We have a new home!

We are the proud owners of a very new home!

Visit us at http://www.horizonbrands.co.za and we will continue to dazzle you with our wisdom, expertise and marketing tips.

~ Sam

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Customer Service Bootcamp BIZ BUZZ!

You are invited to the last BIZ BUZZ of 2013!

All delegates will receive a Customer Service Bootcamp Manual and open Business Networking Platform. The Bootcamp is free of charge – fabulous coffee, muffins, scones and cupcakes will be available to purchase from The Cake Corner and Coffee Shop, thanks Sheree!

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Marketing and Business Tips will be shared by GET STEVE and EASTERN CAPE SMALL BUSINESS NETWORK.

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Bring your business cards, best smiles and warmest handshakes and let’s get PE Buzzing about your business! RSVP is essential as each guest will receive a Bootcamp Manual showcasing Customer Service Tips from 2013 and Trends for 2014. Included is an SEO start pack, geared to kick start your Marketing Campaign! Manuals need to be printed so our RSVP approach is a simple one, NO RSVP, NO MANUAL 🙂

Date : 21st November 2013

Venue : The Cake Corner and Coffee Shop – 52a Bitro House, 4th Avenue, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth

Time : 9am – 11:30am

RSVP by 19th November 2013 via the following :

Email

Facebook Event 

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Sam 

HOW CAN COFFEE HELP YOUR BUSINESS DELIVER TOP NOTCH CUSTOMER SERVICE?

Every morning without fail I make a cup of coffee as soon as I get out of bed. It’s my morning fix and even though I have tried to replace it with Rooibos Tea and Lemon Water, coffee helps to get my day started in the exact way I need it to.

How can the simple routine of a morning cup of coffee help your business deliver effective customer service? I call it the S.M.I.L.E Train and will be sharing a few tips on how to implement it in your business. Regardless of the industry your business is in, a checklist needs to be completed every morning to help get the day started. Trust me, it works, so encourage your Management and Staff to get involved!

– INSPECTION POINTS ( These may vary depending on the layout of your office/store/ working environment)
Entrance – Is it clean, clear of obstructions and inviting?
Windows – Are they clean and open?
Aircon / Heater – Are they set at an appropriate temperature?
Aisles – Are they clean, clear of obstructions and neatly packed?
Till Points – Are they tidy, card machines in place, promotional advertizing displayed neatly?
Desks – Are they clean, diary refelcting the correct date, stationery easily accessible, notepad open and ready for messages?
Telephones – Check that they are working BEFORE you receive a complaint that they are not.

– STAFF
Personal Grooming.
Correct uniform.
SMILES!

– MANAGEMENT
Check for any stock shortages or predicted price changes and inform staff accordingly.
Ensure all routes for deliveries or cold calls are planned correctly so as to avoid poor time management or fuel wastage.

– SOCIAL NETWORKING
Respond to all queries that may have come through during the night.
Schedule tweets, statuses and blog posts for the day in advance just incase you forget to post during the work day.

Most importantly, make sure the coffee machine or kettle is working!

To receive more information on S.M.I.L.E Training please contact us via our Contact Page or email us via portelizabethhorizon

FOUR CHRISTMAS MARKETING MISTAKES TO AVOID

Yup! It is that time of the year again, Christmas time! Those annoying Christmas commercials are playing on your way to work and the temperature has dropped dramatically. Everyone seems to be a little more cheerful and considerate that the holidays are close. Christmas is after all the time to reconnect with all your clients, customers and prospects, but as any person would know, the holidays can also be disastrous.

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Instead of paying a web marketing services company to tell you what not to do for your next campaign, actually pay attention to what others are doing! Below you will find four Christmas marketing mistakes your business should avoid so you can be far from a Christmas marketing disaster!

1. Running The Same Campaign Each Christmas: Having a picture of your employees and you at your last year Christmas party all wearing the same ugly sweater was pretty funny the first year considering everyone had way too much to drink. In fact, it had the same impact with laughter the second, but after that you should really consider something newer and more original each year. Christmas campaigns are perfect for your business to have a chance at grabbing all the people’s attention that put the idea of your product or service on the back burner. But, why? It is because these campaigns will remind them that you are a wicked company doing different things that deserve their attention. So do you not think it would be a good idea to get creative with Christmas campaigns each year and not be so afraid of thinking outside the box? When you kick off a campaign that has many components it is a perfect way to keep your content new and fresh.

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2. Forgetting To Reach Out To Your Network: Are you not sick and tired of trying to come up with a lame excuse to give a lead a call that you have not spoken to within a few months? Or even you just want to reconnect with all of your customers? Perhaps you want to increase your employees engagement and get the whole gang into a holiday spirit. Regardless, it does not matter who you want to connect with; Christmas campaigns are a perfect way of doing it! It will remind people that your company is out there and will give them a sneak peek into a wicked campaign that is if it is actually interesting! So do not miss out on this valuable marketing opportunity your company can have this Christmas!

3. Forgetting Not Everyone Celebrates Christmas : When the countdown begins it may almost feel like everyone is celebrating Christmas and Christmas only, but you as a business, you need to know that you will also be marketing to various people with different religious beliefs and backgrounds. Remember even though the majority of people celebrate Christmas, there are other holidays being celebrated too such as Chanukkah and Kwanzaa so be sure to be sensitive about other holidays when working on your Christmas marketing campaign.

4. Neglecting To Make Your Campaign Strategic : It truly is easy to create a Christmas marketing campaign. However, developing a strategic marketing campaign to reach your target market, engage with them, and achieve your goals is a lot more difficult. Planning three months in advance, yes in the summer time, is the best way to kick off an amazing, results-driven Christmas campaign. But, first you need to figure out what your objectives are, how you are going to measure your success and who you want to reach out to. Then you will need to develop deadlines to make sure you campaign achieves everything you wanted it to.

Now that you have just read what to avoid when developing your Christmas marketing campaign, what are some campaigns you have seen in the past which you think are the best?

Source – See more at: http://www.bentourage.com/business/four-christmas-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid/#sthash.5wpyDq8g.dpuf

FUN FRIDAY!

It’s FUN FRIDAY! We are looking for customer-service stories & marketing blunders to share on our website.

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Funniest / strangest / most popular story receives a free BizBuzz Networking Breakfast Ticket and a Business Feature on our website (Home Page).

Share your experiences via https://horizonbrands.wordpress.com/contact-us/ – Winner will be chosen Monday afternoon 🙂

HOW TWITTER IS CHANGING CUSTOMER SERVICE AGAIN 2013

Many thanks to  Quentin Fottrell for writing this informative article found via http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-twitter-is-changing-customer-service-again-2013-10-16?link=MW_latest_news

Twitter provides consumers a way to publicly air customer service grievances, forcing companies to consider not only the complaint but how it will play among the millions of users listening in. But the social media site is now helping companies make some of those conversations with angry customers once again as private as a call to an 800 number.

For most Twitter users, it’s only possible to send a private “direct message” to a Twitter account that follows them, but the site has slowly been rolling out a way to allow anyone to send a direct message.


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U.K.-based marketing consultant Jim Connolly was one of the latest Twitter users to be offered the service. Under his account settings, he was given the option to click a “Receive direct messages from any follower” box. If it becomes standard, consumers will be able to contact customer service departments, politicians, public advocates and even journalists privately to discuss issues of a sensitive nature — in 140 characters or less. On the upside, “it makes it harder for customer service staff to say, ‘We didn’t see your tweet,’” Connolly says. (A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.)

It may distinguish real complaints from trolls, Connolly says, and encourage more companies to set up dedicated customer service handles — especially as Twitter prepares to go public. Only 10% of brands respond to public complaints within an hour, a recent survey by data analysis firm Simply Measured found, and the average response time was 5.1 hours. Although 90% of major brands tweet, only 30% have a customer service handle. Connolly liked the option so much, he clicked it himself. “I’ve had about 500 direct messages and only one funny weirdo,” he says.

Also see: Martha Stewart and how not to complain on Twitter

Allowing more direct messages from consumers also gives companies an incentive to deal with a problem promptly — before a disgruntled customer goes public. “Companies really don’t want to get yelled at in public,” says Scott Kurnit, co-founder of TheSwizzle.com, a service that works to remove email spam. “It will be interesting to see how much of the negative traffic goes private or whether people will still enjoy ratting out bad service and products in public.” That said, even private conversations can become public with one screen-grab of the conversation posted as a tweet.

Airing some dirty laundry in public, however, could alert other consumers who are having the same problem, says Kristina Durante, an assistant professor of marketing at theUniversity of Texas at San Antonio. Going public with problems related to your wireless carrier or delivery service, she says, can help drum up support among other users who are having the same problem. Connolly recently used Twitter to deal with a problem with his cellphone service — and had no option but to make his complaint public: “That means that the 7,800 people who follow me probably saw my tweet.”

SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE!

Today’s Customer Service related lesson is a simple one, yet seems to be overlooked by many Business Owners.

If you treat your staff in a bad manner they will in turn treat your Customers wrongly!

I have seen this happen many a time during my years of doing recruitment for various Corporate Companies across South Africa. I used to take a different approach to recruiting and always tried to look for PASSIONATE people, however it became a challenge as most of the companies I recruited for seemed to have Management and working infrastructures that would kill the lit fire of passion in my candidates once they had secured employment.

Why?

Simple. For many people a job is a means of making a monthly/weekly wage to survive. The economy crashes, work increases, wages stay the same. Owners and Management tend to have unrealistic ideals as to how to get the job done and more often then not do not put themselves in their employees shoes. They fabricate an ideal working environment during an interview process yet tend to forget to inform candidates as to how long it may take to replace company stationery / working overtime is something that will “just” happen whether you like it or not / management will be too busy to attend to your emails etc.

How then can you expect your staff to deliver TOP NOTCH Customer Service 100% of the time? Not going to happen.

Business owners take note! If you treat your staff poorly, they will take it out on your customers!