Customer Focus

  • The Sales Process: Just One Part of Client-Centered Coordination

    The sales process is an integral part of a company's success. However, consumers are increasingly demanding a fully integrated customer experience. If you're not providing an effective, seamless journey from closing to delivery to after-sales service, your clients will likely switch to competitors. Your internal structures are irrelevant to customers; they expect you to unfailingly meet and exceed their expectations. This requires close internal coordination among your company's departments.

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  • Glassdoor Reviews: When and How to Respond

    Glassdoor reviews can damage your middle market company's retention and recruiting efforts. We live in an age of social media where sharing and transparency are paramount values. Like it or not, your employees will be going online and writing reviews about the good, the bad and the ugly of working for your firm.

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  • Finding New Office Space: 4 Critical Factors

    By Rob Carey

    When a company is ready to move to a new office space, it will stir both excitement and trepidation among management and employees (and perhaps even customers). If a midsized firm's executives take into account all the factors that determine which space is truly right for operations, they will minimize worry and maximize enthusiasm. What's more, they can also boost the firm's long-term competitive and financial position.

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  • Why an Adaptive Human Resources Strategy Is Good for Your Company

    As your company adapts to the middle market and its customers' needs, your human resources strategy needs to adapt along with it. The first step is to build your overall business strategy, and then identify human resources' role in reaching your goals. Do you need to develop new capabilities to better serve customers, or expand your sales or production footprint? HR should recruit, hire, train, and develop the right talent for the task.

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  • How Nurturing Customer Loyalty Creates Brand Ambassadors

    Customer loyalty is a must-have for any company. Without people or companies coming back to do business with you, the cost of acquiring customers becomes a crushing expense. The stronger the loyalty, the more you can contain marketing costs while increasing the average customer's lifetime value. But there is a step beyond loyalty, particularly for a middle market company that is trying to hit its next stage of growth. What you want are customer fanatics: people who will act as brand ambassadors and do more than loyally buy from your business. They help acquire new customers through positive word of mouth and brand promotion. However, brand ambassadors are people you need to woo, which means understanding the difference between a true fan and a loyal customer. Here's what you should know.

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  • 4 Keys to a Successful Product Launch

    By Rob Carey

    One way for middle market firms to compete successfully against the biggest players in their niche is to innovate. A new or significantly altered product that exceeds present expectations is the most effective weapon against large competitors, who can use economies of scale to hold down prices or marketing dollars to saturate the market's share of mind.

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  • Social Media Strategy for Crisis Communications: 7 Ways to Defend Your Company

    Your social media strategy should center on using digital platforms to engage with customers and relevant stakeholders. Whether or not you control the message, these people are increasingly learning about you via Twitter, Facebook and other channels. Therefore, when a crisis arises, your customers will likely consume and share information about you via these same outlets. Being unprepared to spread your crisis response messages on social media is akin to surrendering your army before the first shot is ever fired.

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  • In a Business Partnership, Relativity Is Everything

    The power of a business partnership can be impressive. Rotadyne is a prime example of how a company can expand when it joins with another. In the early 1970s, the Cleveland-based custom plastics molding manufacturer made bed pans, bottles, tanks and a small line of plastic toys. It partnered with a design firm, Nottingham Spirk, which helped create new products and a logo for the toy line: Little Tikes. After a few years, Rotadyne would change its name, explode in size and eventually be acquired by Rubbermaid.

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  • 6 Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    Business marketing is vital for midmarket companies. It determines how your organization reaches out to new prospects and converts them into customers. Good marketing sends the right message to the right prospect, creating awareness and demand for your services. However, poor marketing wastes precious time and money, and may also damage your reputation.

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  • Essential Company Benefits for Middle Market Success

    By Rob Carey

    If middle market companies are to compete for the best talent, their compensation and culture must rival those at larger companies. Interestingly, there's one way for a midsized firm to strengthen its position in both areas: by creating a variety of desirable bonus programs. In fact, a 2014 WorldatWork survey reported that attractive company benefits are becoming even more of a necessity. Bonus-compensation data gathered from managers at 713 companies, 77 percent of which have 1,000 or more employees, found that sign-on and retention bonuses are at all-time highs, while spot-bonus programs and referral bonuses are at their highest since 2000 and 2010 respectively.

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  • How to Define Your Company Values in 5 Steps

    Company values, whether written or unwritten, form the basis of your business's culture. When your company has strong values that everyone understands, practices and demonstrates outwardly, then it will attract and retain employees, customers and other stakeholders. The financial impact is hard to quantify, but it may be the most important factor supporting your bottom line. If you don't have a formal written document defining your core principles, then consider asking your employees, the heart of your organization, to help you craft one. Here's how:

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  • Why Passive-Candidate Recruitment Is Vital for the Coming Talent Wars

    The entire U.S. economy is seeing continued hiring growth, and the middle market is heavily involved. Recruitment must be more than a haphazard activity as more companies compete for the best talent. One of the keys to successful hiring is an understanding of how to reach so-called passive candidates: the qualified people who already have a job but may be interested in new opportunities.

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  • Own Your Pricing Strategy: How to Stop Big-Customer Bullying on Price

    Developing a workable pricing strategy is one of the most important decisions of every seller/supplier in the middle market. Your price reflects a return on investment, not only covering your costs but indicating your profit margin, too. To describe pricing as sensitive would be an understatement. Middle market companies need to get their prices right to maximize market share and profitability.

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  • Changes in Business Structure Can Be a Strategic Asset

    Business structure may seem to be a necessary but ultimately uninteresting part of middle market business on the surface: Build a company, create the necessary departments and chains of command and then focus on the real work. Yet, if you look at the world of large corporations, you'll see businesses periodically reorganize to address problems and strategic needs.

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