Category Relationships

Good Customer Service :- Turn up on time!

While we are talking about customer service and relations, differentiating yourself from your competition, here is an easy one: TURN UP ON TIME! GUARANTEED! The fact of the matter is, that most of us have been ad home waiting for the service man/woman to turn up, only to be disappointed in one way or another.…

Small Business Success By Being Different!

In my last post I talked about bucking the trend and doing things different than the competition. One of the easiest ways to micro business success is better customer service or just a better customer experience. You know your business better than your customers do, so ask yourself what you would be worried about, if…

People buy from People.

All these personal traits are important, but not as important as EQ - emotional intelligence - which means people who have natural warmth, are optimistic and can empathize with the plight of other people.Who would you rather deal with, someone who seems cold and distant, or someone who understands your problems and can suggest solutions or ideas on a services/product level, but also on a more emotional and beneficial level.... So when you hire, ask about faults, ask about being told off for getting something wrong, ask how they felt when someone else got told off at work?

What is your customer service agenda?

You need to understand what level of customer care your customers want, so most of all you need to listen.I often come across small business, where customer complaints are causing stress and sometimes even anger.... You should get your staff to understand your customer service agenda fully, so they can do things professionally, courteously and promptly.If you don't have a customer service agenda, your customers may have a agenda, to go and buy somewhere else.

Twitter, better late …..

It allows you to stay in touch with colleagues and friends while on the move or on your desk.It is an electronic messaging service, that works on the web and on your mobile via SMS - you get charged your standard SMS rates - so if you have an unlimited package, this is a great service. On my new iPhone - I'm an Apple junkie, with occasional supply problems - I can use the ThinCloud web-client for Twitter, thanks to O2 for free, that is really good.It could be a great marketing and networking tool, that is the idea anyway.

The Week Ender: Having a weekend.

Now that I given you a recommendation on a book to read over the weekend or made you ponder your time management, you may also just consider having a nice weekend with family and friends.... Why not pick up the phone right now, and get some family and friends together and celebrate Guy Fawkes capture - I'm sure you can come up with a story why it might be important to you, even if you live in the US, Australia or India - it will be total BS, but who cares?Even better is when you don't need a reason, just get together and have a nice weekend, I know I will!

Time Management for Small Business: Cut to the Chase

No matter what kind of small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants you run, time is a finite resource for all of us, and we need to learn to use our time as best we can.... If you get your work done more efficiently it will help the overall business efficiency, but at the same time get you out of your office sooner, allowing you to enjoy the better things of life.Efficiency is also a bootstrapper trait, getting things done reduces overheads and other costs, you will see the results in your monthly planning exercise, your income will increase while your costs don't change.Here are some basic rules on time management - or cutting to the chase - as I would call it: Tell people who you want them to work with you, or how to use your time;Return the favor, treat their time as you want your time treated;No meetings without agenda;No long documents without a short summery;Make sure you know what is expected of you;Ask - don't wait for offers, go and get what you need to do your task.I'll be writing more one this later, but I guess you get what I'm getting at.

Q & A: How can I build consensus in my small business team?

His answer was to make things happen more smoothly in his business and with less stress.The truth is there is no need for consensus on each issue, what is really important is that things get done and someone has to make a decision how and when they get done - to put it bluntly - consensus is a nice thing to have, but not necessary.... At the end of the day though I make the decisions - the bug stops with me - or in this case you.My team and I have an understanding, I will listen to all their concerns and suggestions, and my team accepts that in the end it is my decisions.Running a company, however small or big, is about leadership, not consensus.

Learn About Customer Focus From Big Business.

So let's do the next best thing, have a look at what big business does.Anna Farmary, on her The Engaging Brand Blog as an article "Focus on Customer Experience Delivers Profit" - being nice to customers and focus on their needs, to you and me. While she laments Amazon for failings, the facts of a study remain:Peer Insight did a 3 year study of 40 Fortune 500 companies - the results show that companies that focused upon customer experience design outperformed the S&P 500 by a 10-1 margin from 2,000 to 2,005.I guess, we do not need a brain surgeon to tell us that a similar trend would be seen for small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants, so be nice to your clients and service them well, go the extra mile and be rewarded with a loyal client and more revenue down the road.Being focused on your clients pays, 10:1 margin, think about that.

Small Business Wisdom – Customers

Customers are the people who pay money for our services and products or as Peter F Drucker, a US business consultant in the Harvard Business Review once said:The only profit center is the customer.Something I think about often in my line of business was said a few years ago by Jeff Bezos, CEO of someone thinks they are mistreated by us, they won't tell 5 people, they'll tell 5000.Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer Corporation once coined this quotation:Customers are your future, representing new opportunities, ideas and avenues for growth.My favorite last, this one is by W. Edwards Denning, US consultant and author:Profit in business comes from repeat customers; customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them.

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