How to Attract Customers

As entrepreneurs or small business owners, “It is all about knowing your customers” we hear this advice repeatedly, but what does it mean?

It means different things depending on your business’ needs. As a Customer Experience Consultant, I understand it as the points where your business interacts with customers, how long it takes to respond, and measure those interactions; these are essential aspects to offer a customer-centric sales process. 

The goal of any business is growing, and in today’s market conditions, we need to include the customers as part of the buying journey. It is a question of survivability; it may seem a daunting task, but centering your sales process around the customers will give you that competitive edge that you need to overcome the new market conditions.

There are specific challenges that I need to overcome to build my business, and I want to share them with you.

  • There is no more travel, no more trade shows or conventions, and no more personal meetings with customers; sales is a remote activity.
  • Working remotely means updating technical skills and managing a distributed team
  • Getting your offers noticed through the web of trillions of other offers
  • Customers’ expectations of real-time response require automation as much as possible
  • Online reputation is critical to acquire and retain, more than ever with a limited budget for marketing

Indeed, we need to adapt to new conditions and at a light speed. Small businesses need to adjust to a new business development process and add the customers’ points of view.  

We have jumped into the digital transformation, meaning that we need to use sales and marketing technology to be relevant and acquire new business or retain the customers that we already have. 

Wait a minute! Digital transformation for small business owners doesn’t mean the same as for a corporation. You can take advantage of many simple improvements without breaking the bank or putting your cash flow at risk.

Here are 5 approaches to be more customer-centric:

  1. Ask your customers or someone you trust to help you refresh your brand; it could be as simple as changing your website content, restoring your logo, or testing what kind of message resonates with your audience.
  2. A customer experience specialist could help you redefine your customer strategy, finding ways to reduce costs, and reassigning it to another area that needs more attention.
  3. Update your customer experience skills. Take 30 minutes to learn about customer experience best practices; micro-lessons are popping up every minute.
  4. Ask your customers or potential customers to understand the most effective way to service them.
  5. Make an online audit of your reviews, social media messages, emails, or conversations with your customers. If you are a new business, read your competition’s reviews to learn how you could better serve your ideal customers.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we need to know how digital changes the sales process and use our scarce resources wisely. Big consulting firms are probably out of reach, but still, you have some options to transform your sales process and pay more attention to your customers:

  1. Contract a part-time Virtual Assistant; they specialize in helping you with social media management, customer service & support, and other admin tasks. The most crucial part is that you will have time dedicated to “know your customers” better.
  2. Consult an OnDemand Marketing Specialist, they will refresh your brand, content and provide social media strategy, and they also manage your social media accounts. Most importantly, they will manage your ads expenditure, so you don’t burn money without results, and you could pass those savings on to improve the way you serve your customers.
  3. Take a sales challenge to learn how to automate your lead generation without paying to advertise and learn how to sell by adding value for your customers.
  4. Get a Customer Experience Specialist assessment to take the next step to transform your business into a more customer-centric organization.

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you think customer first. Now you need to put it all together to revamp your sales process and to reflect how much you care and how much value you are adding; it is not selling a product; it is the value of the sale and why you care and how you can solve your customer’s problems. Competing in new market conditions and keeping your eyes on the customers is a question of survival.

Book a time if you’d like to discuss further how to attract your ideal customers using customer experience

How to Use Customer Experience to Sell

Tips on Transforming Your Sales Process

As entrepreneurs or small business owners, “It is all about knowing your customers” we hear this advice repeatedly, but what does it mean?

It means different things depending on your business’ needs. As a Customer Experience Consultant, I understand it as the points where your business is interacting with customers, how long it takes to respond, and measure those interactions; these are essential aspects to offer a customer-centric sales process. 

The goal of any business is growing, and in today’s market conditions, we need to include the customers as part of the buying journey. It is a question of survivability; it may seem a daunting task, but centering your sales process around the customers will give you that competitive edge that you need to overcome the new market conditions.

There are specific challenges that I need to overcome to build my business, and I want to share them with you.

  • There is no more travel, no more trade shows or conventions, and no more personal meetings with customers; sales is a remote activity.
  • Working remotely means updating technical skills and managing a distributed team
  • Getting your offers noticed through the web of trillions of other offers
  • Customers’ expectations of real-time response require automation as much as possible
  • Online reputation is critical to acquire and retain, more than ever with a limited budget for marketing

Indeed, we need to adapt to new conditions and at a light speed. Small businesses need to adjust to a new business development process and add the customer point of view.  

We have jumped into the digital transformation, meaning that we need to use sales and marketing technology to be relevant and acquire new business or retain the customers that we already have. 

Wait a minute! Digital transformation for small business owners doesn’t mean the same as for a corporation. There are many simple improvements that you can take advantage of without breaking the bank or putting your cash flow at risk.

Here are 5 approaches to be more customer-centric:

  1. Ask your customers or someone you trust to help you refresh your brand; it could be as simple as changing your website content, restoring your logo, or testing what kind of message resonates with your audience.
  2. A customer experience specialist could help you redefine your customer strategy, finding ways to reduce costs, and reassigning it to another area that needs more attention.
  3. Update your customer experience skills. Take 30 minutes to learn about customer experience best practices; micro-lessons are popping up every minute.
  4. Ask your customers or potential customers to understand the most effective way to service them.
  5. Make an online audit of your reviews, social media messages, emails, or conversations with your customers. If you are a new business, read your competition’s reviews to learn how you could better serve your ideal customers.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we need to know how digital changes the sales process and use our scarce resources wisely. Big consulting firms are probably out of reach, but still, you have some options to transform your sales process and pay more attention to your customers:

  1. Contract a part-time Virtual Assistant; they specialize in helping you with social media management, customer service & support, and other admin tasks. The most crucial part is that you will have time dedicated to “know your customers” better.
  2. Consult an OnDemand Marketing Specialist, they will refresh your brand, content and provide social media strategy, and they also manage your social media accounts. Most importantly, they will work your ads expenditure, so you don’t burn money without results, and you could pass those savings on to improve the way you serve your customers.
  3. Take a sales challenge to learn how to automate your lead generation without paying to advertise and learn how to sell by adding value for your customers.
  4. Get a Customer Experience Specialist assessment to take the next step to transform your business into a more customer-centric organization.
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Align Customer Experience with the sales process

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you think customer first. Now you need to put it all together to revamp your sales process and to reflect how much you care and how much value you are adding; it is not selling a product; it is the value of the sale and why you care and how you can solve your customer’s problems. Competing in new market conditions and keeping your eyes on the customers is a question of survival.

Top 4 Challenges that Customer Experience Solves

I believe there is a way to make knowledge more approachable and practical for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

My blogs attempt to make customer experience knowledge accessible with practical guidance that you can use today.

In 2018 a Forester research highlighted that the lack of alignment and integration of customer experience with the business’s vision, strategy, and performance are the leading causes for over 50% of companies failing to improve CX in their organizations. Furthermore, Forester’s same report stated that in 2021 25% of those businesses will achieve a significant advance in CX. Are you falling behind on establishing or advancing your CX capabilities?

The customer experience impacts all the business areas, whether you are B2C or B2B, or independently of your business maturity level. CX is critical to the continued growth of any business.

CX helps businesses to overcome the top 4 most common challenges.

  1. Measuring performance: Aligning customer experience and your business performance means focusing on metrics that drive outcomes and looks forward. A simple way is to start tracking your online reviews or complaints, and your sales will give you the first view, and it could predict future purchases because Word of Mouth is a great way to indicate purchase intent.
  2. Managing cashflow: the most common cash flow challenges are a low collection of receivables, the pricing is off, expenses are too high, or sales are down; there could be underlying causes to these challenges, however having a good customer experience program could help figure it out, by collecting customer feedback business owners and managers could instill a forward-looking culture. Taking into the account customer experience will help you figure out the most valuable opportunities and prioritize investments and costs. A CX consultant will help you with simple tools and templates that you could follow to make minor improvements that help you get closer to your goals.
  3. Building your brand: some of the challenges are defining your brand, making your brand consistent, and include the voice of your customers in your brand. A customer experience strategy helps business owners aligning the brand promise with a customer’s perspective by incorporating the customer into the brand values and behaviours. It creates a customer-centric culture, from outside to inside, and from top to bottom. As an example: we know that positive reviews and word of mouth are essential to building your brand; customer experience is all about aligning your brand and your customers’ expectations, reducing the gap, and improving the positive word of mouth online or offline.
  4. Delegating responsibilities: an essential element of customer experience is your employee experience, aligning your culture with your customers and employees; the key here is to hire customer focus employees in the first place; they will care as much as you do about the success of your business and your customers, for example, add people skills to your job postings, include your mission and core values, create programs to reward positive behaviours, and train continuously.

Customer experience is not a program, it requires constant improvement, and is an investment; lets me show you how. I provide ready to use guidance for EdTech professionals and entrepreneurs. A CX program doesn’t have to be complicated and technical to get your results. CX needs to be human, easy to use, and easy to adopt. Get you quick wins to justify your ROI and keep your business on track for the long term.

Find your path to customer’s hearts with a customer journey map.

What do you do when you feel lost? When you are lost, and need to find a new way, you would most likely use google maps or a GPS. The path you choose is up to you whether you find the best way, the fastest, the scenic, the longest, or busiest route you will always need to decide the best options.

We don’t have a GPS or Google Maps to show us our business’s direction, but we do have “Journey Maps” for when we feel lost in managing a business. You would use a journey map when you lose the way to the customers’ needs and wants, or we need to get back on track.

Tons of research and experts agreed that customer experience drives profits. As a company manager, you need to focus on profits, saving costs, and managing resources; deciding where to start and how many resources to invest requires a solution that is easy to implement and cost-effective.

Customer journey maps are a visual representation of the interactions between humans and your company. It is a tool that customer experience practitioners use to help a businesses like yours.

In a technology context, journey maps are about the steps a human follows to accomplish a goal. A journey map is all about the user and their actions, the storyboards, and use cases; in customer experience, we add the service journey to align offline and online processes.

How do humans use and experience the technology?, and how do we capture those moments or interactions? Simple, use a customer journey map that will include: technology, processes, people, and physical evidence.

There is a relationship between journey maps and understanding your customers, prospects, or ideal customer. A journey map will provide an overall view from where you can draw a plan; it will give you and your team a “360 view” of your company relationship and the human aspect of that relationship.

There are two approaches you could use:

  1. Map individual interactions to pilot a customer experience program. It is the faster and easier route to start, provide quick wins, buy-in, and less resistance. It works well to adapt to sudden market changes such as a pandemic, industry disruption or digitalization.
  2. Map the overall experience with a high-level customer journey; this works well for an established company or a small program for a new company. A high-level customer journey map provides the starting point to understand the relationship between the service promised and the service delivered. It is a long-term approach with quick non-structural changes at the beginning for quick wins and adds cumulative value over time.

I want you to remember two points: number one, customer journey maps are living documents that adapt, and number two, CX is a continuous improvement program.

As the customers or users evolve and market conditions change. Using customer journey maps keeps an alignment between your business promise, users’ or customers’ expectations, and how your employees deliver on that promise. And it will keep your business on the path to your customer’s and user’s hearts and success.


Lastly, customer journey maps give that emotional connection, that most businesses lack. We talk about gains and losses; a customer’s journey, speaks to your company about the customer’s awes and pains. We humanize technology and business, we see beyond profits, and we create human connections that are meaningful and productive.

Top 6 customer experience best practices that leaders in EdTech need to know

Technology companies use human-machine interaction approaches and occasionally forget that customer experience goes beyond the product, and it encompasses all areas of the business. Many Edtech companies fail to follow customer experience practices that are fundamentals to engage teachers and students.

Customer experience is all interactions a customer, former customers, and prospective customers have with your company. It is not only about customer service, user experience, or marketing; it is end-users, influencers and decision-makers, those using your services, and those that left because they were unsatisfied—understanding the customer experience as an ecosystem is fundamental. Hence, customer experience is all interactions that a human has with your brand. It is not a project; it is a continuous improvement program.

As an Edtech leader or individual contributor understanding the best practices is a great way to engage with your target audience and make your voice heard. One mistake we commonly make when trying to excel in customer experience is to explain complex issues with many details, thinking that it will be easier to understand when it is actually more difficult to retain and digest.

Here are some customer experience best practices that leaders in Edtech can follow, trying to keep it simple:

1.        Benchmark your customer experience, understand your organization’s maturity level, create a clear vision for customer experience, a customer charter, define its strategy, and understand teachers’ and students’ actual needs and perceived needs.

2.        Provide choices based on your customer preferences. Maintain an agile customer journey mapping to add emotions and humanize your brand and technology.

3.        See customer experience as an investment, collect data by talking to teachers and students, leverage your customers’ voices, employees, and market, use the feedback to create action plans, and measure the results to demonstrate value.

4.        Create a culture of make it easy for customers to do business with you, reduce red tape, break down silos, and drop old fashion practices that add costs and pain.

5.        Be responsive, balance self-service options with real human interactions, and have a crisis management plan ready to go—a task force to tackle market changes.

6.        Use technology to deliver human experiences, balancing the right amount of automation, and assessing the impact on people, processes, and technology. Keep that personal touchpoint open. Not everyone is an early adopter.

Remember, sometimes, customers need to win, and the ultimate goal should be to generate good profits. Customer experience is beyond deploying surveys; it is a combination of all interactions within the customer journey. Don’t forget about incorporating the human voices into your brand promise and technology.

By following these six-customer experience best practices, you will never lose sight of your customers. You will hit the right balance between people, processes, and technology, saving your business money and generating an evergreen process that will bring referrals and positive word of mouth.

Let’s connect and talk about customer experience.

Understanding Your Customers’ Needs and Wants a Consultant’s Point of View

As a consultant understanding clients’ needs and wants is at the center of my practice. To connect with clients, I need to know what they want, their aspirations, and deliver what they need, providing the best solution for their problems.

I am a service provider to B2B and a Customer Experience (CX) practitioner. My motto is the “360 view” of my customers — meaning — that I need to understand my clients and, subsequently, my clients’ customers.

My clients want to stay relevant and innovative and often look at other successful companies, hot industry trends, or new shiny products for inspiration. Perhaps, the motivation is staring at them all the time. A vital component of growth is customers.

Let’s define the difference between the client’s wants and needs:

Wants are all the expectations, emotions, and desires clients would like to achieve.

Needs are all the actual outcomes, behaviors, and tangibles clients would like to have.

“Listening to customers is essential and understanding their aspirations and behaviors.” Alicia Freites

Although the importance of being a customer-centric company is not a new concept, the right steps to achieve a customer service focus are still hazy. Most of the companies will try to look for solutions without taking into account their customers’ wants or needs.

As a CX practitioner, I will start by applying frameworks and tools and simplify the customer feedback loop, to incorporate the knowledge into your organization processes. As Steve Jobs notably stated, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology, you cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it.”

CX has evolved recently, with technology, organizations that are leaders in the market understand that they need to create products and services that are customer-centric.

With this philosophy in mind, Oliver Kipp, Chief Customer Officer, Maritz stated, “Failing to engage customers on more than just a rational level is more than a lost opportunity for a brand. It’s a failure to recognize that even the most basic choices people make are informed — both consciously and unconsciously — by their emotions.”

Those organizations that understand the emotional relationship between their brand, technology, and CX strategy are those that developed a competitive advantage. The leaders in the market are those companies that listen to customers and implement changes to meet customers’ expectations and mainly adapt their people, process, and technology to meet customers’ demands.

In Singapore, accordingly, to CX University, most of the population are digitally engaged, and companies need to adapt:

98% of the population owns smartphones,
83% start a search online when looking at new products and services
66% bank or purchase online at least once a week
49% search online while in the store.
54% agree that companies risk losing customers if they don’t offer a great digital experience
Canada is not far behind these trends.

How can successful companies understand their customers’ needs and wants and, most importantly, get value from it using technology?

Well, as I mentioned before, there are many frameworks and tools in the market that will help organizations become CX and compete, and all start understanding your customers.

Leading companies spend a lot of money and resources to understand customers, but I have three simple steps process for you to get you started in the right direction.

First, do your research. Do as your customers do. Use google to get industry reports on your business industry, select a benchmark that you think you could achieve within the next six months. For example: Do your customers expect real-time interactions? Are your competitors responding in real-time? Is that a benchmark that you could achieve in the next six months?

The second step is to analyze. Go back and compare how you are doing, is there a gap or you are outperforming the competition? Are you providing those real-time interactions to your customers, or are you failing? Ask your customers how you are doing. Prioritize possible solutions to address any gap between your service delivery and your customer’s expectations. Do you have the budget to deliver real-time communications, maybe you are providing it already, find out if you are giving what your customers expect? Once you collect the data, use a simple prioritization matrix to analyze your options, and determine where to start.

Finally, design the solution. From the prioritization list, choose one option that you could do today — “Quick Win” — that will ease the pain for your customers. And choose a second option, “Major Project,” that will take you at least six months.

In conclusion, you don’t need to spend a lot of resources and look beyond to find shiny or expensive solutions. Most of the time, the answers are staring at you. When you align your products and services with your customers at heart, you are on the right path to becoming a CX leader.

If you want to learn more about how I could help you, I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/afreites/