5 Things I Learned from a Freshbooks Presentation on Making Love to Customers

Mike McDerment, Freshbooks’ CEO, was the first speaker at the AIM conference.

His presentation called “How to Make Love to your Customer” was a great start to get the attendees thinking about creative internet marketing strategies.

Freshbooks is a great example of a product/service filling an important need. It offers simple invoicing for small businesses/consultants so that we can focus on the more exciting parts of our businesses.

Here are 5 points I took from the presentation

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Social Media is great for Unexpected Publicity

A Freshbooks blog post about a new Triscuits flavour led to an article in a New Zealand newspaper. (True and complicated story!)

Also, a follower of @freshbooks on Twitter got stood up and tweeted about it. The guys at Freshbooks didn’t think that was right, so they decided to send her flowers. She wrote a blog post about her experience complete with a picture of the flowers and the note.

Social Media is great for Customer Relations

The Freshbooks team has also embraced social media in an all-encompassing way. Even optimizing their webpage for social media users, rather than SEO.

Michael told us stories about how social media interaction with customers paid dividends in goodwill & buzz. And if you follow Freshbooks on Twitter, make no mistake, you are being listened to.

Go the extra mile, it is not very crowded

One of Freshbooks’ selling points is whenever you call them you will get an actual human being answering right away. Pretty cool and very rare.

I also received an example invoice in the mail about a week after I signed up. It was very cool to see my name on such a professional-looking document. Knowing clients will see something like this, with very minimal effort and money spent on my part, makes me very happy!

Make it as easy possible for customers to work with you or use your site

If if it is hard to work with you or your website, you will be missing out on a lot of business.

The night after the presentation, I signed up for an account. I was astounded at how easy and non-threatening the sign up process was! (Threatening would be a long list of inputs with the dreaded red stars for required fields)

All they wanted to start was my company name, email address, and a name for my freshbooks-specific site. Then they coaxed the rest of my info out in the next few pages. It was a great experience and I hope we can use some of those principles for Waldii’s sign up process!

Build your site for the User not Google

Mike showed the transformation from the typical copy intensive website into a more social version which focuses more on features, and what people say about Freshbooks.

The site also does a good job on putting the focus on the key things they want the customers to do: “trying it for free” and “take the tour.” It seems obvious but a lot of websites don’t get the idea of pushing the focus to actions you want your user to do… GO TO MY CONSULTING PAGE! lol

Customer testimonials are also featured prominently all over the home page.

It is obviously still important to be strong on Google and they are number one for a search on “online invoicing.”

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Freshbooks’ way of business represents a total focus on the customer’s needs. This is the best way to run a business, because it encourages referrals (most of their new customers are referrals) and gets people talking. e.g. this post!

If you are not focusing on the needs of your customers, your business won’t be around for very long.

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