Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Three Ways to Improve Your Workplace Time Management Skills: Part 1 of 3

Woman doing multiple activities at one time
The work phones have been ringing off the hook all day, and there aren't enough team members to answer all the calls. There are 200-plus emails piling up in your queue. You have several prospects to enter into your CRM and several more to follow up with. The to-do list on your desk is so long it now has chapters. Not to mention, your personal cell phone is buzzing nonstop. You're scared you won't hit quota for Q2, simply because you don't have enough time.

Modern-day Americans are forced to multitask due to a lack of time. But only 2 percent of people can actually multitask effectively. In fact, experts believe multitasking leads to a 40 percent loss of productivity.

So what can be done to finally check all those boxes off your list of things to do while avoiding multitasking? In this three-part series, we'll give you some helpful tips on creating more time in your day. Our first tip is to get into a productive routine.

Experiment to Find the Right Routine

The average desk job employee wastes 2.1 hours a day. Whether that's checking their cell phone, grabbing coffee, talking to a nearby coworker or simply deciding which task to tackle next, 2.1 hours a day equals an alarming 546 hours a year. That's almost an entire month of time! 

We agree hardworking employees deserve to give themselves small breaks to reduce the effects that come from overworking, such as burnout, but there must be limits. Need to grab a coffee and reply to an urgent text? Delegate a few five-minute time frames and write them down on your schedule. During these allotted time periods, tackle small tasks like getting that coffee fix or swinging by a coworker's cubicle to chat. You should set aside time to get those things out of your system so you can focus on having a productive day. 

Learning to schedule your tasks more efficiently takes a little more practice, and your schedule will depend on your unique tasks.

We made this list as a helpful starting point:
  • Use "batching," which is simply working on related tasks together.
  • Prioritize your to-do list by importance, and keep it clearly visible.
  • Reward yourself with incentives after completing tasks.

Once you find the most beneficial way to organize your workday, stick to your schedule for maximum productivity.

What have you done to find the perfect schedule?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Age of Instant Gratification: How to Manage Customer Service Expectations

Businessman circling the word "now" written on glass
Instant gratification, the desire to experience fulfillment without delay, has taken hold of our 21st-century expectations and shows no sign of easing its grip. We want what want, and we want it now.

We've traded Blockbuster and DVDs for instant streaming through Netflix and Hulu  why wait a moment longer to watch your show when you can binge watch it right now? We've traded the art of communicating with others for a quick scroll down their Instagram timeline. We've traded walking the aisles of the grocery store for grabbing curbside pickup instantly and heading home to get back on Netflix and Instagram.

Our society has forgotten what it feels like to wait for something. Follow the tips below to enhance customer satisfaction in the age of dying patience.

Make Mobile Seamless and Hassle Free

Approximately 95 percent of Americans have cell phones, and on average, we're checking them 80 times a day. If we went to your website right now, how easy would it be for us to call you immediately? Would we have to search for your phone number? Would we have to type it out on those tiny smartphone buttons?

Regardless of the size of your company, it's more important than ever that you make the mobile experience as seamless as possible. Consider implementing clickable numbers that will let prospects instantly call you with the click of a button. Now your competition will be frustrated instead of your customers.

Contact Leads Quickly

A study from MIT found that if a rep waits 30 minutes to call a prospect who submitted a web page form, the rep is 100 times less likely to make contact. If the rep waits five hours, the odds drop by 3,000 times. The longer your staff waits to get in contact with prospects, the more potential sales you're losing out on.

How can you ensure your staff isn't missing inquiries from interested customers? Should you just make them hit refresh on their emails every 30 seconds? We don't think so! There a much easier answer to end this problem: a solution that empowers your employees to respond to webs form submissions in a timely manner. When a prospect submits a form, the application calls the next available rep in a round robin rotation to guarantee the lead is contacted. Once an agent is reached, text-to-speech technology converts the text of the web submission into a recording. After listening to the recordings, the rep can then place a call to the customer. This saves your reps the hassle and wasted time of digging through emails to respond to potential leads.

Make the Purchasing Process Easy

Back in 2000, the process of buying an item online was as follows: Take an absurd amount of time out of your day to connect to the internet through dial-up. Once it finally connects, access your favorite retailer’s website and check out with shipping options (like seven business days at the earliest for around $10). Patiently wait a week or longer for the item to arrive.

The process of buying an item online in 2018 is as follows: Simply pull out your smartphone, search for an item on Amazon, check out via your Prime account for free shipping and find it on your doorstep within 48 hours — sometimes even sooner.

Whether or not you’re in the retail biz, customers’ experiences with retailers shape how they view their experiences with other companies. Your customers expect a high-speed quality service experience. If they’re ready to sign the dotted line and give you their money, give them your full attention and do everything in your power to close the sale ASAP.

What steps have you taken to satisfy the demanding expectations of today’s customer base? Let us know in the comments.