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Why Good Customer Service Is Essential For Any Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on May 5, 2016 at 11:26 am

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I’ve seen businesses crumble to the floor for all sorts of reasons, but it’s mostly related to customer service. Without good customer service skills, companies can’t survive for long. Soon, bad customer service turns into angry customers, which then turns into bad reviews online. Suddenly, the custom dries up, and people go to the competition for their purchases. It should come as no surprise that is the case, but so many companies continue to ignore it.

If you’re looking for Great Ideas to grow your business, customer service should be at the forefront. Looking after your existing customers is just as important as the new ones, so make sure you’re making allowances for them. Offering deals for existing customers is a great way of making them feel valued. Simply giving small discounts can be the difference between making a customer happy and disappointing them. You don’t want to go too overboard when it comes to enticing new ones, either. Offer unbeatable deals to new customers only, and your existing ones will get the hump pretty quickly.

Customer service comes in all different forms, from over-the-counter at a retail store, to over the phone. Depending on the type of business you’re running, you’ll need to implement any number of different strategies. Firstly, you need to ensure you’ve got the right people manning the phones and desks. If your employees aren’t trained in the proper fashion, they won’t carry the right etiquette to do the job. Remember; the customer is always right. You should never be arguing or talking back to them if you want them to deal with you again.

Customer Service

You also need to think about how you’re implementing customer service. If you’ve got an automated phone system, it’s going to drive people bonkers. As a result, they get agitated and go somewhere else where they can speak to a real person. Having an email-based contact system is great, but not if you never respond to it. Fail to respond in an adequate amount of time, and people will just stop using your services altogether. You need to find the right balance of good service and good response times if you want to beat your competition in this area.

But is it really a big deal? In the initial stages of your business, you might find that you get by without great customer service. But, it’s the key to your overall success in the long term. You need to build up an established base of customers if you want to succeed in business. That’s just the way it goes! If you can’t provide good customer service, they will simply go elsewhere. Yes, it’s that important. Put it to the forefront of your priorities, and success will follow as long as your products and services are up to scratch.

Customer service is such an important asset for anyone who’s hoping to be successful in business. Don’t neglect it in your company; plan carefully and make sure your customers come away with a sense of satisfaction.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Important Cybersecurity Tips For Any Start-Up

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on May 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

At one point, industrial espionage was easy to guard against within any business. However, when the internet became widely used, all of that changed. All kinds of businesses now face a range of cyber threats, which can cause all manner of issues within your organization. If you don’t make a point to defend yourself against these, you’ll certainly live to regret it! Here are some handy cyber security tips for your business.

From the moment you start making sales, you need to have some reliable anti-virus and anti-malware software. Any device without a single protective facet is what we call a compromised device. On a compromised device with an internet connection, almost anything is a potential opening from criminals. From your emails to online banking for your business accounts, there are dozens of ways you could expose your company’s sensitive information. I’m sure you don’t want to invite cyber thieves in! Make sure there’s sufficient anti-virus and malware programs on every single device at your company. Anti-virus is a competitive niche, and there are many options available to you. Sites like AV Test provide impartial reviews.

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Multi-factor authentication is another good way of protecting your business from cyber-attacks. From simple apps to your most valuable files, you should have more than one factor for authentication. If you only require a password, you’re practically begging modern hackers to root through your files. When you use multi-factor authentication though, you’ll be able to stump all kinds of potential breaches. This may sound like extra hassle on the surface, but it’s worth a little inconvenience to protect your business’s data. Besides, modern MFA systems are fairly easy to implement in a business. Typically, your employees will enter a typical password, and then a unique code sent to their phone. If you need to pick and choose which accounts you use it for, prioritize your cloud services.

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Finally, make sure you encrypt your customers’ sensitive data. If your business sells anything to the public, then you probably store a lot of private information. If there’s a breach and some of this info gets stolen, your company’s reputation can be utterly destroyed. From payment information to billing addresses, make sure all your customer data is heavily encrypted. Companies such as Firmex now offer sophisticated cyber security solutions, aimed at preventing any kind of leak or breach. Alternatively, if you have a trusted IT whizz in your camp, you can use your own resources to encrypt data. It doesn’t matter which kind of method you use, provided your sensitive data is encrypted. Keeping any form of personal data in the open is an exceedingly poor idea. PC World has a brilliant introduction to data encryption.

Cyber security is a fairly complex and dry subject. However, once you get it out of the way, you’ll have a whole lot less to worry about. the worst thing you can do is neglect it completely. The smallest breach in your company’s cyber security can drive the entire operation into the ground.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Buying Local Is Better

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I teach Small Business Entrepreneurship at my local junior college, I have been a small business owner, and I know many small business owners. Being a small business owner is financially challenging, emotionally draining, and can take a toll on an owner in every aspect of his or her life. Small business owners work harder than most employees in corporations to make their ideas work, to make their business work, make customers happy, and to become successful.

Some are serial entrepreneurs, and some are true small business owners who stick with the business with the hopes of building something that they love, that will sustain their family financially, and that they can pass on to their children.

Every time someone purchases from a big box store, overlooking the amazing quality and customer service they can receive in a small business setting, they are taking a little bit of that entrepreneur’s ability to provide for their family away and that money is taken out of the local community. Most small businesses can’t compete with the big box prices because they can’t purchase in bulk like the corporations can. But, what they can offer is:

  1. Personalization
  2. Exceptional customer service
  3. Quality products
  4. Product diversity
  5. Local jobs
  6. Healthy competition
  7. Environmental stability

Please help us encourage and support our local small business during Small Business Week (May 1st – 7th, 2016). Brazzlebox, a free community built for small business owners, created this graphic to help support Small Business Week! Let’s keep our money and resources in our communities!

Small Business