When it comes to business decisions, you made a great one when you decided to add a Nissan Commercial Vehicle to your workforce. The TITAN offers more ways to connect to the world around you. With its new available 7-inch touch-screen, and Apple CarPlay®,[] and Android Auto™,[] you can access your favorite music and apps, get directions, make calls and even send and receive messages — all hands free.[] That way, you can keep in touch with customers and make appointments without skipping a beat.
In business, making strong connections with your customers is just as important. And there are ways to help do just that. Here are just a few that should help ensure that your current customers are customers for life.
In any relationship, good communication is key. It’s essential to building strong customer relationships. And that includes not just promoting your business but also really listening to your customers.
Rather than just telling customers about your business, you should have conversations with them. Find out what they really need and then show them that you have a solution. With all the social media outlets out there, there are more ways to begin conversations with your customers than ever before. And if you have employees, be sure to teach them how to effectively communicate with customers.
Word of mouth can be a powerful business tool. Use online surveys to solicit feedback from your customers, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from those who had a positive experience. Become a rolling billboard by adding a custom vinyl wrap[] to your NV200. Respond quickly and do your best to remain positive in the face of criticism. Hold regular roundtables with your employees to see if they have any suggestions for improvement. It was what we learned from businesses like yours that inspired us to create America’s Best Commercial Van Warranty – a 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty (whichever occurs first).[]
Following up on the previous point, communication should be more than just email blasts. Instead of bombarding previous customers with nonstop offers, try to personalize communications by reminding customers about services they may need in the future. For instance, if you’re a plumber working on a kitchen sink leak, and you notice the hot water heater is looking old, perhaps send a follow-up speaking to that service. Or it could be as simple as wishing your customers a happy birthday, if you have that information. This way the relationship will come off as more of a partnership and more genuine.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND
No doubt, you already strive to do this every day. And it’s so important because your customers expect nothing but great service from you. That said, you should always continue to raise the bar on what your business offers. Doing things like delivering or providing a product or service faster than anticipated, following up after the appointment, answering any and all questions, will go a long way to impressing customers, and it will keep them coming back.
What better way to reward your long-term customers than with some kind of discount program? Perhaps create loyalty cards that entitle the recipient to 15% off future services? Maybe every five appointments give them 50% off service? It’s up to you. But the point is just to show that you appreciate their continued loyalty.
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS TO LEVERAGE
As a small-business owner, it’s important for you to stay on top of what’s happening in the marketplace so you can be competitive. By taking the time to re-evaluate your strategies and align your goals with what’s trending, you can drive success for your business today and down the road. Take a look at the following trends and learn how you can leverage them for your business.
CASHLESS PAYMENTS ON THE RISE
Mobile payment innovations are transforming how small businesses operate. By 2020, it’s projected that 56 percent of customers will use mobile payments. To keep up with this trend, adopt mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. You can also offer in-app, in-browser and person-to-person (P2P) payment platforms.
MILLENNIALS DOMINATING THE MARKET
People born between 1981 and 1996, also known as Millennials, spend approximately $600 billion every year. By 2020, this buying power is estimated to grow to $1.4 trillion. To target these customers, you should use a more personalized approach through social media and email. Be honest and transparent rather than gimmicky or overly salesy. The goal is to create a connection between the audience and your product or service.
EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING GOES VIRAL
Customer-engagement experiences are a great way to get people talking about your business. And now, thanks to social media, experiential marketing is taking on a whole new dimension. Think of it as a free marketing tool. Use social media to invite customers and create buzz prior to your event. Post online during and after the event and encourage your audience to participate, further extending your reach. You can implement experiential marketing with limited resources and make a significant impact.
OUTSOURCING OPENS UP DOORS
As budgets get tighter and technology makes it easier to work with people remotely, more and more small businesses are outsourcing. This means less overhead, greater flexibility and the opportunity to work with experts you wouldn’t be able to hire full-time. Consider hiring freelance help in areas like finance, marketing and technology. This will free up your time to focus on what you do best — serving customers and growing your business.
CYBERSECURITY GROWS MORE COMPLEX
After the Equifax hacks in 2017, cybersecurity has become the focus of much attention, and rightly so. As more data is put online, it increases the incentive for hackers to find ways to gain access to it. Small businesses can be targeted because they are expected not to have strong security. To avoid the significant cost of an informational hack, you should invest in a security plan, a password system or a technology manager. You’ll also want to test your security system to make sure it is effective at protecting information.
While you’re focused on these trends, you can trust that Nissan is up to speed on the latest automotive trends. From the available NissanConnect®, [] which helps keep you connected to customers and in the know, to the available Nissan Intelligent Mobility™ features like Blind Spot Warning [] and Intelligent Around View® Monitor [] designed to help give you more confidence on the road, you can put the latest advancements to work for your business.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
Of course, it is easy for any business owner to make a few mistakes along the way — especially considering how busy you can get. So, let's talk about some of them — and suggest ways to avoid them.
LACK OF TECHNOLOGY
It’s not a great idea to run a company without an Internet presence. Here’s the thing: You don’t need a fancy website with tons of bells and whistles. You merely need an easy-to-navigate site containing important information about you and your company, such as contact information and hours of operation. Of course, adding a “bio” section or even customer testimonials sure wouldn’t hurt. In any event, a website provides a level of credibility. And when potential customers seek information about a business like yours, they will look for it on the Web. If your company is not where they are looking, how can they find you?
The IRS means business. You could incur late penalties due to filing late. That’s not to say that the IRS doesn’t have a heart. In fact, you can avoid paying a late-filing or late-payment fee if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time.
UNDER-MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
While you’re well-versed in your trade, you may not be as knowledgeable in the promotional aspect of it. It’s misguided to believe you can open and grow a business without being involved in marketing. Best bet is to see if anyone on your staff is good at marketing, or if resources allow, find a local consultant to help. Just remember to always set aside a sufficient amount of dollars for marketing purposes. Without it, how will people know how great your business is?
SETTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
While it’s important to believe in your business, you can’t expect to take over the market overnight. Just like the building of Rome, building a trusted, respected and reputable business takes time. Truth is, potential customers might need to hear good things about you a few times before they finally make the call and become an actual customer. Be patient with your business and yourself. Plan for sustained growth by providing good value.
UNDER-VALUING YOUR CUSTOMERS
Remember: There’s plenty of competition out there for their loyalty. Treat them well, and they’ll keep coming back. Let them down once, and you might get an unflattering review on your Yelp or Facebook page. If that happens, don’t simmer. Instead, be honest with yourself. Is there any truth to that comment, and if so, are there ways to fix it? And it’s okay to engage dissatisfied customers in a dialogue. They’ll feel heard. And you might even see a new post expressing their satisfaction with the way you handled things.
As a business owner, you know more than anyone the value of the phrase, “Time is money.” Even the smallest hiccup has the potential to turn into a big (and costly) mess. While you can’t predict everything that might happen, your Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo has your back. Its comfortable ride, “shiftless” Xtronic CVT (Continously Variable Transmission), and exceptional fuel economy[] work in harmony to make your time behind the wheel as smooth as possible. Now by just incorporating a few of the following steps into your day, you can gain more efficiency and be the best professional possible.
IT'S ALL ROUTINE
A key part of staying organized is setting managerial procedures in stone and sticking to them as much as possible. Set aside a specific time each day to handle and file paperwork so it doesn’t pile up on your desk. Do the same for emails, and be sure to flag important conversations if you’re unable to respond right away. Remember that your NV200 has a flexible center console that can easily accommodate a laptop and file folders so you can access important documents.
STARTING THE DAY
Plan: Make a list of the tasks you wish to accomplish throughout the day in order of importance. You’ll be surprised by the feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel as you check each item off your list. Reflect: Take a few deep breaths and think about the big picture to get centered. Hydrate: Start your day off with hydration to increase productivity throughout the day. It’s always a good idea to bring some water with you as you’re going about your day-to-day activities. Prioritize: Start attacking your biggest challenges first. If possible, schedule your toughest jobs for the day first thing when you’re the freshest.
ENDING THE DAY
Finishing: Be sure to wrap up small projects. Send quick emails and take care of small clerical tasks. In the morning, you’ll be glad you did! Organize: Put your tools and equipment back where they belong so you can easily find them tomorrow. Ideas: Some of your best ideas might come during the day while you’re driving from job to job. Don’t let them disappear. Take the time to write them all down. Disconnect: This one might be the toughest. But try to put the smartphone and laptop away. Make time for the things that bring you pleasure. You’ll find yourself more refreshed and, hopefully, happier.
BECOME A MASTER OF MULTITASKING
It can be tough to balance your own work while also having to extinguish any fires that pop up along the way. To manage your time effectively, consider employing task management software. Many can perform basic functions for free, which could be enough to bring some order to the chaos of running your business. They also offer cloud syncing, allowing you to keep tabs on what needs to be done wherever you are. The NV200 can help you stay connected when you’re away from the office with its standard Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System[] and up to two available 12-volt power outlets that can keep your mobile devices charged and at the ready.
A little work now can save you time and money in the long run. Keep tabs on your inventory so you're not caught out during busy times. A small-business loan can help cover unexpected costs or help you expand. The NV200 is available with SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link® services[] provide real-time data on road and weather conditions so you can efficiently plan your daily drive routes.
Adopting automation can make your workflow more efficient. For example, some printers can automatically order ink when they're running low so you don't need to spend time with an office supply catalog. The 2018 NV200 comes standard with the necessary wiring to fit a third-party telematics system, which can help you keep track of your vehicle's key data points, such as fuel economy and needed maintenance.
We know you’re busy, and it’s not always easy to devote time to the little things. However, if you’re able to find a few hours each month to undertake these tasks, we think you will ultimately save time, and potentially money, in the long run: Time you can use to further invest in your business or to take a break from it all.
KEEP GROWING YOUR BUSINESS LONG-TERM
Keeping a business moving ahead day after day, year after year isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s late nights and early mornings, pavement-buckling heat and bone-chilling cold and plenty of 70-hour work weeks. To withstand it, you need two things: first, an extreme dedication to your business, and second, a work truck you can depend on through it all.
The Frontier is that truck. In fact, the 2019 Frontier is America's Most Affordable Pickup.[] When it comes to keeping you moving, Frontier’s Best-in-Class Maximum Ground Clearance[]helps you rise above unforgiving terrain and harsh conditions. Of course, surviving the long haul also requires keeping a close eye on your budget. The 2019 Frontier has a lower starting MSRP than any pickup in its class.[]
In addition to having the right truck, here are some extra tips to keep you and your business moving forward:
Don’t get too comfortable — You should never stop thinking about ways to attract new customers. And always try to set new business goals and take on new challenges. It’ll keep you and your business fresh.
Keep up with current customers — Building off the first point, make sure to keep an ongoing dialogue with your current customers. Find the time to drop them an email or leave a voice message and ask if they’re in need of any assistance or just have any questions. It’ll make your customers feel like they have a real partner that has their best interests squarely in mind.
Keep an eye on your competition — Most likely you have more than a few competitors in your market. Keep an eye on what they’re doing. Observe everything from a marketing standpoint to new services they may be offering. It’ll help you adjust your own business to keep up and stay ahead.
With these tips and your rugged Frontier, there’s little doubt that you and your business will not only survive the long haul but actually thrive through it all.
RIGHT SIZED AND READY
NV200 COMPACT CARGO
The Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo is ready to become the workhorse of your business. It’s up to the task of your big jobs with surprising cargo capacity, yet small when it comes to maneuvering through traffic - and smaller still when factoring into your monthly budget.[]
Got big plans? With a powerful engine, rugged chassis, innovative technology, and smart design, Nissan Frontier is ready to take on just about anything you throw its way – whether you’re on the map, or off.