Recently in Customer Service Category

Someone once told me that all small companies try to look like big companies and all big companies to look more like small companies. I guess I once accepted that at face value, but I am starting to question it. My wife and I recently had an experience with our local car dealer that felt like a small company looking like a big company—it was a huge turn-off in multiple ways, and might serve as a cautionary tale for other small businesses.

In customer service, it's the little things that matter most. A little eye contact here or a head nod there may seem insignificant, and largely are, but to a customer needing acknowledgment, these things are everything. There is nothing worse than needing help in a store and getting ignored by the very people who are supposed to be there to help.

I recently went to the motorcycle shop to set an appointment to bring my bike in. When I walked into the service department there was no one at the counter to help me.

Time to Rock

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Are you cutting your budgets because of the economic turbulence ahead? Lots of small business folks are, maybe rightly so. Perhaps this is a time accelerate some things and cut out others, but don't just stop. There are various schools of thought on how to navigate choppy waters, and lowering costs is always good, however just don't let it dominate your every move. During these troubled times do not become paralyzed, and in fact capitalize on your competitors trepidation. 
These are certainly some pretty strange economic times for small business owners and lots of folks are afraid, understandably. And, all indicators point to a pretty tough 2009. So, what are you going to do, pack up the tent stakes or wrestle down this dragon? 

Do The Right Thing, Someome is Watching

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Looking for an edge in today's wacky economy, and simultaneously help you and your employees and team Do the Right Thing? Perhaps a public forum on your web site or a blog may just help nudge you or your company along to "Do the Right Thing" and improve performance. 
It is a pretty scary time to be navigating the waters in a small business, or a large business for that matter. Even the "veterans" you talk to have not seen such times.  Irrespective of the economic conditions, we are functioning in a time where everyone knows your name, knows what you are doing, or not doing and they, your customer, have the power to broadcast that to many, thousands, hundreds of thousands with a few keystrokes. Yep, times have changed, and small or large businesses may want to begin conducting themselves "As If" someone is watching because they are, and YOU do not get to choose when and or where they show up and decide to broadcast, or do you?

Are Your Customers Invisible?

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My son is compelled to share his insights as he thinks of them. Here was today's: "If vanishing cream really made you vanish, then people playing hide and seek could hide in very obvious places." And I responf as any doting father would: "Uh, yeah. Right." So why do I bring this up? Because too many companies treat Internet marketing as a game of hide and seek with vanishing cream. Their customers are in the most obvious places, but they don't see them. It's not their fault. It's harder to see customers on the Internet, and the very technology we use to reach them often makes them seem invisible.

My family has been dealing with a real crisis the last few weeks. My father-in-law, after 80 years of remarkable health, was suddenly hospitalized for weakness and back pain and subsequently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. His outlook is terminal, but he wants to stay home if possible—"No nursing home," he regularly thunders. Now, I know that it's possible to care for Dad the way he wants, and I know it's possible to get coverage for it, but God bless me if I could figure that out from the Web. If you look at the Web sites of the myriad businesses that provide home health care, you'd be hard-pressed to do anything but give them a call.

Certainly as a businessman I can understand the necessity of maintaining a solid bottom line, but it never made sense to me that the company could not understand that the investment in its people, and not just its managers, would be the most important investment they make.
Everyone loves the convenience of ordering their favorite books, clothes, toys and a zillion other products online.  But, what if your business doesn't sell a product?  What about online ordering for the typical service business?  This is where HourTown comes in.














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