Archives for posts with tag: business

As you know, customers are the most valuable asset to your business, so it is important to invest in keeping them happy. Did you know that each unhappy customer will tell an average of ten potential customers about their dissatisfaction? That’s a staggering thought. There’s a lot more at stake than you may realize when a customer becomes upset. You have to consider the potential loss of their future business in addition to the cost of potential new customers. On average, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain satisfied customers. Now, that’s not to say we don’t need new customers. But what if we balance the satisfaction of our current customers in addition to acquiring new ones?

Next time you are faced with an opportunity, here are 6 steps that will help demonstrate your commitment to the customer:

1 – Listen. Especially in Customer Support, it’s in our nature to want to solve the problem right away. But by listening first, you might hear something differently than you first assumed. Be an active listener. Take notes and summarize what you heard to ensure you completely understand the matter at hand.

2 – Remain calm. Emotions can run high, especially in the heat of the moment. Remind yourself that you are here to help, and remove your emotions from the situation.

3 – Don’t take it personally. When an individual is frustrated, it may feel like it is being directed at you.  Remind yourself that it he or she is frustrated with the situation and not you personally.

4 – Provide regular updates. Nothing is worse than the waiting game. Even if you don’t have all of the answers, keep the customer updated on the steps you’re taking to resolve the issue so they will understand it is important to you and to the company.

5 – Pick up the phone.  In today’s email and social networking world, a message can be interpreted many different ways. To avoid miscommunication, pick up the phone and have a conversation.

6 – Find a solution and follow-up. Most importantly, provide a resolution and follow up with the customer to close the loop and ensure they feel the situation has been resolved.

HON’s Customer Support members live by these steps. We understand the opportunity to not only help our customers, but to also demonstrate our loyalty and commitment to them.  What additional best practices do you follow?

Valentine ’s Day is right around the corner. If you haven’t prepared any celebrations for your office yet, we are here to help!  Below are 5 HON-inspired Valentine’s Day greetings that you may share with your coworkers this holiday:

vday1

Your support helps Accelerate my productivity!

vday2

I am so thankful that you are part of our Flock®!

vday3

I appreciate your hard work from the Nucleus® of my heart!

vday4

I hope we stay friends for 10500 more years!

vday5

I can’t Contain my appreciation for you!

What are some of the fun ways you celebrate Valentine’s Day in the office?

Email-Marketing

Considering how long email has played a role in our lives, it’s easy to assume we know how to use it effectively. However, good email etiquette is something that will never go out of style. Here are a few things to consider when drafting your next professional email:

1. Write an Appropriate Subject Line

Although this is viewed by some as not being an essential part of an email, it’s important that the subject clearly identifies the point of the email in just a few words. A good subject line leaves no mystery for the recipients to guess what the email is about, and helps later if you need to search your inbox for it.

 2. Start with a Proper Greeting

Just like writing a letter, it’s polite to add a greeting or salutation to the start of every email. It’s good practice to address someone by name in the greeting, but whether it’s the first or last name depends on the subject and formality of the email. For example, “Hi Jim” would work fine for an email sent between co-workers, but “Dear Mr. Smith” would be more appropriate for a formal email such as writing to a prospective employer.

 3. Write with a Respectful Tone

With the use of emoticons on the rise, it’s easy to want to slip these in an email and type the exact way we speak. However, be conscious of the recipient(s) of the email with the understanding that it could get forwarded on to individuals that it wasn’t originally intended for. Being polite and professional always reflects well on yourself and your company.

 4. Get Straight to the Point and Keep it Short

The reason for the email should be addressed at the start. Studies show that you’re more likely to get a timely response if the purpose is called out at the beginning. However, the point can be lost if there are multiple paragraphs to follow, as a large amount of text can be overwhelming to take in. If it’s necessary to address a number of things in one email, bullet points are easier to read and ensure that none of your points get lost or overlooked.

 5. Proof Read and Use Spell Check

Writing an email can feel like a small accomplishment that you want to send right away, but it’s important to proof read and run spell check before clicking the send button. A typo or spelling mistake can turn one word into a completely different one, and could even be a little embarrassing when done in a professional capacity. Click the spell check button that appears on the email template, but be sure to proof read to catch anything that spell check didn’t catch.

What are examples of good email etiquette that you have used recently?

Roll or Fold? 
lbblogWhy not both…many items in your suitcase are best packed rolled. Among these are pants, skirts, collarless shirts, and dresses. Always roll your clothes from the bottom up for the tightest roll and make sure there aren’t any wrinkles or folds along the way. Items with a collar, including jackets and blazers, still travel better when folded. Lay your jackets across the bottom of your suitcase and use them to “wrap” the rest of your clothes.

Keep your shoes to themselves.

lb2

Use recycled dryer sheets and plastic grocery bags for shoes. There is nothing worse than stinky shoes except clothes that smell like your stinky shoes. Next time you take your clothes out of the dryer don’t discard the dryer sheet, keep them for the next time you travel. Use plastic bags with the dryer sheets to wrap your shoes and be sure to have fresh feet and clothes when you reach your destination.

Know what’s a liquid and what is not.

lb3

It seems simple, knowing the difference between a liquid and a non liquid, but surprisingly many people still over stuff their liquids bag with unnecessary items. For example, solid deodorant does not have to go in the liquids bag nor does bar soap or bar shampoo. There are also quick swaps to help streamline your liquids; powder foundation vs. liquid or hand sanitizer wipes vs. the liquid bottle just to name a few.

You just never know so pack a back up.

lb4

You can get stranded, flights can be cancelled, and luggage can be lost. Pack a back up. At the very least pack extra undergarments and socks (if needed) in your carry-on or personal item. For ladies, roll up a dress or bring an extra shirt. For fellas, bring an extra shirt and tie. Best tip is always over dress to under pack.

Pick a smaller bag.

lb5

Not sure what laws of physics dictate the laws of packing, but it is inevitable that you will stuff your bag to the near breaking point regardless of its size. Thus, pick a smaller bag and make it work. Picking a smaller bag also means you are less likely to check a bag. Even if you have elite status on every airline and get to check a bag for free, try to avoid it. Checking a bag is incredibly hard on your luggage, opens you up to theft, makes you more likely to have lost or delayed luggage, and creates delays when you reach your final destination.  So best advice- go with the smaller bag.

What are some of your favorite packing tips?

1. Be Early

Nothing creates stress like falling behind. If you wake up late, your whole day will be thrown off as you rush around. Set your alarm for a few minutes early so you have plenty of time to tackle unexpected road blocks head on.

2. Plan Ahead

Do as much as you can ahead of time. I set my coffee pot the night before to start making coffee before I’m even awake! I like to pack my lunch and even plan my outfit the night before. You won’t have to stress over these small decisions in the morning.

3. Prioritize Tasks

If you know you have a big project to conquer, get it done first thing in the morning. Move it to the top of your list and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when it’s done. Letting it hang over your head all day (hello, procrastination!) only makes for more stress over the course of your day.

4. Take A Break

Hit a wall with your project? Go for a quick walk around the block. The fresh air and exercise will give you energy and clear your stress. You may even get a great idea while you’re out and about.

5. Reward Yourself

Treat yourself! Allow yourself a reward for working hard. I like to grab a fun coffee or have lunch with a friend to celebrate accomplishments. It’s a nice reminder that working hard pays off.

What do you do to get rid of morning stress?

Team Meeting In Creative Office

At times, finding an open window of time to meet with an entire project group can be difficult. How can you make the most of your time? Let’s look at a few ways to keep meetings on task and more efficient.

Share Expectations
In the meeting invitation, include an agenda and attendee expectations. The agenda gives the attendees an idea of what will be discussed.  This allows them to have their thoughts together so they can join into the conversation. Letting attendees know if they need to have anything prepared will make sure everyone is ready to share ideas and keep the meeting rolling.

Set Your Space
In preparation for the meeting, ensure the room you reserve meets all of your space requirements. Determine if there is enough seating for all those attending the meeting so you aren’t searching for an extra chair when the meeting should be starting. Make sure the meeting space offers the equipment you need, whether this is a screen and projector or flip chart.  Having your space prepared for success will keep the meeting running smoothly.

Get Started
Start on time. The attendees know what time the meeting was scheduled to start. Therefore, it’s important to be respectful of their time, especially if it is just a short window of availability. Begin the meeting at the start time and immediately start covering items on the agenda.

Offer Support Materials
Bring handouts for all attendees if necessary. And if you will be handing something out, make sure you have enough for each attendee. Handouts can be helpful if a large amount of information is presented in a short time to allow the attendees to have a hard copy to review.

Close the Loop
Recap the meeting and the follow-up activities. If there are action items coming out of the meeting, it is good practice to send out a follow-up communication summarizing those items.  Be sure to include what tasks will be completed by the next meeting and/or specific deadlines.

What tactics do you use to keep your meetings productive?

A few years ago I came across an Inc article that sang praises for the benefits of bringing your dog to work. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, workers who brought their dogs with them to work “experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.” How can you argue with that?!

Below are a few examples of some of our favorite 4-legged friends busy at work.  Who else has canines as co-workers? We would love to see your pics!

Even Maslow can’t help but Migrate to Flock.

Even Maslow can’t help but Migrate to Flock.

Bones showing his immense admiration for the unmatched comfort of Nucleus.

Bones showing his immense admiration for the unmatched comfort of Nucleus.

Lollipop taking a spin on Purpose.

Lollipop taking a spin on Purpose.

Ceres seating makes a 'ruff' day at the office much more enjoyable.

Ceres seating makes a ‘ruff’ day at the office much more enjoyable.

Steve giving Voi his official seal of approval.

Steve giving Voi his official seal of approval.

Rambo chilling out on Flock.

Rambo chilling out on Flock.

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