Tag Archives: good manners

Great Service: Be Fast, Friendly, and Helpful

6 Apr

StellaService is a relatively new firm that measures the quality of customer service provided by online retailers.

According to the company:

Dedicated to helping consumers make more informed online shopping decisions, StellaService is the first and only independent provider of customer service ratings for online retailers. Using its proprietary, rigorous evaluation system, StellaService rates thousands of retailers each year across a broad array of criteria, including usability and online tools, shipping and returns, and customer support. To maintain its independence and objectivity, StellaService pays for all products it purchases and relies on its staff of trained, full-time customer experience analysts to test the companies it evaluates. Based in New York City, the company also publishes reports and other research to help companies worldwide improve their service operations.”

Here’s a short video about customer service and StellaService.

 

StellaService: Be Fast, Friendly and Helpful from StellaService on Vimeo.

 

Do YOU Have a Happy Voice?

7 Feb

When people interact with us, there are a number of cues that affect the way our conversations are perceived by the listener/viewer. Two of these cues are the inflection of our voices and our choice of words. Do we come across as authoritative, disgruntled, sincere, etc.?

As Emma Snider writes for HubSpot:

Happy ears aren’t such a good thing in business. But happy voice? A very good thing. Even the slightest error in phrasing can put a prospect off — which means salespeople spend a lot of time thinking about the particular words they use to pitch their products and converse with buyers. But no matter how hard a rep tries to weed out all of the overtly negative or unnecessary terms in their vocabulary, there are always going to be a few that fly under the radar. Even though certain words don’t seem insidious on the surface, they can strike prospects the wrong way. Offputting words = frowning prospects. And frowning prospects don’t sign contracts.”

“What are some of these deal-destroying words? Kayako has identified such 10 verbal culprits in this SlideShare, and provided happier suggestions that will make both salesperson and buyer smile. Turn those frowns (and perhaps any negative sales trends) upside down.”

 

 

Brand Sacrifice? Yes. Consumer Sacrifice? Not Really.

9 Nov

As consumers, we are becoming more demanding of our brands. We often don’t to trade features or quality for a low price. We want it all — including a greater sense of corporate responsibility.

Here’s a provocative observation from Trendwatching.com:

“One powerful question for brands to answer in 2015: what are you prepared to SACRIFICE? Consumers don’t want to make the world a better place.They want brands to do that for them ;)”

“Okay, that’s a simplification of a complex issue. But when it comes to making the world a better place, many consumers are setting a more stringent standard for brands than they are for themselves. And let’s face it, given decades of unethical operations, rampant pollution, disinformation, and more, brands deserve it. After all, many brands have worked extremely hard to create many of the behaviors and lifestyle choices that well-meaning consumers are now finding so hard to change. In a global survey of 30,000 consumers, 72% of people said that business is failing to take care of the planet and society as a whole. (Accenture & Havas Media, June 2014)”

“The easiest and most desirable way for consumers to assuage (or obliterate!) their guilt? For brands to make visible, meaningful, and constructive SACRIFICES: of products, processes, attention, and opportunities.”

Click the image to read more —  and to see what “sacrifices” companies such as CVS, Tesco, Subway, Intel, and others are making.
 

 

Great Advice at Slideshare

7 Nov

Over the past several months, I have uploaded a number of valuable presentations at Slideshare. There should be something here for almost everyone!! :-)

Please let me know what you think.

Here are the links to these presentations (in alphabetical order):

 

Social Media Etiquette Tips for Business

9 Oct

It is not just consumers (people) who need to understand and utilize the proper style and good manners with each social media format. This is also true for businesses! Proper style and etiquette will enable us all to make our desired points while still being civil and polite while doing so. :-)

As Jennifer Landry, a Web journalist who specializes in articles about business management and the current social media landscape, notes for BLUE by Cox Communications:

“Of course, you can’t employ the same methods for the different social platforms. Each site offers users a different experience. Twitter users want quick and casual communication while Linkedin users expect professional and well researched conversation. In order to get the most out of these sites, you’ll need to make sure that you understand what users expect from each platform and how to mold your posts to suit that need. In general, the posts that do the best are ones that either entertain or inform others.”

“Besides following the basic style of each social site, you must make sure you follow the unwritten etiquette rules. While they might seem like common sense, you’d be surprised how often companies do not follow them. If you can understand and implement the information from the infographic below into your campaigns, you’ll be more likely to attract new followers to your profiles and keep your old ones interested.”

Here is a good infographic from Landry’s article.
 

 

Good Versus Bad B2B Clients: An Infographic

29 Sep

Whether B2C or B2B in nature, there are both “good” and  “bad” customers. Good customers have reasonable expectations and do not seek to take advantage of their sellers (and vice versa!). Bad customers can make unreasonable demands and try to squeeze sellers so they don’t make a profit.

Geek Powered Studios, a Web design and SEO firm, offers some very insightful observations on this topic with regard to the B2B arena:

“Even though every client is different, the best-case scenario for any business partnership is one that’s beneficial for both you and the client. You get to do what you do best, so they can gain more business doing what they do best. At the end of the day, you both want their company to be successful. But that can be tough to achieve if you’re always working against each other.”

“As you take on more business, you’ll learn the needs and preferences of each client and their industry. You’re also going to meet a wide variety of client personalities – from the ones who don’t check in for weeks to the ones who micromanage your every click. There will be clients who listen to your suggestions and provide feedback, but there will be others who are never satisfied and expect to be #1 overnight. Some clients may even threaten to drop their contract and just do it themselves, but they should keep in mind that only 11% of businesses who do their own SEO in-house are satisfied with the results.”

Here’s an infographic on good versus bad B2B customers from Geek Powered Studios.
 

 

Great Advice from Successful Business Founders

22 Sep

Our most popular post to date — by far — has been The Best Advice Received — and Passed On — by Leaders of Industry.” That post referred to advice by some of our best-known business “luminaries,” who have managed large firms.

However, there is also quite A LOT that we can learn from the entrepreneurs who have introduced and managed successful businesses that started out quite small.

Recently, Entrepreneur‘s Matt Villano interviewed several company founders and titled the article: “The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Get.” [Notice the similarity in the title of our earlier post. :-) ] As Villano notes:

“Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Most successful business owners will tell you they could not have accomplished their goals without help — from a mentor, colleague, even mom and dad. For many, their ability to evaluate, internalize, and act on the counsel they received was instrumental in getting their companies off the ground. In an effort to tap some of this wisdom, we called on business gurus to tell us the very best piece of advice they’ve received. From hiring to philanthropy and more, their responses were as varied as the companies they run.”

These are some the executives whom Villano interviewed and who provided advice:

  • Dennis Crowley, CEO, Foursquare
  • Rick Alden, Founder, Skullcandy
  • Petera Relan, Founder, 9+
  • Sheila Johnson, Founder and CEO, Salamander Hotels & Resorts
  • Melinda Emerson, Founder and CEO, Quintessence Group
  • Christine Day, CEO, Luvo
  • Rehan Choudhry, Founder, Life is Beautiful
  • Reece Pacheco, Founder, Shelby.tv
  • Nick Lazaris, President and CEO, Coravin

Click Dennis Crowley’s photo to read Villano’s full interviews.
 

Photo © Ewan Burns

 

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