Slowing Down

Are you too busy?

We all live incredibly busy lives, often at 100mph without even registering what we’re doing and without being in the moment.  We have jobs, there may be children to take to school and take to activities or parties, we might go to the gym, try and have a social life and then spend quality time with our loved ones. 

There are a few simple things that you can take on board to start to slow down and maybe have time to think about self care – you might be like me and looking after number 1 goes to the bottom of the ‘to-do list’ every single day.

Switching off

If you run your own business, chances are you have your emails synced with your mobile phone meaning that you are ALWAYS connected to work.  You may have a ‘9-5 job’ where you have the same situation.  Try not to reply to work emails out of office hours (i.e. after 6pm).  We need to be able to switch off from work mode in the evenings and weekends allowing my already busy minds to unwind.

Slowing down

After a break from work or you’re normal routine, it’s obviously going to be busy catching up with emails and client work.  For some, a list is the ultimate organisation tool – ploughing through to tick everything off is extremely satisfying! However, we need to remind ourselves that not everything needs to be done right this instant.  Something’s can wait until tomorrow, next week or even next month.

Saying no

This leads on from slowing down. Some weeks our diaries are packed with work appointments, life appointments and social gatherings.  Stop and think about what you are saying yes to and start to say no to every invite or meeting.  We’re not going to miss out.  Busy people often find it difficult to just sit and relax some times, doing nothing.  Work on this, if only for 15 minutes day but it again allows you start to unwind and relax.

None of these points are new and groundbreaking, but essentially we want to keep that chilled holiday mode going for as long as possible!!

I think sometimes we also just need to take a step back and look at how BUSY we’ve become.

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Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2018

Our Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2018

With 2018 fast approaching we have been exploring New Marketing trends to look out for in 2018.

Here we discuss the 5 trends we believe will be the most influential next year. Let us know your thoughts…



Augmented Reality 


Augmented Reality is a fascinating way of enhancing a version of reality, created by overlaying digital information onto an image.  It allows consumers to not simply imagine but actually see potential purchases & designs in ‘real life’, aiding quicker and slicker purchasing.

Brands are quickly jumping on board. IKEA has rolled out an App called Place, which allows customers to preview furniture in their homes before they buy, increasing conversion and customer satisfaction.

This year the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X have also launched with new augmented reality experiences, which will inevitably encourage social media channels to follow suit with new ways of integrating AR onto their platforms.

There is a wide selection of Augmented Reality tools readily available to help businesses achieve 3 main goals:

  1. Streamline and drive sales
  2. Increase engagement
  3. Connect Print & Digital mediums

With Brands finding it difficult to stand out from the crowd, Augmented Reality is being recognised as a powerful tool within the Marketing world.

Here, at Local Pages we can offer iSmart Photo Augmented reality, technology which allows videos and slideshows to appear through your printed adverts. If this is something you would be interested in finding out more about, don’t hesitate click here to get in contact with us today.





Chatbots are providing customer interface which is instant and can be accessed 24/7, and they are quickly proving to be a successful marketing tool.

The instantaneity of the Chatbots has proven to be popular in a world where customers want issues solved quickly and all answers supplied immediately. These instant messengers save both time and money.

Chatbots also enable businesses the opportunity to customise their own ‘Brand Voice’ and send personalised messages directly to their users/clients, for a truly personable approach, rather than it feeling as though you are conversing with a robot.

In addition, business profitability can also be targeted, with Chatbots providing the opportunity for swift, easy transactions. 47% of consumers have already expressed they would buy directly from a Chatbot (HubSpot, 2017), with 26-36 year olds willing to spend up to £481.15 with a business via a Chatbot interaction (ubisend, 2017).

Between 2016 and 2021 Chatbot marketing is expected to grow at a compound rate of 35.2% (Marketsandmarkets, 2017), so expect to see a lot more Chatbots popping onto your screens!

If you are interested in finding out more about Chatbot Marketing for your Website click here to get in contact with us today.





The way in which we consume video is changing. Video is quickly becoming the number one fastest growing Ad format in the world and has been doubling Year on Year. By 2020 it has been estimated video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic, becoming the closest medium you get to a face to face conversation with your target audience (

As with Augmented Reality, Video Ad platforms are helping Brands stand out from the crowd, and allowing for a longer and conceivably more emotionally driven connection with their audience.

If you are looking at creating a company Video we can help you design, plan and produce one here at Local Pages.

Social Media is also a great platform, allowing businesses a quick and easy way to upload videos and reach a wider audience. We offer social media management packages to support your social media needs, and ensure you are offering up to date and relevant content to get the most out of your social media advertising.

Click here to get in contact with us today about your Video and Social Media needs.





Marketers have already been seeing the benefits of Geofencing technology, which allows the collection of information from consumer mobile devices. The technology allows marketers to learn a lot about their audience and in turn allows for businesses and services to target customers in ‘real time’ i.e. sending a promotional message to the customer when they are within a 1 mile radius, or have been searching their website.

This form of targeted hyper-local marketing will increasingly grow more popular and influential, especially for smaller, local businesses who want to engage with only the most relevant local shoppers who are most likely to spend.

According to, the click-through rate of Geofencing notifications on Androids is 13.6%, which by far exceeds that of generic push notifications, which are only 2%. This indicates sending relevant notifications at the most opportune time encourages increased interaction.

We truly believe in the power of local marketing and have seen this first hand. As experts in the local marketing business, we have proven that our specialised local marketing generates more leads creating higher conversion rates. Click here to find out more about all our products & services.



Personalised Content 







We are expecting to see a growth in personalised content within digital Marketing in 2018. Businesses have already begun to see the benefits of personal call to action marketing. StubHub, an online ticket exchange owned by eBay, reported a 42% improvement when users were given a personalized call to action (

Personalised content is also best used when different content is targeted to different types or groups of visitors based on their behaviour or other factors. Consumers have different intentions when visiting brands online, and having the ability to appeal to a wider range of people by tailoring digital content to personally appeal strengthens engagement with customers and can have a direct impact on website traffic and ongoing engagement.

As it happens, using Personalised Content doesn’t just mean customers are more likely to engage and buy your products they are also willing to pay more for them too! Consumers truly value a great personalised experience. If that means paying a little more, so be it. A survey from the content marketing institute suggests that 77% of customers will recommend, or pay more for a brand that provides a personalised experience. The better and more personal the experience, the greater the customer’s willingness to spend money on it. If the experience feels exclusive enough, customer will be willing to pay exclusive prices (

To find out how we can help you with Personalised content for your business website click here to talk to one of our team members today.

In summary, Marketing is becoming ever more complicated, strategic, personable, engaged, technologically advanced and altogether essential to businesses both large and small.

With over 200 years of industry experience we are experts in marketing, generating millions of new leads for our customers over the past 38 years. We can offer you advice on all your Marketing needs, so do not hesitate to contact us today for a friendly consultation with one of our team.

We recommend having a peek on . It makes for a really interesting read, highlighting how powerful & effective Marketing tools can be!





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The Pro’s and Con’s Of Owning a Business

For many, running your own business is a life-long dream, and whilst it does have some major points in the “Pro’s” column, there are also some challenges many new business owners face. This week, we thought we would take a look at the high’s and low’s of running your own gig.


Your business is your baby, and like most newborns, it doesn’t sleep! The amount of energy and effort you put into making your venture a success can feel overwhelming. Gone are the days of shutting down a computer and switching your brain to “social” mode, you will find that you
constantly have ideas whirring away in the back of your mind and a never-ending “to-do” list to keep you occupied! New businesses rarely become an “overnight success”, they are often the result of months, if not
years, of dedicated hard work and energy.

The High’s & Low’s

The responsibility for the success of your business is all yours, and that can feel pretty heavy at times, especially when you get to the point of employing other members of your team. That being said, the high-points are all yours too! Those days when you win a new customer, or a client is really happy with the work that you’ve done – they are the BEST. And the reason why you do what you do.

Employee Benefits

In essence, you no longer have any! When you kiss goodbye to being an employee, you leave behind a lot of what we like to call “comfort”. These aren’t necessarily the things that are a good enough reason to stay employed in a job or career that doesn’t inspire you, but they sure make it
“comfy”. We’re talking about a regular income, sick pay, holiday pay, and maybe your employer also made pension contributions on your behalf or offered private medical insurance. None of that exists when you become your own boss. At least not in the beginning, drawing a salary from your fledgling business can make you feel guilty, let alone paying yourself to sip Margaritas on a beach somewhere (not that you will have time for that – see point one).

For some considering setting up their own business this is the hardest and scariest thing to leave behind, understandably so, and business ownership is definitely not for everyone.


Unless your new business venture is running a bar or restaurant, branching out on your own can be pretty lonely at times. In the beginning there might not be team behind you, and you don’t always want to bore family and friends with your new-business woes. We would highly recommend getting a mentor, if you haven’t already. They can prove invaluable as a sounding board for those days when you can’t “see the wood for the trees”, and trust us, they happen!

People might not “get it”, even those that you love dearly. And that’s OK. We’ve often heard “you do what?” and “you can really make money from that?”. Don’t let others’ doubts or own “comfort-zone”-worries put you off reaching for your dreams. Ultimately, you become the master of your own destiny, which is pretty incredible. And when you love what you do, it honestly doesn’t feel like work.
Wishing you all of you business entrepreneurs out there every success! Comment below with what you wish you had known about being your own boss before you started, we’d love to hear your stories.

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Get Motivated: A Step-by-Step Guide For A Small Business

The kids are back to school and summer is over. We’ve always loved this time of year because it feels like a time to make a fresh start without the pressures we all put on ourselves in January to completely change “this” or “that” about our business, life or career. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you head into autumn motivated and ready to make some changes, and it’s as easy as 1,2,3.


You might have taken time to do this over the summer, but if not, why not do it now? It could be as little as a few hours one afternoon. Life happens at such a quick pace these days, just having a chance to change your scenery and breathe a little deeper can do you and your business the world
of good.

Give yourself the head space to think about the last eight months of the year. Ask yourself some poignant questions and be brutally honest with your answers. What were your goals? How are you tracking against them? Are you on track to achieve what you wanted to in the time frame you gave
yourself? If you are, then great – you should celebrate. But if not, why not? No excuses allowed.

This isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up but more one of reflection. We’re all caught up in the day to day madness that is running your own business, but without taking the time to look at where we’ve come from and where we’re heading you leave no room to manoeuvre, or to change

Once you’ve figured out what’s worked well for you, and what hasn’t, it’s time to adjust. You are the master of your own ship and it’s never too late to change course. Make a new set of goals to reach by year end. Make them SMART.

Time Based

There’s plenty of blogs and articles out there on goal setting and planning. Here are a few to get you started:


We would love to hear from you. Comment below with one of your goals – after all, sharing them helps keep you accountable!

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More Leads = More Customers? Think Again.

I am often reminded of getting back to basics to build revenues and profits in business. But none more so than when I am confronted with a business owner who shows me they need more new customers. If you really want to grow your business and you really want to do it fast, then take a look at grasping these few simple ideas.

You are already getting people contacting you, coming in, emailing you and so on. Your people are already messing up and not selling to anywhere near enough of these potential customers. Want to know just how bad it is, ask one of your friends to call your business and try to buy, just wait and see how they go.

Almost every business owner I meet believes that they are selling to the majority of prospects they come into contact with. Well, put bluntly, you are not. How do I know? After doing this exercise with hundreds of business owners, I have only twice been proven wrong.

For the next two weeks keep a record of every phone call, every email enquiry, every walk in every single prospective buyer that contacts your business. Ask every single one of them how they found out about your business and keep a record of it. Was it referral, direct search etc.? Then, at the end of the two weeks see how many of them have bought from you. If you think you are at about 6 or 7 out of 10, it will be about 3 or 4 out of 10. I have seen this with so many companies, even restaurants who think they get everybody, then measure the people that call versus the people that book, and the people that read the menu out front versus those who actually come in.

Your Conversion Rate is a massive opportunity. If it is lower than say 50%, then we’ve got to get to work!

First, you’ve got to start measuring it every day. That focus alone will get it up to 10% higher than it is right now.

Add to that, here’s another 11 ways to boost your conversion rate right now, this week:

  1. Get your salesperson with the best conversion rate to train everybody else for a day or two.
  2. Script your sales process. Use a lot of questions in the script (it’s NOT a sales pitch) and learn from what the best sales people are doing.
  3. Break your sales process down into each and every critical step and work on one step at a time.
  4. Measure your conversion from one step to the next and work on improving each step by just 10% more than it was.
  5. Work on the letters, brochures and other written or audio and video material you use during each step of the sales process.
  6. Use my magic question for phone selling, “Thanks for your call, just so I can help you best would it be OK if I asked you a couple of questions?
  7. Run a competition among your sales people for a week or two around the one area you need to see the most improvement in, then learn from the new ways they start doing things.
  8. Learn the critical buying step in your sale, for example in female fashion stores, it’s trying the clothes on, with it you have more than a 50% chance at making a sale, without it, less than 10%.
  9. Follow up and follow through, too many sales are lost by salespeople who can’t be bothered to follow up again and again and again at least 7 times.
  10. Make an offer that is either limited or a bonus offer or something to get customers to act now and to give sales people some ammunition
  11. Just plain ask people to buy, usually in sales training the one biggest reason sales people are not getting the sale is that they don’t ask for it.

Stay focused on your conversion rate for 3 months and watch the dramatic effect it has on your bottom line.

Once you’ve got it right, or at least much better than it is today, then and only then is it time to go to work getting more potential customers and investing more money into your marketing and fixing the marketing you are doing now.

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How to Conduct a Job Interview

The Interview Checklist

The key to a well prepared and well structured job interview is to have a clear view of the skills, knowledge and ability demanded by the job. You then need to use the interview to gather evidence to demonstrate whether the candidates meet these requirements. Please prepare well for the job interview, using this small business checklist as a prompt.


  • Re-read the advert, job and person specification.
  • If you are not seeing all the candidates, ensure that your short listing decisions are based only on the requirement of the job.
  • If you are not seeing all the candidates, sift according to criteria that is tangible from a CV i.e. headcount managed previously; operational background; achievements etc. Don’t second guess what a candidate may or may not be like or may or not have done just because it’s not on their CV. 67% of candidates omit crucial.
  • Ensure that you have prepared some standard questions. If you wish to ask additional questions, ensure that they are based on the person specification requirements for the job. These questions should be asked of all candidates to enable you to determine the best match against the job requirement.
  • Re-read all the application forms, and highlight any points which you want individual candidates to clarify (e.g. further information on qualifications or experience).
  • Arrange a suitable job interview room and make sure that you have diverted any calls and interruptions.
  • Remember that the application forms are confidential documents and should only be circulated to those people involved in the recruitment process.
  • Once you have conducted the job interview, mark your decision on whether to employ. Ensure that this is based on factual information and not gut feeling.  If you have decided to reject the candidate mark your reason where indicated on the back of the form.

The Job Interview Plan

  • Introduce yourself and any other interviewers
  • Put the candidate at ease
  • Explain the purpose of the interview
  • Outline the way the interview will be structured
  • Explain you will be taking notes


  • Information about the candidate that is related to the job
  • Use the criteria on the person specification
  • Identify points from the application form that need querying
  • Prepare questions in advance
  • Use open questions – move from easy to more searching ones
  • Listen and probe
  • Find out what the candidate expects from the job
  • Explore the candidate’s motivations. Are these more to do with rewards (such as money or status) or with job satisfaction?



  • Information related to the job. Summarise the main points of the job, department and company.
  • Remember the interviewer should only do 20-30% of the talking



  • Note down key points and remember that candidates are able to ask for copies of all interview notes


Wrapping up

  • Ensure there is enough time for the candidate’s questions and respond fully and positively
  • Inform candidates when they can expect to hear from you


And finally, restrict your role to

  • Asking questions
  • Clarifying queries
  • Keeping the conversation flowing
  • Providing information
  • Reassuring the candidates


After the job interview

  • Assess the candidates by using interview notes, personal specification, test results and candidate comparison forms
  • Inform all candidates of the outcome of their interview.
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Do small businesses need to get real about cyber security?

Katie Holland, Barclays Business Manager, examines the issue.

The prominence of the internet has changed the way companies of all sizes conduct their business. It has opened the doors for many SMEs to streamline their processes and generate additional opportunities in areas which previously might have appeared out of reach. However, it is not without some downsides, a major one being the growth in prominence of cyber crime.


Last summer a Government Security Breaches Survey found that nearly three quarters [74 per cent] of small organisations reported a security breach in the last year. This is a real concern, as is the variety and scale of the scams which are currently in the offing.


One example in early 2016 reports some cases of conveyancing fraud. In these instances criminals were said to have hacked into emails sent between solicitors and clients. The fraudsters, posing as the solicitor, then sent emails with instructions to transfer money from property transactions to a rogue account. The funds then disappeared.


As a lender it’s absolutely vital for Barclays to have a fraud prevention strategy in place. Plus a substantial, and active, fraud team alongside a raft of resources for individual and business borrowers. But, as a SME what more should you be doing?


The first prudent step is to ensure your business is fully protected, including the data in your possession. The lengths at which cyber criminals go to shouldn’t be underestimated.


SMEs could also be made aware that changes to any payment details attached to a transaction should be treated with suspicion. For example, if they are sent an encrypted email or asked for personal data by email, or anything that feels even remotely dubious, then they should pick up the phone and verify it directly with the party in question. The inclusion of cyber security and anti-malware protection will not only safeguard your business, but also provide an additional layer of protection for you, your customers and subsequently cement your long-term relationship with them.


Some of you may have seen Barclays latest advert which sees a seemingly trustworthy advisor asking for personal banking details whilst a voice in the background explains that his intentions are not genuine. The advert goes on to reveal a member of Barclays branch staff, who is a Premier Banking Manager, standing behind the fraudster and offering advice on how consumers can protect themselves.


This type of fraud is known as social engineering and it is the manipulation of situations and people that result in the targeted individuals divulging confidential information. It is one of the most prolific and effective means of gaining access to secure systems and obtaining sensitive information, yet requires minimal technical knowledge.


The advert is one way in which Barclays is raising awareness about these issues and we regularly host cyber crime events for SMEs locally most recently in Weston-Super-Mare.


From April 2016 Barclays will host a series of events specifically for businesses providing guidance on how they can protect themselves from cyber crime. For further information please speak to your Barclays Business Manager and more details about how to be cyber smart can be found here.

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5 Ways Business Continuity Plans Improve Profitability

As the manager of a business, no one understands or cares more about the success of your company. That’s why having business continuity in place should be a priority, not just because it’s best practice but because it’s good for your bottom line as well.

Last week was Business Continuity Awareness Week (16th and 20th May) and aimed to help businesses identify the potential returns on investment achievable from business continuity planning. As Information Technology (IT) is a key resource for many businesses this is a good time to review the IT Continuity element of your plans. The benefits of such a review is related to disaster recovery planning and future survival of the business; however it also includes potential increases in profitability through the identification of cost savings, efficiency gains and increased sales opportunities.

What is Business Continuity?

“..loosely defined as the capability of the organisation to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.”

(Source: ISO 22301:2012)

What are Disruptive Incidents?

  • Loss of Buildings or Utilities
  • Loss of access to Facilities, Equipment & Consumables
  • Loss of access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) Systems (Voice & Data)
  • Loss of access to Information and Data
  • Inability to source or access Emergency Finance
  • Loss of Partners, Suppliers and Supplies

This year alone, businesses have experienced disruption due to flooding, storms, fires, power cuts and cyber crime. Would your business be able to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident? If you don’t yet have a plan to cover all eventualities your business is at risk and could benefit from a Business Continuity Plan.

Business Continuity





Here are 5 ways that Business Continuity Plans Reduce Risk and Improve Profitability

1.Improve efficiency, develop systems for growth and use resources to increase revenue

Considering the effects of all potentially disruptive incidents relevant to your business and the risk they present involves reviewing business processes. This often reveals opportunities for cost savings and greater efficiencies.

A key area is in the use of new IT platforms and applications. Greater IT efficiencies means lower labour costs and better time management. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend more time with your clients and less time managing IT?

2. Become a more competitive supplier

Prepared businesses are more competitive to win contract awards and grow revenues.

If your business is part of a supply chain, or customers can choose between you and your competitors, you need to have a plan; one that will help you even if you don’t experience a disaster.

Government regulations or contractual obligations mean that to trade with certain time-critical Government functions, as well as supply chain driven industries such as the oil and gas sector and the manufacturing industry, having a tried and tested BCP is a must if you do not want to risk losing your customers and/or your license to operate.

Many organisations now require critical suppliers down the supply chain to have a BCP. So even if you’re a catering supplier, a construction company, a transport supplier or a cleaning company, you can be critical to your customers.

And BCPs are not just valuable to businesses whose customers are other businesses (B2B). Even consumers can be interested in your ability to continue providing products and services no matter what happens. Why not use the existence of your BCP to convince your customers that they are in good hands? This strategy can be applied to numerous sectors, in particular those where health and well-being are at stake, such as hospitality and catering, food suppliers, security providers and utilities.

3. Enhance your reputation and increase resilience

Having detailed plans in place for “the big bang” can also make a business stronger against the far more regular, minor mishaps of everyday life. Responsiveness to small incidents will improve exponentially, considering staff will have a stronger “what if” mind-set, making themselves and the company more resilient and enhancing your reputation.

4. Secure Investment or Funding

Those with a financial interest in a business such as investors and banks are also concerned about a business being sustainable and its ability to continue to operate should adverse events occur. A business continuity plan can help prove the resilience of your company.

5. Lower Your Insurance Premiums

In a recent survey amongst brokers and insurers by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), 83.3% of the respondents said they would either offer a discount or improvement of the terms of business interruption policies, if companies had a plan.

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How best to gather your customers feedback

“Please take a moment to give us your feedback”; it’s the question that will make most people groan with annoyance. It’s everywhere, right? Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, online retailers; everyone’s asking the question, but does it actually mean anything?

To a business owner, feedback is invaluable. It can tell them what they are doing right, or perhaps what areas require some immediate attention. If done properly it can be a powerful business development tool that increases client retention and sales. The tricky part is finding a sensible system that efficiently gathers feedback, without unintentionally winding up customers. Before jumping in and asking the question, think about these points:

  1. What was good AND bad?

It’s great to hear how happy customers are and how pleased they are with a business, but there’s not much that can be learnt from these positive comments. By asking a customer what wasn’t so good will prompt them to reveal areas of potential improvements and allow a business owner to make important decisions which ultimately, could improve customer retention and increase sales.

  1. Don’t forget your manners

If a customer takes the time to provide you with their feedback, then at the very least a business should respond to thank them for their comments and let them know that their feedback is appreciated. However this is done, the customer will appreciate knowing that their feedback has been acknowledged and that their concerns will be addressed.

  1. Sometimes it’s OK to talk to strangers

Customers may be more inclined to open up to an anonymous person, than to someone that works within the business. The feedback will be more genuine as a customer won’t feel pressured or worried about being honest. This also enables the business to concentrate on running daily operations and time to follow up on the feedback.


Then decide how to ask:

There’s a number of different ways to ask for feedback and the key is really knowing your customers and what may be of a hindrance to them. The most successful way of asking for feedback, is a good old-fashioned telephone call and a chat. In our experience, this has the highest response rate and the customer can simply say “no thanks” if they don’t want to talk. Other options include sending an email or creating an online form on your website to direct customers to, then they can fill this in at their own leisure and at a time that suits them if they so wish to.

Alternatively, if you want to make the investment, post them a printed feedback card. Ask them to fill in the card (ideally which has been postage pre-paid) and then pop it in the post back to you.

And finally, review and promote!

Don’t let the process be wasted, use your feedback to enhance your marketing efforts. Publish the comments on your website and via social media or include them in your email campaigns. Offer to include a link back to the customers website (if they have one), as a thank you – this will be beneficial to them, plus it may encourage more customers to provide their feedback.

Set aside time to go through the feedback and evaluate it to pinpoint any issues or concerns and make decisions as to how these could be addressed. It’s not the nicest thing to read your criticisms, but ultimately, it’s how a business learns to adapt and grow.

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