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.

Digital Marketing, Marketing, small business, virtual assistant services

Using Business Psychology as a Marketing Strategy

As a business owner or business professional, an important question to ask yourself is why certain professionals and businesses are more controlled, productive, enthusiastic and successful than others? The answer is simple, basic business psychology and organizational behavior. Business psychology (also referred to as organizational psychology) is an applied science that uses a focus on human behavior to evaluate how an organization and its employees can implement strategies to increase engagement and drive profits. As business professionals, it is valuable to utilize valuable  team building, leadership, efficiency, innovation, and positive thinking techniques in order to establish a successful business. How can we do this? Here are three useful techniques to improve workplace wellbeing. 

  1. Team building

Collaborating and working together as a team can be the key to fortifying your organization. After all, a business is not a one man job. Encouraging cooperation and group effort will create value in the workplace. Consider implementing monthly group meetings where all team members participate in team building exercises. As team members build stronger relationships, they are able to work more effectively as a team. Additionally, encourage communication amongst your team members. As a leader in an organization, it is important to provide a safe space for team members to be able to communicate any conflict or issues within the organization.  It is useful to embrace an open-door policies to encourage communication and trust

  1. Develop and Implement Workplace Strategies

Once any conflict or issues have been addressed, the next step is to improve engagement, increase teamwork, enhance communication and create a more productive and successful workforce. It is beneficial to implement training programs, HR policies, employee and manager coaching, and performance evaluation. Once implementing new policies and programs, evaluate its effectiveness and continue to monitor how employees respond.

  1. Emotion over Intellect

A valuable tool to utilize in marketing your business is valuing emotional appeals over intellectual ones. By marketing how your product or service can benefit the consumer’s life in a worthwhile way, you will yield more significant results. How the consumer feels about your product or service directly impacts sales and profitability. Linking your service or product with positive feelings will improve brand identity and increase brand loyalty. Most importantly, make sure you are doing extensive research on what associations will generate positive responses from your consumer base and demographic. What positive aspect and reward can your customer receive by investing in your product or service?

Remember, a business is not simply about logistics. “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace,” according to Doug Conant, former Campbell Soup Company CEO. Be mindful of the workplace environment you create. Your team is your best asset, so ensure they are working well together in order to increase efficiency. Implement workplace strategies that improve organizational behavior. Finally, don’t forget about the customer, analyze what they are looking for from you and execute marketing techniques that speak to their emotions.

blogging, businessbuildingstrategies, Digital Marketing, Marketing, small business, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Why You Need A Blog For Your Business

With the ever-changing styles of marketing methods, it is hard to keep up with what the best techniques are for growing your business.  Blogging can be one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness while simultaneously providing useful information to your target audience.

Now more than ever it is important for small businesses to have an online presence. Being a consistent blogger can take your business further than you thought possible. Content is still king when it comes to online business building. Consistent content on your social media channels, through email marketing, and through blogging can greatly increase your visibility online. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider adding a blog to your business’ website.

1. It helps your audience know what is going on in your business: If you want to build customer loyalty and keep happy customers coming back, you’re going to need to keep them updated. Having a blog can work as a great tool to keep your customers in the loop. A blog will help also your customers relate to you on a more personal level, as they are able to give you feedback and have direct communication with you. You’ll keep the old customers coming back and new customers eager to learn more.

2. SEO boost: A great boost to SEO is increasing the outflow of fresh content, relevant topics and engagement. When you write blog posts consistently, this will generate traffic to your business. By utilizing relevant key words and creating new content, you are heightening your chances of appearing more frequently in search engines. Blogging is one of the most inexpensive ways you can increase SEO.

3. Build an email database: Email marketing is still a very important tool you can utilize to keep new and old customers updated. However, many customers are reluctant to sign up because they don’t enjoy spam mail. A blog, however, can build credibility and likability for your brand. If people enjoy your content, they are more likely to sign up for your newsletters. The main goal is to build trust between you and your consumers.

4. Pass Along Effect: If you are releasing valuable information that people enjoy reading, odds are they will want to share this information with others. A blog can highlight valuable information that relates to your niche. Once one person enjoys it, they are more likely to pass it on to others who share the same interests, therefore bringing attention to your business.  

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to add a blog to your website today and start posting. If you don’t have the time, or the desire to, we can help! That’s one of the services Life By Design Virtual Services offers to business owners. We can write and schedule content as often as you’d like. Reach out and schedule your free consultation today to see if we are a good fit!

Attraction Marketing, blogging, businessbuildingstrategies, executive assistant, Goal Setting, onlinemarketing, personal assistant, process management, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

The Importance of Branding Yourself

Whether you are an entrepreneur, or someone looking to get employed by others, branding yourself is one item in your personal portfolio that can make or break you.

Why Is It Important?
Over 70% of employers say they check social media accounts to see who “you really are”. They want to see if how you present yourself online aligns with the company’s beliefs. If you’re an entrepreneur/ small business owner, many people will probably Google your name and see what populates. We’ve all “googled” someone at some point. You want people to see positive things but also relate to you as a human being.

Where Do You Start?
Branding yourself normally starts with social media. As I’ve said before, you will probably be searched at some point and the first thing that will pop up is ALL of the social media accounts with your name attached to them. Make sure you’re posting appropriate content that speaks to who you are as a person. Social media is like a peek into what you do in your free time and/or your personal accomplishments. People want to know how you are spending your time and what you have to say about it.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah has proven to be one of the best at personal branding, almost anyone in the world knows her name. With an estimated net worth over $2 billion, she (I am sure she has a social media manager) always is posting content that revolves around staying true to yourself and your passions. This kind of content brings people in and also empowers them- while benefiting her personal image and growing her following.

Outcomes of Personal Branding
Not only will you have a solid foundation of who you are as a person and your values on display for people to connect to, but also your brand will be able to evolve/adapt to the changing world. You may start a small business and the product is slowly going out of style- if you are attaching your name to that business and bringing your customers to your own personal image then they will be attached to not your business, but you. They have the potential to follow you around on your next business endeavor because people like to support like minded or positive people.


Personal branding is growing in importance now thanks to social media, and your entire life story can be just a click away. Most importantly, make sure you are portraying yourself in a connecting, encouraging, and honest way.

blogging, businessbuildingstrategies, onlinemarketing, personal assistant, process management, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Small Business Start-Up Tips

So, you’re wanting to start a small business? Here are a few tips when it comes to figuring out the type of company you want to start and other important details. 

Figure Out What Interests You 

Identify how you’re spending your free time and what gets you excited to learn more. Maybe it’s a hobby you spend a lot of time doing, books you read, magazines you subscribe to, clubs/groups you’re a part of, or places you travel to. 

Identity a Problem 

Some of the most successful businesses are the result of finding the solution to a problem many people are facing in everyday life. These can make the best kind of products and/or services because everyone loves a solution that makes their quality of life better. 

Research Your Market

A lot of markets are becoming oversaturated as time goes on and people make knock offs/ the same product with another brand name. Doing research in your selected target market is a huge factor in determining your possible success. 

Build A Team

In order to run a business smoothly and deliver the best consumer experience, you may want to look into building a small team. During the start-up process cost is normally very important, so virtual assistants are your best bet. They handle most of the busy work while you can focus on making your product and/or service as great as possible. 

Life by Design has numerous VA’s on standby to truly help you with the crazy journey of running a small business. Schedule your free consultation today! 

small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

5 Simple Tips for Small Business Owners

In the year of 2020, we all know small businesses took some of the hardest hits due to the pandemic, but it’s 2021 now and time for us to bounce back! 

Our country is full of millions of small businesses- owned by “ordinary” people like us who want to take their passion and turn it into a profit making machine. Below are some tips for my fellow small business owners. 

Stay Focused

Many small business owners make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets, too quickly. Depending on the type of company you run, sticking to your niche can have a huge impact on your growth. 

Brand Imagery

People don’t know who you are, what you do, or even where you came from; so having not only a consistent but solid brand message/image can really let people in on your personal story. This also gives consumers somewhat of a backstory as to where their product or service is coming from and depending on your story can tug on those heart strings- promoting sales. 

You Will Wear Many Hats

When first starting a small business you’ll probably be wearing MANY hats to fulfill all needs of your start-up. From CRM to making and shipping your products and/or services, you have to have basic knowledge of all business concepts in order to deliver that consumer experience people won’t forget. At Life by Design our goal is to help/take over on some of those responsibilities. 

Take Advantage of Social Media

In this day and age social media is one of the biggest and best tools for growing your business. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have millions of people waiting on standby in your target demographic to buy your product or service. With a budget as low as $5 you can reach thousands of people a day. 

Pay Attention to Consumer Needs

Sometimes business owners are unsure of how to deal with customers/consumers and deliver that great experience. Having a smooth checkout process, keeping engaged, offering good customer service, and keeping them at a high priority are just a few of the things to overall improve their needs and keep them coming back for more.

Life by Design’s goal is to assist you in/with these daunting tasks and keep you focused on your passion. We offer a free consultation HERE. 

I personally wish each and every small business owner the best of luck. 2021 is our year.

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.