No matter the business, a main concern is always going to be ensuring that the customer is kept happy. Plenty has been written on the subject of pleasing customers, and it is often hard to know where to begin and what you can believe. However, there is one thing that is certain; for your customers to have a more fulfilling experience with your business, you need to make things as easy for them as possible. It is not that customers don’t want a challenge, it’s just that nobody really wants the process of giving you custom to be more difficult than it needs to be. Getting your processes and services to the point where you are making things extremely easy for the customer is a great challenge, but it is one of the most important things you will ever do in business. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the basic ways that you can make your customers’ experience a lot easier, starting from today.
Provide Many Options
One of the most important things for the majority of customers is that they have plenty of options to choose from. This means everything from the products you are selling to the payment system you are using. Every step of the way, what your customers want more than anything is the ability to choose. It is this ability which enables people to feel that they are being looked after, and that their experience is as good as it can be. So make sure you put a lot of effort into ensuring that your customers have plenty of products to choose between. While you’re at it, give the payment process the same kind of diversity too. Make sure you both take cash and accept credit card payments, and allow them the choice of either, regardless of the bill.
Nobody likes feeling rushed or forced into anything, so it might be a good idea to allow your customers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to time. The more time you give your customers, the more likely it is that they will feel at home in the experience. It is often difficult to say exactly what kind of time frame you should allow, but as a general rule of thumb you should make sure you are letting them take their time to choose. This means giving them time to choose between products, payment options and everything else. With enough time, your customers will feel less rushed and more relaxed.
Work On Their Feedback
Often, it can be difficult to know exactly how to improve your customers’ experience. You might have done everything you can think of doing, and now you are at a loss as to what to do. In these circumstances, there is a simple and effective way forward, and it is radically powerful. You can ask the customer their opinion, and then work on it. Asking for feedback is one of the best things you can do, as it gives you the opportunity to know exactly where you are going wrong. This means you can then improve your services in the most efficient manner possible. Not only does this save you time, but it helps your customer out plenty too.
Adopt A Creative Approach
If you are ever at a loss as to what to do, it can sometimes feel like your business is doomed to failure. However, this is unlikely to be the case, no matter what stage of business you are in. When it comes to improving your customers’ experience, adopting a more creative approach is often going to be your best solution. It can be all too easy to find yourself going down the same old routes, but the real big changes in the world of business come when someone makes the decision to do something a little differently. Never be afraid to think outside the box; it is often this approach which leads to the best insights, in business and elsewhere.
Reach Out To The Customer
Making things easier for the customer is often a simple matter of reaching out to help them, rather than waiting for them to ask for help. If you take this more proactive approach towards customer care, you will soon find that it makes a considerable difference to how customers think of and treat your business. Next time, think of what your customer really needs, even before they ask. Try to think one step ahead – it is likely the results will be pretty powerful.
Your employees work for you on the basis that they’ll get paid. However, something that a lot of business owners seem to neglect is the wellbeing of their staff. Happy staff turn your business from a screeching factory to a well-oiled machine. Everything works smoothly—there’s less chance for things to go bad and the atmosphere in your office will be much friendlier.
It’s important that you don’t neglect setting up your office to become an enjoyable place to work in. We’ve all had situations where we’re employed by a boss that doesn’t seem to care much about his or her staff. Perhaps the chairs are wonky, the computers are slow or there’s never any tea or coffee in the staff kitchen despite all your pleas to order some.
To give you some advice, here are some tips that’ll help you stay connected with your employees so that your business runs smoothly and without any hiccups.
Communicate with Them
Communication is one of the most important aspects of keeping a business running. If your product or service goes through several steps before it reaches the customer, then you need to make sure that your staff are communicating properly to get the product into the buyer’s hand as quickly and as efficiently as possible. No one likes delays when it comes to processing orders or dealing with customer support. The only way to speed it up is to have a team that can talk to each other and work as a single unit.
It’s also important that you communicate with employees by understanding their issues, their concerns and any disputes they have. An employee wants to feel like their contribution to the team has an impact on the success of the business. In some ways, knowing that you did a good job and getting a pat on the back from your colleagues and boss is far more rewarding than a paycheck.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
For a week or just a couple of days, move out of your office and join your staff on the office floor. Assign yourself a computer just like theirs, sit on the same chairs and use the same equipment. You’ll be surprised at how many flaws you can pick up in how your office is set up if you put yourself in your employee’s shoes.
It’s also a statement to your staff that you care about their well-being. If they see their boss working alongside them it’ll be a motivational boost and you can also keep an eye on troublemakers or lazy staff. It’s an eye-opening experience and you’re sure to find plenty of problems that you can improve on. Alternatively, you might just discover that your staff were lying about their discomforts and you’ll be able to tell who you should be firing.
Health and Safety Training
While there aren’t many accident-prone areas in an office, this is extremely important for outdoor businesses, anything with active machinery and businesses that deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. Health and safety can include proper office etiquette, learning to use machinery so that people don’t suffer injuries and of course, safe driving in the case of a transport-related business.
Your employees might dislike health and safety training in the office, but it’s invaluable to them when you take them to a construction site or something equally as dangerous. Always plan team-building exercises too and get your staff working together to promote cooperation. There are also health and safety training courses that cover a wide variety of different subjects.
If the chairs are broken, replace them. If the air conditioning is broken, fix it before summer arrives. If the computers are slow, consider upgrading them.
There’s a fine line between “productive upgrades” and “luxury upgrades”. Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend on improving the quality of life for your staff, you need to distinguish between what has to be replaced and what could be improved.
Things like broken chairs or keyboards with missing buttons are inexcusable. Always replace them but don’t use it as an excuse to let your employees upgrade to fashionable furniture or extra comforts. Test the chairs and keyboards yourself or ask a specialist or a trusted friend so you know if you should be replacing their office equipment or not.
If you do plan to spend an extra amount of cash on luxuries, then don’t get carried away and make sure they will ultimately improve the productivity in your office.
Regardless of what type of occupation you have, whether an office desk job or construction work on a high rise, you could be at risk for being injured at work. According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014, there were 2,953,500 reported injuries and illnesses in the workplace (private sector). Among the cases, a significant amount were injuries to the back (162,720) and sprains/ strains (331,180).
Often times, these types of injuries occur when a workplace is full of ergonomic hazards and as a result, many injured employees seek worker’s compensation benefits. According to Hasner Law, employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for all employees and if an employee becomes injured on the job, he or she has the right to file for worker’s compensation benefits to help cover the costs that add up after being out of work. Therefore, it’s advantageous for everyone, employers and employees, to make the workplace more ergonomic.
What is Ergonomics?
These days, there’s lots of talk about ergonomics, but maybe you are unaware of what it is or it’s purpose. In short, ergonomics is the study of work and the science of designing the workplace. An ergonomic-friendly workplace considers the capabilities and limitations of all employees and strives to prevent injury and maintain the health of workers.
For instance, in efforts to reduce the effects of ergonomic hazards (such as repetitive movements or awkward posturing), workplaces enact workstations or devices that are ergonomic and prevent issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain associated with an uncomfortable workspace.
An example of an ergonomically designed workstation includes adjustable and wireless keyboards, computer display screens that tilt up or down, proper lighting and anti-glare filters on the computer monitor, and a chair designed for proper and healthy posture and is suitable for long periods of sitting.
Advantages of Reducing Ergonomic Hazards at Work
Taking the time to re-evaluate the workplace and see where ergonomic changes could be made benefits everyone in the workplace. Here are some of the advantages of reducing ergonomic hazards that lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD):
- Saves Money: Although it may cost more to assess and develop an ergonomic workspace, companies ultimately end up saving money on costs associated with workers’ compensation. Additionally, less money is lost when there are fewer absences in the workplace due to injury.
- Increased Productivity & Quality: Ergonomic solutions lead to fewer issues associated with standing, sitting, and reaching. As a result, employees are more likely to work efficiently and focus on the quality of their work, which leads to increased productivity.
- Improved Employee Morale: When employees are working in an environment that is hazardous to their health, it’s natural for morale to be low and as a result, employers may see an increase in absences and high rate of employee turnover. Create a better workspace and employees are more likely to feel, act, and do better overall.
Do you own a business directory? Are you having a tough time beating your competition? This article will help you towards leaving your competition far behind.
The idea here isn’t about getting as many business directory listings as possible. The idea we need to create is about more community within your directory.
I always like using a “saying” I learned from network marketing: “I would rather utilize 1% of a hundred people’s effort, then utilize 100% of my own to market my business.” If you keep this in mind, there is nothing you can’t be successful at.
With that in mind let me be quick to point out that, I am not talking about creating an affiliate program. Those come a dime a dozen and can be bought. What we need to do is create something larger than ourselves. I am talking about taking our directory and improving everything involving people.
General Online Directories:
For these types of directories, it gets a little harder to create a community people can relate to. This is only true simply because the more broad your audience/visitors are, the harder it is to target your resources.
Here are some ideas you can use for a general directory:
– Create a blog and use it to feature some new listings within your directory. Maybe even offer a review of some kind.
– Offer the ability to add a logo or image attached with the listing in order to personalize it more.
– Give people the ability to submit more information than most of your competing directories out there.
– Make sure to include a detailed search function.
– Create an online questionnaire on tips to improve the directory. Use these tips right away.
– Email everyone within your directory maybe once a month outlining all of the new listings posted online for that month.
– Make sure to have a “news” page so that visitors can see what’s new.
I think you get the idea now. The whole point is, there is no limit as to how you can expand “around” your directory listings in order to increase the value of your directory online. The more you give back to people, the more they might tell their friends about your directory.
Targeted Topic Directories:
Whether your directory is targeting the local business community or you are targeting the international health community, having a directory that is more content specific will make it a lot easier to create a community based website.
Here are some ways to better your targeted directory:
– Create a forum detailing all of the topics within your directory so that people can discuss issues or tips within those categories. For ex. If you own a local business directory, create a forum to allow local business owners to discuss business related issues, hot commercial real estate properties, special deals on office equipment, etc.
– Create a news section that outlines some local news & events within your community. This will especially help to bring more local visitors to your directory and expose your listings further.
– Offer weather & traffic reports within local community directories.
– Add a feature page where you actually interview one directory member (maybe once a month). This will help people to get more familiar with the members of your directory and it will also help promote your directory. People who are submitting to your directory may only submit just for the chance to get interviewed about their service/product/expertise.
– Add a blog with your experiences related to the topics of your directory. This will help in two ways:
1) People will be able to relate to you and feel more connected with you.
2) People will begin to respect what you are doing and may tell more people about your directory since they are starting to feel that your directory is more people oriented instead of just simply getting the most listings in the world.
– Add related tips to the industry. The internet is full of reprint articles for your website. I am 99.9% sure you can find articles related to your industry. Maybe start a newsletter for members of your directory and send them tips on their industry. Who doesn’t want to learn more about their industry!?
As you can see from above, by simply taking some ideas here, and implementing them within your directory, you will be well on your way towards creating a more community-based directory. This is very important these days as more and more directories like yours are popping up everywhere.
Let’s not forget about search engines. They too are increasingly rewarding communities more than they are rewarding simple directories online. The more resources and content you add around your directory listings, the more valuable they become in the end and the more traffic you will get.
The more valuable your listings are, the more visitors will be willing to come back from time to time and possibly tell their friends about it. You never know what will make it or break it but, all we can do is try our best to increase the value of our increasingly popular online community.
There are many ways to make money online today, and thousands of people are earning a substantial income from the comfort of their own homes. How are they making money? With a successful Internet business, of course!
Perhaps you want to earn a part-time income from home or start a full-time Internet business. Maybe you’re a mom who wants to stay home while earning a living. Or, maybe you’re sick and tired of the “rat race” and want to settle down with your own home business. Whatever the case, you can choose one of the sure-fire methods of making money online below to get started.
1. Offer Services That Other Web Business Owners Will Need
Many people earn money online while offering services that other Web business owners need on a continual basis. These services include Web hosting, domain name registration, web design, and content writing. Every new website must have a Web host, domain name, web designer and content. These services are available everywhere online, but fortunately, there’s always room for a few more! Online users are starting new Internet businesses every day. So, the potential for making money online with these services is tremendous.
You can start from scratch with these businesses or find a company that allows you to resell its products and services. For instance, instead of setting up your own servers to become a Web host, you can become a reseller of hosting services and share a part of the profits. With this setup, your primary job is to promote the service. The parent Web host company does the rest.
2. Expand Your Present Business
If you already own a business, you can expand it by using a website. If your company has its own website, your customers can go online to learn more about you, buy your products or ask questions. It’s a great way to advertise and build customer trust. Also, you can mention your website address in all your print, television and radio advertising to maximize results.
3. Start a “Niche” Internet Business
Many people start small Internet businesses that reflect who they are or what they enjoy. The word “niche” took on a whole new meaning when the Internet came into existence. A niche business can be anything you want it to be – an online flower shop, online classic car club, online magazine, online clothing store, online shopping mall, online photo stock agency, online candy store, online quilt outlet, or an online shoe store. Choose something you enjoy doing and find a way to build a small Internet business around that theme. And, don’t let the word “small” fool you. Owning a small business is a great way to make money on the Internet!
4. Earn Money Online Through Auctions
Don’t have time to manage a website? Try online auctions. You can sell just about anything at eBay and other Internet auction sites, but be sure you choose a market that has a strong demand. Some items sell well through auctions, some don’t. Also, be sure to choose a product with a high-profit margin so you don’t lose money each time you list your items.
5. Provide Internet Marketing Services
Online company owners are always looking for effective ways to promote their websites. If you’re a savvy Internet marketer, this business offers a tremendous money opportunity for you. You can earn money online while helping others increase their profits. Internet marketing today involves search engine promotion and SEO, Web content and optimization for article pages, pay-per-click campaigns, keyword research, press releases, banner and pop-up advertising, e-zine and mailing lists, and link exchanges. You can specialize in one of these areas or offer marketing techniques for all categories.
These are five proven ways to make money online. Each of these opportunities can provide a steady stream of income if you work diligently to promote your online business and services and always provide excellent customer service. Use these ideas to get started making money today!