The Fairness Doctrine

Most emotional responses to decisions in business are generated not because the person making the response feels the decision was unwise, but rather unfair. So I've created the "Fairness Doctrine" as a stated element in the cultural fabric of businesses where I am involved.

3 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring for Your Startup

One of the hardest but most exciting things about being a young entrepreneur, first-time business owner, or even a startup manager is the hiring process. But there are a few things you have to think about before green-lighting a new startup employee, especially in the earliest stages of starting up.

Humanizing Your Customer Service

Customer service gives your company an opportunity to build a strong relationship with customers at a critical point. If they’re calling for help, then they’re likely frustrated. All too often, customers are greeted by “customer service robots.” Everyone's familiar with this type of representative.

Contractors Must Really Be Independent

How many of us have “hired” independent contractors over the years, a bit worried over the gray area between employee and contractor as defined by the IRS? I’ve experienced the results of a wrong decision, and the IRS and state agencies are not forgiving in their pursuit of penalties, interest, and (most damaging) assessing a company with both employer and employee taxes when reclassifying the person as an employee.

What Makes Customer Service Interactions Good or Bad in the Eyes of the Customer?

An April 2013 Customer Service Study by Dimensional Research pinpointed what makes customers of mid-sized companies happy and what leaves them in dismay. This is the first in a series of blog posts about the important results of this study.

Improve Customer Service by Designing with Clients in Mind

It's easy to get caught up in designing new things that are “cool” or “elegant” or “hot.” But if you don't keep your customer in mind throughout, you could end up with an investment that's “not.” Keep clients in the forefront of your mind with every decision and you can improve customer service quality.

Customer Service Training for 3 Conflict Generators

Customer conflict is often generated by one of three things: Company Error, Customer Error, or Policies and Regulations. Your staff needs to be trained on how to react and respond to these specific conflicts, as each demands a different strategy.

Purposeful Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, hope is not a strategy. Customer service must be purposeful. You can hire the nicest people in the world, but you still must give them direction, teach the best practices, and continue to reinforce your customer service strategy so that employees are continuously reminded and motivated on what and how to deliver your brand of customer service.

Long Forgotten? Use Customer Service Skills to Stir Old Accounts Back to Life

When accounts go quiet, don’t assume the customer is going away. Use excellent customer service skills to find out what is going on. They may be waiting, occupied with something else, or have simply forgotten where you are or how to reach you! One effort at reactivation can make the difference between a customer who comes once and disappears forever, and a customer who comes once, is invited back and stays with you forever.

Let’s Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day!

April 24, 2013 was Administrative Professionals Day. It’s an important day to remember the important work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other professionals.

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