Tricks to Give Your Business a More Personal Touch

21 Aug, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

According to a recent Gallup poll, customer engagement is more critical today because consumers prefer to have an emotional connection to a businesses. Fully engaged customers are emotionally bonded and loyal to the company. On the other hand, actively disengaged customers easily switch between products or services. For example, fully engaged bank customers add up to 40 percent more annual revenue, compared with disengaged customers. Below explains three ways to personalize your customer’s experience with your business.

Genuine Engagement


Surprise your customers by actively engaging them through genuine interactions. Set the standard that employees address customers by name and require that all employees wear name tags or state their name at the beginning of an interaction. Most customers appreciate not being treated like just another face or account number. Encourage employees to engage customers in polite conversation while focusing on meeting their needs. Whenever a customer has a problem, instruct employees to actively listen and problem solve at the lowest possible level. Employees should not simply transfer the phone or pass the problem along to someone else. If the problem is more complex, a timely follow up is critical, even if there is no immediate solution available.

Elicit Feedback

Many businesses want to adjust their business practices to meet their customers’ needs, but are unsure how to go about doing this. Improving the customer experience begins with properly documenting and responding to customer comments and complaints. Hard data and numbers work best when it comes to improving the overall customer experience. Consider formally surveying customers through email, phone, or in-person surveys. Monitor social media sites for postings that shed light on improvement opportunities. Cloud-based platforms that customers can access, such as healthcare communication systems like Solutionreach Patient Engagement, offer Patient Reminder Software and allow customers to easily connect to the company more personally.

Improve the Customer Service Experience

According to Forbes, certain industries are better suited to excel at customer service, such as the real estate and healthcare industries. However, retail and social media are at the bottom of the list. According to Forbes, the key to a satisfying customer service experience is through personal relationships and ample self-service resources. Every customer service interaction should begin and end on a positive note. As mentioned above, genuine and helpful customer service interactions will resolve most problems. On the other hand, many savvy customers can take care of their own problems, but often lack the means to do it. Be sure that your website and social media sites offer right resources, such as FAQs and Forums, so customers can answer their own questions as well.

To recap, businesses today can offer a more personal experienced through genuine engagement, eliciting feedback, and improving the customer service experience. Businesses that offer a personalized experience will increase the number of fully engaged, loyal customers and increase their revenue as a result.

“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”


Online Tools To Improve Hotel Management

10 Aug, 2015 |

Time is a valuable commodity in today’s fast-paced world. Unfortunately, the tasks that fill up the day of a hotel manager or employee are time-consuming with little room for any additional activities. When feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember the virtual tools designed to make these jobs simpler than ever. With these simple, but effective tools, hotels can be more effective at their daily operations. These tips provide effective ways to manage time and tasks efficiently. 


Online Reputation Management Systems


Each hotel’s reputation has a significant effect on their reservations. Additionally, one of the primary ways that hotels develop a reputation is through online reviews. Many managers are tasked with protecting the hotel’s online reputation, a job that may seem overwhelming. However, there are several excellent tools that make it easy to monitor an online presence. Google Alerts, for example, is a free tool that can be used to track where the hotel is mentioned across the internet. Social Mention and Who’s Talkin are also effective tools to manage online reputations and track what people are saying. Take advantage of these tools to streamline part of the day. 


From booking to sales, a hospitality property management software system is the key to avoiding problems on a daily basis. There are hundreds of systems available today so look through each one available to find the best option for the property. Examples of what these systems do include managing reservations, tracking costs, and training employees. Larger hotels may need an all-inclusive suite that covers all areas of hospitality whereas small hotels can get by with smaller systems. However, be sure to find a system that covers all areas needed for effective daily operations. This system takes some time to set up and learn. However, it can save hours of time and help increase staff efficiency and productivity as well, helping managers to keep costs low. 


Hotel Scheduling Software


Trying to schedule employees is a challenge, but today’s managers can streamline the process with hotel scheduling software readily available. This software can be used to track number of employees needed and how to schedule employees for the maximum productivity. It can be used to plan for vacation coverage as well and takes much of the guesswork out of scheduling. These software programs are used by managers in almost every area and with good reason. For hotels that have even small hotel staffing needs, these programs reduce employee mistakes and increase productivity significantly. Even the most organized of managers is going to make some mistakes which can be harmful for the hotel and its reputation. Keep the process simple by investing in this scheduling software. They’re an inexpensive way to run daily operations and employees. 


Online Inventory Systems


Hotels go through a huge amount of inventory each year. From the complementary soaps to the towels that guests keep taking, it’s not always easy to know when to reorder products. While each hotel uses a different system of ordering, hotel inventory systems are a good way to track and re-order products as needed. Use a complete hotel inventory system to simplify the complexities of hotel room stocking. Even regular employees can be involved in the process by inputting how much stock they use each day to make the process as easy as possible. Having a virtual inventory system also takes the guesswork out of the process and some even automatically place orders as needed. While this system provides benefits for almost every hotel, it is an essential part of larger hotels. 


Clocking In/Out Programs


This is a small aspect of productivity, but can make a difference in most hotels, especially larger ones. Many managers are frustrated with having to deal with employee clocking in and out. One of the best ways to monitor which employees clock in and out on time is to have a time clock which collects the data and sends it to an online system where it can be tracked. This allows management to see which employees constantly show up late or leave early. While simple, it can help to catch smaller problems in the hotel system.
These tools offer significant methods to prevent error and increase productivity. Consider adding these tools to the hotel system to improve workflow on a daily basis.


Why Every Restaurant Needs to Use Scheduling Software

06 Aug, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s pretty easy to see that communication is a necessity to any thriving business.  In today’s economy, it’s paramount to have a step-up in your communication whenever possible. The restaurant business can be brutal at times, with small margins and long hours, not to mention all the variables that can quickly turn a successful start to a day into an understaffed nightmare!  Keeping a large crowd waiting too long at the hostess station and you may have just lost potential customers forever.  Between understaffed waiters/waitresses, tables that need to be cleared, food orders getting cold, and special customer requests, many times managers and their employees alike can quickly feel the stress of the situation, and that’s not good for anyone!  That’s where innovative technology comes into play.

Share the Load

Using staff scheduling software can lighten a manager’s load considerably by

  • allowing managers to have the ability to create their schedules from home, if they choose, instead of in the midst of all the commotion in their backroom
  • managers no longer need to cater to all those interruptions from employees asking when they are scheduled to work next
  • they won’t be inundated with scraps of paper with handwritten notes trying to decipher when their employee is requesting some time off
  • since now the employee is responsible for adding their own requests directly into the system, if you try to schedule this employee during an unavailable time, a pop-up will remind you about their request
  • when it’s time to schedule that team meeting, it takes the guesswork and out of wondering if you’ve contacted everyone because now, it’s only a button click away

Think of all the time you’ll save by not having to rewrite a schedule over and over again! 

Employee Approved

Your employees will love using the online employee schedule system too!  They’ll be able to

  • access their schedule via smartphone, or simply check online; no more time wondering when the schedule is completed, or having to run back up to the restaurant to check the board
  • input their own requests for time off, eliminating potential disagreements or friction; no more keeping your fingers crossed in hopes that your manager remembers your request
  • receive reminders for when you’re scheduled to work; no more awkward feelings, wondering if you should call work to find out, or just show up and hope you were scheduled   

The Bar

Another important area of a restaurant that cannot be overemphasized is the bar. If a bartender doesn’t show up due to a lack of communication this can cause a potential great loss in revenue to everyone involved. Using a streamlined bar scheduling software can open up lines of communication and increase a restaurants profits substantially by

  • having each bartender’s hours specifically laid out in such a way that meets everyone’s needs; bars typically open during later hours, and bartenders are typically balancing many schedules throughout their day
  • bartender’s having the ability to put in requests from their smartphone or computer saving them time, and better organizing their daily schedule which expands communication
  • increasing profit margins by keeping the bar open on time and keeping those drinks filled; generating greater profits for everyone
  • keeping the highest profit margin available means that employee hours don’t get cut; everyone in the restaurant can be affected by this    

Now, everything goes directly into the system, all in one, easy to use place!

The folks at WhatTimeDoIWork.comhave made a huge impact to help you save time, improve even the best communication, all while saving you money.  This new innovative scheduling software didn’t happen overnight.  It was developed by experts with over thirty years of scheduling experience who took the time to sit down and listen to what managers and their employees both needed and wanted to become more successful.  Taking all their data into consideration, this team has developed a polished system where everything transpires in one place and can be accessed any time, day or night, from any place in the world.  They have produced the gift of giving you less stress and making life easier, while at the same time allowing you more time to work on those other important tasks for your business, you know, the ones listed under all those other papers that you can now throw away!


Outsourcing Smarter: How to Free Up Company Resources for Less

04 Aug, 2015 |

Spending company resources on every project can end up costing your business a significant amount of money. Whether you own a bar or restaurant, or even a growing daycare, you have a lot on your hands and not a lot of time to deal with each project that comes up. Outsourcing can save you time and resources, which can be used to further develop your company and improve your ability to respond to a fast-changing marketplace. By outsourcing certain jobs, you can free up resources and make it possible to better manage your company. Different kinds of outsourcing can improve the quality of the services you offer, without having to spend a lot of money on specialized teams and staff.

IT Professionals

Not all IT work can be outsourced, but you can reduce your overall costs by outsourcing certain key components of your business infrastructure. Software development, on-site or remote help desk options, email, virus, spam, and online threat protection services can all be outsourced. IT services in Ottawa like Bedrock’s managed services offer firewall protection along with anti-malware and desktop support services for businesses large and small. It’s also possible to outsource your website hosting services, managed server hosting, managed application hosting, and your hardware, software, and network installation and support infrastructure. For keeping your records and billing secure, it’s a no-brainer to find a good IT company.

Infrastructure Support

Disaster recovery is something that can be time consuming, and hiring an external body to manage your recovery and emergency services can greatly minimize your costs. Costs like data back-up, recovery, and transfers can all be dedicated to outside back up and security professionals for less cost overall. When you have professionals on hand, you can be more prepared to handle IT crashes, and even physical dangers like fires or floods.

Graphic Design

A small business doesn’t always a need an internal full-scale graphics company. Many times, you just need a graphic designer for quick projects. Hiring extra graphic designers only when you need them can help save your company a substantial amount of money. It avoids the need to pay for health insurance, ensures you’re only paying for services you need, and can help an existing graphics team complete time-sensitive projects. You can quickly scale the scope of your business and respond to large projects as necessary.

Packaging Companies

Packaging companies can help make your products stand out, without the need to manage your own factory. For a small business, it often makes sense to hire a packaging company on an as-needed basis. Whether you need custom bottling solutions or company product packaging, solutions are available to help specific industries like the healthcare, automotive, household and beverage industry. You can shop around for a place that will go to the places you need your products to be, and can help come up with a good package design maybe not super unique to your business, but help you stand out from competitors for less cost.

Advertising Companies

One of the more common ways a company can save money is by hiring an outside advertising company. You’ll meet with professional advertisers, discuss your project, and let them design your campaign. This frees up more resources to allow you to concentrate on growing your company.

Outsourcing is a smart way to boost your company productivity and effectiveness. The best managers and business owners know how to delegate tasks and select the right people for each job. Outsourcing work is no different. Choosing the right company to help your company grow frees up your time and resources to concentrate on selling your drinks, food, services and products. And we can’t close without mentioning our very own schedule managing software. You can always outsource your shift scheduling while still keeping it in house by taking advantage of our free trial whenever you are ready!