Every business must have payroll in some form or other. Traditionally, payroll has been one of the most outsourced processes in the business world. But despite the number of solutions available, the choice boils down to a simple dichotomy—keep your payroll in the hands of in-house administrators, or outsource your payroll to a traditional payroll service.
Excellence comes out of respect, which is at the heart of customer service. It starts with internal service; treating the employees with the same respect and attitude as you would want the customer treated. You can't expect the customer to experience excellence if you don't first create excellence internally.
To deal with a constantly evolving environment, communication—both incoming and outgoing—is more important than ever. You need to be sure you are communicating to your customers and are taking in new information about the economy and your industry, all at breakneck speeds.
When you invest in customer service training, you naturally want results. The sad truth is that many times there are no lasting results from business training programs. Sometimes this can be the fault of a poor instructor or materials, but more often it is a result of how training fits into a bigger business picture.
A very busy schedule and perfectionism are a deadly combination. A "friend of mine" has this problem from time to time. There just isn't enough time to do everything and do it perfectly.
The line between customer service and marketing is becoming blurred, and some companies are even counting customer service as a marketing expense. Although in the past there were definitive marketing and customer service "departments," it makes sense to acknowledge their relationship and interaction for the overall good of the company.
No entrepreneur lives in the utopia of having zero turnover (although sometimes they might like to make it seem that way), but certainly making the right staffing decisions by putting people in the right roles can allow your startup venture to scale quickly. The wrong staffing decisions can leave your new company mired in constant unplanned change.
Do you find yourself reluctant to touch base with customers because of fear of what you might find? Do you think that no news is good news? When you think about reaching out, do you ask yourself, "What if something is broken?" or, "What if they ask a question I can't answer?"
It might be tempting to seal a deal with a handshake. After all, verbal formalities just slow things down—and as a small business owner, you've got countless other things to do to run your business. However, having the proper contracts in place will give you and your business solid legal protection should the need arise.
We all know the difference between good and bad service, but in order to compete, you have to move beyond this and focus on the overall experience you create for your customers. Successful companies must shift their focus from providing satisfactory customer service to creating a memorable customer experience that builds loyalty.