Monthly Archives: April 2016

Organization: The Foundation Of Top-Notch Customer Service

Think of the last interaction you had with a business – maybe a local restaurant or shop, a medical facility, a call center. No matter the business, was it a pleasant experience or a less than ideal one? Given the choice, is it a business you’d interact with again? If you were satisfied with the level of customer service you received, most likely the answer will be yes. If you were not satisfied with the level of customer services you received, chances are the answer will be no.

Businesses are constantly striving to improve their customer service because happy clients mean repeat business and referrals. The old adage than an unhappy client will tell seven people about their experience is true. And in this day and age of digital connectivity and social media, one bad review can have a detrimental impact.

Successful businesses know that people are their greatest asset. They also know that these people need to be equipped with solid processes, systems and workflows to manage every aspect of the customer experience each and every time. An organized business operates consistently and more seamlessly than one that is constantly recreating the wheel.

In many businesses however, this foundation goes overlooked. Team members get busy, each working in their own silo. Turnover occurs and training is inadequate. Though owners and managers may set out with the best intentions, time constraints and day-to-day client demands often derail even the best attempts to standardize. Businesses that do not take a step back and commit the time necessary to standardize and document operations with careful thought to each client interaction will have an infinitely harder time getting ahead.

Start by mapping each step of a customer’s journey interacting with your business. No piece is too small or trivial to document. From lead through initial and ongoing outreach, to order processing/service delivery and follow-up, write down scripts, IT steps, etc. Document how new team members will be recruited, hired, trained and evaluated. Work piece by piece until it’s all in your Operations Manual.

It will never be possible to standardize every possible interaction and plan for every contingency. Customers are unique and different requests/challenges come up over time. This is why the Operations Manual should be a living document where the name of the game is implement, test, refine. When you develop a new process or refine a stale one, document it. And hold yourself and your team accountable for following the documented process each and every time.

According to Michael Gerber in The E Myth Revisited, “The purpose of a system [is] to free you to do the things you want to do. The System produces the results; your people manage the system.” Organizing and documenting your operations gives your team a manual by which to operate, where the rules of the game are known, and continuous improvement is embraced. It also gives your customers a consistent experience each and every time, so they know what to expect when they work with you. A consistently positive experience keeps customers coming back and telling their friends about you.

Which Side of the 20/5 Rule Is Your Company On?

Raising your blood pressure is not generally viewed as a good thing… but there is one area I know you will be happy to see it go up a bit… on a regular basis. It all depends on which side of the 20/5 rule you are sitting on…
The 20/5 Rule is simple to understand and everyone instinctively knows it to be true. It focuses on what people talk about… what they tell others about you. It focuses on “Awesome Customer Experiences” as opposed “Terrible Customer Experiences.” There is far more conversation generated on social media channels and in person of BAD EXPERIENCES than there are of WOW EXPERIENCES.

On average, when people are asked to share their experiences, we find they share 20 NEGATIVE experiences vs. 5 AWESOME experiences… the 20/5 rule. It is much easier for people to remember bad experiences they have had than it is to recall really incredible experiences.

Here is a simple test you can give your own leadership teams sometime in a meeting… it will be enlightening to prove my point. I have given this this test to many groups and here’s how it works and why I find interesting…

  • Give everyone two sheets of paper… with the numbers 1 through 20 listed down the left side
  • Ask them to take the first sheet and label it “Awful and Ugly Experiences”
  • Take the second sheet of paper and label it “Incredibly Awesome and Memorable Experiences”
  • Now ask them to start writing about their experiences on both sheets… without lots of detail but some highlights they remember about them
  • Give them 20 minutes total time… asking them to complete as much as they can on both sheets
  • Collect all the papers and total up the numbers in both columns for the group… the ratio will be very close to 20/5

When you discuss this with the group you find some very interesting comments… primarily focused around two primary areas…

  1. It was very easy to recall the awful experiences… they jumped to the front of their mind and were usually some of the most recent ones they have had
  2. They had to really think about the awesome experiences and usually say this was actually quite difficult to recall some that were really incredible and memorable

Let’s go back to the blood pressure discussion for a minute. After this exercise, I can guarantee you that when they were thinking about the negative experiences their blood pressure went up a bit… and not for a good reason. They were tense, stressed, and anxious as they recalled these painful experiences. If you are doing this in a room you can watch their faces grimace a bit and feel the tenseness in the room. But when they are writing about their positive experiences, their blood pressure went up a bit as well… for good reasons. They were happy… you could even see some smiles on their faces when they were writing about their awesome experiences. Both caused it to rise… but only one caused them to smile at the same time.

But the reason you get so few awesome experiences is because they don’t write down or remember their great experiences… it only happens when the experience is awesome, incredible, remarkable, and WOW! Most customers are almost comatose when they interact with businesses because it’s the same old thing over and over again with no reason to perk up and say WOW this is incredible! They might be great… but they aren’t incredible and they aren’t memorable.

The best companies change that… they get WOW from their customers. Today, if you get WOW consistently and deeply you create ADVOCATES… The Holy Grail in today’s commoditized world. Because now these advocates can spread massive WORD OF MOUTH about how awesome you are to thousands thanks to the power of social media. No longer do you need a massive amount of marketing… you just need more ADVOCATES/CUSTOMERS singing your praises and doing it for you!!


This is a game changer… stop worrying about tweaking all your efficiency plans. Build a strategy to be one of the top 5 companies your customer can’t wait to tell others about. Let your competition worry about these and they will be in the 20 companies that either deliver bad experiences or they might deliver great experiences but they still don’t get talked about.

If you are in the TOP 5 you have established a solid BRAND and true DIFFERENTIATION. Now you have not only raised your customer’s blood pressure a bit but you have probably raised you’re own as well… in a positive way and for the right reasons! What side of the 20/5 Rule are you on today? Give the test to your leadership team and then create a strategy to be one of the 5 that get their customers to do their marketing for them… CREATE MORE ADVOCATES!

How to Maximize Your Customer Dollars

One of your employees comes to you with a customer issue and wants $200 to resolve it. Do you say yes or no? I know… it depends.

Let’s presume you say, “NO we can’t afford to spend that amount on this customer… they aren’t one of our top customers.” As it turns out they are a solid customer but not one on your top 20%… and you religiously follow the 80/20 rule of only making exceptions for your top customers. The customer is upset because their experience wasn’t great and you didn’t help the situation by not offering any concessions… they left. The customer decided they must not be important enough to you, based on how they were treated, so they decided to go check out your competitors.

Something else happens along the way and another customer isn’t happy with their experience and another employee wants to fix the situation by offering them a concession. They, too, aren’t in your top 20% and so you don’t offer any relief to this customer… they leave as well. For similar reasons, they decide it’s time to check out the competition to see if they offer a better experience and are easier to work with than your company.

It happens again… and for similar reasons. Now management decides this isn’t a good trend to have happening so they want to gather the team of 10 people together (from marketing, sales, customer service, and product) to assess the situation and try to figure out what is going on here and how they can stop losing customers.

Let’s do some simple math… some customers defected because of the poor experience and this might have cost you a few thousand dollars. Getting a team of people together for several meetings also has a cost to it… both for their time and the opportunity cost of what they don’t get to do while they are in these meetings.

At the end of the meetings, the outcome will most likely be to figure out how they can improve their customer experience so they don’t have to give concessions to customers… and they should have given the concessions to these customers because it was the right thing to do. Did you really need a meeting to figure this out or could you have just looked at the trends?

The other question to answer is, “What is the “cost of acquisition vs. the cost of retention for the company.” Acquisition has always proven to be a higher cost than retention. Now the company is out the revenues of the “solid customers” they just lost and now you have to invest far more money to acquire new customers to make up the revenue shortfall. Overall this is going to be an economic drain for a period of time since the revenue stops immediately but the acquisition effort takes time.

The final question to answer is, “What are the customers that just left going say about you in the market… in-person and on their social networks?” Nothing good… in fact it’s pretty much guaranteed it will be bad because of the way they felt they were treated. So now the loss is far more than a few customers that left… it’s the future loss of all those who will most likely never become customers because they trust the opinions of the customers that just left. We live in a time where 90% of the people believe the recommendation of a friend or connection. This means if a future customer talks to one of your lost customers, 90% of the will trust their opinion and not want to do business with your company. This is not a good scenario no matter how you look at it.

When you break down some of the potential costs a company can incur by not having a great experience and not working with their customers to deliver an incredible experience, they add up very quickly. Your customer costs are well out of sync with the budgets you have available for supporting, acquiring, and retaining them. Somehow that $200 for each of these customers pales in comparison to these actual costs you most likely will need to incur to fix the situation.

Two key issues and solutions jump to light in this situation…
First, it’s important to market and sell the right “Personas” for your desired experience. The famous phrase, “You can’t be all things to all customers” is more relevant today than ever before. If you are selling to your desired Personas and customers in different Personas come along, you are better off to let them go to your competitors because of the “ripple effect” described above. So the key issue is not identifying and understanding your desired personas. The Solution is to strategically identify and fully understand the Personas you want to have as customers so there is no misunderstanding about who you want as customers today and into the future that will help you grow your business.

Second, regardless of the type of customer, fix their issue and give them the best experience possible… until you can figure out if they are the right Persona. Given how expensive customer acquisition is these days, you are better off finding ways to make them happy in the interim while you figure out if they are your ideal Persona or not. If you are going to “fire” them as a customer, you can do it strategically down the road and minimize the negative impact.

The key issue is to not force them to leave until you have figured out they are not the right Persona for your organization and you have a plan about how you are going to fire them. The Solution is to invest the time up front to identify your desired Personas and know how you can best help them get what they want so they help you get what you want. If they don’t fit into your strategy, the second part of the solution is to determine the best way to fire them. Determine the best way to let them go where there aren’t going to be serious repercussions down the road, if possible. If they are truly the wrong Persona for your business, then there is less danger of them talking to your ideal Personas since they probably don’t interact with each other.

Both of these solutions will help you keep your Customers and Budgets in alignment and in sync… not to mention the likelihood minimizing the loss of revenue. This will give some more time and opportunity to develop a strategy to find the best way to move forward and identify your ideal customers. Now you can develop a solid plan for how you are going to create an incredibly awesome experience for your desired Personas… while not losing significant revenues or reputation.

A Guide To Business Management Services

Keeping customers happy at all times is the key to business success. Your reputation depends on how happy your customers are; so the quality of the products and services is essential. There are various ways to achieve this, and it can be done by offering great deals and rewarding loyal customers, as well as having a helpful and convenient customer service line. Other tactics can include resolving queries, such as refunds and returns, as well as offering help and advice for breakages and repairs when a product stops working. This may involve keeping spare parts at hand to send them to the customer for any repairs needed.

Spare parts management is an important aspect considered by many businesses, as they need to ensure that the right spare part and resources are available to the customers in the correct place and at the correct time, when required. Spare parts are additional parts that are sometimes needed for a functional object, for example, a car, a boat or an engine, which may be used to repair damage caused.

Spare parts are not always available, due to additional costs that the business may face for stocking these. Customers might not need these parts and storage can be expensive, as keeping an inventory of such parts also incurs extra fees. Parts may also not be available when they are needed from such a supplier. Companies do need to keep spare parts at hand as and when customers require them, otherwise their satisfaction level could drop, and the customer may need to wait a long time to fix their item. Businesses should, therefore, plan in advance and keep a relevant amount of spare part stock in storage for when it is required. Storage costs will also need to be factored in, so that companies can still maintain a decent profit margin at the same time.

There are many ways to keep your customers happy, which is vital to encourage repeat business and keep them loyal to your brand. Keep your business up to date and provide the latest news and deals to your existing customers to keep them interested and encourage repeat business. Offer a loyalty reward scheme to make customers feel valued and appreciated. At the same time, you should try to attract new consumers. It will enable your business to grow year on year and allow you to take over a larger market share above any of your competitors.

The world of business is constantly changing, and competition is fierce. Keeping up with the latest consumer trends and meeting these needs is essential to staying fresh and innovative. Implementing a robust marketing plan is vital to business success and growth. This may include both traditional methods such as flyering, posters and door to door leaflet distribution, as well as some newer techniques. For example, email marketing, mobile ads and social media campaigns have become the latest promotional strategies in the world of business. These can also be combined with billboards, television commercials and radio ads should your budget allow for this.

Building Solid Connections With Your Clients

The relationships that you share with your clients is the bread-and-butter of your business. If you aren’t taking those connections seriously, it is certainly time for you to do so. You must initially establish a connection and then you will fortify that connection so that it is enduring and solid.

The process of building solid relationships

There is no doubt that it is not always so easy to build and maintain relationships with people on a professional level. When it comes to building relationships on a personal level, it may seem as though it is easier to accomplish and less stressful on the whole. However, sometimes, you may feel as though building solid business connections is another thing entirely. As a business owner, you may find that you are faced with some challenges that you didn’t (or couldn’t) anticipate. One of those challenges may be reconciling the idea that you want the other person to buy something. If you are involved in a relationship in which there is no ultimate goal, you will just move along nicely with the other person in that relationship. On the other hand, if you are in a relationship in which the other person understands that you have an eventual expectation that he or she will buy something (whether it is a product, a service, or both) at some point in the future, that will probably put more of a strain on the relationship. In that case, it needs to be really solid, to begin with.

The first thing that you need to understand is that in order to have a successful relationship with the other person and have any hope of that relationship lasting well into the future, you need to do certain things in the beginning so that it holds up and weathers any storm that comes along. The concept applies to all businesses, no matter what size. After all, you are dealing with human beings and human beings have feelings and needs, just like you have feelings and needs. That emotional connection must be your first objective. In fact, without it, you will not advance to the next step in the process. There are many different ways that you can approach relationship building and you will really need to see which approach works most effectively for you. However, one thing that is for sure is that you need to build relationships and build them well because your professional success depends on that. It always will.

Push the WIIFM? concept

No matter how amazing your products and/or services are and no matter how awesome you are, if you don’t have the ability to consider the other person before everything else, you will not become successful. You must subscribe to WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) concept. In other words, you must learn to think differently than you may have been thinking up to this point. The other person’s wants and needs are all that should be important to you and to your business. You should bear in mind at this juncture that if you are able to give the other person what he or she wants and needs, you, in turn, will get what you want and need at the same time (or shortly thereafter). When it comes to your website and other aspects of your online presence, you should make sure to have the other person in mind before you even develop any aspect of your online presence. If you are able to do that, you will be surprised at what positive results you are able to achieve.

Interaction is essential

Going back to the concept of connecting with human beings, it is important to understand that once you have established a connection, the next thing that you will want to do is to nurture that connection and make it as strong as it can possibly be. You will want to make your interactions interesting, compelling, and valuable. However, that doesn’t mean that you can also make them entertaining and humorous if that is appropriate. People generally react well to that (unless, of course, they don’t have a sense of humor)! Of course, you will be able to judge if a sense of humor is appropriate in any given situation. You can use your discretion and you will most likely be okay.

Show them your interesting personality

The fact of the matter is that many businesses nowadays are made up of relatively young people. That means that you need to speak their language. It is not a bad thing to think that young people think differently than more mature people but it is a fact of life. It is critical to your success that you find a way to establish enough common ground so that you can see eye to eye. Nothing is carved in stone. You try one thing and if that doesn’t work, you try something else. Probably, you will touch upon the connection that works.

Try to see things from the other person’s perspective

No matter what your age, you still need to be as flexible as possible, as long as you don’t surrender your principles. Compromising to the point where you don’t have anything left to yourself of your business will not do anyone any good at all. Embrace new concepts (if they make sense) and be open-minded when it comes to trends. On the other hand, if something doesn’t make sense, there is nothing wrong with your communicating that (as long as you approach it in the right way).

Connect on a one-on-one basis

The truth is that human beings love to feel that they mean something to someone. If you connect on a personal level, you will establish that feeling and it will be one of the important drivers of the relationship. The more you engage with the other person, the stronger your relationship will become. Engaging online is fine but you should also create opportunities to engage in person, one-on-one. You may be surprised at how much your relationship will benefit from that.


Building solid connections with your existing and prospective clients will really pay off for your business eventually. Of course, just like anything meaningful in life, building a solid relationship takes effort and time but, if you do it right, you will get so much more out of it than you put into it. Remember to always respect the other person and to recognize how lucky you are to be sharing a relationship with that person. One final thought: you must be patient when it comes to building relationships. You will end up with something very valuable and very meaningful but you need to recognize that the journey is an important part of the experience as a whole.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

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The Best Way to Select the Right Telemarketing Partner

One basic question: why call for a telemarketing partner in the first place? As person who owns a certain company, you cannot ‘manhandle’ everything – and hiring in house manpower generally is a wearisome task. You have to train, equip, supervise, and monitor your staff time to time, which may be wearing on your end. On the other hand, whenever you outsource your business process to a trustworthy partner with years in the industry, this will provide you with chance to focus on tasks that matter – and that’s the core area in your organization.

Listed below are quick steps in selecting the right telemarketing partner for your company:

1. Define the requirements that you need. To better choose the best telemarketing business is to evaluate your requirements and to totally define the requirements you are searching for – profiling expertise, lead generation, appointment setting, lead nurturing and so forth.

2. Sort out your wants and needs. Since you also know the set of services which you will want, it’s time to sort out the priorities. Understanding the core services that your company needs is vital when you commence communicating with varied vendors – and when you make a request for proposal (RFP)

3. Research the corporation. It would be advisable to search for company reviews, ask for referrals, and basically research when the business is worth the cost or not. There are numerous organizations, however, some have questionable reputation. It’s good to know if the firm is definitely an industry leader or not.

4. Request a sales call. This can be done when you go to the vendor’s website and requesting a sales call. This strategy will just explain to you how vendors respond – professionally – to a website inquiry. The very first call is definitely important, this may teach you the strength of their sales representative.

5. Request a proposal. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of vendors, you can now send a request for proposal (RFP). Make sure that you’ve presented the essential specifications such as solution, target audience, volume, and regional focus.

6. Evaluate the RFPs and do a site visit. This is the ultimate evaluation prior to deciding to will ultimately select the best telemarketing partner for your company. The site visit will illustrate the competency, professionalism, knowledge, and expertise of the telemarketing company to complete your business process need.

These are the ways when choosing the best tele-prospecting partner to suffice your business process needs. It is essential to select the appropriate firm to symbolize your enterprise and be in contact with your customers for you. Do not forget that the firm will represent your business, so it pays to select the right partner.

TIPS on Customer Service That Make Your Business BOOM

Customer service is the key to keeping your business bubbling along, without this important element supporting your business you will lose customers as quick as your attracting them.


There are many ways that customer service grows your business its the human element of just wanting acceptance and become part of the community in which could be as simple as welcoming the new member, or having the virtual assistant watching your new Facebook group that you have formed and being there to answer simple questions and comments.


These stores rely heavily on you the owner to have the best customer support possible to help keep people with quick response times to questions, to give login information and be responsive to reviews that they write to know that they are being heard.

These simple steps are the way to have repeat customers that turn into raving fans that bring you more business. Doesn’t it make sense to spend advertising dollars once and then to keep them for repeat customers they’re after all then costing you absolutely nothing to retain.

Many customers just want to have their questions answered or follow up their orders or how to apply a code to give them the discount off the full price you are offering. To keep the customer happy it all comes down to quick response time to questions in order to avoid frustrations, which leads to refunds and buyers remorse.

Research reveals that customers want human interaction not something that frustrates them like a recorded message or phone prompts they want to speak to a human voice to answer questions quickly.

It may be something as simple as logging on people get stumped and annoyed when they can’t get access to products that they have just purchased. This delay in getting back to them with a solution to their problem gets them upset and writes reviews that are sometimes unpleasant and will hurt your future business.

With all the hard work that goes behind a launch of a new product or service with advertising and webinars I have seen personally the numbers of new sign ups drop off dramatically between 25-30% due to no customer service. This is leaving money on the table.


What about shopping cart abandonment this happens a lot and many businesses just send an email to get lost amongst the many emails that people get sent wouldn’t your company stand out from others to pick up the phone and ask them “was there a problem – how can we help you?”


There are some clients who will say nothing and will never take the next step because they are unsure of the next step in your program or service. A follow up call warms the person and shows warmth of your company.

This only takes a few minutes and something like “Hi Mary this is Dan from ABC Company, just giving you a courtesy call to first to welcome you to our company and to see if I can help you with and questions.”

How good does that customer feel now, first they are acknowledged and secondly they have an opportunity to say if there is a problem and have someone help them.

We at Need a VA have known the human touch is so important in growing your business we personally help variety of businesses, product launches and services increase their bottom line just by being there to help their customers.

Get The Best Customer Service Solutions Online To Give The Required Push To Your Business

You may be working a lot on business marketing and sales strategies but one thing that guarantees success to your business is a healthy and trust-worthy relationship that you need to maintain with your customers for exponential growth of your business throughout. This healthy relationship is maintained once you start catering to the needs and requirements of your customers to the best of your abilities and understand what they are actually looking for, rather than focusing only on providing them with what you feel is the best. Issues and problems related to enhancing your business could be many but the customer service solutions are even more. These solutions don’t just provide information to keep your customers happy but ensure that they stay your customers for long.

1. Choose the right customer support tools to increase service effectiveness and to understand how they are actually helping you. This way you manage things in a better way, that too in an uncomplicated manner.

2. Manage your customer support team the right way. Keep tabs on their activities and performance to ensure that the work is being done as per your requirement, and more importantly, check if the work is being done efficiently.

3. Know and understand your customers really well. In the end, they are ones who matter the most because their contentment and satisfaction has got a lot to do with the success of your business.

4. Work on special discounts and freebies to attract more and more attention as customers love free items. Once they use these freebies and are impressed by the quality of your services or products, they would automatically be driven to you for further help and assistance.

5. Using social media and email marketing to reach out to your potential customers is the best and most recommended way to be a part of the race and lead. Most of your potential customers would be actively using their social media profiles so work the maximum towards trying and engaging them on social media by uploading posts and important information on a regular and frequent basis.

6. It is not at all necessary, neither important to follow the conventional methods of spreading and marketing your business. The best way is to be absolutely unique and be relevant at the same time to ensure that your customers are able to relate with you. Give them solutions to their problems and give answers to all their questions and leave no room for doubt.

Once you start working on these pointers you would soon realize how helpful and effective these pointers are. Therefore, work upon these and seek help from professionals who would help you take your business to a new level.

Workflow Solutions: Customer Efficiency

For businesses it is essential that you keep the customer happy. There are many ways to do this which includes fast service, regular updates, document tracking, quick order processing and so forth. Another way to ensure customer efficiency is by implementing a complete workflow solution.

This will be the process that your staff will need to follow from the moment an order is received until the order is delivered or collected. It should be established what would constitute a confirmed order. For example does your company accept telephonic orders (which are essentially verbal orders) or are orders to be sent in writing via fax or email. The process that you prepare is to be clear and easily duplicated. In other words, when a new employee starts and you give them the process, can they understand it clearly?

A good workflow solution for your company is one that is easy to implement, understand and maintain. It may not always be the cheapest one, as you need to consider what is best for your business, your employees and for your customers. When you install the software it should be quick and easy to install as well as set up. This should be the case for small businesses anyway. Larger businesses may require the special skills that an IT technician brings. For now we are looking at workflow solutions more applicable for small and medium sized businesses. That being said, even if your business only has a handful of employees it is still necessary to have a procedure in place that clarifies each person’s responsibilities and maps out the process in a step-by-step manner.

Once the order is received, it should be captured on the system either manually or via a document scanner. An order number is allocated for reference purposes. This will enable employees to view the order online and also enable them to retrieve the original order if so required. After the capturing of the order, it can move on to the next step which may be stock allocation or picking of stock, depending on your business. Then it moves to the next employee in the chain which might be despatch. That employee knows that the delivery note is to be generated via the system and the courier booked to deliver the order to the customer. Thereafter, the order is completed with all the information captured.

Document scanning and workflow solutions are integral to the functionality and smooth running of any business. Although your business may be small, this process should not be underestimated. You have to get this in place while the business is small so that when it does grow, the procedures are already in place for you to take on more customers and operate efficiently.