10 Ways to Cross-Train Your Employees for Stellar Customer Support.

Cross training. It’s a term that’s become popular in the health and fitness world, but it originated in the business world. There is some similarity though—cross training can make your business healthier and more fit.

Cross-training involves teaching an employee who was hired to perform one job function the skills required to perform other job functions, according to Inc. magazine’s encyclopedia of business terms.

While you can cross-train your employees across many lines, customer support is perhaps the most vital focus if you want to create an Amazon-like culture of winning with customers.

Think about the big picture. Good customer service is a quasi marketing tool that can drive extreme loyalty. Customers are actively engaging in word-of-mouth marketing over social media channels in the same way news is propagating in near real-time via Twitter. And listening, truly listening, to what your customers are saying can help you retain even the most disgruntled customers—and attract brand new ones.

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Six Factors That Make a Top-Line-Driven Sales Team

Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal—not of selling a product or a service. So teaches motivational speaker and sales expert Brian Tracy.

That’s the baseline mantra of any good sales team. But that’s just the baseline. There are many factors that go into building a strategic sales team that drives your top line and ultimately enhances your bottom line. Here are six other considerations:

1. Hire the right people.

Without the “right” people on the team, the team will never see the “right” results. Although you want skilled salesmen in your pack, skills can be taught—motivation cannot. Don’t be afraid to create a team with a blend of seasoned high achievers and less-experienced candidates who are motivated and eager to learn.

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Your 9-Step Framework to a Successful Sales Meeting

Bla, bla, bla, bla.  This is what it sounds like when you’re in a meeting and you have no agenda, no end time, and no idea why you’re there. A complete waste of time, right? Well, keep this in mind when you are pitching your next client. Taking complete control over every step of the sales meeting will put your prospect at ease with open ears and an open mind.  Below is your Nine-Step framework for an incredibly successful sales meeting.  

First: Select a meeting venue and service support that reflects the caliber of your brand. 

There are thousands of meeting venues across the nation and indeed the world where you can choose the location, vibe and meeting setting that is in line with the impression you want to establish with your prospective client. You may reserve an intimate meeting room, grand boardroom or something in between by the hour or day.

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Customer Service Training and Amazon.com

Amazon.com has built a reputation for customer service. Yes, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has built a customer service-focused machine by looking at e-tailing through customer-colored glasses. Salesforce’s Desk.com put together seven statements from Bezos, with explanation, in a blog post entitled, “7 Lessons You Can Learn from Jeff Bezos About Serving the Customer.”

“Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer.” writes Kevin Baldacci. “Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.”

As you train your staff on the customer service front, be sure to keep these proven tactics in mind.

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Mobile Apps SEO: A complete guide for App Owners

In today’s business world, it is important to have an app. We may understand search engine optimization – or SEO. However, app owners who apply this knowledge can easily create one that improves visibility, which will increase business. As you will see, applying SEO knowledge to apps may take some tweaks.  But, the rewards are plentiful.

Getting Ranked In SERPs

Using website SEO has become common. However, according to searchengineland.com, anyone who understands how to create good search engine optimization to get mobile apps ranked will improve their business. After all, good SEO increases your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. These pages are the results of your search terms.  Whatever search engine you use, you will see similar results based on rankings.

In order to help you increase your chances of your app getting higher on the SERPs, there are several things you can do:

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Why Having a Local Business Address is Important

Many small businesses, particularly sole proprietors with service businesses, do not have a professional business address but instead use their home address. However, there are some downsides and potential legal issues when doing so. Intuit spells out some of the more prevalent ones in a QuickBooks posting:

  1. Lease and HOA Rules.

    Apartment and condo complexes restrict the ability for residents to run a business out of their home (or in this case apartment or condo). Check your lease and home owners’ association (HOA) rules to confirm if there are any restrictions.

 

  1. Zoning Restrictions.

    Local municipality codes (zoning regulations) in some cities may restrict or prohibit home owners from running a commercial operation out of their homes.

 

  1. Liability Issues.

    LLCs and corporations may negate the benefits they received by forming a limited liability company or corporation. Those protections only apply if business and personal activities are kept separate. If the courts deem the two are intertwined, then you could be personally liable for business debts and obligations.

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4 Massively Draining Small Business Mistakes to Avoid

If you could have a do over in your business, what would you do? Focus more on sales? Strategic planning? Marketing and advertising?

Many small business owners would say “yes” to all of this, but there could be more fundamental issues you need to work on that would fuel your passion to engage in revenue-driving activities.

Indeed, according to Brother International’s 6th Annual Small Business Survey, passionate people like you are making the same mistakes repeatedly. While many would spend more time hiring and training employees and more money on marketing, even more would focus on avoiding the four mistakes outlined below.

1. Taking on too many roles and responsibilities:

While some small business owners seem to take pride in wearing multiple hats, 35 percent of respondents would like to reduce or eliminate taking on so many roles and responsibilities. It’s been said that the jack of all trades is master of none.

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5 Common Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

You may be laboring as hard as you can to grow your small business—wearing several hats, burning the midnight oil, and otherwise giving it all you’ve got—but you may also be shooting yourself in the foot with common, yet costly marketing mistakes.

It’s time to reassess what you’re doing right, wrong—or not at all. It’s time to reconsider what you should be doing that you aren’t and what you shouldn’t be doing that you must. Take heart, these marketing mistakes are common to small businesses—but you don’t have to keep making them.

1. Neglecting a Strategic Marketing Plan:

You can have the best products and most compelling services in your local market, but a big idea alone doesn’t make successful small business. You need to get the word out about your products and services, or you may as well work under a rock.

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10 Things to Avoid as An Entrepreneur

Becoming your own entrepreneur can an exciting experience.  However, there are several issues to look out for.  As you will see, many things can get in the way of becoming a successful entrepreneur, and we’ll go over 10 of them.

1. Working Remotely and Staying Up to Date

Many of today’s workers are leaving the office space. More people are becoming members of the mobile workforce.  As such, they are taking their work home, and creating a more flexible schedule for themselves.

However, it does come with a price.  You need to have the latest equipment that can handle your remote work. Specifically, you need a reliable internet connection with WiFi to hold conversations through texts, and video chat.  Avoid being frugal with your office equipment.

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The Organizational Art of Getting Things Done

I’m overloaded. There’s way too many demands on me in comparison to the number of hours in a day. At the same time, I’m committed to eating right and sleeping well—and not burning out. In other words, I’ve learned that burning the candle at both ends does not a long-term successful business make.

That’s why I’m reading a book right now that’s absolutely changing my life—not just my business life but my entire life. It’s called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

David Allen penned a time-management method that is more suitable for the modern age in which we live. Admittedly, the Getting Things Done (GTD) model is challenging at times to apply but will set your brain free to create and execute on more than you ever thought possible if you adopt it.

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