Giving back to your audience and customer base is one sure way to connect them to your brand. The company “brand” becomes more than a label or name, but an actual community of people who identify with your story. Customer engagement here is key.Since the recession, consumers have been more emotionally inclined in how they choose to spend their hard earned money. Consumers won’t just throw away money, but would prefer that businesses earn their dollars. At least, feel as though they have.
Customer Service is obviously an important aspect of business, but we can learn from other customer service industries including one Huffington Post contributor who shared her experience working in a hospital caring for patients. Susan Kerr offers key takeaways from her time spent in hospitals which fall in line with how businesses should communicate and treat their customers.
In the updated technological world, there is now a fine line between clever and creepy, in terms of customer service. In today’s business world, technology allows companies to have instant access to countless facts about actual and potential customers, all in a moment’s notice. However, some companies can overuse this capability, according to an article recently completed Forbes.
There’s no question about it. The relationship between your business and your customer base is a company’s top priority. Great customer service is more than just building positive and meaningful relationships between your business and its customers. Developing customer loyalty should be your company’s focus. According to entrepreneur.com, a recent study showed that 89% of customers ceased working with businesses after encountering poor customer service. In order to gain customer loyalty, focus on customer engagement and monitoring their responses to your products and services on a regular basis.
Filing can take valuable time out of your day, but with a few tips you can learn to file your documents such as spreadsheets and presentations more efficiently. You will cut down on time and save yourself the hassle of more work than what is necessary. Check out some of the tips below for filing like a pro:
Tip 1: Don’t collect everything that finds its way to your desk. Only save documents that are essential or useful. Nothing is worse than an over-cluttered filing cabinet.
Tip 2: Keep related documents together. For every past and ongoing project, keep the associated spreadsheets, presentations and documents in one file.
Tip 3: Follow a consistent filing method. This includes naming your files and folders in a pattern in order to keep everything more consistent. Use sub-folders or shortened names. Whatever you do- always maintain consistency!
Tip 4: Avoid filing cabinet clutter at all cost! Maintaing clean and organized cabinets will save you time and energy when you need to find a document.
Tip 5: Keep completed and new project files separate. Don’t throw everything in the same cabinet. Consider keeping ongoing documents on your desk until you have finished the task and are ready to file.
Entrepreneurs many times need to gather information and evaluate their business as a scientist would. They look at the markets objectively, and will often use these same tactics when managing employees. They will observe individual employees and collect data in order to collaborate strategically.
Be careful with how you approach giving feedback. Two employees will handle feedback differently. One employee might feel micromanaged while another might feel he or she is receiving little direction. You’ll need to learn how to inspire your employees by relying on different tactics.
Elle Kaplan, CEO of LexION, Capital, refers to her job titles as Head Manager in order to emphasize her role as a team leader and the importance of management skills. Elle spends time getting to know and understanding each of her employers in order to decipher which motivational methods will sit well with each one. As Elle points out, not every bowl of soup requires you to add salt, and to assume that all of your employees will respond to the same type of motivational tactics is careless.
At LexION, Elle Kaplan focuses on feedback over failure. She has to be able to handle tough feedback from her employees and in return give them honest feedback. As a manager, you need to act as a role model and ensure you are setting the best possible example for your employees.
Kaplan wants her employees or “team members” to act as “intra-preneurs” meaning they all need to be in the entrepreneurial mindset within the company in terms of understanding how a business develops and takes shape from the ground up. Kaplan encourages team members to provide 3 positives and 3 negatives for a proposal or project idea. She then asks the employees to submit these feedback points to her in writing. Written feedback allows for a more private and secure outlet for employees to voice their concerns. This exercise doesn’t allow for discussion or collaboration between employees so that employees give more honest and thorough opinions on which ideas work and which do not. This approach also allows for a flow of creative and innovative ideas to emerge from throughout the company.
Kaplan encourages CEOs and managers to try casting a wide net for information. Avoid relying on the same sources for ideas and try branching out to team members throughout the entire company. There is a wealth of innovative knowledge surrounding every CEO and manager, so it’s incredibly important to take advantage of it.
The Internet is rapidly progressing toward providing us with real-time information, which makes us knowing about what’s happening exactly at the time when it happens incredibly significant. Tracking trends in order to be up-to-date on the most current information is increasingly important. A recent article provides a few tips for keeping up with the latest trends:
Tip 1: Tracking popular videos on the Internet. If you need a way to track trending Internet videos, try using Mag.ma. The site combines all of the trending, most popular videos from the biggest social media video sites including YouTube, Vimeo, and Daily Motion. The site provides information on the video views, reviews, and what will be trending next. The site helps you find viral videos ahead of time before they explode across then Internet.
Tip 2: Tracking trends on Twitter. Try using Trendistic in order to watch trends. The site shows you the popular trends as well as what was being tweeted at the time the trends began. Other services will only show you what’s popular but won’t go into more detail about the circumstances surrounding the trending news.
Tip 3: Tracking popular searches. To follow what people are searching and what searches are trending, check out the following sites: Google Trends Hot List, Google Trends, and Trendy Bing. Google Trends Hot List provides you with the current, hottest searches as close to then they are happening as possible. Trendy Bing uses Google Trends, but put them on Bing and adds videos and photos.
Tip 4: Tracking popular images. Digg Images is the source of finding out which images are becoming the most popular on the Internet. Digg also includes popular videos as well as news, but the site especially showcases the most popular, trending images.
Tip 5: Tracking news trends. To figure out the most popular news headlines, take advantage of Newsmap. The site is a particularly good tool to help you hone in on a particular news topic or location. The site allows you to scan the headlines in order to quickly grasp what’s popular. This way you do not waste time reading multiple news sites or articles.
With any business, social media can be the tool you need in order to gain exposure, leads, and overall growth. The ability to manage social media accounts to gain followers and sell products will most likely further your business and promote sales. For the future of businesses, social media marketing and management are significant factors in developing successful business strategies. Many companies can use social media in order to focus on inbound marketing- the art of getting customers to come to you rather than chasing them.
It’s true there are countless business promotion tools that you can choose from, but the first step in creating a marketing plan is to figure out which social media tool will be the best for your specific business model.
Look at your customer or your target audience. Jot down a profile of your ideal customer type. Obviously you will have more than one type of customer, but this exercise will help you pinpoint your ideal client.
Once you describe your ideal customer, figure out where you would most likely reach this customer via social media. You need to consider age as a factor when choosing where you will spend most of you social media marketing time. If your ideal customer is older and family-oriented, than focusing on Facebook might be the most valuable use of your time.
Another network this type of customer might take part in would be Linkedin. Linkedin allows individuals with similar business pursuits connect online by building connections. On Linkedin, a diverse range of professionals can stay updated about their current areas of business and industries. Linkedin also helps professionals stay informed about open positions and the state of the job market.
For the younger generation, Twitter is a useful and relevant social media marketing tool. Younger generations consume information rapidly and efficiently, which is why Twitter is one of the best tools used to reach them. Rather than sifting through emails, younger people want to skim their Twitter feed for the information or offers that apply to their day-to-day lives.
Along with social media, businesses should focus on writing unique content for their company websites and blog sites. Writing about topics your customers care about will attract their attention and gain their interest.
Does creating a productive office environment create a more productive team with better habits? Most entrepreneurs argue that the environment and the habits of the company habits go hand in hand. For example, the foods we buy and leave on our kitchen counter determines our diet, while how we set up our desk at work determines our work habits and our daily behavior.
Creating a workspace that offers positive energy and stimulates creativity will significantly factor into the employees routines, behavior, and overall productivity. In order to provide an environment with this type of atmosphere and these qualities, you’ll need to adjust the setting of your office. Watch the video below for some advice and ideas to create a more productive office environment:
Your ideal hire might already have another job with a competing company, so therefore, he or she is a passive candidate. You should never give up on a passive candidate if he or she is the perfect fit for the position you are trying to fill. Because you are dealing with a passive candidate. you’ll need handle the situation differently than if you are dealing with an active candidate. Those candidates who are actively searching for jobs will be sending your resumes, pursuing interviews, and networking with members of your company. You’ll need to attract and pursue the passive job candidates that you want in your company because they will be occupied doing a good job in their current positions. If you want to attract passive candidates who might be better fits than the active job seekers, you’ll need take key measures to ensure that they hear about your company and its mission. According to a recent Entrepreneur.com article. here are a few tips for hiring your ideal employee:
Blog actively. Blog about your industry and its hot topics in an informative way so that even when candidates are passive they are still aware of your company’s presence and its purpose. Focus on the most current up-to-date topics in the industry. Write about what people are interested in and about issues that people in the industry want to discuss more.
Look back through your resume files. When realizing you need to hire someone for a position, flip back through your old resume files because you might find a candidate you overlooked in the past for a different position.
Find out what motivates hires you want. Passive candidates are most likely not searching for a new position unless they are motivated by the mission or objectives of another company. Begin a dialogue with passive candidates about what their motivations are in order to know what it will take to drive them away from their old job to your company.
Meet face to face. You most likely will begin recruiting online, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t meet candidates in person to know if you get along and if they’d be a good fit. Remember not to be pushy or aggressive. Provide them information about the industry and display your expertise.
Check out EFE Inc’s latest April newsletter below: