5 Ways To Manage Rapid Business Growth

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It goes without saying that a sudden drop in sales is bad news for business. When you start losing customers, you’ll struggle to bring in enough revenue to cover your overheads and then you’ll be in some serious danger. If you can’t find a way to kick start sales again, it’s likely that your business is going to go under. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that a sudden increase in sales can be as dangerous as a decrease. You’d think that a boost in sales could only be good news because it means that you’ll be bringing a lot more money in and your profits are going to shoot up. That will happen, but only if you’re managing that growth properly.

Rapid growth can actually kill your business if you aren’t prepared to deal with it. Your manufacturing and shipping costs will shoot up, your staff will be a lot more stretched, and your website is going to get a lot more traffic which means that it could crash. If you’re not prepared to tackle all of those issues, your customer service is really going to suffer. It’s important that you’re getting all of the products shipped out in time and you’re dealing with any customer queries promptly, otherwise, you’re going to lose all of those new customers and a lot of your existing ones as well.

A sudden increase in sales gives you a good opportunity because if you can deliver, you’ll get a lot more loyal customers and your business will start to grow a lot. But if you don’t handle it well, you’ll miss that opportunity and it can spell disaster for your business. If you’re seeing a big increase in sales, here’s how to handle it properly.

Do A Growth Analysis

When you’re in the middle of a period of rapid growth, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what’s going on in the company. That’s why you need to do a proper growth analysis to see exactly where you stand. Take a look at your sales figures and work out how much growth you’ve seen over the last few months, this will help you to make projections about the next couple of months so you’re prepared. You should also have a look at your marketing activities over the last couple of months and see how they correlate with your sales increase. This will help you to identify how you managed to inspire this growth in the first place so you can recreate it in the future. Then you need to look at your inventory and your manufacturing operation so you can see whether your output is high enough to meet sales demand. Finally, you need to look over your finances and see whether you have enough available capital to fund an increase in output and expand the business where necessary.

When you’re doing your growth analysis and trying to identify the reasons for your sudden increase in sales, it’s important that you consider seasonal factors. If you sell products that are particularly seasonal, there’s a chance that your growth might be temporary. For example, if you sell big winter coats and you’ve seen a big increase in sales when the cold weather sets in, it’s likely that sales will dip again once the winter is over. If you overreact and start expanding rapidly, your overheads will increase a lot and you’ll struggle to cover all of your costs when sales drop again. Just make sure that the growth isn’t just a seasonal thing before you start thinking about any serious expansion.

Once you’ve performed a full growth analysis, you can get an idea of where you stand and what you need to do to manage your sales increase properly and maintain your recent success so you can look toward long term growth for the future.

Increase Manufacturing And Shipping Staff

The most important thing that you need to do is make sure that you can actually produce and ship enough products to meet sales demand. If you can’t do that, you’re going to end up with a lot of angry customers on your hands and sales will start to drop again very soon. That’s why it’s important that you hire some more staff in your manufacturing and shipping departments. When you need some new staff in a rush, you should get in touch with labour hire companies who can help you out. They’ll be able to source plenty of qualified people to staff your manufacturing and shipping department so you can meet demand. It’s important that you increase staff numbers quickly so you aren’t letting anybody down. It’s also a good idea to look into temporary staff at this point because you can never be sure that you’re going to sustain that growth. If you hire a lot of new full time staff and then sales drop off again, you’ll end up paying salaries that you can’t really afford to and you’ll have to go through the difficult process of firing people.

Update Manufacturing Equipment

When you’re first setting up your business, you won’t have the money to invest in the latest manufacturing equipment so you’ll probably end up getting older models or second hand stuff. That’s fine and it’ll suit your needs when you’re a new business and you’ve got a fairly small output, but when your sales start to increase in a big way, your current manufacturing equipment might not cut it anymore. If you’re struggling to meet demand with your current setup, you may have to think about investing in some new equipment. It’s going to cost a lot of money but if you don’t do it, you won’t be able to sustain your growth.

Update Your IT Systems

Technology is your friend when you’re trying to manage business growth. When you see a big increase in sales, every single department in your company is going to be stretched. One solution to that is to hire more staff and in some areas, like manufacturing and shipping, it’s the best thing to do. But in other areas, it isn’t cost effective to hire more employees and, most of the time, it’s not necessary. There are some great technologies that can increase productivity in your business. Things like project management tools are great for organizing departments and managing their workload properly. You can also use sales and marketing software to help deal with the increased workload in those areas as well. Updating your IT systems is the most cost effective way of handling an increase in sales because you don’t need to hire loads of new employees.

Your online security is so important as well. You should already have security software in place but as your business grows, you become a more attractive target for online criminals. That means that your current security software might not be up to scratch anymore. You should speak with IT professionals and have them install more comprehensive security software so you’ve got the protection that you need.

Your website is another area that you need to think about because it’s likely to struggle during a period of growth. There’s nothing more frustrating than an incredibly slow website and it’s really going to put off potential new customers. When you’re seeing a lot of growth, you’re going to get a lot more traffic on your site and it’s far more likely to run slowly or crash. That’s why you need to look into updating your hosting service. If you’re just paying for a cheap hosting service, it won’t be equipped to deal with the level of traffic that you’re getting.

Improve Customer Service

Customer service is at the core of all good businesses but it often suffers during a period of growth. If you don’t have a well staffed customer service team and they can’t keep up with the increased demand, the service will suffer and your customers won’t be happy. If you’re not giving great customer service, you won’t be able to turn those new customers into repeat business. Hiring new customer service staff is the most obvious way to get around this problem but it’s not always possible if you don’t have the money.

If you’re struggling to fund new employees, you should look into new technologies that could help you. Chatbots are a great addition to your customer service department because they can massively reduce the workload of your staff. Chatbots imitate humans and they can answer a lot of basic queries. This is useful for a couple of reasons. First off, customers can get an instant response to their questions. Secondly, customer service staff often spend most of their time answering the same basic questions, if you can get a chatbot to handle all of that work, your employees can dedicate their time to the more complex issues, so all of your customers are getting a speedy solution to their problems.   

A massive increase in sales is such a good opportunity for your company. If you act quickly and manage it correctly, you will see sustained growth. But if you don’t follow these steps, it could be disastrous for your business.

Going Back To School Is Good For Business: Here Are The Reasons Why

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Okay, so you have finished your high school and/or college education. That’s enough, right? Well, maybe, but there are advantages to going back to the classroom, be that at an actual place of study or through a virtual route online. And while you might question the viability for you, especially if you’re busy running the day-to-day operation of your business, you might want to consider the following benefits.

#1: You will overcome your weaknesses

We’re sure you have many talents, but you probably don’t know everything. Like many of us, you might have weaknesses that you have struggled to overcome. It might be the intricacies of managing your accounts. It could be a struggle with the technology in your office. Or it might be a confidence problem when dealing with difficult clients or employees. You might not have to go back to school to learn skills in any of these areas (or others where your weaknesses are prevalent), but you might be able to find a part-time or online course that will strengthen your weakest business skills. And because you have become more proficient at your job, you will have less need to hire others for the jobs you found difficult, and consequently, you will save money.

#2: You will stay up to date with trends

Time moves on, and so inevitably, does the world of business. Technology changes, and so do business tactics. There have been advances in marketing, and changes in the way businesses operate locally and internationally. So, even if you have been to business school, or taken the occasional business workshops at events in the past, there might be something new for you to learn. Take those courses that will serve your business well, not only for your day-to-day operations now but for the long-term future of your business as well. By staying up to date with trends, you will manage to match or out rival your competition and give your clients and customers what they want from a modern business.

#3: You will meet new people

Attending courses that are designed for business people are not only useful on a skills-based level, but on a social level too. You might meet other people within your industry that could benefit your business now or in the future. Your tutors should also be experts in their field, and by staying in touch with them, long after your course has finished, you will be able to benefit from their continued wisdom. Of course, will also meet people who could become your future customers. Taking courses that are open to the general public, such as confidence building or first-aid, will give you the opportunity to talk to others, and market your business to them.

#4: You will open the door to a successful life

A common thread linking many people to success is a college education. Luminaries, such as Philip McTigue , Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos have all benefited from the qualifications afforded to them in both their personal and professional lives. By going back to school yourself, you will improve your reputation as a business professional if you have a qualification to your name. You will be able to use your education to open new doors for yourself in your chosen industry. And as you benefit from the success that education can bring, you will also have the opportunity to share your improved wisdom with others to impact their lives. In a landscape filled with business failure, you might be able to buck the trend.

So, could going back to school benefit your business? We think it might, so consider the courses of education that could elevate both you and your business further.

We wish you every success, in whatever you decide to do.

Partners Through Thick And Thin

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The traditional wedding vow is a romantic take on the idea of commitment. For better or worse, the wedded partners promise each other to stay faithful and dedicated to the union. The idea is that, ultimately, while there might be dark and difficult days, their commitment to making it work is precisely what preserves the relationship.

The business world, however, has a similar understanding of relationships. Indeed, business partners also need to display commitment and dedication to hold their relationship together. More importantly, they have to know from the start that, while the partnership is built on the expectation of success, there will be hectic and challenging times. But for better or worse, they agree that the union of their skills and mindsets is what is going to drive the business further. Partners who succeed are those who stay together through thick and thin.

Be prepared for uncomfortable discussions

A partnership is a promise of joining forces to aim further and higher. But, while the partnership might sound seamless in theory, in practice, it can be a bumpy road until you get to know and understand each other. Therefore, you need to be ready for criticism and complaints as you work to figure out the best way to move forward. But don’t let complaints get in the way of your collective success. On the contrary, take criticism onboard. Deal with your partner feedback in the same way you would if it came from your customers. Learn from it and discover the key to improve your relationship. Sooner or later, things can go wrong, even in a close partnership. But engaging in an honest conversation keeps the heart of your partnership beating; and as you do, you learn to get your objectives and approaches back in sync.

You need to go out of your way to meet them

Your partnership needs to exist beyond the boundaries of the office. Your partner is not just a cog in the machine. He’s a friend in the business world. You need to work to maintain this friendship, and ultimately, you need to be ready to engage socially. A catch-up lunch during the week is an excellent way of deepening your connection, especially if you are comfortable talking about your personal life and challenges. Discussing kids, showing each other pictures of the latest home improvement project, or even planning an evening out together can help to reinforce your bond. Why not train together too? If you want to keep it business-like, you can opt for golfing – you’ll find plenty of affordable equipment on rockbottomgolf.com, if you’re not an enthusiastic golfer. Similarly, if you live in the same area, why not schedule your running routes together or join the same gym? In short, there are plenty of options to see each other outside of the office environment.

It should be a win-win relationship

Business partners are brought together by one crucial goal: They want to launch a successful product, service or event. In other words, regardless of the friendship connection that might be between you, your top priority is to ensure that you both bring something indispensable to the project. It’s no surprise that partners who come from different backgrounds work well together: They have complementary skills. The combination of your understanding for each other and your specific expertise makes the partnership stable and effective. More often than not, one partner brings the designing and creative skills while the other delivers the operational and logistical side of the business.

Think long-term at all times

There is no denying that building a business partnership that can thrive in the modern market is tough. For a start, your collaboration is unlikely to hit the ground running. You will need time to establish the rules of working together and creating toward the same goal. As you both come from different backgrounds and experience paths, aligning your strategies can take time and effort. But in the process, you learn to develop a consistent message across the board and to define your long-term goals, as per entrepreneur.com. You will need to keep the long-term objective in mind to stay focused and go through demanding and challenging times.

You need a hit

Last, but not least, your common project needs to attract customers. The primary purpose of working together is to generate a new source of income. Two people who appreciate each other and work toward one unique objective can still fail to build a successful partnership if they can’t sell their product or service.

Just like the wedding bond, your partnership needs to stay united through thick and thin. But, unlike marriage, your business partnership requires a profitable goal to justify its existence too. Making it work as partners is as much about hitting the market as understanding each other.

Why Malta Is A Great Place To Set Up A Business

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Are you considering forming a company in Malta? If so, you will be pleased to know that there are a lot of benefits associated with doing so. In this post, we will take a look at the advantages of Malta company formation, as well as giving you a basic overview of how it all works. So, keep on reading to find out all you need to know…

Why choose Malta for company formation?

Tax Incentives

One of the main reasons why Malta is a popular choice is because of the tax benefits. There is a flat rate of 35 per cent when it comes to company taxation. However, there is the opportunity to reduce the overall amount you pay substantially, often by about five per cent.

Stability and Credibility

Malta is a stable country with a great reputation, and thus it provides a solid base for forming a company. Malta is a EU member and on the OECD white list. The banking system is ranked as the 10th soundest in the world, whilst the Malta Financial Services Authority regulates financial services and the best international practices are adhered to thanks to financial legislation.

Save Money

There are a number of ways to save money by setting up a company in Malta. Firstly, you will find that operational costs are a lot lower, as are salaries, especially when contrasted with other countries in the EU. You can also make savings when it comes to the likes of legal fees, accountancy fees, maintenance costs, and company incorporation.

How do you set up a company in Malta?

Here is an overview of the steps you will need to take if you wish to start a business in this country…

  •    Reserve a company name – This must be unique
  •    Draft the articles of association and memorandum
  •    Deposit the minimum paid-in capital to the bank – They will open an account for you once reference letters are received from the signatories’ banks
  •    Register at the Companies Registry
  •    Get a trade license – You can do this via BusinessFirst or the Trade Licensing Unit Commerce Department
  •    Get a company TIN (Tax Identification Number) – You will need the Inland Revenue Department for this step
  •    Open a bank account – You will have paid in the minimum capital earlier and now is the time to make this bank account permanent
  •    Register for VAT
  •    Find a supplier like Cloudpay global payroll so you are set up for paying your employees
  •    Get an employer identification number, which is called a PE number, and register your employees
  •    Register employees with the ETC (Employment Training Corporation)
  •    Register for data protection

135 Customer Service Quotes That Will Make You Smile Instantly

Great customer service can make all the difference in distinguishing your brand, but sometimes it can get lost among all your team’s priorities. Knowing the value of customer service is key to keeping it front and center, but shaping a positive perspective on it doesn’t hurt either. If you’re looking for a whole new view on customer service, or a way to keep your time inspired, take a cue from the experts. Take a look at some of the powerful customer service quotes below from thought leaders and some of history’s best-known figures. You just might find yourself viewing the customer experience in a whole new way.

Customer Experience Quotes

The customer experience can make all the difference when it comes to loyalty.

“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Allesandra

“The most important adage and the only adage is, the customer comes first, whatever the business, the customer comes first.” – Kerry Stokes

“A customer service apology is stronger with a personal touch.” – Shep Hyken, author and customer service speaker

“Kindness and courtesy are the root of a positive customer service experience.” – Shep Hyken, author and customer service speaker

“To improve the customer experience, look at ways to reduce or remove friction from their daily business operations. Make it effortless for your customers to do business with you and/or your business.” – Jon Rossi of My Dealer Service

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

“Treat your employees the way you want your customers treated.” – Shep Hyken, author and customer service speaker

“Sometimes one can become lost in a big company and lose sight of how what one does truly helps or impacts the end customer. If you are one of those, think of a fire brigade, a line of people passing buckets of water from one to the other from a source of water to the site of the fire. An individual in the brigade may not be able to see the end result, i.e. the water being thrown on the fire to put it out, but the contribution of the individual is indispensable to the final outcome.” – Grant Bright, former project lead at IBM

Customer Satisfaction Quotes

Keeping a customer satisfied means putting their needs first.

“You cannot improve one thing by 1000%, but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%.” Jan Carlzon, former CEO of SAS

“Memorable customer service can only take place in a human-to-human situation.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, author and professional speaker

“I am wired like a CEO and care a great deal about the bottom line, but I care about my customers even more than that. That’s always been my competitive advantage.” Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy

“Make every interaction count, even the small ones. They are all relevant.” – Shep Hyken, author and customer service speaker

“Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction, you must improve.” – Horst Schulze, former president of Ritz Carlton

“Sometimes one can become lost in a big company and lose sight of how what one does truly helps or impacts the end customer. If you are one of those, think of a fire brigade, a line of people passing buckets of water from one to the other from a source of water to the site of the fire. An individual in the brigade may not be able to see the end result, i.e. the water being thrown on the fire to put it out, but the contribution of the individual is indispensable to the final outcome.” – Grant Bright, former project lead at IBM

“There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.” – Jim Bush, EVP American Express

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s

Happy Customer Quotes

If customers can’t help but grin after using your product or service, you’re probably on the right track.

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” – James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney

“Customer service is a voluntary act that demonstrates a genuine desire to satisfy, if not delight, a customer.” – Steve Curtin, author of Delight Your Customers

“Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.” – Gretta Palmer, author and editor

“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

“Biggest question: Isn’t it really ‘customer helping’ rather than customer service? And wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?” – Jeffrey Gitomer, author and speaker

“The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” – Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby

“When you’re busy, avoid taking the quickest action. Instead make the extra effort to truly serve the customer.” – Marilyn Suttle, success coach

“Care more than others think wise. Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible.” Claude Bissell, author and educator

“Always do more than is required of you.” – George S. Patton

“How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively.” – Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking

Inspirational Customer Service Quotes

A little inspiration and wisdom can go a long way.

“If you only talk to a person’s head and not their heart, people won’t listen to you.” – Les Brown, author and motivational speaker

“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.” – Jim Rohn, author and motivational speaker

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach, former NFL quarterback

“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” – inspired by Maya Angelou

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

“Seek first to understand. Then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“Without caring there can be no quality.” – Joel Barker, author of Future Edge

“To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author and aviator

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” – Lewis Carroll, writer and mathematician

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Customer Focus Quotes

When you focus on the customer, success will follow.

“How you think about your customers influences how you respond to them.” – Marilyn Suttle, success coach

“Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem.” – Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting

“If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.” – unknown

“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

“Revolve your world around the customer and more customers will revolve around you.” – Heather Williams

“Nordstrom’s Rules for Employees: Rule # 1: Use your good judgment in all situations. There are no additional rules.” – Nordstrom Employee Rules

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” – Brian Tracy, author and Motivational Speaker

“No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.” – Calvin Coolidge

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, author

“Great teams need great leaders – leaders who inspire, motivate, instill pride, loyalty and a sense of fun at work.” – Natalie Calvert, customer service and sales strategist

Satisfied Customer Quotes

Do your best to be sure your customers walk away satisfied.

“Until you understand your customers—deeply and genuinely—you cannot truly serve them.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

“Two important things are to have a genuine interest in people and to be kind to them. Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer, author

“Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.” – Samuel Smiles, author and reformer

“There is a spiritual aspect to our lives—when we give, we receive—when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!” Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s

“We don’t want to push our ideas on to customers, we simply want to make what they want.” – Laura Ashley

“Our greatest asset is the customer! Treat each customer as if they are the only one!” – Laurice Leitao, customer service professional at SeraCare Life Sciences

“We’re living in what I like to call the ‘Thank You Economy,’ because only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way – and do it authentically – are going to have a prayer of competing.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Customer Feedback Quotes

Every bit of feedback is an opportunity to grow.

“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” – Kevin Stirtz

“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away.” – Marilyn Suttle, success coach

“When a customer complains, he is doing you a special favor; he is giving you another chance to serve him to his satisfaction. You will appreciate the importance of this opportunity when you consider that the customer’s alternative option was to desert you for a competitor.” – Seymour Fine, author of The Marketing of Ideas and Social Issues

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

“The rise of the citizen review site is a sobering development. No longer are you on top of the mountain, blasting your marketing message down to the masses through your megaphone. All of a sudden, the masses are conversing with one another. If your service or product isn’t any good, they’ll out you.” – David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist

“If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

“Follow the customer, if they change—we change.” – Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco

Customer Care Quotes

There’s no better feeling than helping a customer solve a problem.

“Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.” – Louis Nizer, lawyer

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“If you don’t care, your customer never will.” – Marlene Blaszczyk, motivational specialist

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker, author

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.” – Jim Rohn, author and motivational speaker

“Go beyond merely communicating to ‘connecting’ with people.” – Jerry Bruckner, author of The Success Formula for Personal Growth

“Every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company.” – Michael LeBoeuf

“People expect good service but few are willing to give it.” – Robert Gately, president of Gately Consulting

“The only certain means is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” – Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World

“Stellar service should be non-negotiable and merchants shouldn’t hide behind self-service tools and technology when it comes to knowing their products and taking care of their customers.” – Lauren Freedman, president of The e-tailing Group

Customer Relationship Quotes

A human connection is always at the forefront.

“Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.” – Les Brown, author and motivational speaker

“The inherent preferences of organizations are clarity, certainty and perfection. The inherent nature of human relationships involves ambiguity, uncertainty, and imperfection. How one honors, balances, and integrates the needs of both is the real trick of feedback.” – Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos, authors of The Art of Japanese Management

“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” John Russell, VP of Harley-Davidson Europe

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it!” – Mae West, actress and singer

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal, mathematician, physicist and inventor

“Always remember that everyone with whom you have a relationship has an invisible sign on their forehead that says ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Treat them accordingly.” – Simon Cowell’s father

“While automation can be expedient, the resulting impersonal tone and risk of poor information are formidable—most importantly, merchants are missing an opportune moment to connect with current and prospective customers.” – annual mystery shopping survey by The e-tailing Group, 2010

“In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from “costly” interactions with their customers, it’s time to consider an entirely different approach: building human centric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them.” – Kristin Smaby, author of Being Human is Good Business

“Anyone working for a big company might be skeptical that a large business, or even a strictly online business, can form the same kind of friendly, loyal relationship with customers as a local retailer. I’m saying it’s already been done because I lived it.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.” – Sir Richard Branson

“Every great business is built on friendship.” – James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney Stores

Customer Loyalty Quotes

Loyal customers are the key to success.

“It is not your customer’s job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” – Patricia Fripp

“We have entered the era of the customer. Today, providing customers with outstanding customer service is essential to building loyal customers and a long lasting brand.” – Jerry Gregoire, CIO of Dell Computers

“Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do. American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service — ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty.” – Jim Bush, EVP American Express

“Never underestimate the power of the human element. Whether it’s assisting a guest with a special request or a friendly greeting from staff members in the hallway, the people aspect plays a key role in guest satisfaction and loyalty.” – Ramez Faza, senior account manager at J.D. Power and Associates

“Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned.” – Janet Robinson, former president and CEO of The New York Times Company

“It’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, Author of The Thank You Economy

“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, author and speaker

“Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, author and speaker

“You can not buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” – Clarence Francis, former chairman of the board at General Foods Corporation

“Trust: The reputation of a thousand years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour.” – Japanese proverb

“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” – Robert Half, founder of Robert Half International

“There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club

“Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti

“Merely satisfying customers will not be enough to earn their loyalty. Instead, they must experience exceptional service worthy of their repeat business and referral. Understand the factors that drive this customer revolution.” – Rick Tate

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

“Truth builds trust.” – Marilyn Suttle, success coach

Customer Service Motivational Quotes

At the end of the day, customer service is all about treating your customers—and staff—how you’d like to be treated.

“Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” – Henry Ford

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Don Alden Adams, president of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.” – Jerry Fritz

“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” – Henry Ford

“Customer service represents the heart of a brand in the hearts of its customers.” – Kate Nasser, the people-skills coach

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” – Chinese proverb

“A lot of people have fancy things to say about customer service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.” – Christopher McCormick, CEO of L.L Bean

“People now expect the same—if not better—level of service from online storefronts and service channels as they do from a visit to a retail store or a phone conversation with an agent. – BenchmarkPortal

“Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.” – Sally Gronow, Welsh Water

“Customer service is an opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations.” – John Jantsch, president at Duct Tape Marketing

“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” – Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

“We are superior to the competition because we hire employees who work in an environment of belonging and purpose. We foster a climate where the employee can deliver what the customer wants. You cannot deliver what the customer wants by controlling the employee.” – Horst Schulze, former president of Ritz Carlton

“Employees who are controlled cannot respond caringly, you need superior knowledge and real leadership, not management. Because of this we specifically developed a selection process for leaders; we don’t hire managers.” – Horst Schulze, former president of Ritz Carlton

Customer Retention Quotes

When you offer clear solutions, customers are often happy to keep coming back.

“Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.” – Robert Kiyosaki, author

“Customer complaints should be seen as a source of learning, putting teams in a position to prevent future problems instead of just reacting to current ones.” – unknown

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” – Denis Waitley, author and motivational speaker

“To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” – proverb

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy

“If you make a sale, you can make a living. If you make an investment of time and good service in a customer, you can make a fortune.” – Jim Rohn, author and motivational speaker

“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” – Kevin Stirtz, author

“In the world of internet customer service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” – Doug Warner

“If you wonder what getting and keeping the right employees has to do with getting and keeping the right customers, the answer is everything.” – Fred Reichheld, creator of Net Promoter System

“If you take the approach of ‘earning’ your customers’ business every day and treating them well, they’re less likely to try someone else.” – Marilyn Suttle, success coach

“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” – Lauren Freedman, president of The e-tailing Group

“Your best customers leave quite an impression. Do the same and they won’t leave.” – unknown

Besides being an entrepreneur, Misa Chien is an asian model and cooking show host based in Los Angeles.  Her other blog, Nom Nom TV, a dinner ideas blog, posts articles everywhere from top items to buy at 99 Ranch market to the best way to prepare soba noodles.

5 Benefits Of Customer Feedback

As business owners, managers, or employees, it’s often easy for you to describe what your company offers. It’s important, however, to know how your customers would describe your company. That’s where the benefits of customer feedback come in. Does their perception of what you offer match what you intend to offer? Are they satisfied with your customer service? The only way to know these details, and a whole lot more, is to reach out and ask.

Customer feedback can be invaluable to just about any company. It can help you fine-tune your business. It can also help you ensure the experience you’re providing your customers matches your values.

Here at Praiseworthy, feedback means a whole lot to us. We recently asked our most frequent users which five words they would use to describe our offerings. Their most common responses were that we are informative, helpful, efficient, easy, and insightful. Talk about compliments! It’s gratifying to know which areas we’re thriving at, and to use that feedback to improve every day.

The most interesting thing about those words is that they also describe the top benefits of customer feedback. (How fitting, since feedback is our specialty!) Below, let’s take a look at five of the top benefits of customer feedback.

To elaborate on the 5 words our users gave us to describe our service, Praiseworthy can help increase your customer retention with the following characteristics:

1. Informative

Unbiased customer feedback is an important tool for gathering information about your company. Yes, sales reports, market research, and other forms of information gathering are also important. However, receiving information directly from your customers provides you with much more actionable information. After all, nearly all of your research and effort stems back to making customers happy and increasing satisfaction. There’s an easy way to find this out: by asking them.

With a platform like Praiseworthy, you have real-time access to customers’ responses and open-ended comments. This cuts through confusion to give you a clear, direct picture of how your clients are feeling. That means you can take the steps you need to make them happier. You can also use that information to praise employees that have done a great job with customer service. When customers are happier, so is your team, and everyone wins.

2. Helpful

There are few things more helpful than knowing exactly how customers feel and what they want. Attempting to guess customers’ needs is difficult. Creating company policies based on assumptions and guesses is even more difficult. Attempting to improve without an accurate gauge on where your customer base stands is tough. It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and not knowing what will stick. This can be a huge waste of time and resources. Furthermore, it can damage employee morale.

The simple solution to this problem? Direct customer feedback. With feedback, you can assess what is and isn’t working without any guessing. Particularly when using a tool like Praiseworthy, you can break down your responses into actionable information. Praiseworthy’s dashboard turns results into data—the kind of data that’s actually easy to understand.

Knowledge is helpful.

Knowledge is power. Knowing how customers feel immediately after a phone call with them enables you to do even better in the future.

When business owners and managers have the ability to pinpoint problem areas through this feedback, they can reach out to at-risk customers. They can improve interactions with these customers before they choose to take their business elsewhere. Feedback can be the difference between increased churn and turning unhappy customers into satisfied, loyal customers. Solutions like this make for great word of mouth. This can bring you even more customers over the long run.

3. Insightful

Customizable survey questions let you decide what you want to know most. In fact, one such question helped one of our clients boost their sales by an average of 8 extra tablets per store, per month! Insight goes a step further into general stats and basic information. Insight explores what really makes a company move.

With Praiseworthy’s dashboard, you can break down your survey responses and other feedback into categories and themes. You can understand exactly what a certain number of responses in either direction means so that you can quickly respond and improve.

This makes for increased insight into your customers’ feelings and needs. It also allows for more insight into your company’s day to day functions. The feedback gained from insight operates like a “peak under the hood” in which you can see the inner workings of your company up close. Which employees are best at solving customers’ problems and deserve extra praise? Which policies are turning off customers rather than the intended action of bringing them joy? With increased insight, all these answers are available at your fingertips.

4. Efficient

There’s no way around it: customer feedback makes your team more efficient. Customers are able to take a look at your organization with outside eyes and see the things you miss. They can point out what their surface impression of your company is, as well as what it’s like to work with you as a customer firsthand. This information is simply invaluable, and gathering it through survey responses is about as efficient as it gets.

Of course, the more efficient your feedback platform is, the better. Praiseworthy is a great option because it incorporates details like customer feedback, employee rankings, statistics for multiple locations, reporting, and email updates in one single platform. That means you won’t have to waste your time fiddling with numbers or trying to guess what certain data sets mean. Instead, you can immediately start improving as soon as you receive responses. You can also use the precise detail of the responses to know exactly where to offer praise, and to whom. (After all, high employee morale equals high customer morale. Regularly praising employees for their great work benefits everyone!)

Access to data makes your team more efficient.

Whenever you need to access your survey responses and data, it’s all available to you on Praiseworthy’s dashboard. You can also check out additional reports and charts that pinpoint your customers’ most frequent complaints. Every employee can access their own personal dashboard, where they can parse through results and sort out exactly where things stand. That makes for a lot less wasted time spent trying to just guess what would make their customer interactions better. It also makes the employee feel more in control of their workplace habits and their personal feedback stream.

All of this helps to improve—you guessed it—efficiency. When your team is on the same page about where the company is thriving and where it could improve, you’re already miles ahead. When your entire team has direct access to customer responses, rather than it being funneled through a select few employees who are part of the feedback experience, everyone has a more clear understanding. All of that equates to a precision-oriented, goal-focused team that can reach achievements together. And they can get it all done with a glowing morale and a positive sense of teamwork.

5. Easy

One of the best parts of customer feedback is that it’s easy! Many companies shy away from getting started with the process of collecting feedback because it seems overwhelming. Often, they see choosing a platform as a hassle, and aren’t sure how to utilize any feedback they might receive. This can leading to seeking roundabout ways of attempting to improve the company. Often, these methods that seem faster are actually much more difficult and wasteful of time than simply getting started with seeking feedback.

In reality, getting great customer feedback is incredibly easy. It all comes down to asking illuminating questions and making the process easy for customers to engage in. Praiseworthy can help you do that.

The earlier, the easier.

The earlier you start seeking customer feedback, the more use you can make of it. Because the process is so simple, it’s helpful to get started as soon as you can. This way, you can track trends in customer responses over time and look for changes and patterns. This is just as helpful for a company that getting off the ground and shaping its customer policies as it is for massive, long-standing organizations.

Getting started is easy too.

Thankfully, set-up is simple. Getting ready to go with Praiseworthy is as easy as selecting a few settings and getting things rolling. From there, you’ll be privy to a massive series of game-changing insights about your customer base. This is a whole lot easier than playing years-long guessing games about what customers might want or how employee morale might be improved.

When you start collecting feedback, you’ll have all the information you need in an easy, user-friendly platform. If needed, you’ll be able to update or adjust the questions you ask customers over time to best fit your goals. In the process, you’ll easily build a happier, stronger relationship with your customers. After all, nothing makes a customer feel more valued than creating a dialogue with them. When they know their opinions and their business matter to you, they’ll be all too excited to keep coming back and to help you grow.

Besides being an entrepreneur, Misa Chien is an asian model and cooking show host based in Los Angeles.  Her other blog, Nom Nom TV, a dinner ideas blog, posts articles everywhere from top items to buy at 99 Ranch market to the best way to prepare soba noodles.

This One Simple Survey Question can Drive Massive Growth

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Wondering how to drive massive growth? Your solution may be through one simple survey question.

Aamir Noorani has found such method. Noorani is the Chief Operating Officer of Dr. Cell Phone, a leading and innovative electronic repair store. Noorani and his brother worked at launching the store and empowering it to thrive since 2006.

Noorani needed insight from customers but wasn’t exactly sure how to make that happen. Noorani knew that to boost sales, he needed to connect with those whose experience really mattered. They needed a way to measure how likely a customer would recommend their services. This is known as NPS, or Net Promoter Score. (Read more about NPS here.)

Thus, Noorani started working with Praiseworthy, to begin to collect customer feedback, and measure his NPS score in real time.

For any business, customers are essential for it to succeed and grow. (Click here to watch this section of the interview)

“Your customers are the lifeline of your business,” he says. “Your referral and repeat business should make up the majority of your customers.”

Customers, faithful and happy, form the business. “You really need to make them fans of your business,” he says. “A business that people say, ‘wow, that service was so incredible, I’m definitely going back to them next time and tell all my friends and family about them.’”

That recommendation from happy and content customers are what makes businesses like Dr. Cell Phone thrive.

Noorani credits his team for the success in bringing referrals in from positive customer experiences. “They’re the ones that are on the front line, taking care of all these customers and making sure that they’re delivering world class service,” he says.

Extending beyond just point of sales reports and tracking repeat customers, customer feedback can inspire and encourage employees to continue to provide a great customer experience.

“Seeing customer comments was just incredible,” he says. “Instead of just guessing if our customers were happy, they were giving us feedback about what we could do better and positive things, too. That told us, let’s do more of that.”

Those reviews, whether opportunities for improvement or praise for what they were doing well, brought positive change to how Dr. Cell Phone operates.

For negative feedback, they address issues right away, contacting the customer to make whatever was wrong, right.

“All those customer comments that we were seeing, all that feedback has made our business a lot better and more customer-centric,” he says.

In training employees to focus on providing a great customer experience, there must be a balance between being not too pushy but also ensuring to get that referral.

“First and foremost, it needs to be the right person,” he says. Recruiting the right person leads to the opportunity to create that great customer experience.

The Influence of the NPS (Click here to watch this section of the video)

Customer feedback often centers around one very important question, a question that is captured in the measurement of the net promoter score. The net promoter score survey is the question of ‘how likely would you recommend the business?’

So what happened as a result of Dr. Cell Phone’s use of Praiseworthy customer feedback surveys?

The results Dr. Cell Phone has seen: an increase of 24 points since their involvement with Praiseworthy. Their score of 72 is very high in the retail field. A lot of people are being recommended to visit the store.

Reconnecting with negative reviews has improved their NPS in that by reaching out to customers to remedy whatever issue arose, customers appreciate that attention. And they’ll tell others.

“More and more we’re relying on the recommendations of our friends and family,” he says. “What a lot of customers are doing now is asking their friend, ‘where’d you get your phone fixed?’”

The magic words of “Would you recommend this service to your friends and family” can help boost recognition and popularity. “It’s a question that our company talks about every single morning. It’s going to be the engine that brings the business 10-15 years from now,” he says.

Like what Dr. Cell Phone has witnessed, an increase in NPS means an increase in sales.

Besides being an entrepreneur, Misa Chien is an asian model and cooking show host based in Los Angeles.  Her other blog, Nom Nom TV, a dinner ideas blog, posts articles everywhere from top items to buy at 99 Ranch market to the best way to prepare soba noodles.

Can A Business Make Its Own Tools?

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There are very few businesses in the world which are able to handle their work without some sort of tool. Even in the most basic roles, computers, stationary, and even some unique tools will be used, and this only becomes more prevalent as you look into more complicated jobs. Of course, when you’re running a company which needs a lot of different tools, the price you pay can start to become very important. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring the idea of making your own tools, with the aim of saving money on overpriced items which you have to buy all the time.

Electronics & Computers

Starting with the hardest part of all of this, there will almost certainly be some electronic tools which you will need. Unfortunately, making a lot of these goods for yourself will be far too complicated, with something like a till involving teams of professionals to design and develop. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do some of it for yourself, though. Computers can be bought pre-built, but they can also be bought as the simple parts which make them work. If you purchase everything separately and build it yourself, you will almost always save some money. This can be a great benefit in an office which is filled with them.

Inanimate Objects

Along with the technical tools you use, there will be plenty of items which perform their function without relying on any sort of power. Coffee tampers are a great example of this. Every coffee shop has to have them, they are easy to lose, and expensive to buy, but with a bit of CNC machinery, you’d be able to create your own whenever you like. This can save a huge amount of money, with a lot of solid metal tools costing a small fortune, even though the raw materials which go into them are extremely cheap. Not a lot of companies think about this when they are structuring their budgets.

Software

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the software tools which your business relies on. There are loads of handy applications out there, but a lot of businesses find that they need something more specific to work with their services. Having something like this built used to require having an in-house employee to do it for you. Nowadays, though, things have changed, and there are loads of companies out there which can build bespoke software on your behalf. While this route can be a little expensive, it will cost far less than paying someone to work full-time on it for you.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on looking into the idea of building tools for your business. A lot of people have this sort of route available to them, but will simply ignore it, choosing to continue paying far too much for the items which they use. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that you have to follow the same path.

Getting A Business Rolling On The Cheap

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If you are thinking of starting a business, probably your main concern is going to be the financial side of things. Most people who want to start businesses don’t feel that they actually have the means to do so, and this is generally something that gets in the way for most people. But you can always find a way around it, and it is necessary to do so if you want to make sure that you are going to get your business up and running in no time. As it happens, there are a lot of things you can do to make sure that you can get your business rolling on the cheap, and those options are what we are going to look at today. Consider the following to get your business up and running without having to spend too much money in the first place.

Free Marketing

Because marketing is one of the first things you will have to do in order to get your business going, it is one of the first things to think about saving money on. As it happens, there are plenty of ways in which you can market your business for absolutely nothing, and it is a great idea to do so if you are keen on saving some money. One thing you should always do when you start a business or launch a new product is send out a press release. These are free, and if your writing skills are on par you will find that it can be an effective means of marketing. Also, remember that social media is a great and free of charge way of spreading the word about your business. The more you make use of such channels, the better.

Sourcing Equipment

You are always going to need supplies of one kind or another, no matter what your business is going to do. Finding these supplies for cheap can be tough, but there are a lot of options you might want to consider which can make it a lot easier for you. One great method you might want to consider is to go to municipal auction houses, which are a great way of getting hold of second-hand items, especially when you are looking for larger items such as machinery. Whatever you need, you can find something this way. You should also bear in mind that you can always source equipment from friends and family – you never know what connections you have until you try.

Hiring Help

Because you will generally always need something in the way of help, it’s a good idea to save money here too. Of course, you still want to be fair to other people, so make sure that you are not simply paying people less than they deserve. Instead, think about freelancers or using online helpers, who can often do your tasks quickly and cheaply, and in way which can really help you to get your business up and running.

Why Your Business Should Have A Backup Server

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Data is worth its weight in gold. If you have been around in the world of business long enough you’ll know that once customer trust is broken there is very little chance of getting it back. You should guard data like you would a block of gold bullion. Without data businesses simply cannot function. Where do you store all the names, accounts, addresses and interests of your consumers? If you don’t do any of these things, you are simply talking to a wall. Building up consumer profiles and storing all your projects has to be done via a server. The data that you have worked so hard for has to be thoroughly secure and never in doubt. Although modern systems are very secure, it’s always better safe than sorry than to have a backup server just in case.

Doubling up is safer

Are you going to store just one version of your customer profile? Having just one copy of your data is completely reckless. It just doesn’t make sense to have your business hinging on just on server and one copy of everything you have worked for. Doubling up is the sensible option but you have to do it on another server. Say for example you double up and have two profiles that are the same. That’s good practice but what if the server that those two are stored on is hacked? Doesn’t matter if you have two if they are both in the same boat. This is when another server comes handy, so you can double your data and make it count.

You have an archive

The main server is accessed and used all the time. It’s the main access point and storage unit for all your daily tasks. Customers might be making orders and changing them all the time too, so you need to store the different stages of each action. A backup server can act like your archive. A client might want to revert back to an original setting but if you don’t have a log of what changed and needs to be changed back, you cannot fulfill this task for them. A backup server can store additional data such as preferences, old contact details, and previous purchasing habits. Talk to an IT consultant that can help create but also configure your new server needs.  Storing data is a sensitive topic right now as privacy is valued more than ever by consumers. However an archive is purely there to be used as a backup such as for a default setting options and not for active marketing or sharing.

Improving productivity

Marketing strategies are created all the time. However to decrease time wasting, you can access your archive to see what kind of products certain customers like. It saves your employees time having to send out email surveys. You can also use older data for studies on how consumer habits change and why, rather than relying on asking customers directly for every small detail.

A backup server can be your knight in shining armor when things go very badly. If your main server is ever hacked you can fall back onto your default settings and still carry on working while you rebuild. It simply stops your business from grinding to a halt and can even help you out regarding research projects.