Staff and Customer Respect

Respect your staff and your customers

Two of the most important tenants in business are to treat your staff and your customers with respect and consideration.  When successfully executed, a business will begin to realize its true potential.

Pay your staff accurately

Your employees are employed to do a job.  It is vitally important to pay your staff accurately.  If paychecks are issued in hardcopy, they should be released as early in the day as possible to allow the employees the opportunity to get to the bank on their lunch or afternoon break.

If your business is struggling, or in slow period, remember, your employees should be paid first, before you. It is important to pay staff on time, and in full every time.

Empower your staff

Keep your employees current on work related matters.  Bulletins from suppliers that provide information of products or rebates and recall notices are important tools for your staff to assist your customers.

Empowering employees with more information instills the feeling of trust which will in turn encourage staff to work hard for both your customers and therefore, you.

Listen to your staff

Be a good listener!  Listening to, and acknowledging what your employees had to say can have a profound effect on your business.  Tom Peters of the “In Search of the WOW”, states that the most successful companies listen to the ground or frontline employees.  These companies will reward employees when good ideas are suggested and incorporated into the company’s business model.

Reward your staff

Rewarding employees is important and it does not need to be monetary.  Telling employees that they did a good job can go a long way to increasing employee satisfaction.  It is helpful to take opportunities to thank your staff.  Be that at a Christmas party, staff barbecue, or a meeting, a few words thanking your staff for a job well done, and perhaps singling out an exemplary employee for credit, will encourage other employees to step up their games.

When employees feel appreciated and respected they will have a greater tendency to perform at a higher level and are more likely to enjoy coming to work with their attendance greatly improved.

Happier employees generally result in happier customers, and your business can only benefit!

CUSTOMER CARE

“Take care of your customers and your bottom line will take care of itself” said John Verde, USPTA Master Tennis Teaching Professional and President of Strokemaster Tennis products. What is taking care of your customers and how does one go about doing this?

Listening to what the customer is saying or asking for is very important. Have you fully comprehended what was said and reasonably acted upon the information?

When shortfalls occur in customer service, it is important to acknowledge it and rectify the situation as soon as possible. An apology to your customer is also warranted. Be open and honest about what happened and offer a solution as to how you will deal with their problem.

Occasionally, offering a small discount or adding a “little extra something” can go along way to appease the customer. Often, an apology will suffice.

Respecting the customers; time is also very important. Handling requests as quickly as possible reducing any delays for the customer especially if they are waiting for a specific order or product may result in a less frustrated customer.  It is also very important to keep the customer up to date with how the situation progresses.

Be sure to thank your customers for their business and let them know that you appreciate their patronage. By keeping your customers happy, they will likely become repeat customers and there is a good chance they will recommend your business to their friends, family and coworkers.

Word of mouth is one of the best types of advertising available.  The above simple tips can set you on the path to maximizing and capitalizing on that very profitable tool.

 

The Invasion of the Paper Products

I was amazed the other day watching a commercial claim that, ‘cloth dishcloths only push messes around, one needs a paper towel to truly clean up a mess.’  Are you kidding me?  This might be true if the dish cloth were dry, or soaked, but if it was wet with hot soapy water and wrung out, the paper towel wouldn’t stand up.  Your dishcloth can be rinsed or thrown in the washing machine hundreds of times, while the paper towels are a single use item.   For the goopy messes one would not like to use their dishcloths on, there are always rags, the remnants of the old t-shirts, dish cloths, towels, sweats, safely stored in the place where cotton goes to die.  These rags have been used so much, that should you get something on them that is not washable, they can happily go to the landfill where they will fully break down in a relatively short period.

One might claim that paper napkins are necessary.  I heartily disagree.  A beautiful, cloth napkin is a better alternative. Not only is it eco friendly, but much gentler on your skin when you’re using them, and they don’t rip and stick to you if you happen to be having some very sticky wings or ribs.   A certain amount of style and class is also attached to the use of cloth napkins over products at your table.

Another commercial claims that your hand towel is very dirty, and one must have disposable towels in the bathroom for drying hands.  Again, haven’t they heard of a washing machine?  The world certainly does not need any more disposable items.  The use of all these paper products is not sustainable in the long term.  The production of all these paper products require a great many natural resources and purchasing them on a regular basis, definitely adds to the expense for a family over a year!

Then there are the wipes, which don’t only use paper but also use chemicals and encase their products in plastic.  Do we really need more chemicals and plastics in our homes and environment?!?    The great marketing machines are once again preying on our fears.  They have us convinced that to keep our home and children safe we need to kill all of the bacteria in the world.  Not true.  We live symbiotically with many thousands of bacteria.  Many are necessary for our survival. Some governments are beginning ad campaigns to discourage the overuse of antibacterial product.

The CDC has published an article from Stuart B. Levy of
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA beginning with:

“The recent entry of products containing antibacterial agents into healthy households has escalated from a few dozen products in the mid-1990s to more than 700 today. Antibacterial products were developed and have been successfully used to prevent transmission of disease-causing microorganisms among patients, particularly in hospitals. They are now being added to products used in healthy households, even though an added health benefit has not been demonstrated. Scientists are concerned that the antibacterial agents will select bacteria resistant to them and cross-resistant to antibiotics. Moreover, if they alter a person’s microflora, they may negatively affect the normal maturation of the T helper cell response of the immune system to commensal flora antigens; this change could lead to a greater chance of allergies in children. As with antibiotics, prudent use of these products is urged. Their designated purpose is to protect vulnerable patients.” 

To summarize the above, too much use of antibacterial products is NOT a good thing.  Once again, this is all before considering the economic and environmental costs of the products themselves.

So many paper products like paper towels can be replaced with long lasting alternatives.  While it may be difficult to eliminate all of the products you use on a daily basis, minimizing the use and transitioning to more eco friendly alternatives is definitely a great place to start.  Even a little bit of change makes a big difference for our world, our children’s world.  

This:

over this:

 

shouldn’t be a hard choice.

Tracey