When you hear the term ROI, I am betting you are thinking money. When I buy this stock, what will be my return. If I invest in a business, will I get my money back. According to Wikipedia, ROI, or Return on Investment “is the concept of an investment of some resource yielding a benefit to the investor.” Basically it means whatever you invest, be it money, time or effort, you are expecting some form of benefit.
Often I am asked by clients to help them get across the idea that using a customer relationship application, like ACT, has good ROI. It’s not money they are interested in – well, maybe ultimately in increased sales – but more so in the power of customer retention through good practices.
Taking it a bit further, say you are considering an exercise program. The investment is your time, sacrifice (think desserts) and increased discipline to get the benefits – better health and appearance. Anything well done requires extra effort.
When we consult clients on SEO, Social Media, and writing Blogs, the most common complaints I hear is the client doesn’t have enough time or where do they get ideas for the social media. The discussion then turns to what is their expected ROI – what are they hoping will get accomplished by increasing their SEO and social media. Do they want to get the word out about a new product? Is it to show expertise in a field? Answering those questions helps drive the answers to “what do we write.”
At a conference last week, I must have used the term ROI five times, and in different cases each time. That’s when it hit me that it would make a good blog article. When you start a new project, or contact a new vendor, or look at a new application, make sure you have what you expect as the end results. That will be your benefit. Then you can better judge whether or not the investment will generate a good return.
Investment means effort. What do I need to invest in order to get a benefit in return. It even pertains to hiring us as consultants. What’s in it for the customer? What will they get back in return for investing in our services? Every business needs to be able to answer that question – and quickly. Think about it as your ROI elevator speech.
In summary, whether it's deciding to not eat that awesome cheesecake, or deciding if you really need to spend the time documenting that sales call, it's all about the end result.