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A message from richard Cooper – Treat me how I want to be treated, right?

Virtual Office - Customer Service Image

Treat your  customers how you would like to be treated.  That’s right isn’t it?  After all we all want to be treated well when we buy products and services from others.

I have always lived by this philosophy and found that I have been extremely successful in business as a result.   In my last blog I spoke about my Honeymoon in Thailand and the difference in the culture and approach that I experienced.

I began to think about their concept of customer service.  It was somehow different.  They treated my new wife and I exceptionally well but I wondered if they were treating us how THEY would like to be treated themselves.   From my observations, their culture and lifestyle wasn’t based on the same materialism that we take so seriously here.  So what was it that made their service different?

Then it dawned on me.  Some of the best companies I know all over the world DON’T treat their customers how they would like to be treated themselves.  They treat their clients how the CLIENT would like to be treated.   I felt special because I was treated in accordance with MY expectations not the perceptions of the person I was buying from.

I remember a long time ago – at least five years – at a conference hearing a speaker talk of this and to be honest, it went in one ear and out of the other.   After all I was providing great service and it was working.

What I now realise is that whilst my service was and is still one of the best in the virtual office industry, there are no limits to the way in which we can take our business to the next level by adopting the principle of treating the customer how THEY would like to be treated.

In your business, it’s likely that you will want to grow and build a company.  This will mean adding to your team of employees or, indeed, taking on your first member of staff.  How much simpler will it be to coach them to listen, empathise and treat the client how the client wants to be treated.

We are all different and the way that my team want to be treated as customers will often be very different to mine as will the expectations of our clients.  Therefore one of our company goals this year is to treat our clients just how THEY would like to be treated.

If you “get “this, then I know it’s something that you will see as amazing value to your business.  If you don’t it’s OK.  Sometimes these concepts take time.  Come back to this particular blog in around three months, it may be the right time for you then.   Remember I first heard this concept over five years ago.  That’s how long it’s taken me to understand the true value in this concept, and it was at a time when I least expected it.

As always if I can ever be of any help in relation to anything you read on my blogs then just contact me through this site.  I am happy to help you achieve your goals.

Have a great week.

Richard Cooper -Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

A Festive message from Richard Cooper

Putting up the lights?

How are your Christmas plans coming along?   Have you put up your lights yet?   The man in this picture isn’t actually putting up his but taking them down.  And it was in the last couple of weeks.

Someone doesn’t like them!   This is a market town in Norfolk about 20 miles from the city of Norwich.    Read HERE  for the full article.

I’m not entirely sure what to say on this one really.   Being in the centre of London, our lights go up every year with tens of thousands of people coming along to get into the spirit of Christmas.  We’re on Regent Street just off Oxford Street so it is a different world in some respects.

However I really think that the principles are the same .   We live in a multi- faceted, multicultural society so not everyone celebrates Christmas or wants to.  However does this mean that we should stop those who do?

Did Mark Bunning – the business owner asked to remove the lights go out of his way to annoy his fellow businesses?  I very much doubt it.   Did those who complain about a local business owner taking his own time (at his own cost) to put up lights and cheer up his town, think for one minute that  he did it because he has the community at heart,  or was it just easier to criticise?

I was chatting to a couple of my clients about this and one of them sadly lost her mum over Christmas.  What were her  thoughts?  Here’s what she said:

“ When my mum passed away and we went to the solicitors, to sort out probate, it was a time of joy and happiness for most families.  Of course I didn’t want to be involved but at the time, honestly, if there had been naked dancers in the windows or real reindeer flying around I wouldn’t have noticed.  I was grieving . I wouldn’t begrudge anyone Christmas cheer and never did”.

So think about this over the festive season.  What can you do to make life easier for your business neighbours.  How can you HELP them and do you really know your clients.

And as for these lights….  Why would anyone knock a business person trying to do good.  Whether it was right or wrong – at least the thought and effort were there.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary.

Follow us @holdeverything1

More Perspective?

Many of our clients are small businesses and something that I feel particularly passionate about is perspective.

Whilst we have an established team here are Hold Everything HQ, many business owners work alone and the thing about this is that often, there is a different level of perspective.

I remember when I was starting out alone in business. It was me against the world.  My business was my life (and in many ways still is!).  The trouble was that because I worked only with one part time member of staff,  sometimes the pressure of everything all at once felt a little bit too much.   I would feel alone and that there wasn’t anyone I could turn to.  

As the business has grown, this has become less of an issue, however when I speak to a client who is wound up about something that really isn’t as bad as they think it is, I remember being there.

My top tips for you if you ever find that things are getting a little too much are:

1) Take a five minute break.  Sounds obvious?  Sometimes just moving about and taking a deep breath can make that difference. Ask yourself “in the great scheme of things is this really as bad as it seems.

2) If you have received a “bad” email, message or voicemail – wait 24 hours before responding. Your replies are permanent. Don’t do damage by biting back, no matter HOW tempting.

3) Find other businesses in your position.  I met numerous great businesses through business networking.   If you’re just starting out there are many that are free to go along to.   Having others to talk to really helped me to realise that things aren’t as bad as I sometimes thought.

If you are a bigger business dealing with smaller companies:

1) Remember that just because something that isn’t important to you, it doesn’t mean that it’s not essential to someone else.

2) Can YOU take five minutes to listen to a small business? What are your business doing to support start up mentoring?

3) Stay professional at all times regardless of how someone else is behaving to you and if you have been in that position, remember how it felt.

There are so many terrible events going on in the world and sometimes we need to step out and see the bigger picture.  Theres always an answer.

This week our thoughts go out to those affected by the awful events in the USA.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything
Follow us @holdeverything1

 

I Google YOU!

So, you’ve made that first connection with a potential business supplier.  You have started to carve out a deal.  What next?  One thing that is used increasingly (yet is hugely under rated) is the Google search – or any online search for that matter!

Who are this company?

What is their reputation like?

Are they as good as they say?

What do their customers say about them?

On twitter, I have a follower who posts a number of blogs’ from Seth Godin. Here’s what he wrote on one of his blogs’.

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person’s name.

The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, “binge drinking.”

The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, “I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I’m annoyed by it. I’ll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings.”

And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three.

Google never forgets

So when you Google YOU, what do you see?  Is it professional with a reputable email address and landline phone number?  Do you have a business address, which says, “I’m serious about business”? Or is it a home address or even worse a PO Box?    On the other hand, does your search bring up links to “those” pictures on facebook and twitter, which you thought, had been forgotten. The comments you made on the office party page (yes THAT office party!)   When did you last Google yourself and what does it look like?  If you haven’t then my tip for the week is DO SO.  If it’s not how you want other people to see you, then you can start to change it. That party or night out may have only been one night, but the imprint online can potentially last forever!

Have a brilliant week

Richard and the team @Hold Everything