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How to Fire a Customer in the Age of Social Media

Let’s face it, everyone at one time or another has wished that they could tell that pain in the rear customer to go fly the proverbial kite!  I’m talking about that customer that is never happy, no matter what you do for him! These unprofitable customers will usually fall into the 80/20 rule, where 20% consume 80% of your time.  This poses a serious dilemma for most businesses in this situation. Can you afford to fire a customer and even worst, have them spread negative feedback to other current or potential customers?

You’ve fired employees who either violate company policy or who represent the company in a negative way, so couldn’t you go about firing your customers in the same way? In the age of social media it’s easy for one customer’s complaint to be read by hundreds of people in a matter of minutes so be cautious. Just like there’s a right way and a wrong way to fire an employee, the same applies to firing a customer.

Reasons to Fire a Customer

It’s one thing for a customer to have a genuine complaint or grievance about your products or services, but customers who seem to complain just to complain or always trying to get something for free need to be addressed.  Profitability is required for any business to survive and if a customer is WAY more trouble than they’re worth, why keep them?   Spending time on unprofitable and unappreciative customers keeps you from pursuing valuable money making business opportunities so always keep that in mind.

When I say “fire a customer,” I mean terminating any type of agreement that the two of you might have together. I will be the first to admit that it’s very unsettling to treat a customer this way, but if you know that you’re providing a top notch product and or service coupled with stellar customer service, than you’ll be doing yourself and your business a favour by cutting these types of customers loose.

Firing Customers the Right Way

The first thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that you carefully and thoroughly document any problems that you’re having with the customer, which is similar to how you’d write up an employee.  This is always easier with a help desk solution like Cayzu, which allows you to track internal notes that customers don’t see.   You aren’t doing this to complain about the customer on social media like they might do with you, but instead so that you have legitimate proof if it comes down to actually having to fire the customer.

Next, remember that you’re a professional and conduct yourself as such. What this means is that you want to be respectful and refrain from using negative terms while breaking the relationship with your customer. Simply try your best to find a diplomatic way to show that the relationship between the two of you isn’t working and that this is for the best for both parties (this is important because the customer will see you as the aggressor so make sure to take the blame and don’t point fingers!).

Never fire your customer through a letter or email. It’s best to do it over the phone or in person. Firing someone through a social media message or email is the equivalent of breaking up with someone over a text message. If the situation demands it, don’t hesitate to ask the customer to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This step might seem extreme, but it’s sure to help you avoid any headaches in the future. Finally, you should also give the customer a parting gift (or refund) to show that there aren’t any hard feelings no matter how you might otherwise feel. This makes you look like the bigger person and makes them feel as though they got something out of the deal which will also limit your exposure to negative feedback about your business on social media.

Disclaimer: Firing a customer is NEVER easy and I would NEVER suggest you do it unless it is absolutely your last resort. Explore all options to work things out first, even an unprofitable relationship can turn around or spawn into an introduction to a more profitable customer.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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The Best of Cayzu Help Desk’s #HappyCustomers Blog (Part 1)

To celebrate the 4th of July the team here at Cayzu Helpdesk thought it would be fun to create a post that would recap some of our past favourite blogs.  These blogs will surely put some spark in your customer’s love for your business!

If you’re running an e-commerce web site be sure to check out:
11 WINNING Customer Service Tips for E-commerce (none from Charlie Sheen)

Are you a small business that needs a little help fighting the Amazons of the world?:
Small Businesses Can Combat the Amazons of the World

Everyone is marketing to the same customers! Be different and stand out!:
Why Customer Service Should Replace Your Marketing

Find out why the crooks behind the Cryptolocker virus care about customer service:
Yes, Even Crooks Care About Customer Service 

Put your small business in the driver seat through Customer Service:
Customer Service – Putting Small Businesses in the Driver Seat 

Is there really a marriage between social media and customer service?:
The Conundrum that is Social Media and Customer Service 

Selfie’s are the latest craze! Can they really help with your Customer Service?:
Can a Selfie Help Your Customer Service Strategy?

And finally, with all the rage going on with the World Cup how could we not compare it to Customer Service?:
What the World Cup Can Teach You About Customer Service

Thanks again for your continued readership and keep a lookout for part 2 of our blog recap in the near future!

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A Closer Look at the Advantages of a Hosted Help Desk Solution

Small businesses are run with a lot of passion but frequently lack the employee numbers that allow for specialized team members. This means that help desk support agents and other focused forms of customer service are set aside in favor of developing a strong standard of generalized customer interactions. At Cayzu we pride ourselves in providing awesome customer support and  believe in doing more with less.  We accomplish this by keeping our customer service workflow simple and organized  using our own help desk solution.

Hosted Help Desk Solution or Installed Software? 

Business owners that wish to improve their customer support services frequently choose between a packaged suite of help desk software that they then install in their own office or data center. Each solution has particular characteristics that suit the needs of different businesses. However, many business owners select the software option without taking a closer look at the advantages that a hosted, cloud based help desk solution actually provides.

  • No hardware or software requirements – Any computer program you choose to run will come with certain minimum hardware and software requirements. If your existing computer’s hardware, operating system, and installed software do not meet the standard of your selected helpdesk software, then you will be unable to use the program. Hosted solutions have no such requirements.
  • No obsolescence or out of date programs – The expensive, industry-leading software that you purchase this year may not be so cutting edge next year. Computer programs date quickly and unless you are prepared to upgrade in 2–4 years you run the risk of dealing with an obsolete program. Businesses that work with hosted solutions do not have to worry about any of these concerns.
  • No need for additional training or hiring – Hiring experienced help desk employees might be beyond your current financial means; additionally, your business may not require the services of such an employee on an ongoing basis. Our hosted help desk solution are priced very competitively and do not necessitate the hiring of any additional personnel.
  • No hassle and no worries – Setting up your own help desk system is a complex undertaking that requires a considerable amount of planning and constant troubleshooting to correct problems that arise as your system is rolled out. Hosted support services like Cayzu have already done all the hard work of planning and implementation. The system we offer our customers has been fine-tuned through countless hours of use and refinement (as some would call it “Eating our own dog food).

The Freedom to Do What You Do Best

One of the greatest advantages of choosing to use a cloud based online customer support software is that it will make you more efficient and give you and your employees  more time to focus on what you do best; grow your business.

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7 Ways to Boost Your Small Business on Facebook

Facebook is a notoriously consumer-oriented social media platform. In my experience, customers want to know that they can interact with a real company and real people, not automated message systems. Facebook isn’t only great for small business branding and customer engagement; it’s also great for customer support. Instead of floundering during peak busy times, get organized and efficient with the right online custom support software and social media strategy.

1. Turning Customers Into Advocates

Small businesses should have a Facebook account that reaches local audiences, not the masses. Engage with your followers and fans on social media platforms. Keep social influences going by turning customers into advocates, and interact with customer’s friends and family.

2. Triaging Customer Issues Via Social Channels and Traditional CRM Systems

You don’t have to isolate customer service from the rest of your business. Instead, integrate the power of social media influence and your customer support strategy with help desk ticketing systems that are prepared for the age of social media. In fact, there is no better place to answer customer complaints than on Facebook. Show that you are a real company that responds to customer concerns.

3. Personify Your Company With Social Media

Facebook gives your small business more than the opportunity to post pictures and logos. Instead of only giving customers a vague idea of what your small business is all about, you can strengthen your brand’s persona on Facebook with one-on-one interactions that are not directly related to business. By “humanizing” your business, you can gain customer trust.

4. Build a Community Around Your Business

The best part about social media marketing is that you can build an online community around your brand. Increase levels of customer engagement by offering a comfortable place for users to interact with you and with each other. Increase customer loyalty by engaging with customers on an everyday basis instead of only talking with customers when addressing issues related to customer support.

5. Climb SEO Rankings With Social Media Influence

Through the proper use of social media, a small business can drive qualified traffic directly to its website through their Facebook page.  Sending qualified web traffic to your site can help your  SEO rankings by avoiding high bounce rates, when users click on your site and click the back button a few seconds later, as well as increase your bottom line.

6. Your Competition Might Already Be on the Social Media Scene

It doesn’t matter whether your direct competition has a Facebook page or not. You need to focus on how social media will help your small business succeed. The right social media strategy coupled with the right help desk software can help you connect with your target audience in a more effective and personal way.

7. Show Clients and Customers Your Brand Every Day

Keep your Facebook audience in the loop with posts, updates, and shares. Show that you are more than a faceless business by having a strong social media presence. Make it easy for existing customers to like your page and share their thoughts about your small business.

8. Scale With Online Custom Support Software

I’m not going to lie, the thought of providing customer service through social media can look like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Getting the right help desk software like Cayzu will help you scale your business through Facebook. Create the right brand persona, and create real connections with real people on social media. Put your customer service initiatives in the forefront of your organization and let everyone see how eager you are to please through Facebook.

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What Playing Plants vs Zombies 2 can Teach us about Customer Service

At Cayzu we want to be known for our high quality help desk software, but we also wouldn’t mind being known for our sense of fun and our ability to compare a popular video game with improving your customer support. Plants vs Zombies is a popular video game where a home owner uses a variety of plants to keep a horde of brain hungry zombies at bay. Rather than putting the video games away to get back to business, use the video games to help your business.

Someone Always Wants to Trample Your Flowers

Just like the zombies in Plants vs Zombies would like nothing more than to trample over every flower that you have, the same goes for some of your customers, your competitors and possibly even some of your employees. Show how strong that you and your business are by refusing to give them the satisfaction. When someone calls customer service with harsh words and a loud tone, answer in a calm and professional manner. Yelling might be their way of venting their general frustration rather than their anger at you.

Plan a Smarter Defence and Use Less Money 

As you’re devising ways of improving ticketing systems in the age of social media, make sure that you also focus on ways to strategically enhance your client’s customer service experience. What this means is taking a few minutes to categorize and understand your top support calls so that you can properly plan for them. It’s a crazy world out there, and you’ll never know what you’ll hear when you pick up that phone or open that email.

Have Your Agents Work Less Like Pea Shooters and More Like Pea Pods

In the Plants vs Zombies game, gamers are equipped with a pea shooter plant that spits out a single pea at a time and a pea pod that can bind together several pea shooters into one plant, effectively making them work as a team. Help desk solutions like Cayzu improve customer service by enabling support agents to work better in teams and stay organized by utilizing more efficient work flows.

Be More Like a Split Pea and Use Every Medium to Answer Your Customers

Plants vs. Zombies has a special plant called a Split Pea that can simultaneously shoot in the front and back. In this analogy we act as the Split Pea since our help desk software can keep a close eye on all of your communication mediums, including email, Twitter, your website and Facebook. Now you never have to worry about a customer slipping through the cracks and feeling ignored. Imagine how much time this particular step can save you.

Sunlight Makes Everything Better

In the game your plants need sunlight in order to grow, and the same applies to your business. Try your very best to make your customers and callers smile any way that you can. Ensure that your employees smile whenever they greet customers and wish them a good day when the conversation ends. A few kind words can do wonders for a person’s day and their opinion of your company.

All Seeds Take Time to Grow

It takes time for seeds to sprout into plants, and it’s going to take time for your customer service department to be the best that it can be. While it’s important to invest in customer service, make sure that you don’t over invest. What this means is that it will take time and you shouldn’t try to speed up things up at the cost of quality.

For more helpful customer service analogies, or if you’d just like some good video game recommendations, get in touch with Cayzu today.

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4 Effective Ways to Empower Customer Service Employees

At Cayzu Helpdesk we believe that your employees are just as essential to your growth and success as your customers are, which means that your employees should have the tools and information that they need to feel confident in themselves as well as the job that they perform.  Take your business and employees to the next level by learning how to effectively empower them.

1. Open Up the Lines of Communication

Leaders should inform employees that they can get into direct contact with them at any time, and that goes for employees in all departments, not just those working in customer service. If employees have to jump through hoops and feel as though no one is listening to them, they’re less likely to truly give a hundred percent at their job or take any kind of initiative.   Even someone who just started a few days ago might have vital insight in how to make the customer support experience better and how to make your business run more efficiently. You may never learn of their brilliant ideas if employees don’t feel like they have any way of getting into direct contact with you, your managers or supervisors. When employees do make suggestions and offer their input, make sure that you thank them even if you don’t like the idea.

2. Reward Your Employees for Improvements

Just as you had a plan and a vision for your business, help your employees create the same for their careers and reward them for their efforts and improvements. Giving someone a raise and a promotion might seem like adequate motivation to get employees to improve, but sometimes employees simply don’t know what to do in their job capacity or they don’t have the resources they need to truly advance their careers. Consider setting aside time, money and resources towards personal development and management training. Helping your employees helps your company since they’ll be eager to put their newly learned skills to good use for your business.

3. Let Employees Know It’s Okay to Fail

 What sets an entrepreneur apart from an employee is that an entrepreneur is willing to take risks. If employees want to try something that won’t put the company in danger, give them the liberty to do so even if there’s a possibility of failure. Actually, you may want to allow them to try out something new if there’s a strong possibility that they’ll fail. This might seem cruel, but it will be a great learning experience for them and they’ll be less likely to seek out approval before making a move in the future. They might even surprise you by succeeding.

4. Make Sure Employees See What You See

 One of the reasons that your employees might act so nervous and uneasy may be because they don’t fully understand what it is that you’re asking them to do. Business leaders might have the perfect vision for their company, but unless they know how to properly share and describe that vision, it can get lost in translation.  Your employees should know the company’s core vision, goals and direction because it all starts at the roots. Otherwise they’ll more than likely waste time and possibly even valuable resources.

Now that you know how to help empower your employees, we encourage you to turn to Cayzu to empower your company’s customer support capabilities.

 

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What the World Cup Can Teach You About Customer Service

Whether or not you’re a fan of soccer, chances are good that you’ve at least heard or seen a bit of the World Cup. The FIFA World Cup was first played back in 1930, and since then it has become the largest single-event sporting competition in the entire world. While the World Cup only rolls around once every four years, Cayzu is here every day to help you enhance your customer service game by offering you our superior online customer support software and by showing you valuable customer service lessons that are to be learned from the game of soccer.

There Is Always Competition and Only One Winner

While you might not be up against the 208 member associations of FIFA, you undoubtedly have your share of competitors. No matter what you’re selling or what industry you’re in, customers only choose one vendor which means there is only one winner. Make sure that you’re always providing and using awesome customer service to your advantage to make your customers stand and cheer you on.

Operate as a Team

No customer service employee should ever be abandoned on an island, no matter how good they might be at their job. Not only will your employees need the best support possible, your customers will to. Never forget that working in a team is more productive than working on your own as the lone ranger.

Pass the Ball When the Time Is Right

Sometimes doing what’s best for your team and your customers is admitting when something is beyond your abilities. Don’t be afraid to pass a customer along to another team mate or tell them that you’ll get back to them in a short while with a more informed answer. The customer will appreciate your honesty even if it takes bit longer. Lying is a sure fire way to fail at turning customers into advocates for your business.

Understand Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

While you may like the idea of being a jack of all trades, your customers probably won’t. It’s better for your business and your customers to be assisted by employees who know where their strengths lie and when they should allow someone else to take care of a support request. Rather than “winging it” when a customer calls about something that you’re unfamiliar with, transfer them and make a note to learn more about their inquiry so that you can be better informed for next time.

It’s Important to Have Both Defense and Offense

Not only should you and the rest of your support team be in place to take care of customers when they call (defense), you’ll also want to get in touch with customers to see how they’re doing before they call (offense).  Take a minute and think about how reassuring it feels knowing that you’re supported by your customer service team mates. Make your customers feel the same way.

Don’t Go Out of Bounds

While it might be tempting to use any means necessary to win the customer service game, always play by the rules and refrain from playing dirty. Even if you don’t get caught the first time or even the third time, you never know when the truth will catch up to you.

Whenever you find yourself trapped behind an oncoming rush of help requests or customer service complications, pass the ball to your team mates here at Cayzu Helpdesk, we’re here to make you win!.

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Six Reasons to Upgrade from Email to a Customer Service Solution

I know how many problems email can cause for emerging businesses. Your business might not be large enough to warrant outsourcing customer service, but it might be too large to handle without an automated system. Sooner or later, your startup will outgrow email as a quality customer support solution. You can effectively use a shared inbox as a cost-effective way to address customer service requests when you have a manageable customer base.

As your business continues to grow, you will start to see signs that you need online custom support software for your emerging business to thrive.

1. Email Has Certain Limitations

Email does not have the ability to fully automate the customer support process. You cannot rely on an inbox to effectively distribute emails between different employees. Additionally, you cannot work around glitches associated with emails in spam folders or emails lost in cyberspace after your business has reached a certain size. You will start to waste too much time on email-related issues at the cost of growth.

2. Bad Customer Service = Bad Public Relations

Your customers can bash you on social media in a matter of seconds. After all, isn’t that a large reason why people love major social media platforms so much? Inadequate customer support can have a substantial negative impact after a highly influential Tweeter decides to write a few characters about how your business was created by evil forces. Or an angry customer posts your dirty laundry to their Facebook account straight from their smartphones. Conversely, you can leverage the power of social media by giving customers a reason to create positive buzz.

3. Customers Love Social Media

Invest in software that will organize customer requests via social media. It’s nice to see how many people think your business is cool, but it can be a tour de force effort to sift through hundreds of comments to find specific requests and concerns.

4. General Email Confusion

Hitting the same customer with support twice can make a poor impression. Shared inboxes make agent collision more likely. Additionally, emails routinely get stuck in spam folders, accidentally deleted, saved instead of sent, or sent to the wrong person. It’s the nature of email.

5. Track Customer History

Many customer concerns appear a bit strange. Is a concerned customer hopelessly confused? Is your staff hopelessly confused? Tracking customer history through email may be possible, but it would require customers to sit back and wait for you to dig through an expansive inbox. Help desk software can expedite customer concerns by efficiently tracking orders.

6. Keep Your Sales Team In the Know

Online custom support software is a great way to keep your sales team in the know. Email does not tie into sales support by design. Spend less time addressing email confusion, and spend more time closing sales. Identify qualified leads and repeat customers instead of trying to find out what happened to some email from a few months ago.

Focus on Sales Instead of Email Confusion With Cayzu Helpdesk

Get your small business over the emerging business quandary with online custom support software from Cayzu. Contact us today for more information about how we make businesses thrive.

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5 Ways to Make Customers Love You Again

When it comes to business, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s especially true when it comes to customer service. You might not be fully aware of just how important good service is to your customers, and often times it is more important than how much they pay for your products and services. Put the following five tips to good use in order to keep your customers happy and satisfied instead of racing into the waiting arms of your competitors.

1. Work Side-by-Side with Your IT Department

Rather than seeing our IT department as a separate entity, we instead view them as our partners in delivering exemplary customer support. The reason for that is that the IT department has access to a wealth of useful information that we can use to our advantage when it comes to improving customer service.

2. Keep It Lined Up

It’s vital that you make sure that everyone is on the same page, including the customer. If your customers hear one piece of information over the phone, then they need to receive that exact same information through any other type of correspondence that they receive. While technology has made it easier and more efficient than ever for us to communicate, it’s also given us more ways to mix up information and spread misinformation. Make sure that prices, promises, products and services are all the same no matter who is speaking with the customer and no matter where they search for information.

3. Put Big Data to Good Use

Don’t simply let all of that customer data and information go to waste. Instead, use it to improve on your customer’s experience. You can utilize that data to better target ads and communication, learn which business practices work and which could use some tweaking and learn more about what your customers want. Help desk software like Cayzu is a good way to use all of your data and information more efficiently and to your best advantage.

4. Focus on the Customer

Rather than concentrating on making a sale, I prefer to concentrate on the customer. One thing to keep in mind when taking care of customers is that they’re used to phone menus, automated messages and talking with computers more than they are with actual human beings. Think of how much more efficient and faster it is for a customer to have their questions answered and needs met by another person rather than having to spend time cycling though phone menus. Their frustration could get the best of them and force them to go elsewhere, causing you to lose more than revenue.

5. Be Honest and Open With Your Customer

Don’t smudge the truth or try to save face when working with customers; they can see right through company lines and tactful evasions. Not only are your customers human, so are you, which means that you’re entitled to make mistakes and fall short. Customers understand that things happen, things that might be out of your control. Let them know what’s going on, why it’s happening and what you plan to do about it. Doing this will save you time and potentially even your reputation.

No matter how great your customer service might be, you should always look for ways to improve. It’s always best to take care of problems before you actually have them.

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7 Tips for Perfecting the Art of Customer Service

Many companies often fall short on delivering exceptional customer service. Rather than turning customer service into a script that should be followed at all times, it should instead become an experience for the customer as well as the customer support representative. Here are seven tips that should always be at the forefront of a service representative’s mind.

1. It All Starts at the Roots

CEOs or owner’s of a business are the ones who plant the seeds of how the company’s customers should be treated. If they seem to care more about the products and services than they do the customers who are using them, then chances are strong that their employees and representatives will share the same perspective.

2. Don’t Play the Blame Game

Mistakes have happened in the past and they’ll undoubtedly happen in the future. Rather than figure out who is at fault, it’s better to focus on developing a solution and doing everything possible to make sure that the mistake doesn’t get made again. On a related note, great customer service is also about not blaming the messenger for bad news. Focus on the message, not the medium.

3. Put the Customer in the Driver’s Seat

This is a step that requires a great deal of trust. We’ve got to trust that the customer won’t take advantage of whatever scenario they happen to be in, and we also have to trust that employees have the ability to make good decisions regarding customer service.

4. Assemble the Right Team

No matter how badly you might need representatives, it’s imperative that you take your time when hiring those representatives to hire the right people. Remember that at the end of the day it’s all about taking care of the customer and putting their minds at ease, and that can only be done with employees who are committed to doing what’s best for the customer.

5. Own Up to What You Can and Can’t Do

No matter how capable your company might be, there are simply some things that you won’t be able to do for one reason or another. You shouldn’t make promises that you know that you can’t keep. If you have any shortcomings, own up to them and don’t be afraid to let your customers know that you’re human too. No one expects you to be perfect, they just expect you to do your best.

6. Aim High When the Target Is Low

Rather than placating customers with promises that you know you can’t deliver, it’s always best to undersell and over-deliver so that you stand a better chance of truly wow-ing them. It’s always preferable to get more than you bargained for rather than receive less then what was promised.

7. Ensure that the Customer is Happy by Following up! 

The difference between okay customer service and exceptional customer service is how often and how well a support representative follows up with a customer to ensure that they are completely satisfied.  Help desk software like Cayzu is a great way to help facilitate customer follow up and improve your overall service experience.

The problem with customer service isn’t always that the company has poorly trained or under qualified employees working for them, but that they aren’t fully aware of the art of taking good care of customers.  There is a lot of noise in the market place directed at your customers, so use customer service (instead of marketing) as a way to retain customers and watch the magic unfold.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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