Advertising
Advertising

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 14 Ways to Never Slack on Customer Service

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 14 Ways to Never Slack on Customer Service

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

How do you stay on top of customer service, no matter how busy you get?

1. Make FuseDesk a Feature

    My teams use FuseDesk to handle incoming requests, assign cases and track case history. The app links directly to an Infusionsoft account so we don’t spend a lot of extra time trying to remember who is emailing for support, what they bought and when it was shipped. It’s all integrated making it easy to send a template response. The system cut our response time dramatically!

    Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

    2. HelpScout Helps Out

      We use HelpScout to provide a technical help desk for students of our online school. To them it means simply being able to request help by email — no logging into a dashboard to see updates or followups. For us, it means we can provide greater personalized support, really get to know students and manage all requests in one place — no cluttering up inboxes, yet still providing that personal touch.

      Lea Woodward, Startup Training School

      3. Take It to Twitter

        No matter what’s going on, our team is always on Twitter — and so are most of our users/readers. They resort to it if there’s any trouble and it gives us an opportunity to answer back, help out, and throw in some personality.

        Advertising

        Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

         

        4. Segmented Customer Support

          Providing customer service throughout the day will only break up your day and take focus away from the stuff that’s making you busy. Instead, take an hour in the morning and an hour before you finish for the day to close out all customer service requests. By doing this, it becomes a game, as you work diligently to finish in that specific time slot you have allocated for customer support.

          Todd Garland, BuySellAds.com

          5. Real Time With Olark

            Olark

            gives us instant access to our customers and since users want to chat right away, it’s a good way to force us to talk with them and remember that they are the most important part of the business.

            Wade Foster, Zapier

             

            6. It’s a Team Effort

            Advertising

              For many businesses, customer service may be easily shared among all members of the organization. Addressing customers’ needs is something no one should be too senior to do, and spreading the load will ensure that no customer feedback goes unaddressed. It’s a model worth trying out if you’re overburdened with customer requests.

              Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

               

              7. Figure It Out Face to Face

                Establishing genuine relationships with clients needs to be a top priority for all leaders. Yes, this means taking time out of your “busy” schedule and really asking them for feedback over coffee, drinks or dinner. You should likewise create opportunities for group client engagement. Results from a facilitated focus group at my company produced the “pivot” that we now credit for our success.

                Christopher Kelly, Sentry Centers

                8. Give Access to Real People

                  As long as someone human has heard a concern and has made it clear that it will be addressed, most customers can be a little flexible about how long it takes to fix an issue. But the human touch is key to getting that room to work from your customers — if they feel like they haven’t been heard, they’re going to keep hammering until they get a response.

                  Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

                   

                  9. If It’s So Important, Create a System

                  Advertising

                    If customer service is truly a top priority for you, then you should have systems in place to ensure quality control. Record and review all client interactions with your employees so they can constantly improve, and hold each employee accountable for customer service standards.

                    Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk

                     

                    10. Stay Steps Ahead

                      Always be prepared and be a few steps ahead of your client to guide them in the right direction. With a team that’s great at project management and account management, you can seamlessly stay in contact with clients, updating them and building their trust.

                      Bobby Emamian, Prolific Interactive

                       

                      11. Create a Process Checklist

                        Documenting procedures and processes are key for us. We have developed a checklist called “The Customer Experience” in our office. This makes us more in-tune to consistently deliver our vision for how a customer should feel after doing business with us, no matter how busy we get. We make sure every client we have has experienced each step of the checklist before proceeding further in the relationship and project.

                        Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

                        Advertising

                        12. Remember Their Importance

                          Ultimately, our businesses exist to serve our existing customers, not to create products or to attract new customers. Both of the latter two items are important, but not the most important. By reminding yourself of your priorities, it makes it easier to set aside the time to serve them well.

                          Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                           

                          13. Keep Up Communication

                            It’s not so much important what you say, but how often you say it. Customers, clients, and people in general love to feel that you are aware of their presence. Providing good customer service isn’t all about being pleasant, but also just communicating often and allowing your clients to feel validated. So whether it’s staying on top of emails or phone calls, make sure you respond often and quickly.

                            Steven Le Vine, grapevine pr

                            14. Make It Natural

                              Build a team that has natural customer service skills. Personally, I don’t have to get as involved with customer relations because my team is awesome and cares about each of our clients.

                              John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                                More by this author

                                9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

                                Trending in Work

                                1 How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success 2 How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work 3 Going Back to School at 40 Helps Create a New Golden Age: Here’s How 4 How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career 5 Signs You Need a Career Change (And How to Change for Success)

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

                                How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

                                Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

                                If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

                                Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

                                In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

                                1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

                                We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

                                SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

                                Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

                                Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

                                Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

                                How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                                Advertising

                                2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

                                It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

                                To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

                                Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

                                You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

                                3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

                                Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

                                Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

                                Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

                                Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

                                4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

                                If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

                                The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

                                Advertising

                                You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

                                If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

                                5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

                                This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

                                When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

                                When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

                                Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

                                If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

                                6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

                                You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

                                You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

                                Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

                                Advertising

                                We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

                                7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

                                There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

                                When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

                                This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

                                8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

                                Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

                                Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

                                Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

                                In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

                                How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

                                9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

                                Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

                                Advertising

                                When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

                                It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

                                10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

                                Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

                                Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

                                Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

                                Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

                                It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

                                More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

                                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                Read Next