Tips For Dealing With Your Most Difficult Clients

dealing with difficult business clientsSome people you just can’t please. At least, that’s the truism my grandpa used to say to me. Clearly, grandpa didn’t run a small business. While some people are harder to make happy than others, as a CEO of a small business you can’t just write off difficult clients, unless of course you don’t mind taking a hit in your business.

But, after you’ve spent all day running your catering business, for example, cooking, responding to calls, and delivering orders, getting a complaint from someone because their food arrived at 5:03 instead of 5 isn’t going to make them your favorite person.…

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The “Secret” Customer Service Weapon for Small Technology Companies

customer service telephone communicationsTechnology companies are, unfortunately, almost as well known for having poor customer service as they are for their actual products.   Why is that?

Small business expert Anita Campbell cited poor customer service for web apps as one of three key issues that needs to be overcome before cloud apps can become ubiquitous in small businesses.   Shame on us web software companies for allowing an easy-to-fix item like this onto the list!

This truth stings quite sharply, for a couple of reasons:

1.           It’s true

2.           Most cloud app companies are small companies (not large ones)

Crappy customer service is almost expected from large companies – in software, and beyond.  …

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Benchmarking Customer Expectations – What’s the Right Yardstick?

measuring customer expectationsSo you benchmark your company against others in your industry. Maybe you look at maximizing revenue per full-time employee, increasing first call resolution in your contact center or IT expense as a percent of revenue. How do you compare to your competitors? Is that the right comparison?

Your customers, whether they are consumers or businesses, rarely measure you against others in your industry. Think about it. When you pay your doctor bill, do you compare that process against other doctors, or do you think about being able to pay your credit card bill online? Health care organizations get compared by consumers to their auto insurance company, their bank and their cell phone companies.…

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Are Your Customers Satisfied? – Using Online Surveys Effectively

online customer surveysSmall businesses are famously agile and attuned to the wants and needs of their customers. But as they begin to grow, or as market conditions begin to change, staying on top of customer requirements can be a tricky feat. If relationships become too tenuous, an aggressive competitor will prey on those weaknesses and poach “at risk” customers.

Online surveys are an excellent tool for gauging customer satisfaction and identifying at risk customers, as well as for clarifying new trends in the marketplace and unearthing changes in the customer base. With the intelligence gathered from a strong survey program, you can modify your product or service based on real-time feedback, thereby improving satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability.…

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Building Up Your Customer Base During the Holidays

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and although the economy isn’t everything we as business owners had hoped for, people are still out spending their hard-earned money. One main difference, however, is where they are spending it.

Shoppers this holiday season are looking for exceptional values, this is certainly true. Saving money during these times is of vital importance for many people, so it is very important to maintain a competitive edge when it comes to pricing.

More important, however is what you can do for your customer base if you keep a few key components in place for the holiday season.…

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MARKETING: 4 WAYS TO MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP PROGRAMS

Strong customer relationships are like money in the bank, literally.

Our world is constantly changing, big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are dominating the landscape, promoting the promise of “one-stop shopping”, and the Internet is making it easier to make online purchases with limited human interaction. On the surface, these changes make it seem as though the customer is only concerned about swiftly making their product selections and racing to the check-out counter as quickly as possible.

Reality says that buyers are concerned about a lot more than one-stop shopping, speed of check-out and price. One of the other major deciding factors buyers are using to make a decision about what to buy and from whom is based on a dying art, customer relationships.…

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KEEPING CUSTOMERS SATISFIED: HOW TO DO IT EFFECTIVELY

In tough economic times, how we serve our clients is more important than ever. One of the critical elements to serving our clients well is listening to them, not just before they buy but continuously during our relationship.

The suggestions I make below are things that should be kept in mind for all customer touch points whether it be a conversation or a more formal satisfaction survey.

Measure Success, Not Satisfaction

Many formal and informal feedback efforts measure softer metrics, like, “Do you like our staff” or “Are we easy to do business with.” They ignore the primary measurement, that being, did the product or service get the result desired.…

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CUSTOMER SERVICE – IT’S SERVICE THAT MATTERS MOST!

In challenging economic times some businesses cut costs by cutting corners on their customer service. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. In tough economic times, how we serve our clients is more important than ever. Here is why:

1. When people buy during economic hard times they are very conscious of how every dollar is being spent. Clients want more attention, appreciation and recognition for their purchases, not less.

2. Clients want to be sure they get the maximum value for the money they choose to spend. They want easy to use and fast access to support and education about the products and services they purchase.…

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