vWorkApp now has a Getting Started guide, which is a step-by-step guide to help you get started with vWorkApp! This guide will help you add workers in the Dashboard, connect and set up mobile phones, create and schedule jobs, add customers, and add templates and forms.
Archive for Jan, 2012
Voxer is an iPhone and Android application that turns your phone into a Walkie Talkie. What I like most about it is that I can send super quick voice messages to friends. I despise talking on the phone and typing text messages takes forever. Anyone who doesn’t have time to have full conversations on the phone via talk and can’t type messages quickly would greatly benefit from using Voxer.
Why Voxer is good in business
Voxer is a free application that makes it easy to communicate with coworkers. Other than being a perfectly useful Walkie Talkie, it’s also a way to share photos, record your location, and type messages if you want to. Plus you can use group chats, which makes it very easy to share all of this information with your entire team.
“If there’s one reason we have done better than our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.”
Jeff Bezos is the CEO of the largest online retailer in the world. How did Amazon.com become the behemoth it is today? One reason could be its wide selection of products. Another reason could be its ability to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing world. Jeff Bezos believes that Amazon’s success can mainly be attributed to its laser-like focus on exceptional customer experience and customer service.
Today, customer service can make or break a business, especially with social media technology like Twitter, Yelp and Facebook. A good customer review on Yelp could lead to exponential growth in business. A tweet by a customer who had a bad experience with a company could lead to a tarnished reputation and a huge loss in business.
The tweet heard ’round the World Wide Web
While that sounds very dramatic, there are some real-world examples of how customer service (with the help of social media technology) has had a strong impact on the reputation of a company. One example is a tweet about Morton’s the Steakhouse. Below is a summary of what happened, or you can read the full story here.
Morton’s the Steakhouse: A man named Peter, who happened to love Morton’s steaks, was flying to EWR airport in New Jersey. Before the plane took off, he jokingly tweeted that Morton’s should meet him with a steak when he landed in New Jersey:
He landed, walked into the airport, and was completely stunned to see someone from Morton’s with a perfectly cooked steak in-hand. Peter took pictures and sent this tweet:
This story of amazing customer service was a viral sensation.
Unfortunately, it’s just as easy, if not easier, to spread information about bad customer service. For example, there was a viral video of a technician sleeping on a customer’s couch instead of installing Internet and cable. Customers of this company were outraged by the poor customer service.
Five simple ways to improve customer service
1. Keep your customers in the loop.
Your company should deliver products to customers on time. However, if you can’t make a delivery on time, you should try to keep your customers informed about the steps you’re taking to make the delivery.
According to a study listed in the Harvard Business Review 1, people don’t mind
waiting as long as there’s an illusion of labor. The labor illusion is “a demonstration of effort, whether literal or not, expended to meet the customer’s request.” This article goes on to quote that “many customers who endure waits but see a running tally of tasks end up happier than those who don’t have to wait at all.” In short: keep your customers happy by demonstrating the steps you’re taking to get a job done.
A simple way to achieve this is to use a GPS system to track your team’s progress. That way you can keep the customer informed with the exact location and status of each job.
Here are a few other ways to keep customers happy:
- Send short, handwritten notes to customers.
- Randomly give out small surprise gifts to customers, like a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop.
- Give customers a few free deliveries every year.
2. Be flexible and responsive to customers.
Here are a few ways that your company can be more flexible and responsive for customers.
- Create a flexible schedule with many drivers. This guarantees that drivers will be available if a schedule unexpectedly changes.
- Use technology. Paper and pen can be an inefficient way to keep track of customer data. Try software that’s built to efficiently communicate and store customer data. You can also try using mobile phones, which automatically store customer contact information in a convenient location.
- You can call the customer just to say, “Hey, just checking to see if you were happy with our product/service.” Be sure to really listen to your customer.
3. Keep records of customer history.
It costs about five to six times more to gain a new, first time customer than to keep a current one 2. One way to successfully retain customers is to store and analyze customer information in a consolidated location.
Huntington Bank was one company that did just that. After the US economy collapsed in 2008, they decided to adopt customer relationship management (CRM) software to help them keep records of their existing customers. This consolidated customer data helped employees serve customers better and make smarter sales decisions 3. The result? Huntington Bank saw about a 40 percent increase in lead conversions and $40 million in revenues for the quarter. The previous quarter had losses of $370 million.
You can keep records of your customers through one of the many cloud-based CRM’s available on the market now. Two we recommend are SalesForce.com and Zoho CRM. Both systems are easy to get started with and let you sign up for a free trial. SalesForce.com is more feature-rich but also more expensive. On the other hand, Zoho CRM is a good choice if your CRM needs are more basic.
4. Create camaraderie and accountability.
Malcolm Gladwell mentions the power of peer pressure in his book The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference 4. A successful tech firm called Gore Associates has a company culture that’s strongly focused on working with fairly small groups of people.
This creates camaraderie among employees. But it also creates peer pressure to work hard. Employees of Gore Associates felt peer pressure to provide quality work for their coworkers. They also felt more accountable for their work.
Your company can create accountability by having workers find one or two “buddies” within the company, and meet with them once or twice a week to discuss the progress of their projects. This will create some degree of camaraderie as the “buddies” get to know each other and thus, peer pressure to work hard.
5. Undersell, over-deliver.
This is one of the easiest ways for any company to make customers happy. How can your company undersell, then over-deliver?
Underselling and over-delivering is all about surprise; surprise your customers with little things, like delivering products at the beginning of an estimated time of arrival, or choosing to give customers a free delivery once a year, or delivering a complementary gift to random customers every few months.
Warren Buffet, who was ranked third wealthiest person in the world in 2011 5, said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” 6
People hurt by poor customer service have every right to turn to social media to tell their peers how they were treated. And one little tweet can have a huge impact on a company. Customer happiness is correlated with the mood of these tweets: a happy customer could tweet happy things. An angry customer could tweet awful things. Use these 5 simple tips to keep your customers, and your business, happy and successful.
vWorkApp dispatch software
- Buell, Ryan W. and Norton, Michael I. “Think Customers Hate Waiting? Not So Fast…” Harvard Business Review. hbr.org. Web. May 2011. 14 January 2012.
- CSM. “Customer Service Facts.” CSM. customerservicemanager.com. Web. 15 January 2012.
- Klie, Leonard. “Bank Emerges from the Ashes with Salesforce CRM.” CRM Magazine. December 2011: Vol. 15 Issue 12, p37-38, 2p. Web.
- Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Hachette Book Group USA, 2000. Print.
- Forbes. “The World’s Billionaires.” March 2011.” Forbes. forbes.com. Web. March 2011. 17 January 2012.
- BrainyQuote. “Warren Buffett quotes.” BrainyQuote. brainyquote.com. Web. 17 January 2012.
- (Top quote by Jeff Bezos) management-quotes.net. “http://www.management-quotes.net/author/Jeff_Bezos.” Management and Leadership Quotes. management-quotes.net. Web. 23 January 2012.