Tech Is Taking Over Customer Care

In the past, your employees were your most important tool or resource for dealing with customer issues and making sure that they were completely satisfied. Today? It all comes down to the tech. While employees certainly still have a role to play here, it’s the tech in your company that is going to determine whether your customers are satisfied with your level of service.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the advances in technology have made it the best solution. With new tech, you can communicate with people, highlight information and take personal reactions out of the equation. This actually makes a business model more efficient and effective because the time of your staff can be spent elsewhere in other key areas. Let’s look at some of the tech that can be used and examples across industries.

E-commerce Online Interactions

In the past, if a customer wanted to speak to an employee or member of your staff online, they had two options. Either, they could call your company or send an email. Neither were particularly beneficial. Numbers were constantly clogged up with customers while emails did not provide the best response time.

Today, customers can access live chats through your website if you have the necessary software. With the right software, you can make sure that customers can immediately talk to someone on your team but that’s not all. Customers can also find information they need from automated response before they ever think about speaking to a member of your team.

Feedback

Customers may need feedback particularly if they have used a service you have provided. They may also want to provide feedback to your company. There are lots of ways companies do this using technology today, but let’s explore the medical industry in particular. The medical industry is a rather special case because rather than customers they have patients. But patients still interact with staff like doctors and nurses, so they still require customer care. With a mobile hospital cart computer workstation, patients can see their diagnosis on screen, provide feedback that is directly input in an automated system and even communicate with their doctor. The tech used here speeds up processes in hospitals, dealing with the critically long wait times that plague hospital halls.

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Online Discussion

Finally, you can use the online world to provide your clients or customers with the chance to communicate with you. Using the latest software, you can think about giving your customers various opportunities to not only discuss their opinions of your business but communicate with your company in a more personal way. Customers want to form connections with the businesses they buy from, and this is important. It will gain you loyalty and trust for those key repeat sales that will keep your company moving.

Similar tech can exist on shop floors as well, this time in the form of physical equipment. In some shops, you can now purchase items yourself. Once purchased you may then gain the chance to give feedback and leave your thoughts about the business. It’s a highly streamlined way of allowing customers to complete the process of purchasing while also interacting with your business.

It’s Your Business Event, But You Can’t Cry If You Want To

We’ve spoken before about why live events are so good for your business. Whether you’re hosting a stall at an event or going solo with a festival of your own, it doesn’t get better for flying your business flag. A well-planned and executed live event will get everyone talking. And, you should never underestimate how far word-of-mouth can take you. In fact, many businesses hail this as the most important marketing method you’ve got.

Given those high stakes, it’s no wonder events like these can get stressful. Many business owners go without sleep for a week in the lead up to something like this. The trouble is, sleepless nights and stressful days aren’t going to leave you at your best. And, your best is less than you need to be if you’re going to make the right impression. It’s fair to say, then, that you need to do what you can to reduce the stress of the experience. And, we’re going to look at how.

Plenty of time to set up

Admittedly, setting up early isn’t always possible. But, if this is a private event, there’s no reason you can’t set up a week or two before. That way, you can kiss goodbye to last-minute disasters which leave you flustered and out of whack. Instead, set up bit by bit and deal with issues as they arise. Even if you aren’t able to set up until a day or two before, invest in utility truck beds and extra bodies which can help speed things up. That way, you still stand to be ready with plenty of time to spare. And, that’s essential if you want to be in the best headspace for the day.

Get enough staff on board

Often, these events will happen at the weekend. And, you may usually survive on skeleton staff if any when Saturday rolls around. But, you NEED to make sure you have a large enough team to deal with your event. That means calling in your whole workforce and getting temporary workers on board. The last things you want on the day are long queues and leaving customers because your team can’t deal with the demand. Instead, give everyone plenty of notice to work, and get onto an agency about as many temp workers as you can afford.

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Picture Credit

Schedule time to enjoy yourself

Enjoy yourself at a business event? Are you joking? No, not at all. There’s nothing funny about the idea of enjoying your efforts. What’s more, customers will warm to your company even more if you’re out there having fun with them. That doesn’t mean slacking off, of course. But, as well as ensuring your day runs smooth, scheduling your time means you and your team will have time to grab a hot dog and soak up the sun. This will make your team happier to work, and will wash away any stress you may feel. And, that can go a long way towards sending the right message to your customers.

Just Calling To Tell You That Customers Aren’t Happy With Your Phone Service

You may be surprised to see this post. After all, literal interaction with customers has slipped right down the priority scale, hasn’t it? Now, we’re all about social media and the best website to impress. THAT’S the way to make a success of what you’re trying to do. Isn’t it?

In many ways, online interactions are now crucial to success. This is how most customers shop. But, many businesses are getting on top here and still failing. Why? Because they’re failing to take into account that some customers prefer old interaction methods. High-street shops may be on their way out, but phone calls will always be relevant. Some customers just aren’t willing to Tweet and wait to hear back. They either don’t know how or don’t have the patience for it. And, to cater for those individuals, it’s essential you stay on top of phone-based interactions.

 

Yet, many new companies fail to take this aspect into account at all. It’s difficult to blame them when they have so much on their plate. But, to make sure customers don’t hang up on your business efforts, consider the following reasons for failure on the phone front.

Long waiting times

Given that instant gratification is the focus of modern business, it should come as no surprise that long waiting times are a no. There will be times when a small wait is inevitable, and customers understand that. But, anything over five minutes could lose you business. To make sure that doesn’t happen, consider your phone operations. Everyone in the office should have a phone by their side. That way, they can answer calls when the primary phone operators are busy. What’s more, you should head to sites like www.esudo.com and implement VoIP (voice over internet) capabilities. This will ensure that, even when out of the office, you staff are available to answer calls.

The wrong introduction

Even if waiting times aren’t a problem, answering calls in the wrong way will lead to disgruntled customers. As can be seen from sites like www.thebalancesmb.com, it’s essential to answer in a warm and enthusiastic manner. You should also state your name and company. And, you should brief your staff on these pointers, too. Much of this is common sense, but don’t assume they’ll do this without your asking. Take time to train each new employee on this issue.

Customers can’t understand you

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Not being able to understand what someone’s saying down the phone is frustrating. And, this is an issue which many companies struggle to overcome. But, if customers can’t understand what your colleagues are saying, they aren’t going to buy. They’ll simply grow frustrated and put the phone down. To make sure that doesn’t happen, put efforts in place to make your phone calls as clear as possible. Give staff members headsets to block background noise. Make sure, too, that they know to pronounce every word well. These small steps will make a massive difference to the customer experience, and could seal you that deal.

Does Your App Score Points with Consumers?

Assuming you have a mobile business app, would you rate it a success up to now?

Many small businesses thinking of going the app route for one reason or another end up not doing it. As a result, they can be missing out on opportunities to sell their brand.

If you’ve decided to move forward with a mobile app, where will you begin?

Making Sure You Get Good Reviews

Whether only starting out with an app or you’ve had one around for a while now, you want to make sure it gets good reviews.

With that in mind, know that there are companies out there whose sole job is to review business apps on a daily basis. As such, you’d want to get a good review, correct?

Whether getting a Bismanonline app review or from other companies, here’s why good ones are key:

  1. Brand notoriety – While you never want to stand out for the wrong reason, notoriety for the right ones is big. That said a strong mobile app game is important for your brands success. Having that recognition can not only help you keep business, but also land new customers.
  2. Customer experience – Good reviews help build a better customer experience. If a consumer has your app at or near the top of their phone, there’s a good chance you’re going to do regular business. Although many still shop online via desktop or laptop computers, more go the mobile route. As such, you want to make sure they have the best customer experience possible each time out.
  3. Socialize the process – With a mobile app, make sure your business is as social as can be. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other such sites are important to promoting your brand. Your app can offer relevant industry content, coupons, and of course consumer feedback. With a solid social media game on your app, reviewers will be apt to give you the thumbs up.
  4. Staying ahead – Last, you want positive reviews to stay ahead of the competition. Remember, most competitors will always be looking for ways to upstage you. As a result, you can’t assume they are not investing much time and money into their apps. The chances are they have in fact been investing time and dollars towards their apps (see more below).

Did You Design the Best Possible App?

Whether you did your mobile app in-house or reached out for help, did you come up with a good one?

In the event you are not happy with the current app for your small business, don’t settle for mediocrity.

Take the time and money if necessary to do better. When you do, your mobile app should garner more interest from consumers.

Last, don’t be afraid to see what competitors have done with their apps.

Never copy them down to the last detail. That said don’t be afraid to look at their ideas and how you could put in place one or more in your own manner.

If your app is not scoring points with consumers, it is time to restart the game.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.

 

 

So, You Want to Be Your Own Boss? Take These Steps to Succeed

It’s 2018, and the climate is perfect for entrepreneurs of all sorts, hence the growing number of people who are starting their own businesses, and successfully so. From stay-at-home parents, students, digital wizards, all the way to fully-developed remote companies, there’s a whole range of profitable careers you can tap into directly from your sofa.

And what makes it even more appealing is the fact that nothing prevents you from growing your business globally. However, as dreamy and perfect as all of this sounds, there are several key steps you need to take in order to make your way through the crowd of home-grown businesses.

Do what you love

And what you are brilliant at, since being average in this day and age will not get you too far, especially if you have to cover your own business expenses for the time being. The same goes for a business started out of passion, but without a clear idea of whether or not your product or services are actually needed, so you need to consider if there is a gap in the market for what you are offering.

Spend some time (but not forever) thinking about and brainstorming on everything you could see yourself doing for hours on end, with enthusiasm and vigor, and assess whether or not you are actually good at it enough to make your business attractive and stand out in the market. Love is where it starts, but skill and need are also essential.

Create a business plan

Now that you have established your ideal profession and analyzed the market to learn that it’s actually needed, you need to put it all in perspective. A business plan should include every single branding, marketing, communication, production, advertising strategy for the next year (or more), along with measurable metrics, milestones to track your progress and alternative routes for added flexibility.

A detailed business plan still makes room for adjustments on the go, because you can never fully anticipate market fluctuations or prevent slumps in your marketing campaign performance. You need contingency plans that will help you run your business even when things are slow or you come across an unexpected obstacle.

License and registration, please

Of course, before you start working on developing your business for the customer, you need to cover the legal bases that will make your company a recognizable legal entity in your country (or the entire world). From obtaining a federal tax number, completing company registration forms for your business, getting the needed licenses and certifications, to deciding on bookkeeping systems, it can take some time to make your company come to life from a legal perspective.

It’s unwise to do both the legal and the creative aspect simultaneously, since you might find yourself overwhelmed with work, and the complexity of each task may vary from one profession to another. Getting to know your country’s laws and regulations is a must for a business that wants to have a long and prosperous life.

Learn about your target customers

Who is your product or service intended for? How do you envision your ideal customer? Where can you find them, where do they spend their time? What sort of communication channels do they prefer and what language can they relate to? What’s their average age, most common occupations and anything else that makes them who they are?

Understanding your future clients means that you have shifted your view from your product itself to the person for whom you are creating the brand. This information and analysis of it may lead to adapting your product or its presentation to make it more appealing, or completely rethinking your brand identity to have a better chance at establishing trust and offering value to your customers.

Keep learning

Even if you are starting your business with a decade of experience in the field, it’s crucial that you stay open-minded to new ideas, concepts and discoveries emerging every day. As you develop your company, you will need to keep up with the trends in your profession, so that you can stay in the forefront and offer more quality than your competitors.

Do your best to take online seminars, attend networking events, take up additional courses and education whenever possible. These added skills and certificates will only add more value to your brand and give you more skills with which you can keep your company strong.

Control your environment

A seemingly insignificant factor that has brought many a home business to its knees is the mere atmosphere of where you do your work. Just like you put so much time into defining your talents and your business, you should adapt your home to have a designated work area.

It doesn’t have to be an entire room, as long as you know how to steer clear of distractions such as your TV, private social media profiles and other irrelevant notifications. Create a work area that will inspire you to work, create and devote yourself to your work, and be mindful of the time you spend growing your business – although it may be a pivotal segment of your life, don’t let it consume all of your time. Make sure you stay healthy, lead a social life and expand your horizons, because you never know from where your next favorite project may come!

 

Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

 

 

5 Strategies to Increase Brand Awareness Through Customer Service

Do you want to build your brand without breaking the bank? What if you can use your humanity to improve ROI

You can succeed in business without spending a lot of money on complicated marketing schemes. In fact, you probably already have everything you need if you commit yourself to customer service excellence.

Every time either you or a team member answer a question or address a problem, you have a chance to win big. After all, people talk about their experience with your brand, giving you tons of free publicity. When your customers have a positive experience, they become unpaid brand advocates who will refer business to you. On the other hand, when they have a bad experience, they can leave bad reviews and damage your reputation.

So, let’s take a closer look at how you can use customer service to build our brand.

1. Listen and Take Action

Whether you deal with customers online or in person, listening is your most important responsibility. First off, listening helps you understand the problem at hand. Also, by listening, you make your customers know that you care.

When dealing with someone face-to-face, you should pay attention to body language as you listen. Over the phone, you have to depend on tone of voice. When communicating in written form, you have to carefully interpret word choices.

When your customers finish speaking, assure them that you want to take care of them. Next, take action. Your prompt response will help assuage their concerns.

2. Help Angry Customers

Thanks to social media, encounters with angry people pose a grave threat to your brand. Bad reviews can spread like wildfire.

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Rather than hiding from irate customers, engage them. Face the challenge head-on and use customer service excellence to turn your detractors into supporters.

Just imagine the reaction of your social media audience when you make a heartfelt apology to irate customers. Even more so, think of the reaction when you accept responsibility and work together to find an acceptable solution.

3. Deliver Exquisite Content

Part of your customer service strategy should include the publication of valuable online content. When you contribute answers to real questions and practical solutions, you will establish the authority of your brand.

Make sure that you always create content from the perspective of customers and publish it to your website. From there, you can share it on your social media channels where you can provide links that lead back to your site.

When you develop a reputation for posting user-friendly, actionable content, you will encourage repeat visitors. As a result, your audience will naturally view your brand as the natural choice when they get ready to buy.

In addition to practical content such as tutorials and “how-to” guides, be sure to include some humor as well as a variety of content types. MailChimp provides a good example of supplying superb content to an audience.

When you visit MailChimp on social media, you can see how they provide free statistics and tools that people can use without becoming a customer. The brand also provides customer service through Twitter, where everyone can see how well MailChimp serves customers.

4. Communicate Non-Stop

When you engage your customers, you make them feel personally valued rather than just another number. For this reason, you must take every opportunity to reach out to them. Success really is that simple.

The fact of the matter is that you must respond to every comment left for you on social media. The same thing goes with email messages and voicemail.

In addition to that, use your customer relationship management to find reasons to contact customers. For example, you can have your software remind you to send thank you notes after a sale. Likewise, you can send customers birthday cards and schedule routine follow-up calls.

The cool thing is that better communication can result in dramatic improvements in sales. After all, customers who feel good about your brand will also feel a sense of loyalty. So, whenever possible, ask customers for feedback about everything from products to their personal preferences.

5. Surprise Your Customers

Despite an awareness of the essential role customer service plays in success, many companies fail to deliver. In effect, you can profit from the failures of other companies by surprising your customers with outstanding service.

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Give your social media presence a “Wow!” factor by organizing promotional events that deliver tangible and valuable rewards. For instance, you can have your audience members share photos of themselves using your products and then allow your audience to vote for the winner.

Other ideas may include storytelling contests, incentives for providing personal testimonies, and challenges to produce creative YouTube videos that pertain to your brand. Additionally, you can offer surprise bonus deals to reward your most loyal customers and fans.

So, what does all this mean? You can spread awareness of your brand by consistently providing exceptional customer service using some practical tips:

•   Use your listening skills and decisive action to make your customers feel valued.
•   Leverage irate customers to your advantage by proving your commitment.
•   Proactively communicate with customers on a friendly and personal level.
•   Establish authority by posting valuable, relevant content.
•   Exceed expectations and inject surprises to create memorable experiences.

It sounds simple, and it is. Can you afford not to use customer service to build your brand? Get started now. As always, remember to get help whenever you have a question or face a challenge.

About the author

Jen

Jen McKenzie is a self-employed author hailing from New York, NY. She writes extensively on business, education and human resource topics. When Jennifer is not at her desk working, you can usually find her hiking or taking a road trip with her two dogs. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie

Simple Tips for Handling a Business Expansion

Running a small business is nice, but there comes a time when every business owner wants to expand their business into something bigger and better. However, there are certain pitfalls that make it really difficult for businesses to handle their growth, especially if the growth is a rapid one. With bigger business come bigger responsibilities, and your ability to delegate them properly to competent managers. This is why it’s important to have a strong plan in place before even thinking about business expansion, and this guide will help you find out some of the best tips you can apply to your business in order to grow it successfully.

Focus on the Customers

One of the most important things when it comes to expanding a business is to understand and keep up with current market trends. If you fail to satisfy some of the basic customer demands you will never be able to grow your business beyond a certain point. This is why it’s vital to know as much as possible about their potential demands, as well as what’s trending and what your customers might be after. Whether it’s great customer service or a competitive product that can match any other out there, you need to know what to focus on.

Plan Your Marketing Campaign in Advance

No small business has ever expanded into a large one without investing heavily in advertising their brand. However, many business owners make a mistake and don’t actually factor in how the marketing itself needs to change once you start expanding, which can lead to a total crackdown of your expansion efforts. This is why it’s important to plan your marketing campaign in advance and try to cover all stages of expansion and how your campaign is going to adapt to meet the demands of an expanding business.

Running a business today means being online, which further means that investing in SEO is clearly something you should consider if you’re planning to expand. More traffic means more conversions, which will not only increase your revenue – but also boost your reputation as a brand.

Identify New Groups of Consumers

Expansion basically means moving past your existing customer base and thinking about how to attract new customer groups to become loyal to your brand. To do this, you need to diversify your products and/or services to better match the new groups you’ve identified. If you manage to do that, while also retaining your existing customer base, you’ll effectively have multiple income streams which will push your business forward. It’s always best to design new products to match what’s trending right now, so it’s important to constantly analyze the market for opportunities if you’re to get an edge over your competitors.

Get a Bigger Office

If you’re caught by surprise by your sudden expansion and you’re all of the sudden in a dire need of getting a new office, you might lose valuable time and money at a point in time when you need to be focused on the expansion. That’s why it’s crucial for you to identify when the expansion is going to happen and expand your workspace beforehand. While you might love your small, sturdy office, it’s no place to be once you start growing. Companies like Pinkjunk Rubbish & Junk Removal Company, 1800 Got Junk, Junk King, and numerous others, can get rid of the extra stuff you no longer need and save you a ton of time when moving an office.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media is a powerful marketing tool today, one that’s also the best marketing platform for many consumer groups out there. Be super-active on social media channels that best fit your industry. So if you’re in the business of interior design – Pinterest and Instagram might be your best bet. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to social media promotions, so pay attention.

  • Always Reply to Comments – There’s nothing users hate more than their comment staying unnoticed, so have someone vigorously answer everything that needs answering on your channels.
  • Deal with Negative Feedback in Private – If a customer had a bad experience with your service or a product, the last thing you want is to start a discussion for all the public to see. It’s bad for business, so always try to contact the user privately and settle things over there.
  • Fresh Content – Try to actively post fresh content, as that’s one of the best ways to get you traffic and conversions, as well as affect your SEO efforts.

Conclusion

Many businesses in the past decade failed for the sole reason of being unprepared for their expansion. Every small business owner wants their business to expand, so the more you’re ready for it – the better chances you’ll have to stay ahead of the game. By following these tips you’ll have a greater understanding of what awaits you and how to tackle it if you wish to successfully grow your business.

Guest author, Chloe Smith, is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.