We’re Retuning to Work!

At last !  The world is slowly reopening and employees are returning to work.  Everyone is excited about being out and about…especially business owners.  In all of the commotion, there’s a high probability that abundant changes are needed in the workplace.  In this blog, we’re offering ideas about how to enhance employee morale, strengthen customer service, and increase sales.   

Change your perspective

View “new normal” challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.  Avoid approaching problems with a defeatist attitude.  Visualize how positive outcomes will help your firm thrive.  Then share your ideas with clients via social media and other communication outlets.

Get back to basics

Revisit soft skills basics such as effective communication, empathy, and positive attitudes.  Now is not the time to allow customer service to fall by the wayside; in fact, it’s time to double down on delivering an experience that is unique only to your brand.  Empathize with customers and maintain a positive mindset.

Communication is key.  Be upfront and honest with clients about what they should expect from the level of service you’ll deliver.  Keep them in the loop about policy changes.

Set realistic attainable expectations from your team.  Highlight  expectations in weekly staff huddles.  

If a project cost is going to run over due to price increases in raw materials, share this information with clients immediately.  Give as much information as possible to ensure an understanding that they’re not being overcharged.  

Let your customer know you appreciate their patience by writing personalized “thank you” notes, applying a customized postage stamp, and dropping it in the mail.

Products and Policies

Due to shifts in the marketplace, consider whether you should update your company’s policy or services.  Whether it’s a reduced staffing model or limited supplies, these “constraints” may require a change in how you conduct business.  Doing so may increase employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Let us know in the comments how your business is pivoting in the face of such challenges. 

Make it a great day!

4 Tips for Post-Pandemic Workplace Etiquette

As many offices begin to re-open, workers can expect to be met with new safety protocols, open concept workspaces, and varying levels of comfortability in our world of the “new normal”.   As we adjust to these fresh starts, it is more important than ever to draw on our ability to empathize with others and maneuver workspaces with thoughtfulness.

Tip 1: Review Covid-19 Safety Protocols 

Policies and rules vary from business to business, so be sure to take note of all safety protocols provided by your employer prior to returning to the office.  Pack an extra mask so that you’re prepared for situations such as offsite client meetings that may fall under different protocols than your workplace.

Tip 2:  Avoid the “V” Topic

Returning to the office provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with colleagues and catch-up on life events.  Conversations can quickly turn to vaccination status and it should be avoided.  This is private medical information and intrusive inquiries are inappropriate.  Likewise the oversharing of vaccination information can also make people uncomfortable.

Tip 3: Leave Your Tchotchkes at Home

Many companies are moving to open concept workspaces with unassigned seating.  This can be a big adjustment for people who enjoy having all their creature comforts nearby.  Also, refrain from encroaching on temporarily unoccupied desks with your overflow. 

Tip 4: Embrace Meeting New Neighbors

These new open concept workspaces create a fluid community.  While some may prefer the routine of seeing the same faces everyday, open concept seating allows for new connections and communities to grow so it is likely you will have rotating workplace neighbors. 

Observing these general tips should help with the transition from remote work.  Be sensitive to the fact that everyone’s level of comfort will vary (respect one another’s boundaries).  Extend a bit of grace as we all continue to shift and pivot. 

We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your tips for transitioning from remote work in the comments below!

Make it a great day.

5 Tips to Attract Young Consumers

Generation Z (Gen Z) is known as the digital generation.  They are a powerful group of consumers who will give you about 8 seconds to attract and keep their interest in your product or service.  This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses.

Here’s a secret: Refine your website.  Here are five ways to attract and keep their attention:

#1  Your website should mirror their lightning quick attention span.  This demographic is proficient at editing out fluff and hype.  Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z doesn’t act on every stimulus. They want to spend precious little time on a site to decide if you have anything relevant to offer them.  So, make sure your site focuses on realistic and authentic engagement.

#2  Gen Z is mobile-first.  Acknowledging the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets as a primary means of connecting and consuming, design a website for a quality mobile experience–that is where customers will find you, especially Gen Z.

#3  If your auto-play slows down page loading, Gen Z (and most other consumers) will lose enthusiasm to engage.  Use videos that reinforce your company’s relevance and be sure to launch them with the audio muted.  This will give consumers control and will likely keep them on your site.

#4  Gen Zers immediately know whether your blog post is sponsored. They’ll know if you’ve just written it to get your blog post done for the week.  If that’s the case, they’ll promptly stop following your blog.  Think about how you can make your content exciting, funny, insightful, and helpful.  If possible, make it a series. Above all, be honest.

#5  Consider invitng Gen Zers to write guest posts for your company blog. This will show that you value their viewpoints and opinions.  It will also differentiate you from competitors who may be too resistant to do this.  Additionally, it is highly likely they’ll share their post with their own followers on social media – potentially introducing your blog to hundreds of new Gen Z followers.

These practices will set your company on the right path to capture the more than $44 billion (USD) in spending power of Generation Z.  So, who wants to go out there and make it a great day?

Top Ten Best Practices for Customer Care 

As a consumer, when was the last time a business knocked your socks off with extraordinary service?  When was the last time you were wowed by an amazing product and follow up from the company/owner/representative?

This week’s blog focuses on the top ten Best Practices that will attract attention and have clients coming back for more.

  1. Increase customer privacy and protection
  2. Implement “Habit Loop”.  Smartphones and social media are examples of habit loop formation. The ping from a new notification is the cue, the routine involves pulling out a phone to check the notification, and the reward is seeing a new message from a friend or a new comment on social media
  3. Understand how to cater to Generation Z.  According to a Pew report, they make up 40% of all consumers and 27% of the U.S. population
  4. Ask for feedback via short surveys.  Respond to and act on the recommendations. Customers will be glad to know you took the time to read and respond to their suggestions
  5. Stay on top of digital customer service trends
  6. Post Frequently Asked Questions/Answers on social media about your new product/service
  7. Be creative and efficient with your self-service platform (most clients will seek that option for problem resolution before trying to call your company)
  8. Ensure your website meets Google’s Mobile First SEO mandates by March 1st.  Not adhering to the rules will result in a slow response time when consumers look up your site on their mobile devices.  Consumers use their mobile devices ten times more frequently than a desktop computer
  9. For e-commerce stores, consider inserting CTAs (Calls to Action) or pop-ups that request reviews after checkout
  10. Learn how customer service is conducted around the world–you’ll be able to deliver top notch service for a diverse client base

Your clients want to feel your emotions and sincere appreciation.  When you provide them with more than just goods and services, you’ll offer the very best you have…yourself.  Ensure their happiness and you’ll secure a loyal following.  So, go out there and have a great day!

Ask 5 Questions: Then Pandemic-Proof Your Small Business

Customer service delivery has become more complex thanks to a global pandemic.  It is the customer who has leveraged control and has demanded a positive experience, not the company.  

Nearly overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic elevated the importance of delivering fast and accurate digital experiences to customers who found themselves cut off from conventional ways of doing business.

According to a global study by ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, a measly 27% of companies have transitioned from recruiting underperforming in-house talent to high-efficiency automated systems in order to deliver top drawer customer experiences (CX).

So, what’s at stake?  Profitability.  As you answer the five questions listed below, consider whether your responses match what’s in your pandemic plan, company core values, mission statement, and corporate culture philosophy:

  1. Has your team developed skills to create a digital customer experience (CX)?
  2. Have you identified the touchpoint that matters to your customers?
  3. Has your team aligned its objectives & key results (OKRs) with CX?
  4. Has your company consolidated data into a single customer view?
  5. How much progress has your team made toward providing a personalized CX (creating personas specific client demographics)?

The largest returns from CX initiatives come from positioning the right people, processes, and technologies in the right departments to deliver a superior experience time after time.   According to ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, almost 50% of global leaders reported a moderate to large ROI due to maintaining an efficient and  personalized CX platform, versus only 22% for others.

You may have already implemented the necessary safety measures to protect employees and clients from further complications of COVID-19 and future disasters; however, it is also important to know that protecting and growing your small business is about finding ways to anticipate the needs of your clients and to deliver superior service with laser precision.  Trailblazers constantly search for ways to implement state-of-the-art safety and delivery systems that will benefit both clients and employees as well as local and global supply chains.

Remember, clients are your “why”.  Show them that you are in this for them and with them.

Make it a great day.