Call centers have long been an important element of customer experience. They give your customers an efficient touchpoint to ask questions, get support and otherwise interact with your brand. However, calling into a call center is often an unpleasant experience. In many ways, centers aren’t achieving what businesses need. These are a few tips for how to get more from your business’ call center.
Your customers are calling you for a reason. They may have questions, feedback or need some kind of help. This is a great opportunity for your team to listen to your customers.
Incredibly, many business teams pay closer attention to analytics, third-party data and other abstracted sources more than what their customers are actually saying. This is partially the result of the data from call centers being convoluted and hard to use.
Data prep technologies can help solve this issue. By cleaning, structuring and enriching data, businesses can then use their customers’ own words as a valuable source of data. This is one of the best ways that a business can get a competitive advantage.
Customer satisfaction is important. Unfortunately, call centers often harm as much as they help. This is in large part because agents aren’t evaluated on their ability to help people but rather their timeliness. This emphasis on quantity leads to unhappy agents who make customers unhappy. The solution is simple: focus on positivity and helpfulness. Customer satisfaction starts with culture.
This effect is easy to observe in your own life. When something positive happens to you, such as someone helping you when you are struggling with your hands full, you are more likely to want to help others. Keeping your agents happy will empower them to keep your customers happy. At the end of the day, that is the main purpose of a call center.
Efficiency is the key to call center effectiveness. Customers want to get help quickly and the best way to ensure this is to remove as many obstacles as possible that may prevent your agents from being helpful.
For example, empowering your level-one representatives to make more decisions is a great way to improve efficiency. If they can provide a refund without getting manager approval, they can complete the issue quicker and the customer will be happier.
This doesn’t mean that you should press your agents to rush through calls. Instead, you should focus on making it as easy as possible for them to solve problems in a timely manner without having to rush customers off the phone.
In a similar vein, you should strive to minimize hold times. Data can help you achieve this. Understanding which types of calls take a long time can help you to route them more efficiently.
Of course, staffing is also an essential aspect of reducing hold times. Furthermore, trying to retain call center agents will help improve efficiency. While call center teams are often viewed as relatively replaceable, a skilled and experienced agent can field many more calls more effectively. This is one of the keys to ensuring customer satisfaction.
Another helpful option is to employ call back technology. This allows for longer wait times without requiring your customers to actually stay on hold.
Call center data offers you a lot of insight into how to improve. Capturing your call data in a customer experience management tool can help you monitor the impact of calls on customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, your goal with a call center is to keep your customers happy so that they stay customers for longer. Use the data you are already gathering to enable this.
With these tips and tools in mind, you can make a more effective call center. Doing so will help you to ensure that your customers are happier and provide greater lifetime value.
Publish Date: October 25, 2019 6:38 PM
Since the 1970s, when the first credit cards were introduced, carriers have been wary of making sure their money stayed safe. As laws protecting consumers were put into place, and banks and stores stepped up their fraud prevention tactics, trust and reliance on credit and debit cards have become the norm. Consumers are more likely to carry a wallet full of different account cards than they are to carry cash. But with more people using this method, there is the possibility that a charge will be disputed and sent back to the merchant. This happens for many different reasons, including fraud, shipping disputes, broken merchandise, goods not received, cancellations, or authorization and processing errors. So, what steps should be taken by a consumer who needs to dispute a charge?
The first step in disputing a charge is to gather receipts, item numbers, shipping information, credit card information, and dates of purchase. Once a person has this information, they can keep it together and build on it during the dispute if needed. Throughout the process of disputing a charge, anyone who is spoken to, any steps that are taken, or any decisions made should be written down and kept together to track the progress of the claim. This will not only help when answering questions about the claim but making sure that things are being done as promised and what progress has been made.
Once all the information is gathered, it is a good idea to speak with the store or merchant the original charge was with. If it was for an item that was damaged, lost in shipping, or defective, often a store will issue a refund or offer an exchange. This is the easiest way to clear up a dispute and one most customers turn to first. If more action is needed and the dispute continues to the credit card company, a customer should verify all the information from the merchant to ensure they have everything they may need when speaking with their card company.
Though many disputes can be resolved with a merchant, sometimes, like in fraud cases, the credit card company must be contacted and a formal dispute filed and a chargeback requested. What exactly is a chargeback? This is the process where the credit card company will rescind the payment from the retailer and credit it back to the customer’s account. Sometimes this can happen quickly, depending on the amount of the charge and the reason the refund has been requested. Other cases require that the funds be held in dispute until a determination is made of whether the request is valid or if fraud was involved. It is important that customers act quickly due to a 60-day deadline from the date of the billing statement to file the dispute with the company.
Most of the time, disputes are handled through email or phone conversation, but it is also wise to send a letter to the credit card company to ensure there is no reason for the request to be denied. Most companies have a specific address for their billing disputes to be sent. This is usually found on its website, but can also be acquired through a call to customer service.
It may be tempting for a customer to cease payment on their credit card while charges are being disputed. This will only negatively affect them though because it will appear as nonpayment on their credit report. If payments are regularly made and the charges are later reversed, this will leave the customer with a positive balance on the account which can be paid back to the customer by the company.
There are simple steps to follow when a customer disputes a fraudulent charge. Making sure they are followed will make it easier to get through the process and get the funds returned quickly.
Publish Date: October 24, 2019 11:52 PM
Recent business data show that managers often spend more than double the amount of time looking for documents as reading them. This is no better exemplified than with manual paid-time-off management systems. Multiple departments must coordinate their efforts and exchange documents in order to manage leave requests and other time-off entitlements. It is difficult to standardize or centralize this fragmented manual process, which makes it unnecessarily time-consuming for all involved staff. Automation-based tools have the potential to streamline processes and save valuable time; paid time-off tracking software can boost the productivity of every department in your organization.
Human Resources Efficiency
Handling time-off requests for hundreds or thousands of employees manually can undoubtedly result in errors. One of the primary benefits of time-off management software is the elimination of human errors. Time off accrual is usually tracked based on the length of an employee’s time with the organization. Automated systems perform these calculations instantly, using a simple network formula. Accurate real-time calculations allow time-off requests to be submitted, evaluated and retained electronically. The system will record every working minute in a central database and accurately calculate the hours worked per pay period. This eliminates human error and reduces valuable time spent by Human Resources staff.
A standardized, time-off management format facilitates efficient communication between Human Resources staff, employees and other departments. Anyone sanctioned to use the system can easily communicate in a network of managers, employees and Human Resources personnel across the platform. Detecting calendar conflicts can be instant and approving or denying a request, a simple click.
Digital time-management software can track staff hours in real time, minimizing conflicts between employees and managers or payroll personnel. An automated system can track absenteeism and other trends, such as tardiness. Catching these problems early can help staff intervene, preventing missed shifts and making policies clearer to employees. If your payroll staff is spending an entire workday each week entering payroll manually, upgrading to an automated system has the potential to save time, increase productivity and improve your staff morale.
Strong employee morale is known to improve productivity. With the ability to track their own schedules, view their own vacation hours, and submit their time-off requests, employees feel in control of their own time-off scenario and more trusting of the system. In addition, automation allows compliant employees to receive fair treatment and minimizes the incidences of employee complaints to Human Resources. Your employees will devote less valuable time navigating an inefficient manual system and will enjoy an increase in overall productivity.
Automated time-off management models provide centralized, real-time analytics, which allow managers to have immediate access to employee schedules, requests and remaining time-off balance. There will be no more need to consult with the employee, human resources and payroll staff just to iron out a discrepancy. A centralized calendar displays the scheduled time off for all staff, which keeps managers informed in real time and makes scheduling agency-wide activities and trainings faster and simpler.
Managers can quickly generate reports using custom metrics and make them instantly available to other groups or departments. This ensures every party will have the same information, and that collaboration with other managers or departments will be more efficient. One of the most significant benefits of time-off tracking software is the superior level of accuracy and convenience that can free up managers to focus on more substantive and productive activities.
If your organization has been manually managing accrued leave, such as vacation requests and paid sick leave, you are likely aware of the innate inefficiencies of a manual system. A standardized, electronic method for time-off management can streamline the process and facilitate real-time access to centralized time-off data. Employee requests and custom reports will reach the right person in the time it takes to click a button. The convenience, accuracy and speed of an automated paid-time-off system can significantly boost productivity for every department in your organization, improving staff morale and bolstering your bottom line.
Publish Date: October 21, 2019 7:16 PM
As an accountant, your clients depend on you to keep track of their financial information. Accuracy is essential in your job. The smallest errors can result in hours of extra work trying to figure out what went wrong. Organization and efficiency are essential traits for an accountant. Improving these skills can help you to become a better accountant for your clients while also helping your employees feel good at work.
One of the first places to start when improving your organization and efficiency is to organize your office. Invoices, statements, and other documents can stack up quickly. The longer you avoid dealing with them, the worse the situation becomes. A messy workspace can have a detrimental impact on your performance and the performance of your employees. You end up wasting time searching for what you need just to get a job done, which then prevents you from getting other essential tasks done.
Set up your office so that you can keep it organized. Use file folders to keep important papers together. Use organizers to keep items easily accessible. Keep clutter to a minimum and throw away coffee cups or food wrappers immediately to avoid accidents. When your office is organized, things are easier to find when you need them, which makes it easier to do your job quickly.
For a long time, all accounting was done on paper. While having physical copies of documents can be nice, it can also result in a lot of clutter. Folders can become overfull and the amount of paper can pile up. In recent decades, electronic forms and filing have become the norm. Using accounting document management software can help you to greatly improve your organization and allow you to become more efficient. Many programs can also aid in the creation of better records and allow you to stay compliant.
Getting to the office each morning and then trying to figure out what should be done and what should get done first can eat into your day. You could spend an hour or more just trying to prioritize tasks, which can result in important things being forgotten or pushed aside.
At the end of each day, it can be very helpful to make a schedule for the following day. Take a look at everything that you need to get done. Record the tasks that you want to accomplish in the order you want them done. Starting the day knowing what you need to get done can help you to set the tone for an organized, productive day.
Even as you begin to notice improvements in your organization and efficiency, that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to be better. There are always more ways to improve. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technology for accountants. Take classes. Look for even more ways to make your firm better. By constantly trying to improve, you can achieve even greater outcomes and set an example for your call center employees.
It can be difficult to say no, especially if you’re saying no to new clients. After all, more clients equal money. If you take on too many clients, however, the work you can do for your existing ones can begin to suffer. If you find yourself overloaded, you may need to consider bringing in another accountant or two to help, so you won’t have to say no. While saying no is okay sometimes, make sure it’s absolutely necessary.
Being busy can be a good thing, but it can also lead to stress. When you’re stressed, your productivity and the quality of your work begin to suffer. It’s important to take care of yourself. Sometimes, all you need is to step away from your desk for a few minutes and get some fresh air. A clear head can help you do a better job.
Improving your organization and efficiency can make your job significantly easier. In doing so, you can reduce your stress and afford yourself time in your day to deal with anything unexpected. Being more organized and efficient can help to reduce your risk for errors and make you a better accountant.
Publish Date: October 18, 2019 10:58 PM
Whether you are a small start up business trying to get a human resources team together or you are a more established company, you know the importance of having a great human resources team.
Your human resources team is going to determine a lot about your company and how work situations are diffused. This team will help your company run better and be more effective while also keeping your employees happy.
Here are the 5 things you should consider when building your human resources team:
The sooner you have this done, the sooner you can relax about any legal problems that may arise. If you do not have an employee handbook, look at getting one written by someone who has experience in writing.
You do not want a boring handbook that is super long and takes forever to read. Keeping it engaging will give your company a good first impression for new hires. You will also want to have business documents filled out and in an easy to reach spot if anything arises that needs to be taken care of.
Your company has a culture, whether you like it or not. As a manager or CEO, you may not realize what kind of culture is happening within your office or offices. This is where your human resources team goes in, they need to focus on creating a healthy company culture first.
If your company has a toxic work environment your human resources team will need to put in a lot of work to change the company culture. Company culture does not change overnight but can be changed with consistent effort with the right strategies.
There are some things that cannot be changed no matter how hard human resources tries to change them. They may decide it is not worth the time and effort and decide to focus their efforts on something else that is more beneficial.
If you are a startup company you may want to get an hr checklist of some kind. This will help you get the most out of your efforts to make your company the best that it can be, without wasting your time.
Your human resources team or even human resources person is going to play a big role in your company’s internal and external affairs. You can’t hire just anyone, you need a great candidate for the job. Find someone that has a great vision for your company and wants to make your company the best that it can be.
This will also require managers and business owners to rethink how they have their company set up. A person from the human resources team may suggest some changes to policies and management practices. While it may be rough to give up the policies in place, it could mean a better company that has content employees.
Every company is going to be a little different, so there is not just one kind of human resources team that will work for every company. If you are a smaller company you may only need one human resource person to take care of your company. As your company grows and you get more employees you can add more people to your hr team.
If you are not sure what structure is going to be best for your company, look at what kinds of human resources teams there are available. Research the pros and cons of each structure and choose what is going to be best for your company.
Creating and growing your human resources team is an exciting part of growth within your company. What are some things you have done to make your company have an amazing human resources team? Be sure to comment to help other companies build great hr teams.
Publish Date: October 17, 2019 8:24 PM
Marketing is a large part of the success of your business. To get the attention of your customers so that you can sell you products, you need to tell them to get their attention. Different types of advertising will work better than others. Here are a few to consider when choosing a plan.
Before you can come up with a marketing plan, you need to know who you are trying to reach. Study your current clientele and see what demographics already purchase your product. You can consult an outside firm to help you compile information about the consumers in the area. Once you have that information, take time to look it over and decide who you want to address. Aim to build a program that will be appealing to them and lead them to want to purchase your product.
When you know who you want to address, you will want to determine how you will reach them. If you plan to print marketing materials, you will need to have your citrix printing set up and all the paper and ink on hand. If your target market is behind the wheel quite a bit, you will want to look into radio ads. If your potential customers are younger and spend their time on the computer, you might want to consider ads on the internet.
Once you have an idea what you want to reach your customers with, you will need to create an image that relates your company with your consumers. If you have a logo already, you might want to look it over to make sure it is appealing to modern users. If you have yet to get a logo, you can design one with photo software or an online logo maker. If you feel that you lack the creative skill to do this, you can hire a professional to do this for you. Once it is finished, show it to family and friends to get their feedback to be certain it will work to draw in customers and adequately represent your business.
Having customers recommend your business will likely convinces new clients to use your services. Ask a few committed patrons to write down what they like about your company then get their permission to use it in your ad. You will want to have several so that you can choose which ones will connect best with the target market you want to wish. These also work well since your customers will tell their family and friends about their testimonial in your advertising. This can bring even more customers into your business since they trust what this person has to say.
When you begin to produce your materials, be clear cut and precise about what you want to say. If you add extra descriptions or wander off the point, you will lose your customer’s interest. Bullet points you want to convey if there are more than one in a paragraph to keep the text clean. Do your best to say your message in as few words as possible. Use a standard font in your advertising materials that is easy to read and understand, especially if it is digital media. You will only have a few seconds to convey your thoughts before they are off the screen.
If your budget allows for it, have a professional photographer come in to take shots of your product and your business. Their equipment can produce higher quality graphics that will clear for whatever purpose you want to use them for. If your budget is limited, you will want to shoot these with the highest quality camera you can find. Try to avoid taking these with your cell phone or use any sort of selfie shots. If you can, take photos of customers enjoying your product or employees who are happy as they work. These images will make your potential client want to be part of something that makes them content like the picture shows. For print media add a note with each photo so the consumer knows what is happening in the image and who is involved.
If you have multiple people working on this project, select one person to take point and gather everyone’s contributions. This person should have excellent grammar skills since they will be the one who will proofread all of the text and organize it in the order it should go. They should also have experience leading a group of people. Doing this keeps from the focus of the marketing being switched multiple times to accommodate the person with the information. Your selection of supervisor should be clearly indicated to each member working on this with each piece of contact information for this individual.
Once you are finished compiling your data, assemble your marketing project and get it ready to distribute. If you have a tangible object, hand it out to your current customers and give them extra so they can pass it along to others. If your advertising is digital, inform your clients when and where they can see them so they can watch for it then tell others. You need to look for it also so that you know that your company is being represented accurately. If you have concerns, contact who you worked with to have it remedied.
Publish Date: October 16, 2019 11:35 PM
Time management is something that everyone needs. It tends to be something that people think about, but a lot of people do not know how to maximize their time and balance their work and play life. Time management is important to everyone because most people are going to work at least 40 hours a week. If they spend an average of 8 hours sleeping this doesn't leave much time to do much of anything else. This is why time management is so important.
People that are serious about time management are going to benefit greatly from the time card calculator. It is easier when you have numbers that you can look at that tells you how much time is being spent doing certain things. It is easy to assume that something takes less time than actually takes. During the course of the work day there are a number of different tasks that may need to be done. You can find yourself getting behind in a place where you are unable to accomplish what you need to do simply because you have not considered how much time it actually takes to do the task.
Anyone that has ever tried to manage their time will see that it is easier to do the hard things first. These are going to be the things that may take up the most amount of your time. These are also going to be the things that are going to stress you out if these tasks are not accomplished. This is why it makes sense to do these things first. Once you get these things taken care of you have a better understanding of how you can maximize your time during the course of the day. Once you have finished the hard things you have a much easier time with accomplishing the easier tasks that are on your list.
You may be able to do a lot during the course of the day, but you cannot do it all. It is going to be in your advantage to look for ways to delegate some responsibilities. If you are in charge of a project you should not be the person that is doing every ounce of the work if you have a team. You should properly delegate responsibilities to team members and make sure that these team players are getting the job done. Some people get positions of leadership, and they find themselves doing more work than the people that they are supposed to be leading.
If you have the ability to acquire a leadership role look for ways to delegate responsibility and oversee the project in the way that it should be managed. In other words, do your job and let the other people do their jobs. When you focus on your job you're going to have more time. You are going to manage your time better. The person that is stressed out about their job and the job of others will find themselves getting less work done. They will not be as productive because they are trying to attend to too many things. It always works better when you focus on your own goals when you are in the office. This allows you to be much more productive with your time outside of work.
The office environment can drain anyone. You always need to consider the toll of the office when you are trying to create any time for yourself outside of the office. You need to be mindful of the fact that you need to rest before you can be of any good to anyone once you leave the office. People that take time to re-energize themselves are going to have a much better time at work and home. Utilizing time management techniques and apps can help you overcome time management issues. When you see where you are going you have a better chance to use it wisely.
Publish Date: October 15, 2019 10:46 PM
Sales are important for any business and are vital to your small business. Reaching out to potential customers builds relationships and ultimate brings money into your company. However, finding those prospects can be difficult. Here are a few ways to get sales leads so you can get out to those customers.
The first thing you need to do is determine what demographic you want to reach so that you get accurate leads that will lead to sales. Study your current market base and see what age range and median income frequently purchases your product. If they are of a group that might use social media greatly, then you might want to reach out for new customers that way. If you need assistance compiling this list, there are consultants that can help you come up with this information.
Talking with potential customers is the first step to establishing a sales lead. Attending a trade show or another event that has a connection to your business can give you a large sample of clients that might want to hear what you are offering. Talk to your existing patrons and friends and they could pass along a name or two of someone they know who might do business with you. You can also stop by places that might use your product as initiate a conversation with the people to start a relationship that might lead to sales for you in the future.
You can find prospects for sales leads on the internet. Following hashtags from keywords that relate to your business can guide you to the names of people and companies that have an interest in the same things that your company provides. Certain web scraping software can search the data of many different websites and compile it into one list for you to cold call from. You can also use the feedback from your own website to contact those who have already looked at your website to see what you might offer.
One very useful tool to generate leads is to collect email addresses of customers or anyone interested in your business. You can do this either by your website or by asking for them when they stop in. You can utilize these to send newsletters with upcoming events, messages with new sales they might be interested in, or to reach out and get their input. These emails can create a personal relationship with your potential customer, leading them to want to contact you and do business. You can also purchase email lists from outside companies however these lists might be less accurate that you expect.
Another online source you can use is social media. Set up pages on various social media sites and open up the messaging service to answer questions. Responding to any requests quickly can lead to a sales lead for you. Starting a blog on your website and writing an excerpt on a regular basis can do the same thing when a possible client researches a topic and finds what you have written. You can also reach out to answer questions on websites formulated for people to get answers from to solve their problems. If you offer a solution to someone that works, they might possibly seek out you and your services for more business.
You can get assistance in finding new leads from your current customers by offering a bonus to anyone who refers a new client. You can give them free product, a discount on a future purchase or even a cash prize to anyone who is willing to promote you to their family and friends. They will have incentive to help by getting something in return and you get a potential sale from doing this. It will also add a little excitement to generating sales leads by turning it into a little game for everyone involved. The more people who participate, the more fun it will be.
Publish Date: October 15, 2019 1:48 AM
Publish Date: October 8, 2019 9:25 PM
As an employer, you may have a critical job needing to be filled. Your task of finding the perfect candidate may seem like a daunting process. You most likely have a stack of potential candidates needing to be weeded through and interviewed. Effective interviews are ones that reveal applicants' strengths and expose red flags. It is also the perfect time to see how well someone might fit in with the rest of the team. Below are some crucial tips on successfully interviewing job applicants.
Set The Mood
Successful interviews for an important job role should not be completed in a coffee shop or busy area. If you have a lot of applicants to weed through, it would be more convenient to rent a meeting room. Los Angeles meeting rooms can be rented by the day or by the hour. Meeting rooms offer professional and quiet areas to conduct your interviews. They also make a great first impression when trying to impress an applicant you are hoping to attract.
Have Questions Prepared
To get a good feel of applicants, you will want to ask them appropriate questions. Have your questions prepared ahead of the interviews so that you can make the most of your time. The questions should focus on the job title. Be sure all job-related essentials are covered.
If you are interviewing a number of applicants, taking notes will be important. After multiple interviews with the same questions being asked, it can be easy for each interview to blur together in your mind. Keep those notes for reference purposes when you need to narrow down your choices.
Ask Specific Details
Oftentimes, job candidates will pad their resumes to seem more appealing to the interviewer. While conducting the meetings, ask applicants for specific numbers and details regarding their experience. If they are not telling the truth, it will often be revealed when you ask the same question during a second interview. Invented numbers and details are often never remembered.
Discuss Salary Expectations
Money is not always the favorite topic during interviews, but it is important to make sure you are both on the same page about the pay expected for the position. To do this easily and seamlessly, ask candidates directly what they are currently earning and the pay they expect if they are hired. If what they make now or are asking to be paid is significantly more than you can offer, they may not be the best match. Most people do not like the idea of going down in pay when getting a new job.
Obtain Information On Unclear Employment History
If an applicant has had several short-term jobs in the past, this could be a red flag. Ask if they can explain the reasons they left. If they complain about bosses and coworkers, they might be someone who is difficult to work with. If their issues were related to job roles that are similar to the position you are offering, it may not work out. An example of this is if they said they didn't like working weekends and the position you are offering requires weekends.
Be A Listener
It can be easy to take over the conversation when you see how nervous an applicant is. Remember that an interview is about getting to know each applicant and what they bring to the table. Listen and pay attention carefully to find the perfect candidate. This is where taking notes can help you pay more attention.
Conducting a series of successful interviews takes preparation. Planning ahead of time with the questions you want to ask and setting the scene with a meeting room can make it easier to find the right person for the job. Great interviews will allow you to find out about an applicant's job history, work ethics, future aspirations and company expectations if they are hired. Use this knowledge to finish your search.
Publish Date: October 8, 2019 6:36 AM
Although you want to be respectful of your employees’ vacation days and personal time, there are periods when a deluge of last-minute applications for time-off make you wonder how you’ll survive without your key staff members. Before you’re put in a position of struggling to get tasks done with half your workforce taking days off, create a system that ensures their requests will be granted fairly without leaving you in the lurch.
Before it becomes a problem, draft an equitable vacation policy and present it to your staff. When rules are blatantly defined, employees won’t be able to complain when their last-minute requests are denied or claim favoritism if they think their wishes are rejected while those of executives or friends of team leaders are granted. Consider adopting a first come, first served policy. Plan well in advance by calling for time off application sheets at least six months in advance so everyone has a fair shot. If you often require people to work on holidays, you might also want to start a rotation to ensure the same workers aren’t stuck in the office year after year.
Simplify your time-off management with tracking software that streamlines vacation requests, responses and records. Some programs alert team leaders or human resources when a staff member puts in a request for a vacation, personal day or family leave. Managers can then automatically check for conflicts with other requests or project deadlines before scheduling the days off and sending the person a response to his request. The software’s irrefutable time stamps are also handy in the event anyone insists that they asked to reserve a holiday earlier than they did or falsely asserts that they received a verbal go ahead from a manager.
Despite the fact that you have systems in place for scheduling vacation time, allow some flexibility in the event of emergencies. Consider leaving a flex spot open in case a staff member has to be away for a family emergency, a sudden opportunity to take an exotic vacation or a need for personal time off, for example. You may even allow reliable and trustworthy employees to take an unexpected day off if they’re also able to spend a few hours working at home if their job duties enable them to work or attend meetings remotely.
If you’re juggling multiple time-critical tasks, prepare for employees’ vacation time by having part-time staff on standby for emergencies. Consider contracting with a temp agency or interviewing contractors that you can call on short-notice if you discover you’ve cleared a staff member for vacation time when you’ll actually need them in the office. Keeping a stable of trained, qualified personnel available for immediate scheduling will ensure you’re never shorthanded.
Although you want to be flexible and allow your employees to take the time off that they need to return to work refreshed and eager to get the job done, you still need to ensure you’re not left at a complete disadvantage if several staff members hope to be away during peak vacation times. Establish blackout periods that prohibit staff members from taking time off. These dates can include times when your business has a product rollout pending, will experience an increase in business during the holidays or has an annual company deadline or event when it’s all hands on deck. Be sure to ban personal time off across the board for these periods to ensure it’s fair to everyone.
Since most employees average about 14 days of vacation time each year, you need to ensure you’re coordinating all of the time off wisely. Develop policies that will allow workers to understand that you care about their welfare, but also need to ensure that their work stays on track. Striking a balance between the two will ensure you have happy staff members and a successful business.
Publish Date: October 4, 2019 10:40 PM
In today's highly competitive business world, it is no longer just a good idea to automate your business. It has become a matter of financial survival. If a small business wants to do more than just staying afloat, it needs to become familiar with the best ways to make the day-to-day tasks of operation are automatic.
Here are 3 simple tools which you can use immediately to streamline your business and make it more competitive and profitable:
Automatic Bill Pay
It is more efficient and convenient for any business to be able to pay its bills automatically. This means that you have the software or apps to take care of the entire process of paying bills. You can upload bills, create invoices, and even pay yourself and/or your employees online. If you choose automated bill pay, using your bank, your bills can be organized and viewed in one secure place.
One of the largest bills a business owes on a regular basis, is that of paying its employees. This is a time-consuming chore that can be fraught with costly errors. Part of a thriving small business's automatic bill pay system should include a pay stub generator.
Automated Customer Relations Manager
This automated system, also known as CRM , will greatly improve a small business's ability to keep track of where its customers and prospects are on the path to purchasing. This builds the value of your brand while improving the loyalty of your client base. The more business that comes down the pike, the more difficult it is for a business to keep track of its leads. CRM helps you strategies to help acquire and retain clients through strategies such as market planning, advertising, and building relationships.
A good CRM marketing tool can handle this entire process, even sending relevant information to the right prospective buyers. All you have to do is make sure the data input is accurate. The tools a CRM can use include emails, landing pages, reporting, and web analytics, among others. You can even upload bills, create invoices, and pay your employees online.
As your business grows, it becomes increasingly more difficult to complete tasks and perform roles than you did when you first launched it. Outsourcing becomes more important than ever before. In fact, each one of the 3 tools listed is part of outsourcing. Paying bills, handling receipts, dealing with marketing, and other tasks that deplete your precious little time.
Outsourcing is the best way to allow experts to handle the delicate and important tasks of which there are far too many for you to do alone, with any degree of efficiency. Outsourcing can change fixed costs into flexible costs to give you more opportunities to budget your funds more effectively.
In this way, you are only paying for what you really need, and only when it is required. You can hire a consultant, freelancer, or website designer to do all of the things you have to do but have no time for.
Incorporating automation technology in your small business can improve efficiency, reduce expenses, increase productivity, and ensure customer satisfaction.
Automating your business provides you with the means to utilize the right resources to take advantage of these technologies and increase profits. It is important, however, not to fall for every shiny new tool that catches your interest. You must have a clear plan for automation or you could end up spending a fortune on products and tools that simply don't work.
Know what kind of automation you want for your business and have a clear vision of how that is going to help you fine-tune your strategies and streamline your business for success.
Publish Date: October 3, 2019 7:44 PM
Managers are the drivers of the business entity, and they oversee the execution of activities. There is a professional distance between managers and the primary employees defined by the responsibilities of every team player. Nevertheless, ranks and positions should not create separation between leaders and their employees. Instead, business leaders should develop closer links with their employees to enhance a good relationship between all members.
According to 2017 Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, the kind of managers or management in any institution cited to contributes highly to the employees leaving their jobs voluntarily. When managers connect better with their employees, there are higher chances for a better working environment that results in increased productivity.
This article will focus on how managers can effectively connect with their employees through learning the virtue of self-regulation.
Tips for Creating a Helpful Mutual Relationship with Your Employees
To effectively manage your company, it is crucial to start with the right foot by connecting with your employees from the outset. The most important factor is to create a balanced environment where you unleash genuine interest in getting to know your employees as an individual. These tips will help you start your relationship with your employees on the right foot.
It is vital to introduce your leadership style, expectation, and personal interest to your team members. By doing so, you give them a clear image of who you are. Also, take your time to learn other team members background information so that you understand the people you are working with.
Ensure you know all your employees at the individual level. You can start by knowing what they’re looking for in a leader, but also learn their personal and background information to get more information on who they are. When interrogating a new employee, it is important to take that opportunity to introduce yourself and the kind of your leadership style, as well.
This is a better way of ensuring members know each other and they respect your company protocols. You can do this in a friendly and interactive way without exposing your member’s personal matters. In the case of new members on board, conduct a prior orientation to introduce him or her to all departments and workers of your company.
Many managers are unaware of the many benefits that come along with creating a better connection with their employees. A lot of companies which perform exemplary well have proven that it all started by connecting all employees with their leaders boosting their engagement. Also, engaged workers feel motivated to give the maximum effort to their companies.
Establishing a robust two-way trust between workers and their bosses makes it easier for managers to facilitate open and honest communication reducing the chances of conflicts on their firm. It also makes the employees more empowered to take calculated risks without the fear of failure. Adding up all these factors make your employees feel valued, and that will increase their overall performance.
Once you lay the foundation for a relationship to blossom, you also need to maintain those connections thriving. You need to implement short term tactics that will reap long term results. Here is how to keep secure relationships with your workers.
Publish Date: October 1, 2019 10:28 PM
Many people in the world would like to work for themselves rather than working for somebody. This is because the employers fail to ensure the satisfaction of their employees and making them happy. What they do not understand is that an employee who is satisfied and happy has a positive impact on the development of the company. A satisfied employee is likely to be more productive than a dissatisfied one. It is therefore essential for business owners to come up with ways of improving their employee satisfaction. In this article, I have described six tips for ensuring employee satisfaction in your company.
As the owner of your company, it is necessary to come to the down level and interact with your employees freely so that you create a good relationship with them. The relationship between you and your employees can also be strengthened by establishing a systematic communication channel. This will make it easy for you to understand them and know what they want. Once you give them an ear and act to what they want you to do for them, you will have a smooth running of your company.
A good leader should have respect for his or her team and respect their views. Once you show your employees respect, they will feel valued and in return, they will respect you as well. There should be mutual respect from both sides and this way will ensure the smooth running of the company hence leveraging its performance. Look at the respect you get from your employees as this is how to measure employee satisfaction in your company. Do not consider your employees as tools but treat them as human beings and try your level best to understand their potentials and weaknesses.
Your employees play a vital role in steering your company forward. It is, therefore, crucial to acknowledge what they do by appreciating them and offering them rewards. If you offer an employee a reward like a stipend, he or she will feel acknowledged and valued. This way you will boost their morale and they will keep working hard. You can also acknowledge their efforts by giving those leaves or taking them for trips and outings.
As a business owner, you should note that not all times are formal time. There are times when you will have to socialize with your employees like a human being. This is the best time to make friends with your employees. Spend time with them and talk with them about worldly things. You can also organize for some sports activities and this will be the right moment to mingle with them and share ideas with them. Create a friendship with your employees and make them your closest friends.
The boss of the company serves as a role model to the employees. What you do is what your employees will do. It is therefore important to ensure that you follow the rules of the company yourself and adhere to them. Seeing these employees will strive to stick to the rules and cultures of work. By doing so, you will ensure that your employees are satisfied with the job and help them perform exemplary. You should not expect your employees to follow the company rules while the boss is breaking them.
One of the most effective ways of ensuring satisfaction in your employees is by appraising what they have done. Call them and talk to them concerning their performances in the company. Rectify any mistakes you see in them and appreciate what they do as well.
Make your employees feel satisfied today as this helps them increase their productiveness in the company.
Publish Date: September 27, 2019 6:58 PM
It can be costly to keep up with every new device and upgrade that hits the market, but some of the equipment in your office can slow productivity and cost you money if not upgraded on occasion. While you don't need to buy every new tech device, there are some innovations that pay for themselves in short order, due to the increasing efficient and capabilities of technology. Read on to determine if your company is missing out by retaining outdated technology, and what you should consider upgrading.
How to Check Your Current Technology
There are likely dozens of devices in your office, many of which may have even been around for years. Some kinds of devices have a long usage-life, while others can be analogous to keeping a typewriter around in the face of modern computers.
The best place to start when taking an inventory of your workplace tech is the computers that your business uses. Power-on each computer and check the specifications to get an idea of where you currently stand with technology. On most computers, this can be done by going to the Start menu and right-clicking on the 'Computer' button. From there, select properties to pull up the system specifications page. This may also be found in the 'About' tab of your System Settings application.
Check the version of Windows that you're running on all PCs in your office, along with the amount of RAM your machines have, and what bit your computer's architecture is. Machines still running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 are due for an upgrade, as Microsoft has stopped supporting these operating systems (OSs.)
Operating systems that have fallen out of production and support are vulnerable to viruses and intrusion, which could cost your company money. It's also a good idea to inventory the rest of your company's tech, including phones and VOIP systems, copiers, fax machines, alarm systems, and peripheral devices. See if any of your devices have fallen out of warranty or aren't working as they should.
Tech Upgrades That Are Worth the Investment
After collecting data about your computers' specifications, you should consider making any upgrades that would increase the security of your business' information or help with productivity. You can upgrade the OS on each machine by purchasing the license for Windows 10 or whichever new OS you're interested in using.
Consider upgrading the RAM and hard drive if you find that your computers run slowly or are running out of storage room. These upgrades are highly affordable and pay for themselves by extending the life of your machines.
You can often add features to your business' network and tech stack by adding new devices like wireless routers, switches, servers, and Bluetooth adapters. Determine where you and your employees seem to be bottle-necked and check the market for improved devices that can increase efficiency. Another option for efficieny could be revenue recognition software, which would take your company next-level.
Another upgrade in technology that your business could benefit from, if you're not already a subscriber, is a high-speed business Internet connection. If you've been asked "Why is my upload speed so slow?" by employees or customers then you're likely trying to operate a business on an insufficient Internet connection. Consider getting a T1 line installed and making sure your network equipment, including your router, is up-to-date.
New Technology for Increased Productivity
Aside from the basic equipment and software your business should maintain, including the aforementioned newer Operating Systems and network hardware, there are plenty of devices you can buy to increase efficiency in your office.
Scanners are a good example of a technology that's come a long way in the past five years. New scanner options include small, handheld devices that can scan both sides of a page in under a second. Copiers and fax machines have gotten faster in recent years as well, and a one-time upgrade could shave hours of waiting on technology from your employee's schedules every year.
Taking an inventory of your current technology will help you understand where you're at with your devices. Anything that has fallen out of warranty or is no longer supported by the manufacturer is a good candidate for replacement. Consider installing high-speed Internet and looking for modern tech to improve your office's workflow.
Publish Date: September 24, 2019 8:03 PM