Laying Your Business Foundation – Outstanding Customer Service – Part Three

In this series we will talk about the importance of providing outstanding Customer Service. Again, if you have not read the previous series I encourage you stop what you are doing and review the articles NOW!

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Have you ever shopped at a store and you could not find anyone for assistance? Did you wonder through the store looking for a particular item and could not locate it? I would confidently say 8 out of 10 stores do not offer outstanding customer service.

Furthermore, in order to offer outstanding customer service the business owners must have a well-trained staff to demonstrate outstanding customer service to every customer; regardless if they are making a purchase or inquiring about an item it is the staff responsibility to know about the product or service, if not the staff need to know where to find the product or service.

Customer service is the pivot point that will either increase the company bottom line or shutdown. If the merchant sells to the general public they should have employees that are trained and ready to demonstrate outstanding customer service.

Customers are the most precious assets to any company and without them businesses would not exist. Not only are the customers assets to a business but they add value to the business by referring friends, neighbors, family and others to your business. The following steps will help you start and organize an outstanding Customer Service training program for your business.

Steps To Provide Outstanding Customer Service

Step 1: Greet the customer with a friendly smile then a firm handshake. It is customary to greet each customer with a pleasant smile and or handshake to establish a business relationship between both parties. The initially step sets the tone to demonstrate outstanding customer service.

Step 2: Ask the customer if you can be of assistance then give them your undivided attention. Never assume you know what the customer needs or want. They came into your business for a particular service or product; therefore, they know you have the solution to their problem, which the reason they came to you verses going to your competitor.

Step 3: Answer every question accurately. The customer will know if you can or cannot help them by listening to your response. They will draw a conclusion by listening to your voice tonality, observing your body language and if you’ve been attentive to them since the greeting. Customers are keenly aware of you sincere or not.

Step 4: Explain to them how you can or cannot help them. Observe their request from all angles to find a solution. Just because someone else had a similar problem does not determine the same outcome. Going the extra mile builds trust. This will keep your company in the customer mind when they encounter another problem.

Step 5: Deliver timely results. Do not make any promises you cannot deliver. Do exactly what you agreed to provide at the specified time and price. Be mindful of any changes between both parties; however, if there are changes provide the changes in writing at least 24 hours before the deadline. This will give both parties the opportunity to clarify any misunderstanding.

Step 6: Close the deal. In business deals are always being made. Up to this point you’ve been establishing a relationship with the customer to win them over to do business with you. Now it’s time to either capture them or they will go to your competitors. Closing the deal can be challenging but so was learning to walk, run or ride a bicycle. First, recap what transpired between you and the customer. If you can recall the customers’ interest either verbally or body language this is a good indication that they are interested in your product or service and looking for you to immediately close the deal.

Until Next Time! Stay tuned to “Laying Your Business Foundation.”

These steps will help you start or revise a Customer Service training program for your business. Research and study other programs by searching the internet or visit several merchants in your locale. The topic of discussion for the next article of “Laying Your Business Foundation – Part 4: Professional Telephone Etiquette.

A Business Opportunity Is Knocking

Most people don’t know that they go through every day missing an opportunity. And you are probably one of those people. You may not know it, but a business opportunity is knocking on your door every single day. And all you have to do is pay attention to these and take advantage of them.

Many people go through their lives wishing they could own their own business and stop working for someone else, but think that the opportunity to own their own business and work on their own terms is just something that many people dream about. The truth is that this is not the case at all. The truth is that a business opportunity is knocking on everyone’s door almost every single day.

The question is then how to be able to see when a business opportunity is knocking. This is a very simple thing to do. All you have to do is look at yourself and the market around you. And if you can’t find anything there, never hesitate to take advantage of the Internet because it contains countless business opportunities for anyone.

You have countless opportunities on your own. For example, if you have a skill or hobby that could possibly get you quite a bit of money, all you have to do is sell your services or your product. This is simple enough. You can sell to friends and use your social network to advertise your new business. And when you begin to get some actual customers, you can get a business license and expand. That is the simplest way to take advantage of a business opportunity.

If you look around you, you can also find many opportunities. Maybe there is a need for a product or service in your area and people want it replaced. This is an opportunity that is just there waiting for you. All you have to do is take advantage of this need and start a business in this field. For some ideas, this is a very easy thing to do, but some will cost quite a bit more, depending on the business.

If you can’t find anything in your own skills or interests, or even your area, then never be afraid to look on the Internet. If you have an Internet connection, then a business opportunity is knocking every time you click. You can start your own business doing almost anything on the Internet. It all depends on what you can or want to do with your own business.

If you pay attention, you will discover that a business opportunity is knocking on your door every day. All you need to do is watch out for the best one and take advantage of it in order to make money. You can experience the benefits of being the owner of a successful business. And if you can’t find one around you, you can find one on the Internet. There are business opportunities that you can take advantage of everywhere if you look for them.

Laying Your Business Foundation: Proper Telephone Etiquette – Part 4

In this series we will discuss Proper Telephone Etiquette. Again, if you have not read the previous series I encourage you stop what you are doing and review the articles NOW!

Your receptionist should have a clear speaking monotone voice. This is the first impression the customer hears when calling your company. The receptionist will have the authority to draw customers in or send them away to your competitors. In essence, selecting the right person is crucial to your company image.

I will cover basic telephone etiquette fundamentals so that you and the receptionist are clear about what and how to communicate with the public.

LET’S BEGIN…

Hire someone with a pleasant, friendly and outgoing personality. This type of person has a knack that captures attention; people are drawn in by their magnetic personality, know how to use their voice and speak intelligently. It is very imperative that the receptionist know how to speak, when to speak and when not to speak.

The receptionist should have an after-hour pre-recorded greetings stating what your company offer. The reason being is to turn callers into customers, if they aren’t already. You would be surprised how this small procedure will increase your sales. Be mindful to set the pre-recorded greetings for 30 seconds or less. You do not want to bore callers by listening to everything about your company; however, you do want the recording to mention key points about your services or products as well as the benefits for utilizing your company.

Select a location in your office to position the receptionist in a non-congested place so there are no interruptions. Inform your staff not to congregate near or come within close proximity to the receptionist area to avoid the caller hearing sensitive discussions. Doing so will not jeopardize the receptionist relationship with the caller nor do you want your company portrayed negatively in the caller mind.

Ask the receptionist to always answer the telephone with a smile in their voice. The customer will hear the smile; once again the receptionist is building a relationship with the caller. If the telephone receptionist makes the caller feel welcome and appreciated over the telephone this caller will likely become a customer very shortly.

Finally, train the receptionist to answer the telephone via the mouthpiece, never over the speaker. The caller will probably perceive your company as being unprofessional. Callers want to know they are talking to a person that values what they have to say.

There you have it, the fundamentals of Proper Telephone Etiquette. Although there are various methods to improve Proper Telephone Etiquette, feel free to implement your own procedures when hiring a receptionist.

Until Next Time! Stay tuned to “Laying Your Business Foundation.”

Pro’s and Con’s of Business Opportunities

The concept of a business opportunity might not be completely understood, simply because it can apply to so many different situations. For the purpose of our discussion here, we will not be talking about franchise opportunities. Otherwise, almost anything goes–from distributorships to vending machine routes, from network marketing to dealerships. Business opportunities can be online or be located in the real world. In general, a business opportunity is the sale or lease of a product, service or equipment that enables you to start a business.

Business opportunities usually involve a product and they may have a location, although the online world is quickly changing that. The assumption with a business opportunity is that there is a market for the product or service and there is the potential for profit. Initial fees for taking advantage of a business opportunity vary and there may be a buy-back or guarantee provision. Business opportunities usually come with some sort of marketing program as well.

A “business opportunity” doesn’t normally refer to the one-off sale of an independent business. Business opportunities normally consist of a system or set of procedures that can be sold to more than one buyer in more than one location. With the sale of an independent business, they are usually no continuing obligations between the seller and the buyer. The buyer can do anything they want with the business they’ve bought, and there’s no requirement for a continuing relationship with the seller.

There are many advantages and benefits connected with business opportunities. They normally have a lower initial fee and lower startup costs than a franchise. Business opportunities are normally based on a proven system or product, so you can profit from the experience of others. There may be a training program connected with the business opportunity and longer-term business counseling may be available as well. You benefit from the buying power of a larger company and you can often take advantage of cooperative promotional activities and advertising.

But the world of business opportunities is not always perfect. The company offering the opportunity may not always have your best interests in mind. There may be a lack of support at some times. Exclusivity clauses (meaning you can sell their product and no others) may hinder your ability to compete in the marketplace. It’s not unheard of for parent companies to go broke or declare bankruptcy. The bottom line? Anytime you consider taking advantage of a new business opportunity, it’s your responsibility (not someone else’s) to diligently evaluate both the company and yourself.

First of all, are you truly ready to take on a business opportunity? In addition to having the financial freedom to take a chance, do you really have the passion and excitement to put into a new business opportunity? And what about time? Do you have enough time freely available to devote to the success of this business opportunity?

Successfully starting up a new business requires complete knowledge of your product or service. If the company is not willing to immediately and cheerfully provide that knowledge, then you should quickly back away from this particular opportunity. Do some market research of your own. Don’t take the company’s word for it that a rabid demand exists for their particular product.

Investigate the company’s record of past success and try to interview someone who’s currently involved with the business opportunity. Has the company lived up to its promises and fulfilled its obligations?

What sort of income claims are connected with this business opportunity? You should look for assurances of reasonable income, but at the same time there should be no limit on future income. Promises of fast and easy riches should be a warning for you to stay away. How many years has the company offering the opportunity been in business? What sort of reputation do they have? Are their ethics and standards compatible with yours?

There’s no shortage of business opportunities available. It’s a fairly simple matter to find something that appeals to your interests and fits within your startup budget. But don’t allow yourself to be rushed into any arrangement. True business opportunities based on proven models will have no trouble waiting for your careful consideration.