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Tag Archives: Customer service

Unreasonable clients: Who gets your best work?

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by Seth Godin -

If you reserve your best effort for the irritable boss, the never-pleased client and the bully of a customer, then you’ve bought into a system that rewards the very people who are driving you nuts. It’s no wonder you have clients like that–they get your best work.

On the other hand, when you make it clear (and then deliver) on the promise that your best work goes to those that are clear, respectful and patient, you become a specialist in having customers just like that.

One of the largest turning points of my career was firing the client who accounted for a third of my company’s work. We were becoming really good at tolerating the stress that came from this engagement, and it became clear to me that we were about to sign up for a lifetime of clients like that.

Set free to work for those that we believed deserved our best work, we replaced the lost business in less than six months.

Years ago, I heard the story of a large retail financial services company that did the math and discovered that fewer than 5% of their customers were accounting for more than 80% of their customer service calls–and less than 1% of their profit. They sent these customers a nice note, let them know that they wouldn’t be able to service them properly going forward, and offered to help them transfer their accounts to a competitor. With the time freed up, they could then have their customer service people double down on the customers that actually mattered to them… grease, but without the squeaky wheel part.

No, you can’t always fire those that are imperious or bullies. But yes, you can figure out how to dig even deeper for those that aren’t. That means you won’t take advantage of their good nature, or settle for giving them merely what they will accept. Instead, you treat the good guys with even more effort and care and grace than you ever would have exerted for the tyrants.

The word will spread.

[The other alternative is a fine one, if you're up for it... specialize in the worst possible clients and bosses, the least gratifying assignments. You'll stand out in an uncrowded field! The mistake is thinking you're doing one and actually doing neither by doing both.]

 

 

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How Important Is Support On Your Site?

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In the modern era of technology, one of the things that a lot of websites will now offer is a 24-hour support service to all of their customers and potential clients. Although this seems like a good thing to have, there are a number of points that you need to take into account before you decide whether it would be something that would be worth it for you in the long term. Here, we will explore more about if having on call support regardless of the time of the day is right for your business.

What queries will you have to deal with?

The first thing that you need to consider is what kind of queries may be asked. If the usual things are quite general, then you might find that it is sufficient to simply have a page where common questions are answered, and a call line or email support that aims to respond to users within a 24-hour period. There are a number of very successful websites that choose to do this, and it can work well.

What about if there are urgent issues?

If it is likely that your customers would have urgent problems, then you might find that offering 24-hour support is worth it. A live chat feature or a phone line may be sufficient. However, it might be that you can offer a 24-hour call out service where you charge premium rates. This could be ideal if you offer a service that people require all hours of the day.

How many customers do you have?

You also need to consider the number of customers that you have who are active at night. It is likely that you would have to pay somebody a wage if you wanted an all day and all night support contact, and this means it is important that you ensure you are making the right choice. Hiring somebody is going to cost a lot of money so you would need to do some sort of feasibility study. If you are only a small company, you might find that it would not be worth it. However, if you find you are getting a number of email queries during the night that are urgent, and that would be beneficial to hire somebody this will be the right move.

Offer the customer what they want

The most important thing to think about when you have a website that aims to sell services is whether you are giving the customer everything that they need. If you are, this means that not only are they going to be happy with the service that you’re providing, but they would also be much more likely to recommend you to other people in the future. So, if you feel that it would be worth it in the long term, support would be a great idea. However, it very much depends on your company, the size of the customer base, and the nature of the queries that would likely be handled.

Kristian has plenty of experience working with those offering IT support London. He has worked with several developers, and also offers some of these services as well.

 

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Are Businesses Crossing Lines by Tracking Employees?

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Expert Cites Benefits & Ways to Ease Privacy Concerns

Nearly 10 years after real-time package- and people-tracking went viral with the advent of GPS-enabled cell phones, small businesses face two big concerns.

“One is expense. Small businesses, especially those still recovering from the worst recession in modern history, can’t always afford to provide their employees with GPS-equipped smart phones,” notes location-based services specialist George Karonis, founder and CEO of LiveViewGPS, Inc., provider of Mobile Phone Locate tracking service,  (www.mobilephonelocate.com).

“The second issue is privacy. People generally don’t want their employer to be a ‘big brother’ boss who can track their every move. It’s not because they’re doing something they shouldn’t, but because it invades their space, and the information could be misinterpreted or misused.”

But employee tracking has plenty of obvious benefits to small business owners:

• Provide baseline information. It gives businesses solid data to analyze for initiatives such as improving efficiency. Businesses with lots of workers in the field making deliveries or service calls can optimize routes and schedules.

• Improve customer service and satisfaction. Tracking helps a business tell people waiting somewhere for a delivery or service exactly where their package or service-person is and how long the wait will be.

• Improve response times. On-site coordinators can re-route workers in the field to respond to unscheduled calls in the most efficient way possible.

• Reduce costs. The greater efficiency provided by tracking helps lower costs by reducing both downtime and overtime.

So how can businesses circumvent affordability and employee privacy concerns?

One way is to accomplish both is to use a service that doesn’t involve extra equipment, including software, or a contract, Karonis says.

“If you’re not loading apps or software onto someone’s personal phone, it’s less intrusive for the employee and he or she will be more willing to allow use of their own phone. There’s also no added drain on the battery, because there’s no app constantly running in the background, and no hitch-hiking on their data plan or incurring a data charge,” he says.

“If you make it non-intrusive employees won’t tend to feel that you’re invading their privacy.”

Using a service that charges per location, with no requirement for a time-specific contract, is also more cost-efficient for the business, Karonis says.

“For the small business that’s merely seeking to improve efficiency and customer service, constant tracking isn’t necessary. That’s more appropriate in a situation where employers have large number of people constantly in the field, for instance, UPS. Or, employers who feel the need to monitor unproductive employees,” he says.

There’s a growing backlash as the public is subjected to more and more stalking – from cameras mounted at traffic lights to social networking sites recording shopping habits and topics of conversation, Karonis notes.

“We’ve reached a crossroads where we need to find a balance between surveillance that provides legitimate business advantages and surveillance that invades people’s privacy,” he says.

“It really is possible to strike that balance and, in a small business that thrives on trust, mutual respect and fully invested employees, it’s essential.”

About George Karonis

George Karonis has a background in security and surveillance, and has specialized in location services since 2005. A self-professed computer geek, one of his chief concerns is balancing the usefulness of tracking with the protection of individuals’ privacy. He is founder and CEO of LiveViewGPS, Inc.

 

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The Key To Happy Customers

Happy pretty young girl with friends in the backgroundIf you want your business to do better, you really only need to have one thing: happy customers. While customers in general will support your business, happy customers, the ones that are completely satisfied with your service, your products, and the experience you offer, will make sure your business succeeds beyond your wildest expectations. If you’re looking to put a few smiles on some customers, here are some tips you might find useful.

Don’t Bombard Them

Happy customers also mean satisfied customers. They’ve received the information they needed from you, nothing less and nothing more. While more content, more deals, and more emails might sound like a good thing from a business owner’s standpoint, you have to consider the perspective of the consumer. Most likely, you’re not the only business they’ve subscribed to. This means that in addition to your one or two emails per day, they’re also receiving emails, status updates, texts, and seeing advertisements from various other businesses. The last thing you want to do is be the business that goes overboard because they won’t hesitate to unsubscribe from your updates.

After you’ve gained a new follower, like, email subscriber, or blog reader, thank them for their support and then give them some space. You’ve captured their attention, which means they’ll be more aware of the amount of content you send their way. If that content is too few and far between, they can quickly forget about you. On the other hand, too much content can be overwhelming, annoying, and misinterpreted as lower quality. None of these bode well for your business development purposes.

Instead, find the right balance between the amount of content you send out and the time you send it out. Sending out smaller amounts of the right content at optimal times means that you have a higher chance at the success of that email, blog post, status update, or otherwise.

Ask For Feedback

If you’re sensing that your customers aren’t happy or you’d like to find ways to improve their experience with your business, the simplest way to find viable data is to simply ask them. That’s right; your customers partially hold the key to their own happiness. But it’s your responsibility as a business owner to unleash that insight and analyze it.

You can ask for customer feedback a number of ways. The most obvious is through online surveys. But this requires asking the right questions in the right format. The trick is to figure out what you’d like to know the most and then ask it in the simplest way. For instance, if you’d like to find out how your customer service team is doing ask how customers would rate their experience when deal with them. Asking for an answer on a number scale like 1 being the best experience and 10 being the worst experience would make the question even simpler. Also, try asking the question again but in a different way. This gives you more data to base your analysis off of. For a similar question to our previous example, you can ask how likely your customer is to recommend the customer service team. Again, use a numbered scale for easy answering.

You can also request feedback through social media, email newsletters, and posing questions at the end of blog posts on your website. Engage your customers and have them take interest in making the business they patronize better for their own benefit. You might want to offer deals, discounts, coupons, and other prizes for those who fill out the surveys. This will generate more interest, giving your surveys a variety of people to request feedback from.

Offer Occasional Deals

There are only a handful of companies that can get away with not offering any deals to their customers, but those companies have spent decades building up a reputation to do so. Apple, for instance, is know for it’s incredible customer service and top-of-the-line products, so customers are happy even though they almost never get a deal on a new mac computer. However, the rest of us have to find a way to compete and keep our customers coming back.

Offering deals, exclusive memberships, coupons, discounts, or another type of content is a way to reward your customers. Don’t think of offers as giving money away, think of it as an investment in the happy customers you’ll make along the way. You could either start with small offers to get your customers buzzing or go for a great big sale or deal to get them really excited. Afterwards, you will have established long-term relationships with many customers that might even do some word of mouth marketing for you. Offer rewards every now and then to keep customers looking forward to coming back into your store or onto your website.

Turning regular old customers into happy, satisfied customers means your business can do more and more. Instead of worrying over the perfect product, the perfect website, or the perfect Twitter account, worry yourself with how to make your customers smile every time they think about your business. Happy customers like that will keep your business alive for years to come.

Pete Wise is a copywriter working for Luminar Insights, a source of hispanic data. When I’m not writing articles, I’m posting to my LinkedIn page.

 

 

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