How to manage your business whilst on vacation!

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It’s that time of year again, where we desperately hope for a sunny summer here in the UK before giving up halfway through August and booking a last-minute trip to sunnier climates. But for business owners, packing up and leaving the country can fill you with a sense of anxiety. What will happen whilst you’re away? Can you really leave your company to fend for itself? If you are worrying about leaving the working world behind, here are some tips and tricks to help balance business and pleasure whilst on holiday:

DELEGATE

Before you go away, be sure you have an employee, friend, family member or even Virtual Assistant you can entrust the day-to-day workings of the business to. Perhaps spend a few hours going over the ins and outs of your work and prepare them for any issues or problems which may arise. Prepare any communication with clients beforehand and have your temporary cover send them out as and when they are required. Perhaps even practice some scenarios to see how they will react if things don’t go to plan. You may feel as though you are the only person who can complete certain tasks but this could offer a fantastic learning opportunity for you and your staff; it offers a chance for staff to prove themselves and for you to trust them with more responsibility on a regular basis.

REMOTE ACCESS

Undoubtedly, there are always some duties which you and you alone must take care of. If any important meetings or tasks take place during your holiday, it is possible for you to attend without having to cut the vacation short. Using Skype, FaceTime or any other communication software, create a contact group in advance and schedule a meeting. All contacts can log in at the arranged time, don’t forget to take time zones into account, and you can attend from the comfort of your hotel room, villa or even by the beach! You can store any relevant documents in a cloud service (such as Dropbox – https://www.dropbox.com/) and access them from any location as and when you require. While you’re at it, you could also store your treasured holiday photos in your cloud account and store the memories forever.

ESTABLISH SET ‘WORK TIME’

Don’t forget, your holiday is about relaxation and getting away from your normal life. However, if you absolutely cannot part with your work for an entire holiday, you should establish boundaries with your fellow vacationers before you go. Decide upon a time, perhaps before or after dinner, where you will be ‘at work’. Ensure that your friends or family are comfortable and understand this arrangement so you will not be distracted and they will not be annoyed that you are disrupting vacation plans. Stick to these boundaries and ensure that your worktime doesn’t seep into any more of the holiday. Remember, you go on holiday to relax so if you spend the entire time working it defeats the purpose of a vacation! A well-rested person is a happy person and you will feel the benefit of a restful holiday when you return to work.

We know that it’s hard for some people to switch off and separate their personal life from their work life, but by putting some of these tips into practice even the most dedicated worker can enjoy a holiday without feeling guilty! Alternatively, if you’re a sensible business owner you would have already made set plans for your Virtual Assistant to look after the day-to-day running of your business – after all they are professionals too!

 

 

 

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How to work with a Virtual Assistant to manage your blogs

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The power of blogging should not be underestimated; what started as a form of online diary-keeping for the first generation of web users is now a staple for almost every company website.

Most business owners keep blogs as a way of regularly communicating with their customers, informing them of events, products and the like. Blogs can help you to forge stronger ties with your clients, build strong brand identity and, ultimately, bring in more custom.

However, a blog which is not regularly updated can be likened to the latest series of The Only Way Is Essex – wasteful, unnecessary, with nobody looking at it. Blogging regularly is by no means easy, it requires regular maintenance, care and an almost constant stream of interesting, readable content. Many business owners struggle with original writing and their blogs often fall by the wayside, another dead link in the Internet’s graveyard.

If you struggle to maintain a good blog, why not hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) to do some of the work for you? Most VA’s have a good deal of office experience and can be hired for as many or few hours as your business dictates.

If you are interested in writing articles but are lacking facts and subject content, your VA could research and compile the necessary information for you.  Alternatively, if you have all the facts but lack a writer’s voice you could hire a VA with writing experience to create blog posts.  Even if you are a competent and creative writer, sometimes it helps to have a fresh voice. You could split content creation with one or more VA’s and receive a regular stream of articles from various different perspectives.

A well maintained blog is a successful blog; regular posts are necessary to hold the attention of your clients. Your VA can schedule your posts weeks in advance so that even if you might forget to update, posts will still be sent out. Essentially, your VA could create a month’s worth of blog content in one day, saving you time and money. VA’s can be hired for a minimum of an hour’s work so you could purchase a month’s worth of blog organisation for an affordable price.

Additionally, your VA can function as your PR manager – they can respond to any comments or queries left on the site and ensure that every visitor receives a prompt and professional response. This will give your readers more confidence in the company and will ensure that any potential business is dealt with promptly.

To truly understand and utilise the power of your blog, there are a number of software programmes which can be of great help. However, when it comes to the more technological aspects of blog management many business owners would prefer to bury their head in the sand. If words such as ‘analytics’ and ‘optimisation’ have you running scared, find yourself a VA who is well-versed in these areas and leave it to them. Using a Search Engine Optimisation tool (such as this one provided by WordPress https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/) your VA can analyse what content is being read and what is being ignored.  By using these analytics, you can create blogs which will gain more traction.  Additionally, many VA’s can help you improve your search result ranking through the use of SEO, pushing your page to the top of the list based on your business’ keywords and phrases.

These are just a number of ways in which VA’s can work with you to manage and improve your blog, so if you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to help.  Just drop us an e-mail or call us to discuss how to make the most of your site.

 

 

 

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Use of automation systems in business

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In a society increasingly reliant on technology, more and more businesses are using some form of automation to alleviate their workload. Put simply, automation is the use of software to perform often complex tasks quickly and efficiently. Although business automation may seem daunting to the technologically challenged, there are many simple processes anyone could implement which could save you time and money. These tools are often inexpensive, easy to use and can sometimes function as an extra member of staff – without the salary!

Instead of spending the rest of the article detailing complex and often expensive types of business automation, I am going to give you some simple and straightforward examples which can be used by anyone, regardless of business type or budget.

E-mail Automation

One of the most common automation processes is the use of automatic e-mail. Are you out of the office for the day or unable to access your inbox? No problem! Simply set up an automatic reply the day before and contacts will receive an instant response to their message. Additionally, you can arrange automatic ‘thank you’ e-mails to customers who have made a purchase, payment reminders to others and set up a regular newsletter in advance. So, you could even plan an entire year’s worth of newsletter communication in one day!

Telephone Automation

One of the simplest forms of automation is the use of a telephone answering machine, ensuring you don’t miss any messages when out of the office or even if you’re busy on another call. Did you know you can also implement a ticket system, transcribing any answerphone messages into text documents which are instantly sent to your e-mail or mobile phone? You need never worry about missing an important call, and thus potential business, again; with automated systems such as this, you can make a promise to contact someone within 10 minutes of them leaving a message.

Social Media Automation

According to a recent survey, only 42% of small businesses are currently using social media, compared to a whopping 81% of larger companies. More small businesses should be taking advantage of the extra publicity and potential trade which comes with social media promotion. With the use of automation, this is becoming increasingly easier to do. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow for ‘scheduled posting’; messages and posts which can be planned up to a year in advance. You could spend less than a day organising an entire year’s worth of social media communication, almost certainly enhancing your brand’s identity. Not only does this process save time, it also ensures that you are regularly communicating with customers on weekends, evenings and other non-working hours. Additionally, it reduces the risk of human error. If you forget to regularly update your social media, automated services will take care of it for you, so can you really afford to miss out on this form of brand, product or service promotion?

Alternatively, if you do feel too overwhelmed with managing your own social media then you can always outsource it to someone who enjoys social media and the opportunity of engagement with existing clients or new prospects. For more information about our social media packages and offering see here

So as you can see these are some of the simplest forms of business automation. Of the examples above, all are entirely free, easy to implement, and guaranteed to make your working life a lot easier.

 

 

 

 

 

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How Small Businesses Have Evolved Over the Years

 

 

Business evolution“How has small businesses evolved over the years?” I hear many people ask.  Not long ago some people would have been unaware that a company or business was operating in certain parts of the country or a small secluded village or town.  Keeping track of the best and most expanding business firms in your own Country or globally was difficult.  With the expansion of the internet and the world being more connected, even small businesses remain in the limelight.

The internet now plays a huge role for most businesses on a global scale with the increase of online marketing tools and consumer participation.  Email marketing has been an important tool over the past years for small businesses, but today this usage has increased alongside the use of social media marketing which has exploded if compared with five years ago.

There is also an increase of businesses using, or using more automated business solutions ie inventory, payroll etc

Even most households and individuals are now directly connected to the internet in one shape or form; you really don’t need to own a PC anymore in order to get connected!

A survey was completed a few years ago and showed that it was harder to run a business then than 5 years ago…

  • 55% said the economy has hit their business hard
  • 49% said it’s harder to keep pace with technology
  • 40% said there’s more direct competition

Only 12% of the respondents said that it was easier to run a business than it was five years ago, and of that group of small businesses, 89% citied online marketing tools that make it easier and less expensive to market their business.

The survey also showed an uptick in the importance of supporting local businesses with customers.

When asked whether they think being locally owned and operated is a major reason customers support their business today 51% of respondents said yes, up from the 42% who thought so five years ago.  Even a little private bakery that one wishes to open can sooner succeed with the right investment in marketing, service and product.

Businesses are now more connected and continue to expand their social circles both through online and offline networking which has increased and become more popular today with some small businesses sending representatives to networking functions weekly, fortnightly or more frequently.

Now, with just a few clicks your company or organization can go viral and with the click of a few photographs your work can be viewed and recognised.  With a simple press of the “Send” button, you can instantly get your message out there to a global audience and the opportunity to increase sales and expand your business.

 

 

 

 

Survey Source: Small Businesses: Then and Now Survey, Constant Contact, 2013

Picture courtesy of FlowCentric

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Top 5 Reasons you should consider business outsourcing

 

 

 

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As someone who owns their own business it can be tempting to try and do everything yourself. However, whilst this can seem like the best way forward it isn’t always the most sensible or productive. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box and determine new ways to bring in new talent to your business. Looking into business outsourcing is a great way of doing this and can benefit your business in so many different ways in the long run.

Save Yourself Time

Getting someone else on board can be a great time saver.  If you have someone on board that knows what they are doing and doesn’t require any hand holding from you then it will save you value time, rather than trying to do all the tasks yourself.  This then enables you to pick and choose the tasks you want to do and to delegate the ones you don’t. You’ll then have more free time to focus on other priorities.

Flexible Workers

Having permanent people on board can seem like a good idea, but it can also feel like an expensive one at times. By outsourcing certain parts of your business you can pick and choose when they work for you and what they do. Many outsource companies offer flexible working patterns which, allows you to pay purely for the time spent working on your tasks, rather than you having to fork out for a full-time wage or employee.  Many flexible workers and Virtual Assistants are responsible for their own taxation and home office setup including equipment, yet another benefit to consider.

Bring New Skills into Your Organisation

When you outsource work you also have a good chance of bringing new skills into your business. You may know your business inside and out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything! Having a fresh set of eyes, skills and new experiences on board can really benefit your business and definitely a positive reason to consider outsourcing at least some of your work.

Trying Something New

If you are looking to try something new when it comes to your business then it can be handy and beneficial to get someone new on board. The benefit of this will be that they are able to bring new skills to the table whilst contributing new ideas and possible ways in which your business could work better.  They may even share past experiences with other companies and use this experience to ensure your transition goes smoothly.

Minimal Effort

Hiring someone to outsource your work to should be a straight forward process. In fact many companies have set procedures in place to help make it as smooth as possible for you. If you choose a company with experience then the chances are they have been through this with other clients beforehand so will know exactly how to minimise disruption to your business.

The good news is that many outsourcing companies will have details of their services and customer reviews on their website. This means that finding someone that is the perfect match to your needs and your business shouldn’t be too long winded or any hassle. You just need to spend a little time researching your options to find the perfect fit.  If you would like to know more about outsourcing and how it can benefit you & your business, then feel free to contact us for more details here.

 

 

 

 

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10 Apps to make your business trip easier

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If you work in a job that requires you to do a lot of travelling then it stands to reason you are going to want to make life as easy as possible. Whilst not many people relish the thought of being away from home for a business trip, if you can make life a little easier then all the better.

One of the best ways that you can make life easy when it comes to travelling for business trips is to download apps onto your smart phone, laptop and or/tablet. These give you instant access to all sorts of utilities and information, which can make travelling that much easier.

Booking.com                                                                         

Whether your business trip is unexpected or booked in advance the booking.com app can help. For starters you are able to search out local accommodation choices, check prices and even book a room if you need to. Your booking details are then stored on the app for you to look up when it is time to check in.

Sky Scanner

If you need to travel internationally or even up and down the country then Sky Scanner can help with sourcing affordable flights. You are able to check flight details, times and prices given by a variety of different travel agents. This helps to ensure you get the best possible price with minimal searching when you’re ready to book a flight.

Asana

This app is a great task management tool for keeping your team and colleagues organized and connected.  With Asana there is no need for back & forth emails, you can create work tasks you plan to do or need a teammate to do whilst organising your tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings or lists.

Expensify

Expensify streamlines the way you report your expenses, the way expenses are approved and the way they can then be exported to an accounting package (back office).  When it comes to business trips it can be hard to keep track of all your expenses. This app helps with that as you can store all of your information in one place, thus making life much easier.

Google Maps

It is easy to assume that the Google maps app can only help with driving directions but it does so much more.   It can provide interactive maps, street view, walking distance from point A to point B and well as provide you with a variety of possible routes that can be taken with duration no matter where in the world you happen to be.

Yelp

This app can help when it comes to looking up details of local businesses and services across the UK.  This can range from general things to do, place to eat, checking ratings, or reviews from past customers.   It’s great for when you’re away over night and want something to do with your spare time.

Google Apps

This allows you to download Google apps all in one place. You can then use these to create, save and share documents alongside checking your emails and using chat app GTalk.

Drop Box

Use this to store your files in one central location. You can then access these from your laptop, desktop, mobile phone and tablet etc. You can even share the files with colleagues and keep documents updated in real-time to help make your working life even simpler.

XE Currency

This helps when you are travelling abroad as you can instantly work out currency conversions and therefore see how much something is costing you before you part with your hard-earned cash.

Google Translate

Great when travelling abroad! It can assist you with working out what things to say and therefore making communication with others much easier when you’re in a different Country from your own and using a different language that you’re not familiar with.

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Intelligent Travel Australia

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5 Benefits of using a Virtual Assistant for your business

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Whether you run a start-up company, a small business or you simply work for yourself, you may not always have the need for or the resources for a full-time assistant. Taking care of the day to day running of your business – arranging meetings, paying invoices, updating social media, or making travel arrangements etc can take up a large portion of your day when, you could be focussed on the more core elements of running your business.  These are some of the reasons why you could ultimately benefit from the services of a Virtual Assistant, helping to free up your time and getting things done, without the need of having a full-time member of staff.  So, let’s explore some of the many benefits of using Virtual Assistant below;

  1. They are quick and easy to source

More and more people are working from home or for themselves, with Virtual Assistants amongst those which are easy to find online.  With little recruitment time you could start using the services of a Virtual Assistant the very same day, meaning no lengthy or costly recruitment processes.  A quick Google search, recommendation from a fellow business associate or using a freelance hire portal is all you need to find your saviour.

  1. They are cost effective

You can hire a Virtual Assistant by the hour, project or on a regular retainer basis for as many hours as you need that day, week or month.  If you only need someone for a few hours each week or ad hoc to help out during busy periods, then you can hire a Virtual Assistant that meets your budget and needs, without worrying about other HR concerns such as pensions, National Insurance or taxation etc.  Virtual Assistants look after their own finances and taxation, so all you need to do is ensure you pay them for their time and they’ll take care of the rest.

  1. They are reliable

Virtual Assistants are skilled in a variety of disciplines and have a wide range of experience, working with a number of businesses across different industries worldwide and thus very adaptable.  You will be able to check out their testimonials and reviews of their services from past clients, and you can be sure that their main aim is to get the job done to the best of their ability.

  1. They can help you become more organised

The difference of having a Virtual Assistant working alongside you in your business can prove priceless.  You may find that your business is far more organised, less stressful and the little things you may forget to do or do not have enough time for, will get done without any fuss – making your business more streamlined and professional.

  1. They are easy to contact

Whilst there are some benefits to having someone physically present in your office.  These days, there isn’t much that can’t be done remotely thanks to Skype, instant messaging, email and much more.  Therefore, there should be no issues with your Virtual Assistant being contactable via these methods or even by sharing your desktop remotely in order to work collaboratively on certain projects together.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant can be a permanent or a temporary move and whichever you choose, you are sure to find instant benefits from their skills and ability to assist you in managing the running of your business.  If you are fortunate enough to find a Virtual Assistant that you are comfortable working with, and who provides value add to your business, you will have taken a very positive step to growing your support team and ultimately your business in the long run.  See here for more information on how a Virtual Assistant can help you in your business.

 

 

 

 

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Why Many Start-Ups Fail and What You Can Do To Avoid It

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Launching a start-up business can be an unpredictable game.  Whilst of course many succeed, the sad truth is that a number of them are not so fortunate and fail.  The reasons behind these failures are numerous. It can be anything from external factors such as the economy, to a drying up of the market, as well as reasons related to failures within the business itself.  So let’s take a look at some of the reasons why many start-ups fail and what you can do to avoid following the same path.

Why do so many start-up businesses fail?

Whether it’s over in the beginning stages of the business or further down the line after a brief period of success, failure is quite common amongst start-ups.  This is partly down to how easy it actually is to set up a business, thanks to kickstarter campaigns and other such ventures making it all the more possible for people to set up a new venture.

5 common reasons for start-up failures include:

  1. Setting up a business for the wrong reasons

It’s great that you are passionate about something, you want to work for yourself or you want to make some money.  However, these reasons aren’t always valid or enough for setting up a new business.  There will be a lot of hard work required on your part, long hours, sleepless nights and a lot of financial sacrifice.  Many people just aren’t prepared for the all-consuming nature of a start-up, and this can sadly lead to its failure.

  1. Lack of Experience

You may have never had to manage yourself before, let alone others and a budget.  Without key management experience, you could drown.  You may want to think about embarking on some management courses, partnering with an experienced other or waiting until you’ve developed these skills before you try to set out on your own.  An incompetent leader could easily be a business’ downfall.

  1. Unorganised, Insufficient Planning

It is vital that you have a plan beyond the initial set up of the business, both strategic and financial.  If necessary, have your plans checked over by an impartial individual who can ensure that you have covered all bases and have a viable business plan to make it through.  This will also be essential for any financial aid you seek.

  1. Location and Market

Location is an important consideration when setting up a business.  If you’re going to be online only, then you’ll need to check out your competitors and ensure that you’re targeting the right location and target audience.  Location is key if your plan is to have a physical location so it needs to be chosen carefully.  There’s no point setting up an independent coffee chain on a street which already features a Starbucks, two Costa Coffees and a Café Nero!  Do your research carefully and thoroughly and make sure that you establish your business where there is a real need and gap in the market for it.

  1. No Online Presence

In this day and age, you would be considered crazy not to have a website or some form of online presence for your business.  People need to be able to find you easily and you need to be visible.  If you can’t offer or promote your services online, you’re losing out on a huge chunk of the market, and could lose out to competitors who are already online.

Avoiding Failure

We’ve outlined some of the ways in which you can avoid your start up ending in failure, but there are also some other factors you should bear in mind, such as;

  • Research

You can never do too much research as you need to know your market inside out.  Take the time to study your potential customers, competitors, risks etc. and everything else in order to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

  • Create Interest in Your Company

Take the time to build up your company awareness and brand, whether through using PR, marketing, communication or more.  Social media is a free, useful tool in which you can generate buzz about your business before it launches, so make the most of it and don’t be scared to shout about it!

  • Do your sums

Finance is extremely important for a start-up.  Ensure your business plan includes realistic financials and projections.  Plan your budget carefully and ensure you have all the financing you will need, covering every eventuality, including for periods where you may not be making any money.  Any successes will be a bonus.

  • Play to your strengths, admit weaknesses

If you have strong creative ideas, but lack leadership – seek out those who do.  If you need to hire individuals to assist you, whether it’s on a part-time or freelance Virtual Assistant basis, then it’s much better than figuring out everything as you go along, right?

Yes start-ups can be scary business, but also rewarding when they pay off.  Plan as well as you can, and take advantage of the experiences of all who have come before you, in order to stand the best chance of succeeding.  So good luck!

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Louise Robinson

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Stating your case for flexible working

Work-Life-Balance

If you’ve ever been jealous of your colleagues who have enjoyed flexible working because they have children or had care obligations, then you will have been pleased by the Government’s announcement last year giving you the right to request flexible working, whatever your circumstance.  As of the 30th of June 2014, you can now state your case for flexible working with your employer.  Whilst it’s as daunting as asking for a pay rise or promotion, we want to help you through it with some excellent tips on how to make a claim for flexible working below.

What Is Flexible Working?

Whilst flexible working sounds like a great term, you may not be wholly familiar with what it is.  Flexible working includes:

  • Job Sharing – in which two people share the hours associated with one job
  • Working from home – where an individual can either work from home all the time or do part of their work either at home or somewhere outside of the office or workplace
  • Part time working – working for less hours than full time, either through reduced hours during a day or reduced days during the week
  • Flexitime – where employees must work during certain core hours but are able to choose when they start and finish

You could therefore adapt your working patterns in order to find those which suit your preferences as well as your life outside work.

Making Your Case

If you’ve decided that flexible working sounds like something you want to do, then you need to prepare properly. Whilst you are allowed by law to request flexible working, your employer is allowed to reject it.  Plus, you can only make one request every 12 months, therefore if you want to make a case, you need to make it count.  Try the following steps when making your claim.

  1. Do your research

Think carefully about how you could benefit from flexible working, how it will improve your job role or not change it for the worse, how it will affect the rest of your colleagues and whether it will have any impact on your organisation.  If you can find positive reasons why flexible working could work for you, you’ll be in with a much better chance of success.

  1. Make the request in writing

By putting in your request in writing, you will have a written record which can be used for your records, your employer’s records as well as having hard evidence of your request.  A verbal request could easily be ignored and dismissed.  It is also important that you add specific details of what you’re asking.

  1. Arrange a meeting to discuss with your employer

When submitting your request, make an arrangement at the same time to meet with your employer to discuss.  Give them some time to consider your proposal thoroughly before meeting face to face.

  1. If you are successful, start making the arrangements

If you need additional equipment or technology to enable you to work at home, start the process to get everything in order. Notify those in your team of your change in working conditions to allow them to adjust accordingly.

  1. If unsuccessful, find out why

You have the right to know why your request was rejected.  We recommend that you arrange to discuss with your employer and to think about whether or not your application was fairly considered.  If you believe that it wasn’t you have up to three months to make an appeal.

 

By providing you with flexible working, your employer will demonstrate that they care about your wellbeing and working conditions, which will in turn lead to more motivated staff that are happy in their roles.  Whilst it may not be for everyone, flexible working can help make your working life more suited to your needs and thus, help you get more out of work, and your life outside of it too.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of AlleyWatch

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3 Quick Steps to resolving a customer complaint

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Every business at one time or other deals with an upset customer and the biggest challenge then lies with providing the best solution for your customer, to ensure a positive outcome and win-win situation for all. Sometimes customers even resort to switching to a competitor before you have had ample time to address or correct what went wrong. Therefore, it is imperative that each and every complaint that comes in is handled adequately & professionally so that you can evolve stronger in the market.

A satisfied customer is not always the key but a delighted customer is! If you want to maintain loyalty from your customers then addressing and resolving their complaints in a timely manner is a great opportunity to retain their trust and business.  Customers that come to you with a complaint are genuinely interested in your products or services, and equally have their expectations of them. So, try the simple three step procedure shared to solve customer complaints in a more effective manner.

Acknowledge: Start by acknowledging the actual problem.  To handle any complaint you first have to understand the problem. Keep your eyes and ears open and an open-mind. Don’t assume anything beforehand or relate one problem with another which appears similar as, it really depends on the customer with whom you are dealing. One solution may satisfy one client but may not, with another. So listen tentatively to the complaint, acknowledge the problem, repeat your understanding of the problem to ensure you haven’t omitted any pertinent details, and then start thinking about a solution that can help resolve the issue. Take a genuine interest and be empathetic to the customer. Take ownership and control of the situation and understand the delicacy of their concern.

Offer a solution: Customers long for quick fixes to their problems and often find it frustrating if months pass without a resolution. So, once you have acknowledged the problem think about a customer oriented solution. Ensure you have spent the right amount of time in acknowledging the problem which will put you in a good position to offer a solution that can ultimately help resolve the complaint in the right manner. Share your solution with the customer and ask if the customer is satisfied with the outcome, and if not what the next steps are to find an acceptable solution that the customer will be satisfied with.

Implement: The third and the most important step involves implementing the solution and doing adequate follow-up. Ensure the customer experience during this period is a positive one as statistics show that businesses that handle customer complaints effectively and efficiently are more likely to get repeat business from the same customers. Customers who have their complaints and issues resolved in a professional and timely manner are more likely to tell others about their positive experience in dealing with your business.

Here are some of the tips that I’ve learned in my career whilst providing services to current and potential customers:

  • Make sure you have a customer complaints handling procedure. It will enable you to resolve the complaint in a more professional manner and show customers that you take any complaint or dissatisfaction extremely seriously
  • Try to resolve the complaint in a timely manner, as customers expect a quick turnaround to their complaints.
  • No business is immune from customer complaints but the companies who handle their complaints in the best way possible are the companies that ultimately succeed in the end.

Don’t also forget that complaints can ultimately become more expensive if they are mishandled or need to be escalated within the organisation.  So the steps and tips shared within this article will hopefully help you convert your customer complaint challenges into something more positive and constructive for your business.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Forbes.com pictures

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