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A new year of hopes !

Today is 1st January, 2013. A lot of hopes for a better country , a better job , a better life and of course  better business.

Every year people start with fresh hopes for the coming year. Everyone take resolutions, some lasts for days and some for months and then we again fall into our comfort zones. Life is such. We think of doing something but when we don’t see the results we expected, we end up in defeat, and loose track.

Well, this post is not about New Year resolutions, this is also not a post to tell what you should do to stick to your resolutions. I am writing this post to share my mantras for this coming year with my fellow entrepreneurs.

1) Go beyond being Social – Well, it’s a well known fact, that you got to be social, but 2013 will be more than just being social. Today, you’ve got to be all around the web to get and interact with your customers. You just can’t think of creating a Facebook page or a twitter handle and that’s it. People will go beyond just creating a page or a twitter handle. This year will be a year of niche communities. Everyone will try to have smaller communities which will cater to the niche they belong to. For example. Create a community of fashion lovers for your fashion portal, create a community of app users if you are in an application development business. If you are in customer service, create a community of all who are into customer service and share your best practices with each other.

2) Don’t just sell products, sell value : It’s high time that the businesses start selling value instead of just selling a product or service. With such a fierce competition in the market, getting customers is not enough. More than just getting the customers, it’s important to keep them. 2013 will mark the beginning of an era where retaining a customer will be more important than just getting them. Today, customers are more informed than anytime else. Customers today can promote or detract your company more than anytime else. You got to keep them or they will not only go away, but will take away hundreds of more customers with them. It’s a fact that people are ready to pay more for value. So, don’t just create a product or service, create a value proposition for your customers.

3) Spend more on customer service : If you are one of those who think customer service is just about answering queries. think again ! Today customer service has evolved more than just answering the queries. Customer service today is about proactively answering the queries. It’s about offering more than what is obvious. Customers today are aware of their rights. They know how to use their rights. So, if you think just by answering the queries, you can keep them as customers, you are wrong. You will have to invest more in customer service this year. Customer service has evolved to a level, where you got to know your customers to an extent of their personal liking and disliking. With so much customer information at hand, it has become all the more important to store that data and mine it to get the best out if it. You should be able proactively know what customers are looking for and should be able to provide it. Most important thing is to know the channel where the customers are coming from. Cos, today a customer can be anywhere but on phone, you could get a twitter complaint, a Facebook post or an email or you might get an sms. Businesses should be able to match the channel the customers are coming from. Customer expectations are rising but so are the means to live up to them. A business, we should know what our customers expect and how to live up to those expectations.

4) Adopt New Technologies : The world of technologies is changing ever so rapidly, that you won’t even get to know when your current systems went obsolete. Businesses will have to be brilliantly adaptive to the latest technology trends in this year. Technology has so much to offer today that its getting increasingly difficult to match the pace. But more than matching pace, this year will be the year of adapting to the technologies. Adapting to the new technologies will help you grow and retain your customer base. So, go ahead and learn and adapt to new technologies.

5) Be and Do Abnormal this Year : Yes, think fresh, think beyond being just normal. A lot of times we just keep thinking of doing something but we don’t do it. We feel that it might not work. It’s okay if it doesn’t work but at least try something new this year. Customers are open to experimenting more than ever. Customers, users today are ready to experiment along with you. Don’t be afraid of asking help. Go out and shout , ask for help from your customers, users, seek their feedback, do new things and you will come out a winner. Life is full of surprises and you never know what’s in store for you. Go out and do everything you wanted to do and come out with flying colors.

With this I wish a very Happy and a Prosperous New year to all my fellow entrepreneurs. May all of us get the best out of the coming year.

Originally posted here

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