The Importance Of Customer Service In Small Business

customer service

Yesterday I reflected on something that all businesses should.

Customer service.

Providing good customer service as a small business owner is one of the most important aspects when it comes to growing your business. In this day and age of the public being able to leave reviews on the web, you better have all your ground cover in the case you have to deal with a client or customer who leaves you a nasty one. In this post, I will give a “hypothetical” example of both good and bad customer service.

The issue that started it all

Company X asked Jane Doe to attend an appointment at Company Y.  Company Y required her to arrive early and fill out paperwork to confirm her identity and basic information. Upon submitting the completed paperwork, the employees on site were still missing information. When Jane Doe gave them the further information they requested, they still didn’t have all their ducks in a row. Regardless, Company Y continued on with the appointment.

Jane Doe wanted to be sure that Company X received all the information that Company Y was responsible for. Company X quickly got back to Jane Doe and said that they hadn’t heard from Company Y.

Concerned, Jane Doe contacted Company Y to see why Company X didn’t have the information yet.

Company X referred Jane Doe to Company Z. Company Z referred Jane Doe back to Company X. Then she was referred back to Company Y.

After a few rounds of phone calls and emails, Jane Doe found out that the private information that Company Y and Company Z had access to, was released to an unknown party. Not to company X who needed the information. Clearly upset, Jane Doe continued her calls to all three companies and continued to get passed around from representative to representative. Getting nowhere, Jane Doe’s blood began to boil and steam was coming out of her ears (some even say she popped a blood vessel or two). Shouting now, Jane Doe requested to speak with Company Z’s manager.


The rep said that Company Z’s manager was in a meeting. Jane Doe was at the point where she didn’t care and refused to get off the phone, tying up the lines and leaving other customers waiting. Company Z got the manager and Jane Doe found out they had all the incorrect information that they received from Company Y.

Jane Doe called Company Y and they hung up on her.

Concerned for the well-being of Jane Doe, Company X figured out that in order to resolve this issue, the correct action was for Company X to speak directly to Company Z. Now, direct contact could be made and not relayed through Jane Doe.

Jane Doe realized that this whole issue started back with Company Y. She called them again after she called down, and asked that she speak to the CEO. When she spoke to the CEO’s secretary, she promised to resolve this and have the relations manager call Jane Doe.

The good

Reviewing this “hypothetical” situation is bone chilling. The way Jane Doe’s private information was leaked and Company Z didn’t take that seriously is unacceptable business practice. It shouldn’t have taken all those phone calls, emails, and speaking to multiple employees in order to finally speak to the head of Company Y. The head of Company Y could not have been more apologetic and embarrassed at the way things were handled. No business owner should ever be embarrassed by their employees. Make sure you have rules and procedures in play so that when Jane Doe gets to the point of screaming, your employees know the right words to say and the right actions to take.

Company X handled things correctly. Company X was responsive, replying to emails within 30 minutes of receiving them. When things turned ugly, Company X knew when they needed to step in and handle things themselves.

The bad

Hanging up on a customer no matter how upset they are is completely unacceptable. Under no circumstance should you do that as a small business owner. That is a sure way to lose business and get a bad rep for yourself in your industry. When Jane Doe finally spoke to the head of Company Y, she learned that she wasn’t the first one to complain about Company Z. Company Z was disorganized and showed no responsibility for their actions. Jane Doe will never want to use either Company Y or Company Z again.

The ugly

Jane Doe was only taken seriously when she yelled and cursed at employees that she knows didn’t deserve it. That sort of attitude when trying to work with Company X, Y, and Z isn’t right. Jane Doe was in the wrong and she knows that, but it wasn’t until she got to that point that she was taken seriously. The issue got out of control and Jane Doe felt helpless as the appointment and her information was important. Her information was leaked. That sort of carelessness deserves special attention.

Company Z never took any action to apologize for they way they handled the situation or for leaking her information. So, Jane Doe went a step further and reported them them to the higher ups. If the higher authorities agree with Jane Doe, Company Z could get a hefty fine.

Gee Whizz… Sucks to be Company Z.


Don’t ever mess with Jane Doe.

Treat her concerns as your number one priority. If you as a business owner made a mistake, you don’t hang up on Jane Doe. You don’t keep passing her around to admin to admin who has no authority to handle Jane Doe’s case. You talk to Jane Doe as soon as you can and make things right again. Even if you don’t agree with how Jane Doe spoke to you over the phone, you make things right.

Why Being A Very Responsive Blogger Is Important For Your Business

website content help

As a freelance blogger, you have to be aggressive when it comes to getting a new client. To stand out amongst your competitors, you have to show the client your best qualities. It isn’t all about being the best at what you do. It is how well you treat your client that matters the most. This includes being a blogger who has a quick response time when it comes to keeping in touch. Here’s why.

It’s respectful

The number one reason to be easily responsive to your client is to show that you respect them. To go off the map for a few days makes a huge difference in business. Your client is waiting for their articles and being slow to respond to any emails can affect the way their business runs. Entrepreneur Magazine sums it up perfectly, “Give respect. It costs nothing to be courteous, but you can pay dearly if you aren’t.”

Avoid missing deadlines

Business owners have tight deadlines to follow in order to continue to grow their business. If they are waiting a day or more to hear back about their blog posts, you are causing them to miss out on opportunities. Instead, keep in communication with them and be upfront if you are running behind on a project. Your client will appreciate a heads-up so they can adjust things on their end.

Shows you take yourself as a blogger seriously

You may not feel like it, but as a blogger, you are a business owner. People will be able to tell how seriously you take yourself as a business owner based on your response time. The slower you take to respond to them, the more likely they will come to the conclusion that you aren’t as committed to your blogging services as you make yourself out to be. They will be much more impressed and want to work with you if you respond in a timely manner.

How long should it take you to respond to a client?

Now that you know how important it is to respond to a client quickly, the question becomes how quick, is quick? Forbes Magazine explained the psychology of email response times in a society of smartphones and wifi. “Expect a response within an hour. Thanks to portable electronic devices, about 50% of replies are sent in fewer than 60 minutes. After 48 hours days, there’s little chance of a response.” Keep your phone handy in case something comes through when you are away from your computer.

Don’t get too stressed about responding to a client’s email within minutes of receiving it. Rushing to answer their question can lead to mistakes and miscommunications. Rather, be sure that you keep in contact frequently. This even means acknowledging that you received their email and are looking into their inquiry. Clients appreciate quick response times because it keeps projects moving along generating more business for both you and them.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you shared it on social media. Thanks!

Creating Leaders and Enabling Them to Succeed

freelance blogger

Most of us have had at least one moment in our lives where we have thought, “I could lead people; I have those skills,” but often the reality of it is daunting. Leadership is by no means glamorous. It is work that requires patience, the ability to inspire others, do the uncomfortable work needed to solve problems, and call people on the carpet, as well as taking responsibility for any mistakes your team makes. Unfortunately, the common assumption is that leaders are born. That they somehow appear out of the ground a full-fledged leader, by some kind of gift granted to you when you were born, or perhaps some secret magic.

The truth is, leaders are made.

Some are self-made, inherently understanding that reaching their goals requires hard work, discipline, and learning. That doesn’t mean they had the skills from day one, only that they realized early on that they needed to take specific steps to get there. Unfortunately, insight like that doesn’t happen every day. It is more common to have someone else see what you are capable of and inspire you to reach further. The problem with this is that we assume that one has to exude certain qualities for a person to be ‘noticed’ as having the skills capable of being ‘groomed’, for lack of a better word, for leadership.

Our approach to leadership these days is a little off. The truth is, you need a manager or leader to see the potential for leadership in everybody on their team, then give them the training they need to develop and hone those skills. After that, anyone can become a leader with the right manager, training, and a desire to learn.

So, let’s assume you are a manager or leader who wants to inspire your team to become leaders. You realize that it isn’t as simple as seeing their natural abilities and assuming they are already capable of leadership. Instead, you need to support them to become the leaders they are capable of being by providing them with the skills they need. Training leaders seems like an unusual concept. But in actuality, it is no different than training managers or salespeople; it’s about teaching them the leadership skills they need to succeed.

Now, there are lots of books you can read to help you get there.

But these can offer some rather nebulous ideas of what you should or shouldn’t do. Also, they aren’t very personal to you, your skills, and how you handle things. Let’s face it, we are all different; we do things differently, we communicate differently, and we all have our own ways to lead. That’s where a training program like Everything DiSC Work of Leaders can be beneficial. It’s a personalized assessment with adaptive testing to help you really hone in on your leadership style. You get a thorough understanding of where you excel and where you need to focus your attention.

This program also gives you a model to follow to help guide you in pitching your ideas and projects to your teams. Whether it is your 1st pitch or your 151st pitch, this model supports you and your goals, as well as helps you be the leader your team needs. The best part is, it’s centered around this idea that anyone can be a leader, no matter their style. You can be at the extreme end of introvert and be a great leader. You can be all the things that in today’s world we assume you should not be to be a successful leader and still succeed in building strong leadership skills.

Workplace training isn’t just about fixing things that are broken but about growth, improvement, and being your best self.

Investing in training for your team to help them become better leaders sends a strong message that you believe in what they are capable of. That you value them, that their work matters, and that you believe they could move into a leadership role if given the right tools. At the end of the day, great and successful organizations see the value in training and in their employees. They know that anyone can lead successfully with the proper training.

About DiSC Profile

We believe in the important role that training and development play in organizational change, culture, productivity, retention, and growth. DiSC is an exceptional assessment tool that will enhance training programs and provide employers with a robust understanding of their people. DiSC Profile International is partnered with Wiley (formerly Inscape Publishing and Carlson Learning Company) and provides the Everything DiSC, DiSC Classic, and Five Behaviors assessment tools. Year over year, we have been awarded as one of Wiley’s top Diamond partners.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you shared it on social media. Thanks!

Finally! A Solution That Will Quickly Help You Find A Job

selling yourself into a job

Finding a job isn’t easy. Isn’t that the understatement for the year!

It seems to be the case these days that when people set out to find a job it takes more effort than submitting a few applications here or there. Companies set really high standards making it tough to meet if you are fresh out of college. The same goes for if you are changing careers later on in life.

Many times it takes a few years to decide whether or not the career you always wanted is the right fit for you. When you finally do realize that, it takes a lot of courage to change gears and find a job that suits your needs better. There is a lot that goes into searching for a job. Many think that it is creating a good resume, but it turns out that updating your resume is the least of your worries.

I came across a book that takes a different approach to finding a job. Author and Career Coach William Swansen explains in his new book, Selling Yourself Into A Job: A Systematic Approach To Getting Your Dream Job an innovative way to go about one of the hardest challenges in life. 

So how do you find a job?

The book explains that to see results quicker, you have to take action and be aggressive. Swansen writes, “Another key component of a successful job search process is treating it like a job. This means getting up each day with a full schedule of activities, and putting in as much time as you would if you were working an actual job. However, you do not need to devote all your time between three areas: 1. Looking for a job 2. Working part-time 3. Volunteering.”

Swansen’s concept of finding a job as a job is fascinating. When you think about it, it makes sense. There are multiple job board sites where thousands of hungry candidates are fighting for the same job that you are. It can get discouraging when you don’t hear anything back from an employer after submitting a resume. Swansen’s plan walks you through how to stand out amongst the other candidates. This includes marketing yourself using social media 

Because of social media, companies can figure out who you are as a person before they call you in for an interview. If you utilize social media, you can have success with companies coming to you. LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms to be on, even if you are a freelance writer and VA like me 😉

The book goes on to explain how to approach the rest of the job search process. This includes tips on the most intimidating and stressful part, the interview.

Selling Yourself Into A Job isn’t just for people getting jobs in downtown highrises. To my fellow Freelancers and VAs, you can definitely benefit from this book too! When you join sites like UpWork or Freelancer, you are basically starting from scratch. You don’t have any ratings yet because you are new to the site. This makes it tough to bid on projects and set your rate high. You can utilize Swansen’s chapter on resumes to create an outstanding profile on each freelance platform. Additionally, you can use the chapter on cover letters for tips on how to submit a well-written proposal to a prospective client.

Selling Yourself Into A Job is well worth the read. You can find it on Amazon, or at

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you shared it on social media. Thanks!

Feel More Fulfilled In Life Using These 4 Ways To Achieve Your Goals



In all the Peanuts cartoons, one of Charlie Brown’s goals was to kick the football. Lucy would slyly present him the opportunity and Charlie Brown would run full charge at it. Right before he would get his moment in the sun, Lucy would snatch the ball away, and he would land on his back. Lucy always thought it was a fun trick to play on him. Not so much fun for Charlie Brown who never fulfilled his goal of kicking the football.

When you look at your own life, it can seem like your goals get snatched away by some Lucy character.  Just like Charlie Brown, you feel defeated and sometimes even embarrassed. Lossing site of your goals, or not having any goals, creates a tired and unfulfilled life. With a little effort and determination, you can achieve your goals.

Determine your goals in life

A trend that society sees in millennials is that they show no desire to meet a goal in life. How unfulfilling! Perhaps it is because the first action to take in life is to figure out what you want out of life! It’s one thing to have an idea of what you want to accomplish, it is a whole nother thing to sit down and map out how to achieve that goal. Ask yourself what it is that you are passionate about. Make it specific too. Don’t say, “I want to make a million dollars.” Say why you want to make a million dollars. Give that goal a deadline, and be realistic about it. Ask yourself these questions to help you figure out your goals:

  • Where am I trying to get to?
  • What gets me excited and lights me up?
  • What do I want more in my life? Less in my life?
  • Where do I want to be in 5 years?

Manage your time wisely

This is probably one of the toughest things to do for most people. Life is a juggling act with work, kids, and personal time. It almost seems impossible to add one more thing to do each day so you can meet your goals. It is possible so as long as you make an effort. Figure out a system that works for you. Try creating a calendar with milestones to meet so by the year’s end, you have made it to your goal.

Stay mentally and physically healthy

Whenever you are feeling stressed, angry, frustrated, or sad most of the time it is has something to do with being unhealthy. You don’t have to become a 5-star athlete to avoid those feelings. Simply going for a nice walk outside to get some fresh air is a great way to cleanse the body and mind. You get out into nature and see how beautiful life is which is incredibly motivating. You’ll be more likely to meet your goals when you eat healthy, exercise, and find time for peace and quiet.

Put family & friends first

Keep those you love close to you and save time to spend with them. If your goal is stressing you out, it is good to know that you can spend time with someone who supports you 100%. Plus, spending time with those you love gives you a break to let loose and have fun!

You can meet your goals in a timely manner if you keep these ideas in the back of your head. No worries if you miss a deadline. Think about why that happened, change it, and move one.

If you enjoyed this post I would very much appreciate it if you shared it on social media. Thanks!