The Best eCommerce Practices for a Seamless Customer Experience

In this generation of online shopping, none of the businesses can thrive without an outright eCommerce site. Further, websites became an integral part of digital marketing strategy and since maintaining a dynamic, appealing and user-friendly website is essential. From visual elements to UI / UX elements, everything matters! They should be able to lure customers…

In this generation of online shopping, none of the businesses can thrive without an outright eCommerce site. Further, websites became an integral part of digital marketing strategy and since maintaining a dynamic, appealing and user-friendly website is essential. From visual elements to UI / UX elements, everything matters! They should be able to lure customers and offer them a top-notch experience of shopping.

So, here's a quick guide for the budding eCommerce entrepreneurs to start off their stores like a pro and let every single visitor has an exceptional experience. The points discussed below also explain how every minute element of an eCommerce site has a direct impact on the perceptions and interests of the visitors.

Homepage must be engaging enough for the customers

You severely have 4-5 seconds to capture the attention of the visitors and the first thing they see is the home page. Within those fraction of the time, you need to show them what you have and how amazing your brand is. Make it approachable with a clean layout, uncluttered elements, and bold colors. Put all the promo offers, deals and discounts on the homepage only with tempting banners / sliders to capture the attention visitors.

Smooth navigation to persuade customers to explore

The navigation and its related elements have to be pretty intuitive and easy to use because enable the customers to explore more of the other pages on the site. The basic behind such effortless navigation is clarity of elements. That means menu, search box, categories, sub-categories, call-to-action, all should be organized well and redirect customers to the page they were seeking for.

Businesslike content presentation is essential

Users do not just view your website for the products but also read what's written to know the brand and for other snippets of information on products you offer. However, flowery language, long sentences and tough words are never that catchy to visitors! So, put all your information, headlines, offers and sales announcements in simple words and in separate blocks to avoid cluttering.

Responsive search tools are a must

Make your search effective and responsive with filters, keywords corrections and suggestions. Customers are impatient beings! If they do not get the exact things they were looking for, they will just leave. These options will help them find the exact items they have in their mind by typing the keywords. Filters enable them to search for products according to features, colors, size and other specialties.

Clear Call-to-Action and simplified checkout

To redirect customers to the checkout page without any hassles you need to place clear call-to-action on the product pages. Further, to insure that none of your customers leaves because you have a lengthier checkout process, then make it short with fewer fields.

At the end of the day, your website is for selling not just for capturing the attention of visitors. So, if there's enough traffic driving from the search engines to your website, leaves no chance to turn to their paying customers with these proven practices.

Taking the Sting Out of Waiting in the Drive-Thru Lane

There's a reason why so many QSR customers prefer to order food from their cars and not leave their vehicles to eat, and that reason is that they're in a hurry. But on the same token, they are not willing to sacrifice getting exactly the food that they want for the sake of speed. Technology…

There's a reason why so many QSR customers prefer to order food from their cars and not leave their vehicles to eat, and that reason is that they're in a hurry. But on the same token, they are not willing to sacrifice getting exactly the food that they want for the sake of speed. Technology is the driving force behind making everything in our world quicker and easier. Unfortunately, with features being updated so quickly and with people's disposable time seemingly at zero, it makes it difficult to keep up. Combine that with less mainstream items such as digital menu boards and drive-through communications. So one of your top priorities as a QSR manager is to ensure the best possible communication between your customers and your staff.

Great Communications between the customer in her car and the order taker in your kitchen will not be an easy thing to establish. You know the stresses that your staff lives inside the kitchen, and you can well imagine your customer's world, with a carload of hungry, noisy kids and a million other things to attend to as she tries to figure out what everyone wants, and then to convey the results to your order taker. That's why an echo cancelling and noise cancelling electronic communication system is a must, as is full-duplex, so both ends can talk and listen at the same time – this is no place to scrimp! No drive-through menu board is complete without its communication system. Make sure you and your customer can be easily hear. Remember that the typical QSR garners over two-thirds of its revenue in the ever so critical drive-through lane.

Accuracy may be even more important than speed, according to most of the major market research studies recently undertaken in this field. In fact, it is a common customer perception that part of the cause for his wait in line is the belief, whether it's correct or not, that his burger or burrito is being freshly prepared from scratch for him. The inference here is that if a customer is going to have to wait, as much of the waiting period as possible should occur after his order is placed – not before.

And, of course, nothing takes the sting out of waiting so much as some diverting entertainment, which is easy to provide if you're using digital drive-through menu boards . With a modern system, it's easy to set some part of the board's real estate for cartoons, local sports, or anything else to occupy your hungry customers for just a few minutes, until the whole gang digs in.

Give Your Team an Excellent Customer Experience for Profitability

Every month, about 500,000 begin a new business and many entrepreneurs do not realize how the customer experience not only relates to consumers but also their teams. In fact, an exceptional customer experience means increased profitability, and your team has a significant part to play in the business. One of the most critical things you…

Every month, about 500,000 begin a new business and many entrepreneurs do not realize how the customer experience not only relates to consumers but also their teams. In fact, an exceptional customer experience means increased profitability, and your team has a significant part to play in the business.

One of the most critical things you can do for your business is to get the right people working with you in whatever capacity. Perhaps you'll have people working with you who are consultants or hourly employees that focus on some of the nitty-gritty, which allows you to grow and develop customers and maximize revenue. Regardless of who makes up your “team,” it's always important to remember that the people who are involved in your business have a lot to do with your success.

So, treat them as you would your customers and give them an excellent customer experience!

Valued Employee

Some time ago, a manager on my team in one of my businesses wanted to brainstorm some ideas to retain a valued team member. The issue was that this person what a great asset to our company, but within the business itself and that department, there as no opportunity for advancement at that time. We had a sense that the employee was putting out feelings and the manager and I found ourselves brainstorming ideas for retention. Ultimately, the manager had an off-site conversation, and we found a perfect job for this person in another area of ​​one of my other businesses.

I asked my manager to have a conversation with the team member off-site. I asked the manager to treat the employee as he would a customer and get an understanding of this person's thoughts and ideas for their career in the short and long term, and also with our company. It made the difference for us, and we were able to retain this person. We created a win-win situation because we made sure to let the team member know we were listening and valued them.

Your Team is Your First Customer

You should consider everyone who works with you as a customer. And, as the leader and entrepreneur, it's your task to give them not only everything they need to ensure that they do their jobs well but, also so your team have the opportunity to develop with you – especially if they are talented, committed and a great worker.

If you think that your business is to make a profit, you would be correct. But, to get to profitability, you need to have a crew that's rowing with you in the same direction and at the same pace. The way you develop that team is by being a leader and serving them and their needs and interests. You have to make sure your team feels valued for their thoughts, energy and work ethic. When your team understands that you care and appreciate them, guess what happens? They're more committed to your company, and they're productivity increases.

Your Team and Profit Margin

Today's customers are demanding. More than likely, by the time they're calling you on the telephone or sending you an email, they've already done their research on you. They know what an acceptable price is for your product or service and they're also looking for a customer experience that will be integral for them to maintaining a relationship with you.

Although it would be nice, you're not going to communicate with every customer personally. It's simply impossible. Therefore, you have to create an environment that will provide customer excellence, and your team members will deliver it. Not only will the people in the sales team be responsible for providing an excellent customer experience, but so will your marketing team, finance people, and others. Every area extremely is working towards the same goal, profitability, and success. And, everyone is contributing towards the customer experience. If you model an excellent team experience for your employees, they will see that this is an essential aspect of the company's core values. With excellent service comes a higher profit margin.

Starting a business is a great learning experience, and it's something I recommend doing if you're inclined. But with the business planning, finances, marketing, operations, sales, customers, management, leadership and all of the other issues you have to deal with as a business owner, the one you do not want to forget is your team. Being a leader that looks to provide them excellence will create an essential “customer experience” within your company. Show your team every day what it means to go above and beyond. If you create a business environment that's always looking to meet their needs, in turn, your team will turn around and seek to ensure that your customer's needs are met as well.

Conscious Customer Service Increases Your Business Agility and Profits

Conscious Customer Service Sells, period! In the current turbulent and uncertain business environment we face, a major part of your business agility and future success rests upon the quality of service you offer. If you understand the Laws of Attraction then you also understand that you absolutely get what you pay for. In short, the…

Conscious Customer Service Sells, period!

In the current turbulent and uncertain business environment we face, a major part of your business agility and future success rests upon the quality of service you offer. If you understand the Laws of Attraction then you also understand that you absolutely get what you pay for. In short, the higher quality service you offer, the more likely you will attract more of the kind of customers you desire.

If you are part of a service / customer care department or call-center and are looking to:

  • Increase your sales without increasing your marketing and sales costs
  • Save precious time, resources and money on each customer call or visit
  • Solve customer complaints, at their source, in a way the customer accepts while improving your products and business practices
  • Master transforming plain customers into loyal ones who advocate you and your business to others

Then fully understanding and harnessing the power, efficiency and humanity of effective customer service is essential.

Service, the art of seeing, hearing and understanding

Did you know that the number one reason convicts give for a life of crime is that he did not feel seen, heard or understood as children? If parents are that sloppy and or unconscious in the treatment of their beloved offspring can you just imagine how many of us are perceivable as blind, deaf and uncaring by our customers? Perception is the Key as you may THINK you were providing good service only to find out from your boss or via a viral Tweet or Facebook post that the opposite was true . To use an uncomfortable metaphor, ” Your light may have been on, but was anybody really home “?

Service versus Performance

When all your senses and facilities are fully focused upon the person you wish to serve, then you are consciously serving them. Yet when you are distracted by that little voice in your head telling you what you “should” say, find yourself thinking about what the service manual prompts on page 32, or just thinking about lunch, then you are performing for yourself. What if your customer can sense that?

Can not you?

Acknowledging this brutal truth is the first step towards pure, attractive and profitable service. How to get there requires special tools, a strong will and lots of practice. Then, the more you choose to master this path of service, the better at it you will become. Continue your journey and observe how many more customers will be hired to do business with you and your organization. Below are just a few tips to get you started on your own path.

Tips for attractive and profitable service and increased business agility :

  • Be curious and ask lots of questions Service people are only human and when we are suspected or attacked we usually become defensive. Yet will starting a debate with a dissatisfied customer accomplish anything more than pissing them off? Instead, let them ventilate. Listen closely, drill down with more questions and, before you even attempt to solve the problem, make sure they feel seen, heard and understood .
  • Distinguish what is being said from what you are hearing There are always two sides to every conversation. Remember, ” If you are a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail .” If you go into a call or meeting on the defensive, will you be listening for anything other than ways to be attacked? If instead, you go in curiosity, with an intent to listen, serve and resolve, watch your chances for success and renewed customer loyalty dramatically increase.
  • Become more conscious of your own and other body language Learn to tune in to all the information you and your listeners are broadcasting, consciously or not. Then use this valuable information to create more confidence, trust and stronger relationships. As a Bonus, watch as you will also become increasingly aware of those trying to use their body and its language to deceive or manipulate. Then, learn to marvel at the ultimate suicidal feasibility of trying to do so.
  • Uncover “What's missing” by both asking for and sensing it Just solving the problem is a good start, yet with just a few thought-provoking questions, you invite your customer to dig deeper and unmover the source of their problem. If you want to build customer loyalty with every call or meeting you have consciously and continuously develop each relationship. There is no better way to do this than by asking some insightful, and reflective questions, then listen with all your senses to the complete answer.

By practicing and developing each of these seemingly simple suggestions you will not only improve your level of service, it will attract more business. If you are looking to turn your service department from a cost center into an agile profit center, then these steps are essential to integrate into your organization. Of course, there are specific and powerful tools to help this process along, but the essentials of what you need are displayed in these four simple points.

As your competition heats up, your margins become increasingly vulnerable and your competitive technological edge begins to disappear, the importance of personalized service for each and every customer becomes imperative. Finally, thinking about these points is better than not thinking about them, but using them is the only way to survive and improve your business agility.

99.9% Satisfaction – Good Enough?

The person who argued and said, “Well you can not please everyone” probably thinks that 99% satisfaction is good enough … but is it? If 99.9% was good enough, then: Two airliners would crash each and every day. The IRS would lose approximately 2 million documents a year. Thousands of prescriptions for medicine would be…

The person who argued and said, “Well you can not please everyone” probably thinks that 99% satisfaction is good enough … but is it?

If 99.9% was good enough, then:

  • Two airliners would crash each and every day.
  • The IRS would lose approximately 2 million documents a year.
  • Thousands of prescriptions for medicine would be the wrong dosage, wrong count, or even the wrong medicine each day.
  • At least a thousand telephone calls would be misdirected every minute.
  • 99.9% quality assurance translates into one fault for every 1000 tries, and that's just not good enough.

If you want to meet customer satisfaction goals that translate into growing the business, you will have to do better. Do not shrag and mumble about that one-tenth of one percent. Track errors. Set error elimination goals. Structure or systemize error elimination review. Finally, work to eliminate errors completely.

A “Customer Satisfaction Improvement” project would look something like this:

  1. Discover points of customer dissatisfaction.
  2. Define these points – make them as specific as possible.
  3. Measure and rank frequency of dissatisfaction – which are most common / easiest to overcome / etc.
  4. Create projects to overcome these points of dissatisfaction.
  5. Prioritize primary projects to overcome dissatisfaction – which to tackle first, second, etc.
  6. Create task forces, timelines, and budgets for the top prioritized projects.
  7. Develop a process to measure progress.
  8. As projects succeed, add new projects to bypass secondary points of dissatisfaction.

Obviously, this eight-point list is overly-simplified, but it is an outline of the process. You will want to customize it to fit your company, your limits, your products, and your customer base and their expectations

The goal of most marketing is to make the customer or prospect feel that they are getting either perceived or measurable added-value, not 99.9% value. That means giving customers 100% accuracy, quality, and value 100% of the time and then adding a little more value to that so they feel they received 110% or even 125% value.

Customers today have many choices and they can buy the products and services you sell from companies all over the globe. They no longer have geographic limitations and need to buy from only their local sphere. Customers will choose 100% satisfaction over “good enough” every time. It is that tenth of a percentage point that makes the big difference. Make 100% satisfaction a marketing goal in your business, then add some value to that, and 100% of your customers will be back.

Dealing With the Small Print

How to Handle Hard to Serve Clients No matter what you do or how you present yourself, there is always someone who just will not be satisfied with what you do. This may not have anything to do with what you provide for the client or how you approach the job. Most likely, it has…

How to Handle Hard to Serve Clients
No matter what you do or how you present yourself, there is always someone who just will not be satisfied with what you do. This may not have anything to do with what you provide for the client or how you approach the job. Most likely, it has something to do with their misunderstanding of your job description. However, you want to make sure that you are able to find ways to handle the clients that are hard to please.

The easiest thing to do with clients that are not satisfied with anything you do is make sure that you have everything in place from the beginning. Preparing for the worst and expecting the best is always how you should walk into a job. This means that you prepare for the client to not be satisfied. Make sure that your contract and statements for the work that you are doing has clauses about what is acceptable and what your terms and policies are relating to the work that you do.

You can also prevent the dissatisfaction with your clients by making sure that you keep communication open. This means that you will want to begin by having a set of questions for the client to answer about what they need and the details of the job. This also means that you will want to find out any information you can about the type of business they are running. The more you know, the more likely you will be to succeed.

Of course, if the client is still not satisfied, make sure that you have specific clauses that will draw the line on how much work you will or will not do. Make sure that you get your money's worth for the services that you provide. It is always okay to say that you can longer help someone, just because they are being difficult. Most likely, they will realize later on that it is not necessarily your services that were lacking.

By simply setting your policies in place and making sure that you investigate the client, you can prevent the hard to deal with clients. If something does arise, you can be prepared for putting certain policies in place. This will allow the clients to understand where the line is drawn. By doing these few simple things, you will have the ability to avoid any confusion or miscommunications from those you are working with.

How to Improve Customer Experience in Banks

Today customer service is considered as the most important segment of any business to touch the taste of success. However, banks that are considered as one of the largest service providers in the world are actually struggling in providing customer service in the right way. Well, the days are gone when banks were considered as…

Today customer service is considered as the most important segment of any business to touch the taste of success. However, banks that are considered as one of the largest service providers in the world are actually struggling in providing customer service in the right way. Well, the days are gone when banks were considered as an important part of their life whereas today it is considered just as a utility.

Introduction of latest technologies and developments have the changed the complete look of the banks where today if you enter, will find many self-serviced machines and lesser human interaction. As per the surveys conducted by many companies, a huge percentage of people still like to visit their banks physically and would like to have human interactions rather than banging their head on a wall mounted machine.

There are a few aspects where banks can actually work out customer experience and improve the sales of their new products.

In-branch Experience

If a bank wants to improve the experience of a customer inside the branch then the first thing that should be taken care is the atmosphere inside the bank. There should be more people inside the branch to clarify the doubts of the customer rather than machines. Customers will be happy if the ambiance is relaxed so that they feel the confidence to discuss their finances in a casual manner.

Process Pace

One of the worst feedbacks that customers give about their experience in banks is the pace with which their requests are dealt. Even today most of the banks take too much time in the opening of new accounts or other facilities. When we have robust technologies using which we can complete these processes in just a few minutes then we should help our customers to have this experience. Today every industry is using latest technologies to process the request of the customers in the fastest possible way and banks should also do the same.

In The Reach

Today the trend with most of the banks is to close down their branches to cut down the operational costs and force customers to opt for online services. This has definitely helped many people to learn about online transactions that can save their effort. However, there are still many services that need people to visit the branches. Now, with limited timings of operation, most of the people feel a lot of inconveniences. Banks should consider in operating branches the whole week so that people visiting the branches should not feel the inconvenience of standing in long queue.

Journey in the Branch

Most of the customers have given the feedback of having worst experiences where they have to meet different departments in the branch for some of their work. If the banks want to improve the customer experience then they have to ensure that information is shared between departments so that it can be delivered to a customer from just one point of contact. If the banks can provide an end-to-end seamless journey to the customers then it would be best for their brand value. Let us just take an example of a mortgage process where the customer has to go through many channels that make it as a large transaction and the customer will feel satisfied if the number channels can be reduced.

Compete With Other Industries

Normally banking is the only sector that resides to accumulate latest technologies and innovations. This actually impacts the customer experience in a negative way. Every other industry is modifying their ways to keep their customers happy and satisfied. Banking sector should work on the aspect of appealing consumer appetite.

Socialize

Today most of the industries and business sectors are using social media platforms to connect with their customers and keep them updated about new launches or other promotional events. This whole thing actually helps in improving the customer experience. Most of the customer support is managed through social media platforms and banks should also have an active presence on social media platforms.

These are some of the sections where banks should look seriously if they want to provide pleasant customer experience and improve their business. We all know only happy customers can improve the business.

It’s NOT Their (Your Employees) Fault

I called into the call center at Sprint a few months back to get some information about purchasing the new iPhone X. After navigating through a myriad of selections I got to the right person (I think I press 2 – 2 – 4 – 6 and some other numbers to get there … not…

I called into the call center at Sprint a few months back to get some information about purchasing the new iPhone X. After navigating through a myriad of selections I got to the right person (I think I press 2 – 2 – 4 – 6 and some other numbers to get there … not good). I explained what I was looking to do and wanted to know my options for upgrading to the new phone. There were no options … we have one way you can upgrade. Hmmm, not what I was looking for.

After some discussion with the person, it was clear they had been given the script to deliver the one way of getting a new phone … no options. So I started to throw out some options for discussion. The first comment (and ongoing comment) is that I can only tell you about this one way to do an upgrade. So I suggested we get a supervisor involved and see if we can expand the choices and the discussion. After being on hold for a while, they came back and said they talked to their supervisor and there might be another choice available for me to purchase the new phone.

We explored it for a bit and after discussing it further, there were still some questions about how this would work. Again, they had to go talk to the supervisor and see what they could do in this area. To make a long story short, I got what I wanted and came away with the right situation for me on upgrading my phone. BUT … it was not without a great deal of “effort” and “time” on my part to get there. I got what I needed but with an experience that was surely a lot more painful than it needed to be.

You see, the employee was not “empowered” to really solve my problem … they were there to sell me on what they were told to sell. They were not prepared to ask me any questions about what I was interested in doing, just that I needed a new phone. They did not want to ask because they would not have been prepared for that discussion … they were not trained to answer questions and solve problems, they were there to give me the one option to get a new phone … which I could have just done on the website.

Employees are only as good as you empower them to be. I know … the word “empower” is so '90's but it is making a major comeback in companies that want to be more Customer Obsessed. Employees can only deliver what they are taught and told to do … otherwise they risk stepping outside their boundaries and doing something management might not approve of … so they do not. When employees are not “empowered” to make the difficult and time sensitive decisions, they do not.

We can not blame our employees when they do not deliver an awesome experience if they have not been equipped and empowered to do so. It's really that simple. If we teach them, give them the tools to solve problems, and help the customer get what they want quickly and easily, we are on our way to delivering an experience the customer will rave about and tell others about. When we do not do this, the chance of them telling someone else about you is zero … they will not tell anyone unless it is absolutely awesome or it is terrible.

Arming our employees with the right “tools” and “guidelines” to problem solve and help our customers get what they want as quickly and efficiently as possible, while being incredibly positive, is what moves companies from having “satisfied” customers to having “pleased “customers. That's the job of the leadership team … not the employees. It's leadership's job to equip them, or empower them, to make the decisions necessary to deliver this awesome experience. If leadership does not do this, the employees will fail at delivering this “top shelf” experience to your customers.

It's not their fault … it's leadership's.

Have you empowered your employees to problem solve and do what it takes to give your customers an awesome, incredible, and remarkable experience or will they punt and tell the customer, “I will have to check with my supervisor or manager and see what they will do for you. ” This can be the deciding moment for your customer to stay or leave.

And unfortunately, the one group that usually is our “front line of defense” are often times the lowest paid and least trained of anyone in our companies. Why is that? It is our “front door” to the customer and we position it with possibly our least trained employees. We do not arm them with the skills to solve problems, we turn them into robots to spew out what it is we tell them to say … regardless of who the customer is or what they need. And we wonder why the customer journey starts out on a negative note?

Leaders … this is not rocket science. It just needs attention to turn it into something different. It takes focus and a strategy to change the game. What would it be like if every time someone came to your office they started the conversation with you by saying, “I just love to come to your office, the people that greet me are not only super friendly, they are very helpful and can answer a lot of my questions for help me find the answers before we ever meet … they are incredible! ” Would that start the meeting with you with a different tone … a different attitude … potentially leading to a different exit? It does.

Leadership's role is to be responsible for designing an experience that their customers / clients will absolutely love. And if leaders could deliver the entire experience, maybe this would happen more often. But we can not … that's where our employees come into the picture. They need to be an extension of us in delivering this experience and helping our customers get what they want … and rave about it.

If this is not happening in your organization, there is a huge opportunity in front of you to differentiate yourself from your competition. Take the lead. Make a commitment to create a strategy to empower your people so they can deliver what you would deliver to your customers … a strategy that will cause your customers to love interacting with everyone in your company. A strategy which will completely differentiate you from your competition. This will change the game for your business.

Commercial Cleaning – Why Bother?

Why Clean Your Business Premises? That sounds like an obvious question and the most obvious answer is to keep it clean. But there are other very important reasons too. Staff Health If an office is not cleaned regularly it can become a breeding ground for many germs and viruses. A dirty office can result in…

Why Clean Your Business Premises?
That sounds like an obvious question and the most obvious answer is to keep it clean. But there are other very important reasons too.

Staff Health
If an office is not cleaned regularly it can become a breeding ground for many germs and viruses. A dirty office can result in an increase in staff illness, which in turn means a reduction in work. You may even incur extra costs if you need to employ temporary staff.

Customer Health
In particular, if you run any type of food business from food manufacturing to a small local cafe your promises must be immaculate. Apart from not wanting to infect your customers in any way, you could have shut down if your concessions are not maintained at the correct standard.

Returning Customers & Retaining Clients
If customers visit your concessions for any reason at all, and they notice it does not seem clean or it smells bad they are far less likely to return or even spend any money in the first place. Clean floors, sparkling windows and a shiny reception desk will make your customer believe you care about them and your business.

DIY Cleaning
Many small businesses decide that they can save money by doing the cleaning themselves. It does make sense. After all they are trying to make a profit. However how many businesses actually manage to do enough cleaning often enough? For example even a small office will need cleaned at least once a week and depending on the business the bins may need to be emptied every day. The toilets, kitchen, and staff room area will also need to be cleaned every week. The business owner may decide to do the cleaning, however what happens when they go on holiday, are off sick or have staff off sick so have to cover their staff's duties? What happens when the business is busy? Some companies tell their employees it is part of their job but in most cases this does not work. After all, who is going to want to clean the toilets in their office clothes that they wear to meet clients?

When our company has taken on new regular cleaning contracts we often find that this is what has happened. The company manages for so long but then they realize it is the first thing to stop when more important work matters arise.

Before they know it, a new client attends a meeting and the office looks a bit unkempt. It is one thing dashing around your home with the vacuum cleaner before a visitor arrives but it is not at all ideal at work.

Cost of DIY Cleaning
It is free, I hear you cry.

Yes, you do not get a cleaning bill but you do have to buy cleaning products, a bucket and a vacuum cleaner at a minimum.

As a business owner how much is an hour of your time really worth? If you were not cleaning what could you be doing? I believe your time used more wisely could create more income for your business.

How much do you pay your staff? Is it more than a cleaner? Are they insured to clean on your promises?

It is almost always the case that if the owner or staff do the cleaning they get paid more per hour than an actual cleaner. Therefore DIY cleaning is definitely not free or cheap.

Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company
As an owner of a commercial cleaning company it is obvious I am going to advise businesses to hire a commercial cleaner. But I really believe it is worth the money.

The benefits commercial cleaning can bring are:

  • Trained and experienced cleaners.
  • Commitments are met and cleaners always arrive at the designated time.
  • The cleaners bring the appropriate commercial cleaning products and tools.
  • An affordable cost for a great service.
  • Staff are fully insured to clean your promises.

So why bother?
The most cost effective, efficient and best way to keep your business plans clean is to employ a professional cleaner. Their charge is most likely to work out less than your own hourly rate and for that fee your business will remain clean and fresh at all times. Although contracting a commercial cleaner will not bring you more clients, it will certainly help keep your staff healthy and it may be part of the package that entices your customers back. What we do know is that a dirty office, shop, reception or cafe will result in fewer customers.

Can Good Customer Service Give Your Restaurant a Competitive Edge?

We live in an age where everything is available at any price suitable for any budget. So you can get the same meal that costs a fortune at one restaurant and at a fraction of the price at another. Price is usually the main factor when it comes to competition, followed by the flavor and…

We live in an age where everything is available at any price suitable for any budget. So you can get the same meal that costs a fortune at one restaurant and at a fraction of the price at another. Price is usually the main factor when it comes to competition, followed by the flavor and presentation of a meal. These factors are what each restaurant owner considers when managing their restaurant. Customer service is a side order and not usually the main factor. But can customer service be the main factor in giving your restaurant the competitive edge?

For many people if the customer service is bad, they will not return to that particular restaurant again. They will rather find another place to eat and avoid the bad service altar. Notice that type of behavior in customers, it could be used as a main factor in making your restaurant more competitive. Consequently, customer service would come first, followed by either price or food flavor and presentation. In other words, the prices of your dishes would not have to be the cheapest in your area as long as your customer service is better than anyone else's.

Train your waiters in the way of good customer service. Encourage them to greet and smile every customer. They must treat every customer like they are special. People want to know that they are special and want to be treated well. The thought behind this is that a customer may have had a very bad day and being welcomed by a friendly waiter who is interested in making their dining experience as comfortable and delicious as possible, will instil a sense of calm and joy. Or a customer may not have someone in their life that makes them feel special at home so if your restaurant can make people feel great about themselves and their experience, they will return for more.

Give customers a special treat for visiting your restaurant. This could be anything small like sweets. Or you could treat them with a free basket of mini rolls. A complimentary mini cup cake is also a wonderful treat. Customers will appreciate these gestures and associate your restaurant with a positive experience. Naturally, whenever someone enjoys a positive experience they tell their friends. This creates a ripple effect where more people come to visit your restaurant.

Use the best catering equipment such as the best silverware and crockery. People know quality when they see it and this will make them feel special. The idea is that the special silverware is usually only used for special occasions in their own homes so being treated with quality silverware at a restaurant can go a long way for your reputation.

The Benefits of Using an iPad Kiosk for Your Business

The kiosk is designed in accordance to a neatly defined purpose of a business enterprise that would enhance and boost customer experience by giving customers the opportunity to give their feedbacks and also it allows them to check for offers and availability of products their finger tip. Nowadays, iPad and tablets are used in several…

The kiosk is designed in accordance to a neatly defined purpose of a business enterprise that would enhance and boost customer experience by giving customers the opportunity to give their feedbacks and also it allows them to check for offers and availability of products their finger tip.

Nowadays, iPad and tablets are used in several businesses. A kiosk is well designed and equipped with a suitable feature that can provide a wide range of services to a business. Similarly, kiosks are made to generate business, help it thrive, and keep the consumers attached and dedicated to the enterprise. Many small businesses and enterprises are making a great use of tablet kiosk to yield profits that will help them sustain in the ever-changing environment of the markets.

Kiosk has endowed many modern entrepreneurs in achieving the great height of success. The benefits it provides, solely depends on the factors why and what it is designed for. Here is a list of benefits that and tablet and iPad kiosk provide you with your business.

Reduce the cost of doing a business
Integrating a kiosk strategy into your business strategy, will enable you to meet the need of your customers in an efficient way yet at a lower cost. The Kiosk can be designed to provide information and answer questions related to the product offerings and product details. It can help reduce the workload of the sales and customer service representative to focus on important tasks. It will help you reduce the task of outsourcing services to some other agencies.

Improving the customer experience
The kiosk is loaded with information about the company and its products. So, customers can have the freedom of going through the details of the product, various offers and new products. Instead of talking to a representative on the phone for hours, it reduces the wait time.

Gather feedbacks
IN a business it is important to know how people respond to your services and the quality of products. It collects feedback from the customers, to know their interests, wants and needs. The kiosk can be incorporated with various survey applications which are easy to use and operate.

Provide online services
It provides a platform for the customers to avail themselves with online services. For instance, in a bank you can install an iPad kiosk to enable your customers to go through their account online and check the status of the account. This also opens up a new avenue for the customers who do not have the habit of doing things online. Making such services known to such customers makes business easier and more efficient.

Expand the capabilities of a business
Multitask kiosk can be a good interface between the customers and the enterprises. It will help save time, money and add to the ease of doing business. It reduces human interaction by availing almost all the information required by the customers. It can be used to display and print brochures; help in filling out forms for online account and loan in a bank; provide basic information; it can also be used to display videos of sales and display a list of nearby retail stores and its branches.

Why You Need To Check Your Mini-Bar

Having a minibar is convenient for your guests and it provides an additional income for your business. Neverheadless, a minibar does take a little work! First and foremost, you need to select products that are selling well, products that your guests like to grab and enjoy as a small snack (ask me for my minibar…

Having a minibar is convenient for your guests and it provides an additional income for your business. Neverheadless, a minibar does take a little work! First and foremost, you need to select products that are selling well, products that your guests like to grab and enjoy as a small snack (ask me for my minibar list). There are many well-known products that guests recognize and know how they taste. These are products that you definitely need to have in your minibar. As such, your first step is to choose the right products for your minibar and purchase them. Quantity plays a major role as well. Sometimes there are days when most of your minibars in your rooms will stay untouched and so the demand is pretty low. That is not an issue except if the products do not have a long valid expiry date.

The valid expiration date is one factor you really need to take care of. After you've purchased the products and you have them in your accommodation business, you should use an Excel sheet to record all the valid expiry dates of all products. It seems to be a lot of work, and to be honest, it is. However, if you do not have a valid expiry date Excel spreadsheet you will most likely experience complaints from your guests. There will be guests that urge you to check the expiration dates of your minibar products. Some guests will even consume the product and later on refund to pay for it due to the fact that the product was expired. This does not sound fair, but that is the way it goes.

In fact, you need to stay ahead of the game. You need to be aware of when each of your products expires so that you can easily exchange them. By keeping track of the expiration dates you know exactly when you need to purchase new products or when you can provide 50% discounts on selected products.

Have in mind that an expired product can have really bad results for you. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that guests include this detail in their online feedback on an OTA. Guests almost always write more about details that did not like too much instead of the services they enjoyed. If a potential new guest reads comments with details about expired products, it will not make a good impression. Potential new guests will connect that information to all of your services. Even though your accommodation looks awesome, the information about the expired products will remain in the back of their minds.

Implementing a minibar is a great service if you follow through and be responsible in regards to the different expiration dates your products have.

Hint: If you can not get rid of your products that expire in two days, then do not hesitate to give them away to your staff, to your guests that check out or to kids in a nearby school. Any of those is much better than simply throwing the expired products away.

Let Your Guests Play A Game To Win An Upgrade

Sometimes guests get bored in a hotel room. They do not want to watch TV, read a book or relax, but are looking for something else. How about giving your guests a jigsaw that is fun to complete? In addition, the completion of the jigsaw could be worth a prize of your choice. Let's say…

Sometimes guests get bored in a hotel room. They do not want to watch TV, read a book or relax, but are looking for something else. How about giving your guests a jigsaw that is fun to complete? In addition, the completion of the jigsaw could be worth a prize of your choice.

Let's say one of your guests finishes a jigsaw of yours and brings it down to the reception to pick up the promised gift.

This is a wonderful situation for both parties. The guest is unexpectedly happy and proud that they finished the jigsaw and receives an awesome gift from the hotel; you, on the other hand, can be certain that this guest is not going to forget this experience and triumph.

The gift is the icing on the cake for the guest. If you provide a delightful one it ensures that the guest will talk about this experience with family members, friends, and collections. It is not common at all to provide a guest of an accommodation business with the chance to win an amazing price simply by putting together a jigsaw. That is pretty unique.

In addition, who says that the jigsaw has to be easy? Nowadays you can easily produce your own jigsaw. Simply put, you can choose your own layout and the quantity of pieces. I recommend creating three levels of difficulty for your jigsaws. Each level has its own prize. Your guests can choose one level during their stay and they only have one opportunity. You can make it even harder to complete by setting a time in which the jigsaw has to be completed after picking it up at the reception.

Another strategy would be to have a 5000 – 10,000 piece jigsaw available that has to be completed within one week. The completion is worth two more days in your accommodation free of charge. By following this strategy you could convince your guests to stay longer!

You could make the whole game even more interesting and challenging by saying that a borrowed jigsaw game has to be at least half completed at checkout, otherwise, the guests have to do something silly (for example saying I love XYZ HOTEL into a camera, etc .).

Guests that complete your jigsaws are ideal for taking pictures of, which you can use for your social media marketing. People that see these pictures online will ask themselves what this is all about and you will unduly create curiosity with it. Imagine that you are the first accommodation business that provides such games and prizes for regular guests in your own town. That alone is a powerful reason for guests to book your accommodation again. This strategy adds massive value to your accommodation business, and adding value is one of the best ways to rise to the top and become really successful in what you do.

How To Make Your Accommodation Famous In Your City

The first steps to achieve the goal of being known worldwide is to be popular in your country; to be popular in your country you need to be famous in your own city; To become famous in your own city you could do the following: 1. If you have enough money then purchase farmland and…

The first steps to achieve the goal of being known worldwide is to be popular in your country; to be popular in your country you need to be famous in your own city; To become famous in your own city you could do the following:

1. If you have enough money then purchase farmland and transform it into a beautiful park. Give the park the name of your brand. Provide free entrance and advertise it through flyers and ads in your local newspapers.

Citizens will become curious about the park and check it out. They will talk with their neighbors about it and mention your brand name again and again. By offering a nice place in which to relax to your community, your brand name will gain more attraction and your brand image will increase dramatically.

The enhancement of your popularity through setting up your own park is worth much more than the maintenance cost of the facility. Think about investing in a park if you have enough capital to start a small side project to gain more popularity within your community.

2. Create a “Jogging Club” named after your brand and that looks pretty exclusive. If you offer “Jogging Tours” through your Jogging Club to your local citizens, you will start binding your local citizens and they will appreciate your service. They will automatically get to know you and your business better, therefore they will recommend you to their relatives, friends and various contacts. Make exclusive offers for people who live in your neighborhood. By offering exclusive offers to your neighbors they will feel like VIPs and want to become a part of your organization that seemingly grows bigger and bigger. Perhaps the Jogging Club is just the entrance to more exclusiveness and services that you offer in the long run. Let your neighborhood know about your ideas and services that you want to offer in the future. Also, tell them that people who become a member of the Jogging Club will enjoy some services of the other clubs that you establish free of charge or for a 50% discount (you get the idea).

3. Take the idea of ​​setting up a Jogging Club and use it to set up a Bike and Yoga Club as well. Always name the clubs after your brand so that the brand name becomes increasingly popular.

4. One way to gain huge attention is to purchase a stretch limousine, put your logo / name on it and drive with your guests through the city. Provide a special shuttle service to your guests that they will not forget. Most of your guests have never been in a stretch limousine and so they will remember their first time. Again, you are writing history for your guests. Correspondingly, everyone on the street will look at your stretch limousine due to the fact that it's quite simply eye-catching. There will be some jealous looks as well, but most of the audience will just be amazed by the length of the car. With a stretch limousine you will definitely gain attention and people will start talking about your brand and services. The stretch limousine service should be kept exclusive to guests that booked your suite or a superior room. By and large, keep this service in high demand and as a VIP service. On the other hand, keep your stretch limousine moving almost everyday to increase your brand with regularity.

Retractable Belt Posts – The Contemporary Solutions for Crowd Management

Do you remember the last time when you visited a bank, a hospital, an event, a train or metro station? Or simply waiting for a lift to come? Do you remember what a mess that place was because everyone was in a hurry to get onto the first first or inside the elevator at earliest…

Do you remember the last time when you visited a bank, a hospital, an event, a train or metro station? Or simply waiting for a lift to come?

Do you remember what a mess that place was because everyone was in a hurry to get onto the first first or inside the elevator at earliest or get into the metro at the fastest?

It is very sure that you may also remember the difficulty in getting in and out of that place because not just one, two or ten people but a whole swarm of them was doing the same thing.

While not letting the people come out in the haste of getting inside first, or in the hurriedness to be served by the concerned person for their objective of arrival, they forget the inconvenience that their activities might cause to other people.

So, have you ever wondered what could be the possible reasons for this behavior?

Well, the answer is quite simple. There are two reasons for this. One is that everyone is in a hurry and second is that there are very less crowd control and management products available at such places.

Both of these reasons result in people thoughtlessly copying actions of one another to get done with their goal of going to such places as earlier as it can be. And then as you know the ultimate result is chaos!

Now when people just want to follow other's actions, thinking that it might get their tasks done faster, then why not do something about it? And why not give them something that will help to create proper management so that the commotion and work at such places can be in a particular managed order.

By now, it is inevitable that to give any place a civilian look; we require something to redirect people in a proper manner. As an answer to this need, one simple solution that anyone can suggest is to put few people in charge of doing so. They can organize movement of an assemblage through hand gestures and verbal communication. However, this may or may not be effective, given that the crowd can vary from few 10's to many 1000's and in such case, one will end up hiring 100's of temporary staff. This is not cost-effective for any organization. Also, due to verbal and gestural communication the peace of a workplace might get disrupted.

So, what can be the other feasible solution to this problem?

The cost-effective and easy solution to these problems is-use of retractable belts and belt posts.

No one needs to stand, no one need to be listened to, no one need to pay an extra cost for staffing, and one can do what he or she usually does at such places – follow other's actions. However, this time the actions will be converted into a more sophisticated way of queuing and waiting for the turn.