Customer Service

Listen to the Customer

Ever sensed you weren’t really being listened to? In the communications cluttered world we live in, listening often seems to be a lost art. If you haven’t experienced this it would be highly unusual. Whether on the personal level or in business, it helps to view the questioner as a customer. If we don’t understand the question, how can we hope to provide excellent customer service? We must listen to the customer.

An Example

A personal experience that immediately comes to mind is a time when I attempted to ask a question just to get some clarification about Read the rest of this entry »

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Price Is Not Everything

It can make a lot of sense to be a value shopper. In spite of that, there are times when it may not be the best idea. Here are a few thoughts on why you might not want price to be your sole deciding factor on a purchase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is This Good for Customers?

How often do you find yourself asking about a company, “Why in the world did they do this?” Here is an example of what I mean. I recently was dealing with an auto problem related to the electrical system. Because of the unusual engineering of the car, a special and fairly expensive test Read the rest of this entry »

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QuickBooks | Invoice or Sales Receipt

In QuickBooks you are offered both an Invoice or a Sales Receipt for charging customers for products and services you provide. It is important to know the uses of each.

When Does the Customer Pay?

If the customer pays after the service or products are billed, then an invoice is the best way to handle the sale. If, however, the customer pays at the time of service then it may well make sense to simply use a sales receipt. A sales receipt essentially accomplishes Read the rest of this entry »

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Poor Quality Sales

Not all sales are created equal. Let’s talk about one of the key criteria to determine if a sale is high quality.

Some Background

In the post 3 Reasons Past Due Receivables May be Worthless we established some background on the danger of past due receivables. That focus was on the customer and warning signs of a possible uncollectible receivable we should know about. Now let’s look at how your company may be impacted internally. To do that we can use Read the rest of this entry »

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QuickBooks Non-Inventory Items

If you are a user of QuickBooks you are most likely familiar with the importance of items to use the software correctly. You probably also know that there are several types of items, such as Inventory Item, Fixed Asset Item, Sales Tax Item, Sales Tax Group Item, Sub-total item and others. Let’s take a look at one in particular; QuickBooks Non-Inventory Items.

How are Non-Inventory Items Used?

QuickBooks non-inventory items (non-inventory parts) are used to Read the rest of this entry »

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Cross Sales and Up Sales

Nearly every company is trying to figure out ways to increase sales and generate sales that deliver better margins. But are they turning over every stone to do so?

The Typical Approach

One of the first things most companies do is put pressure on sales people to generate more sales. Along with that they often become more lenient in sales terms, thus creating more accounts receivables and in the process likely increasing days to collect. Be careful when you decide to relax your credit terms. This can be a recipe for disaster and reduced cash flow. See 3 Reasons Past Due Receivables May be Worthless and 3 Low Cost Sources of Cash – Part 2 for more on this. But suppose it is not practical to grant more lenient sales terms? What are some other ways to generate increased sales? Read the rest of this entry »

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What You Say Matters

A Bad Experience

Recently I was shopping for a gift. What the gift was makes no difference. It was, however, something that was relatively expensive and needed to be researched carefully to be certain the purchase was a wise one.

I went in a store that shall remain nameless and became interested in a particular model. The price was excellent, but still it made sense Read the rest of this entry »

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Managing Customer Relationships

Many companies try to avoid the reality that they must be actively managing customer relationships. The truth is that we must do this. I touched on this a little in a previous blog post, Are You Delivering Value?. A large part of that post was devoted to the idea that we must determine exactly what it is that we are selling.

What Must Be Considered?

Picking up on the thoughts in the blog referred to above, we will find that what we are really selling is Read the rest of this entry »

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Are You Sending a Mixed Message?

This is going to be a rather short post as I think the point is very straight-forward.

An Interesting Experience

A few weeks ago I was in one of the large warehouse clubs. When I had finished paying and was heading out something struck me as very odd. They had begun to sell motorcycles. No, that’s not what was odd. The odd thing was that right beside the display of a motorcycle was a display for wheelchairs. Hmm, somehow I don’t think they realized that seeing the wheelchair just might cause someone to pause and consider whether purchasing a motorcycle was in the best interest of their health. It was definitely a mixed message. Similarly, I was walking through a bookstore and noticed Read the rest of this entry »

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