Keys to achieving effective customer service in your business

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I can’t recall if I’ve ever told you that I spent eight years of my life working as a professional customer service personnel for my previous employer

Well, if I didn’t mention this to you previously, you now know that I did and you might also want to know that those were amongst my top three best working experience. I also worked in data entry, call handling, operations, marketing and logistics

Customer service is amongst the top things you should take seriously if you are running any kind of business. It might be what will distinguish you from your competitors if you get it right, you are also on your way to achieving customer loyalty which is what most business owners should desire. I don’t think I need to mention all the reasons why gaining the loyalty of your customers is important but one thing to note is that it might not only keep you in business, it also has the potential of sustaining your business throughout its existence.

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Some essential keys to achieving good customer service in your business are as follows:

1) Employ experienced customer service staffs: this advice is targeted at bigger companies with big budget, who can afford it. If you manage a small company and can’t pay an experienced customer service staff to work for you, then you can make do with one you can afford but ensure they get as much quality training as possible.

While working in the above capacity for my employer, I had to interact with many clients, some who even got angry at an attendant, caring, polite and composed staff. In such a case, experience matters a lot but training can also be crucial in handling it as well

2) Your customer service staffs should have empathy: this isn’t gotten by training or experience but rather has a lot to do with personality trait. There are times when managing disgruntled customers, that only being empathetic and listening to what they are experiencing is all they need from you. Your staffs should be ready for this at all times because it can win you loyal customers

3) Professional staffs: Let your staffs know what your company stands for and what is expected of them at all times. What are your company policies? Your customer service staff should be aware of them because they are your business representatives, they project your business ideals directly to your customers and it is crucial that they conform to the ideals of your company so that your business is not misrepresented

4) Offer personalized service: There’s a bank in my country who projects itself as “Number one customer bank” their aim is to give personalized banking service to clients. In my dealings with them, I receive emails from them, I receive birthday cards from them on all my birthdays, for my last one I received an ecard and birthday message from them by 12a.m, not only were they the first to wish me a good day but for some lonely people they might be the only ones to even remember such a special day. It’s no surprise that I’ve been banking with them for eleven years now and although their interest rate on savings is not as high as most of their competitors, I’m still with them. My deposit isn’t as much as what I have in another bank but I remain with them mainly because I’m loyal. My loyalty paid off recently but that’s a story for another day

5) Be flexible: Yes, it’s good to have professional staff and to follow company policies as much as possible but most people who are familiar with working with customers know that sometimes rules need to be bent in order to satisfy them. Do you know that the most difficult people to deal with are often eventually more loyal than the average client? It’s true, if you can win their hearts by being flexible, if required, you’ll gain a very loyal customer. This has happened many times in my experience as a customer service representative

Give incentives: people tend to feel happier and better about themselves when they feel smart. Offering incentives that are easily achievable make customers willing to get involved in doing more business with your company.

Can you think of any other factors that will contribute to achieving effective customer service for businesses? Add your contributions in the comment section, we are interested in hearing what you think

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When you stop learning you stop living

I didn’t update my blog last week because I made a decision to become a student again

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Recently, I decided to go back to school. The digital world is very fast paced and for anyone to be carried along with the pace, one needs to acquire knowledge consistently

We constantly need to learn about new apps, new softwares, new marketing strategies, new ways to advertise our businesses and new ways to make the most of the digital world.

If you are not already doing it, you should think of starting. Conduct researches about new apps and softwares that will help you improve your business, use social media to find out what things are trending and how it can be applied to make your business better. Find out what others in your line of business are doing in cyber space

Those who are keeping themselves up to pace with trends in the digital world are also constantly learning. They dedicate a lot of time into seeking knowledge that will improve their businesses and make them more effective in the digital space

What are you currently doing to keep up with the pace of the digital world? I will like to know

Celebrate the Human Spirit

Life After 50

For the past few days, many of us have been holding our breath as we have been watching the coverage of the rescue attempt of 12 boys & their coach from a cave in Thailand.

After 18 days, thankfully & miraculously, all 13 have now been safely brought to the surface through the efforts of thousands of volunteers.

As this international team of volunteers assembled, gathering their expertise to work towards a common effort, it struck me that if this is not an example of how we can work together as human beings collectively towards a positive outcome, I don’t know what is.

We can & should learn from this experience.

Regardless of where we come from, what religion we practice, what colour our skin is or what culture we happen to immerse ourselves in, if we all work together as human beings, what we can accomplish is nothing short of…

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Multitasking in business

woman sitting on chair near laptop computer

I can’t think of anything I’m not prepared to do for my business to make it grow and remain relevant in the industry

When I first started and I couldn’t afford to pay for a contract cleaner, I would scrub, clean and dust every where, every morning on my own while still acting as the accountant, cashier and sales person. I did virtually everything possible and played every role that was needed to do to make things work.

But it didn’t feel like I was doing too much. I overlooked the fact that I was playing multiple roles because it was my passion to set up and manage the business. It was my business and this was what needed to be done to make it work especially as i didn’t have enough capital to hire other people. If I had to work in all these different capacities for someone else’s business, I would have either thrown in the towel or asked for a much hire pay

As an entrepreneur you need to be prepared to do things you probably never imagined you would do when you decided to start your business. Be ready and willing to do it because it will save you a lot of money which you will need for other more pressing needs.

Instead of recruiting a cleaner, sales person, delivery guy etc try to see which other roles can be carried out by you conveniently

Can you learn a new skill that will help you play another role in your business instead of employing someone else? Will you be able to conveniently work in other capacities while still managing your business effectively? Recently, I saw a lady who owns a big restaurant and also works as a waitress, I learned that she’s been doing this for years.

If you aren’t already looking into doing other jobs within your business as a business owner, you should. It saves money, you learn new skills and your business will stand a much better chance of succeeding with your effort

Graduation day

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Last week my 4 years old niece invited me for her graduation ceremony

Today is the day when it holds and I’m spendings the weekend with them to attend it. As expected, my niece is so excited even though she doesn’t know the real meaning of the word ‘graduation’ but she’s excited because she gets to wear a new skirt suit and look pretty.

For an adult, graduating to a higher level in life means much more than a pretty hair and new outfit, it should mean a reward for all the hard work and effort put into an endeavor.

We all go into business, employment, contract, everything we do, not just to experience what is involved in the process but to graduate to another level of knowledge and experience in it

Don’t settle for mediocrity, some people never allow themselves get fully involved with things. Their efforts go unaccounted for because of this attitude. You are more than this.

Whatever you put yourself into, try to make it an endeavor which you intend to gain all the knowledge and experience possible. Then even without a graduation ceremony you will know within you when it’s time to move to the next level

This is a winning attitude which will set you apart for growth and success in whatever you intend to do. It will bring your plans to live and take your goals from paper to reality

 

Tips for first time business owners

I’m one of those people who enjoys watching soccer. I find it intriguing watching 22 people kicking a ball around a field. It’s something that can produce so many varied emotions in both the spectators and the participant

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The goal of the game is to ensure that the ball doesn’t enter your goal post and to get the ball into your opponent’s net as many times as possible

This game, like many other  popular ones has engaged, excited and captivated viewers for several years till date and it’s not going to stop in the near future because it holds the secret of success within it

Soccer  engages, excites and captivates the attention of spectators and this is what makes a lot of people passionate about it.

Why am I going on and on about soccer? It holds the secret most entrepreneur need for success. When you have a product or service that excites, engages and captivates the attention of a sizeable number of people, you have a product that will definitely do well in the market

Some people get so emotional about their products or service especially first time business owners. They don’t bother to carry out a sample research before starting up a business venture. They believe that if they like a product then automatically everyone else will too.

This is why many first time business owners fail in their attempt to run a business venture. This can usually be avoided if they have the right business or offer the right service

Remember this, if you can engage, excite and captivate a good number of people with your idea, product or service then you are on your way to success in business

Maintaining humility on your way to success

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Humility is one character trait which many people tend to leave behind on their way to success

It is quite uncommon to find a rich person who possesses this trait because wealth often comes with certain circumstances that works against it

But what is humility? Oxford dictionary defines it as the quality of being humble, being humble is having or showing a modest or low opinion of your own importance.

Many successful people want others to know that they are important, they are mostly not satisfied if and when they aren’t noticed. What was the reason for becoming rich in the first place if they won’t be recognised as important? This is the way most of them reason

Many begin to hang out with people of similar financial standing to boost their esteem. They gradually cut off their old relationships/friendships in the belief that they are no longer in their class

There are so many things wrong with the above attitude. When your finances begin to increase you must be determined to raise your level of humility by the same margin because if this isn’t done you will surely become another rich proud person

When this happens you hurt a lot of your old friends and acquaintances who may not be as financially prosperous as you and these are the people who genuinely appreciate you for who you are and not your money or change in financial status

In many cases, riches do not remain static forever, sometimes you may find yourself back to the level you were in formerly. This is not uncommon because some businesses lose clients, some people lose their jobs and some others experience unfortunate circumstances that make them fall back to being middle or low income earners once again

But this time around, you find your close friends whom you hurt are no longer willing to continue the friendship for fear of being hurt again, some of your relations have formed a negative impression about you which will take years to undo, you have hurt the feelings of many lower employees or even your staffs by your inability to empathize with them, etc

As you climb the ladder of success, remember to put on the garment of humility it is priceless and will help you in building new worthwhile relationships while maintaining old ones.