Customer Service ‘Quicky’ course Part 1

Over the next few days we will go through several lessons that will help you learn how good customer service can help your business grow.  In this first lesson let’s talk a little about some simple yet effective strategies that will help you provide excellent customer service for your business.

Did you know that customer service is often an under-valued aspect of doing business? When in fact if you want your business to be successful, you need to train yourself and your employees to understand that the customer must always come first.

When it comes to providing good customer service it is important to personalize your approach as much as possible. One thing all customers have in common is the pleasure they receive when establishments they patronize make it clear to them that they know who they all are.

You have to prove to your customers that you appreciate them. You can do this by addressing them by name during all of your communications with them. The golden rule is; make them feel important and they’ll prove that you’re important to them, too!

 – Always give your best plus more!

You should train your employees to go the extra mile for the customers as well. Being respectful and smiling at all times may seem like a little thing but it can go a long way towards improving your business’s customer service record. Remember, it’s often these little things that make a big difference to your customers.

 – Always be fair!

No request should be too small to be considered, and no customer should be too insignificant to take care of. Sure, there are certain privileges that VIP customers are entitled to and other customers are quick to understand, but there are also certain privileges that everyone has the right to enjoy like common courtesy and dedication. Never let your customers think that you’re guilty of favoritism!

 – Make sure you listen!

It is extremely important that you listen to what your customer’s have to say. This may be hard when the customer is stubborn and unreasonable. Even if you end up unable to resolve the issue, your customers should still put the phone down in a good mood because they knew you cared enough to listen to them without confrontation.

 – Make good use of FAQ’s.

If you don’t have a frequently asked questions file or webpage for your business, create one immediately. Having a FAQ page is an effective way of offering good customer service on the fly. Keep a record of common questions and problems that have been discussed for quick reference. This will help to negate the need for repeat calls regarding the same issues. FAQ sections can help prevent your customers and employees from wasting their time.

 – Never left issues unresolved.

Every complaint must be successfully addressed. Train your employees to perform follow-up calls to ensure that all complaints had been resolved. For complicated issues, make sure that you give customers progress reports to let them know that you’re still working on their case. Do your best to give them a specific time period for which they can expect the issue to be fully resolved.

These are just a few basic strategies that you can use to beef up customer service for your own business. Follow them and you will be well on your way to providing excellent service to all of your customers.

We have a lot to go over in the next few days if you want to learn how to provide the best customer service for your business, so make sure you look for your next lesson soon. We will be talking about some simple secrets to providing great customer service all of the time!


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Who Is Your Customer?

Today, with the recession in full swing and the talk of a double dip, there is little to celebrate if you’re a main street business.  There are some hopeful signs that even a main street business can still have some success during these trying times.  As with other posts here on my blog, you see that I have interest in the internet and online business.  I have spent about 5 years studying the online business model and have come to the conclusion, if I can come to one, that everyday is a new day and what worked yesterday will not necessarily work tomorrow.  As a matter of fact it likely won’t work.  The internet is a living, flowing electronic being that changes almost every second of the day.  SO does that mean that old guys like me, that are firmly trenched in the “old business” model can’t learn a new thing or two.  No it does not!

If you want to maintain a successful main street, brick and mortar business, you will have to incorporate the internet and also some mobile marketing into your business.  You heard it here and I’m not BS’ing you the least.  I’ll say it again, maybe a little louder so you don’t miss it, IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU WILL NEED TO BE ONLINE AND ON MOBILE!!  Period!

I am very strongly opinionated on this as you can see.  Sure you have a business that only sells to people who walk in your store.. Do you think that you could use more customers?  Do you think it would be nice to turn over a little more inventory?  Do you think it would be good if you sold off some of the dead stock in the back, that you have already written off?  Well you can, and you can do it quickly, if your willing to do a little online work, or hire someone like me to do it for you, and move that old product off, and introduce new customers to your store.  Simple really.  Make more money.

Now here is the next issue.  Let’s talk about who your customer is.  You have heard of the 80/20 rule, if you haven’t, then you need to listen closely.  80 percent of your bottom line comes from 20 percent of your customers.  Yes it does.  The rule almost always applies, to almost every business.  So do you know who your 20 percent are?  Why are they buying from you?  Why are they coming to your business?  Again do you know who they are?  You should, because they are the ones that are keeping you in business.  Really they should all be your best friends and you should be treating them like gold, but if I was to come in and watch your business for a day or two, I can tell you that it is not likely that they are getting the royal treatment, and mostly because you don’t know who they are.

I have a task for you today.  I want you to take a look at where and how much your spending on your marketing.  I mean all marketing, that includes all your advertising, including the old yellow page ad, any radio, billboard, signage, sponsorship to your kids teams, free stuff to the charity that came in last month, website, all of it.  This may take you a few days to think of where you have spent and on what, but total it up for the year and see how much it really comes to.  How much of it is spent on the 80 percent of your customers that only give you 20 percent of your bottom line..  Be honest with yourself, if I was sitting there at your desk as your Manager, this is the accountability that I would be looking at you to provide me, so do it for yourself.

Business takes work, not just stocking the shelves and ringing in the sale kind of work, real work, understanding your customer, who they are, why they are there, kind of work.  Thinking work!  Sometimes this kind of work can be tough, it takes real discipline to look at your business this way.  Many companies hire Management Consultants, like myself to do this kind of analytics on their business, and believe it or not after spending thousands of dollars, ignore the outcome and do nothing about what we recommend.  That happens all the time, and it’s sad, very sad.  Consultants have no problem taking your money and giving you a big fancy report, I personally don’t do it that way, I’m a real Management Consultant, I make you do the work and changes while on the go, so it gets done.  Some business people have a real hard time getting out of their own way, is that you?  are your afraid of loosing control?  Are you afraid that you will lose your creative grasp on your business?  Well I’m here to tell you, that in spite of yourself, you may or may not make it in the business world because of those fears.  Or at the very least not be worse off then if you would be doing the same work for a company and getting a better salary then your making with your own business.

I ask tough questions don’t I?  Here is what I want you to take away from this post today.  You will have to take a large portion of your marketing spending and put it towards online and mobile marketing to be successful in today’s business world.  That marketing dollar will be earmarked and spent on the 20 percent of your customers that bring in 80 percent of your businesses bottom line.  If you don’t do it, your competition will, because I’m telling him the same thing I’m telling you.  Stay tuned for some solid meat and potatoes on how your going to do that, to keep your business alive in these tough times, we all want to be stronger, so we can really enjoy the next boom.


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Seven Secrets of Internet Millionaires

Internet millionaires don’t acquire their wealth and success by luck of the draw. They know the secrets to success. These secrets are so valuable that if you implement them, you will succeed in your own Internet business.

There are two general types of secrets that Internet millionaires know which include external and internal secrets. We will discuss these secrets in detail in hopes that you will use them to your advantage and become an Internet millionaire yourself.

First, let’s look at the external secrets that Internet millionaires have in their tool kit.

Internet Millionaire Secret #1: Internet millionaires recognize that strategy should be the foundation of any marketing plan. It is critical to have a marketing strategy and not just jump into marketing techniques. For example, we don’t have to use mass advertising anymore because mass advertising doesn’t have strength because consumers have choices. You would have wasted valuable time and money if you used mass marketing techniques without first strategizing about the state of the market.

Internet Millionaire Secret #2: Internet millionaires are not generalists. They focus on selling their products and services to specific niche markets. The business market in general is going in the direction of niche markets because customers have more choices regarding places to buy their products.

Internet Millionaire Secret #3: Search for and grab untapped markets. Seek out people that have not been able to have access to your product in the past. In untapped markets, you don’t have to deal with competitors which helps keep the marketing costs down. In addition, you will be able to establish a rapport and trust with your customers.

Internet Millionaire Secret #4: Your backend strategy is crucial to success.
You want several profit centers that allow you to sell your products and services to more customers. The backend part of your company supports these profit centers. It diversifies your business so you are bringing in money through many different areas. You can’t rely on retiring early if you only have one profit center.

Internet Millionaire Secret #5: Try to automate as many services as possible. This will allow you to sell services 24 hours a day 7 days a week online. Automate your service centers to cut down on costs and help your customers at all hours of the day.

Internet Millionaire Secret #6: Set up your business so that you are replaceable. You can make yourself replaceable by branding. Branding encompasses yourself or the value that you provide. Branding yourself is lucrative, but it doesn’t allow you to take a break because you have to make every decision. Branding your value, on the other hand, sells your expertise and not your time.

Internet Millionaire Secret #7: Don’t work alone; build a team to support your business venture. Create a team of marketing, business, a mentor and accountability individuals. Remember, two heads are better than one so you can discuss ideas and strategies you have for your business.

Internet millionaires also have internal secrets. An Internet millionaire has self confidence and believes in their product. They are able to make decisions quickly. They have learned the correct information and modeled others that have proven success. They are not afraid to make a mistake and realize that their job doesn’t define who they are. One of the most vital secrets is that Internet millionaires persevere and never give up no matter what obstacles cross their path.


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Quite Possibly the Best Traffic Tool Available Anywhere!

I want to introduce you to a new software tool I have just come across, you can consider this a little review of the software, then go have a look and decide if it’s for you and your online business. I think you will find this software will be a very valuable tool to generate a hugh amount of highly directed traffic to your online business, and we all know that traffic is what makes the world go around in the online business world.

If you have spent any effort on getting a online business off the ground, you will understand that traffic generation to your web site is the real “business” behind a online business. Quality, directed traffic to your site is quite possibly the hardest part of doing business online, until now! I am very serious in saying this tool is quite possibly a game changer for any online and offline business that wants to get tons of great targeted traffic to a website.

What is this tool? It is called Traffic Anarchy! Now don’t let the name hold you back from having a serious look at this software. When I first found it, it looked like any traffic generation tool out there, of which I have a few. Most of these software tools have limitations and usually only send your articles to a limited number of sites. Traffic Anarchy is different. This very easy to use tool allows you to send short articles to a complete host of Article sites, Press release sites, RSS feeds and Social bookmarking sites. I think around 150 different sites, very quickly, and generates great back links to your website to help get that elusive first page Google ranking without spending a cent on SEO or other paid traffic.

Steven Lee Jones has come up with something special here. Traffic Anarchy has been specifically designed to be as easy as possible to use and once the initial setup has been done requires only 1 click per day to set it running and bringing you traffic. All automatically. It really doesn’t get any better then that. Have a look.

Also something you should do is close the site when you have looked it over, then you get directed to a “stop box” click cancel and another page will come up, read this page, then close this page and you will get directed to another “Stop box”, click cancel and open the next page of a video of Elton Smith doing a little test of the software, you need to watch this video right through to the end, you will be amazed.

Traffic Anarchy, a great tool and like I said before, a game changer! Owe right, it’s cheap too 😉


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