Internet Trolls in Customer Service

Sep 25, 2015 by

illustration of a troll on a computer

The dreaded internet troll is the bane of the social media marketing and customer service world.

What is an internet troll, you ask? Trolls are people who take pleasure in causing trouble and commotion within online communities, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit or any other online forum. They are typically negative and destructive. They also cause the community to go absolutely bonkers. It is especially tricky to deal with these trolls in customer service.

They can also be detrimental to social customer service efforts. If your business is on social media or other online forums, you need to arm yourself with a troll antidote. Here are some tips for dealing with those trolls once and for all.

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Why Your Startup Should Have Dedicated Customer Service Reps

Sep 21, 2015 by

Two customer service reps with their computers plugged into a launching rocket

Startups are buzzing and busy. So much work is going into getting them off the ground, and sometimes customer service gets lost in the shuffle. Regardless of whether your startup is an app, software, or service, it’s imperative to have dedicated customer service staff in place.

Here are 3 ways a dedicated customer service staff can help your startup to achieve rapid growth:

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Customer Service is the New Wave of Marketing

Sep 18, 2015 by

Illustration of man scaling a wave with trend arrow overlaid

I am a marketer by trade. There. I said it.

I adore the marketing world and love living in the content and social media sector which I inhabit. SEO, analytics, impressions, reach, and click-through rates are not dirty words to me, but rather the empirical proof that your efforts are working (or not working). While it’s a little funny for me to call anything the ‘new’ marketing, I do get how customer service has become just as important as marketing when taking a look at revenue and goals.

The combination of social media and online peer reviews has put a lot of power back into the customers’ hands. They no longer have to sit and simply take in your chosen messages. These days consumers are doing thorough research to find out everything they can before they make a purchase. For example, 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media– because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements (#Socialnomics 2014). This establishes customer service as the new marketing – or at least big player.

Word of mouth, social media and peer reviews are more popular than relying on the company’s word. Too many people have been burned by bad marketing – companies not living up to their word about their product or not providing adequate support.

Here are some ways to establish word of mouth for your company that are both genuine and positive:

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The Top 5 Customer Service Skills Every Employee Should Have

Sep 16, 2015 by

5 illustrated stars and a hand counting them

It should be a rite of passage that everyone work one retail position in their lifetime.

Retail positions get you out on the floor, mingling with the customers and truly learning what customer service is all about. It’s in-your-face customer service. It’s where you can get a grasp on different personalities and how people should be treated.

There are certainly customer service experts out there, and to claim everyone can be one is just not true. It takes a lot of work and finesse to learn how to delight customers. It goes without saying, though, that any human being who works needs to know something about treating customers well.

Here are the top five customer service skills every employee from any department should have down pat.

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Your Customer Service Guide for 5 Difficult Personalities

Sep 14, 2015 by

A picture of each personality type

It can be a jarring experience. You go about your day and usually only speak with kind folks who are patient and have an easy time explaining their issues. They leave, pleased with your service. And then it happens: Your business has made someone mad. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to diffuse the situation. This customer is going to let you have it.

Every business should take accountability for their part of the problem. It’s likely that your product or service has negatively affected this customers life in some way – you should always apologize for that. It is good to recognize that there are going to be some personalities that aren’t going to be easy to deal with. Humans are complex – that’s what makes the world so interesting. Here is your go-to customer service guide on handling certain difficult personalities with ease:

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3 Reasons Your Small Business May Not Make it to 2020

Sep 11, 2015 by

A stamp on a grey background that says '2020'

Small business owners are so brave.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), half of all new businesses survive the first five years and one-third of those survive 10 years or more. In the face of adversity, small business owners are bold and make the commitment anyway.

I could relay a bunch of statistics about how this country and its entrepreneurs are going down in flames, but there’s a positive spin: small businesses are kind of having a moment in 2015. A total of 47% of SMBs have more confidence in the economy than 12 months ago, according to the State of Small Business Report. Here’s some more good news: 57% of SMBs expect revenue growth this year.

While growth is a fantastic thing for the small business, there is still the underlying fact that many of these businesses won’t make it past the five year mark.

Here are three reasons your small business may not make it to 2020, and tips on how to stay on the positive side of the statistics.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Why You Should Pay Attention to Customer Retention

Sep 9, 2015 by

Woman holding a magnet pulling a man toward her by his heart
It can be easy for small business owners to focus all their energy on acquiring new customers. The fact is this method is extremely costly and could potentially damage an existing customer’s perspective on the business. This customer retention infographic details the latest numbers showing why focusing on keeping current customers costs less and contributes to the overall health of your business.

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5 Tools Your Business Should Be Using

Sep 4, 2015 by

Tool set in colorful flat design

Does your business still rely on Microsoft Office to do everything? If so, you’re missing out on some crazy amazing tools that will make your business run more efficiently and keep you miles ahead of your competition.

It’s understandable to be afraid of new tools and easy to stay with what you know. Office is definitely everyone’s trusty go-to pal for creating all sorts of documents. Does it scare you when people mention using document creation tools based in the cloud? It shouldn’t, a lot of them even offer a free trial. We love a good tool at PATLive and we utilize a TON of them company-wide. Here are five of our favorite tools and why you should be using them, too!

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You’re Not the Government! Eliminate Red Tape for Your Customers

Sep 2, 2015 by

red tape
Is there anything worse than jumping through hoops?

Remembering the steps it took just to graduate college is enough to send me into a rage. Dealing with the administration was almost like doing tricks in the circus: “Jump girl! Jump through those hoops! You want to graduate, don’t you?”

It’s understandable for large universities like my alma mater or the government; it’s the way the they organize their information. It doesn’t make it any less frustrating. In fact, if you escaped college without getting angry over even one administrative issue, consider yourself the luckiest person alive.

When an organization is bogged down by restrictions and policies or there are inefficiencies within the administrative workflow, service really takes a hit on the chin. Your business is obviously not the government. Why so many rules? Why so many hoops?

It’s time to cut away everything that stands between you and your customers. Making it easy for them to do business with you will make it easy for them to recommend your product or services. Here are a few ways you can eliminate all that red tape and create a business that is easy on the customer.

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