Tag Archives: money

The benefits of customer service training programs

As a business owner, dealing with the complaints, queries and even compliments of your customers can be daunting. Your staff might not have the necessary skills they need to properly handle these issues, which can cause customers to become dissatisfied and even cause loss of business.

With customer service training, you can avoid these problems and deliver the perfect customer experience. If you are still unsure of how these programs can help your business succeed, read on below for just some of the benefits of customer service training.

Higher employee motivation and engagement

Providing proper training for your staff will help them to realise the impact that their role has on the organisation. This will improve their motivation and will help them to properly engage with the customers who phone in with issues.

As customer service agents are exposed to the emerging trends of the industry, they can apply these methodologies to their customer interactions and help to give your business an edge on the competition. By sending your staff on courses, you are showing them that you care about their development which will improve their motivation and their morale.

Customer service skills will improve

As with any customer service training programs, your staff will find their skills improving. This is highly beneficial to both your staff and your company because not only will your staff have better skills, but your customers will have better experiences too.

Customer service training focuses on skills such as communication, listening, problem-solving and organisational skills as well as the ability to handle working under stress. Having these skills will not only enable them to handle customer issues easily but will also help them to build up their careers from strength to strength. Having staff with strong customer service skills will boost your business too, which is a major advantage to these training programs.

Increased customer satisfaction

Any business owner knows that customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of running a business. If your customers are unhappy, they will look elsewhere for products and services. Providing excellent customer service is a sure-fire way to increase their satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.

If your customers know that their issues will be met with speedy and helpful replies, they will be less likely to look elsewhere for products and services. You will need to ensure that your staff adheres to what they were taught on the customer service training courses in order to reap the most benefits. You could provide each person with a manual so that they can refer back to what they were taught in case of a difficult customer complaint or query.

Improved customer loyalty

Customers have a plethora of options at their fingertips. And one of the many deciding factors when it comes to choosing a supplier or vendor is the customer service that the company delivers. You might have the most fabulous products on the market, but if your customer service is lacking, you won’t sell a lot of products.

If you rely solely on discounts and special offers, you will not have as many customers as you hoped. But if you focus on customer service, your business will grow tenfold. This is why sending your employees on a professional training program is so helpful. They will learn the basics of customer service as well as more advanced techniques of handling customers. This will help to improve customer loyalty and ultimately boost your profits.

Your brand’s image will improve

Organisations that have effective customer service have a much better brand image than those who do not. Customers want to do business with brands who take customer service seriously, and employees want to work for these brands.

Retaining talent is vital to keeping your business afloat and your consumers happy. Training your staff is a direct reflection of how important they are to you, which will impress consumers as well as make your employees happy. Having a positive brand image will also give you an edge over the competition, as you will be showing consumers that they are important to you and that making money comes secondary.

Increased profit

As a business owner, you know that increasing your profit will allow you to continue operating at the level you need to succeed. Good customer service will bring in new customers and will retain your current ones. This will lead to a marked increase in your profits.

An increase in profit will also enable you to send any new staff for customer service training so they are up to speed with all the business processes. Profit is often something that comes from unexpected places, one of which is customer service. If you provide your customers with outstanding service, your business will improve tenfold and will soon beat out the competition.

 

What to do with the money from the office “change jar”

Many offices have a system in place where certain words or behaviours are restricted from being said or done in the office. And should an employee go against these “rules”, they are to place a pre-approved amount of money in the change jar. Over time, one can imagine how quickly these spare change jars fill up and how much has actually accumulated.

And we say jars (plural) because it’s popular to have one per department so that the entire office can take part and hold each other accountable. Not to mention having multiple jars for different occasions such as an “I forgot to put my phone on silent” jar or an “I can’t” jar. The jars could be relevant to the behavioural problems of each department.

There are many things people could do with all that change and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Cook for the office

The department who’s jar is full first is responsible for heading down to the local grocery store and buying ingredients to make some food for the rest of the office. Either that or they are responsible for stocking up on office supplies and ingredients that can be used in the future for when there’s enough of everything to cook a large meal. Maybe for something like the end of the month get together?   

Find easy recipes that can quickly be thrown together to create something delicious for the entire office. A few ideas include:

  • Breakfast muffins: These are quick and easy to make and just require a bit of preparation before throwing it all together and placing it in the oven. You can use whatever ingredients you like, but most breakfast muffins include bacon, mushrooms, cheese and, of course, egg. The egg is what will hold it together when you put the mixture into the muffin tray holder and the result will be an omelette-tasting “muffin”.
  • Regular muffins: Then there’s also the option of baking treats for everyone and buying premixes for chocolate, vanilla and maybe some bran for the healthier employees.
  • Burgers: If you have enough money to make a proper meal, the team could come together and prepare burgers for the office. Buy some beef patties, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese slices, tomato sauce and anything else you’d like to add to the burger. Don’t forget some Maggi seasoning cubes to boost the flavour of the patties as you cook them. It makes it effortlessly delicious and is definitely one of those ingredients for the office to stock up on.

Save it for the next birthday

If the office is always “too busy” to spend a few minutes in the kitchen, the change jar money could be saved up and used for the next employees birthday. It can go towards balloons, a card, a cake and possibly a little gift as well (depending on how naughty or nice the office has been leading up to the birthday).

This is a great way to make their birthday a special and it guarantees everyone will at least get something from the office on their birthday.

Start an “office party fund”

As an alternative to birthday celebrations, you could save up the money in the change jars throughout the year and use what has been raised to organise a memorable year-end function. It will essentially be an office party fund to keep employees motivated and excited to do well and push on to the end of the year.

Another option would be to start an office entertainment fund and save towards fun gadgets, goodies and games to bring into the office. Think along the lines of a foosball table, table tennis or some really cool bean bags to set up a chill zone for the much-needed relief breaks.

Donate to a charity

The point of a change jar is to change bad or irritating habits in the office, so it’s only appropriate to use the change to make a change outside of the office as well. Use the money from the change jar to donate to a charity or a charitable cause. If, for example, there is someone in the office who is struggling financially or has undergone a traumatic experience, that money could be used towards helping them out.

The money could also, as was said, be donated to a charity of the offices choice. It could even be used to host a charitable event such as a soup kitchen, street store or blanket drive. Depending on the amount of money raised, it could possibly be used to sponsor an event or an underprivileged school.

There are so many benefits to donating resources to charities and, in any case, your company has a social responsibility to its community. And this is a great way of getting everyone involved. The problem comes in when people insist on getting away with inappropriate behaviour by justifying that “it’s for a good cause”. Employers might want to monitor that.

How to market your car for a private sale

It may be about time to sell your car. That TV advert with the sporty new number could have caught your eye, but you’re wondering if you can fit two kids into a two-door sporty number. When you get rid of your old car, you can either trade it in or sell it privately, with the latter netting you more money for the new purchase.

Private car sales can be a nerve-wracking experience. You need to make sure everything is sorted out mechanically, that the car looks great, and it’s clean inside. Otherwise, the buyer is going to try hustle you to bring down the price and you’re not going to get as much money.

Question is, where do you even advertise your car for sale? How do you even get started in private car sales?

Determine what you want for it

The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out just how much your car is worth, how much you still owe on it, and how much you want to make off of the sale. You can go about this by checking a car value calculator (most finance websites have one) and comparing the price of your car to similar models on the internet and in classifieds.

Be aware of how much other people are charging for their cars, what condition they’re in, and more importantly what the mileage is. Of course, you don’t want to undercharge for your classic Chevrolet Impala. Though, why are you even getting rid of it in the first place?

A sign on the car window

The first way to advertise your car is a classic: print out a sign and put it on a rear side window. This is a must if you’re driving through different areas and you’re often in traffic. It’s free exposure for your sale while you go about your daily business or errands.

The sign should have a few key details, such as the make, model, and year, how much you want for the car, and your contact details. If you don’t want someone contacting you at inappropriate hours, then state you only want to chat on WhatsApp or over email.

Auto fairs

The second way to sell your car privately is through weekly or monthly auto fairs. These are gatherings of sellers that drop their car off in a parking lot for prospective buyers to look at. This isn’t free, however, but should cost you no more than the price of a hamburger to have copious amounts of people gawk at your car.

Auto fairs often happen on a Sunday, which means you can drop off the car and go out for the day. Just remember to insure your car as you won’t be present when people are looking at it.

Classifieds websites

Finally, the last way to advertise your car is for sale is through a classifieds website or newspaper. There’s a chance you may have to pay a small fee, but this option is an absolute must. Classifieds don’t usually just advertise cars, but a range of other items and services, which means they draw many eyes.

Classifieds are also easier to list all of the specifications of the car, if it has a service history, your contact details, and anything else you want the buyer to know before hand. You’ll also be able to upload a picture of it. A few examples of classifieds are Gumtree, OLX, and Surf4Cars.

Be safe

When going through the motion of private car sales, always make sure you take safety precautions. You’ll be meeting with strangers who want to purchase a high-value item. To be on the safer side, meet the buyer in a high-traffic area where there are lots of people, take someone else along, and get all of the buyer’s particulars beforehand. That’s not to say anything negative will happen, but it’s best to be safe than sorry.

Things to have ready

Your car is going to need to look its best in order to get the price you want for it, though the buyer may still haggle for it. There are a few things to take note of before meeting prospective buyers:

  • Make sure the car has had a wash and all of the scratches and marks have been buffed out.
  • Clean the inside of the car, removing any sand from your shoes or old takeaway wrappers.
  • The car licence should be up to date.
  • If the car is insured, clearly display the sticker you received from the insurance company.
  • Have the service history book with you.

You should be able to sell your car in no time because cars are generally fast sellers. Be sure to be honest and accurate with information about your car to avoid any unpleasant situations. Good luck with the sale.

6 ways to appear richer than you are

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Sometimes it pays to look like you have money. It might sound silly or pretentious but there are times when people thinking you’re rich can seriously benefit you. For example, if you’re looking for investors in a new business, they’ll be more comfortable if you already appear successful. In other words, they’ll trust you with their money because you look like you’ve already made money. That’s just one example, there are many more.

It’s not as hard as you think to look like you have cash to spare. You don’t have to spend excessive amounts of money or get yourself into debt to look like you have a premium lifestyle. It just takes some clever thinking and a little extra effort. To help you out, here are six ways to appear richer than you are.

Buy a second-hand luxury vehicle

You may think that purchasing a new car looks better than going for a second-hand car. But that’s not always the case, especially if you’re smart about it. Think about it. You could buy a brand new entry level vehicle or spend a little more on a second-hand luxury vehicle. You don’t need to have the latest model. Not all people with money buy a new car every year but they do always purchase the best.

Take some time to shop around for the best deals. Look for BMW second-hand cars for sale in your area. Think about what type of car you want beforehand, just don’t be too picky about the specific model. For example, look for BMW 3 series used cars for sale or BMW 1 series second-hand cars for sale and see what you can find.

Choose a nice neighbourhood over a nice house

Where you live matters. You can have the nicest house in a horrible area and no one will ever believe you have money. But if you have a smaller, less impressive house in a nicer neighbourhood, it’ll look better. How often do the types of people you’re trying to impress actually visit your home, anyway? Probably not ever. But they may ask where you live and you can answer honestly with pride.

And you don’t have to live in the worst house on the block. You can simply buy something smaller. Or maybe a house with a few things that need to be fixed up but aren’t really visible. So even if people do come over they’re not going to immediately think you don’t have as much money as you want them to think you do.  

Splurge on a few expensive clothing items

You don’t have to wear brand names all the time and you don’t need to own 40 different outfits that come from high-end stores. All you need to do is buy a few good quality items that can be worn with other, less expensive items on a regular basis. Items that should be good quality include jeans, suits, skirts, party dresses and any formal wear. Once you have the basics you can dress them up or down with other clothes from your wardrobe. No one will notice your white T-shirt is from a budget store as long as it doesn’t have any branding on it.  

Have a few signature accessories

You don’t have to have a watch to go with every outfit or jewellery for every occasion. You just need to have a few high-quality items that go with everything. A simple diamond pendant will go with everything from a casual outfit to a party dress and no one will notice that you only wear that one necklace. And nobody is going to point out that you wear the same watch every day. And if anyone does ever ask you, say it’s for sentimental reasons.  

Shop at second-hand stores

You’ll be surprised what you can find at second-hand stores. You could kit out your home with amazing vintage furniture and artwork without spending everything in your savings account. You may find incredible deals on high-quality brands at second-hand shops. Just try to find the places that not everyone knows about. The hidden gems always have great stuff if you look long and hard enough.  

Never ever talk about money

For one thing, it’s considered rude to talk about money. For another, wealthy people have enough money not to have to think about money so they rarely talk about it. Don’t talk about how much you spent on something, don’t hint at what you earn and don’t ask people how much something cost them. Act like money doesn’t exist and you’ll be alright.

Renting and leasing a business vehicle: What you should consider

Businesses can use vehicles in various beneficial ways. That means regardless of how many cars – if any – your business owns, you should still take an interest in how vehicles get leased and rented. They can aid in productivity, marketing and help provide transport for staff. Vehicles are central to many businesses so it’s important to consider what you need.

Business has gone global but remains local

These days it’s easy to overlook the importance of transport, if your business can be conducted from one place. You can make important meetings with Skype, collaborate on documents from anywhere and send important files without leaving your home. The digital workforce has radically changed how businesses operate, thanks to the internet. As Small Business Chronicle notes:

“A business is no longer dependent on its local customer base for its survival; it now has a worldwide audience for its goods and services. The Internet has changed not only a business’ customer base, but how a business communicates with its employees, and finds and manages the competition.”

By existing online, your business automatically has a global presence. However, this should not make us forget about geographical location. Consider, for example, the point of local SEO. As Entrepreneur magazine highlights:

“By optimizing your company website with neighborhood terminology, you can make strides in local searches that target the informal space of your neighborhood while also ranking in the official algorithm-selected region. There are things that you can do to optimize your business for the possible neighborhood algorithm from a strictly local optimization perspective.”

Keeping your brand local is also important, depending on the work. After all, when searching, customers do tend to use map searches and will investigate businesses in their local area. No matter how good a business is, even one that’s closer can sometimes win out because most people hate travelling. This is why it’s important not to forget the importance of geography.

And with geography comes travel. This is where vehicles come in.

On using and leasing vehicles

With geography and proximity being key factors for business, it makes sense to care about transportation. Businesses often have to transport goods or individuals to clients. While it’s true meetings don’t have to be face-to-face thanks to the internet, onsite business deals do sometimes have to happen.

Of course, none of this means you should own a vehicle – all it means is sometimes businesses need to use one. This means you can rent one. So the question then becomes: how does a business lease a vehicle? Leasing through a business is often better perceived by car dealers, as the Telegraph’s James Foxall noted:

“I naively thought it was possibly down to business customers being less of a risk. Not so, apparently. According to Malcolm Banfield, sales director for RCI which provides all the finance for Renault, Nissan and Dacia, car companies tend to get less back from businesses that default on payments. This is because there are usually more creditors further up the queue of people to be repaid compared with private customers.”

The question still remains whether you should buy or lease a vehicle. The Balance highlights the various considerations when it comes to this question. First, it requires figuring out the purpose of the vehicle and how much you are able to spend. That means knowing whether paying back a loan versus paying the lease will be more feasible. If you need the vehicle for long term projects and it will aid productivity, it makes sense to attempt to repay a loan rather than lease. After all, at the end of a lease, the car still doesn’t belong to you. Of course, this requires a down payment you may not immediately have. An option here is to initially lease a car to improve profits, then once profits maintain, use that to start saving for a down payment that can go toward loan repayments.

Cars are not only used for transporting people and goods, but make for good marketing too. Putting vehicle wraps on a car, for example, allows for marketing while travelling. In terms of leasing or buying, some leasing contracts do allow businesses to use their cars for advertising. All it requires is proper negotiating and a careful read of the agreement. For example, not putting wraps on that can potentially damage the car, using graphics that can be easily removed and so on.

In the end considering a vehicle for business requires careful consideration. They can be an essential part in delivering on a company’s promises. Yet, they can lead to unnecessary expenses if you’re not careful about precisely why you’re using them in the first place.