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small business, sop creation, Standardized Process, virtual assistant services

Best Customer Service Practices for Your Business

If you’re looking to provide value, retain customers, present business value, or reduce employee turnover, you must provide exceptional customer service to your customers. It is not only the business owner’s responsibility to focus on customer service, but the responsibility of the entire team. Customer service is especially important for small businesses as you are working hard to gain new customers and keep them coming back. Have you ever walked into a retail store or a restaurant and the staff seems to be miserable and is not at all eager to cater to your needs? How likely is it that you will return to this establishment or leave them a good review? Not very likely. As business professionals, we need to ensure that all our customers receive the utmost respect and care, as they are the reason we are still in business and we would like them to continue doing business with us. Surveys actually show that customers claim that they are willing to spend more with businesses that provide a positive service interaction. We’ve gathered some tips that will help you consistently provide excellent customer service and will allow you to exceed your customers’ expectations.

Know your product/service:

In order to sell your product or service, you need to be familiar with and have an expansive knowledge of it. If a customer comes to you with a concern or doubt, you must be able to discuss features and give valid insight into the product or service. It’s your job to upsell and provide value to your customer. As a business owner, it is important to keep in mind that you have the ability to offer a solution to a given problem. Make it your goal to know the ins and outs of your product or service so that your customer chooses your business instead of your competitors. However, avoid making any false promises or guarantees. We want to make sure we are always being genuine and truthful with our customers. 

Be Present and Attentive:

This is arguably the most essential part of customer service. In this day and age, we live in a very fast-paced environment. That being said, when a customer is left waiting for a response or doesn’t receive attention in a timely manner, it is unlikely that you will be their preferred choice in business. Whether it is in person or online, you must remain attentive to your customers at all times. Taking hours to respond via phone, email or social media might lead to the customer looking for other options. We want our customers to know that we value their time and preference. That being said, place focus not only on responding quickly but also on resolving any issues they may have in a timely manner. 

Keep a Positive Attitude:

The golden rule applies to customer service. Treat your customers the way you would like to be treated, with respect. Your attitude is everything and we never want to come across as rude or dismissive to our customers. It is inevitable that we will come across difficult or sassy customers. However, we cannot allow this to affect how we treat our customers. When a customer is perceiving our attitude in person, it is important that we keep a positive tone of voice, proper body language, and an inviting facial expression. This is much more difficult to present when communicating online with a customer. Consequently, we must go the extra mile when handling customers online. Always use positive language and focus on what you CAN do for the customer as opposed to what we CANNOT do for them. Make sure to always thank your customer for doing business with you. 

It is no secret that customer service should be a top priority for you and your team. Consider monitoring the communication styles of your employees to make sure all your customers are being treated equally and fairly. Listen to the feedback you receive from customers and adjust your customer service communication styles accordingly. Direct communication with customers can sometimes be difficult if the customer isn’t cooperative or understanding. Remain patient and trust in your ability to be the solution to their problems.

executive assistant, process management, small business, social media management, sop creation, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

It’s a Good Year for Better Time Management

Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing and productive 2021!

How do we accomplish that in our business? We manage our time well.

Time management is a key skill in becoming/being successful and it includes setting aside the perfect amount of time for each and every task being thrown at you. Here are some tips to better manage your time, which will result in higher productivity in 2021. 

  1. Set Goals 
    1. A fundamental part of time management is not only setting goals for everything you need to complete, but also prioritizing them. One way would be to rank your goals by importance so you have a better idea of what you need to do first, second, third, etc.
  2. Set A Time Frame For Each Task 
    1. Try to estimate the amount of time you will be spending on each and every task so you know when and where to fit in those tasks. It’s very important to have enough time to complete each one, leaving wiggle room in case it takes longer than expected. I can’t tell you how many times I have underestimated the amount of time a task will take me and I had already waited till the last minute to complete it- that doesn’t result in a good outcome. 
  3. Reward Yourself
    1. No matter how big or small your personal reward is, you should have one. It not only gives you greater motivation to complete the task in a timely manner but also gives you something to enjoy and promotes self care. 
  4. Take Out Unnecessary Tasks
    1. Cleaning up your to-do can have a huge impact on not just your stress levels but also your productivity. Having a bunch of unnecessary and just straight up time consuming tasks on your list will only slow you down. 
  5. Give Yourself A Break 
    1. Taking breaks are known to increase productivity as long as you stick to your set break time. Think of it as a recharging period to re-center and boost motivation. Examples include working for maybe 3 hours then giving yourself a 20 minute rest. 
    2. Delegate. Give tasks that you don’t want to work on to an assistant. Hiring a virtual assistant is one way to get rid of those extra tasks and free up more of your time for the things you want to do.

Productivity and time management are serious factors when it comes to not only your mental health surrounding the areas of stress, but also important factors to putting out quality work- no matter your area of expertise. 

Here at Life by Design our team values time management and quality work. We focus on the busy work while you continue to run the business of your passion. If you want to learn more, schedule your free consultation here.