Where Were You When 9/11 Happened?

Gosh, it is hard to believe that it has been 18 years since the events on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 happened. It still feels like yesterday.

Do you remember where you were or what  you were doing when the first Tower was hit at the World Trade Center? I can tell you the exact placement of my right front tire when I heard the news on the radio. I can still hear the radio personality exclaim, “The Twin Towers has been hit!” I can tell you every prayer I prayed, every thought I had, and every fear I felt.

Like so many people, my cousin lost her husband that day. So many stories were told of those who were in the Towers who normally aren’t there and of so many people who were supposed to be there that day but wasn’t.

We will never forget and I pray for all those who were affected by those attacks, even to this day. May God bless America.

9/11 Memorial

Image by geralt (2017) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Customer Service Matters!

How do you feel about customer service in your business? Do you give stellar customer service to potential, current, and past clients? Does it matter?

YES, it does.

Customer Service Matters

Big or small, new or seasoned, every business should make every effort to provide the best possible customer service experience. I would even go so far as to stay that your customer service system is absolutely crucial if you want to take your business to the next level.

I recently had to contact a large company about an issue and there were several (not-so-good) things that stood out. As I reflecting on the experience, it made me re-think my customer service system. If you haven’t thought about your own customer service system for your business, here are some things to consider:

Make it Easy to Contact You

The first thing I did was go to the company’s website. I searched everywhere, to no avail, for an email address or phone number. I found a link to the help center, which gave a lot of topics, but none of them were solutions to my problem.

When I finally found a “contact us” link, it was to a web form. Each step required picking a choice but none of the choices came even close to what I needed. I wound up just making up choices so I can get to the part where I could explain my situation.

Lesson for us: Make your “contact me” link front and center on your home page and elsewhere on your website. Put it in the Footer, put it in the navigation bar, put it everywhere. Don’t make people, especially potential and current clients, have to hunt down a way to reach you.

Respond in a Timely Manner

Okay, so I finally get the form filled out, got the confirmation, and waited. And waited. And waited. The confirmation message said that someone would get back to me within 24-48 hours. Um, no. I got dead air. So frustrating.

Lesson for us: Try to get back to customers as soon as possible. Don’t ignore them. If you can, hire someone who is dedicated to handling customer support. Making your customers feel heard will make you a rock star. Believe me.

Do Everything in Your Power to find a Solution

When I didn’t get the results I needed via email, I was finally given a phone number to call. The representative was very nice but not particularly helpful. I was put on hold for 15 minutes, and she still came back saying she wasn’t authorized to help me. When I finally got a manager on the phone, he was nice but I had to push and negotiate just to get some semblance of satisfaction.

Lesson for Us: Do what ever you can to make things right. I am NOT a believer that the customer is always right; however, I am a believer in doing whatever possible (within reason) to make the customer happy. Even if the customer is a pain, go the extra mile. If you hire someone to do the customer service, give the person the authority to make the decisions necessary to help the customer.

Honestly, if I was able to contact someone quickly, if they responded in a timely manner, and made an honest effort to help me, I would have been a happy camper. Instead, I felt frustrated, ignored, annoyed, and not very favorable about the company.

Little things can go a long way, especially when it comes to giving first-class customer service.

 

Time for a Personal / Business Development Check-In

When you created your plans for the new year in December or the beginning of the year, did you create a plan for personal and business development? Do you have a system for personal development? No? Well, as we end the month of February, maybe it’s a good time to create one!

Personal and Business Development System

Why Do You need A Personal/Business Development System?

As a business and life coach, I realize that I am probably speaking to the choir here. You are in the business of helping people create a better life and business. You know, and probably teach, that ongoing personal and business development is important.

However, as a successful, busy coach, it is easy to let your own personal and business development to fall by the wayside. So, let me just give you a quick reminder of why it is so important:

  • It is a form of self-care. Taking time to learn something new can be invigorating and a chance to recharge your batteries, all while increasing your skill set or life.
  • It is a form of motivation. If you are feeling bored or stressed or in a slump, personal and business development can be just what you need to get re-inspired and excited about what you do and whom you do it for.
  • It is a form of idea generator. Learning something new about yourself or your business can spawn a whole bunch of ideas that you can use to take your business (and live) to the next level.
  • It is a form of income creation. All those ideas you get can be used to create new and different income streams into your business. Also, by learning a new skill or getting certified in something, can (and should) be a reason to raise your rates.

How to Create a Sustainable Personal / Business Development System?

Creating a personal or business development system shouldn’t be complicated. If it is, you won’t use it. So, keep it simple.

The first thing you want to do is create a list of the developmental things you have been wanting to do but haven’t made time for them, for whatever reason. List those books, webinars/videos, courses, without judgement, and get them down on paper.

Then, get out your calendar. Block out how much time you have (or want) for development. Hopefully, you will be able to make time weekly; however, at the bare minimum, plan something monthly. Or daily! Then, add those activities you listed to your calendar. IN PEN. Make them non-negotiable.

For example: I listen to an audio/video everyday while going about my morning/evening routine and sometimes while I am doing household chores. I also plan on reading one book a month (usually more, but one covers me if I have a particularly busy month.) I am also doing one course/webinar series a quarter, and for 2019, I am integrating one 3-8 day retreat for the year.

Need some Ideas and Inspiration?

Don’t have any particular books or courses that you want to take? You can find a lot of topic ideas on tedtalks.com, teachable.com, and others. A simple search will bring up a ton of suggestions. Just pick a topic and go.

As for books, I have a couple of suggestions: Profit First by Michael Michalowicz and Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron.

I learned about Profit First through Tina Forsyth. It is a game changer. Seriously, I think it should be read by every entrepreneur that exists. It will change how you look at your business (and personal) finances.

I heard about Chasing Excellence through Crystal Paine, blogger at Money Saving Mom. Ben Bergeron is a Crossfit coach to the most top-rated Crossfit athletes in the world. Now, with my cerebral palsy, I am not ever going to be a Crossfit expert athlete, and neither will you probably. Don’t let that stop you from reading this book. It has some amazing insights and lessons that are applicable to daily life for everyone. Get. This. Book.

Now it’s time to get to work: get out that paper, create your list, get out your calendar, and fill it in!