Dave and Kim Kolb share experiences in growing their business, Hightouchweb.com – ideas that could help grow your design business.

After meeting at a resort, falling in love and being laid off at the 2000 tech bubble burst, Dave and Kim decided it was time to build their own Web company.

By combining and complementing their strengths in strategy, design and marketing, HighTouchweb.com was born.

MP3 audio interview of Dave and Kim Kolb, has them candidly sharing:

  1. Finding motivation in each other and maintaining a "CAN DO" attitude, to get through the tough times.
  2. Have fun doing it - Love what you do and "whatever you do", do it well.
  3. Taking time to follow up with every client (Kim sends personal welcome cards to every one of their customers).
  4. Dave shares his feelings on building their own CMS and the pain of using lots of 3rd party open source plug-ins, that didn't always work.

In their words:

  • Keep it simple and excel at the basics.
  • Don't be all things to all people, you'll drive yourself crazy.
  • Know who you are and what you do.

A Business Catalyst feature that benefits their clients:

"We view InContextEditing as the strongest sales tool within the tool set that BC offers. You can take a mere mortal and have them updating their website in no time with little or no training. The power this gives the client is priceless. They feel like they are actually participating."

I hope you enjoy hearing some of their story as much as I did.

Adam :)

Click here for the mp3 interview of Dave and Kim Kolb.

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In the last post, we looked at some great examples of how you can Generate New Leads using BC.

This is the final part in our "6 Online Business Stategies" series, and we're capping it off by looking at how you can "Build Customer Loyalty" as a strategy for your Online Business.

Help Your Clients Build Customer Loyalty

Attracting new customers to your site is a time consuming and expensive task in itself, but many business owners often forget to use their Online Business in catering to the needs of their existing customers.

Switched on business owners are applying subscription models to a widening range of businesses to generate a recurring cash flow from a loyal customer base. They're reaching out to their existing customer base by using email marketing and personalizing the online shopping experience by offering discounts, vouchers and recurring billing options.

Here are some great examples of how you can build customer loyalty using BC:

Art Needlepoint - encouraging newsletter subscriptions...

This beautifully designed site encourages customers to suscribe to the newsletter on the "Sales & Specials" page by promoting a Buy 3 Get 1 Free offer for registered members. Buy 3 Get 1 Free is a great tactic that Art Needlepoint has used to gain their customers permission to send mail emarketing to them and follow-up on a regular basis.

Another benefit of subscribing is the Refer A Friend system. Every time a customer refers a friend and that friend makes a purchase, the customer is credited with a $10 gift code. This is a great way to encourage newsletter subscriptions via word-of-mouth or referral marketing, helping your clients expand their customer base.

Kampai Wine Experience - offering recurring billing...

Designed by Receptive Technologies, this Online Business offers quarterly recurring billing and delivery as part of their Kampai Wine Club. By automating the back-end transaction process, Kampai are simplifying the shopping experience for customers, allowing them to focus on the great service being provided rather than manually organizing the billing.

Subscription Billing is a great model for encouraging customer loyalty and we're seeing more and more consumable/perishable products (especially in the boutique end of the market) being sold using this model. For example, you can sell weekly catering or boutique deli/grocery deliveries, monthly magazine subscriptions, or yearly access to downloadable content on your client's site. Think about how you can help your clients by implementing recurring billing and try it out today.

Best Friend NYC - personalizing the customer experience...

Best Friend NYC maintains customer loyalty by personalizing their shopping experience. By joining "The Best Friend Club," customers are given access to a range of exclusive features such as personalized product suggestions, a "favorites" section, and special discounts. Best Friend NYC are making extensive use of our Secure Zones feature to implement this functionality.

As a member of the club, you also receive a "Birthday Present" for your dog, based on the date you enter when signing up. By personalizing the online experience and making the customer feel as if they have been given individual consideration, Best Friend NYC keeps their customers (and their pets) smiling.

Selling the 'Build Customer Loyalty' Strategy To Your Clients

There is a familiar theme in the three sites we've looked at today - they all succeed in maintaining a strong relationship with their customers through personalization and regular communication.

This strategy is about keeping in touch with satisfied customers and periodically reminding them why they bought from you in the first place - all with the aim of encouraging repeat visits and purchases.

Help your clients build customer loyalty by:

  • Promoting newsletter subscriptions and using Email Marketing to stay in touch
  • Implementing subscription billing to generate automated, on-going cash flows
  • Personalizing the customer experience to keep them coming back

That's it for the "6 Online Business Strategies" series - we hope you've learnt some useful hints and tips for building powerful Online Business for your clients.

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