4 Tenets for Outstanding Customer Service

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A Savvy Guide for Businesses to Save a Bundle on Online Marketing

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Are Your Employees Fit for Work?

Running a business puts you in control of myriad of decisions. While some are easy to make, others can be a little more challenging.

fitness

One area that sometimes leads to a gray area is corporate wellness.

Ultimately, how responsible are you for the health and well-being of those who work under your leadership?

While business owners can’t watch how their employees live outside of the workplace, they can certainly see such activities in the office.

As a result, they can provide their employees with a good working environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The key is straddling that fine line between being a caring manager and being too involved in your worker’s lives.

So, how do you determine what is best for your employees when they are under your watch?

Give Workers a Positive Working Environment

In order to give your employees a healthy and happy working environment, consider a wellness plan for starters.

Whether you go with a corporate wellness plans from MDVIP or elsewhere, you’re off on the right foot. With a corporate wellness plan, your employees are better suited to meet their daily tasks, putting you and your business in a great position to succeed.

So, what should a corporate wellness program look like?

You want one which offers a regular wellness exam and wellness coaching and tips from a certified private doctor. This will allow your team to access the best level of care year-round.

The plan should also permit any traveling execs and employees the ability to visit an affiliated doctor where they are visiting, along with a visit with a specialist when deemed necessary.

If this sounds all too expensive for your business, it does not have to be.

Illness and Injuries Cost You Money

Think of the flip side and having employees who are regularly dealing with illness, injuries and an overall lack of energy to do their jobs. In the long run, that can be figuratively and literally more expensive for your company.

As you mull over the idea of an official corporate wellness program, here are few other things you can do in the meantime:

  • Look into a corporate gym membership for all your employees who wish to take advantage of such an opportunity;
  • Have some after work outings that involve physical activity. Events like bowling, softball etc. not only are good for everyone’s physical well-being, but it can also promote office camaraderie ;
  • Encourage employees who are sick to stay home and get better before coming to work. Having one or two workers down to the cold and flu is better than having an entire office of sick people;

As someone who runs a business, what are you doing to keep your employees fit and healthy?

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.


Post Job Interview Actions Matter

You’ve landed the interview! Excitement abounds and you prep and prepare for days in advance, making sure you have answers to all their tricky questions (you know, like “When was the last time you experienced conflict in the workplace and how did you handle it?”).

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You leave the interview feeling on top of the world and have a very strong feeling you got the job. But then you wait, and you wait, and you wait.

Here, we’re looking at ways you should (and shouldn’t!) follow up from a job interview….

Follow Up Procedures

Following up from a job interview is sometimes necessary, but there’s a fine line between being polite and sounding pushy. You want the hiring manager to remember you, but you also don’t want to risk your chances of getting eliminated for being too aggressive.

The article “How to follow up after a job interview” states there are five proper ways to go about following up.

They include:

  • Thank them within two days – You should thank them as soon as you leave the interview, but it’s also not a bad idea to deliver a handwritten thank you note within a day or two of interviewing. This shows you took the interview seriously and that you really want the job, plus it gets you back in the mind of the person in charge of hiring.
  • Follow up within two weeks – If you haven’t heard back within a week or two, it’s OK to send an email asking if there’s anything else they need from you in the meantime. Only send two email maximum, and if you don’t get a response, it’s time to move on.
  • Follow up with one person – There is no need to follow up with every person you spoke to on the day of your interview. Instead, pick one person (the hiring manager) and follow up with them so you don’t come off as pushy.
  • Reach out via one medium – Stick to contacting the hiring manager either via email or phone, but not both. If they contact you, respond in the same way they reached you.
  • Choose your words wisely – Maintain a positive tone, don’t ask too many questions and keep the conversation short and friendly.

Avoid These Miscues

It’s never a good idea to call or email excessively. The hiring manager will most likely feel you’re pressuring them to make a decision and that alone will most likely eliminate you from the candidate pool. Never get angry or raise your voice at the person you are speaking with.

Even if the company takes one month to hire people, which seems like a long time to some that is up to them and is not a decision for you to make. Remain patient, be calm and continue pursuing other job opportunities while you wait to hear back from this one.

There is no doubt finding a good job can be challenging at times; handling the interview process the correct way can oftentimes make all the difference.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, careers and personal finance.


Team Up Baby Boomers and Mobile Marketing

Smartphones and mobile devices are quickly becoming a way of life for millions, especially the baby boomer crowd. More and more people ages 50 and older are adopting a mobile lifestyle, which makes mobile marketing the perfect form of outreach for your company.

shutterstock_130947476With a boom in marketing in mind, here are just a few ways mobile marketing will benefit your business when it comes to baby boomer consumers:

Mobile Baby Boomers on the Rise

The mobile audience is expanding all the time and baby boomers age 50 and older are jumping on the handheld bandwagon. In fact, according to Pew Research, of the baby boomers surveyed, nearly 90% use a cell phone regularly.

Likewise, almost 50% of those surveyed own and use a smartphone to receive calls, texts, and browse the Internet. With numbers like this, there’s no better time than now for your business to market to baby boomers via the mobile route.

Personal Touch Marketing

Reaching out to the baby boomer crowd takes more than just mass marketing campaigns. The 50 and older crowd appreciates advertising campaigns that are targeted at their specific wants and needs.

With mobile marketing, your business can create campaigns that are specifically designed to attract the baby boomer audience.

Tailoring your campaigns to a 50+ audience and delivering those campaigns on a mobile level adds a personal touch to your marketing endeavors, which helps your business attract more baby boomers.

Marketing Ease

Small-scale marketing creates an environment where it’s not only easier to create, but also to deliver marketing campaigns.

Because most mobile marketing campaigns start with a simple text, all your business has to create is a compelling message. The actual advertisements are also easy to create because they are simple, straightforward, and designed for the small screen.

As the following article shows, another reason why it’s baby boomer time for the mobile market is because the 50 and older crowd find it incredibly easy to take advantage of your mobile advertisements.

Unlike online, television, and radio marketing, all the baby boomer audience has to do is tap their smartphone screens to gain access to your marketing attempts.

Response Tracking

Because you’re sending your marketing campaigns to specific phone numbers as opposed to random destinations as with online advertising, mobile marketing gives you the opportunity to track your results.

Seeing which baby boomers follow through with your mobile marketing attempts and which ignore your campaigns altogether provides valuable marketing insights. With response tracking, you can truly tailor your marketing endeavors to even the most niche audiences.

Cost Efficiency

Easily and quickly creating tailored marketing campaigns for an ideal audience all boils down to one thing: marketing cost efficiency.

Whether your business concentrates their marketing attempts on baby boomers or a variety of potential customers, mobile marketing is more cost effective than traditional forms of advertising.

Not only are campaigns smaller, they are also much easier to create and deliver. This cuts down on how much time your marketing department spends on each campaign.

Additionally, because campaign effectiveness is a breeze to track, your business won’t waste time or money on campaigns that aren’t working.

When you’re ready to go the extra mile with your baby boomer marketing, keep mobile audiences in mind.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including marketing and technology.


The Pros and Cons of Changing Careers

Career longevity isn’t what it used to be. Time was when changing career was frowned on; 40 years of steady work rewarded by a gold carriage clock was seen as the desirable norm.

iStock_000008869356XSmallNowadays, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median number of years spent in any one job is just 4.6. Hopping careers is becoming much more normal.

If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled at your current job, you might start dreaming of greener pastures. The trick is figuring out whether changing career is really the best option for you.

As the article “Career Change Options for People with Your Background” points out, research to find out if a career change is doable for you is an important step.

So how do you do just that? Start by checking out these pros and cons to help you figure out if a career move is what you need.

Five Reasons to Change Career

Among the reasons to switch your career aspirations:

  1. Better job satisfaction. If you’re currently in a job that really doesn’t light your fire, life can become tedious. Given that work is a large part of your life, finding work that you enjoy and that leaves you fulfilled is one way to a happier life all round.
  2. More confidence. Taking the plunge and embarking on a new career will change you as a person, showing you how resourceful you can be when it comes to taking risks and learning new things.
  3. Learning new skills. Changing careers usually involves further training and learning a whole new set of skills and information. This can be engaging and fun, challenging you to expand your horizons and use your mental muscles.
  4. More money. Retraining for a better paid career can mean a bigger income. The lure of better pay is certainly a factor in changing career, and if you choose a new career that will genuinely boost your income, your future will look brighter.
  5. Boost your resume. While there is still some risk of looking flaky (check out the cons of changing career below), a career change doesn’t have to negatively impact your resume. Showing flexibility and the willingness to start again and learn new skills can give your resume a boost.

Five Reasons to Think Twice

Among the reasons to give some pause:

  1. The grass isn’t always greener. It’s important to really analyze why you want to change career before taking that step, as some people who change careers do regret it later. It could be that you need change in another area of your life, or that a move to a different role within your current field would be more appropriate.
  2. Looking flaky. As pointed out above, a certain amount of flexibility in your career history is no bad thing, but you may still have to field questions from potential employers about why you chose to change. Be sure you’re ready with an honest answer that shows your commitment to growth rather than making you look indecisive.
  3. Going it alone. Changing careers usually means leaving behind your work colleagues and your existing network. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing – the opportunities for growth can be exciting – but there’s no doubt that it can be daunting.
  4. Cost. Training for a new career can be a costly business. As well as paying for any courses or other training, you’ll have to absorb the impact of giving up your job to look for a new one, so some careful planning is in order.
  5. Less security. Changing career can often put you back at the bottom of the career ladder. That means you’ll be the new hire all over again, leaving you more vulnerable during potential re-shuffles or cut backs.

There’s no doubt that a career change can be a refreshing and rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone.

Take the time to really understand your motivations and the impact of making that change first, to give yourself a better chance of success.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO and changing careers.


Financial Smarts as Important as Ever

Inv&ALM Unit 11 Slide 9For consumers and business owners alike, being financially savvy takes on a whole new meaning when times are challenging. While some people these days are doing just fine financially, many others are living from paycheck to paycheck, wondering if they will be financially above ground even just a month or two from now.

With that in mind, where are you these days financially?

Whether you run your own small business or work for someone else, how smart are you when it comes to your own finances? Would you rate yourself good, average or flat out bad when it comes to managing your money?

Take Credit When You Are in the Black

If you are on top of your financial game these days, take a moment to credit yourself. For many people, the news is not so good, with a large number of consumers trying to battle their way out of debt.

While debt can come for myriad of reasons (student loans, unemployment, medical issues, divorce, businesses going under etc.), there are ways to lessen the chances of you becoming yet another statistic.

In order to properly manage your finances, make sure anytime you have a credit card or cards in your possession that you use them wisely.

In today’s world, credit cards are all but a necessity. Try getting an airline ticket, car rental or purchasing something online without plastic.

If you want to be credit card savvy (and who doesn’t?), make sure you practice proper management of the plastic items.

Whether you have CitiCards.com or one of the many other providers, it is important to:

  • Use them wisely (that means for needed purchases only);
  • Always attempt to pay off the balance in full and not just the minimum payment due;
  • Take advantage of customer service (many offer it 24/7) and make sure any and all questions and/or issues are taken care of;
  • Review your cards periodically to make sure you are getting the best rates and customer service;
  • Look for any financial discrepancies that could mean someone has stolen your credit card information and is making unauthorized charges.

Business of Properly Handling Credit Cards

Lastly, for those individuals running small businesses, credit cards are all but a necessity.

The cards will be used for a variety of things, including obtaining office supplies, paying off office bills, taking clients out to lunch or dinner when necessary, making reservations to attend conferences and trade shows and more.

If you’re still searching for the best credit card to meet these needs, you can use tools such as social media to review credit card company Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest pages.

Oftentimes, these pages will offer in detail different facts about their credit card rates, reward programs, how to handle customer disputes and more.

When you properly handle and use credit cards, they can assist you in meeting your financial needs, be they personal or business.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.


Is Your Website Ready for Worldwide Attention?

internationalThe advent of the Internet has made it possible for small and medium-sized businesses to go global. However, you still need to overcome language barriers in order to tap into foreign markets successfully. This can be done by translating your website into multiple languages.

Here is a look at why having a multilingual website is important in today’s business world….

Benefits of Having a Multilingual Website

Expand Your Customer Base

While English is still the most widely used language on the Internet, it may not be so in the near future. The number of non-English-speaking Internet users is growing at a rapid rate, and most of them prefer to use local-language websites. You need to translate your website into their languages if you want to reach out to them.

With a multilingual website, you can gain access to potentially millions more consumers who may be interested in your products. This can lead to a significant increase in sales.

Engage Foreign Consumers More Effectively

In order to make your business appealing to non-English-speaking consumers, you have to be able to communicate clearly and meaningfully with them.

If your website is not translated into their native languages, they may have trouble understanding, navigating and interacting with it, resulting in a frustrating shopping experience. Even if they find your products attractive, they may not end up buying them, because they do not have a good enough understanding of the content on your website to make well-informed purchasing decisions.

If you have a multilingual website, you will be able to engage foreign consumers as effectively as local-language websites.

According to an article entitled “CMS Considerations for Multiple Languages“, the key to successful website localization lies in your ability to choose the right content management system.

Build Customer Trust

By making the effort to translate your website into multiple languages, you are showing foreign consumers that you care about them, and you are committed to giving them the best possible shopping experience.

It will also help you overcome cultural barriers and put foreign users in a comfort zone, making it easier for you to gain their trust. Additionally, having a multilingual website will enhance your reputation as a global player, which can boost your credibility.

Achieve Higher Search Engine Rankings

In many countries, Google and Yahoo! are not the most popular search engines. Many non-English-speaking Internet users prefer to use native-language search engines, because these search engines are specially designed to meet their needs.

In order to succeed in foreign markets, you need to make your website rank high in local search engines. If you translate your website into multiple languages, it will become more visible in local search engines, and you will see a significant increase in your website traffic.

It takes considerable time and effort to create and maintain a good multilingual website, but the potential rewards that you can gain make it a worthwhile investment.

A multilingual website can help you achieve a high level of competitiveness in foreign markets.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.


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