Key Steps to Improving Your Business Customer Service

If you want to improve the success of your business, then first and foremost, you need to think of your customers. They are the ones that are going to make the difference between the business being a success or not. Because without any customers, there is no business. So what are the things that you can be doing to improve the relationships that you have with your customers? The answer is an obvious one, but it is often overlooked: improve customer service. No matter how great your team are, how good your business idea is and what you do or sell is, one of the things that customers are likely to remember is what the interaction with your business is like; both negative or positive, it will be remembered.

A strong company will want to have, and hopefully, already strive to have, great customer relationships. But a smart company will be looking for ways to improve and really getting down to the bottom of what good customer service is. It is all about listening carefully to your customers’ needs and wants. You need to make sure that you’re able to keep up, otherwise, they are likely to take their business elsewhere. So here are some ideas to help.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Key Steps to Improving Your Business Customer Service
Strengthen Your Customer Service Skills

First, it is a good idea to make sure that your customer service team, if you have one, has the right skills for your managing the needs of your customers. They are what customers will have first contact with, so it needs to be a good experience, even if the outcome isn’t necessarily positive. customers’ needs. No amount of software or things like CRM can compensate for any shortcomings with your team’s customer service.

Improve Customer Service Strategy

You and your team may have the skills to provide some good customer service, and have no problems with customers interactions. But what strategies can you start to implement to please your customers even more? You don’t want customers to come to you with problems, if they can be dealt with ahead of time.

Getting personal with customers can be a good idea, as it can allow you to have another level of interaction, through sites like Twitter or Facebook. You can also look to improve how you do certain things, such as your logistics or supply chain. If you are noticing that there are things going wrong, then look to do something about them, such as looking into semi truck leasing or other ways to improve deliveries, before big issues come up and people then demand more from you. If you deal with things before they’re an issue, then it really does provide a good customer service experience.

All Customers to Provide Feedback

No matter how proactive you are in the things that you do, there will always be one issue or another that you never manage to get on top of. So to make sure that you learn about all sides of the experience that your customers have with your business, then it can help you to create a simple way for them to provide you with feedback.

Magic Motivators to Boost Energy Levels In the Office

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |Office Culture|Magic Motivators to Boost Energy Levels In the OfficeWhen people drag their feet into work on a Monday morning it seems like there is no way to bring the energy levels back up. Of course not every office is going to be perfect but you could do a lot of things to keep your workforce happy. With regards to employee motivation, you need to start thinking creatively and get the ball rolling with some fresh ideas. Whether you subscribe to a reward scheme or you organize a team away day, this could be your recipe to higher energy in the office.

Rewards and Recognition

One of the best ways to improve the energy and motivation in the office is to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work. Surprise HR has reinvented employee recognition and rewards using the power of surprise. If you think your office could benefit from this sort of scheme then start exploring your options today. When you are able to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work, you will be giving them a mini motivation boost every single day.

Free Fruit Day

This is a simple and low cost way to put a smile on your employees faces every now and again. Once a week you could invest in a fresh fruit delivery from a local farm shop. Not only will you be helping a local business, but you will also be encouraging your employees to be healthy. Somebody who has snacked on a banana or an apple mid afternoon is much more likely to have a productive day than a worker who hits the vending machine for a sugar hit.

Team Lunch

You should never underestimate the power of a team lunch. Not only does this give them the opportunity to let loose and chat in a relaxed environment, but it also shows them you care. Treat your star team members to lunch or even a gift voucher for a local restaurant on pay day. This regular treat will become a huge motivating factor so your workforce are more likely to do well.

Away Day Fun

Employee away days are very common in small and large businesses. It gives you time away from the office and allows everybody to get to know each other in a fresh environment. Away days can come in a variety of different forms, depending on the industry you are working in. It might be appropriate to head to a local event and listen to a guest speaker. Maybe your team could benefit from a relaxing day out together to avoid the high stresses in the office. Think of an away day that is suitable for your individual business.

Sometimes a little can go a very long way when it comes to pleasing your employees. A piece of free fruit in the middle of the week or an unexpected lunch on a Friday night just be all you need to keep your workforce happy and smiling. Rewarding your employees for their hard work will not only improve the mood in the office, but it will also help you to retain staff, saving you money in the long run.

4 Reasons Your Business Should Move to Office 365

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Office Technology|4 Reasons Your Business Should Move to Office 365Lots of companies are still using outdated technology, despite there being plenty of new solutions and platforms that can fully transform and improve the way that they work. There are a number of reasons why many are resistant to change, including the need to re-train staff to learn how to use new technology, and the belief that it will be a struggle to migrate data from one platform to another. In many situations, though, the pros far outweigh the cons. In this article, we’re going to explain why an Office 365 migration is a good idea for your company, no matter its size.

1. No Need to Worry About Maintenance or Servers

Office 365 is fully hosted in the cloud, so there’s no need to worry about investing in local servers or performing maintenance either. The Trust Center that comes with the platform ensures that your data remains in safe hands too. Cloud services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes, as they offer so many benefits that you just can’t get from hosting software locally. Plus, the software can also be seamlessly linked with many on-premises solutions if needs be.

2. It Can Grow with Your Business

One of the best things about Office 365 is that you only need to pay for the programs that you plan to use. And, if at any point, you think an additional program could help your business, you can easily add it to your subscription. The same goes for data storage. Unless you need tons of storage right away, you can simply opt for the cheapest plan, and increase it later on as your storage needs grow. OneDrive offers a large amount of storage for a very affordable rate too, so you’ll never be left struggling for space again.

3. Take Advantage of Updates and Features as They’re Released

If you currently use any Microsoft Office products, you probably choose to invest in the newest version a while after they’re released. This could be for cost reasons, or simply because you don’t have the time to re-install the software on all your devices. With Office 365, this is no longer a worry. You will instantly have access to the latest updates and features the second they’re released, and won’t be stuck in a cycle of waiting for the next large update to launch.

4. Workflows are More Collaborative

Office 365 is designed to make collaborating on documents easy. When all of your devices have Office 365 installed on them, colleagues can quickly leave comments, make edits, and access documents in real-time. This completely eliminates the need to email documents between different departments, download them, make edits, and then email them back. Not only does this improve efficiency, but it means that different team members can collaborate on one document all at the same time.

If you value your business, want to improve efficiency, and want to spend less time performing server maintenance, migrating to Office 365 is definitely something you should consider.

5 Myths About Combining Purpose With Profit

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Development Article |Business Culture|5 Myths About Combining Purpose With ProfitHow do we put aside the connotation that purpose and profit can’t co-exist? Let’s start with addressing these 5 myths:

1. Purpose doesn’t resonate

According to Forbes’ analysis on Cone Communications’ 2017 CSR Study, letting employees lead around social and environmental sustainability issues from within helps a company evolve into a true leader. This goes beyond being purely philanthropic…it’s identifying ways for company employees to feel vested in the future of the company and not just “what it stands for…but what it stands up for.”

2. Purpose is the same as philanthropy

Being philanthropic is not the same as being a social impact, leader. If a company seeks to achieve some sort of social, environmental or economic development goal, philanthropy won’t cut it alone. Those businesses that have truly ingrained purpose and mission into their way of operating are doing more than giving away money or time. They are learning that changing their operations to address social impact challenges is pivotal to making the world better through their decision making, and not just by writing a check. When companies recognize that there are other needs outside of the philanthropic domain for their active engagement, making the world a better place is not only possible, it’s inevitable. And guess what?! Companies are making money this way too!

3. Companies will stay profitable no matter their view on “purpose”

Companies must answer to many constituents: employees, customers, partners, shareholders, boards, etc. ? This puts pressure on companies to be almost everywhere at once and be everything to everyone. They must make good products, provide an excellent level of service, and also invest in employee engagement and internal operations, processes, etc. It’s no wonder that many companies scoff at the added responsibility and cost of investing in other programs around “purpose.” The realization that many companies have made, however, is that these “outside” programs are way more than “nice to have.” They are indeed critical for many consumers that prioritize this level of commitment to issues other than making money.

4. Bigger companies don’t need to worry about purpose because they are already making so much money

I can name six massive companies investing in social enterprises or socially-responsible, purpose-oriented brands, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because these brands are making (more) money from them. General Mills and Annies. Kelloggs and Kashi. Clorox and Burts Bees. I could go on. Companies recognize that to evolve and stay relevant, and to make an impact in a long-term, sustainable way, they must consider different types of models, like social enterprises or B Corps, as viable and necessary partners. The notion of purpose is evolving as new ways of doing business take into account the personal and professional impact of doing the right thing.

5. Businesses are putting purpose before profit

Last year I was in Kenya for a convening of big brands and social enterprises. I was asked to facilitate a session with the big brands on partnership for social impact, and as I sometimes do in these scenarios, I led the 50 or so attendees in a “four corners” exercise where participants self select which corner of the room to stand in based on their response to: “What is the main role should business play in society?”

The answers were: (1) produce goods for consumption; (2) advocate for pro-business government policies; (3) inspire change in local communities; (4) invest in innovation.

Which answer do you think everyone picked?

Of the 50 or so participants in the room, 49 traveled to the corner assigned to “produce goods for consumption.”

A few did change their answers after we discussed what a business role in society looks like. That’s because while businesses exist to produce goods for consumption, they also exist for all of the other reasons we gave in our exercise. This may seem lofty, but it’s happening. The growth of social enterprise models is just one example of the recognition that making money and “doing good” are not mutually exclusive.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Joanne SonenshineJoanne Sonenshine is Founder and CEO of Connective Impact and author of Purposeful Profits: Inside Successful Businesses Making a Positive Global Impact, out May 22.

Make Your Business Event A Real Success!

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Business Events|Make Your Business Event A Real Success!One of the great things about running a business in the modern world is that there have never been so many different ways for you to promote your business. The sheer number of marketing methods available to you means that you’re never going to be in a position where you can’t find the customers that you want to connect with. Of course, just because the marketing options are there doesn’t mean that you’re going to find all of them useful. However, a lot of modern business owners seem to be neglecting a lot of the more traditional marketing methods available to them. One of the most useful yet most overlooked has to be the live event. Any kind of live business event can be an amazing opportunity to not only promote your business and its products but to connect directly with customers and investors as well. Of course, it also comes with its own share of challenges. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can make sure your business event goes off without a hitch.

Start planning early

If there’s one thing that you most definitely cannot do with any kind of event, it’s playing the whole thing by ear. The truth is that if you want to be sure that your event is going to go off without a hitch then you need to plan and plan carefully. Make sure that you leave yourself enough time to figure out every aspect of your event and iron out the kinks. If you don’t leave yourself enough time you’re going to end up panicking and you won’t be able to make your event as amazing as you really want.

Know your audience

One of the most important questions that you have to ask yourself is: who is it that’s coming to your event? Is it going to be exclusively customers? Or are you going to have investors in attendance? You need to make sure that you know who the attendees of your event are going to be so that you can best tailor their experience. Investors are often going to be more interested in the cold, hard facts of your business whereas customers are more interested in products and entertainment. Finding a balance between those two and finding ways to intertwine them is often your best bet.

Give attendees something to take away

The biggest issue with a lot of business events is the fear that your attendees are just going to forget about it as soon as they leave. In order to avoid this one of the best things that you can do is to give them something to take away. From badges to custom air fresheners for cars, any kind of souvenir will work. That’s especially true if it’s something they’ll keep using since it will constantly remind them of your event.

Of course, an event is just one way to promote your business. The truth is that you are likely to need a whole variety of different marketing methods to make sure that your business has the presence it needs among potential customers. The key is to pay attention to the demographics that you’re aiming towards and do your research on the kinds of marketing methods that are most effective and drawing them in.