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What You Need to Know About Customer Service Training

Suppose you were shopping for tow truck Annandale VA and you come through several providers pop up, as a shopper, what experiences with any of the providers will most likely stand out? Customer service is a company’s opportunity to connect with customers, solve their problems, and show that you care. When customer service is well-executed, it can resonate with a customer for many years to come. Training your customer service team is just as important as training your marketing and sales team.

Customer service training

Customer service training entails coaching that employees receive intending to improve support and satisfaction among customers. It is an iterative process that involves a couple of things including teaching skills, competencies, and tools needed to better serve customers so that they can derive more value from products and services. Any employee that interacts and deals with customers is eligible for customer service training.

When hiring customer service personnel, there are some key skills you need to look at;

Emotional Intelligence

Your customer service team is going to be dealing with various customer problems, and probably, some which will need them to think outside the box. You need to get personnel who can patiently listen, decipher someone else problems, and emphatic with a customer. Unfortunately, this is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Ensure your customer service candidates display signs of emotional intelligence before you can bring them on board.

Good communication

If a candidate is not in a position to answer an interview question, how do you think they will be able to communicate with a customer? Customer service training is there to teach new and improved communication techniques. However, new hires should be able to showcase the ability to simplify complex topics and teach others new skills as well.

Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness defines the difference between responding to a problem with – I don’t know and – I will find out. Problem-solving skills, initiatives and creativity, and just but a few competencies are aligning with resourcefulness. Some of these skills can be cultivated through customer service training. However, your candidates should display some resourcefulness or at least be willing to figure things out.

Passion

While passion is not necessarily a skill, it is a fundamental part of going above and beyond as far as customer service is concerned. You need to provide a service that delights your customers and turns them into wonderful promoters of your business. Customer service teams need to display a passion for working with customers and helping others solve their problems.

There are different types of customer service training. new hires need to be subjected to training. Teams need to be acquainted with best serve customers and handle various issues that customers are faced with. Expectations need to be established as well. New hires should know precisely what is expected of them during training sessions.

There is also quarterly and yearly customer service training. This form of training looks at skills, competencies, and evaluation of results.

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Business

The Empathic Manager’s Guide to Preventing Team Burnout

 

When it comes to talent retention, marketing teams of we buy junk cars work to establish and enhance their talent retention efforts to protect their teams from getting overwhelmed with burnout. Today’s teams are tasked with a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders. Without proper guidance and protection, teams experience a major burnout leading to some exiting a firm. However, there are some simple and actionable steps managers can take to ensure they prevent burnout from their teams and get the best f from everyone involved.

 

Ditch multitasking

Managers need to encourage their teams to ditch multitasking and help them to be truly focused. If you find your team scrolling mindlessly on social media, it can be a good indication that they are suffering from multitasking overload. Multitasking is deeply embedded in fast-paced and high-stress agencies. There is a lot to do in modern agencies and if you are not careful, you might find yourself overwhelmed, leading to multitasking. You need to say no to multitasking

Discuss Career Growth

Research has shown that a high number of employees ditch an organization because they feel there are not sufficient opportunities for their growth. To feel deeply valued within an organization, employees need to create a room for the support that is aimed at making their lives better and advance their careers. Agencies need to offer employees more opportunities to advance their careers and be more transparent in their careers before their desks.

Encourage Recharge Period

Just like any machine, human beings too need time alone to recharge. It is never a normal thing to be constantly tuned. You need to have some breaks out of your daily norms and take time to recharge, get new energy, and be more motivated for tasks ahead. Managers also need to introduce more results-oriented workplace philosophy to fix all gaps and encourage productivity.

Never overlook small victories

Research has shown that teams performed best when managers gave much positive feedback as compared to the negative ones. When employees are given positive feedback, they get more motivated to deliver tasks and avoid burning out. In most organizations, managers are more likely to point at negative feedback and often overlook all positives.

Set positive examples

Managers need to set positive examples with their behavior. We all know stress can be contagious and one way to avoid it is to churn all negativities. Managers need to set a tone in a unique position by leading by example. If there are some complex tasks you need your team members to perform, show them how to do them. Additionally, facilitate them with the required tools and resources to make their work easier and boost their productivity.

Managers need to recognize and appreciate the good efforts their team members put forth to ensure tasks are delivered. We are all humans and we all appreciate a pat on the back for good work done. Set up a policy in place to appreciate good work.

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Common Leadership Styles You Should Know

Leadership is a hotly discussed topic among intellectuals and business circles. When running a simple towing service business, you will have employees looking and learning from your character and conduct. Leadership is adaptive and fluid. What works today might not work tomorrow. As leaders, we need to where we stand today and what we want to achieve tomorrow.

To help you in understanding the impact each type of leader has on a company, let’s explore common leadership styles.

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership is a commonly effective leadership style. The leader makes decisions based on the input of every team member. Although the leader makes the final call, it starts by keenly listening to the views of each member, to help make the final decision. Democratic leadership is one of the most common and effective leadership styles because it allows lower-level employees to exercise their authority and decide on what happens.

Autocratic Leadership

This is a rarely effective leadership style and it’s the inverse of democratic leadership. With this leadership style, the leader makes decisions without taking input from anyone who reports to them. Employees are neither consulted or considered before making a decision. They are expected to adhere to the decisions made. An example of a decision under this category is changing work hours and shifts.

Laissez-faire Leadership

This type of leadership is sometimes effective. It is a leadership style characterized by – ‘let them do’. In young startups, you might find this type of leadership style to be common among team members. Founders may put their full trust in their employees while they focus on other aspects of running their business. Although this type of leadership empowers employees through trust, it can hinder their development.

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership sits at the intersection of a company’s main operations and its growth opportunities. It works with accepting the burden of executive interests while ensuring current working conditions remain as stable as possible. It is a desired leadership style in many companies because strategic thinking supports different types of employee desires. However, leaders operating this way can set very dangerous precedence concerning the number of people they can support at any given time because everyone wants things to go their way.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is one that is focused on transforming and improving company operations. Employees are provided with a basic set of tasks and goals they have to complete at a given time, be it weekly, monthly, or yearly. However, their leader is always pushing them beyond their comfort zones. When starting a task with this type of leader, employees might get a list of tasks and goals to reach as well as a deadline for reaching them. While the goals might be simple at first, they become more challenging as the deadline nears as a company grows.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is fairly common today.  Managers reward their employees for the exact work they do. People only get bonuses for expectations met and exceeded. When starting a job with this type of leadership, you might receive an incentive at the start of the work to keep you motivated, as you work pon quickly mastering your duties. This leadership style works at establishing roles and responsibilities for each employee, but also encouraging bare minimums.

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Business

How to Distribute Equity for Your Startup

Your startup is gaining traction and you are bringing in your best team members and board of advisors to help you build your company, be it a towing company or business, eCommerce or even tech-based. You want to offer them equity in exchange for their time, talent, and services. However, to be honest, distributing equity in startups is not as easy as it sounds. The beauty of being a business owner is to constantly learn and grow, to a point of scaling your business. Our main focus in this guide is on startup equity.

Startup Equity

Startup equity refers to the degree of ownership that stakeholders have in a company. It refers to the values of shares that founders, investors, employees, and other stakeholders have. As a founder, you must ensure sharing ownership of your business is done with a lot of care and craft. One of the easiest ways of thinking about startup equity is in terms of a pie. A pie can be divided into a finite amount of pieces each piece is worth a certain value. When starting your business, you will own 100 percent of the pie, and this percentage will continue to shrink as others get hold of your company.

To distribute equity in your company, here are some basics to follow.

Founders and co-founders

If you are the sole founder of your company, it will be fairly straightforward to determine your stake. However, if you have a co-founder, determining equity becomes a complicated process. It has to be noted that 65 percent of startups fail because of a fallout between founders. To determine which founder gets what percentage, look at three key issues, which include; the risk each founder takes, level of commitment, and innovation. The ownership of the original idea should determine who gets what.

Employees

While building your startup, you will eventually start hiring a talented team who can help bring your business to the next level. Like many founders, you will be faced with tight budgets at the beginning, which will have an impact on your ability to offer competitive employee compensation. If this is the case, you may consider compensating your employees on both salaries and some form of equity. You will be guided by factors such as vesting schedule, type of shares awarded, and education, to determine which employee gets what percentage.

Investors

Those who invest in your business, whether angel investors, venture capitalists, friends, or family should receive a certain percentage of your business equity. When an investor puts money in your company, they are taking a financial risk with the hope of receiving a financial return. The amount of equity an investor gets will be depended on the amount they invest and the valuation of a company. If you decide to raise money for your company by following the fundraising route, the conversation about equity should take place during pitching.

You may also consider giving some equity to your advisors. A board of advisors will comprise of experts in your industry who provide strategic direction for your company. It is a common practice for this role to be performed in exchange for equity. Do due diligence to determine the percentage of equity you are willing to part with to your board of advisors.

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Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Digital Presence

We will not get it wrong to state that a major part of today’s marketing strategy is mostly digital. When you set up a business such as roof repair, you bank a lot of digital marketing strategies to help you in driving the much-needed customers to convert them. Consumers and businesses alike are always online and on the go. However, when you are growing a business, it seems to be an ever-changing task because of the dynamic nature of the digital landscape. With a lot of things, you need to get right, how can you achieve and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?

Understanding Marketing Strategy

It is important to understand how a marketing strategy differs from a digital marketing strategy before you can think of implementing one for your company. A marketing strategy is a plan for reaching a specific marketing-related goal, in a very focused and achievable way. It takes into full consideration what your business is currently doing well as well as what you are missing in regards to the objectives you set.

Depending on the scale of your business, your marketing strategy may include several moving parts each with different goals. With that put in place, working on your strategy can be a very challenging task. On the other hand, a digital marketing strategy is a plan that helps a business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, owned, and earned media.

To create an actionable digital marketing strategy, here are some things to keep in place.

Build your buyer personas

For any marketing strategy be it digital or not, you must have a good understanding of who you are marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are those built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them. Buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customers and can be created after researching, surveying, and interviewing the target audience of your business.

Craft your Goals

You need to identify your goals and digital marketing tools you will need to help you get to the level required. Whatever digital marketing goal you want to achieve, you must be able to measure the success of your strategy with the use of digital tools on your side. Additionally, make use of data and analytics to guide you to make the right and best decisions for your business.

Perform audit

You need to audit and plan your owned media campaigns. At the heart of digital marketing is owned media. Nearly every message of your brand can be classified as content – whether its product descriptions, infographics, blog posts, podcasts as well as social media posts. Content will help you to convert website visitors into leads and customers while at the same time improving the online presence of your brand. When your content is optimized for search engines, it can become very efficient in boosting your search and organic traffic.

You will also need to perform an audit on your existing content. Go ahead and make a list of your existing owned content and rank each item according to what has previously performed best to your current goals. You should also be able to identify gaps in your existing content. This can be facilitated by the buyer personas you have.

 

 

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How to Define a Customer Experience Strategy

At its basic level, customer experience strategy serves as a framework you can reference to ensure quality when demands of quantity don’t seem to be letting up. Customer experience refers to the sum of every interaction a customer has with a business, both pre-sale and post-sale. A customer experience strategy defines the actions and plans put in place to deliver a positive and meaningful experience across those interactions.

 

A successful customer experience strategy should look into many important factors which include the following;

– Competitive insight

– Consumer Research

– Marketplace data

– Mission and Vision

 

When defining your customer experience strategy, you must ensure you have included all departments. You need to incorporate feedback and insights across the company, and doing so will make it easy for you to align your organization across the intended goal – which is improving customer experience and relationships.

 

Customer experience design

Customer experience design refers to the proce4ss of designing products and services with the customer or user experience at the forefront of your decision making. Customer experience design is centered on building and improving products to ensure they meet customer expectations and easily solve customer problems.

There are different elements of customer service planning and include the following;

 

Reviewing your current customer service strategy

This is the first step in customer service strategy. The goal here is to determine what’s working well for your business and the areas you need to improve. If you ain’t sure where to start, you can check on your company’s help desk or data center for key metrics that indicate success. There will be metrics such as Net Promoter Score, churn rate, and customer satisfaction score. If you are scoring below average, you will have room to improve.

 

Training your customer service staff

Once you know the areas where you need to improve, the next step is sharing the information with your team and training your team on the new protocols that are required. It is very important to share your findings with your staff and make them understand the areas that need improvement. Additionally, when you share this information with them, it will reduce pushback against your new policies and practices, as they will be more ready to implement your proposals.

 

Determine your customer needs

Some customer needs are very fundamental, such as being timely and keeping a positive attitude. These are some of the things a customer will expect from you every time they reach out to your business. You need to note that most customers have varying needs that keep on constantly changing. There is a need to provide a speedy response to customers, while at other times, all they need is quality and clarity in your explanations.

 

Solving customer needs

A superior customer service strategy will be focused on solving problems for your customer. These problems may be anticipated or unexpected. In most cases, when we think about customer support, what comes to the minds of many is call centers and IT teams answering on phone calls all day and night. That should not always be the case. Companies need to have technical teams in place to solve both anticipated and unexpected customer issues.

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Strategies to Overcome Your Obstacles

You need to master anything you do, to ensure you can do it right. For anything you do, there should be a plan. However, even the best plans fail. Sometimes, you might face the urge to wait for the most opportune moment to do something, and this moment may seem not coming. Most often, there are no perfect moments to start something, and it’s advisable to work with any opportunity that presents itself.

Here are a couple of ways to help you move forward even when faced with the most challenging situation.

 

Change the way you see the world

You need to take a moment and take a closer look at where you are. When a crisis comes knocking your door, it can be quite hard to separate fiction from reality. We normally tent to go to the worst-case scenario. However, if you can take a step back and take a deep breath and think, you might realize that where you are being not as bad as thought. Others have had it worse, so count your blessings. All you need is to find out a way and start walking again. Perspective is everything, so you need to change yours. You do not have to be happy with what has happened, but you can find a way around everything.

 

Find the silver lining

It can be aggravating sometimes to be around ultra-positive people that have never seen doom and gloom. No matter how bad a situation can be, there is always good in everything, and a silver lining. In life, we will always be faced with big disappointments and from time to time, there will be roadblocks that appear from nowhere. However, you can look back and be thankful, because whatever happened didn’t break you, but will always make you stronger.

 

Choose your journey partner wisely

You need to surround yourself with people who will push you to the next level. You need to find friends and associations who have a genuine care about you and are honest with you. You must discard constant naysayers. They will never celebrate your victory and will always see dark clouds of danger hanging over you in any situation you have. You probably know these people already. So whoever has their best intentions in your heart, ensure you bring them closer to you and treasure them.

 

 

See failure differently

As most of you know, Thomas Edison was not bothered at all when it took 10,000 attempts to try to invent the light bulb. He even explained that the first 9,999 attempts were exceedingly helpful in informing him of what was not working. Most people stop and give up too soon, and in the process, they miss great things that might be around the corner. Failure, when used positively, can be a great teacher. Learn what you need to learn and then get going. There is always something great out there for those who persevere.

For everything you start, always be ready to finish strong. If you don’t have any intentions to finish, never start in the first place.

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Effective Planning Principles for Small Businesses

If you are interested in starting any business, you will need to come up with a solid business plan. Such a plan helps in two main ways. If you need external financing, you will use the plan to attract investors, Additionally, a business plan acts as a road map to guide your business on the steps to follow. It helps you to stay focused on the goals you set and on the overall mission and vision of your business.

There are a couple of things you need to consider to create a successful business plan.

 

Provide real-time information

A good business plan should be fully backed with data. It should include specific information about your company as well as other details of the industry, the target audience, product, and services you sell, and your marketing strategy. Before you can begin writing your business plan, ensure you gather all vital information to help you in identifying priorities, and also make effective decisions.

 

Create an action-based plan

A well thought out business plan to provide detailed information on your business goals and how they will be achieved. It should be realistic and attainable and describe the exact objectives that need to be met. Use a SMART approach in coming up with your goal. Also, know that goals are not set in stone, and from time to time, they may need to be modified.

 

Identify risks and challenges

Successful business planning will involve assessing all potential risks and also coming with ways to mitigate these risks. You may consider creating a risk management plan as it will help you get prepared to deal with various risks as they may affect your business. There are different types of common business risks including fines and penalties from non-compliance with set rules, lost revenue, and tainting of brand image.

 

Business planning and ethics

There are different methods you can use to increase profits for your business. However, some of these methods are unethical and may also be illegal. Before you can make any method part of your business plan, consider whether it is ethical or not. Methods you use to gain profit for your business should ensure they are in line with the values shared in a community.

To avoid all legal liabilities, ensure you have a good understanding of all customs and regulations that apply to your business. Adopting unethical practices will come with a lot of risks of getting caught. It can cost you expensive fines and penalties that are applicable to your industry.

It is important to ensure there is effective business planning as it will be key to the success or failure of your business. A good business plan will act as a tool for attracting investors and getting funding, and will also serve as a plan that can guide you through the life of your business. Ensure the plan you create is realistic, actionable, and practical, as doing so will be the foundation of becoming a successful business owner.

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How to Decide Whether a Project is Worth Taking

When opportunities come knocking on our doors, we get into an instant response of acting positively. After all, new projects and clients mean more income, and no one would not want more money. However, the act of saying yes may run contrary to your long term goals and may work against your best interests. This statement is to cement the fact that no every project is worth pursuing and not every client is worth working for.

So, how do you determine which projects to take on and which ones to leave out? Here is what to look for, so that you can make more intelligent decisions.

 

Does the project enhance your portfolio?

There are two key ways you can enhance your portfolio – that is through association and through the type of work you do. Association helps in adding credibility to a product or service and instantly helps in making a project more desirable. Clients and projects that give you some sort of social proof may be worth taking. Additionally, you might have specialized in a specific service or a range of services. You can decide to take projects that are in line with what you have specialized in.

 

Take projects that allow you to grow

Even if you have core skills that you are excellent in, there is always more room for improvement. You should consider taking projects that give you an opportunity to grow. Focus on your starting point that you are competent in and work towards enhancing your competency to grow. Take projects that are doable but force you to be pushed outside your comfort zone. Learn along the way as you deliver and ensure in the end, you become better.

Charge what you are worth

Work on those projects that allow you to charge what you are worth. Never take a project out of desperation knowing very well you are poorly paid. Many people make the mistake of jumping into projects without truly understanding how much time and resources it will take to deliver a project. You may be fast to agree on a fixed price only later to discover that a client also wants you to do more than what was initially agreed upon. Get clear on how much time is required and what resources are needed to deliver on a task.

Work on projects with long term potential

You need to be convinced that a project will pay off in many ways in the long term. You may even agree to work at a reduced rate and a reduced price especially if it’s your dream client. It doesn’t matter how much you trust the client at the first interaction. Only focus to have some key questions answered. Ask yourself if there is potential for more work. Evaluate if it’s a one-off or recurring project and evaluate the benefits associated as well. It is important to get some anchor clients who can guarantee you a certain amount of income each month and work towards balancing your anchor clients with any other exciting new clients that come along your way.