Customer Service

How often do we actually ASK our customers what they want?

Do we get too focussed on what we like, what we want to be doing, on what we THINK they want?

Do you carry out customer satisfaction surveys, customer care calls? These touch-points with your existing or past customers can be the lifeblood of your business, and if you are not doing them, your competitors might be….

Every customer who doesn’t return means extra Business Development for you to find new clients – imagine if they all came back, over and over again…

Contact us if you’d like some assistance in this area – we love helping businesses improve their Customer Service, and have many years of experience of customer care and retention.

For more thoughts, read Celia’s full article on LinkedIn – and if you’ve not connected with her yet, please do so while you are there!

boardroom collaboration
I wrote about this already in 2015, but some specific examples came up and I thought it would be good to share them, to show some actual examples of how working in a shared space can be of huge benefit to your business, and sometimes even to your social life!
serendipity
ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti/
noun
noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities
  1. the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
    “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

flexible workJust how flexible is your flexible work?

I was recently doing some research into ‘flexible working’, and discovered this PwC article, which summed up quite strongly my understanding and experience since opening the business centre. Flexible work means many things to many people, but generally, the business world is changing. More employees, small business owners and entrepreneurs are trying to achieve that work/life balance that many of us spend our whole life trying to create. I have to agree that the statement in the article rings very true for me (not just Millenials!) –
For their part, Millennials do not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but by the output of the work performed. They view work as a “thing” and not a “place”. ”

I wrote this piece on LinkedIn Pulse discussing it further – have a read – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

LinkedIn – Celia Newlands – Flexible Work

When I first moved into a Managerial position in corporate, many more years ago than I’d like to admit, I remember very quickly making mental notes of the ‘people to know‘ within the different departments. Not in the influential sense, but in a ‘these are the people who know the stuff that matters in this business‘ sort of a way… The people with the real day-to-day understanding of how the business works, who were verging on INDISPENSABLE …..

What a word! – indispensablesynonyms: essential, crucial, necessary, key, vital, needed, required, called for, requisite, important, all-important, vitally important, of the utmost importance, of great consequence, of the essence, critical, life-and-death, imperative, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory, compelling, urgent, pressing, burning, acute, paramount, pre-eminent, high-priority, significant, consequential

Wow! Who wouldn’t want to be described with all those words?

Soon after I identified who those ‘indispensable’ people were, I began to see another interesting difference amongst the same people. Those who wanted to share what they knew, and those who didn’t. Each thought their way was the best way. The ones who didn’t want to share their information thought they were making themselves even more indispensable and important. Unfortunately, they were wrong. They were not indispensable.

To consider yourself more important because you do NOT share information that is crucial to the running of a business, is very short-sighted, and has become more and more outdated. We live in a very collaborative society now. No-one is ‘indispensable’…, not really.. You may be an amazing employee or colleague, but ultimately, when the old chips are down, as they say; nothing can save you…..

Oh, no wait!
Of course you can be saved! What was I thinking!
I forgot to mention those people who DO share information, who DO collaborate, who DO love to impart their knowledge to others, to see others success as partly their own success in the world.
They are the new ‘indispensable‘!

There has been a huge shift in how we decide who to work with. I am not suggesting that you tell everyone all the ingredients for your massively successful new chocolate slice that’s ‘taken the dessert market by storm’ (although seriously, if it’s that good, you can PM me…, I won’t tell anyone!) or the specifics of how you made that new invention that ‘no-one is going to be able to live without’ by 2017..
In fact, all I’m really saying is…play nice!

Collaborate: The new Indispensable?
collaborate -synonyms: cooperate, join (up), join forces, team up, get together, come together, band together, work together, work jointly, participate, unite, combine, merge, link, ally, associate, amalgamate, integrate, form an alliance, pool resources, club together

The words that are floating around in my business network at the moment sound like this: collaborate, develop, unite, blend, fusion, alliance, emerge, create, do. We are doing some amazing connecting!

As one, we can only do so much – if we collaborate, we can achieve anything!

Love to hear your thoughts, or your stories of how collaboration has worked for you?

*First published on LinkedIn 24/11/15: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-dare-share-celia-newlands

The video below came up in my newsfeed today, showing the benefits of coworking, and I just loved the phrase ‘Accelerated Serendipity’! Plus it described my day today so accurately, that I felt compelled to share it with everyone…
I held a free coworking morning today – I’ve been holding one every couple of months, just to try to bring those people in who have either not heard of coworking, or don’t think it is something that would work for them. I tend to find that once people have tried it out, they understand how it can work for them, and can see (and feel) the benefits.

The benefits are different for everyone – for some it’s not having the distractions of home – the family pets, the dishwasher needing emptied, the washing piling up in the corner, etc etc…
For others it might be just feeling part of a social community – having other people to run ideas past, or to talk about ‘that’ TV show that was on last night, or even discuss your thoughts on the economic development of the area we live in….!

But ultimately, it needs to be of financial benefit to be coworking, or sharing an office space – otherwise why wouldn’t you just stay at home?

Well today showed me all the reasons why it works.

I had about 4 conversations with different people, which resulted in no less than 6 collaborative situations, which may result in more income for all 6 people! Not bad for a couple of hours work…
Then I did some client work, as the office was so busy I felt I had to contribute/type faster (that’s the competitive side of me!) than the other people I could hear around me.

So I did some paid work, got details of some fantastic prospective clients/collaborations, networked, and had a bit of a laugh too!

So next time you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, bring a chunk of work, your laptop, some business cards, and see if you can have some Accelerated Serendipity too! Watch the video that started the conversation, below…….

Coworking – How coworking is changing how and where we work

 

And so begins my foray into Blogging….

This is all new to me. My expertise is in Customer Service, Staff Management, Office Management, CRM systems etc.

Social Media, Website Administration, Blogging – all new to me, but I’m very excited about the learning opportunity this presents me with. I have always loved learning; but conversely have never been any good at studying! I’m all about ‘doing’ things to learn – so here I am – ‘doing’ things I have little or no experience of, but will learn as I go along.

Such is the journey of an entrepreneur I think. Unless you have already completed all the studying beforehand, the entrepreneurial story is one that writes itself as it unfolds!

I have been working on creating this business for a number of years now, but in the last 2 years, as it began to become more defined and  closer to completion, I realised that for all my relevant experience in my intended area of work, I had very little experience in Commercial Real Estate or setting up a Company – to name but two new areas of learning for me!

One thing I learned very early in my career in Management was to ask questions – I have never considered it to be a weakness to admit I don’t know it all – in fact, I consider the ability to ask the right questions in order to improve/ learn/ move forward, as a strength.    

And so I follow this belief, and I ask questions of all the ‘experts’ I meet, about things I know little or nothing of, and I slowly build up a small amount of knowledge about a huge amount of subjects. I remain an ‘expert’ in my main field of work, but I suppose I am now a ‘General Practitioner’ in Entrepreneurship – so Mum – maybe you get a daughter that’s a GP after all!!

So I suppose that constitutes the topic for my first Blog post – ASK QUESTIONS to improve and grow your knowledge base, and never, EVER stop learning!

Celia