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Customer Service is Crucial to Businesses

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Customer service is crucial to any business. It is the most important aspect of any business; it is the frontline of the company. Customers remember good service. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, sending your existing customers away happy. Happy customers will spread the word to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and become repeat customers as well. Companies with great customer service do not have to do a hard sales pitch to potential clients; they let their reputation precede them.

Customers remember good service or really terrible service. Customer service representatives are the people that your customers are interacting with. They represent your company and you want them to offer the very best service possible so that your clients will want to continue doing business with your company. Really terrible service could result in the loss of a client who could speak poorly about your business to others.

In this virtual world, getting good service can be extremely frustrating at times. One of the biggest complaints is lack of personal connection when customers try to reach a company by phone or submitting a complaint via email and not receiving a response in a timely fashion, if ever.

Open communication between the client and customer service is extremely important. Having a contact person(s) for clients to contact who genuinely cares about their issue(s) is the most import aspect of any business. It should always be easy for clients to reach customer service. Prompt replies to all inquiries are vital. It is alright to say you do not have the answer, as long as the reply includes a time frame for when you will have the answer. Customers will remember favorably a good experience with your customer service and let others know.

Here are a few tips for providing good customer service:

  • Polite and excellent phone manner;
  • Listening to the clients and ensuring that they are heard and understood;
  • Reliability, getting back to the client with an answer to a question as promised, even if you don’t have the answer, following through and letting them know you are working on it;
  • If there is a complaint, paying attention to it and finding the best solution for the client. Again, keeping in touch with the client so that they know and feel that they are important to the business; and
  • Always being helpful and making that extra effort for the client.

Providing good customer service is an asset to any business. People will remember the service and pass the word on. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing your business to others.

We would be happy to hear of your customer service tips. All suggestions are welcome. For more information, you can contact us here.

 

Amazon Book Reviews and Goodreads Book Reviews

As originally posted on Book Marketing Services by me.

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Times have changed for authors. Traditionally authors would mail copies of their books to reviewers at newspapers and magazines and hope that they would receive a written review in exchange.  With Internet sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, authors can launch their book with reviews from a variety of places. It is important to get at least 25 reviews prior to launch. Potential buyers read reviews before deciding to purchase a book.

Other than asking friends and family and social media contacts to read your book and review it, another way, which takes time and legwork, is to find authors who have written similar books to yours and check out who has written reviews for their books. Chances are, if they have reviewed a book of the same genre, they will be interested in reviewing your book. You may have to do some extra research as not all of their email addresses appear on their page. It may just have their website which you can go to find out how to contact the reviewer. Once you have their email address, send them a personalized email and let them know that you saw that they reviewed another author’s book which is similar to yours and ask if they be interested in reviewing your book.

Another way to obtain reviews is to have an author page on Goodreads and set up a giveaway contest there. You must agree to give away physical copies of your book. You can choose how many to give away even though Goodreads recommends 20 copies. Goodreads encourages winners to write a review of the book(s) they receive. When you send the book(s) to the winner(s) include a note asking them to consider doing a review. To set up the giveaway, follow the instructions on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new. Giveaway winners should not be messaged on Goodreads. The winners do not have a timeline to post their review. Reviewers who post on Goodreads may also post their review on Amazon.

Consider Goodreads as you would any social media site. It is important to spend a minimum of one hour a week to browse the site, respond to any comments and/or questions and continuously update your profile in order to keep it fresh. This is a site for avid readers and you want to keep them interested in your books. Remember to be authentic and share information and develop relationships first; selling books will come later once those relationships have been established.

Point of caution: avoid engaging with people who review your book and step away from negative reviews, do not respond to them.

Let us know if you have an Amazon author page or a Goodreads author page and how you engage on both of these sites.

We know that all of this takes time and this may not be where you want to spend your time. If you are interested in our services to help you find reviewers on Amazon or set up Goodreads giveaways, please feel free to contact us through our contact form.

New Year’s Resolutions

As originally posted on Book Marketing Services by me.

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Like millions of other people around the globe, this is the time of the year that I take time to reflect on the past year and set my intentions for the New Year. I have an idyllic picture of what I can accomplish in the next twelve months. I believe that if I put our mind to it, I can check off everything on my new and improved resolutions list. I look at improving myself on all levels: personal health, both physical and mental well being; financial health; career development; the list can be endless and include anything that I think I would like to improve upon in the New Year.

A few years ago, I had stopped making New Year’s resolutions as I never seem to carry through on them. I would start off with all of the best intentions and then life seemed to take over and all of my good intentions just seemed to vanish. I think I will start again tomorrow and then, tomorrow comes and I say to myself, not today, tomorrow.

This year, I would like to make a change and set realistic and achievable goals. A number of my resolutions will be the same as in the past. Writing this blog is one of them. I would like to continue blogging. Each year I say I am going to write one blog per month and after a couple of months my blog writing fizzles out. I spend hours trying to come up with topics that I think would be of interest to others. Once I have a topic, I spend several more hours fretting over the content. The whole process is exhausting for me and in the end, I just give up on blogging.

The same is true with social media. I have a fear of putting myself out there and interacting with others in the virtual world. I go on the social media sites all prepared to make a comment or post something and then something stops me and I only get as far as liking or sharing someone else’s postings. I have done a lot of reading about how to and when to post on sites and think I am ready to post, to overcome my fear and then once on a site, I freeze.

Heather and I promote both blogging and social media for the authors we work with. We explain that after a virtual book blog tour, it is important to keep up with the blogging and social media in order to keep your new readers interested. It is now time to follow through on our instructions to others.

Will 2015 be different? I am setting that intention. I know that I have to put my resolutions in writing and share them with others. Letting others know of my intentions holds me accountable. I also need to make sure that they are realistic and achievable. I am also aware that I will never be perfect and that is not the intent of these goals. They are an outline of what I intend to accomplish and a way to hold me to those intentions.

Completing this blog allows me to check off a goal that was on my resolutions list from last year and starts me off on the right foot for the New Year.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions that you would like to share or a special technique that you use to document your intentions so that you will stick to them? Please feel free to share them with us here.

Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Balancing Work and Life

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How do solopreneurs do it all? How do they manage to work full time and have time for themselves, family and friends? We have all heard the expression “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Everyone needs a certain amount of relaxation. We all know that it is not good to work all of the time and we all need a good balance between work and play.

Dictionary.com gives an example of the word balance: “In these hurried times it’s getting harder and harder to balance work, family and technology.”

Creating that balance is something that can be done by adopting a few essential strategies. It is always easier said than done and really requires you to be adaptable. Here are 10 tips:

  1. Be flexible. Know that there may be times when either work or your personal life requires more attention than the other. Leave room in your schedule to allow a little flexibility, just in case.
  2. Balance your workload. As solopreneurs, we tend to want to commit to all of the business that comes our way at any given time, and, it all seems to come at the same time. You want take on as much as you know you can handle or know that you have a team ready to delegate to.
  3. Delegate. You need to know who you can call upon when you need to and who has a skill set(s) that is compatible with your needs. Delegating does not have to be only for work. You can also delegate personal tasks.
  4. Prioritize. There are going to be times when you cannot get everything done at both home and work. Make sure you prioritize your task list. This will ensure that the most important ones are done first. You can always catch up on the less important tasks later.
  5. Disconnect on a regular basis. It is important to take time off. We all feel that we will miss something of importance if we are not connected. That once in a lifetime email will wait until you reconnect. Taking time away from work recharges you; it will refresh you and make you all that more productive when you reconnect.
  6. Organize your schedule. Plan enough time for your work tasks and your personal interests. Manage your time and ensure that you make time for both.
  7. Track your time. For one or two weeks, track how you spend your time. Are you spending time on things that do not matter to you? Are you doing things that can be delegated so that your time can be better spent? Take a good look on what you can do to improve how you use your time.
  8. Focus on one thing at a time.  You may find you get more done if you concentrate on one thing at a time. Focus solely on what you are doing. Set your boundaries for family and work and keep them separate.
  9. Exercise. Adding activity to your life makes you more productive. Exercising relieves stress and clears your mind. It also gives you more energy to accomplish your daily tasks at work and home.
  10. It is okay to say “no”. Before taking on more requests or tasks, make sure that they fit into your schedule and if they do not, see if you can delegate them. If not, then rather than overwhelming yourself, say no.

Do you have any suggestions to share on how to balance life and work? Anything in particular that works for you? We would love to hear from you. Either leave a comment here or feel free to contact me.

Welcome to the new DELLAGATE

colored_puzzle_globe_for 9-Mar-14Welcome to the new DELLAGATE! I am very excited about the new site. I would like to thank Lumir Hladik for his design and vision and Heather Murray for her ability and know how to get the site on the Internet. They collaborated together to make this site a reality, thank you!

Isn’t the Internet amazing? You can communicate and work with people anywhere in the world. Forging relationships that would have been considered impossible just a few years ago. You have the world’s workforce at your fingertips.

As a business owner, have you decided that you are ready to outsource in order to grow your business?

The world is changing and in order to outsource I recommend that you take a look at your business and your strengths. Look at which of your talents would benefit your company in order to expand your business. Decide what makes sense for you to do and what is realistic for you to delegate to someone else.

Before you begin, make sure you know exactly which services you want to outsource and have a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve. It is important to be able to communicate to a virtual assistant (VA ) exactly what you are looking for in order for them to be able to provide you with the proper services.

Once you take the first step to outsourcing, you will realize that you now have time to do what you are good at and enjoy. You will no longer worry about when you will find the time to do certain tasks. It will all be completed within the timeframe you requested and efficiently.

Please have a look around the website and feel free to contact me for a free consultation on delegating to DELLAGATE.