While it may be true that virtue is its own reward, that idea is not always enough to motivate businesses to focus their efforts on good customer service. Sometimes they need big, scary numbers in order to get their attention.

Luckily, the infographic we’re sharing today from KISSmetrics has just that! There is a lot of great information to be found here about customer service and how much of an impact it can have on business. Here are 5 of the most eye-catching statistics we noticed:

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When we talk about customer appreciation and customer service, sometimes business-to-business companies feel a little left out. But they shouldn’t! Good customer service is good customer service, even if your customer is another business.

Today’s example site comes from a long-time Webs user whose website shows a commitment to their B2B customers in several ways. Dog Eat Dog, Inc. designs and manufactures custom mobile solutions for catering and retail clients — creating things like catering trailers, food trucks, and kiosks (how cool!). Here’s how Dog Eat Dog shows their customer focus through their website:

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In the back of your mind, you’re aware that your scheduling system is a little dated. You tell yourself that having customers call for appointments is charming, rationalizing that people appreciate the one-on-one attention. But having a scheduling system that relies on your availability and your clients’ willingness to talk on the phone opens your business up to lost customers — and revenue.

The good news is that there are plenty of great options available for small businesses when it comes to online booking tools. Services like BookFresh and Acuity Scheduling offer robust features at a very reasonable cost. With these features in mind, here are 8 reasons to get your booking online — today.

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In an effort to make sure we’re giving readers the advice they seek for their small business marketing questions, we frequently check in on the terms that are most searched for by our visitors. There is one question that you all seem to be asking search engines time and again: Where should I promote my website (or business)?

While there is no magic bullet, there are a number of tried-and-true means for getting your name out there where people (and search engines!) can find you. We created the Slideshare below to help you plan your strategy for promoting yourself to the world. Enjoy!

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I’ve personally always liked the old saying “measure twice, cut once”, especially when it comes to online marketing (bear with me here).

The saying intends to tell us that the best way to avoid regrets and mistakes is to over-analyze before you act. With that in mind, let’s talk about your holiday marketing plan. If this is the first year you’ve put together a comprehensive plan that includes things like email marketing, social media efforts, and alterations to your website and/or online store, you can probably see the value in having insights from previous experience right about now.

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Today’s article is a guest post from social marketing writer Lori Davis.

You sometimes hear opinions like “Businesses are cold” and “They don’t appreciate customers.” An unfortunate fact of life is that, by and large, this is true. When a popular brand shows appreciation to customers in some substantial way, it’s usually big news.

However, it’s only big news because it’s the exception and not the rule.

As a brand operating on social media, you have a great opportunity to change the way businesses are viewed by many customers out there. You can celebrate your customers and show your appreciation in numerous ways. After all, if not for customers, you wouldn’t have a business. So, let’s go over some ways to show your appreciation to fans and customers alike.

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Perhaps in a perfect world, small business owners would be able to turn on that “Out Of Office” notification, punch out, and enjoy a week or two completely offline just like everyone else.

But until that utopia manifests, entrepreneurs know that in order to keep their small businesses running smoothly and growing continuously, they require regular attention. Does this mean that small business owners should resign themselves to years of cancelled vacations and missed holiday celebrations? Certainly not. This is where the right tools and tech can make all the difference.

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As we begin wrapping up our series on holiday marketing preparations, it’s only appropriate that today’s example site focus on a Webs user site that is doing a great job with ecommerce.

Kudzu Soap Company in northern Georgia does a fantastic job of using their website to marketing and sell their handcrafted bath items. Let’s take a look at 4 ways Kudzu’s website is set up for success:

1. Dynamic homepage ads. When you first arrive at Kudzu’s page, you get a snapshot of everything that’s going on with the brand without having to navigate around. This is a great way to get your important messages across before people have a chance to get distracted or hit the back button. Within 15 seconds I already know that they have special offers on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve seen an image of their products and packaging, I know where they are located, and that they make handcrafted soaps, boy mousses, and sugar scrubs. Not too shabby for a 15 second first impression.

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The holidays are almost here, which for many means visiting with family and friends, eating until you feel like a stuffed turkey, major holiday sales — and a major barrage of holiday sale emails to go with them.   From November (and earlier) until Christmas Day, every retailer big and small will be emailing their customers multiple times with a variety of products and exclusive offers.

According to holiday projections by eMarketer, 2013 e-commerce spending will increase 15.1% this holiday season, and it’s a safe bet that email will play a big role in reaching out to big spenders.   No surprise there, since email is an easy and inexpensive way to reach many people at once.

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In last week’s post about getting your website ready for the holidays, we mentioned adding a page or pages of content as a strategy to improve traffic flow to your website. Today we’ll get into a little more detail about how — and why — to go about doing that.

First, come up with some keywords and key phrases you think your target audience might use to find what they’re looking for on search engines. Once you’ve got that list, think of ways you can modify those phrases to make them more specific to you. Adding things like your location (Des Moines Cupcakes) or something unique about your product (Des Moines Vegan Cupcakes) can make you more likely to rank on the first page of results because competition for those terms is not as stiff.

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