Teamwork = Customer Service Excellence for Small Businesses

20 03 2013

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. This is the message corporate managers try to convey to their employees.  That customer service is not just the right thing to do; it is a part of your job requirement.    Yet, we all have been to the local restaurant,  shopped at the small mom and pop retail store, had work done by a local contractor, and after a terrible customer service experience, we shook our heads in wonder of how the heck are they still in business!

If you are a small business owner and have just one or a couple stores, excellent customer service is of utmost importance to you.  Why?  Think about it, and the answer should be clear.  If you go to a Target or Pizza Hut and the service is terrible, chances are you will blame it on just the employee or that store.  You will often hear from friends and family in different areas that they ‘hate’ a certain brand because of continued bad experiences at that store, yet your own experience is good with that same brand locally.   With hundreds or even thousands of locations, national franchises and brands can, unfortunately, afford to have the occasional bad store and/or employee experience.  Yet if you are a business with one or two retail storefronts; a local contractor with only a handful of clients; or just one restaurant; your reputation is ALWAYS on the line.  One bad experience and the damage can be done, permanently. With reviews easily available on Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and many industry specific sites, all it takes is one pissed-off customer to downgrade your customer service rating. We have all heard the saying that a happy customer will tell ten friends about their experience, but an upset customer will tell a hundred.  With the ease of submitting an online review, that hundred can become thousands very quickly.

Teamwork

So now that we know the downfall of bad customer service, how do we prevent it?   The best way is by creating synergy and making sure all your employees have ‘bought in’ to your company. You will know when your employees have bought into the product and you as the owner.  Tardiness, turnover, gossip, laziness, and negative reviews will lessen, while teamwork, volunteerism, going the extra mile for customers, and energy will be displayed.  The return of investment (ROI)  in training and creating a teamwork atmosphere is easy to see, but only after it is implemented.  However, this strategy is not something to be done just once.  To successfully implement a teamwork environment, you must make it a continuous effort.  Here are some suggestions on how to drive your team to success by creating synergy:

  • Short, yet informative meetings (if there is nothing new to share, do not have a meeting just to have one!).
  • Training on new products and services done by employees, with supervision by the managers.  You want to create a team of superstars, then have your new workers do a training session on a product or service for the experienced workers.  Again, this should only be done when there is something new to share, or at least once every couple of weeks.
  • Training can also be cross-promotional.  Have your employees teach a different division on what they do.  If you own a restaurant, have the waiters teach the hostess, the cooks train the waiters, etc.  By having an understanding of the other personnel’s duties, it will create greater appreciation for that position throughout the organization.
  • Team outings during work hours.  That is right, shut the business down once every quarter for a team outing on a Friday afternoon. You may lose a couple hours of production (do it by department if you have to), but again, this is about long term rewards.
  • Recognize! If someone does something above and beyond, give notice to the employee.  If someone is promoted, do a simple press release and spread the news.  Everyone loves to see their name in print…well most of the time…and what better way than a simple press release that will give kudos to those who have helped your business grow.

The most important thing to do is to create an atmosphere that is rewarding and fun. Remember, all employees do not have the same motivators. Some may be energized by money, some by extra time off, some by just a simple “thank you” or “job well done”.  Have discipline and consequences for poor performance, but know that most customer service issues are preventable if your company’s employees have the right attitude.

What is it that makes a good Real Estate Agent Great?If you are ready to create a teamwork environment and would like more details on how to implement different team strategies,  please do contact us! From press releases to marketing plans, we can help your small business.   For more information, Tayloe Marketing WhitePaper





3 Facebook Tips for Small Business Owners

13 02 2013

Do you desire to tip your marketing efforts back into the right direction, but do not have a large, or any, advertising budget? One of the advantages of social media is that it is basically free. However, being free does not mean that it is without effort or technique. Let us use Facebook as an example. There are many different ways to optimize your business’ Facebook Page. The following are some basic tips to help you reach out to your customers and have more interaction with them. After all, the goal of ‘social media’ is to be social, have a conversation, and extend your businesses presence in a way that will build trust, awareness, and ultimately a decision to purchase your product or service. Enjoy the tips and please feel free to add to them and/or comment!

Tayloe Marketing Blog

1. If you have a website (and you SHOULD!) make sure it is listed at top of your ‘About’ section, so that visitors do not have to click on  the ‘About’ tab to get to it. How you ask? Simple. Click “Edit Page” on the top right of your page, then click on “Update Info”. Make sure all sections are filled out  and do NOT put anything in the “Official Page” box as this is only for fan pages of other businesses, bands, etc. |Be especially certain you have listed the correct address and other pertinent contact information. Make sure to edit your profile to have just the name of your organization as the sub domain URL: Facebook.com/YourCompanyRules In the “Short Description” box, located just under the map, enter your website first, then hit enter and finish filling out the box with a short description of your business. You will still want to add your website below in its own box. The advantage of doing this again, is so your website is visible as soon as someone visits your page. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to find out about you and lead them to your website, where hopefully they will continue down the purchase funnel. See the image at the bottom of this post for a visual example!

Tayloe Marketing Blog2. Use pictures! People love pictures, so whether you are a contractor, restaurant, Realtor, flower shop, or dance studio, there are always pictures of your work, your product that you can share! Better yet, share some images of happy customers (with their permission) or ask guests to post their pictures on your Facebook page using your product or visiting your store. Utilizing pictures increases “Likes” by 53% and comments by 104% research has shown, as posted by HubSpot (by the way, if you are looking for good inbound marketing information, make sure to follow @HubSpot on Twitter or subscribe to their blog).
Tayloe Marketing Blog3. Keep in mind, that just because you have a good number of “Likes” does not mean all your new activity is showing up on their Facebook wall. Facebook uses an algorithm that is based on consistency and current engagement. In other words, if someone liked your page a few months ago, but has not liked any other posts or commented recently, chances are that your page is no longer getting prime time on their wall. Of course if they want to check your business out again, they will see everything posted, but the important thing is to keep your customer engaged. Do not just post promotions, ask questions! Like: “What is your favorite sauce to use when visiting Almighty Tacos?” or “Who all plans on attending the XYZ County Fair?” or “We will have a booth at the Realtor Convention and would love to see you!” This type of activity engages the prospective customer to stop and comment.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and are able to implement some of these tips. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please feel free to contact us at Tayloe Marketing and Consulting. Thank you for reading and “Make it a Great Marketing Day”!

Facebook Tips from Tayloe Marketing





Why Should your Small Business Blog?

15 09 2011

   There are many reasons small businesses are starting to blog, use social media, and explore optimum seo practices for their website.

blogging

    Since socialmedia and seo tactics are subjects unto themselves, we will focus here on blogging Whether to share with readers information about the latest technology, product developments, or services, blogging gives a way to share an organization’s message in a clear and short manner.

As Tayloe Marketing is in the consulting and marketing industry, we would like to use this forum of blogging to share with you information on various best practices, with hopes that it will showcase our knowledge and lead to us as being an expert in the field.  Being considered an expert does not mean that you are the ‘best’, it just means you a trusted source of information on a particular subject. There are many whom I have learned from, and I appreciate their contributions, while having a desire to be thought of in the same status they are. The big picture is that those of us who share information thrive on knowing just how something works, and believe that by sharing this with others, will make the world better. Whether this be knowledge of a tangible product like solar panels or on online colleges, education is the key to unlock the doors to success.

With instant access to so much information on how to manage your business, how to implement social media effectively and strategize your inbound marketing, why should anyone ever hire a consultant for this work?

The same reasons you hire a mechanic to work on your carDon't try to do your own work!, have a pool service for your homeDo you like the marketing results your seeing?,  or subcontract a variety of different jobs:

Time and proficiency. Use your time in marketing wisely

Sure, I can work on a 67 Chevrolet pickup and install a new starter on it, but if you think I am going to mess with the engine in my new Chevrolet Cruze, Get your small business on fast track of successyou’d be mistaken! To much new technology and while I understand and could read about it on the Internet how to do the basic things, to truly keep up with the maintenance, I should and will use a professional.

The same thing goes for blogging. Use our information as a template to understand a subject, like a cliff notes for business! Seriously, did you really read Hamlet? Or did you just use this: Let us be your cliffnotes to success!

So, long story short, read blogs on marketing. social media, and business to business marketing to educate and understand. More importantly, look into writing blogs or having a consultant write one for you. Showcase your expertise as a professional in your industry. Remember, an informed client  is always the best to discuss the benefits of your products and services to. If you are ready to start blogging or knowing just how inbound marketing works, contact a professional marketing consultant who will deliver the results you are looking for.








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