Make Customer Service A Priority With Best Practices

Make CustomerIf you run a business of any size, customer service is a key component of your success. Unfortunately, most businesses are good at paying lip service to customer service, but come up short when it comes to actual delivery. Think about most of the customer service experiences you’ve had yourself when dealing with other companies.

Sometimes you get lucky and have a genuinely good experience, but is that the norm? It isn’t for most people. You either get the guy who says his name is Bob but has an accent so thick you can barely understand him, and who isn’t actually empowered to fix anything, or you get customer service agents who are professional, but sound entirely wooden. They sound like they don’t really care and are just marching through a script.

Here’s a secret: They probably are marching through a script. Managers listen to their customer service employees calls, and they’ll actually get fired if they deviate from the script.

This represents a golden opportunity for you, as a business owner. If you can get your customer service right, you can really make yourself stand apart from the crowd. Here’s all you have to do in three simple steps:

1) Empower your employees – When a customer calls, it’s not to say hi. It’s because something went wrong with the product they bought from you. They don’t want to have to escalate up the food chain three or four times before they get their issue fixed. They want to make a call and talk to someone who can fix it right then. Make sure your customer service people are empowered to do just that.

2) Personalize the service – Call your customers by name. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.

3) Limit your use of the dreaded “automated operator.” This technology is responsible for more bad corporate reputations than just about anything else. Your customers don’t want to have to spend ten minutes navigating through a complex, multi-tiered menu system before they get a real person on the phone. They want to call and start talking to a live human being. Give them what they want.

If you do these simple things, your reputation with your customers will soar.

Is Goal Setting The Key To Taking Action?

Is GoalThe short answer to the title of this piece is a resounding yes! There’s more to it than that, though, and we’ll go into the particulars below.

The problem with taking action in the absence of a clearly defined goal is that you’re just staying busy. Sure, that will fill up your day. But your actions won’t have much, if any, payoff because they’re not focused or directed by the presence of a goal.

Before you leap into action, ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” How will the action you’re about to take help you? What goal will it push forward? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you have to ask yourself why you’re bothering with the action in the first place.

The first step, then, toward taking massive and meaningful action, is to figure out what you want to accomplish. Set a specific goal, and write it down.

Once you’ve got your main goal clearly spelled out, start breaking it down into highly granular sub-goals. Give these tight timetables and specific steps you can march through. Make a list from those things, and then you’re ready to start taking action.

When you do it that way, you’re being smart about it. The action you wind up taking will be tightly focused and directed toward your sub-goals, which feed into your main goal, and that’s how you move the needle. That’s how you get things done.

If you follow this basic approach in everything you do, you’ll find yourself getting more done, more efficiently than you ever have in your life. In a world where most people are stressed out and super busy, you’ll be able to knock down your daily “to do list” in record time, and have some time left over to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s hard to argue with that.

Get Motivated With These Simple Steps

Get MotivatedSome days, it’s just hard to get moving. Everyone goes through it. Everyone has days that feel as though they’re in a movie playing at regular speed while they’re stuck on frame advance. It’s just hard to get anything done. Motivation is the missing piece, but how does one get motivated if they just aren’t? It’s easier than you might think. Here’s what you do:

1) Start. It doesn’t matter what task you have before you, just start. Go through the motions. Your mind’s version of muscle memory will take over, and before you know it, you’ll find your rhythm again.

2) Get up and move. Maybe the problem is that you’ve been staring at it too long. You need a break in order to shift your perspective. So take five, or even fifteen. Get up and move around. Clear your head. Even when you intentionally try not to think about whatever problem you’re working on, your subconscious mind is still chewing on it in the background, and this is often where your best flashes of insight and inspiration come from.

3) Remind yourself why. You’ve probably got a grand plan, right? If you don’t, make one. Give yourself a large, long term objective to work toward, and write it down. Any time you find your motivation flagging, open up the document you’ve saved the notes about your dream on and review them. This is quite often all it takes to find a new surge of energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand.

4) Plan ahead. It’s hard to lose motivation if you’ve got a solid plan in place. Once you finish all of today’s work, start mapping out tomorrow’s. Pay special attention to the way tomorrow’s work fits into the grand design you have in mind. Then, when you wake up the next morning, you won’t have to worry about not being motivated. You’ll just get up and automatically be ready to begin.

5) Take time for yourself. Sometimes, your lack of motivation stems from the simple fact that you feel overwhelmed. Make sure to take some “you time” every single day. It doesn’t have to be much. Even fifteen minutes a day will be enough to recharge your brain, but it’s something you need, and nobody’s going to give it to you. You have to take it for yourself.

Try these simple motivational tactics on for size. You will be amazed at the results.

Discovering Your Destiny Can Be A Reality

DiscoveringDo you feel as though you’re just existing and floating through life, waiting for something to happen? Have you put all your dreams on hold because you’re so focused on the things that are keeping you awake at night? Could it be the dead end job or the endless parade of bills?

That’s a predicament that a lot of people find themselves in, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can find your destiny and begin making it a reality. Here’s how:

First, dare to dream. Take some time for you, and give yourself the space you need to sit down and honestly think about what it is you want out of life. Don’t take “I don’t know” as an answer. It’s not an answer. You have hopes and dreams. You have desires you’ve put on hold, possibly for years. Dust them off and review. Are your old dreams still relevant, or have they been replaced by something else?

Give some serious thought to that, and write down your dreams. That’s the first step toward making them real. Then, armed with a clear vision of what you want out of life, engage in some blue sky thinking. If money and time weren’t obstacles in your way, what would it take to make your dreams come true?

Money and time actually are important considerations, of course, but this gives you an unimpeded view of where you want to go. Once you know that, it’s a simple matter of getting creative with the resources you’ve got and putting them to best use.

Discovering your destiny and having the courage to follow your dreams can literally be life changing. It takes both courage and commitment to develop a plan and start pursuing something you have dared to dream. It’s daunting, and because of that, few people do it. Be one of those few. Take control of your own destiny. Make your own future.