized so it only attracts prospects who live around this area!

    1. Use Targeted Social Media Ads

    Ads are an excellent way to get your business in front of the right people. These targeted search results will allow you reach potential customers no matter where they go online, making sure that more eyes on what you have to offer and improving revenue as a result!

    If you find Google ads expensive, start with a small budget, and gradually increase it once you understand what works and what doesn’t for your business. 

    Facebook ads are the next best local lead generation platform for small businesses with its 2.5 billion users and unmatchable targeting capabilities. 

    When you run a Facebook leads ad, it shows in the newsfeed with a form for adding contact info right there in the newsfeed. This convenience gets you 20% more leads compared to Facebook ads leading to landing pages. 

    1. Create and maintain a Blog

    A blog is a great way to communicate with your customers about your products, services, vision, and the commitment to serve. It allows you to attract your audience and involve them with your brand continuously by providing value about what you know how to do.

    Your blog provides a way for your company to connect with customers in an honest and meaningful fashion. Consider running a Blog on subjects that will interest your audience, while highlighting the benefits of working with you.

    Blogs also allow you to create content as you target relevant keywords and helps your website appear in the search engines for more related keywords and it improves the overall visibility of your business. 

    Using your geographical location in blog titles and URLs also will be beneficial for your business as it contributes to improving local SEO (search engine optimization).

    1. Build Localized Landing Pages

    When you direct your leads to a landing page, it becomes the determining factor for effective conversion. When people are looking for products or services in a specific location, they are much more likely to engage with a localized promotion than one that is not targeted at their needs and wants.

    Localized landing pages also improve your local search rankings when someone searches with location modifiers such as “chiropractor near me,” or “plumber in Hershey PA” etc.

    You’ll see more conversions with local Google or geo-targeted ads when they lead to the closest branch, rather than a generic landing page.

    1. Optimize Local Listings

    With more than 96% of Americans owning a smartphone, you need to make sure your business is listed on local directory sites. 

    You can expect competitors in the area to be doing this too so if they’re not already prepared for that competition then it’s time they start!

    Mobile technology has taken over America and with mobile usage steadily increasing people are using their smartphones as an everyday tool.

    In fact, 93% of adults use their phone daily or almost every day according to Pew Research Center data from 2016-2017. 

    Because nearly everyone owns a smartphone these days businesses should take advantage by listing themselves on at least one major online directory site like Google My Business (formerly known as Google Places).

    The following are some Top local listings:

    • Yahoo Local
    • Yelp
    • Bing Local
    • TripAdvisor
    • Foursquare
    • Angie’s List 
    • YP
    • Better Business Bureau
    • GlassDoor
    • Biz Journals
    • CitySearch
    • Manta
    • White-pages and more!

    Optimizing your Google My Business page not only improves your visibility but also gives your SEO a boost. It ensures that your business shows up when someone looks up the internet for related products and services. (see link for a free Google My Business Course I offer)

    1. Keep in touch with your leads!

    This should go without saying, but after giving you their information, one might agree the next step is to keep in touch with the people asking for more information. 

    It’s not enough to generate a lead by asking for their email address. Keep in touch with your leads and remember that they may be busy, distracted or forgetful when it comes to following up on your lead magnet! 

    Sending them an automated follow-up email sequence will help you build rapport and show that you care about what matters most – keeping these prospects engaged until they are ready to purchase from your business!

    Similarly, if you get some leads during an offline event, make sure to follow them up through email or a phone call to encourage them to take action or move one step down the sales funnel. 

    Following up on cold leads is another excellent way to keep your cold leads in the loop. Create an automated email series to pull them back into the sales funnel. 

    Local lead Generation

    These 6 Local Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses are just a few proven methods!

    If you need more lead generation for your business, try these tips!

    By the way, if you don’t have time to implement these ideas into your marketing and need assistance with the technical aspects, we would be delighted to help! Just contact us 

    local lead generation

    Regina L Floyd Local growth expert

    Regina L Floyd
    regina@simpleobd.com
    808 400 1460
    Follow Us On Facebook: @SimpleOBD

    Check Out A Free Google My Business Video Course To Grow Your Business Online

    How To Use Google My Business For Free To Get More Local Customers

    Use Google My Business for FREE to Get More Local Customers

    How to Use Google My Business for FREE to Get More Local Customers

    What is Google?! It’s a massive search engine that just about all of us know, use and love,  and it’s become synonymous with searching for information online. It’s even become part of our everyday speech and jargon.

    Just ‘Google It’! 

    I for one am guilty of saying that to my teen daughter when she asks questions about things she could easily look up. 

    If you are wanting  to give your business the advantage and leverage of being found when someone does a search for your type of business, product or service,  in my opinion, it makes sense to use as many Google products as you can!

    Did you know that Google is actually more than just a ‘search engine’ these days? 

    In their daily lives, people use Google to navigate and explore their local areas (think maps), discover answers to common household problems, seek out product and service recommendations by reading reviews as well as writing their own reviews about their experiences with businesses!

    As a local business wanting to stand out, there is a lot you can do to improve your visibility on Google and showing up when people search.

    Setting up your Google My Business (GMB) is probably the most advantageous of them all.  And it’s NOT hard to do. 

    As a side note…it’s totally FREE!

    What is Google My Business?

    Google My Business is a free listing service that literally puts your business on the map!

    It was created as a tool to help local businesses manage their online presence and connect with local customers.  

    Quite literally your business gets a location-specific listing in the biggest directory in the world all in an effort to help you do more business. 

    These listings help  prospective customers discover the important information about your business, such as your business address, online reviews, and where they can find you online and offline!  It also lets them see what you are about and often, see how others feel about your products &/or services. 

    Google My Business

    What are the benefits of Google My Business?

    There are a number of benefits to your business for setting up and getting your Google My Business listing optimized.

    Getting your Google My Business listing set up properly is all about visibility for those closest to your business! 

    As a local business, you want to get in front of as many businesses as possible, right?

    The whole idea is to show up in the search engine for your type of business locally!

    Here are the main benefits of putting a concentrated effort into Google My Business.

    Google 3 Pack

    Rank better than #1 with the Local 3-Pack

    Here is a subtle but important thing worth considering. 

    When you search for a local business, even before the SEO-driven search results come up, Google shows you a list of nearby businesses that it considers to be the most relevant to the search. (Read that again)

    These results show up on a map, complete with star ratings and all the business information that is important to searchers (also known as your potential customers).

    Does that get your attention? It should!

    The exciting news about this is by filling in your Google My Business profile as much as possible, and getting Google reviews, it will help boost your chances of being included in the 3-pack!

    Google Local Pack

    Show up on Google Maps searches

    Achieving 3-pack visibility is definitely a great accomplishment but it’ll only work for you when the customer is already in your area. 

    So that raises a question, “What about when searchers don’t happen to be in your local area?” 

    Setting up your Google My Business account helps you come up on Google Maps when people search locally.

    These days, 86% of people are searching for businesses on Google Maps with 30% of all mobile searches are related to location! 

    More searches mean more traffic, which means more sales.

    Over 50% of “____ near me” searches result in a store visit and a chance for a sale!

    Its Easy, Fast and FREE!

    Marketing and SEO can be complicated, super expensive, and time-consuming. 

    Setting up a Google My Business account is a fast and free way to get your business found on Google. 

    It’s easy to update your business details so that customers trying to reach you have the right information.

    Local SEO delivers great ROI…

    Google reported that 46% of searches have local intent! That’s HUGE!

    That means almost half the searches on Google are specifically looking for a nearby business! 

    Within that 46% of searches, 60% of those people are searching from a mobile device, which means the map search result is going to pop up and they are ready to buy.

    Leveraging that would be a huge advantage for your business!

    Build trust and social proof with reviews

    It would stand to reason that having (positive) reviews of your business is would be favorable! 

    When someone searches and discovers your business, seeing positive testimonials and reviews are a great way to display social proof that your businesses is reputable. 

    We all like to do business with those whom we know, like and trust! And customer trust is critical for a successful business! Reviews on your Google My Business listing makes your business that much more legitimate and trustworthy!

    It’s been said that 73% of consumers will trust a business based on their positive Google reviews!

    Access the smartphone market

    Do you know how much time the average person spends on their mobile phone?

    4 Hours! 

    That is a massive amount of time! And a lot of that time is spent searching for businesses!

    Over 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile phones! 

    Considering that information and the fact that 78% of local mobile searches lead to an in-store purchase, its clear that a winning formula is literally at your fingertips!

    A FREE Website!!

    While many businesses already have a functioning website, there are so many more that may be just getting around to moving online.

    For local businesses that prefer to sell offline but want to be found on the internet when someone searches for their type of business, they can get a Google My Business page set up in minutes!

    A Google My Business page is a simple website that shows off your business, helps searchers know where to find you.

    A Google My Business Page also helps facilitate things like placing orders, sending messages, and calls to your business!

    Get Start With Google My Business

    How to start using Google My Business

    The best part about setting up a Google My Business listing aside from being Free is how easy it is to do.

    To create a Google My Business listing for your business:

    • Head over to Google.com/business (or log in if you already have one)…
    • The page will prompt you to provide information that makes it easier for potential customers to get in touch such as your phone number, website URL, your physical address (which will show on the map), business hours, and photos of your business…
    • Make sure to complete your business category…
    • Click ‘Finish’ to verify! 
    • Google will send you a postcard with a code to the address you entered to make sure it’s your actual address. 
    • Don’t miss this last step! Once you get the postcard (it should only take a few business days), log back in, enter the code, and you’re done!

     

    Is Google My Business right for you?

    Some businesses don’t have a physical location or storefront. 

    If you don’t want everyone online to know your home address, you’ll still have to put it in during the Google My Business setup process to get the verification postcard but you can change the settings so people don’t see it.

    You can choose what information is visible to searchers. 

    You can also select the areas you service. 

    And this is ideal for businesses who want to specify the locations where you offer delivery or if you have a service rather than a product.

    As a local business, this should sound interesting particularly if you want more customers!

    Here’s what to do next…

    If you want new or more customers, go set up your Google My Business profile today and start tapping into all those extra searches!

    By the way, if you need help with this Google My Business stuff and don’t want to deal with the all the technical aspects, we would be elected to help you. Just contact us here.

    Regina L Floyd Local growth expert

    Regina L Floyd
    808 400 1460
    Regina@Simpleobd.com

    p.s

    Know a local business owner that could use more customers using a Free and Easy marketing Strategy? Be sure to SHARE this post with them. 

    About Me

    Sergeant Regina Floyd

    In a past life, 1988-2008, this was me (the Brunette on the left).  In this picture,I was working as a patrol sergeant for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (2006-2008). 

    I share this picture because I hope that it will help you understand how I came to be who I am today. 

    You see, I got started in Law Enforcement at the age of just 23. Hired on as a 911 Operator answering non-emergency, and emergency calls.  At about 6 months on the job, I promoted to Communications Specialist (fancy word for dispatcher) and spent 10 years working in Communications. 

    In 1998, after attending multiple classes to improve my chances of promotion as a civilian, 2 separate friends on the same day suggested I test for Police Officer. I learned that one officer was making at 5 years, what it took me 10 years to make in income. I was intrigued so I tested and I passed! 

    I share this to share my background in public service.  No one gets into police work because they want more stress, or plan to become a millionaire. I liked helping people and that hasn’t changed. I no longer drive a black and white, wear a uniform or carry a badge, but I still like helping people. 

    When my life changed forever!

    In 2008, I was working graveyard patrol as a police sergeant, supervising 7-9 men and women.  I was living with my elderly mother to help care for her and raising a small child. I’d tuck my daughter in at night, make sure mom was all set and I’d leave for work about 9pm for a 10pm shift start.  8 am was end of shift and I’d drive home praying everything was ok at my house as I wasn’t sure who was watching who with a young child and an 80 year old at home together all night. 

    In February of 2008, my mom got sick and while at the heart doctor, she was transported to the hospital for a heart problem. (they thought it was a mild heart attack). By March 2008, I had turned in my paperwork, retired March 26th, and walked away from a 6 figure income to not even 1/2 of that in retirement pension. (I left too young, and didn’t have 30 years on for a full pension)  

    How My Marketing Career Got Started

    Because leaving my job to care for a sick parent made NO financial sense, I was in debt up to my eyeballs and I needed to find a way to supplement my pension income.  This is when I got started in Network Marketing, Internet Marketing and Affiliate Marketing.  I even sold stuff on Ebay, and did Mystery Shopping to help pay the bills. 

    Fast Forward a few years – I finally realized that besides trying to make people join my business, I’d do better if I got back in service of others and help people (business owners) grow their business.  That’s where I am at today. 

    The Struggle Is Real

    I ended up caring for my mom for just 5 years. She passed away in 2013 and I was devastated.  Honestly, I don’t remember much of 2013 – it was a blur.  In 2015, I made a tough decision to sell everything I owned, put up my childhood home for rent, and moved to Kauai – yep, small island in the pacific ocean. 

    I moved here not knowing anyone, but knowing I could make a difference here too.  My business was non existent, I had to build up a reputation again, and prove my value. 

    Then Covid Hit in 2020!

    I actually did ok for most of 2020. I was working with a local non profit and was able to get in on some grant money for CARES Act and paid my bills from August to December with grant work. 

    2021 – everything dried up as business owners were figuring out how to survive. I had dropped my business to help this non profit, and when that ended, I had no business. 

    What's Happening Today?

    Since the, I’ve revamped how I help others with business. I’ve found new, more innovative strategies that work to help local business owners grow business without breaking the bank.  I’m offering courses and resources for those who’d rather do it themselves, or just flat out don’t have a marketing budget.  I’ve learned how to continue to pivot to grow business and help others do the same:  I’m still being of service to others! 

    My favorite market to help is local churches. They never have enough people, or money to do everything they can for the Kingdom, but they keep at it. 

    If’ you’d like to get to know me personally, FOLLOW me on Facebook @ReginaLFloyd and Instagram: @ReginaFloyd

    UPDATE:  December 7, 2021 – I moved to Grecia Costa Rica. Although I live out of the country, my business still helps business owners located in the United States.  That’s the beauty of having a Global Business (and excellent Fiber Optic Internet) 😀 

    Regina Floyd

    Regina L Floyd
    Digital Marketing Consultant
    Simple OBD (Online Business Development LLC)
    Regina@simpleobd.com
    (702) 708-1787
    Contact Me With Questions

    Enjoy this free Google My Business Marketing Video Course and see how to grow your business Today! >>>>>>>>>>