How To Build A Good Reputation For Your Business

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In the business world, reputation is everything. Although we’re often told to never judge a book by its cover, this philosophy is very rarely applied when deciding who to buy from and who to work with. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service may be if customers can’t trust you, then they’re not going to buy from you. This is why it’s so important that you pay attention to the impression that you’re giving your target market. More often than not, there is an improvement to be made. With that in mind, here are ten ways to build a good reputation for your business.

1. Treat Your Employees Well

Highly-skilled and hardworking employees are the single most important resource for your company. Without them, you’d find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to keep your business up and running. Because of this, you must ensure that you treat your team well. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of them moving to another company, but it also eliminates the risk of them talking bad about you if they do. Instead, they’ll have only positive things to say to others.

2. Work On Product Quality

Even a good quality product will struggle to sell if the retailer has a bad reputation, but a poor quality product can be incredibly damaging. For this reason, you must ensure that the quality of your product is the very best that it can be. You can do so by testing and retesting it before you even think about putting it on the market. Make sure that you ask different people from your target market to try your product and offer their feedback. If there are any concerns, then work on them.

3. Ask For Customer Feedback

It’s not just the product itself that customers are going to have an opinion on. They will also have things to say about the marketing, customer service, branding, you, the team, and the business as a whole. Instead of ignoring these comments, you should ask for them. As difficult as it can be to hear negative feedback, it is also beneficial. After all, it informs you of areas that you need to work on. By acting on feedback, you show customers that you care about what they say.

4. Make Your Help Available

Although you should certainly try to, you aren’t going to provide exceptional service to every customer you encounter. Some customers will, therefore, leave your business feeling confused, frustrated, or even angry. It’s for these individuals that you need to make yourself available. Whether a customer has a question or a complaint for you, they should be able to get in touch with someone from your business right away. If they can’t, then they’ll feel pushed aside.

5. Build A Great Website

Whether a customer is on the hunt for a specific product or looking to get in touch with you, they will usually turn to the internet for help. If the website that they find is slow, boring, or broken, then it will look badly on you and your business. Because of this, you must create a site that looks professional, is easy to use, and works as it should. You should also boost your SEO using the tips at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274809. This will improve your ranking on search results.

6. Support A Worthy Cause

There will always be both local and national charities out there in need of a helping hand. By offering financial or practical help, you can show your staff and customers just how much you

care. This is sure to improve your reputation, helping your business to retain current customers and find new ones. That being said, you shouldn’t just help a charity for the recognition. This is the sort of shallow act that people will see right through, which will do a lot more harm than good.

7. Be More Environmentally-Friendly

With global warming and climate change on everyone’s minds these days, consumers are much more conscious about who they do business with. For this reason, you must ensure that you run your company in an eco-friendly way. There are many ways to go about this, such as using the mind mapping software at https://setapp.com/apps/xmind instead of a paper and pen. You can also switch to energy efficient equipment and turn the office lights off every night.

8. Keep Customers Informed

Communication is just as important in business as every other area of life. If you don’t keep your customers in the loop about certain things in your business, like price changes or the shipping of their goods, then they’ll have to come to you to ask. The more this happens, the more it seems as though you just don’t care. Although you shouldn’t spam your client base, a quick email or post on social media every now and then is necessary.

9. Do What You Promised

The very last thing that you should be doing is letting your customers down. While you probably wouldn’t do it on purpose, this shows your business to be unreliable, which is off-putting to both current customers and prospects. If you worry that you can’t fulfill certain promises you’re making to customers, then stop making them. It’s much better to underpromise but aim to deliver more. This way, customers always get what they were expecting or a pleasant surprise.

10. Become An Industry Leader

People want to do business with companies that have authority in their field. After all, if you’re going to buy from someone, it makes sense to buy from the very best. Keeping that in mind, you should try to establish yourself as an industry leader. To do this, you must get involved in the conversation. Make sure that you answer questions on forums, write informative blog posts, and speak at events. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, people will always turn to you for help.

Reputation means everything in business, so improve yours with the advice above.

Could Studying Abroad Be the Experience That You Need?

Personal development comes down to experiences. Getting to know more of the world exposes you to more situations, more circumstances and more people. This ultimately gives you a much larger picture of the world and helps you understand things that most people couldn’t. You’ll get to experience more cultures and traditions, and you’ll have a better view of the world compared to someone that stays within their community and doesn’t look outside of it.

That’s why studying abroad could be one of the most eye-opening experiences that you’ll ever encounter.

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Countless choices for subjects to study

Whether it’s a medical school in the Caribbean that you want to visit or a cooking school in South-East Asia that you’ve heard a lot about, there is almost countless number of subjects to study and experiences to have when you decide to study abroad. It’s a learning experience that will take you far and wide, and at times directly to the source of the subject that you wish to study.

More opportunities to meet new people

One of the best things about studying abroad is being able to meet new people. Whether it’s other students in a similar position as you who want to gain a wider world view or locals that live a completely different life to you, it’s an eye-opening experience that offers you countless opportunities to network. While you’ll never meet many of these people ever again, there are some that could become life-long friends, business partners or even a significant other.

It’s nothing like a holiday

Holidays are designed for pleasure and enjoyment, not work. When you’re in a completely different environment, you’ll start to see things that you wouldn’t have noticed if you were just on a holiday. For example, you’ll start to interact with more of the locals, you’ll learn to fit in, you’ll see how things are done differently from your own country and you’ll be inclined to learn a bit more of another language. It’s a fantastic way to motivate yourself to try something new and get something out of it that can be beneficial to your life.

Gain life experience that can teach you about yourself

People often don’t fully realize their potential or goals in life until they’ve travelled. You might have an idea of where you want to go or what you want to do, but until you put yourself in uncomfortable territory, another country or difficult circumstances, there’s still a lot to learn about yourself and the only way to unlock that potential is to do something unique.

Utilize your global mindset

A mind that understands how the world works and not just their own country is a mind that is ready for international expansion. If you plan on starting an international business or growing your current startup to provide for the rest of the world, then it’s vital that you gain international experience through studying abroad and experiencing new things to help you gain a more diverse view of the world.

How to Put Your Business Skills to a Different Use

You can be in business for many years, and still enjoy it, but it might eventually begin to feel a little, well, done. You set up a company or worked high up in an organization because you had the skills and drive to put them to the test. But once you’ve proven to yourself that you can find success in that particular business, there’s a chance that you’ll be looking for a new challenge. And good news: your business skills are versatile, and your experience is valued in many other industries and areas of life. If you’re thinking about a change, then take a look at some of the ideas that we’ve outlined below.

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New Directions

If you’re no longer being challenged by whatever type of business you’re currently in, then why not look at starting from scratch, and setting up a new venture? There have been plenty of successful entrepreneurs who have walked away from success and set up something new, and find more success. The skills that you’ve put to good use in the past will serve you again in a different environment. It’s all about your talents — the industry they’ve been sunk into are secondary.

Working with Others

But let’s say it’s not that you’re no longer challenged, but that you’re challenged too much. There comes a time in our lives when we don’t want to work as many hours. We want to focus on our hobbies, or personal lives, or whatever else. If that’s the case, then why not become a consultant for other businesses? This can be a hugely enjoyable job for multiple reasons. First, you get to pick your clients, and your hours. If you only want to work a few hours a week, then that’s fine. Second, you’ll work with a number of different companies, across different industries. Things will always be interesting!

In the Middle

The skills and talents you’ve acquired during your business career will always be in demand. There aren’t too many people who know business as well as you do, and that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you own a business brokerage, you can bring together various aspects of running a business together, and also help people achieve their dream. You’ll be running the day to day operations, which will need your “on the ground” talents, and then also linking people with the right opportunities, which is a skill you can only acquire after many years in business.

Solving Problems

Most people go into business because they want to earn money. But it’s also true that the world needs people who aren’t motivated by money. There are some problems that can’t be fixed by profit-driven companies; it has to be charity work. Alas, many charities, especially the smaller ones, don’t have the know-how of how to succeed, and sometimes to get things done. If you want a new challenge, and also give something back to the world, then look at offering your talents to organizations. You’ll be making a positive difference in the world!

The Understated Dangers Of The Workplace For Your Employees

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business, and they’re always going to be. They keep the cogs turning in your operations, and there’s always someone manning the customer serviced desk, possibly dealing with impatient customer after impatient customer! They do their best work for you, and your business wouldn’t be the same without their hard work and dedication to your company.

But the working world is just as dangerous as any other, and there’s a lot of hazards out there that your employees are going to come into contact with on a daily basis. Slipping and falling on wet floors that aren’t signposted, bumping into each other in the corridor and getting scalding hot coffee all over the shirt, falling off their desk chair after using it as a step stool, etc. These are all obvious dangers we’re trained, and have the common sense, to avoid.

But what about the less common dangers? What about the dangers of the working world we don’t often think about, or don’t like thinking about? How do we prepare for them, and keep our employees safe from them? After all, whenever they’re on the company clock, the people who work for you are your responsibility.

So here’s just a few of the worst and most understated dangers an employee of yours might face one day whilst in work. Make sure you stay aware of them.

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Having a Sick Colleague

When you’re working in close quarters with a team of least 8 other people, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, an epidemic is going to flow through the office every now and then. People are crammed together in this little building block that is your company headquarters, always in contact with each other, and who knows who fast the sniffles are going to get around each and every occupied desk cubicle!

But more than that; if one of your employees is sick, they can compromise the rest of your team. So if someone comes in whilst ill, and has a hard time focusing on their work and feeling up to seeing the full shift out, they can very easily infect your other employees, and slow them all down as well. And that means, instead of just being one team member down, and being able to cover the work yourself, you now have your whole team calling in sick because they can’t even get out of bed with the flu.

Remember, bacteria spreads fast and easily, and there’s a good chance at least one member of your staff isn’t as up to date on their vaccinations as the rest of them. They can be a very weak link in the chain, weakening your company as a whole. It’s an expensive headache no business owner wants to deal with, and can even lead to health and safety investigations within your office.

Accidents Involving Company Vehicles

It’s scary for someone to be involved in an accident on the road when behind the wheel of their own vehicle, but this effect is doubled when they’re behind the wheel of a company car. It’s a car they don’t own, they don’t quite know how the insurance works, and the cost might even come out of the paycheck, should any repairs be needed. Even worse, if the vehicle is a write off, it can invoke some harsh new restrictions for the entire companies. For example, if employees are allowed to take company vehicles home with them, and someone on your team only has a company car to rely on to get to and from work, instituting a rule that no longer allows them to use this car outside of company hours is going to seriously affect their life.

But it makes the chance of being in an accident considerably less, and more often than not, company owners like to live in the knowledge that they won’t be covering crash costs any time soon. Having to fork out for something like semi truck accident lawyers who provide executive treatment can be a very costly time in a small business’ lifecycle, even when the lawyers in questions specialise in making the whole process a lot easier on you.

Having a Machine Malfunction

Even in a regular office, where the only machines in question are computers, printers, copy machines, and fax machines, a machine malfunction can be a danger. Machines can blow fuses in the power supply, taking the whole office down for a few hours before the power is fixed, and they can spit ink and spark and even explode from use from time to time.
Which is why it’s so important all employees know how to use machines like these, and that you have clear rules in place for the amount of paper being churned out of the printer or pricing on the different amounts of copies someone can make. You want to be sure you’re not wasting any materials and resources, and you want to be sure the machines you use on a daily basis are never being pushed beyond their means. Even technology can break down on us, and needing to buy upgrades and updates on a yearly basis can put a severe dent in everyone’s paycheck.

Having an Ineffective Team Leader

If your employees are working under a manager that is less than stellar in their position, the working environment can become toxic at best, and someone can lose their job at the worst. After all, you’re more likely to take your manager’s word over a junior employee, and often enough, rumours spread in an office faster than they do in a children’s playground.

As the owner, you’ll always need to keep an eye on the people you’ve put in a position of power. Conduct quarterly reviews on their performance, and train them in HR management. Make sure they deserve to have authority over the team they were once a part of.

Dangers in the workplace are numerous; are you aware of them all?

Starting & Succeeding With A Research Business

There are so many fields of study that you might choose to get into if you are thinking of starting a research business. In fact, the truth is that the general umbrella term ‘research’ might be a little vague for most purposes. In all likelihood, it is not the research element but the field of study itself which is the main driving factor of your business, and which ultimately got you to start your own business. Whatever it is that you are researching, however, there are a number of things which are going to be applicable across the board, and which are therefore absolutely worth looking into for that reason. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the things to consider if you hope to succeed with your research business, so that you can get to the bottom of whatever it is that you are due to be studying.

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Know The Scientific Method

Something that is likely to prove vital is that you are aware of what you need to focus on in terms of the best scientific method, so that you can make sure that you are following it to a tee and therefore getting the most reliable results possible. The scientific method has a number of tenets which you need to focus on and pay homage to, not least the idea that correlation and causation do not equate. You also need to make sure that you are attempting to replicate the results you have found again and again before you declare them in any real sense, and that is something that you should focus on from the start as it affects how you are likely to run your business. The best science is that which is objective, and almost obsessive to the point of trying to reproduce results again and again. Make sure you are being as scientific as possible if you want your research to be trustworthy.

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Find The Right Supplies

Depending on what you need to research, there will be many kinds of products and so on which you need to get hold of, to make sure that you can do it right. You might need particular equipment such as test tubes or microscopes. You might need some substances which can help you, such as C/D/N Isotopes. Or you might need a particular kind of machine to help you too. Whatever it is, you should be aware that being able to trust the supplies and the supplier means that you can also trust the research itself much more complicitly. For that reason, you are going to want to make sure that you source supplies you can trust, and that means going for trusted names or asking around for those which are likely to be worthwhile. In time, you will learn which you can trust and which you can’t, and you will find that sourcing the right supplies becomes much easier indeed.

Build Your Team

If it is necessary to be able to trust your supplies, it is much more necessary still to be able to trust your team, and that is something that can be considerably harder to do and take much longer too. You will find that building up your team early on is one of the bigger challenges, and also something which you are going to find particularly enthralling in terms of getting you excited for the business to grow. You’ll want to look out for certain qualities in those people, however, to make sure that they are going to actually be right for the job. Having a strict and strong recruitment process is hugely valuable here, as that is the only way that you will get to the bottom of who you should hire and who you should leave. The stronger you are able to build your initial team, the more that you can get done, and the higher the quality of the research will be too. Spend as much time as you need to on this, to ensure that you can end up with the best team you can possibly find.

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The Client Base

Ultimately, you are researching on behalf of someone, and you need to make sure that you are keeping them happy and giving them what they want. That doesn’t mean sacrificing your scientific rigour to deliver the results they hope for. It just means that you need to put your all into the research you are carrying out, and make sure that you are not going to skimp anywhere along the way. Understanding the needs and wants of your client base is essential, and the best way to discover them is to ask them about them. When you know this, you can work towards having a better relationship with your clients, which is one of the things that will determine a much more stable future for yourself in business. Treat the clients well, and you will find that they return again and again, despite what the research findings actually show.

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Advertising

You are going to need to think like any other business in a number of ways, one of the most important being that you need to make sure you are advertising your services if you want to gain clients in the first place. Knowing how to advertise your research business can be tough and take a long time to achieve, but as long as you stick it out you will find that you can get to the bottom of what it actually takes to ensure that your advertising really does work. This marketing requires that you have a strong brand, and that you are happy to make sure that that brand is right for the business. Do that, and advertise far and wide, and you will find that you are going to have much more luck with your research business than you might have even thought possible. If you like, you can hire a team to outsource this part of running your business, which might be a way of making it even easier still.

What’s The Impact Of A Dirty Workplace On Employees?

No business is perfect, you’ll always be lacking in a number of areas. But that’s what business is all about, constant improvement and shining a light on your own shortcomings. Even if you don’t mean to, your business can make mistakes that impact greatly on your employees. It might be that you didn’t think of building a wheelchair ramp for your disabled employees. It might be that you have offices with not enough windows to allow fresh air in. it could even be something like not providing decent chairs in the office which could stop your employees from getting back pain. However one of the bigger issues is workplace hygiene. A dirty place of work has so many detrimental impacts on your workers that you might not even notice.

More than unprofessional

A filthy place of work is more than unprofessional, it’s incredibly rude. It pretty much shows your employees what you think of them. They turn up to work and the office floor is just littered with bits of food, scrap pieces of paper, fluff from clothes and perhaps even chewing gum. This does not sit well with employees who will be surrounded with this mess for the next 8 hours or more. Would you want to show up to a place of work where there are cheetos crumbs on the keyboard or coffee stains on the carpet? It’s unprofessional but it makes workers feel insulted that you have them working for you in such a messy environment.

Quality of the air

It’s not just rude it’s downright unhealthy. Poor work hygiene levels lead to different kinds of healthy issues that take time to occur but they always do. For example if there is food left around for too long in the sink where people go to heat up and eat their food, this can lead to germs filtering into the air. When employees breathe this toxic air in, they can develop a nasty chest infection. This can lead to itchy eyes, trouble breathing and constant coughing. The worst case scenario is that employees have to take time off work to get better which costs your business ultimately.

Room to move

Waste is a big concern for any kind of business no matter what industry you’re in. To that end, boxes, paper and foam lying around take up a lot of space. These big piles limit the movement of employees and cause general disruption to the flow of work. You can however make good use of cardboard balers which can stuff many boxes into one compacted cube. It’s proven to save around 4,000 hours of crushing and folding by hand each year. Businesses can use this kind of equipment to keep their manufacturing plants clean and void of rubbish just lying around everywhere. You can also save money by recycling such materials and reusing them for your business.

A dirty workplace is a slap in the face to your employees who work hard for you. Show them some common decency by regularly making sure the office is clean and hygienic for them to spend each day in.

Tips For Aspiring Real-Estate Entrepreneurs

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Are you looking for a business idea that could potentially net you a small (or a large) fortune? There are all kinds of avenues you could take, but as discovered by many, one of the biggest ways to vastly increase your finances is to invest in real-estate.

There are various options open to you; two of them being the most common. For example, you could buy properties with an eye to selling them for a profit down the line. This is usually referred to as property flipping. You buy a house, make the necessary improvements to add value, and then advertise the property on your own business website and through the various property websites online. On the other hand, you might want to consider another popular route, and this is by becoming a landlord. Rather than selling the property you have invested in, you might rent it out to tenants instead. You won’t become rich quickly following this avenue, but over time, you will eventually make a profit on your investment.

Both options are viable business ideas and can be taken on full-time, or as means of a secondary income if you already have a day job. For these and other options, you can explore real-estate business ideas here.

Still, despite the promise of great profits, becoming a real-estate entrepreneur isn’t a walk in the park. It involves a lot of work on your part, both in finding the right properties for your portfolio and in finding sellers and tenants to give you your income. Then there are maintenance expenses to consider, which might only be short term if you’re planning to sell later on, but which will be long-term if you’re planning to become a landlord.

Needless to say then, becoming a real-estate entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, no matter how easy it looks when viewing property shows on the television or reading articles on people who have made it big in the business.

If you are wanting to step into this line of work, however, we do have some tips to help you. We can’t guarantee you success, but by adhering to the suggestions below, you will greatly improve your chances.

Educate yourself on real-estate

It’s a no-brainer, we know, but if you were thinking of jumping into the business without doing your homework, then you are going to run into trouble. You should read books on real-estate investing, speak to experienced realtors, brokers, and landlords in the business, and consider taking any classes that might help you within your business. Such classes might be directly connected to the world of real-estate, but taking courses on running a business, marketing, and financial management might also stand you in good stead. You might also consider working for a real-estate firm, be that as an intern or as a paid member of staff, as this way, you will get an up close and personal view of what it takes to work in the business.

Don’t give up your day job

There will be a day when you will (hopefully) make enough money to give up working for ‘the man’ and concentrate solely on real-estate. However, when you are starting out, it is a good idea to have another source of income coming in. This way, if you struggle to sell the property you bought, or if the income your tenants provide isn’t enough for your way of living, then you will still have a regular income coming in each month to help you pay the bills and any other expenses that need to be covered.

Use technology within your business

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As we have suggested before on our site, technology can improve your business, especially in the areas of marketing and productivity. It can alleviate some of the stresses you will be faced with in the day to day running of your business and can make light work of some of your everyday tasks. Therefore, research the apps and software tools that could help you within the real-estate world. We particularly recommend the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system offered by Liondesk which is designed to help you engage with potential house buyers and generate more leads, and apps such as RPR Mobile which can assist you with your property search. It’s worth spending time looking for any other software apps and programs to assist you within your real-estate business, especially if you are working alone.

Be mindful of potential money pits

Even if you’re considering renovating a fixer-upper to make a large profit on your purchase, you should still avoid any property that might eventually cost you more down the line. Not only will you be faced with the short-term costs in putting the property in order, but especially when renting out a property, you might also be faced with ongoing maintenance costs, as well as legal expenses if your property causes illness or injury to your tenant. These are some of the warning signs you need to look out for, so be mindful, especially when you are considering a property that appears to be going for a bargain price. Our advice: hire a property inspector before purchase, and if it looks as if you are going to face a massive dent in your finances, think twice before signing any contract of sale.

Become a neighborhood expert

You aren’t only selling or renting the property you have bought. To incentivize your potential house buyers or renters, you should also sell the locality to them as well. This means finding as much about the location as you can, looking for anything that will add value to your clients, such as schools, career opportunities, amenities, and places of local beauty. The more you can do to sway the client, the better your chances of convincing them to buy or rent. Keep this in mind when you’re scouting for locations too; avoid anywhere that has little to offer buyers or renters, as you might struggle to find people to move into any properties you may have bought.

Finally

When looking for a business idea, going for something involved in the world of real-estate is definitely something to consider. As many have before you, you may well make your fortune in doing so. However, to give you a greater chance of success, follow our suggestions, and then put in further research into this potentially profitable venture.

Thanks for reading.

5 Ways To Deliver Excellent Customer Service

We all know a bad customer service experience when we face it. You leave a store, website, or phone call feeling unappreciated, unsatisfied, and sometimes just pushed aside. It doesn’t matter how great a product the business is selling; you know that you never want to shop with them again. As an entrepreneur, you should already know how important your customers are to the business. To keep them happy, here are five ways to deliver excellent customer service.

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Employ The Right Staff

The work of a small business owner is never really done, which is why most hire employees to help tackle some of the workload. You always want to employ the right people in your company, but when these individuals are customer-facing, it’s even more vital. This means that you should invest a little more time into the hiring process for these staff members. Once you’ve built up a great team, you must also provide customer service training and then repeat it regularly.

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Have Support Always Available

When customers have a question or query, they want it dealt with immediately, rather than a few hours or days later. If you take your time replying to customers, it makes it seem as though you don’t care what they have to say. For this reason, you must ensure that you always have support available. If you can’t hire someone to man the phones every hour of the day, then consider investing in a chatbot instead. You can also provide your customers with a FAQs page.

Go That Extra Mile

Consumers expect businesses to do what they’re paid to and very little else. When you go beyond that, therefore it helps you to stand out. Because of this, you should find ways to go the extra mile. Rather than sending products through the post, for example, you could have a fleet of staff deliver them personally. This can be costly at times, but fleet risk management can save you money on accident-related expenses. You could also send discounts on special occasions.

Ask For Customer Feedback

It’s difficult to improve your service when you’re unsure of where you’re going wrong. With that in mind, you should ask customers for their feedback every time they make a purchase. This shows that you care about your customers’ opinions. If you receive negative feedback, it’s vital that you act on it and show customers the changes that you have made. Customers believe other customers, which means that posting this feedback on your site can help to build trust too.

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Treat Everyone The Same

Many businesses treat new customers like VIPs. They give them exclusive discounts, offer better service, and much more, all in a bid to make them happy. The issue with this is that, once your new customers stop being new, this better service tends to end, which can lead to resentment. You must ensure that you offer all customers the same great service, or, the minute the special treatment stops, so will the sales.

A business needs customers to survive, so follow the advice above and treat yours well.

How to Improve Your Customer Service Overnight

If you would like to improve your reputation, sending out the right messages is not enough. You will also have to deliver on your promises and keep your customers happy. If your current customer service is lacking traction, and you are losing clients constantly, you have a job to do. It is always easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than to go out there and find a new one. Below you will find a few areas you should focus on if you would like to improve your customer service.

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Engagement

One of the things most business owners miss is engagement. You are too busy marketing, and fail to create meaningful relationships between your brand and your market. In case you are new to the business world, you might need to go out there networking and find people who might help you find the right clients or improve your service. Getting the word out and creating personal relationships might get you more exposure in your local area and help you increase your reputation, too.

Consistent Messages

When you start a business, chances are that you are not completely clear what you stand for and what your values are. Without this, however, you cannot build a successful brand. You need to find your unique selling proposition, especially if you are operating in a highly competitive market. That is why every platform you are present on should have the same brand image featured. You can look for marketing packages for small business owners that will help you manage your brand and create consistent messages on social media, your blog, and other platforms.

Phone Systems

It is also important that you communicate with your customers effectively. If you don’t have a dedicated line for new clients or calling out, following up with leads, it might be time to get one installed. Even if it is just a redirected number, you and your employees will know exactly how to answer the call. If you do a lot of follow ups and customer updates, you can create an auto dialer that will help you schedule callbacks and even take notes or record the conversation.

Implement a CRM

If you want to manage your clients better, you will need a customer relationship management system. It doesn’t have to be too complicated; simple diaries, tasks, profiles, and reminders for each employee will do. If you are engaged in marketing campaigns, you will also have to ensure that your CRM system works well with your autoresponder, your social media management platform, and your client account software, so you don’t have to record the same information more than once.

Newsletters

If you want to be remembered by your customers, you might want to get their permission to stay in touch. Creating a newsletter will help you make the most out of your business, and get your brand out there, in front of your prospects’ or your clients’ eyes. This will improve your overall conversion rates, save you time and money on your marketing campaigns, and help you create a personal relationship with your customers.

Creating Customer Profiles

It is important that you get to know your customers. Not only their background, but also their needs, their wants, their preferences, their most important problems, and their values. You might want to create customer profiles for each client and regularly update them, so you can talk to them as if you knew them in person, even if you never met. Take notes of consultation sessions, so you can mention the things you talked about last time, and show that you care.

Customer Surveys

To monitor your reputation and ensure that you are delivering the best service possible to your customers, you will need to get regular feedback. You can now create a survey on Google or SurveyMonkey for free, and get people to give you an honest feedback. You have to find new ways to improve your service and offers if you want to maintain your competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Website Self Service

Many business owners think that they create a website for the search engines. While your SEO is important, you will also have to keep the needs of your audience in mind. Make sure that you are able to accommodate your visitors’ needs. You can implement eCommerce features, so your clients can place their order themselves, and don’t have to call your office. You will also need to look at the search and browse features, and maybe include a Q and A page, which will answer some of the questions visitors need answering before they would hit the “buy” button.

Online Chat

If there is one rule to creating a great website, it might be that it has to answer the question people have when they land on it. If you don’t want to look like you are just a brand hiding behind a site, you can add an online chat feature to your site that will allow you to ask questions before you engage with people. You have to qualify your leads, and a social media chat plugin will help you build a list and eliminate time wasters, as well. You can get to know about the needs of the person visiting your site, and adjust your offers accordingly.

Dedicated Account Managers

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If you don’t want your clients to be passed from pillar to post when they call or send a support ticket, you will need to appoint dedicated account managers to each customer. This person can be the first point of contact for them, and answer all the questions they might have. As they deal with the client personally, they will have a better chance of creating a deeper relationship and trust.

If you want to stand out for your customer service, you will need to ask your market how well you are doing. Take into consideration your potential clients’ needs as well as SEO rules when creating your site, and provide a personal service, tailored to individual customer needs.

How to Stand Out From the Crowd When Applying for Jobs

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There’s no doubt about it, things are pretty competitive out there in the job market, especially when there are so many people all vying for the same positions. To find a job you love and then to be successful in it, it’s vital to up your game and make yourself stand out from the crowd of other applicants all competing against you for the position. If you’re wondering how on earth you can go about doing that, then here are a few pointers to steer you towards success:

Get Connected

Social media is in every area of our lives, so it only follows that it also has an impact on our work lives too. Making sure that your social media presence is an asset rather than a hindrance is crucial. It’s no secret that many employers will check out potential employee’s social media profiles during the application process. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that yours is representing you in a good light and not harming your employment prospects. This doesn’t mean that you should start posting fake updates showing you to be some kind of saint, simply to be mindful about what you are posting so that you don’t stand out from the other applicants for all the wrong reasons.

Following the social media pages of the businesses that you are applying to work for is a great way to get an insight into their current activities and stay up to date with the latest information. This also provides you with the perfect resource when you’re asked what you know about the company at your job interview. Reading through the company website is essential for interview preparation too.

Get LinkedIn

The fastest way to make the right connections in your industry is by connecting with them on LinkedIn; this will also enable you to see new jobs posted by them too. Before you start connecting with everyone and anyone on LinkedIn, it is crucial that your profile is complete. This will give the right impression from the start to any prospective employers checking out your profile. The more relevant information that you include also increases your chances of being approached for opportunities that haven’t been advertised elsewhere.

Perfect Your Resume

Whether you’ve never needed a resume before, or you just haven’t updated yours in forever, now is the time to get it prepared and perfect. If you’re not sure how to get yours looking great, then check out Lucidpress where you will find a range of resume templates to use for a professional looking resume that stands out from the crowd. It’s worth spending some time on your resume to get it just right and up to date with all your latest experience and achievements. By always having an up to date resume available you can ensure that you can send it over immediately when that perfect job comes up, and know that it’s sure to stand out from the hundreds of others that land on the recruiter’s desk.