Customers Are Sure To Cotton On To These Five Areas Of Employee Neglect

As an employer, you should be doing what you can to care for employees for their sake. The more efforts you put in place, the better work you’re going to see. The more benefits you offer, the longer people are going to stick around. You get the idea; caring is sharing when it comes to company success. As such, any efforts here are sure to be worth your while in their own right.

Sometimes, though, the way we treat employees trickles to other areas of business. If morale is low, for example, both productivity and quality of work will suffer. In extreme cases, employee neglect may also impact your customers. That’s because there are certain neglectful things you may do which are plain even from a distance. And, you can bet that customers who notice these won’t use your services again. If neglect is severe, they may even complain or spread the word.

That’s because every customer has probably worked under a less than ideal boss. Employee rights are something most people are pretty passionate about. If employee happiness itself isn’t enough, then, consider the five most common areas of neglect customers tend to notice.

#1 Extreme workloads

As a boss, it’s natural that you want to get the most work out of your employees. The more they produce, the more profit you stand to see. But, overworking staff is a form of neglect in itself. And, you can bet that it’s one your customers notice. If customers see that your team are overworked, it’ll be a big black mark against your name. it isn’t those shop staff that customers will get angry at for queues. It’s the manager who expected one or two people to manage everything on their own. This is terrible management and plain bad employee treatment. And, customers are never going to put up with it from you. In extreme cases, they may feel so sorry for your staff members that they stop coming to you altogether. Better that than put more work on already overworked shoulders. To make sure this doesn’t happen, ensure staff only ever experience workloads they can manage. That means opening all your tills instead of leaving one person to cope with busy periods. It means asking for one task at a time instead of getting team members to multitask all the time. It also means recognizing when a member of your team is struggling to keep on top. If you don’t, you can bet that your customers soon will.

#2 Lack of training

With a few exceptions, there’s no law which says that you have to offer extensive training courses to every member of your team. But, this is a benefit which you really should consider putting on offer. At the very least, well-trained staff can help to improve your business with the skills they learn. Training also ensures that no one ever feels thrown in at the deep end or unable to cope with demands. Even short training courses can go a considerable way towards providing the skills the most inexperienced employees need. One thing’s sure; it’ll soon be clear to customers if you skip this. It isn’t difficult to spot when employee’s haven’t received adequate training. If they have to ask others for help or struggle to complete basic processes, it’s sure to look terrible. This sends an unprofessional image of your business as a whole, and is sure to turn customers away. Again, though, they won’t take their frustration out on the employee in question. Instead, they’ll want to know why a manager would offer such poor training possibilities. At the very least, you should pair all new employees with existing team members for a minimum of a week to avoid this. If at all possible, it’s also worth looking out for proper training courses you can offer new recruits. This will work in your favor during employment. It’s also sure to look better where customers are concerned.

#3 Sickness

Sickness is always a tricky beast in the workplace. For obvious reasons, you don’t want staff taking sick days. As such, you may not want to offer sick pay in the hope it’ll encourage staff to come in no matter what. But, leaving employees with no choice but to work while ill can open a whole can of worms. For one, sickness can spread like you wouldn’t believe. Working rather than recovering could also see illness taking longer to clear. And, to top all that, customers are sure to see sickness from a mile away. If an employee is pale and coughing, it’s never going to look good for your company. At the very least, customers will avoid you because they don’t want to catch anything. More often than not, though, they’ll probably want strong words with the manager who forced said employee into the office. That’s why it’s well worth putting workable sickness procedures in place. Something as simple as sick pay can ensure that staff recover from most bugs in a matter of days without worry. That can reduce the spread, and see you losing team members for far shorter periods. You may also find that it’s worth putting something like this employee assistance program in place. This provides easy access to medical professionals for every staff member. This perk alone could see employees seeking help as soon as possible. That, in turn, can see them back on their feet in no time. All without risking your customer’s catching wind that they were ill.

#4 Disrespect

Disrespect is never something you want in your working environment. If you talk rudely to staff, there’s no way you can expect them to stick around. They may be your employees, but they deserve the same level of respect you would give to anyone else. More, if anything, because they’re keeping your company afloat. Sadly, disrespect from managers isn’t all that unusual. And, customers usually pick up on this pretty sharpish. This is especially likely if you’re operating in a forward-facing workspace. In a shop, for example, barking orders at your employees will never go down well. If you make this mistake, don’t be surprised if customers start complaining on your team’s behalf. We all hate to see rude managers, after all. Instead, you should always aim to speak to employees on equal footing. Never bark orders, but ask politely. Make sure that words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ don’t slip from your vocabulary. The moment they do, both your staff and customers could soon turn away from you. And, that’s never going to help you realize your business dreams.

#5 Exhaustion

Last, you want to make sure that you never push your team to exhaustion. In some ways, you could tie this in with the extreme workload of point one. But, even if you aren’t overloading your team members, you could still be pushing them too far. Long working hours and a lack of paid holiday, for instance, can often leave employees in burnout. Expecting them to pick up emails during their evenings also counts towards this. If they’re barely able to unwind, they’re sure to hit a wall pretty soon. And, you can bet customers will notice it. If team members are scarcely able to get the sleep they need, they’re going to make mistakes and look exhausted. Don’t let it happen. Offer paid holidays and make sure no one works during their evenings. That way, your employees will always look fresh when they’re dealing with your customers.

Why Business Diversification is So Important

When you are starting a new business, it is great to land a large customer who gives your business a brilliant start. However, as time goes on this can be a problem as if they get into financial difficulties, they could take you with them. It is far better to have a lot of smaller customers as then if one ceases to trade, it will have less effect on your business.

There are many businesses that launch because of winning a large contract, but if they want to be successful in the long term, diversification is the answer.

Create New Opportunities

You need to create new opportunities for your business by introducing new products or services. It is worth investing in research and development to achieve this aim. This does not mean you have to have a huge budget; it is your time you need to invest. If you have employees, chat with them about the possibilities and see what new ideas you can come up with.

If you do not work with anyone else, then chat through some options with trusted friends and family. Talking with different people may well produce ideas you had not thought of.

Find More Customers

Once you have developed your new product or service you then need to find new customers for it. This is where a digital marketing agency could help, as they have the expertise needed to get your new products known as quickly as possible.

You also need to ask yourself if your business has the infrastructure to cope with an influx of new clients, and if the answer is yes, you diversification is more than halfway there. If new customers come quicker than expected and you find yourself and employees are overloaded with work, consider outsourcing some tasks to ease the burden, as it could be that after a while the orders will level out.

Your employees can be your biggest assets and generally, they will all pull together to get the work done. This is because is your business is doing well, they feel more secure in their jobs, and that helps them to be more productive.

Try Different Markets

Try to move into different markets to diversify your business. It could be, for instance, that your main customer focus is on selling a product to the younger generation. When you are considering your new products, think of something that will appeal to an older market. Then you will not be putting yourself in competition with your existing customers, and this could mean you have the best of both worlds. You could also move into the retail market with new products, which will mean you can make a higher profit margin than on the goods you sell to your large customer.

Running a business successfully is a lot of hard work, and you need to be flexible in what you do. You do not have to only sell one product or service, and diversifying into other areas could be the thing that secures your financial future.

Own a Small Business? 4 Advantages of Exhibiting at a Trade Show

Every small business owner should invest time and energy in exhibiting at trade shows. The cost setting up a booth is minuscule compared to the payoff. Attending and participating in trade shows is an intimate and effective way to boost almost any business. The following are four advantages of exhibiting at trade shows.

Face-to-Face Interactions with Customers

Exhibiting at trade shows gives small business owners an excellent opportunity to interact with potential customers in person, building rapport and establishing a connection between the business and its customer base. People are far more likely to invest money in a business that they believe cares about them and their communication. Never underestimate the value and importance of connecting with customers in person. This will help customers feel as if they are an actual part of a small business’s operations. The goal of any small business owner should be to build a community around their business. This can be achieved by showing up and personally meeting the very people who comprise your collective of customers and target audience. But if you don’t have time to do this yourself, consider investing in promotional modeling, or assign one of your assistants or employees to be there.

Gauge Customers’ Needs and Interests

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, getting to know the people you are trying to sell products or services to will help you to better gauge their interests, desires, and individual needs. Your customers are far more likely to give you feedback in person rather than take the time to respond to survey questions. When you’re visiting with them, be sure to actively listen to their responses. Take note of the things they tell you, and implement their ideas where possible.

Effective Platform to Launch New Products and Services

Trade shows are perfect places to try out new products and services. As a small business owner, you will be able to see, in real time, all reactions to your new products and services when you test them out at a trade show, rather than jumping straight into marketing and selling them. This method of previewing what a business has to offer is time-tested and will allow you helpful analytic data before investing time and money into innovations that won’t work so well.

Networking

Trade shows are attended by people from all facets of business, marketing, and various other industries. Making friends at these events opens opportunities for your small business to reach more people than ever, and the friendships made at trade shows will, undoubtedly, supply you with fresh resources and means to market and sell your business more effectively and on a larger scale. No small business can succeed alone. It takes an entire team to reach any real level of success.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

4 Things That Change When Your House Becomes Your Workplace

With 70% of people working remotely at least once a week, the odds are high that you won’t be stuck in the office. And, since the internet has made launching a startup a piece of cake, you might find your new office is your home.

Aside from a welcome mat at the door and inspirational quotes on the walls, your workplace might look similar to before. Usually, this isn’t helpful because it encourages freelancers to slip into bad habits, they kind they would never do in a traditional office.

With that in mind, there are some things you should change and you can find them underneath.

The Lighting

It’s the back end of autumn and winter is almost here, so your home will reflect that fact. Lots of homeowners take lighting seriously because they want to create a dark, cozy mood to go with the new season. With lots of lamps and lanterns around the living room, you’ve pulled it off to a T. Sadly, they need to go as it isn’t a productive atmosphere. Natural and artificial lights boost serotonin levels as well as a person’s mood, making them happy and more likely to be productive. Therefore, the curtains and table lamps are out and the blinds and focal light fixture are in.

The Mess

There is never enough time to clean up, plus you spend most of the day out of the house. It makes sense to leave it until you come home to tidy up. Now that you’re in the house from morning until the evening, this is an unproductive routine. The brain sees clutter and takes it on board, causing the mind to feel littered and unorganized too. From a work standpoint, this isn’t healthy for productivity. A commercial cleaning service will sanitize the area and make it simpler to perform basic tasks. Stop calling it “organized chaos” because it’s a cop out!

The Main Room

Typically, people spend the majority of their time in the kitchen or living room as they have focal points. Plus, it’s practical to watch TV where there is a set and to cook where there are utensils. For work purposes, it’s better to switch up which room you spend your days in. Otherwise, you’ll get easily distracted and do nothing. The obvious example is sitting watching television rather than sending emails or writing content. A bedroom, especially a spare room, should become your office as it has zero diversions. After a while, you’ll get into a healthy work routine.

The Name

Correspondence to and from a residential address is a sign you’re not a big fish. As soon as clients and customers recognize this, they might bounce due to a lack of trust. All it takes to change this is to come up with a new name for your home, something corporate-like. As long as the zip code is the same, all of your mail should forward to the same address.

Another option is to hire a P.O Box and use their location for customer and client services.

Why You Need to Use Behavioral Segmentation

How do you current and potential customers find you? That is the conundrum for every company in today’s day and age. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have a location, or to have a location that’s close to others who might add synergy to your business’s stability.

And while technology might seem like it would be an easy way to garner a wider, more solid core of customers, in fact websites and email aren’t enough either. Add to the mix social media (and the realization that one site isn’t enough either) and you’ve got a very confusing mix of how to reach people.

 But luckily, data has given us some insights into what we do need to know about our customers—not just where they live but what their lives look like and how their internal lives work, too. So how do you segment what you know and what you need to know? This graphic explains it.

Why You Need to Use Behavioral Segmentation

Attention Grabbers: How to Make Your Business Stand out to Potential Customers

As a business-owner, you have the need to reach an audience and catch the eye of potential customers. If your business does not stand out, this can be a huge marketing nightmare. When you find new ways to grab the attention of consumers, this is when you have an opportunity to coax them into transacting with you for products and services. Consequently, your marketing efforts always need to be centered on how to grab your customer’s attention so that these transactions can become a natural part of doing business.

Paint Your Store

When it comes to grabbing the attention of potential customers, you really want your store to look different than all the other stores and buildings in your region of the market. By daring to paint your store a different color scheme than other retail outfits are employing, you will stick out in a huge way to passing traffic. It will also make your business hard to miss, because people will immediately see that your store looks unique.

Light up Your Parking Lot

A lot of times people are out shopping late at night, but they cannot easily identify entrances and parking areas. Overly dark parking lots are not only hard to navigate, but they are not inviting to customers who fear for their safety. By shedding adequate light on the situation, you make your location easier to navigate and safer for late shoppers too.

Using Banners

Signage is an important part of helping customers recognize your company both inside and out. One way to get your brand and enticing images before customers is to use vinyl banners. These banners will be attention grabbers outside, because they will wave about in the wind. They will also be eye catching on the inside of your store, because they can serve as a means to alerting customers to important products or deals. This can translate to a lot more revenue being generated too.

When doing business in this modern age, it is important to be clever in how you grab a potential customer’s attention. Your store must be made visible among all the competition. Additionally, customers must be able to find what they are looking for with ease. These marketing strategies will help any business become appealing to a broader portion of the market being addressed. This is one time when sticking out like a sore thumb to get noticed is a great idea. It is a tactic that makes businesses the object of consumer attention.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Customer Loyalty: Does Your Small Business Have What It Takes To Keep It?

Customer retention is a difficult topic for a small business. It’s not that they can’t keep the customers, it’s getting them in the first place that’s often the problem. Small businesses often flounder before they have a chance to grow and a lot of that is to do with their placement as a small fish in an ocean of sharks. Whether you are running a small business store on Etsy, or you’re marketing yourself as a solopreneur who is offering a solution to a problem, you need to know how to retain your customers so that they trust your mini brand – even before it becomes a mega one.

Returning customers are crucial to the success of a small business and the way to get them coming back for more is in your retention strategy. You need to be so good, that customers see what you’re doing and fall in love with it. It’s ensuring that you work closely with IT experts to roll out your carefully crafted software to other companies, working with agile testing teams and pushing yourself to do more for your customers. Online customers spend three times more money than customers do in store, and if the service that you offer – or the solution you provide – is one that is effective and reeks of perfection, you’re going to see loyalty from your customers. You are the only one who can decide whether you have what it takes to retain your customers, though, and if you can’t, you’re going to sink. Here are four short ways to create that customer loyalty that’s going to secure your bottom line.

Experience Peaks. Customers will buy whatever they’re interested in, but you need to keep them hooked for more. If they’ve enjoyed the product that you sold in the first place, they’ll buy again. However, you need to keep the deal sweet. Maybe once customers have bought from you once, you then send a discount code to them to be able to buy again. The promise of the same product that they love being cheaper is a bonus and keeps the experience peaked for them.

VI-Party. Most people don’t like getting unsolicited emails, but customers who sign up with your product will expect to be notified of changes, upgrades and extras. Give them loyalty points and an early access pass to new releases. They’ll love the exclusivity and it keeps them coming back to you for more of the things that you offer.

Get Online. Whichever way that you do it, you need to be where your customers can connect with you. Get onto social media and be a part of the community. Having access directly to the people in charge of the product that has been sold is a bonus for customers and they can feel like they are heard.

Stay Passionate. You’ve made something successful enough for people to want to keep coming back for more. All you need to do now is ensure that you keep up the momentum that you’ve set for yourself.

Customers will always go with the popular brands; make yourself one of them and keep your loyal base coming back for more.