Gaining Competitive Advantage over Customer Loyalty

Businesses have produced many marketing styles just to make sure that their customers stay loyal, happy, and keep on patronizing their products or services. Still, they are having a hard time meeting customer satisfaction because customer behavior is not static and they change preferences over a period of time. Understanding the needs that a customer values at a point in time is challenging but meeting these gives you a competitive advantage over your competitors. These can improve your profit, success, build a great trust with the public, a good reputation, and also helps your company grow.

Customers often buy a lot of business that will always make them happy, so how can you make your customer happy?

  1. Know your market.

It is important to know who your target market is. Selling the right products to the right market is a good start for the business.

  1. Be updated.

Customers tend to go to a business that provides most or all of their needs. The company must be flexible to changes because of different preferences. Thus analyzing what the customers’ value now can reduce customer dissatisfaction.

  1. Be known.

Of course, you cannot build loyalty if nobody is paying attention to you. Offering something valuable to customers but not being noticed is frustrating for the company. How can you engage your customers to you? One solution is advertisements however research shows that having shared values with your customers tend to build loyalty. Shared values are the largest driver of brand loyalty. If the customers have the knowledge that the company does not only perceive about earning money but also perceive to help the public or the environment will attract more customers to come and stay.

  1. Increase customer satisfaction.

A satisfied customer is a happy customer. Extend your services without losing any profit. Show some customer care. Give assistance if needed. Always wear a smile and employees must be well trained and educated as to what the company can provide for its customers.

  1. Measure customer satisfaction.

Measuring customer satisfaction can be a basis for performance and customer’s happiness. It is helpful in improving customer experience. This can be simple but also can be frustrating because not all customers can comply with answering questions for the service that the company had provided them. So, the company must have found a creative way to measure customer satisfaction. The use of Customer Satisfaction Score can be helpful because it is simple and straightforward.

  1. Prioritize customer retention.

One of the things that a company must prioritize especially on those old valuable customers. Remembering birthdays, send emails for feedbacks, answering feedbacks, educating customers with what the company can provide, establish a loyalty program, use creative surveys, and giving the best customer experience can help you in retaining customers longer.

Building trust and confidence between the company and its customers is naturally important. Practicing integrity with what the company offers consistency in providing great customer experience, providing honest information, and being true to their words will show trust. This will interest the customers to stick with this company because they can assure that the company is a reliable and trustworthy.

Reference:

https://www.helpscout.net/customer-loyalty/ Retrieved on 20 March 2018.

http://blog.clientheartbeat.com/increase-customer-satisfaction/ Retrieved on 18 April 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

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Take good care of the oldies

Customers are very important for our business because they are one of the factors to consider in maximizing our business’ profitability and in reaching our goals. So having a bad relationship with our customers due to poor customer experience is a big deal for the decision makers. They should not take these lightly rather they must do immediate actions to prevent it.

For businesses, it is more important to know how to retain existing customers because these will cost less than welcoming new customers. Although young ones tend to shop more than older people, younger customers frequently purchase products from different brands because of their change of preference, trends, or they just want to explore more. This makes them not a candidate as a loyal customer unlike the older customer who was more committed to a brand in a long period of time and that has a great impact on the business if they were not properly taken care. Older customers tend to stick to products that they had tested, proven, and satisfied but there are times that a product reduces or loses its value in time which results in a failure in customer satisfaction.

In order to satisfy customers and make them patronize your products or services, you need to know what they are looking for. Usually, customers likely to be loyal to brands because of the quality, the price, and customer service.

The quality must be as good as when it was the first released or must improve and the descriptions of the product must be feasible. Commonly, if the customer notices that the quality of the product or services have been reduced or there is a difference or no effect as to its benefits, it is more likely that the customer will be disappointed and be your detractors who can wreak havoc about the product and the company, the customer might not purchase again, and even look for an alternative product from another brand that will satisfy their needs. Thus it is important that products must have a consistently good quality or even improve them based on the customer’s preferences.

The price must be adequately consistent with the quality. There must be a balance between cost and benefit. It must be appropriate for the benefits that a customer will get in purchasing the product or service. Overpricing will not appeal customers because there are a lot of alternatives that they can choose. Hence, the company must prove that their product or service is worth every penny.

 A good customer service is the last but the most crucial. Profitability might decrease rapidly if these are not managed properly. It may result in a loss of older customers, new customers, potential customer, a loss of reputation, and even loss of employees. So to prevent these from happening, leaders must make a supportive action such as providing training to customer representatives about good customer service, how to deal with the different kinds of customers, and what are the specific actions to do when a customer has a complaint or concern. Leaders must provide employees all the information and experience need so that they may deliver to the customers the things that they might inquire about the product.

Today, there are many alternatives that a potential or even existing customer may consider so it is easy to change brands. Thus the company must have a strategy on how to handle this problem. They must be updated with the trends and change of preferences of their valuable customers. It must also take into consideration the changes as to age because a customer who is at her/his teens now may have a different preference by the age of 30 so the company must consider these things.

Customers maybe your friends or critics because they can improve or worsen your product or service or even damage your reputation. Remember the power of the word of mouth is the most popular channel of communication. Technology also holds part of this communication thru phones, television, and the most popular social media accounts that I guess almost all of us know about. It can reveal one customer’s bad experience with your company to different people and can spread so easily like a virus. This might not only decrease profitability, it may also decrease productivity on employees or even a downfall for the company.

On my next blog, I will be discussing the how to have the competitive advantage to customer retention and give you some tips on how to do it.

References:

https://www.mybusiness.com.au/sales/3851-youngster-customers-fickle-but-oldies-never-forget?utm_source=MyBusiness&utm_campaign=22_01_18&utm_medium=email&utm_content=4, Retrieved on 14 March 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

Eliminate Boredom

Boredom in the workplace is just natural with any organisation. Although this is a common situation, business leaders must not underestimate its impact to the company’s improvement. Boredom will lead to a lack of interest in the job, a decrease in the productivity, consistency, and also quality of work. The excitement of the employee decreases and they lose the motivation to work. It may also be a reason for an employee to quit their job. Therefore, business leaders must know the root of this problem, address the problem of boredom, and take the best course of action.

There are different reasons why employees get bored with their work. Here are the reasons for employees boredom in the workplace as suggested by mybusiness.com.au.

  • The nature of work is not interesting
  • Too many or poorly executed meetings
  • Lack of diversity within the role
  • Not feeling challenged by assignments
  • Not enough work to do
  • Don’t enjoy interacting with colleagues
  • Poor or inefficient management
  • Overburdened by strict policies and procedures
  • Lack of understanding of the significance of their role

So how can employers turn this down to a positive attitude? Here are some tips that can help:

1. Provide training

It is better to educate your employees first than seeing them doing nothing because they do not know what to do with the new task that you had given them. This will also enhance their knowledge about their job. You can also provide them with learning new set of skills that are interesting like letting them attend seminars or workshops. Giving them multiple skills just to keep them active.

2. Job rotation

Another strategy to get your employees out of boredom is to have them switch jobs. This will only be applicable for employees that have less responsibilities. Exchanging of task to do can help employees to learn more and may also see the bigger picture of their work. Through this employees will less likely get bored being stuck in doing routinely task.

3. Promote a healthy lifestyle

Provide healthy food in the workplace if possible. Healthy foods keeps the body full of energy while feeling less bloated. Too much food can be a reason for sleepiness. Encourage your employees to do exercise because this can improve the employee’s happiness and drive to work productively.

4. Give more responsibility

An employee will be really be bored if he had a lot of idle time than having work to do. In this case you might have been underestimating your employee so better give him something more to work on. On the other hand, employees who seem to see that they have nothing to do must speak up and ask their supervisors for something that they can do. This will show the employees wiliness to exert more effort for the company. This will lighten the job, decrease boredom, and increase productivity.

5. Communicate

Always ask for an update what are the employees doing and have done and if they have anything to do next. Take a track of the employees’ improvement and inquire if they like what they are doing, what do they feel with their work, and ask for suggestions and feedback if there are any useful ideas that the employee can contribute.

Reference:

https://www.business2community.com/leadership/7-ways-to-combat-boredom-in-the-workplace-0428608, Retrieved 28 February 2018.

https://www.mybusiness.com.au/human-resources/3977-bored-workers-a-result-of-bad-bosses-inefficiency?utm_source=MyBusiness&utm_campaign=23_02_18&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1, Retrieved 28 February 2018.

http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/hr-and-staff/how-to-put-an-end-to-employee-boredom-in-the-workplace-09052012.html, Retrieved 28 February 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

Effective Communication leads to success

Have you ever wondered why there are a lot of products and services that are of best quality but were not popular or patronized? Why there are conflicts between employees or even with managers? These may be because of poor communication skills which lead to failure. Remember that the most fundamental skill that a successful business leader must have is having a good communication skill. That is why it is important for business leaders to be outstanding in this skill.

Communication is the process of sending and receiving information between the speaker and listener. It can be done by one on one or by a group. Having a good communication skill is essential in your work, life, and relationships. A successful communication is when the speaker has delivered the information accurately to the listener. Poor communication skill leads to failure because the information intended to deliver does not reach the listener well and accurately and can cause issues like misunderstandings, and misinterpretations. The two most audience for business are their employees and customers.

It is only natural that leaders of the business must know how to communicate effectively with their own employees because they are the ones who will help them achieve their goals. This is also ensuring that information is communicated well to avoid errors, instructions are clearly given for new task, and there is a mutual understanding between the employees and the managers or supervisors as to the expectations in executing their jobs.  It is also useful for decision making purposes whenever managers ask for suggestions from employees. This can strengthen the relationship between the employer and employees and have a harmonious work environment.

Essentially, customers also are major audience because they are the once who can improve your sales and profits. Also thanks for the advanced technology these days, customers are one of the major advertisers for your products because some customers use it on their blogs if they had loved it or even endorsed it to their families and friends.  So knowing how to market your products and services well will make the biggest impact for the company. It should be well delivered and attract the customers with the benefits to allure them to buy and patronise your products and services.

So without further ado, here are some tips to improve your communication skills.

1. Know how to use your body.

It is important to keep in mind that knowing your body language is important when it comes for communication. Facial expressions, posture, hand gestures, and the tone of your delivery have a lot to say so when speaking to a person or a crowd. It gives the viewers the idea that the speaker is confident and knows what he is saying so maintain eye contact, proper attitude, good vibe, proper posture, and your facial expression must synchronize with what you have to say to your listeners with the proper tone.

2. Know your audience.

One of the things to consider is who your audience are. Every individual has different preferences, culture, perspective, age, style, and likeness and it should be considered when communicating. For employees, understand what they expect from their employers when communicating with them. Employers can ask for suggestions regarding this matter. For customers, you would always want to know your target market because this can drag you to success or failure.

3. Keep things more interesting.

A successful communication is when the listener receives the message clear and accurately. Often times, listeners fail to absorb all information at once so it is better to over communicate just to share the whole idea to your audience. You can also mix the conversation with jokes, real experiences, or even ask for a feedback with your audience just to know that they are on the same track with you.

4. Brief yet specific enough.

There are audiences that have limited attention spans or quickly get bored. Thus try to give enough information with just a limited time. Be specific and informative in what you say. Ensure also that it is understandable and the listener got the information needed.

5. PIP Approach.

The PIP Approach or purpose, importance, preview approach is a systematic strategy in sharing new ideas or products. First start with the purpose of the product or agenda, and then list the importance of it to the listeners as to whether and how it will affect them and lastly give a preview of what was just discussed to refresh the audience with all the information discussed. This approach is helpful in sending the message that the speaker wants to deliver.

6. Know to listen.

Effective communication is when there was an exchange of ideas between the speaker and listener. So after every presentation or agenda always ask for clarifications or feedbacks. Then provide an honest answer that shows you have took it into account.

Communication is important because this moulds every individual in interacting with others. It can improve relationships and can lead to success if effectively used.

References:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300466, Retrieved 28 February 2018.

http://www.collegelax.us/good-communication-leads-to-corporate-success-essay-example, Retrieved 28 February 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

Ways to reduce recurring sick leave

Under the National Employment Standards, all full-time employees, except for casuals, are entitled to have a ten days paid leave which includes sick leave and carer’s leave. Part-time employees are also entitled to sick leave but will only receive a pro-rata depending on the number of hours they have rendered. This would be accumulated annually prospectively.

In the recent news of mybusiness.com.au, they talked about the business leaders being criticized for their anti-sick leave culture. In the report, an Australian Public Service Commissioner defends the increasing use of paid sick days in the public service and criticized the private sector business culture. As I scroll down and see the comment section, netizen contradict with what the Public Service Commissioner perceive.

Chronic employee absences is another issue that a business must take to priority. This is one of the biggest sunk cost if not managed properly. It can also lead to projects delay, a lot of back lags, poor quality of work, and can make conflicts between the employer and employee due to trust issues.

There are a lot of different views on the sick leave problem. Absenteeism is always mentioned on my previous blogs and it is always related on the issues that an employee is unhappy about. There are only two reasons for sick leave. First is a real physical or mental illness and second is the abuse of the employees who take a sick leave just to be excuse from work. Thus, the company must make an immediate necessary action for this problem once identified.

The company must have a written absence management policy. This enables the management to plan and communicate different strategies for recurring sick leaves and how to implement it. This policy must be clear as to the managing of the different kinds of leave and the employee’s responsibilities in terms of providing notice of leave and the proper documentation of every absence.  This is great to promote equality and consistency among all employees across the organisation.

Educate employees. It is important to make sure that employees, especially those newly hired, to know what the policies of the company are. This can make them aware of what they should do and not to do. This will also remind them the possible consequences for their actions.

Provide support. Ask your employees if there is anything that you can do for them or ask what they feel working with your company. Let them feel appreciated and important in the business. The likelihood an employee notices that the company is providing them support whether tangible or intangible support, the higher the chances that this employee will come back to work as soon as possible or if possible, will not take any absences.

Maintain a positive work environment. On my previous blogs I mentioned that stress can lead to frequent absenteeism. Reducing the stress of the employees can likely maintain them to be fitted to work and be away from harmful illness or mental problems.

Consider giving incentives for complete attendance. This will motivate employees to come to work and be punctual.

Let them contribute more. Career growth is important to every employee and this makes them happy if they will be a candidate or be promoted. This will motivate them to exert more effort with their job and the rate of presentism will be higher.

Identify if there are conflicts inside the organisation. Harassment like bullying must be prevented and eliminated. The management must organise a meeting between the parties affected and make a disciplinary action about the issue.

Promote work life balance. Giving an allowance for non-medical leave and flexible working agreement will help employees meet their goals in life. This will give satisfaction to the employee and will not give a reason to take excess sick leaves.

These considerations for your employees will help you to ensure that your employees will be dedicated and motivated to work.

If the absenteeism is caused by having a physical illness, it would be really best for the employee to stay home and have some rest. However, there are still employees who abuse the use of sick leave even though they are completely healthy and even though the company have already exerted the effort to encourage them to work. That is why as I said earlier every leave must be documented. This document will able you to track when an employee usually has taken a sick leave. Target those who often leave on dates near to a long weekend break, every busy season, or every Mondays or Fridays. The management must put a systematic measure in addressing them and do disciplinary action if needed.

Learning to handle this problem will lead to a higher chances of success and sustain improvement for the company. This will reduce the unrecoverable cost and improve productivity. It can also improve your relationship with your employees.

References:

https://www.mybusiness.com.au/human-resources/3857-business-leaders-blasted-for-anti-sick-leave-culture?utm_source=MyBusiness&utm_campaign=23_01_18&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1 , Retrieved 27 February 2018.

http://www.michaelpage.com.cn/advice/management-advice/leadership/sick-leave-and-your-bottom-line-how-manage-workplace-absences, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_56.htm, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

Managing work-related stress

The most common and one of the worst mental health problem almost everywhere is Stress. Although stress is popularly known as a negative impact into a person, stress has also a good effects on some individuals because this makes them productive in what they do, this could help them learn a lot of new varieties of things about their career, and for some individuals this is a challenging experience that gives them the motivation to get the best out of them.

In this topic the focus will be on the negative work related stress or the “too much” stress that can lead to burn out, sickness, high absenteeism, mental disorders, and the worst is high employee turnover.

According to Merriam-webster.com, “Stress is defined as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.” This is a growing health problem around the world that affects not only the mind but also the body. Work related stress is a state of being under pressure where employees need to cope with the difficult demands of their employers. In Australia, work related stress is one of the most common compensated illness. Hence employers should take this as one of the top priorities in managing employees and must know how to prevent this from happening, reduce at a minimum level or eliminate if possible to reduce cost.

In making a solution for this problem, employers must first know what the sources of stress are and second is to know the signs that an employee is under pressure or stressed inside the workplace.

Sources of stress can be different and it will depend on the situations an employee is experiencing at a times. Here are some common stressors in the work place:

  • Work overload with unrealistic deadlines
  • Long working hours
  • Job insecurity
  • Underestimating of skills
  • Overestimating of skills
  • Misleading job contents and demand
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Conflict or poor relationship with a manager or colleague
  • A hostile work environment
  • Organisational change
  • Lack of support
  • Traumatic experience
  • The change of duties or over additional duties

To recognise if an employee is stressed, employers must make any means of monitoring and observe if the employee is not comfortable, unwell or unhappy about their work. This are some signs that employees are under stress.

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitation
  • Sleeping disorder, such as insomnia.
  • Burnt out
  • Depressed
  • Irritable
  • Discourage
  • Silent and Isolation
  • Low tolerance or impatient
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Poor performance
  • Decrease in punctuality
  • Increase in sick days and absenteeism

With this in mind, employers can make a proper action and one of the most effective is having a one on one meeting with their employees about how they feel about their work. This will help both the employer and their employees in executing the right solutions for this problem. This would clarify the misunderstandings if there are unclear expectations from the supervisors, realise the value and significance of work, and build trust and rapport. This will tighten the bond between the employer and the employee and create the spirit of teamwork. Another remedy is to provide training for new task given to employees, improve communication inside the company, and encourage to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

References:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/work-related-stress, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

http://www.hrmonline.com.au/section/specialist-hr/top-five-tips-reducing-workplace-stress/, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

https://www.wellnessdaily.com.au/culture/dont-underestimate-value-one-one-meetings?utm_source=MyBusiness&utm_campaign=23_01_18&utm_medium=email, Retrieved 27 February 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast

The Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

In October 2017, the campaign #MeToo on social media went viral to spread the awareness of sexual harassment and assault on women especially in the workplace. It started to get viral when a high-profile Hollywood producer was alleged to be performing sexual misconduct. Many woman from different parts of the world shared their experiences being assaulted and sexually harassed.

According to Wikipedia, “Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favours.” Harassment is a discrimination of a person’s gender, skin colour, physical appearance, nationality, races, religion, status, age, etc. Examples of sexual harassment in the work place are inappropriate touching, sexual gestures, sending of inappropriate sexual photos, giving offensive comments about the persons face or body, calling unpleasant names, sexual assault, suggesting to have sex or asking sexual favours, and rape. Anything that interferes an employee from doing his job is harassment. Sexual harassment can affect men, women, and homosexuals but most victims of sexual harassment are women being assaulted in the workplace.

There are two types of sexual harassment. First is the “Quid Pro Quo” a latin word which means “something for something”. This is common for managers or high profile personnel in the company who request from their employees to give them sexual pleasure in exchange of having a promotion, not getting fire, not having a punishment, higher salary, and any kind of intimidation. The second is the “Hostile Work Environment” this is a work environment in which inappropriate behaviour and conduct such as sending sexual photographs, calling names, inappropriate jokes, treats that are based on gender, skin colour, physical appearance, nationality, races, religion, status, age, or any discrimination that interferes one’s ability to do his job.

Although sexual harassment is not a new issue when it comes to businesses, it is still a serious issue that organisations should pay attention to. Employers should give support to their employees if they do feel good about the work environment. They should do something to prevent and eliminate if occurred. Sexual harassment affects a person’s physical and psychological well-being that is why it is so alarming that it can affect the company’s performance due to employees’ poor quality and quantity of work, poor attendance, employees’ low morale, losing the ability to work with others. Victims of sexual harassment lose their motivation and productivity to work as a result can lead to a high turnover rate which is another issue that is costly for the organization.

According to Miss Elizabeth Ticehurst, KPMG workplace and employment law director, “Under the sex discrimination law, a company can be held liable for the actions of an employee, and that is usually what sexual harassment claims in Australia are about,” This is a risk every organisation is dealing when it involves it’s employees. Whatever the size of the company, every organisation should create a workplace that is free from, not only on sexual harassment but from any kind of harassment.

A good sexual harassment policy includes the description of sexual harassment and creating anti-discrimination policy so that employees will know if they are being sexually harassed, highlight that the organisation promotes freedom and equality among every individuals of the organisation, that the policy covers everyone that is within the jurisdiction of the company, the possible consequences of one’s action relating to harassment claims, the procedure on how to report and to whom should the victim report the issue, give training courses, seminars, signs, etc.

The organisation should have sexual harassment policy to prevent any negligence and avoid law suits liability should there be an employee who feels being sexually harassed. This will alert the employees in dealing with sexual harassment. They should know their rights and should know what actions they should do if they feel that they are sexually harassed. Implementation and monitoring on this policy is strictly a must because even though there is a policy and you expect that your employees will cooperate, there will always be a time that some employees will go against this policy

References:

https://www.mybusiness.com.au/human-resources/3858-businesses-brace-for-metoo-movement?utm_source=MyBusiness&utm_campaign=23_01_18&utm_medium=email&utm_content=4, Retrieved 20 February 2018.

https://www.universalclass.com/articles/business/diversity-studies/handling-sexual-harassment-and-other-sexual-issues-in-the-workplace.htm, Retrieved 20 February 2018.

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/sexual-harassment-opinions.php, Retrieved 20 February 2018.

http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/sexual-harassment-what-is-it.html, Retrieved 20 February 2018.

Bookkeeper Gold Coast