Customer Satisfaction Is #1 Priority

When dealing with customers, it is important to note that your interaction will leave a lasting impression on them. The impression that you leave with a customer can last for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, and is also very imperative to the business or company that you represent.

If you treat a customer with respect and go beyond their expectations in customer satisfaction, not only will you leave the customer satisfied, you will also leave a great impression for yourself and the business. Providing excellent customer service will also have a domino effect because satisfied customers will recommend your service and your business to other individuals which in turn will cause more customers to purchase the products that your business provides.

Bad customer service can also have a domino effect too because if a customer feels unsatisfied then he/she can provide negative feedback to other individuals. This negative feedback can very detrimental to your employment and also to the business. Overall, proving positive customer service should be your number one priority no matter where you work because it leaves a positive lasting impression on the customer which will ultimately provide positive reviews for both you and the business.

Successful Email Etiquette

In the business world today, many of us rely on emails more than ever instead of phone calls, but how do we make our email successful? What does that mean? Is the recipient actually reading the email?

The best start to a successful email is a eye-catching subject line. Make sure it is meaningful and focused. Pique the reader’s curiosity and use power words. Next thing to do is get to the point. Don’t mince words. Business people have a lot on their plate and if your email is not short and succinct, it may just get looked over. A study showed that emails up to 50 words get answered fastest. Anything more than 100 words will see a rapid decline in responses. Be sure to ask a question or two so that the recipient feels the need to respond.

When closing your email, avoid the standard scripted ending such as sincerely. I personally like warm wishes or best regards. See what is more natural to you. Be clear on who the email is from. Include your full name above your company name. Don’t assume that your reader remembers you just by your first name.
One last note I want to add is PROOFREAD! Spelling and grammar errors can be detrimental to any business relationship.

Working Remotely – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

When the subject of working from the comforts of my home was suggested to me, I couldn’t be more excited.  I thought about rolling out of bed, pulling out my laptop and moving to my enclosed deck still in my pajamas with a cup of coffee in my hand.  I even thought I was going to be able to keep my favorite talk shows on in the background.  After about a week, I realized I was not productive and working remotely was not all that I expected.

Being as I am not one to fail, I changed my attitude.  I realized that the first step was to put on real clothes…maybe not the suit, but jeans and decent shirt.  This helped me get my mind in the business state of mind.  I also set up a work area designated just for use during work hours.  Besides that bottle of water that I always have at my desk, all eating and drinking is done during my break and lunch times in a different room.  Work was back on track but then came the loneliness.

I feel that it is normally much more efficient to communicate with email, but since working remotely, I have adjusted my thinking.  In most recent weeks, I have picked up the phone to have that human contact and it has made a huge difference on my mental state.  I have also organized a lunch meeting monthly or bimonthly depending on the situation.

There are plusses and minuses to working from home.  It is all what you make of it!

Office Christmas Party Themes

Whether you’re renting a hall or taking over the lunchroom, with a little creativity you can whip up a Christmas party that’s a little different this year. Consider some of these fresh and fun Office Christmas Party Themes.

Winter Wonderland: Decorations in white and silver, snowflakes everywhere, clouds of cotton on white-clothed tables, frosted drink ware and twinkling lights to sparkle like falling snow all add up to a beautifully elegant party.

Step it up a notch with a Silver and Gold Party. Gold adds a touch of extravagance to a Christmas party and lends a vintage air. Silver bells on tables set with gold-rimmed dinnerware (look for disposable!), silver and gold ribbons and ornaments nestled among the buffet trays, sparkling silver and gold candle holders – all will give your party an opulent, luxurious air.

A Candy Land theme is a fun option. Think ‘How would one of Santa’s elves celebrate?’ and you’ll soon be decorating with gumdrop centerpieces, gingerbread families and giant lollipops (easy to make with styrofoam circles wrapped in tissue paper and cellophane on a dowel ‘lollipop stick’). Consider a ‘Candy Bar’ for dessert (a buffet of favorite scoop-able candies and goodies set out in decorative jars & bowls) or maybe a chocolate fountain!

Christmas Around the World is a fun food-based theme. Serve foods from different nationalities; include standard choices like American, Italian, Chinese or Mexican cuisine, but be sure to look into getting trays of Indian, Turkish, Thai or French foods – be adventurous! Decorate with maps, world flags, signposts, postcards and fake passports and your guests will feel like they’re miles away from the office.

A couple of ‘afternoon celebration’ themes you might consider are an Ice Cream Social (how many flavors and toppings can you come up with?) or a Hot Cocoa Station. Have fun and go beyond the standard cocoa fare of marshmallows and whipped cream and offer peppermint or cinnamon sticks, toffee pieces, butterscotch chips and caramels. If allowed, consider Peppermint Schnapps, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Frangelico for delicious ‘adult’ cocoa options.

With a little thought (and some quick Internet searches) your next Office Christmas Party could be the best one yet!

Birthday Cards in the Office Elevate Morale

Why give birthday cards to your coworkers? It’s fun and it makes them feel good. The question is what kind of card should I send? Well that’s part of the fun part. Do you really the people you spend one third of your life with? Give it a try now.

Is the person sitting next to you a happy person or do they appear down too often? They may need some cheering up so let’s get them something funny or cute. Do they like puppies or are they a foodie? There’s your start, get to know the people you work with better and when it is their birthday they will appreciate you taking the time to understand what they like.

Here are a few tips:

  • If the person seems like a grouch, they may have problems at home or have bad arthritis, so kill them with kindness and send a warm card on their birthday.
  • If the person is always joking, they will probably appreciate a funny card.
  • If the person is a gossip, don’t give them any fuel to feed the gossip mill, send them a card with a very neutral message.
  • If you really dislike the person, send a card anyway but don’t bother thinking about it too much.

The best approach is to have a ready supply of different designs available so you are always ready when birthdays come around. People appreciate you thinking about them and they will show it. The atmosphere of friendliness makes the morale so much better when you work in an office.

Welcome Cards Make You Feel At Home

Greeting Cards are probably the most welcome mail we get. We get holiday cards, birthday cards, easter, mother’s day, etc. The one thing they have in common is they make us feel good. Sending and receiving cards benefits the sender as well as the receiver.

Let’s go the extra mile to make new employees feel great about working at our company. Sending or giving them welcome cards will calm their first day jitters. An employee will be instantly happy to be in a company that thinks enough of them to make them feel welcome. Nobody wants to be just a number.

Do you belong to a club or organization? A great way to encourage a new member is to send them a Welcome card. Especially when the group divides into a circle of friends in the organization, will the inductee feel more comfortable with a card in hand. We all need encouragement when we are the newbies.

Putting ourselves in other people’s shoes will certainly give us a better grasp of how the newest people feel. Let’s get on the Welcome train wherever we are. A warm greeting in a card and a smile is the best feeling. Welcome aboard!

Let’s Talk Working Dinner Venues

The only thing I like to talk about more than dinner is maybe breakfast and lunch.  Then of course there’s also brunch, dunch, linner and supper.  Whichever way we talk about food, it’s all good.  So let’s discuss work dinner venues. 

There are so many ways to go with this so it’s important to first get your facts straight.  Just like planning a wedding or any event really, it’s critical to nail down the who, what, when, and then you can more easily fill in the where.  For example, if you are planning an event for 10 people, you aren’t going to search venues requiring a minimum of 200 or more.  Instead, you’ll want to look for a cozier venue.  But there will be occasions in which you are hosting a much larger group. 

Some of the most impressive venues in New Jersey include Liberty House, Park Savoy, The Skylands Manor and Nanina’s in the Park, just to name a few. There are endless options but, of course, the most popular places will book up first and well in advance so keep that in mind as well.  You could also opt for a lesser known venue or even any restaurant that you may already enjoy. 

One of the hot trends at the moment are these event spaces that you can rent out for the night such as Vibe and make the night be whatever you want it to be.  Just make sure that you pick some place comfortable and conducive to what you are looking to achieve.

Change of Scenery – Outdoor Business Meetings

Outdoor business meetings? Really!? That is such a crazy idea. Or at least that was my first thought. But just think about. With the weather beginning to turn, how great it would be to ditch the stuffy office and fluorescent lighting for fresh air and warmth from the sun?

Think about trying this for your next business meeting. A change of scenery may be the thing to shake out the cobwebs and get your employees to come up with some new and innovative ideas.   Changing scenery by going outdoors has the same effect as if you are recharging your battery. You will get out of that stuffy office and get your staff’s blood pumping.

I know when I go outside, I feel an immediate sense of relaxation and stress relief. The results of this make me more creative and more proactive. It makes it easier to concentrate and simply makes me happier. Why wouldn’t you want this for your employees?

If your staff is more relaxed, they may even feel a little more courageous about giving input or suggestions. They may talk more from their hearts and give you more effectual feedback. Outdoor business meetings will make your employees more energetic and more engaged.

The benefits of a change of scenery for your business meetings are abundant. Bring your staff outdoors for a productive business meeting.

April Fool’s Day at the Office

April fool’s day at the office can either be a great day or a horrible day. Clearly if all of the pranks are being played on you then maybe your day won’t be so great. If you are the prankster on April Fool’s Day, the day is full of happy anticipation and laughter. Here are some great jokes to play on your fellow coworker:

  • Moving everything in their office or cube by an inch or two. They won’t notice the difference right away but something will seem off all day long or all week long!
  • Placing a clear piece of tape over the optical sensor on the bottom of their mouse. Things will be quite slow.
  • Taping the phone to the receiver in a way that they can’t see the tape. That way when they pick up the phone, the whole thing comes up. Make sure you are the one placing the call, you don’t want them to miss an important phone call.
  • Moving their lunch in the refrigerator to a different shelf. People go bananas when you touch their lunch.
  • Hit Ctrl+ALT plus an arrow directional on their computer this will make everything on their monitor upside or sideways.

These are just a few ideas, of course works comes first, but a little laughter makes everyone happier and more productive!

Throwing a St. Patrick’s Day Party in the Office

Throwing a party or heading out for drinks on St. Patrick’s Day has become a tradition for most people, Irish or not. Why not this year, bring the St. Patrick’s theme into your office and plan a party right there at work? Don’t go overboard but make it a green day!

In our break room in order to keep things healthy, we put out a spread of green and orange jello and a selection of fruits and vegetables last year. Keeping it green and orange, we had carrots and broccoli with ranch dressing and green grapes, green apples and oranges.

Lunch was easy. For our St. Patrick’s Day party in the office, we called a local deli for their expertise. They catered in corn beef on rye sandwiches topped with sauerkraut. We also put out a selection of orange soda, root beer and green flavored Gatorade.

Then on to the fun stuff. Of course, we had to put out the necessary dessert spread for the party. We had a variety of cupcakes, cookies, and donuts all decorated with St. Patrick’s Day goodies. One coworker filled a green and gold top hat with those chocolate gold coins. Our boss had an ice cream bar set up with mint chip, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream as an added treat.

A great time was had by all, and we even managed to get plenty of work done. For a fun time, throw a St. Patrick’s Day party in your office this year!