How to Keep Your Job … and Your Business
A wise mentor of mine once told me, "The best way to keep your job is to do your job." The same can be said these days for keeping your business. In times of high stress like now, I believe that we all must remember to do "the basics," and do them well. While it may sound overly simplistic, I'm reminded that most — more than half — B-to-B catalog companies aren't performing the basics well. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to see if your business has all the basics covered:
1. Are you using RFM analysis to refine your circulation plan on a monthly basis?
2. Are you enhancing your RFM analysis with product purchased and order channel data?
3. Does your Web site work? (This question may sound silly, but more than 70 percent of site abandonments happen because the shopper perceives the site doesn't work!) Here are some examples of areas where you site's performance may not be optimized:
- Does your site return zero or error search results more than 2 percent of the time?
- Do your pages take more than one second to load?
- Do you ask customers to view more than six pages before completing an order for any one item?
- Do you ask for payment before showing shipping and handling charges?
- Does your site rank and show up on the first page of keyword search results?
- Are your online sales growing by more than 10 percent?
- Are you acquiring 30 percent-plus of all new customers online, for free?
4. Are your telephone customer service reps empowered to solve 90 percent-plus of all problems they're presented with on the first call?
5. Are you tracking when and in what shape your catalogs are received in-home?
6. Is your catalog's copy and photography selling or merely informing?
7. Do customers rave about you? (If not, you have work to do!)
8. Is your employee turnover, including your call center, less than 20 percent per year?
9. Do you have multiple sets of numbers around your business that can't be reconciled easily?
10. Are you driving your plans and programs — and your business — or simply reacting to daily problems?
I suggest in these troubled times that we simply turn off or tune out all the depressing news and focus on doing the right things the right way. If we simply do that, we'll survive to see a better economy and healthier businesses.
Click on the “Post a comment” icon below or e-mail me at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com and/or post your comment on this site.
Terence Jukes is president of Ability Commerce, a 140-person firm that designs, builds and runs e-commerce and related marketing programs for catalog companies. He can be reached at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com.