Dealing With Difficult Customers: The Dos and Don’ts

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Difficult customers can be found in all industries. They come in all different forms from the persistent late payer to the serial complainer to the needy customer that won’t stop asking questions. By understanding the right way to deal with these customers, you can prevent difficulties from escalating (and protect your sanity). Here are just a few important dos and don’ts for dealing with difficult customers.

Don’t get angry

Some customers will keep pushing you. They may even act abusively towards you. It’s important to keep your cool for the sake of your professional reputation – if you start getting angry, they may start bad-mouthing you all over the internet. Remain calm at all times so that you don’t make the situation worse.

Don’t ignore them

Ignoring difficult customers is also not the way to deal with them. In fact, it’s likely to rile them up even further. Confront the issue as soon as you can. If you can’t come to a solution and need to call them back, make sure that you do call them back.

Do take the time to listen

It’s important to always listen to the customer. Even in the case of late paying customers, it’s important that you listen to their side of the story (even if you know they’re making excuses). When it comes to customers that won’t stop pestering you, you may need to eventually draw the line so that you’re not spending all of your time talking to them. Make them understand that you are busy and that you’d prefer to schedule a meeting in which all problems can be discussed.

Do show empathy

Responding to complaints in a robotic ‘this is company policy’ fashion is likely to make customers angry. Show compassion for their troubles and then try to solve the issue together. Even if they are in the wrong, initially showing empathy will make them feel you’re on their side, which will make it easier to argue your point and get them to understand.

Don’t hesitate to get legal support

Some customers may grow increasingly difficult and may threaten legal action or outright refuse to pay you. In these cases, it could be important you get the necessary legal support to deal with these customers. An attorney may be able to help you negotiate a problem without it going to court. If it’s beyond that point, they can help to argue your case. In the case of late paying customers, a collection agency may be required if a customer has continuously failed to pay. An attorney may also be able to help if the issue goes to court.

Do support your colleagues/employees

The customer doesn’t always come first. There are times when it’s important to stick up for colleagues and employees. Not showing support for employees and colleagues will make them feel undervalued and could affect the support they have for you. Never put down colleagues in front of customers – even if your colleagues are in the wrong.

How To Deal With Late Paying Customers

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

It can be incredibly frustrating when clients don’t pay on time. If you’re not getting paid, it could affect your own ability to pay bills. This can then lead to a vicious cycle of constantly being owed money while constantly owing money to others.

To keep your cashflow healthy and earn the money you deserve, here are several tips for dealing with late payers.

Chase them up

Waiting and hoping that customers will eventually pay up doesn’t work. If a customer owes you money, you have to keep chasing them up. Some customers may have genuinely forgotten to pay you, while others may be deliberately holding out until you chase them up.

You may be able to start by emailing them. If you get no response or they continue to not pay up, don’t be afraid to phone them up. A warning letter delivered to their door could be the next step if you still cannot get hold of them and they continue to not pay up.

Don’t feel bad about chasing up clients – it’s your money and you deserve it! Some customers may make continuous excuses or try to make you feel sorry for their circumstances. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan, but you still deserve that money.

Keep your cool

It’s very easy to get angry at late paying clients. However, this could cause a lot of harm to your business. A customer may leave negative reviews or they may sue you for harassment/verbal abuse if they feel you’re not acting professionally or are being unreasonable. Be firm but be friendly.

Know when to take legal action

If a customer continuously refuses to pay or retaliates with verbal abuse, you may be able to take legal action against them. It’s worth seeking legal advice to understand what you can and can’t do – there may be laws in place to protect debtors that state that you have to give several warnings first.

For large debts, you may be able to hire a collection agency. When customers go AWOL and don’t respond to any of your warnings, this can often be a necessary step to take.

Take measures to prevent future late payments

Certain measures may help you to avoid having to deal with late paying customers in the first place.

The first is to establish a credit policy when customers first sign up to your service – this should outline steps that you are legally allowed to take if a customer does not pay up such as adding late payment charges and possibly withholding your service. Such repercussions could prevent customers from continuously late paying.

You should also consider setting payment deadlines and sending automated reminders. This can prevent customers from genuinely forgetting to pay you (or at the very least pretending they’ve forgotten). Make sure to send out payment details with each invoice and reminders so that customers can’t use the excuse that they’ve lost your payment details.  

You may also be able to prevent late payments by offering early payment discounts. This could urge customers to pay up early so that they save money.

6 Upgrades Your Hotel Business Needs Right Now

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

The hotel industry is a competitive circuit that inspires you to be the biggest and the best in the area. Believe it or not, there are a number of things that you might be missing from your business right now; you could be losing precious clients because you’re overlooking these important elements. Whether you’ve recently opted for a change in career or you have been running your hotel business for a long time, there are a number of ways you can upgrade your current premises. Consider the following six upgrades your hotel business needs right now and make some much needed changes.

1. Excellent Entertainment

Often hotel entertainment is the last thing that owners think about. They assume that guests who are coming to stay over already have grand plans in place. In fact, a lot of people staying in hotels are on business trips and are searching for light relief after a busy day. Whether you look into slot machine manufacturers or professional singers to do a nightly gig, there are so many ways to provide excellent entertainment for your guests. This is the type of thing that will make a client choose your establishment over a competitor.

2. Top Quality Food

When the food in a hotel is bad, it’s likely that the client won’t be back anytime soon. Make sure your menus cater for all diets and they vary throughout the seasons.

3. Attractive Amenities

Whether you open up a pool, spa or private members bar there are so many attractive amenities that your hotel could offer. Think about what’s missing right now and aim to open up at least one new amazing amenity in the next year.

4. Friendly Staff

Hotel staff always need to be polite and friendly, even if they’re dealing with a tricky customer. Train your employees in customer service and make sure they feel confident in dealing with every possible scenario.

5. Comfortable Bed

A comfortable bed in a hotel is a must if you want to have repeat customers. Do some research into the best quality mattresses and pillows; don’t be afraid to invest a little extra money into this as it will be worth it in the long run.

6. Strong Wi-Fi

Offering free wifi to your guests is a fundamental thing to do these days. As mentioned before, a lot of people will be on a business trip and in need of excellent internet. You can keep the connection password protected in order to maintain strong security, which is another thing that is very important to your guests too.

As a hotel business, you always need to stay one step ahead of the game. Do some research into the competitors in your area and see how you can go above and beyond what they’re already doing. Although some of the ideas above might seem obvious, it is so important to give your clients the best of the best. By implementing the ideas mentioned above, you are set to have a thriving hotel business that people come flocking to on a daily basis!

Ways You Can Stay Ahead Of The Competition

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you want your business to succeed over the long-term, then it’s vital you stay ahead of your competitors and know what they’re up to and rolling out next. You risk losing paying customers if you fall behind, and others are outsmarting you in every area of your business.

Learn how you can maintain your position as a leader in your industry and get ahead of the competition. These actions will be well worth your time and energy and will likely deliver exceptional results that will be worth noting. You’ll be a much happier business owner when you’re attracting new customers and maintaining a loyal book of clients throughout the years.

Offer High-Quality Products

One way to stay ahead of the competition is to offer high-quality products that are long-lasting and don’t fall apart. Make sure they meet industry standards and regulations and are safe for consumer use. You can accomplish this goal by contacting rapidpsi.com and experimenting with 3D printing as a way to speed up production and improve the quality of your offerings. It’ll give you an edge over your competition and prove to others that you’re up to speed with the latest developments in technology.

Implement Creative Marketing Tactics

Keep ahead of your competitors by using creative marketing tactics to build awareness and excitement around your business and products. No one is going to make purchases from you or talk about you unless they know what it is you do. Clearly explain the benefits of working with you and what you bring to the table. Position yourselves as experts in your industry by sharing exciting and engaging content on your website, company blog, and social media.

Build an Attractive Company Culture

You can also stay ahead of the competition by being the employer of choice among employees and potential candidates. Focus on building an attractive company culture and reward your staff fairly for their performance. Make the workplace a fun and exciting place to be, but also make it known that you all work hard and are continually achieving your goals. Employees and job seekers will spread the word for you, and you’ll be able to set your business up as a top place to work in your community and even around the country.

Offer Superior Customer Service

Satisfied customers can go a long way in helping your business to succeed and thrive. Stay ahead of the competition by putting your customers first and ensuring they’re happy at all times. Solve problems quickly and address issues professionally so that you can close the loop and make sure consumers feel confident in your business and trust you. Train your employees to know how to handle all types of situations and to help them understand the significance of offering superior and consistent customer service. Not only get to know your customers better but look after them and do what’s in your power to confirm they’re pleased with your service and products. Ask questions and seek feedback to help you work through any hesitations your customers are feeling.

These Tips will Help you to Host the Best Business Event

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Hosting a business event at your location can be a fantastic way for you to get new customers in the door. You may also find that you can increase your exposure, while also advertising your new business services. It doesn’t matter if you have a small business or a large corporate empire either because you can easily cater your event to meet your requirements.

Appeal to your Target Customers

If you want to make your business event as successful as it can be then you need to try and appeal to your target customers. If you are a wedding planner for example, then it may be a good idea for you to try and host an event where you can showcase various dresses, snacks and beverages. This will draw in the right crowd while also helping you to advertise your services in a nice and relaxed setting. You could also host a giveaway or competition as well, as this is a great way for you to increase engagement. Crosswords are ideal here, as you can include industry buzzwords to drive excitement. Check out WordMint to find out more.

Find the Best Day and Time

If you know that you have a slow sales period at one point during the year then why not host your business event during this time? When you do, you will be able to bring in additional sales revenue and you will also be able to increase your client engagement. Planning the right day and time is also crucial. For example, if you are marketing to business owners then you wouldn’t want to plan your event during working hours. The weekend would be a much better option in this instance. If you are targeting parents who have very young children, then a weekday morning may be a much better option.

Provide a Great Service

During the event, you also need to make sure that you provide excellent customer service and that you also really showcase your services and your products. The last thing that you want is for your event to sound like a sales pitch, so make sure that you work with your team and that you get the right message across. If you do then you will motivate your attendees to come back next time, and this will work wonders for your company.

Gather Information

One of the main things that you need to do when hosting an event is gather as much information as possible. You can do this by collecting emails or even by getting the phone numbers of potential clients. If you go round and just “ask” for this information then you may be perceived as being pushy, which is the last thing that you need. One way for you to get around this would be for you to host a giveaway or a competition, where people give their consent to be contacted in exchange for the chance of winning.

Hosting a business event can be stressful and time-consuming, but if you take your time and if you make sure that you do everything right then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t experience a huge level of success.

4 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If there is one thing that is important for your business, it’s branding. Business branding is something that goes beyond the logo of the business and a few flimsy business cards. It’s not the same thing as a logo, it’s so much more than that! Yes, the logo is important, but the branding you have will make your business stand out and bring the customers in – which makes it a vital piece of your business puzzle. 

You need the logo, but you also need to be able to show the world that you know your business value. This is going to help you to create a personality for your business and a brand identity that everyone will recognize. You want a stunning advertising campaign, too, and you can find help at kw2madison.com for that. We all know the Golden Arches, and the logo for the big companies out there. That’s come from a clever branding strategy behind it, pushing the name in front of everyone so that it stands out in the best possible way. Without further ado, let’s look at some of the ways that you can make your business stand out from the rest of the market.

You Need Purpose

Knowing the purpose of your brand is so important, otherwise you can’t even begin to look at the style and design behind the branding. You need a structured purpose and this will map out where your business is going. You should have an idea of why your business exists, as well as the impact that you want it to have on your audience. Once you know that, you can ensure that the customer experience is perfection.

Excellent Customer Service

People talk. It’s a fact – they talk to each other online, in person, in emails – they talk to each other and they’re talking about their experiences with brands. They recommend their favorite businesses and they discuss the things they don’t like about them. So, if you want to really stand out among your customers, you need to excel when it comes to customer service.

Be Unique

You can think – and be – bigger than any other companies in your industry, and all because you’ve decided to be unique and not copy what others are doing. Do things differently to your competition, and you’ll stand out because of it. Look for ways to remain ahead of the curve, even if that means regular reinvention of your business. If you keep your customers refreshed, you’re going to stand out from the competition.

Have Personality

Blog, vlog and post content to give your business a personality that’s separate to the professional exterior that you show off to clients. You need to be relatable, and you can do that with the right business personality. You could do this with your packaging and style, sure, but you need to give your business a face behind the magic.

These four options aren’t exclusive to make your business stand out, but they are going to help you along your way.

How To Build A Strong Business Reputation

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

In business, reputation means everything. It’s the output you gain from your company’s hard work. It’s the perception your clients have about your business, and it’s what shall determine whether your establishment shall sink or swim. And so focusing on reputation to a degree is essential. Although we can’t instantly change others’ opinions of our business, we can manage expectations, feedback, and strive to consistently improve in the common areas that denote whether your business is deemed reliable and professional.

Brand Consistency

One of the things that creates a shaky ground for a business to rest upon is a brand without consistency. If your business’s missions and values aren’t threaded throughout your company’s imagery, content, premises, website, social media pages, and so forth, it tears away any prospect of your clients having familiarity and confidence in your business. As with most successful companies, you can identify them from a commonly chosen song, or slogan or picture of their logo without their name being mentioned. This is because their marketing teams have ensured that their brand is consistent and recognizable anywhere by everyone. Part of building a good reputation is creating a brand that people can link to your products and services with ease.

Customer Service

The critical link connecting your customers to your services or products is your customer service team. And so the connection needs to be a pleasant one for the customer in all scenarios. Whether they have a list of questions about a product, or they want to return faulty goods, your customer service team shall make the difference between persuading an upset customer to remain loyal to your brand or putting them off trusting your company altogether. The latter has dire circumstances on your reputation. So with each customer query, your staff should be equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way. This is mostly down to the training and time you spend on creating and taking care of your team. 

Manage Reviews 

Reviews for many customers spell the difference between the likelihood of them buying something or shopping elsewhere. So you must manage both good and bad reviews to your advantage and take any feedback on board. If you or your team members have the time, allocate a slot to read through and reply to reviews. Whether appreciating good reviews, looking at how to remove fake Google reviews or apologizing to customers for any fair, bad reviews. This shall show other customers reading through the reviews that your company takes an active interest in what your customers think. Plus it inspires confidence in uncertain clients to buy from you knowing that your business is accessible to speak to and accepts accountability for reasonable issues that arise with your products/services.

Above is a non-exhaustive insight on how to create a strong business reputation amongst existing and potential customers. Your company’s reputation is a combination of multiple elements all working holistically to create a picture to your audience. It’s up to you to orchestrate these elements to ensure they work to your company’s advantage.

Make Your Customer Service Stand Out

Ask any consumer, and they’ll tell you great customer service is hard to find. Research conducted by Accenture in 2016 revealed that 83 percent of American consumers prefer dealing with people over digital channels to resolve customer service issues — and a whopping 52 percent of them switched providers that year because of poor service. For many people, the quality of customer service is just as important as price and quality when making a buying decision, if not more important. Organizations that excel in customer service are more likely to earn new customers, earn new business from existing customers, retain customers, command better prices, and generate more and better referrals.

The accompanying infographic, 10 Essential Customer Service Tips, is a useful, visual reference for customer service teams doing a great job, a not-so-great job and everything in between. You’ll see a few suggestions most people know (even if they don’t always execute them), along with ideas that even talented, well-trained teams may not have considered.

The infographic is not meant to replace in-depth customer service training, but it is a powerful supplement, one that is concise enough to be reviewed once a day or once a week. The goal is to give customer service providers that extra edge — and turn proven customer service techniques into deeply ingrained habits that ensure every customer gets top treatment day in and day out. 

10 Essential Customer Service Tips from Service Skills

Author Bio: David Friedman is Managing Director of ServiceSkills.com and Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, proven training brands that improve the way your staff communicates with customers and co-workers. He has 35 years of experience producing and marketing in the corporate learning and development spaces.

The Advantages of a Positive Relationship With Your Suppliers

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

The relationship between a supplier and a business is incredibly important. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that helps both companies prosper; without a supplier, businesses can’t operate efficiently and without a successful business, suppliers have no demand. It’s a relationship that can define a business’s success, but also one that can be used to your advantage if you’re willing to nurture a positive connection to your suppliers.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the advantages of a positive relationship with your suppliers and how it can help you run a successful business.

Minimizing drastic price differences and product quality

Depending on what you’re actually purchasing from the supplier, you shouldn’t be surprised to see prices and product quality fluctuating wildly. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly, the raw materials required to create the products your suppliers provide will always change in price.  Another reason could be the current market conditions or even political issues that are affecting the cost of importing and exporting goods.

Product quality is also a huge concern when it comes to price fluctuations. For instance, if you’re looking for concrete for contracting purposes, then it’s important to pick and stick to a company such as ridgeconcrete.co.uk that can guarantee superior slabs and high-quality products every time. If you constantly shop around for better deals then there’s no company loyalty which means you’re going to receive an average service every time. With a good relationship, you can learn more about a product’s quality, why prices are fluctuating and perhaps even receive fixed prices for being a loyal customer.

Reducing operating costs

Setting up a deal with a supplier usually involves a slight setup cost. This is because the logistics of a large delivery and producing the amount of stock you need can take some time, especially if that stock is also being bought by other similar businesses. By cooperating with your suppliers in a positive and friendly way, you’re creating a mutually beneficial relationship that helps to ensure that the supplier gets a constant stream of demand.

By creating this demand, you make it easier for the supplier to predict their profits and stay afloat. As a token of their appreciation, suppliers will typically offer discounts to businesses that purchase in bulk and have proven to be reliable customers. The fewer issues you encounter, the more likely your supplier will give you future discounts. It will also help to reduce the amount of time it takes to solve logistics issues and they are more likely to reimburse you with a generous refund if something goes wrong.

Improved customer service

As explained in this article at growingforward.net, customer service can be a big problem when it comes to profit issues. Most suppliers enjoy having cooperative relationships with customers because it helps them offer improved customer service. This, in turn, means that your customer experience will be improved.

Issues will be resolved faster, you might have a contact that you can phone for last-minute deliveries and rush orders, and they may even recommend you as a trustworthy business to companies that are seeking your services or products.

 

 

Managing The Speed Of Your Customer Interactions

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

To keep your business moving, you need to be able to act instantly. There has never been a better time to be able to do that than right now. Technology speeds up so much of your business needs, making you more efficient. But customers may not react at the speed that you need them too. 

Have More Channels Of Communication Open

If the problem that you’re facing is waiting for your customer to respond to your messages, then chances are they are not talking to you using the best tools for them. Having as many routes for your customer to get in touch with, you will speed things up dramatically. Using messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, offer your customers a great deal more convenience than emails. Often, when talking through emails, exchanges can take a great deal of time. There is a general tendency to write longer messages, and very often, emails are not replied to immediately. 

By utilizing the quick reply functions on messenger apps, you’ll get shorter, but more prompt responses- allowing you to get straight down to business. 

Keeping The Cash Flowing

Waiting for your customers to pay their invoices can often mean that you’re left waiting in limbo. With some companies keeping a tight grip on their own funds, they’ll push payment back as late as possible. Often to the due date, which could be anything up to ninety days after the invoice was sent. You can’t afford to wait that long. 

Your business has needs, and if you’ve completed a large job, your staff need paying for it. You may need the capital for the next project too, and if you’ve not got it to hand, you might find yourself turning down jobs. 

There is a way around this. Using factoring services such as BCashflow Positive you can effectively use an intermediary to claim your invoice immediately.  And, for a small percentage, they will wait to receive the money from your customers.

In-Depth Team Training

Customer service issues may take some time to resolve, and your team will no doubt want to get them dealt with quickly. But often, the way that your team handles an issue might not be the best way. Making sure that your team are well trained in all aspects of customer handling will ensure they do not get stuck on cases for longer than is useful. 

Specific and Measurable Targets

Time is money, and you need to set limits on how long things should take. Obviously, this will depend on the type of business that you are in, but you need a specific and measurable target to set your customer service representatives. These might be based around how quickly they respond to an initial query, to the total time that a ticket should be open. 

Customers expect a quick resolution, but importantly, it is in your best interests to deal with these in a timely manner, allowing you to move onto the next query sooner.