Out of all the advice I can give about Customer Service, the number one thing I encourage people to remember is to be grateful. Only a small percentage of customers will complain and want you to make things right, the rest just leave and you won’t know why. A customer making a complaint is giving you the chance to fix something and win back their loyalty. Even if you don’t manage to make things right it is a huge learning opportunity that points out a trouble spot where you could be losing customers and not even know it. Don’t waste this golden moment being mad at a customer, or upset with how they are reacting, be humble they took the time to help your business go further.
Bad customer service will ruin a business faster than almost any other factor. It is easy to say you have good customer service but proving it and having a good word of mouth reputation is much harder. As a good example I see ads for auto-mechanics all the time on social media and I hear a bunch on the radio. My mechanic doesn’t advertise at all. Absolutely none and he is almost busier than he can handle. He is my only mechanic for 20 years, I send him all of my friends when they get upset about a mechanic, I send him strangers if I can help it. On top of all that I have never heard a bad word about him. Why? Quality work and good customer service. Here are some statistics to show why customer service is so important and I will be giving tips and advice for creating a customer service culture. If you need one on one help I am a phone call away (435) 554-8209 .
Teamwork is important but with our ever-expanding world teams can be spread over thousands of miles. More likely they are spread over a couple hundred but the effect is the same, a lack of face to face meetings. Having the right tools will help a team collaborate even with distance between them. Nothing replaces a little face time but with these tools, you can come close.
Here are some of the simple things you can do to start getting a handle on the time getting away from you.
Calender Everything – If it doesn’t exist on my calendar it doesn’t exist. A properly managed calendar makes sure the critical items are taken care of and lets me know when I have time for everything else. Time for prospecting, time for calls, time for content creation all get placed on the calendar.
Focus On One Thing at a Time – Super Multitaskers exist. You aren’t one. Neither is anyone you know. True multitaskers are extremely rare and it’s much more likely you are deluding yourself and wasting time. Focus on one task, get it done, move to the next. Cut distractions and don’t try to multitask.
Learn To Say No – You aren’t a superhero so quit trying to save everyone and every project. Know your limits and stick to them. Knowing how and when to say no earns respect and trust. Say yes only when you know you can handle the extra work.
Set Specific Times To Check Social Media – The first 5 minutes of every hour for example. If you have a set schedule for checking messages and social media you can focus better on your current task.
Do the Hard Things First – It really does make your day go easier and stems off procrastination. The hard part is done, so the rest is easy.
The short answer is yes. In my opinion, every business needs a business plan. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated, but it needs to exist in a written form. It’s not good enough to have a half-formed idea, you need to get it written down. Clemson University entrepreneurship professor William B. Gartner points out, that with a business plan “You’re two and a half times more likely to get into business, that’s powerful.” Why else would you want a business plan? Let’s take a look.
A business plan is a roadmap for your success. It shows strengths, weaknesses and the potential for your business to do well. This is especially important if there are multiple people involved in the business. How do you know your partner’s idea of success is the same as yours? How can you tell if you all are moving in the same direction? The business plan gives you focus and clarity. It shows you where you want to go and gives a path to get there. Just remember, with business, detours are the rule rather than the exception so be ready for them.
If you are looking for any kind of funding you must have a business plan. I recommend being conservative with your numbers if funding is a goal of your plan. The people loaning out money have been around the block a few times and will know if your calculations are realistic or not. I have helped many businesses that thought they had billion dollar ideas, but the entire market they were entering was barely a tenth of that. Keep the end reader in mind. Would you loan money based off unrealistic numbers?
Understanding Your Market
You really can’t go into business if you don’t know the market. Who is going to buy? Why are they buying from you? How do you stack up against your competitors? These questions are essential and a business plan helps bring them out and sets you up for success.
Over the next few days, I am going to guide you through a business plan. The traditional plan, which is what I will teach, is good for most businesses and is what you want when you plan to get financing. If you need something quick and dirty, use the traditional plan as a basic sketch. Remeber, the more time you spend on your plan the less time you are putting your business on the market. A plan is important but don’t let it be the excuse for not starting.
Some people have not been using LinkedIn the way they should or have been avoiding it. Here are some tips for getting a solid base under you as you use LinkedIn effectively. Just email me if you want my LinkedIn Guide which goes further in-depth on all of this. Jason@Jasonmporter.com
Of course, if you are going to be on LinkedIn you might as well use it to increase your business. We have already talked about how to get noticed but now we will show what to do with that attention. It really depends on your business and what the original purpose of getting on LinkedIn was. Some of these things may not be needed for your business but everyone can benefit from networking so put your 5 minutes of LinkedIn time to good work.