WATCH: Firework Scenes in LIFT Clips 07/04/15 and more...




WATCH: Firework Scenes in LIFT Clips 07/04/15

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We are always looking for ways to give small business owners a boost using the LIFT acronym. Here are a few videos that might help you in building a better business presence and a smoother work flow.

With this being the 4th of July, for many a time of fireworks and celebration, we thought a few scenes of fireworks from movies and television would be appropriate

FOOD – Ratatouille’s Tasty Food Mashup

 

BASEBALL – Perseverance Pays Off in The Natural

 

DANCING – A Grand Finale to Mary Poppins’ Rooftop Pary

 

LOVE – Fireworks Often Mark Happy Days

 

As a youth, Saturdays were filled with visual candy of cartoons in the morning and movie matinees in the afternoon. Now, we practice sharing Saturday videos from TED, subscriptions from YouTube, LIFT clips, and other videos shared via feeds.

Give a Boost to Your Business. Subscribe to LIFT-a-Day Free:
Links and resources helping business owners Learn, Improve, Find Flow, and Think

WATCH: Firework Scenes in LIFT Clips 07/04/15 is a post from: ConverStations

 

Making The Most Of Your Time: Managing Customer Service As A Small Business

customer service map

Written by Larry Alton

We’ve all been known to gripe about the computer on the other line, and sometimes those bots can be a real pain. But when you’re a small business owner, it’s worth considering the value of automating your customer service. This route can help you to make the most of a slim budget and limited staffing, and it can allow your customers to get the help they need without long lag times.

Why Automate Customer Service

One of the biggest reasons that automating customer service can be a boon to small businesses is that real-time person-to-person customer service is expensive. Business News Daily reports that a single live-support phone call can cost $33. That’s simply not an expense in which most small businesses can afford to invest. Additionally, if your staff’s small, sending someone to handle a service call can be a real drag on productivity, costing you even more.

Oddly enough, even though most of us say that we’d rather get a “real person” on the phone for a customer service call, for members of a younger generation, if a computer can solve their problem, it’s probably all the better. This is to say that, depending on your business demographic, there are pros and cons to automating customer service. As I pointed out at Desk.com, so long as your business isn’t “selling life insurance to seniors,” then you should be okay going high tech with your customer service.

Top Automation Tools For Small Businesses

There are a number of different ways you might approach automating your customer service. If you want to keep things relatively personal, but also broaden your service, one strategy is to use an online chat service. Mike Sansone of ConverStations recommends this style of customer assistance as ideal for a text-heavy society.

If you’re ready to go more high tech than a simple chat, Brian Wu at Amigobulls has been watching the numbers on Zendesk, a cloud computing system for customer service management. Zendesk not only handles more traditional modes of customer service, such as phone and email, but also it can help your business to navigate the waters of social media. Also, Zendesk’s “Embedabbles” offer new options that can be added to your existing infrastructure. Wu has observed strong growth on the part of Zendesk, including in international markets, and we can expect to see more from this company as it continues to grow and shape its trajectory.

Somewhere in between the hardcore Zendesk and the simple online chat approach to automated customer service is something like nanoRep. NanoRep is the best of a kind of basic AI that is able to use available information databases to answer customer questions, using FAQ searches and internal programming. NanoRep also knows how to run graduated searches and ask appropriate questions to drive customers toward the right answer. Because this system’s knowledgeable about internal business issues, it can also answer questions about promotions, as opposed to just troubleshooting product use. Businesses using nanoRep have seen excellent results in terms of both customer satisfaction and customer conversion.

We’ve reached a point where no business can easily write off automated customer service, even if you hate to be the company with the computer at the end of the line. Customer service solutions have advanced to such a degree that they aren’t just there to frustrate: they can be real problem solvers for your customer base.

The real key is choosing a system that works well for you and always thinking twice about any system with voice responses. Even if most systems have come a long way, anything that responds to speech will probably be a pain in the neck to everyone who encounters it.

Author Bio: Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Making The Most Of Your Time: Managing Customer Service As A Small Business is a post from: ConverStations

 

Curiosity is the Wick (Thoughtography)

Curiosity Candle

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning. – William Arthur Ward

I was told as a teen working in one of my first jobs, “Always remain coachable.” I had just watched my boss fire someone loudly. His parting shot was telling the employee he was “Uncoachable!” When he turned to walk away, he saw me standing in surprise – there was lots of cussing and I was 15 years young.

Later, he explained how important it was to always remain curious and coaching, rather than certain and content. There might always be a better way, a tweak, a new tool or new technique.

If curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning, we must never let the flame go out.

Alvin Toffler wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

LEARNING is the first piece in the LIFT framework. Business owners who are content and complacent already have one foot out the door of their business operation.

Stay contagious and courageous – and curious.

Photo on Pixabay by husnil24

Curiosity is the Wick (Thoughtography) is a post from: ConverStations

 

COOL TOOLS: A list of COOL TOOLS Shared

 

cool tools bench

As part of the recent tweak to our Twitter prefix practice, mostly for use with LIFT Resources, one popular category has been COOL TOOLS.

Like this great list of resources and tools:

One thing to keep in mind about your consumption and digestion of COOL TOOLS. Make sure to use the EASY formula: Efficient, Sustainable, Affordable, and have a good Why.

Here is a list of recent COOL TOOLS I’ve shared:

19+ Free Tools to Start Your Podcast From Scratch – With this guide, you’ll see how to launch your show with an (almost) zero-dollar budget.

21 Resources For Mastering Online Marketing – 21 resources that will help you master online marketing, so you can grow your sales the right way.

10 Content Creation Tools To Streamline Your Process – It always helps to have a starting point when searching for the best content creation tools. Here are ten of them.

18 Podcasting Tools For High Quality Content – A great collection of simple and inexpensive tools that can perform actions related to editing and producing podcasts.

5 Tried-and-True Tools for Growing Your Email List – These resources are designed to help you maintain and scale a healthy email list.

You can get in on all the resources by subscribing to LIFT Boosters Daily or visiting the Social Stream page.

Give a Boost to Your Business. Subscribe to LIFT-a-Day Free:
Links and resources helping business owners Learn, Improve, Find Flow, and Think

Photo on Pixabay by Unsplash (two more cool tools)

COOL TOOLS: A list of COOL TOOLS Shared is a post from: ConverStations

 

METHOD: Coaching with the LIFT Framework

LIFT Framework banner

It’s continual, this work of owning and operating a small business, isn’t it?

Some clients are recurring, on a retainer or subscription model. Some customers are as regular as clockwork. Some projects, once completed, free up time to do similar projects for others. A journey rather than a destination.

Coaching using the LIFT framework works in a continual flow towards a current goal. Questions, answers, and hypotheticals are shared in the areas of Learning, Improving, Finding Flow, and Thinking. Each are continual within themselves and as a group.

When you Learn something new, you apply it. As you continue to apply, you become aware of things you can Improve upon. As you get better, you try to Find Flow so your new practice fits. As you measure success and fit, you begin to Think ahead at other things to Learn.

There is a lot of “If this, then what’s next” discussion that takes place in LIFT coaching. Being aware of stumbling blocks and opponents of LIFT is important to the process.

LIFT continues to give owners a boost, and it might give you the assist you need to get over whatever hump or hurdle you face. There are two ways to receive LIFT coaching:

  1. Schedule a time. We can use phone or a face-to-face like Skype or Hangout. Each “session” is an hour.
  2. Get Notified as we get closer to launching LIFT Boosters, which will provide courses and materials you can take at your own speed and utilizes video, text, graphics, and other mediums. Great for the DIY owner.

Need a boost for your business or work? Get a LIFT! Opening on July 29, 2015: LIFT Boosters! Stay updated and receive the first training materials free.

METHOD: Coaching with the LIFT Framework is a post from: ConverStations