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Keys to Excellent Customer Service

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Humans are relational beings, and it would be wise to take note of this when considering customer service. Relationships are, in fact, key to selling, vital to building a core of repeat consumers, and necessary to prosper as a business. With a few exceptions, everyone seeks a connection with the people they come across, and if your goal is to provide excellent customer service, then connect yourself with the customer. So how does one properly nurture a relationship with a customer? Make the consumer your priority.

Engage, Excel, and Encourage

One must first engage with the customer; do not wait, but welcome and engage within seconds of seeing a customer. Engage quickly, but also engage intentionally and reach out to the people near you. If they are wearing some form of name tag, then greet them by name. The way that you act, is the way that they will perceive the company. By personally engaging with them, they see that you and the business that you ultimately represent, are devoted to excellence and committed to serving. Isn’t that what every business wants to convey? As you engage, smile, listen, conduct a genuine conversation in asking how they are doing, find common ground, or if you can help them in any way. No matter the response on their behalf, you have done your part to initiate a relationship with the consumer through engaging with the individual.

Once engaged, excel in serving the customer. Serving is simply being useful in catering to the prospect. For example, if the customer has a question, answer it to the best of your knowledge; but if you do not have all the answers, then smoothly, speedily, and politely find someone able to meet the needs of the customer. If the customer needs aid in finding an item, do not carelessly point and tell them where it is located, but happily engage with the customer and walk them to where the item can be found. If a customer is complaining, then listen to what they have to say, apologize for what happened, and ask how it can be resolved. By excelling in caring for the customer, you actively support what was said in the initial engagement and further solidify the harmony of the relationship with the purchaser.

Lastly, warmly encourage your customers to come back. Inviting people to come back can be an enormous game changer for your business and distinguish your service from your competitor’s. By now you should have engaged with the customer and excelled in serving them, and to encourage their return by saying, “thank you for coming, come back and see us soon” is easily putting the icing on the cake. Through this encouragement, the customer walks out of the door feeling appreciated for their business, and therefore more likely to return through the same door, not because of the products that you have but because of the excellent service you provide.

Because relationships are vital to business, one should make nurturing relationships a must. Building successful relationships is grounded in excellent customer service, which is achieved through engaging with the customer, excelling in serving the customer, and encouraging the customer to come back. As you connect with the individuals that make their way into your store, pursue them knowing that the growth of the company depends on it; they need you and you need them. In impressively serving an individual, there is a good chance that you may soon come across their network of family and friends. An employee does not just work for the company, the employee also works for the customer, so connect yourself with them.

7 Best Bookkeeping Business Services

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

If you’re a small business owner considering outsourcing your bookkeeping, keep in mind that bookkeeping business services include much more than just keeping track of your finances. If you hook up with a true professional service they can become much more than an accounting service, they can become important partners helping you optimize not only your cash flow but planning your financial strategies. Here’s a short list of benefits and services you can expect from a full service bookkeeper.

1. Time

Actually this may be the most productive benefit of all the services an outsourced bookkeeper can provide. By taking over the responsibility of accounting, the bookkeeper service effectively gives you more time to do what you do best and that’s run the business. Accounting is an absolutely necessary part of a business but it is not a profit center and it plays no part in driving sales and revenue. Any time you devote to that function is time taken from engaging in an activity that can generate sales or profit.

2. Financial forecasting

Using your firm’s financial history an experienced bookkeeping service can develop financial models that will allow you to play “what if” games that can predict your financial performance in the future. For example a business owner can ask what if sales increase 8% in the next quarter or what if the marketing budget is increased by 10% what kind of sales can be expected. This is a complex model that requires the knowledge of experts and would not be readily available to the owner unless he outsourced the function.

3. Tax planning

Running your business to take advantage of opportunity to minimize tax liability can be the difference between taking a loss and making a profit. The same goes for licensing and other local fees. A knowledgeable service will not only prepare your returns but show you ways to reduce your tax bill.

4. Real time reporting

Gone are the days of receiving monthly reports from your accounting service. In today’s business environment you need to know where you are financially right now and that’s what a professional bookkeeping service can provide. Thanks to ASP technology you can log onto your account using an ultra secure server and access all of your reports at any time and from any where you have an internet connection.

5. Customized reports

Your bookkeeping service will work with you to build reports that make sense for your particular business. Profit and loss statements, sales reports, receivables reports, all can be designed so they present the information in a way that you can best evaluate your position.

6. Assistance with lenders

A sign of just how tough and competitive the economic times are is the expansion of bookkeeping business services into areas that they previously did not participate in. Assistance with loan applications or even introductions to lenders is an example of the “new” services being offered by many firms. Loan applications can be intimidating and confusing to many business owners and the accounting service can offer valuable assistance in insuring that the right, and best, financial information is included in the application.

7. QuickBooks Consulting

Even if you don’t hire a bookkeeping service and you use QuickBooks in house to do your bookkeeping, you may find that the service can help you do it better. QuickBooks has added so many features and has become so much more than an accounting platform that it has created an entirely new support industry. If a QuickBooks customer wants optimal performance from his system, it’s likely he or she will need the advice of a certified QuickBooks consultant and the bookkeeping service is a ready, qualified resource.

A combination of rapidly improving technology along with an increasingly competitive market has caused bookkeeping business services to evolve into something greater than the traditional accounting services. Smart businesses will take advantage of these services to remain competitive and optimize earnings.