Conscious Customer Service Increases Your Business Agility and Profits

Conscious Customer Service Sells, period!

In the current turbulent and uncertain business environment we face, a major part of your business agility and future success rests upon the quality of service you offer. If you understand the Laws of Attraction then you also understand that you ultimately get what you pay for. In short, the higher quality service you offer, the more likely you will attract more of the kind of customers you desire.

If you are part of a service/customer care department or call-center and are looking to:

  • Increase your sales without increasing your marketing and sales costs
  • Save precious time, resources and money on each customer call or visit
  • Solve customer complaints, at their source, in a way the customer accepts while improving your products and business practices
  • Master transforming plain customers into loyal ones who advocate you and your business to others

Then fully understanding and harnessing the power, efficiency and humanity of effective customer service is essential.

Service, the art of seeing, hearing and understanding

Did you know that the number one reason convicts give for choosing a life of crime is that they did not feel seen, heard or understood as children? If parents are that sloppy and or unconscious in the treatment of their beloved offspring can you just imagine how many of us are perceived as blind, deaf and uncaring by our customers? Perception is the Key as you may THINK you were providing good service only to find out from your boss or via a viral Tweet or Facebook post that the opposite was true. To use an uncomfortable metaphor, “Your light may have been on, but was anybody really home“?

Service versus Performance

When all your senses and facilities are fully focused upon the person you wish to serve, then you are consciously serving them. Yet when you are distracted by that little voice in your head telling you what you “should” say, find yourself thinking about what the service manual demands on page 32, or just thinking about lunch, then you are performing for yourself. What if your customer can sense that?

Can’t you?

Acknowledging this brutal truth is the first step towards pure, attractive and profitable service. How to get there requires special tools, a strong will and lots of practice. Then, the more you choose to master this path of service, the better at it you will become. Continue your journey and observe how many more customers will be attracted to do business with you and your organization. Below are just a few tips to get you started on your own path.

Tips for attractive and profitable service and increased business agility:

  • Be curious and ask lots of questions

    Service people are only human and when we are doubted or attacked we usually become defensive. Yet will starting a debate with a dissatisfied customer accomplish anything more than further pissing them off? Instead, let them ventilate. Listen closely, drill down with more questions and, before you even attempt to solve the problem, make sure they feel seen, heard and understood.

  • Distinguish what is being said from what you are hearing

    There are always two sides to every conversation. Remember, “If you are a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail“. If you go into a call or meeting on the defensive, you will be listening for anything other than ways to be attacked? If instead, you go in curiously, with an intention to listen, serve and solve, watch your chances for success and renewed customer loyalty drastically increase.

  • Become more conscious of your own and other’s body language

    Learn to tune in to all the information you and your listeners are broadcasting, consciously or not. Then use this valuable information to create more confidence, trust and stronger relationships. As a Bonus, watch as you will also become increasingly aware of those trying to use their body and its language to deceive or manipulate. Then, learn to marvel at the ultimate suicidal futility of trying to do so.

  • Uncover “What’s missing” by both asking for and sensing it

    Just solving the problem is a good start, yet with just a few thought-provoking questions, you invite your customer to dig deeper and uncover the source of their problem. If you want to build customer loyalty with every call or meeting you have consciously and continuously develop each relationship. There is no better way to do this than by asking some insightful, and reflective questions, then listen with all your senses to the complete answer.

By practicing and developing each of these seemingly simple suggestions you will not only improve your level of service, it will attract more business. If you are looking to turn your service department from a cost center into an agile profit center, then these steps are essential to integrate into your organization. Of course, there are specific and powerful tools to help this process along, but the essentials of what you need are displayed in these four simple points.

As your competition heats up, your margins become increasingly vulnerable and your competitive technological edge begins to disappear, the importance of personalized service for each and every customer becomes imperative. Finally, thinking about these points is better than not thinking about them, but using them is the only way to survive and improve your business agility.



Source by [lakajira]

Start a Service Business With Government Grants

There are many kinds of grants available for service business start-ups, for the government distributes a big sum of money. If you're willing to do the work to find grant funding, it could mean thousands of dollars to help you start your service business– Daycare Center.

Step 1

You can contact your county's Department of Children and Family Services. They can tell you if there are any local or state grants available. Get child care start-up grant monies from the federal government.

Step 2

Consider hiring a grant resource company to help you secure government grant money. Most online resources charge a monthly fee to help you locate the best matched grants for your day care business.

Step 3

Fill out all applications and write any essays or other information needed to send with your grant. Take the time to double check your work and make sure you include all the information requested.

Step 4

Remember the number of individuals applying for grants is much larger than the number of grants available. Make your applications stand out by including anything you can to help your cause.

Step 5

Look for food grants from the state or federal government. Find grants for toys, regulation beds and learning materials. It may be easier to get money to start up a daycare business if you focus on certain aspects of the start-up.

Step 6

Use any grant money the government gives you in the manner it was intended. Keep good accounting records, and document expenses related to all money for future tax returns.

Step 7

Contact the government organization after the grant application deadline to keep up to date on the selection process. It doesn't hurt to let them know you're committed and persistent.

Step 8

Remember there are other grant options besides government funded money. Look into grants from local civic organizations such as Lions Clubs, United Way, Kiwanis, Jaycees and more.



Source by [lakajira]

IT Support Services for Small Business

Many small businesses today have computer networks and therefore need IT support services. There are numerous IT support companies that offer exceptional services for small and mid-sized organizations. Outsourcing IT support provides you with peace of mind in addition to other benefits such as cost efficiency and time savings.

This article discusses the various services offered by these firms and the benefits that accrue from hiring a competent provider.

Fixed Cost

This is one of the most important, often overlooked, benefits. Outsourcing your IT support brings in some predictability in cost management. Rather than pay for services every time something breaks, you pay a fixed monthly fee to the provider. This way, you know how much the service costs and there are no nasty surprises.

Network Scalability

Since most firms charge a fixed monthly fee based on the number of devices, the monthly fee grows or shrinks in a predictable and predetermined manner. Thus, you can scale your expenditure up or down depending on business performance and / or the economy.

Server Issues

Server downtime can lead to severe losses due to a slowdown or complete halt in workflow and productivity. When you outsource IT support, you receive a server uptime guarantee as well as a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Your server will be secured against internal and external threats and its performance monitored continuously to ensure you do not suffer from any downtime.

Software Installation and Updates

Software updates is a critical activity for any business. Failure to upgrade will lead to obsolescence and expose the business to security risks. The pace of technological advancement is quite fast and unless you are regularly in touch with gurus in the software industry you are unlikely to know the best software to use for a particular activity. However, an IT support company would have these answers at their fingertips and you would benefit from this knowledge.

Disaster Recovery

When most people think of disaster recovery, the picture that comes to mind is that of earthquakes, floods or some other natural calamity. However, disaster recovery can also refer to human carelessness that leads to data loss. A competent IT support firm will be able to set up adequate data back up systems as well as advice you on timely management of your data backup systems.

Network Security

Security is a major issue of concern to small businesses. Unauthorized access or hacks can seriously interfere with your network and lead to loss of client data. Many small businesses treat security as an "add -on" instead of weaving it into the fabric of the business. A competent provider will make you come to this realization and implement a solution.

Consulting

Finally, specialists at IT support company's help you plan your infrastructure and show you how to manage it efficiently. You benefit greatly from their experience dealing with numerous customers.



Source by [lakajira]

How to Organize a Small Business Start Up

A small business start up marks the beginning of the business which is categorized in small business. A small business can be corporation, partnership or a proprietor owned with a small amount of manpower and funding. In America, a small business start up comprises of less than 100 employees, whereas in UK it has less than 50 workers. In countries like Australia, a small business start up begins with 1-19 employees. A small business start up is identified by its small investment, small turnover and profit and less manpower.

The smallest business start up can begin at home which are termed by the World Bank as Micro-businesses. They usually have manpower of less than 10 employees. Higher versions of small businesses can be general stores, lawyer practice, clinics, private agents, restaurants, free-lance writers and small-scale manufacturing industries.

Advantage of a small business is that it requires less investment. The working hours of such a venture is also less and requires smaller work area. They have a closer relationship with their customers and clients. They are highly independent and flexible to the changing market. Disadvantage of such a small business start up is the high risk of bankruptcy. In absence of strong financial back-up, the business may go into heavy losses, resulting in legal action against the proprietor in case of loan taken.

A small business start up should follow the below mentioned methods for grater success:

Formulating a business plan:

For any small business start up, a well defined plan is a must. The final objective of the business should be precise and clear. The requirements should be formulated and the money to be invested should be prudently calculated. Almost equal amount of money invested should be available for back up in case of heavy losses incurred. The amount of man power required and their required qualification and skills should be decided.

Implementation of the Plan:

The business plans made initially should be implemented and all objectives set should be achieved. Financially, loans should be taken if self financing is not possible. Most of the banks provide loans for businesses. It is easier to obtain loans for partnership ventures. After the principle amount is obtained, the hiring of man power is done. This is followed by purchasing of all commodities needed for the business to start. The small business start up can now function fully.

Getting customers and Marketing:

Getting the right customers is the key to success for all small business start ups. Doing a small research on the market trends and customer needs helps in changing the business strategy for higher profits. Marketing the product of business to the target customers is optional, depending on the type of product. Marketing for a small business start up can be restricted to pamphlets, news papers, and small hoardings.

Expansion of business:

Upon attainment of the set objectives, the small business can increase its investments, manpower and productivity. This can be achieved if the small businesses start up earned considerable profit. This can expand the boundaries of the business and reach to a larger group of customers to increase the profit margin.



Source by [lakajira]

Offsite Backup Services – Why Businesses Need to Invest in Them

Today, most businesses use computers for running various applications and realize the importance of an offsite backup service for storing their data. If a business does not have adequate data protection, it can become another unfortunate piece of statistic.

Offsite Backup Services are secure, very cost effective, and one of the most convenient ways to automatically back up your data offsite every night or any pre-selected time. As all the files are transmitted and stored at two state-of-the-art mirrored data centers using 128-bit AES Encryption and SSL technology, it is extremely secure from any unwanted or unauthorized access.

All data is reliably protected offsite from fire, flood, theft or sabotage, in addition to common technical disasters such as hard drive crashes, viruses, data corruption, hackers and even accidental deletion of files. Offsite Backup Services are easily more cost effective and reliable backup solution than manually backing up your data to tape, Zip, Jazz, CDRW, DVD or external drives.

The software setup is very simple and it is very easy to use. It comes loaded with advanced features designed to save you time and money, such as: Easy System Restore, Remote File Access, 10-File Versioning and Extended Archiving.

Once the initial backup has been done, automatic nightly backups first compress the files and then securely transfer only new files and block-level changes, for fast, efficient backups with minimal bandwidth usage and transfer time. With one click, you can also run backups on-demand any time, on Windows exit, or on network connection (great for laptops) backups.

Users can retrieve files via the desktop agent or through a secure online connection using the Remote File Access feature. Easy System Restore provides a full system backup to protect the operating system, program files and registry settings.



Source by [lakajira]

How To Choose The Best Digital Marketing Agency For Your Business?

Often do we read news of fraud, scam and reports of some digital marketing agencies that add no value to their clients’ businesses. In a world where companies spend millions of dollars every year on digital marketing campaigns, the need to distinct good agencies from bad cannot be stressed enough.

Combining various internet marketing tactics with other forms of media and strategies, digital marketing has become one of the most effective methods of lead-generation, branding and procuring bigger customer-base. Broadly speaking, it can be subdivided into internet marketing, mobile marketing and offline marketing.

The importance of having a digital marketing agency for any type of business is obvious. It is the nature of any firm to focus its whole attention to the industry that it is in and subsequently to the primary objectives that form the company. This necessitates delegating other works like digital marketing to external agencies.

For example, a company that manufactures clothes will devote most of its workforce to manufacturing and selling clothes alone. The business of that company is clothes, not marketing or advertising; and even if it does its own marketing campaigns, there’s a better chance that a marketing agency, whose sole business is creating marketing campaigns, is going to do the job far better than the company’s marketing department.

And in a world where most consumers are now equipped with mobile phones, TV, internet and other electronic media, the need to digitize one’s marketing campaigns need not be mentioned. Because there’s a simple truth above all else: digital marketing works. It is cheaper than traditional strategies and visibly more effective.

So how does one find the right digital marketing agency to work with?

Choosing the right agency can be a daunting task especially because there are new companies springing up almost everyday. And because the variety of services offered by these companies is not the same. Let’s take a look at the various elements that will help you choose the best digital agency for your business:

Services Offered

The first thing you should always consider when looking for digital marketing agencies to work with is the nature and variety of services they offer. A good agency should offer as many services as possible under one roof. This will save you the trouble of finding another company for a specific service as you can easily delegate all your digital marketing needs to that company.

A full serviced agency typically offers:

– Web design and development

– Search engine optimization and marketing

– Mobile marketing

– Email marketing

– Social media marketing

– Online advertisement

– Online reputation management

Portfolio And Testimonials

A good digital marketing agency will always have a portfolio that consists of clients with visible levels of success. You can easily access this portfolio from their website. A portfolio page that lists a good number of clientele is more trustworthy than one that displays only a few.

Testimonials are another criterion to help in choosing a digital agency for your business. Good agencies will have feedback and testimonials from previous customers. The more testimonials, the better.

Online Presence And Reputation

It’s only natural for a company that deals in digital marketing to have a visible online presence. Does it have a Facebook page and if so, how many Likes does it have on the page? What is its Twitter following like? Social media presence and activity is a good measure of a company’s repute.

A quick Google search using the company’s name as the search term will reveal a great deal of information about the company, including reviews and feedback on review sites, if any. A search query that returns very little result may not be the best company to have your marketing work delegated to.

Support

Any good company should have excellent support. Try contacting the digital marketing agency that you’re currently researching on from their website or via their Live chat application, if they have one. How long does it take for them to respond? Call them up and talk to them. Find out how knowledgeable their support team is. This is a company that you’re going to give a lot of money to, it’s important to know before-hand if they are worth investing in and that if you ever run into problems, they are there for you.



Source by [lakajira]

Google+ Local Business Listing (Local Page)

It is without doubt Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, and for your company it is important you feature highly in the search rankings. When people search online for a business, it is estimated that around 20 percent of those searches include a local area and a service in the search term. Examples are, "Chicago hairdressers" or "lawn mowing services Miami" etc.

Google business listing services is a service which has replaces the old Google Places and Google Places for Business. In Google+ local business listing you can contain videos and photos of your business and you will also see reviews from users. There are a number of key essential information listings, such as your phone number, website address, address, hours of operation and sometimes the CEO name is listed, displayed on your Google Plus local business listing.

If there are any real time updates then these are displayed also. It may be that your business is closing over the Christmas and New Year period or for Thanksgiving. These amended opening times can be displayed as real time information for your customers.

Google+ Local Business Listing will connect you online with Google Maps, Google web search and the link will also direct your customers to the social media platform that is Google+. The platform is ideal for those customers who are on their smartphones or tablets and want to search for your business. You need to update the regularly and register your business with Google Places if you want to have a Google business listing.

If you manage your business listing in the right way, you can influence what web searchers find when they check the results. Including key information such as company name, services offered, and types of payment accepted. It will have an effect on the way your Google business listing is optimized.

It will also get you listed on Google Maps; people use Google Maps to discover a new area or a list of businesses in their own area. Imagine a web searcher looking at Google Maps and landing on your business which will display to them the hours you operate, phone numbers, website addresses and other key information you would like to share with potential customers.

It is always a good idea to enhance your Google Plus local business listing by adding images and videos of your services you think would encourage people to look deeper into what you are offering.



Source by [lakajira]

How To Search Google For Country Specific Results

Running an international online business with the capability to service people from any country means that you want your site to perform well not only in local country specific results but also global results. You may not realise this but doing a standard Google search and leaving the “full web” option selected doesn’t necessarily give you your website’s true location in the Google global results. It gives you the global results given your location.

For example, the results of doing a full web search in my home city of Brisbane Australia will be different to a full web search from Toronto Canada.

Google gives results based on your location even when you are not stipulating a local result. You can click your local country only result button and get sites that are from your home country, usually determined by the domain name extension, for example .com.au for Australia, .ca for Canada, etc. or the IP address of your web hosting server, or you can click the web option and get global Internet results that vary depending on your computer’s location in the world (based on the IP address of the computer you are using to access the Internet).

Think Global

If your business can service the world then you really can’t ignore the American marketplace, or if you are in the USA don’t forget about Europe, Asia and the rest. Hence you need to know how well your site is performing in Google global search results and unfortunately simply ticking the “the web” option in Google when searching can be misleading because your ranking will be different if it was someone in a different country doing the exact same search.

What you want to know is when someone in the the UK does a Google search for one of your terms, how high is your website up in the search results? With this little trick you can figure it out.

The Code

All you need to do is add &gl=uk to the URL at the end of the Google search query.

For example:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sample+query&meta=&gl=uk

This tells Google to spit out the results for the query based on UK servers.

I can’t guarantee 100% conclusively that this works as I expect it does, but it definitely does something and you should try it yourself and see if your site shows up in a different place in the results. The “gl” stands for Geographic Location and of course you can interchange the last letters to test different country results around the world.



Source by [lakajira]

IBM Services and Solutions to Small and Mid-Size Businesses

Access to relevant information at the right time helps businesses make the right decisions. In the aggressive business environments, companies need to adopt competitive solutions for improving their business productivity. IBM has been offering cutting edge business solutions for small and midsized business ventures. Over the years, they have been helping businesses grow across the globe.

IBM provides realistic, integrated Business Intelligence solutions that help businesses maximize their profitability. They offer a variety of solutions and services like, Cloud computing, Information management, Business analytics, Security & privacy, Application services, Network and systems management, Smarter Commerce, and much more.

Cloud computing

IBM provides efficient cloud computing solutions that enable you to makeover your IT infrastructure, and address essential business needs anytime and anywhere. The solutions that they offer help you identify the areas where you can decrease your ongoing operational costs. Businesses have been able to handle complex projects effectively with the help of cloud computing technology. The solutions that they provide are expertly integrated with your process planning and implementation.

Information management

The Information Management tool provided by IBM facilitates your small or medium size firm manage all your important data. It helps connect systems and people for the best overall performance. These types of proven solutions allow you to incorporate different data from several systems to develop agility, efficiency, and expertise in your business. It also improves your company's bottom-line, which is generating more revenue by enhancing the customer experiences.

Network and systems management

Networking is a great tool to expand and develop your business. IBM offers network and system management solution that addresses IT requirements such as integrated data, voice, and video capabilities, hosting services, wireless functionality etc. The solution works within your funds, and offers optimum quality service to grow and thrive.

Smarter Commerce

IBM Smarter Commerce for mid-size business improves the value addition towards the partners, shareholders and customers, which are the three most important pillars of any organization. It helps to transform all phases of the commerce cycle in today's fast changing digital world:

  • Purchase: Drives smart, optimized and adaptive wholesale supply chains depending on the customer demands.
  • Market: Makes relevant and personalized offers with integrated cross-channel marketing.
  • Trade: Enables partners and customers obtain what they wish for, anytime they need.
  • Service: Anticipates the performance and distributes flawless consumer service.

The solution provided by them helps in managing all departments of businesses in a synchronized manner.

Application services

The company leaders need their employees to spend maximum time on work, which is on the core business operations that are assigned to them. At the same time, there is a need to focus on the application management in order to maintain your company's long-term productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

If you are looking for a cost effective and robust application support for long-term development plans of your business, IBM is always ready to help you meet up your company's embryonic hi-tech and dogmatic requirements.



Source by [lakajira]

Best Car Key Replacement Services

Anyone will like his or her favorite car to be safe and secure in a busy city like Chicago. Unfortunately, the growing rates of crimes including theft and burglary have made this one of the most difficult tasks to be accomplished. It is never prudent to leave the repair of locks or replacement of key in unsafe hands. Professional Chicago Locksmith who is well reputed could be the answer to all such problems.

Preventing Unscrupulous People

Instead of picking the roadside Locksmith in Chicago it would be good to go for the established and registered ones in the city to ensure that such person does not make an additional duplicate key of your car using it for ulterior motives. That is why it is necessary that you make a little background research on the reputation and reliability of the Car Locksmith before you leave the task in his hands.

Car Lock Replacement

One of the best ways of protecting your car from possible future burglaries is to change the manual lock into something that is automatic. After all ensuring the safety of the car is in the hands of the owner more than anyone else. Hence also ensure that while the manual lock is replaced with automatic locks of modern times, the person whom the task is entrusted is a Chicago Area Locksmith and well known in the circle. One can also ensure that if there is some number or a remote to operate the automatic lock, the secrets of them are not retained by the locksmith after he accomplishes the task of lock replacement.

What Should Be Your Choice

In selection of the Car Key Locksmith Chicago the car owner will have certain issues to address. Three main factors for determination of the choice of the Locksmith to replace the car key or repair the lock would be the speed of work, quality, and affordability. It is also preferable to have the services of such Locksmith that would be available 24/7 at call so that you are not stranded in odd hours with the recurrence of the problems once settled. Maintenance is vital for smooth functioning of any device and it applies to the lock and key of the car as well.

It is Good Going for the Professional

Very often amateur or stop-gap services are available that are inexpensive and the car owner or user could be tempted to obtain the services of such Locksmiths for repair or replacement of car locks and keys. However, there are certain inherent pitfalls in the process. For one, the quality is not assured, and secondly and more important; safety and security of the car may be compromised substantially with such Car Locksmith. Their services may not be available round the clock either.

No such problem will be faced by the owner or use of the car when they opt for the Car Key Locksmith in Chicago.



Source by [lakajira]

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