People often ask, what makes great firms stand out from the crowd; what differentiates them from the competition?
The answer is as simple as it is complex – great customer service.
Now more than ever before ALL businesses need to ensure they have happy, helpful and professional people working with their customers. There is so much competition out there, and people only got back or refer to when they feel they have received a premium service.
To encapsulate how we should and do interact with our customers I have launched a special charter. It’s the 18 points “Golden Rules of Great Customer”.
1. Listen to our customers & clients
It’s our duty to understand what customers need and there’s only one way to achieve that: by listening and understanding. Only then can we ensure they get what they are truly wanting.
2. Build a service-minded culture
The customer is King and always comes first. A businesses number one priority is its customers.
3. Be helpful, even if there’s no immediate profit
Remember, we exist in long-term client relations. The more helpful you are, the more you will be remembered, referred to and ultimately customers will come back to.
4. Know how to apologise
We’re all human. If you make a mistake be the first to put your hand up and apologise.
5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Broken promises break relations. It is way better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way round! Remember this one!!
6. Take that extra step
Also known as the ‘extra mile’. Clients appreciate it when you do.
It doesn’t go unnoticed – I promise!
7. Identify and anticipate needs
Have you really thought of everything? Use your knowledge of financial markets and products to meet all future needs.
8. Answer your phone
The rule of thumb is three rings. Nobody likes being left waiting.
Similarly, always return a missed call at the very earliest opportunity.
9. Remember, speed stuns
The quicker you work for a customer the more they’ll appreciate your service.
10. Show your appreciation
Our clients are our life-blood. It never hurts to let them know they are.
11. Deal with complaints
Immediately, openly and with good grace. Solving a problem or complaint makes you trustworthy!
12. Fix your mistakes
The quicker you rectify a mistake the less impact it has.
13. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes
If I was sat opposite me, what would I want? How would I be thinking?
14. Never argue with a customer
Confrontation kills custom. If you don’t agree with them, think around what they’re saying – find a new angle.
15. Be flexible
In a customer service environment, nothing is too much effort. Customers will value your flexibility hugely.
16. Throw in something extra
Clients appreciate advisers who go above and beyond the call of duty.
17. Be patient
After all, it is a virtue.
18. Build a relationship
It’s the only way to ensure you’ve got your clients’ mid to long term investment interests fully and properly covered.
Some may be obvious, some not so but in the cut and thrust of our daily business life, it can be all too easy to let the pressure and workload overtake the responsibilities we have to our clients.
The 18 point Golden Rules of Great Customer Service Charter is here to remind us that our clients are our business. They’re based on building excellent relationships with clients through effective communication.
After all, like any business, we are judged on how we act and what we do.
Remember to be grateful when working with your clients. They have trusted you with a hugely important area of their lives.
This information was found on:
List of high-quality web directories to grow your domain authority and promote your website and services online across the United Kingdom
It is so important nowadays to list your local and national business in as many places as possible. UK business directories are a great place to start!
While I was searching the web for information on the best of these business directories, I came across one company that had done much of the work in finding out which of these directories provided the best chances of success, for business owners looking to get more people visiting their businesses both online and offline. The report that Pop Web Design provided was excellent, and most certainly worth sharing with the membership.
If you own a business based in the United Kingdom, you might want to consider enlisting your company and submitting your website to local business directories, citation websites, and web catalogs. By managing a citation flow you could directly impact the trust flow. That way, you could empower your brand more easily, attract new clients, showcase your company culture, create a link to your page, and rank higher in search engine query results. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the ultimate list of Top UK directories that we have created to help you gain the traction.
Before you start enlisting your business, try to prepare textual content and promotional material first. You should get your company logo ready (in both square and rectangle shape), as well as interior and exterior office images, photographs of your team members, product images, graphics and illustrations, video, etc.). Besides your company name, address, and phone number (NAP), gather the information about the founding committee, the launching year, the number of employees, contact email addresses, all branch locations in the country, as well as the company motto, mission, and vision.
Make sure to write unique descriptions about the company and products/services for each of the directories, and prepare links to all business profiles on social media channels. If there is a possibility to add your product or service to the citation site, make sure to do that, along with adding images and links towards your service pages, because it is not enough to link only to your website homepage. It is important to promote relevant inner pages as well, in order to enhance both the domain authority and the page authority.
Many online business directories have an open review section. So, you should consider asking your long-term clients to leave an authentic review of your company, because it can boost up your popularity on these websites. But bear in mind that the quality is always more important than quantity, so approach your reputation management carefully. Some of the web directories also offer the possibility to advertise job vacancies for free, so it might be a great possibility for you to enlist open positions within your company and quite possibly find people who fit them perfectly.
I went into Exeter city to buy a few items a week ago. I parked the car, and went to the machine to make my payment for 'one hour' of parking. The price had risen from £1.90 to £2.50!!!!!!!!. I was stunned and angry. They charge 80p for 30 minutes, but £2.50 for an hour. The joke is that to walk from the parking space (in front of Kwick-Fit), to the centre of of the High street, takes about 15 minutes (and 15 minutes back again), so it is pointless paying for 30 minutes parking, when you wouldn't have any time to even visit one shop!!
Putting that aside, I can't imagine how the business owners are feeling right now. It is has been hard enough for them to to make money, without the Exeter City Council making it more expensive for people to shop on the High Street, and thus scaring people away. What they have done is outrageous, and despicable, especially in these difficult times.
Apparently, this is now happening in many towns and cities around the UK. Here is an article in The Daily Mail, which is worth reading:
Local councils have had HUGE sums of money from the government (our money!) over the past 18 months, so why would they feel the need to make us pay more to park our cars?
Have the parking charges risen recently in your city or town? Let us know, so that we can SHAME THEM also!
Posted by the NSBO office:
National Society of Business Owners
Charter House, 33 Fore Street, Cullompton, Devon, EX15 1JS
I have just started looking around for useful business freebies for the members, and I came across this: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue
They have a HUGE selection of business courses, which are all free to take, and even if you are new to the idea of taking a short course to help improve your business, you will learn a lot along the way!
When you visit the page link above, simply go to the 'Money & Business' section, and see if there is a course that could improve your business from the extra knowledge you would acquire along the way. They are not long courses, and some are just 2-3 hours long. That's a small investment in time, which could enable you to better manage your business and staff!
This was an interesting in The Guardian, The full report can be read here:
Rising energy prices and worker shortages also take toll, says accountancy firm BDO.British businesses’ output has slowed for the sixth month in a row amid a supply chain crisis, energy price rises and a shortages of workers, according to a closely watched survey of big employers.
UK business output growth hit its lowest level since March during the last national coronavirus lockdown, according to the accountancy firm BDO. Its measure fell from 105.23 points in September to 103.35 points in October.
Businesses across the economy have been trying to keep up with rising demand after the ending of coronavirus restrictions but persistent supply problems have prevented them from taking full advantage of the opening up of society. Rising costs, including the increase in the price of energy, have also slowed growth.
“Businesses are facing an increasingly difficult winter,” said Kaley Crossthwaite, a BDO partner. “Between rising inflation and a lack of staff, 2022 could be a difficult year for companies who have been forced to prioritise short-term problems over long-term growth. At the same time, consumers are beginning to see the impact of these shortages, with rising fuel and energy prices, which may in turn lead to cutbacks in discretionary spending.
“Signs of a pickup in activity and employment growth across many areas have been somewhat overshadowed by skyrocketing costs faced by businesses in all parts,” he said. “Businesses are having difficulty filling vacancies due to a tightening jobs market, which is not only holding back activity in some cases and contributing to rising backlogs of work but also pushing up wages.
Since I was doing business abroad for over 20 years, and hadn't really kept my eye on events in the UK, when I finally returned England I was shocked by the number of charity shops located in prime positions on the high street.
Don't get me wrong, I know they need the money, but surely the other shops cannot be happy about this, as these charity shops pay no business rates, and no tax. They mostly don't even have to pay for their volunteer staff, but still find the funds to pay for their shop management staff, which obviously comes from selling stuff they were given by supporters in the first place.
I have even seen their shops on the business parks and industrial estates, which at least is better that taking high street shops away from those business owners that really need them.
What are your views on this situation?
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