Customer Service Information

Becoming A Solution To Your Customers Problems


Those of us in home based and small businesses are in effect selling our product. So becoming an effective salesperson is very important. Remember, however, that selling is not the only thing you do. Don't forget to use your time wisely.

What you want to do to help you move forward is to:

Plan and prioritize. If the majority of your day is spent with your customers, you will need some down time. You need to have time to look at the trends in your business. By this I mean go over your customer records, see where patterns are, what changes you need to make and then set up a plan to implement those changes. If you spend a little time at the end of each day going over what transpired during the day and set up your plan and schedule for the next day, you will be much better prepared for the next day and the subsequent days.

At the beginning of each week, take a look at where you want your business to be and make plans on how to get there. If something you are doing isn't working, make changes. However, then you need to give those changes time to work. If they don't work, change them again. Most important is that you spend the time each week to figure out what your business needs are and what your needs are, till you come up with what works best for you, your business and your customers.

As many of our long time readers know, I am a big proponent of To Do lists. Make up a daily to do list, a weekly and a monthly. Remember to consider your goals when making up your To Do list. Where do you want your business to be in five years, ten years? When you ask yourself these questions, you focus on the direction you want your business to take and the income you want to make.

Remember, after you have determined what your goals are, then take your goals and figure out the steps you need to take to get to that particular goal. Do this with each of your goals. Since we are concentrating on sales in this article, ask yourself: Do I need a new product? Do I need to look for other ways to sell my products? If I make these changes will I need additional funds? If I need funds should I get a parnter or find an investor? If I increase my business will I need to hire someone? Once you have answered these questions, then take the steps you have come up with and put them on your To Do list.

It is very important that you have a calendar and that you set deadlines. Your calendar can be paper or electronic. The most important thing is that you use it. Put all your goals, the steps needed to get to your goals, and deadlines to meet those steps in your calendar. Remember, if you use your calendar wisely it will help you accomplish what you need to and help you to get things done efficiently and on time.

To show you how your calendar can work for you, let's set up a marketing campaign. First, you want to schedule deadlines for everything that needs to be done before you can even start the campaign.

First set a deadline of September 4 to re-price all your current products. By the 12th of September contact the media you will be using for rate information along with their readership information, and what their ad copy requirements are. In our example the media would be newspapers and magazines. However, you can also do the same for television, billboard, etc. By the end of September (the 30th) make up your ad budget for the year. You will want to determine how much it will cost you on a monthly basis, so you can have an accurate determination of your monthly expenses. By the middle of October (let's say the 15th) set a deadline for your ad copy and any art so that you can meet their deadline. Let's say in our example it is the 1st of the month. So that would be November 1st.

The above example illustrates how to take a large project and break it down into smaller projects and to set deadlines for them so that you can get the whole project done.

As any successful business owner will tell you, of paramount importance is to keep in touch with customers. You can call your regular customers often, perhaps every six weeks or every month. Or if calling is not feasible in your business, keep in contact by sending post cards, flyers, or a special announcement. Be sure to keep track of when you last talked with each individual, or were in contact with them. Also, if possible, make some comment that personalizes the call, or written contact. For example, ask about new developments in their business or mention the spouse or children by name. Know your customer. Make your customer feel important.

A great way to keep in touch with your customer is after you've made a sale, send a thank you note. If your business warrants it, if your customer will probably run out of supplies in three months, send a reminder note.

As we all know catalogs are great, however, they are very costly to mail. Rather than send a catalog why not just send a postcard to your customers announcing the new items you have added to your catalog. If they use a particular product, mention that on the post card. The holiday is a great time of year to contact customers. If your business warrants it, a birthday card is a nice touch. For example, my insurance company sends me a birthday card every year, along with a calendar.

Some other ways to stay in touch is to send them an article about your business or a catalog sheet (these usually focus on one or a couple of items) or start a newsletter and send it to your customers on a quarterly basis or more often if warranted.

Another excellent way to keep in touch with your customer is to become a resource for your customers. Remember, many times when you make a sale, you provide a solution to a problem. Lease purchasing is a solution for those who need to move their home quickly. A repair service is a solution for wear and tear that comes with time. Tax preparers provide a solution to those that dread tax time and all the paperwork involved. Newsletters are a great way to become a resource. You could have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) article on a particular product you sell. Make your customer aware that you can provide them with solutions for a certain type of problem. If your customer has a problem that you can't solve refer them to another expert. If you are not sure of something when your customer asks, don't bluff your way through it. Tell your customer that you will get back to them with an answer.

One of the most important things is to deliver what you promise. If you say something will go out on a specific day, be sure it does. If you say you will get back to them with certain information, be sure you do so. Never let your customer down.

When your customers and others think of you, you want to be thought of as a problem solver. Someone who is reliable, organized, and cares. If you do all of the above you can accomplish this and customers will call you, and more importantly, refer others to you.

Copyright 2003 DeFiore Enterprises

Interested in having your own successful, home based creative real estate investing business? Chuck and Sue have been helping folks start successful home based businesses for over 19 years, and we can help you too! To see how, visit http://www.homebusinesssolutions.com for the latest FREE tips and tricks, educational products and coaching in creative real estate investing and home based businesses. No time to visit the site? Subscribe to our "how to" Home Business Solutions Digest, it's like having your own personal coach: subscribeHBS@homebusinesssolutions.com


MORE RESOURCES:
Business:Customer Service Articles from EzineArticles.com
02/16/2018 08:00 AM
First Watch Is First Class
Does your favorite restaurant give "first class" service? What three traits do you look for in your employees and where do you find them?
02/09/2018 11:06 AM
It's True: You Can Really Enhance Your Guest Experience With Wireless Products
Upscale hotel chains and restaurants have geared up to enhance their guest experience with technological innovations. Among the numerous ones, wireless products have stood out from the rest.
02/08/2018 08:14 AM
Must Have Call Center Systems For Impeccable Customer Service
The key to great customer support service is a seamless operation as well as a tech-driven support system. No matter how experienced you are, handling customer support without new age call center systems is a tough row to hoe; considering the fact that tech advancements are an intrinsic part of our day to day lives.
02/01/2018 04:31 PM
Metaphors Gone Wild: Parties and Customer Satisfaction
Just as you serve customers or clients, you are a customer. This yin/yang duality is important to keep in mind as we allow external realities to positively impact the internal realities of our workplace. If you are comfortable with taking a thesis, examining its opposite (or anti-thesis [antithesis]), and then finding a working combination of the two (or a synthesis), you will soon see the pattern emerging between the yin and the yang aspects of your job. If not, don't worry. You will benefit from the following customer-service activities/questions nonetheless.
02/01/2018 09:00 AM
What Do You Mean by a Complete Business Development CRM Solution?
Well, this is a very simple question but the answer to this question can be very descriptive with lot of open ends because business development activity varies from industry to industry and country to country.. A complete business development CRM system should be one which covers and track all activities of Marketing & Brand Building team, Sales team, Efforts of sales team members, Expenses of Sales personnel and derive Employee Profitability Index and above all, it must have a very deep drill down visualization of the data layer in the form of high-end Analytical Dashboards, for quick and correct decisions that is Business Intelligence.
01/26/2018 11:12 AM
Tips to Maintain A Healthy Work Life Balance in The Back Office Domain
You can either worry for future or prepare for it; the difference lies not in your situation but your perception. However, while preparing for what you dream to be your future, you shouldn't ignore the present.
01/23/2018 09:41 AM
Top 5 Ways To Keep Restaurant Customers Happy After the Holiday Season
During the holidays, people enjoy going out to eat, drink and socialise. They enjoy the holidays so much that they do not always mind the price. However, once the holidays are over they take a good hard look at their budget and tend to become more frugal. Your restaurant probably enjoyed the seasonal increase in revenue and now it's back to normal.
01/16/2018 09:20 AM
Why Email and Chat Support Is Perfect for Small and Medium Businesses
Email and chat support may seem like a simple term for non-voice methods of providing answers to clients. But more than providing answers, agents also handle order inquiries, order monitoring, and payment documenting. They also collect product and customer data.
01/15/2018 09:03 AM
Customer Obsession is Necessary for Fortune 500 Companies
Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. All these companies are big names in the technology world with a consistently high performance report card. They have numerous achievements, consistent proven record with renowned Chief Executive Officers and founders, who make the most inspiring headlines and stories for people to follow.
01/11/2018 10:10 AM
How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Any Customer
Establishing a good customer relation can make a business to surpass its competitors who have same offering to make. A business can leave a good impression on customer, by catering to its need, offering after sale services and establishing friendly relations with him.
01/04/2018 11:27 AM
Small Business Customer Service Tips
Customer Service can make or break a small, online business. I have been running my own online business selling handmade antler jewelry for almost three years now and this is something I have seen time and time again. Being part of many different forums for small business owners, I see questions daily concerning how someone should handle an upset customer, a messed up order, delayed shipping issues, poor quality in the consumers' eyes, etc.
01/02/2018 04:04 PM
Are You Missing This Opportunity To Engage Your Customers?
What's your story? Why are you in business? How did you start? What drove you to do what you do? If you work in a larger corporation, what's their story? Do you know?
01/02/2018 08:27 AM
The Lover, The Rose, A Wedding? The Significance of an Insignificant Sale
The buyer, in this case, is making a "unique" purchase, one he may remember for many years. The seller is making an "ordinary" sale, one of many in the day, and from a sales volume standpoint it is a minor sale, yet there is potential for much more business.
12/27/2017 03:18 PM
6 Inbound Call Center Services Your Business Needs Today
Inbound call center services help businesses achieve some of their major customer service and revenue generation goals. Learn more in this post.
12/22/2017 02:53 PM
Shouldn't Customers Be Number One for Brick and Mortar Stores?
Wouldn't it be great if when we spend money at stores where it was a pleasant memorable experience for us? Instead, it seems today many business models have nothing to do with us the customer. Except for ways to take our money while providing the least service as possible. It seems they have little respect for our time, needs, or developing business relationships with customers in their stores. We are all numbers who are treated more like employees than clients. They setup procedures we as customers must follow in their locations. Entering these stores causes many people stresses just from the parking all the way to checking out at the cash. Which can be from my opinion easily remedied based on my list below:
12/20/2017 04:17 PM
I Believe Perception Is One of the Biggest Problems Businesses Face Today
Maybe for many buying into perception without legitimate backing is enough. There are always two sides to every story, which in these times doesn't seem to matter as much as before. Social media is very good at making people believe guilt before proven innocence. After you read this below carefully, think if you agree perception is one of the biggest problems business faces today.
12/13/2017 04:05 PM
Prepare for VoiceMail BEFORE You Dial
Most people, when they hear the Voice Mail message, freeze. They aren't prepared, and their message sounds like a bad imitation of a stammering and befuddled Elmer Fudd. Voice Mail can be effective if you leave an intriguing, curiosity evoking, benefit-laden message.
12/04/2017 03:57 PM
'Oops, Sorry' Isn't Enough
Even in the very best of companies, bad stuff happens for any number of reasons. High-quality companies work hard to right the few wrongs that pop up because they have worked hard to create their reputation, and they know that it can be lost with one spill of barbecue sauce or another misstep.
11/28/2017 09:33 AM
Take Your Customer Service Seriously
Our customer service is the most important aspect of our business. In order to achieve effective customer service, it is essential to go an extra mile to please customers or else our competitors can subtly steal our clients. Most importantly, hire the right employees who are ready to run ahead with your organization's mission.
11/17/2017 03:45 PM
First Came Customer Service, Then Customer Experience - What's Next?
We all know the term 'Customer Service'. And, "the Customer Experience" is very popular, now. What comes next, how can consumers benefit, and how can companies capitalize on the "next thing"?
11/16/2017 04:06 PM
Customer Service: Why Is Eye Contact So Bad?
If someone was to apply for a job, they are likely to hear about how important customer service is. That is, of course, unless they are applying for a position that doesn't require them to deal with customers.
11/14/2017 03:57 PM
Do All Your Job
OK, the prospect purchased it, you delivered it and got paid so you did your job... and you feel good about the transaction... but there might be (and should be) a nagging feeling deep down in your gut... will your customer come back and refer others? Doing your job (what the customer paid for) is really doing only part of your job. If you are to succeed you have to do more. You have to do your entire job.
11/10/2017 08:52 AM
Tips to Make Your Customers Happy With Managed Queues
You must have heard the phrase that "First Impression is your Last Impression." And here after reading this article, you will agree that the same applies to customer entries at any business place. The shopping history of every customer and business journey explains the impression of businesses at the very first visit of consumers which can readily convert these visitors into regular and loyal customers of the visited brand.
11/07/2017 08:25 AM
Home Run Customer Service
How is the customer service at your business? Are your associates well trained and do they work as a team? Are they knowledgeable and eager to share the information on your products?
11/06/2017 08:04 AM
6 Secret Tips to Enhance the Your Shipping Performance
This article is going to give you some effective insights and tips on how you can boost the shipping performance of your business. When the customers buy products from any online website, making sure that the customers are getting the products in their hands as soon as possible is one of the most crucial things for an online business owner.
11/01/2017 08:32 AM
Top Traits Of A Successful Call Center Manager
In a corporate space, you can recognize managers easily because they are the ones who seem to have a lot of authority yet are deemed responsible for anything and everything that happens within their team. Dressed in formals, managers mostly have a really magnetic personality and they sure have something that separates them from the masses.
11/01/2017 08:31 AM
Telecommuting - Is It Favorable Or Not?
A year back, the CEO of a PR firm allowed employees to work from home on a regular basis citing that adults shouldn't be tied to a regime of five days a week. He believed that work can be done from anywhere one wishes to, as long as there is a desire to do it.
10/26/2017 04:13 PM
4 Major Common Problems With Same Day Courier Services
Like many major cities, transporting sensitive packages, such as medical specimens, pharmaceutical or durable goods and supplies can be a problem if the same day courier service isn't as experienced handling these types of packages. Even if they are, there are still other common problems why your package isn't delivered on time.
10/23/2017 08:20 AM
The Inside Scoop on Why a Customer Service Position Is a Horrible Job
I was shocked and appalled learning how horribly customer service people are treated by their employers. I also learned a large percentage of people working in a call center are educated with degrees, elderly who still need to work, middle-aged people who were victims of downsizing, and younger people with no hope in life. They work in these call centers because of large unemployment throughout the country. The reality is people still need to eat, and many are working way below their qualifications and pay grade. It is humiliating to begin with for most, and then having us the customer digging the knife further disrespecting them. This is the introduction, now I will explain the inside scoop.
10/20/2017 11:46 AM
Customer Service - What Makes a Company Great?
What makes a company great, makes it stand out head and shoulders above the rest; has not only loyal but repeat customers who go back time and time again? Is it the size of the company - bigger is always better? Is it the amount of profits they make - well they must be good if they are making all that money - right?
10/20/2017 08:27 AM
Live Chat Feature - A Simple Way To Keep Your Customers Happy And Increase Your Conversion
Live Chat is the talk of the town, a number of companies add this feature on their website and those, who are not aware of its benefits, it is a platform that allowed you to chat directly with your visitors. It has a positive impact on your sale and conversion, it is important to add it to mark new high standards in your work.
10/17/2017 12:55 PM
Data, Customer Experience and Today's Company
Know Your Customer. It sounds simple but its increasingly becoming the difference between life and death, success and failure, profit and loss for the 21st century company. How well you know your customer base determines how well you please them. The customer is more King at this time than ever before. He has needs and preferences that demands immediate satisfaction. The company that keeps the customer is the one that knows enough to meet those immediate needs.
10/08/2017 09:55 PM
10 Ways to Attracting Clients Through Kindness
Sometimes the bottom line is not the end all for business success. Gratitude and how you treat your customers will go a lot farther than just trying to squeeze every dime you can out of a client. Being authentic and treating customers correctly will ensure you have much greater success in customer loyalty and referrals.
10/02/2017 03:09 PM
Customer Defections - 68% Attitude Problems
Several years ago, the American Society for Quality Control ran a survey quantifying the reasons why companies lose customers. The survey showed that 68% of lost customers left because they were "turned away by an attitude of indifference on the part of a company employee." The second reason for customer defection was "dissatisfaction with the product or service" which was mentioned by only 14%.
10/01/2017 08:19 PM
You CAN Smile and Be Serious
Why is that some places seem to forbid smiling? Is it because they think you won't take them seriously?
10/01/2017 11:46 AM
US Company Internet Service Provider Help Desks Outsourced To India Are Insane
Have you ever had trouble with your home internet connection, where something was out due to a protocol error, ISP company hacking, password accidental deletion, or hardware problem? Have you ever tried to connect a new device or allow a visiting friend to connect their device but to no avail? Have you then tried to contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) only to have your call re-routed to a call center in India? Well, God Bless AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and the like.
09/21/2017 03:42 PM
Managing the Difficult Client
In your Solopreneur consulting venture you will work with dozens of clients. Your experiences will teach you to recognize certain working styles and personality types. In your mission to retain clients over the long-term, you will find it useful to understand the perspectives of the various personality types and learn to create successful, or at least productive, working relationships with them.
09/18/2017 11:54 AM
Vending Machine Services - A Guide to Finding Them Online
"Vending machine services can be a godsend for your enterprise. No matter what kind of a facility you are operating and no matter what kind of business you may be into, vending machines can help ensure that the people visiting your feel cared for and comfortable."
09/13/2017 10:14 PM
How to Manage A Difficult Client
When I went out on my own as a Solopreneur marketing consultant, my debut project was with a client who was a terrible human being and as a result, the experience was a difficult one. If you find yourself in an assignment and client neuroses suddenly emerge, you'll need tactics that will help you exercise some measure of control over the situation and preserve your dignity and sanity and perhaps even the client relationship as well. Presented here are two examples of difficult client behavior.
09/13/2017 10:11 PM
Customer Service - Taking What You're Doing From "Good" to "Great"
Or maybe even Exceptional! We recognize bad customer service right away, it's like a flashing beacon.
09/11/2017 03:13 PM
7 Rapport Building Secrets That Make People Like You More
Have you ever wondered how to get past small talk when meeting someone new? Have you ever questioned how to build rapport with someone you have nothing in common with? Do you want to know the secret to getting to know people on a deeper level? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it's time to learn the art of building rapport.
09/10/2017 09:06 PM
Tasty Customer Service Tips
What does amazing customer service look like? For brick and mortar or online businesses to survive they must create outstanding customer experiences.
09/08/2017 09:46 AM
Make Customer Service Your Competitive Advantage
I'm often surprised to see that very few people care about providing top-notch customer service. It seems like all the energy is put into making the sale, and little to no effort is made in helping the customer once the product or service is delivered...
08/29/2017 02:55 PM
How a Simple Conversation Puts Your Clients at Risk for Identity Theft
In a business setting, overhearing sensitive conversations can lead to a breach of privacy that can decrease a client's trust and cost money for the company. Some institutions such as the healthcare industry, financial firms, law offices, and educational institutes, have put laws in place to make sure speech is private. Noncompliance with these laws can lead to exposure of sensitive information resulting in identity theft, and in turn cost the company hefty fines and a damaged reputation.
08/28/2017 12:49 PM
Stress Test Your Way to Excellent Customer Service
How is the customer service at your business? Does it need improving?
08/23/2017 11:48 AM
Things to Consider While Choosing Apostille Services in India
Acquire the complete knowledge about the things to consider while choosing apostille services in India. You will realize the importance of choosing the best apostille service provider after reading this article.
08/23/2017 08:20 AM
It's Hard to Steal a Happy Client & Easy to Lose One Who Is Unhappy
If a company's success is based on long-term customer retention and repeat sales, then an ongoing "Sales Satisfaction System" will reinforce the commitment to the client and act as an ongoing retention strategy. What "Sales Satisfaction System" is in place at your company?
08/22/2017 03:53 PM
Your Customer Is Not Always Right
The customer is always right or is he? Whenever you come across a business owner or a corporate professional, he sure will say that this statement is true and believable.
08/22/2017 09:27 AM
Online Consumer Forum - Address Consumers' Problems
Business nowadays is not just about buying and selling products or providing services. The condition of doing the fooling with the consumers in providing them with the defective product and services is not a good habit. The business is now a day's becoming the process of gaining the experience from the corporation's experience.
08/16/2017 08:35 AM
A Heart Warming Customer Service Success Story
In the past few years, many commercial organizations have started concentrating more on this aspect of the business. They have not just worked towards the betterment of delivered support services but have started creating unforgettable service experience and setting examples. One amongst such incidents that have proved how dedicated organizations are towards the customers is the case of Kerry Drake.


home | site map |