Making Sense of the New “SHOP” Health Insurance Exchanges

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With so much press and coverage over the recent March 31 sign-up deadline for individual health care, a separate issue was greatly overshadowed: Not long from now, many small business owners will have to make a choice on whether they will enroll in their own health insurance exchange, and how they will offer healthcare coverage to their employees.

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) program is set up in each state, and is designed to serve as a healthcare exchange for small businesses. So while the program is available now in paper form (with certain parts being delayed), it goes completely live for online enrollment coming sometime this fall.

Small business owners have been provided with several choices when deciding how to proceed.

1. Renew existing small group plan for two more years, even if the plan doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act.

2. The ability to replace existing coverage with a plan purchased on the SHOP exchange.

3. Discontinue coverage, and encourage employees to seek out coverage of their own provided through their state’s individual exchange.

Looking at the Numbers

The number of employees you maintain is a huge factor in how the SHOP exchange affects your business.

- For businesses with 25 or fewer employees (those who are not required to offer health care), if you choose to do so, there are many tax credits available to you.

- Though the enrollment period is currently open to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, those businesses are not required to offer health care under the Affordable Care Act to their employees.

- Businesses with more than 100 employees are required to provide coverage to their employees or face a fine beginning in 2015.

- Mid-sized business (50-99 workers) will be required to offer coverage beginning in 2016 or face a fine.

Unlike the individual coverage, the SHOP exchange is open to businesses year round because there is no open enrollment period.

To learn more about the SHOP marketplace, your options, credits, and qualifications for your small business, click here to visit healthcare.gov’s FAQ page.

3 Customer Service Tips You Can Implement NOW

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One of the fastest ways to increase your sales, is to improve your customer service. The customer experience is incredibly crucial to repeat purchases and satisfaction, so it is imperative that your customer service to top notch. We will discuss 3 things you can do immediately to improve your customer service.iStock_000009612455XSmall_NOW

Way #1 Shorten Your Response Time

Nothing makes a bad customer service experience worse than a long time to get a response. When someone complains, get back to him or her immediately, even if it’s just to say, “Thank you for your feedback. I am looking into this and will get back to you.”  They want to know someone heard and someone is working on it. Set up expectations on response time internally for your team. Then adjust it based on what is actually happening.

Way #2 Don’t Flake

Now that you told the customer you’re looking into it and will get back to them, do it. Not getting back to them is about as bad as taking a long time to respond to their first contact. Utilize a tool such as Salesforce or use a ticket tracking system to record and notate conversations with customers. That way anyone can see the information and know exactly where your team is at with an issue. In Salesforce, tasks can be assigned to help your team stay organized and ensure they are not missing a follow up.

Way #3 Empathize and Sympathize

Whether a customer is upset or happy, people are happy when someone shares their experience or emotions. Connect with them somehow, and it will make things even better. Your customer service agents should reflect back to your customers and be sure to be relatable by taking ownership for any failures or problems. Your customers will appreciate it.

Please contact us for more Common Sense Customer Service Tips that can have an enormous impact on your business.

3 Tips To Good Customer Service

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customer-service2If you run a service based business or organization, you know how important it is to keep your customers happy.  Your brand depends on the quality of service your institution maintains.  If you can make a good first impression on someone you serve, chances are you have a loyal customer on your hands.  Customers like stability, security, and the peace of mind that comes with good service.  Let’s look at some tips that will help you exude good service in all aspects of your business.

1.  Customers Come First

You’ve surely heard the phrase “the customer is always right” before.  Well, it rings true in service based businesses.  If your customers want something, you go to great lengths to provide it.  Make an effort to pay attention to customers and ask them what what they want or need.  Let them know you care about what they think and feel.  You business can’t function without its customers—treat them well so they will want to come back.

2.  Listen To Complaints

No business owner likes to receive complaints.  However, complaints should be looked upon as chances to improve your service.  Don’t be angry at the customer for complaining—take personal responsibility for whatever caused them to feel neglected or dissatisfied.  Apologize for the mishap, even if the customer is in the wrong.  Always go out of your way to make sure the customer gets what they want.

3.  Set An Example For Your Employees

You have to be positive, humble, and likeable in the eyes of your employees.  If you carry out your role as business owner or manager correctly, your employees will follow your lead.  Be what you expect your workers to be and treat them with respect.  Treating employees with dignity will cause a chain reaction—you treat them well and they treat the customers well.  Managers can’t be everywhere at once.  Instead, you train your staff well so that you can rely on them to keep things running smoothly.

Providing good service starts with good leadership.  Be a beacon for positive change, listen to customers, and take action on anything they desire.  If you want to learn more about providing impeccable customer service, contact us to see what we can do for you!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

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We hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July! We cannot wait to spend the holiday with our Family and Friends. BBQ, Pool time, then enjoy the amazing  fireworks our small town puts on! What is your Fourth like?

Enjoy & Be Safe!

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Customer Satisfaction: It’s All About the Three C’s

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3csAre you practicing the three C’s of customer satisfaction? Never heard of them? Well, it may not be the most exciting group of words, or the most robust of topics, but without these three words, customers would never appreciate what you do for them.

They are:

Consistency…

Consistency…

Consistency.

Or as one consulting group says:

Consistency may be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers. But it’s exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when retail channels are proliferating and consumer choice and empowerment are increasing.

So how can you be consistent? Just follow these 3 steps.

Step 1. Listen

The more you listen to what your customers need, the easier it will be for you to provide them with their wishes. Which, in case you didn’t know, will boost your profitability beyond your wildest dreams. Just think of it as ROI (return on investment). Second, it will add to your customer retention. Listening to what your customers say will also help for you to provide consistent customer service on a regular basis.

Step 2. Act

You’ve heard the saying “do unto others as you would have them do,” right? Simply, act as you would like you customer to act, and treat them exactly as you would like to be treated. Give them a sunny disposition and you will get one back. This is an important factor in being consistent on an emotional level. A positive experience builds a lasting relationship and trust.

Step 3. Follow Through

Perhaps the easiest of the three, but it could also be one of the most important (if left out). Never make a promise to a customer that you cannot keep, and lways follow through with the goals you set for yourself and your employees. A let down customer is one that may not return. Consistently going out of your way to meet the expectations of your customers will drive sales and bolster relationships. It’s a guarantee.

So what are you waiting for? Institute the three C’s today!

Juggling a Family and a Career: How to Survive When It Seems Too Much

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iStock_000011530814XSmall-300x249With the pressures of work and a lack of time to dedicate to family, it is not uncommon for hardworking individuals to find themselves having difficulty with juggling a family and a career: how to survive is often at the forefront of many people’s minds. This may especially be the case for you if you are accustomed to working alternative hours in shifts commonly found in dispatching careers. Whether you work a day, night or swing shift, there are many ways that you can ensure that your family and career both receive the attention and respect they deserve, in order to help you succeed both on the job and at home. Here are a few tips for juggling your family and career:

1. Be Present.

Whether it is at your job or at home, focus on what is important in each area. Give your best effort to both. If on the job, keep yourself organized so that you can provide the best possible service to your customers while staying on top of the workload. Dedicate time to family when home, and do things you enjoy together with them. Be sure to give yourself some quiet personal time as well.

2. Plan date nights or family outings ahead of time.

When something is scheduled, it is more likely to be kept. By scheduling a regular activity, you can plan it around your schedule for a day and time that you will feel the most relaxed, refreshed and excited.

3. Talk about your day with your family.

Help them understand what your day to day looks like so they take interest in what you do. Discuss how your day went so they can understand how you might be feeling, and help you refocus on the rest of the day.

4. Create a routine both at home and on the job.

Routines create patterns in our lives, allowing us to complete regular and often mundane tasks with speed and efficiency. Work with your family to set up a morning and evening routine, to quick finish necessary chores and tasks and allow for more free time at home. At work, consider the parts of your shift, time of day, or order of tasks that you are able to accomplish the most in, and work to follow a routine for the everyday actions.

Juggling family and a career can feel overwhelming at times. However by taking a few small steps at both the workplace and at home, it is possible to not only feel comfortable in both roles, but to enjoy what you are doing and cherish family time as well.

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3 Awesome Limousine Service Marketing Ideas

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Running a Limo/Car Service can be a stressful affair, especially when you add to it marketing and advertising.hummer-h2-limo-06

On any given day you will be organizing and maintaining your fleet, keeping track of expenses, training and hiring staff (like drivers, dispatchers, and mechanics), and automating menial tasks while systematizing those that are periodic.

Who has time to brand themselves with all that going on? The answer is you do. Here are 3 great ideas to help you market your limousine service and maybe make a little extra money along the way.

Offer Exclusive Services

If you are the only limo service in your area, then great! This one is easy. But if you are faced with a stiff competition, keeping your head above water while remaining competitive can be an undertaking.

A great way to remain viable and profitable is to offer services that are exclusive to your brand. Things that clients will talk to their friends and family about. Here are some ideas:

- Red Carpet/VIP Service

- Red Roses Service

- Champagne Service

- Anyway to personalize and brand yourself

Client Appreciation Scripting

After booking, make it a point to confirm with your scheduled client personally via telephone. Make it the job of one of your skilled dispatchers. Never just send an email to confirm. This way, you can address any ways you can exceed your customer’s expectations, and provide them with one-of-a-kind amenities that may not receive from other limo services. Then, after the services are rendered, send a thank you letter. Customer retention her you come!

Partnering with Local Business

If you have been in business for a while, you now doubt know the owners and managers of local restaurants, which is perfect for this marketing idea. As you know, Monday through Thursday can be quite slow for a limo service. So what better time is there to get those limos on the road (for some free advertising)?

Contact some local restaurants and ask to do a cross-promotion for 15% off lunch or dinner, in exchange for 15% off of the client’s limo service. And once you get this agreement to work, don’t stretch yourself. You can easily turn the mid-week doldrums into extra profit with just the help of a one or two restaurants.

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4 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Website This Week

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A lot of small business make a big mistake when it comes to their website: once it’s up, they leave it alone. All successful businesses maintain, update, and upgrade their websites regularly. Something that all small businesses with a web presence should be doing regularly.download (1)

Here are 4 things you can do this week to improve your small business’ website.

1. About what? Take a close look at your About page. What does it say about who you are as a company? You may not think anyone cares about how you got started, who you serve, your employees, and so on, but trust us, they do. Put up photos, Google Maps directions, hours, history, etc.

2. A Picture is worth a thousand words. Photographs that are relevant to your business should be placed strategically around your website. But not just any photos, leave the stock photographs where they belong. Put up photos of things at your business, things you are proud of, your storefront, anything that helps a customer relate and want your services.

3. Statistic software solves problems. Software like Google Analytics can give you valuable insight into your customers. Like where they came from, what links they clicked, and what pages they view. There’s even a way to get very technical information if you have an account.

4. How does it look from over there? You may have created your website in Internet Explorer, but do you know how it look in Opera? Firefox? Chrome? What does it look like to a mobile user? Try finding your website on every platform to ensure it works, and looks like you intended it to. Or, for those who are strapped for time, check out Cross Browser Testing to do most of it at once.

When implemented correctly, these simple solutions can save you lots of time, generate leads, and increase customer flow. Which one will you do first?

5 Ways Managers Can Get the Best Customer Service from Their Dispatchers

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logoPerhaps one of the most important, and unsung factors of dispatching is making the caller comfortable on the other end of the line. When a dispatcher answers a call, they are representing an entire company. Which is why how a dispatcher handles customer service will make or break the perception of what the caller thinks.

Here are 5 great ways to get the best customer service from your dispatchers.

Proper Training 

It’s probably not going to help your business much if you set standards but don’t provide training to back them up. A solid training program, or a group of standard operating procedures, can help establish guidelines and ensure quality.

Recognize Excellence

Everyone wants to be told they are doing a good job when they are. Rewarding your employees for a job well done carries more weight than you think. Set up incentive programs for those who excel at customer service to motivate others.

Two-Way Communication

As a manager, you should always be looking for ways to improve great service, even if you think it’s already top quality. A perfect way of getting more from your dispatchers is to ask them how to make things smoother. A personal prospective from someone on the front line is more valuable than an opinion from a far.

Problems Should be Opportunities

From the start, objective problem-solving should have importance. The earlier you institute that problems are nothing more than obstacles to overcome and adapt to, the sooner everyone on board will think the same as you. And soon, problems will be a thing of the past.

Emphasize Interpersonal Skills

Communicating over the phone is no easy task. It takes time and training to excel at it. Which is why it should be viewed as the perfect way to develop your team, and less like a burden. Placing a focus on interpersonal skills among your team will help them to be better listeners and communicators.

4 Common Sense Customer Service Tips That Enhance Your Business

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In this modern age of online transactions and digital communication, one of the basics of business is frequently overlooked. Customer service is one of the aspects of business that is critically important, but so frequently it takes a back seat to efficiency and cheap prices. There are many customers out there that are glad to pay more if they know they will be getting great customer service. So what are some simple things your staff can do to better your customer service?

Acknowledge waiting customers. There’s nothing more annoying than feeling like you’re invisible, whether you’re in a store or waiting on hold on the phone. Everyone can understand that we all get busy from time to time, but the simple act of saying hello and that someone will be with you as soon as possible will gain you major points in the eyes of the customer. Yes, this is easy to do on the phone as well. I’m fairly certain no one likes those automated machines.

Make eye contact. This obviously only applies to in person transactions, but it makes a huge difference in the responsiveness of the customer. When you make eye contact, you connect with people and it’s such an infrequent occurrence in digital interaction today that it makes a world of difference.

Offer empathy. An upset customer is something no company wants, but it happens to everyone. The way that you handle an upset customer can mean the difference between a brand basher and a brand ambassador. One way to disarm upset customers is to be empathetic to their situation. So often they get on the phone, ready for a fight and when you concede and share their frustration, suddenly you’re on their side.

Follow up. This is one thing that never fails to make me a fan of a company. I love getting a follow up email or even call to make sure that I’m happy with my experience. It’s proactive and empowering and that’s a great way to make your customers feel.

While it might seem that customer service is pretty simple, these very basic practices rarely make it into daily interactions with customers.

 

Please contact us to learn more Common Sense Customer Service Tips that can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

5 Easy and Uncomplicated Social Media Tips For Your Small Business

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social2Social Media and your small business… how much thought have you given it? If the answer is not much, it’s time for a crash course on how using social media can improve everything from customer relations, to inventory purchasing, to branding. But first, the basics:

SEO

SEO gets thrown around a lot when people start talking about social media and marketing. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and when people refer to improving your SEO, what they mean is the steps a business takes online for their business website to be found. Pretty simple concept. Just remember, however, that the days of old in terms of how SEO works changed this year. You can read more on that here.

Social Media SEO

Social media SEO builds on the basic SEO concept by adding to it the idea that social media links and online interactions play a role in website ranking — the idea referring to where your website shows up after a search. This stems from the term you’ve likely heard called optimizing content, wherein a stronger social media SEO strengthens your page ranking.

So with the definitions out of the way, here are 5 easy ways you can use social media to benefit your small business.

1. Create a Google+ page. You may have heard negative things, but having a Google+ page for your small business is like adding a cherry to the top of your online presence.

2. Use Pinterest. It’s really that simple. Set up a Pinterest page, it’s great for link-building and creating and improving your keyword strategy (optimization).

3. Think about how your Facebook page appears to mobile users. Because smartphones run social media. In fact, 91% of all local searches say they use Facebook to find local business. Don’t have a Facebook page? Now’s the time to start one.

4. Optimize all of your online social media content. Do this by always including some form keywords in your posts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) relevant to people finding your business online.

5. Your social media profiles should carry strong optimizers that are SEO-friendly and increase your web-presence. Do this by always filling out the “About Me” sections with words that describe your business, and also serve as search engine terms.

What are you waiting for? Get started today!

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Making Sense of the New “SHOP” Health Insurance Exchanges

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With so much press and coverage over the recent March 31 sign-up deadline for individual health care, a separate issue was greatly overshadowed: Not long from now, many small business owners will have to make a choice on whether they will enroll in their own health insurance exchange, and how they will offer healthcare coverage to their employees.

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) program is set up in each state, and is designed to serve as a healthcare exchange for small businesses. So while the program is available now in paper form (with certain parts being delayed), it goes completely live for online enrollment coming sometime this fall.

Small business owners have been provided with several choices when deciding how to proceed.

1. Renew existing small group plan for two more years, even if the plan doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act.

2. The ability to replace existing coverage with a plan purchased on the SHOP exchange.

3. Discontinue coverage, and encourage employees to seek out coverage of their own provided through their state’s individual exchange.

Looking at the Numbers

The number of employees you maintain is a huge factor in how the SHOP exchange affects your business.

- For businesses with 25 or fewer employees (those who are not required to offer health care), if you choose to do so, there are many tax credits available to you.

- Though the enrollment period is currently open to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, those businesses are not required to offer health care under the Affordable Care Act to their employees.

- Businesses with more than 100 employees are required to provide coverage to their employees or face a fine beginning in 2015.

- Mid-sized business (50-99 workers) will be required to offer coverage beginning in 2016 or face a fine.

Unlike the individual coverage, the SHOP exchange is open to businesses year round because there is no open enrollment period.

To learn more about the SHOP marketplace, your options, credits, and qualifications for your small business, click here to visit healthcare.gov’s FAQ page.

3 Customer Service Tips You Can Implement NOW

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One of the fastest ways to increase your sales, is to improve your customer service. The customer experience is incredibly crucial to repeat purchases and satisfaction, so it is imperative that your customer service to top notch. We will discuss 3 things you can do immediately to improve your customer service.iStock_000009612455XSmall_NOW

Way #1 Shorten Your Response Time

Nothing makes a bad customer service experience worse than a long time to get a response. When someone complains, get back to him or her immediately, even if it’s just to say, “Thank you for your feedback. I am looking into this and will get back to you.”  They want to know someone heard and someone is working on it. Set up expectations on response time internally for your team. Then adjust it based on what is actually happening.

Way #2 Don’t Flake

Now that you told the customer you’re looking into it and will get back to them, do it. Not getting back to them is about as bad as taking a long time to respond to their first contact. Utilize a tool such as Salesforce or use a ticket tracking system to record and notate conversations with customers. That way anyone can see the information and know exactly where your team is at with an issue. In Salesforce, tasks can be assigned to help your team stay organized and ensure they are not missing a follow up.

Way #3 Empathize and Sympathize

Whether a customer is upset or happy, people are happy when someone shares their experience or emotions. Connect with them somehow, and it will make things even better. Your customer service agents should reflect back to your customers and be sure to be relatable by taking ownership for any failures or problems. Your customers will appreciate it.

Please contact us for more Common Sense Customer Service Tips that can have an enormous impact on your business.

3 Tips To Good Customer Service

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customer-service2If you run a service based business or organization, you know how important it is to keep your customers happy.  Your brand depends on the quality of service your institution maintains.  If you can make a good first impression on someone you serve, chances are you have a loyal customer on your hands.  Customers like stability, security, and the peace of mind that comes with good service.  Let’s look at some tips that will help you exude good service in all aspects of your business.

1.  Customers Come First

You’ve surely heard the phrase “the customer is always right” before.  Well, it rings true in service based businesses.  If your customers want something, you go to great lengths to provide it.  Make an effort to pay attention to customers and ask them what what they want or need.  Let them know you care about what they think and feel.  You business can’t function without its customers—treat them well so they will want to come back.

2.  Listen To Complaints

No business owner likes to receive complaints.  However, complaints should be looked upon as chances to improve your service.  Don’t be angry at the customer for complaining—take personal responsibility for whatever caused them to feel neglected or dissatisfied.  Apologize for the mishap, even if the customer is in the wrong.  Always go out of your way to make sure the customer gets what they want.

3.  Set An Example For Your Employees

You have to be positive, humble, and likeable in the eyes of your employees.  If you carry out your role as business owner or manager correctly, your employees will follow your lead.  Be what you expect your workers to be and treat them with respect.  Treating employees with dignity will cause a chain reaction—you treat them well and they treat the customers well.  Managers can’t be everywhere at once.  Instead, you train your staff well so that you can rely on them to keep things running smoothly.

Providing good service starts with good leadership.  Be a beacon for positive change, listen to customers, and take action on anything they desire.  If you want to learn more about providing impeccable customer service, contact us to see what we can do for you!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

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We hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July! We cannot wait to spend the holiday with our Family and Friends. BBQ, Pool time, then enjoy the amazing  fireworks our small town puts on! What is your Fourth like?

Enjoy & Be Safe!

MyOpenJobs Staff

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Customer Satisfaction: It’s All About the Three C’s

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3csAre you practicing the three C’s of customer satisfaction? Never heard of them? Well, it may not be the most exciting group of words, or the most robust of topics, but without these three words, customers would never appreciate what you do for them.

They are:

Consistency…

Consistency…

Consistency.

Or as one consulting group says:

Consistency may be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers. But it’s exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when retail channels are proliferating and consumer choice and empowerment are increasing.

So how can you be consistent? Just follow these 3 steps.

Step 1. Listen

The more you listen to what your customers need, the easier it will be for you to provide them with their wishes. Which, in case you didn’t know, will boost your profitability beyond your wildest dreams. Just think of it as ROI (return on investment). Second, it will add to your customer retention. Listening to what your customers say will also help for you to provide consistent customer service on a regular basis.

Step 2. Act

You’ve heard the saying “do unto others as you would have them do,” right? Simply, act as you would like you customer to act, and treat them exactly as you would like to be treated. Give them a sunny disposition and you will get one back. This is an important factor in being consistent on an emotional level. A positive experience builds a lasting relationship and trust.

Step 3. Follow Through

Perhaps the easiest of the three, but it could also be one of the most important (if left out). Never make a promise to a customer that you cannot keep, and lways follow through with the goals you set for yourself and your employees. A let down customer is one that may not return. Consistently going out of your way to meet the expectations of your customers will drive sales and bolster relationships. It’s a guarantee.

So what are you waiting for? Institute the three C’s today!

Juggling a Family and a Career: How to Survive When It Seems Too Much

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iStock_000011530814XSmall-300x249With the pressures of work and a lack of time to dedicate to family, it is not uncommon for hardworking individuals to find themselves having difficulty with juggling a family and a career: how to survive is often at the forefront of many people’s minds. This may especially be the case for you if you are accustomed to working alternative hours in shifts commonly found in dispatching careers. Whether you work a day, night or swing shift, there are many ways that you can ensure that your family and career both receive the attention and respect they deserve, in order to help you succeed both on the job and at home. Here are a few tips for juggling your family and career:

1. Be Present.

Whether it is at your job or at home, focus on what is important in each area. Give your best effort to both. If on the job, keep yourself organized so that you can provide the best possible service to your customers while staying on top of the workload. Dedicate time to family when home, and do things you enjoy together with them. Be sure to give yourself some quiet personal time as well.

2. Plan date nights or family outings ahead of time.

When something is scheduled, it is more likely to be kept. By scheduling a regular activity, you can plan it around your schedule for a day and time that you will feel the most relaxed, refreshed and excited.

3. Talk about your day with your family.

Help them understand what your day to day looks like so they take interest in what you do. Discuss how your day went so they can understand how you might be feeling, and help you refocus on the rest of the day.

4. Create a routine both at home and on the job.

Routines create patterns in our lives, allowing us to complete regular and often mundane tasks with speed and efficiency. Work with your family to set up a morning and evening routine, to quick finish necessary chores and tasks and allow for more free time at home. At work, consider the parts of your shift, time of day, or order of tasks that you are able to accomplish the most in, and work to follow a routine for the everyday actions.

Juggling family and a career can feel overwhelming at times. However by taking a few small steps at both the workplace and at home, it is possible to not only feel comfortable in both roles, but to enjoy what you are doing and cherish family time as well.

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3 Awesome Limousine Service Marketing Ideas

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Running a Limo/Car Service can be a stressful affair, especially when you add to it marketing and advertising.hummer-h2-limo-06

On any given day you will be organizing and maintaining your fleet, keeping track of expenses, training and hiring staff (like drivers, dispatchers, and mechanics), and automating menial tasks while systematizing those that are periodic.

Who has time to brand themselves with all that going on? The answer is you do. Here are 3 great ideas to help you market your limousine service and maybe make a little extra money along the way.

Offer Exclusive Services

If you are the only limo service in your area, then great! This one is easy. But if you are faced with a stiff competition, keeping your head above water while remaining competitive can be an undertaking.

A great way to remain viable and profitable is to offer services that are exclusive to your brand. Things that clients will talk to their friends and family about. Here are some ideas:

- Red Carpet/VIP Service

- Red Roses Service

- Champagne Service

- Anyway to personalize and brand yourself

Client Appreciation Scripting

After booking, make it a point to confirm with your scheduled client personally via telephone. Make it the job of one of your skilled dispatchers. Never just send an email to confirm. This way, you can address any ways you can exceed your customer’s expectations, and provide them with one-of-a-kind amenities that may not receive from other limo services. Then, after the services are rendered, send a thank you letter. Customer retention her you come!

Partnering with Local Business

If you have been in business for a while, you now doubt know the owners and managers of local restaurants, which is perfect for this marketing idea. As you know, Monday through Thursday can be quite slow for a limo service. So what better time is there to get those limos on the road (for some free advertising)?

Contact some local restaurants and ask to do a cross-promotion for 15% off lunch or dinner, in exchange for 15% off of the client’s limo service. And once you get this agreement to work, don’t stretch yourself. You can easily turn the mid-week doldrums into extra profit with just the help of a one or two restaurants.

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4 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Website This Week

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A lot of small business make a big mistake when it comes to their website: once it’s up, they leave it alone. All successful businesses maintain, update, and upgrade their websites regularly. Something that all small businesses with a web presence should be doing regularly.download (1)

Here are 4 things you can do this week to improve your small business’ website.

1. About what? Take a close look at your About page. What does it say about who you are as a company? You may not think anyone cares about how you got started, who you serve, your employees, and so on, but trust us, they do. Put up photos, Google Maps directions, hours, history, etc.

2. A Picture is worth a thousand words. Photographs that are relevant to your business should be placed strategically around your website. But not just any photos, leave the stock photographs where they belong. Put up photos of things at your business, things you are proud of, your storefront, anything that helps a customer relate and want your services.

3. Statistic software solves problems. Software like Google Analytics can give you valuable insight into your customers. Like where they came from, what links they clicked, and what pages they view. There’s even a way to get very technical information if you have an account.

4. How does it look from over there? You may have created your website in Internet Explorer, but do you know how it look in Opera? Firefox? Chrome? What does it look like to a mobile user? Try finding your website on every platform to ensure it works, and looks like you intended it to. Or, for those who are strapped for time, check out Cross Browser Testing to do most of it at once.

When implemented correctly, these simple solutions can save you lots of time, generate leads, and increase customer flow. Which one will you do first?

5 Ways Managers Can Get the Best Customer Service from Their Dispatchers

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logoPerhaps one of the most important, and unsung factors of dispatching is making the caller comfortable on the other end of the line. When a dispatcher answers a call, they are representing an entire company. Which is why how a dispatcher handles customer service will make or break the perception of what the caller thinks.

Here are 5 great ways to get the best customer service from your dispatchers.

Proper Training 

It’s probably not going to help your business much if you set standards but don’t provide training to back them up. A solid training program, or a group of standard operating procedures, can help establish guidelines and ensure quality.

Recognize Excellence

Everyone wants to be told they are doing a good job when they are. Rewarding your employees for a job well done carries more weight than you think. Set up incentive programs for those who excel at customer service to motivate others.

Two-Way Communication

As a manager, you should always be looking for ways to improve great service, even if you think it’s already top quality. A perfect way of getting more from your dispatchers is to ask them how to make things smoother. A personal prospective from someone on the front line is more valuable than an opinion from a far.

Problems Should be Opportunities

From the start, objective problem-solving should have importance. The earlier you institute that problems are nothing more than obstacles to overcome and adapt to, the sooner everyone on board will think the same as you. And soon, problems will be a thing of the past.

Emphasize Interpersonal Skills

Communicating over the phone is no easy task. It takes time and training to excel at it. Which is why it should be viewed as the perfect way to develop your team, and less like a burden. Placing a focus on interpersonal skills among your team will help them to be better listeners and communicators.

4 Common Sense Customer Service Tips That Enhance Your Business

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In this modern age of online transactions and digital communication, one of the basics of business is frequently overlooked. Customer service is one of the aspects of business that is critically important, but so frequently it takes a back seat to efficiency and cheap prices. There are many customers out there that are glad to pay more if they know they will be getting great customer service. So what are some simple things your staff can do to better your customer service?

Acknowledge waiting customers. There’s nothing more annoying than feeling like you’re invisible, whether you’re in a store or waiting on hold on the phone. Everyone can understand that we all get busy from time to time, but the simple act of saying hello and that someone will be with you as soon as possible will gain you major points in the eyes of the customer. Yes, this is easy to do on the phone as well. I’m fairly certain no one likes those automated machines.

Make eye contact. This obviously only applies to in person transactions, but it makes a huge difference in the responsiveness of the customer. When you make eye contact, you connect with people and it’s such an infrequent occurrence in digital interaction today that it makes a world of difference.

Offer empathy. An upset customer is something no company wants, but it happens to everyone. The way that you handle an upset customer can mean the difference between a brand basher and a brand ambassador. One way to disarm upset customers is to be empathetic to their situation. So often they get on the phone, ready for a fight and when you concede and share their frustration, suddenly you’re on their side.

Follow up. This is one thing that never fails to make me a fan of a company. I love getting a follow up email or even call to make sure that I’m happy with my experience. It’s proactive and empowering and that’s a great way to make your customers feel.

While it might seem that customer service is pretty simple, these very basic practices rarely make it into daily interactions with customers.

 

Please contact us to learn more Common Sense Customer Service Tips that can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

5 Easy and Uncomplicated Social Media Tips For Your Small Business

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social2Social Media and your small business… how much thought have you given it? If the answer is not much, it’s time for a crash course on how using social media can improve everything from customer relations, to inventory purchasing, to branding. But first, the basics:

SEO

SEO gets thrown around a lot when people start talking about social media and marketing. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and when people refer to improving your SEO, what they mean is the steps a business takes online for their business website to be found. Pretty simple concept. Just remember, however, that the days of old in terms of how SEO works changed this year. You can read more on that here.

Social Media SEO

Social media SEO builds on the basic SEO concept by adding to it the idea that social media links and online interactions play a role in website ranking — the idea referring to where your website shows up after a search. This stems from the term you’ve likely heard called optimizing content, wherein a stronger social media SEO strengthens your page ranking.

So with the definitions out of the way, here are 5 easy ways you can use social media to benefit your small business.

1. Create a Google+ page. You may have heard negative things, but having a Google+ page for your small business is like adding a cherry to the top of your online presence.

2. Use Pinterest. It’s really that simple. Set up a Pinterest page, it’s great for link-building and creating and improving your keyword strategy (optimization).

3. Think about how your Facebook page appears to mobile users. Because smartphones run social media. In fact, 91% of all local searches say they use Facebook to find local business. Don’t have a Facebook page? Now’s the time to start one.

4. Optimize all of your online social media content. Do this by always including some form keywords in your posts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) relevant to people finding your business online.

5. Your social media profiles should carry strong optimizers that are SEO-friendly and increase your web-presence. Do this by always filling out the “About Me” sections with words that describe your business, and also serve as search engine terms.

What are you waiting for? Get started today!

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