Boosting your business revenue is easy

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It’s a competitive market out there and many people are turning to some form of paid marketing as a solution to their revenue woes.

I think there are smarter and cheaper ways of becoming more competitive and generating revenue than wasting money on Google or Facebook advertising. In fact I’d suggest that the best way to improve your opportunities is in fact free, and that way is to level up your customer service.

After some recent travelling I had the good fortune to experience many instances of both good and bad service from which I’ve now taken many lessons.

Let’s start with a bad experience. This involved an airport transfer to a hotel upon arrival. In the arrivals hall I couldn’t find the driver with my name so I had to call the company that had arranged the transfer. I was eventually directed to a local contact who placed a call to the missing driver. While waiting for my driver to appear I reflected on how distainfully I had just been treated.

After my allocated driver appeared, we walked to his car and I began the journey to my hotel. During this there was no attempt at conversation, no small talk or welcome, just stoney silence. Every corner we arrived at we seemed to only just avoid an accident and at every opportunity I seemed to have been flung around in the rear to point where I actually started to become motion sick.

When we did finally arrive at the hotel I was keen to get inside and complete my long journey. When I thanked the driver his response halted me in my tracks. He told me flat out that my thanks meant nothing to him! Basically he was looking for a tip. There was no consideration for my state of well being, the amount of travel I had just completed and whether I even had change. Nope, Mr Gumpy wanted a tip and if he didn’t get one he was going to try and send me on a guilt trip.

To my way of thinking a tip is a bonus for service above beyond the norm. All I received this case was really a sub par service. I’d paid the standard fee, what was my reason for paying more? There was no effort was made to improve on the standard let along go above and beyond. How hard would it have been to maybe play a bit of tour guide along the way and welcome me to the location?

Now let’s compare that to a completely opposite experience I experienced. I had returned mid afternoon to my hotel room to unwind a bit before taking an evening tour. I had only been in my room a matter of minutes when there was knock on the door from someone wanting to ‘freshen’ the room. Why would you need to do that? I’ve only just walked in, I thought?

I allowed them to proceed and straighten up the stuff I had just strewn across the room, turn down the bed, add some sweets by the bedside and more. After asking me whether there was anything further I needed they headed out all the while refusing any tip that I was desperately trying to give them.

Do you see the difference between these experiences? One was so good that I felt obliged to offer more, while the other left nothing but a sour taste in my mouth that remains burned into my memory today and is a story I recount regularly.

The cost of providing good customer service is nothing more than a little bit of effort but how many businesses that you know actually make that effort? The impact is stark when you come across an instance of great customer service, so much so that it stays out like a beacon.

Not all customers will pay a premium for service but those that don’t aren’t the ones that you should be looking for. The transfer business that employed Mr Grumpy is clearly in the volume game, relying on a large number of customers paying a low price. However, you can’t really do this while providing good service because you are clearly not paying your drivers enough given their burning need for a tip.

However, the second experience was targeted in such a way that factored in the service without the requirement for a tip. The point being that the perception becomes that the service is so good it is worth the premium to a customer like me. Best of all, I’m going to refer that on to others.

Good customer service can be a challenge because you have to divorce yourself from your beliefs and examine the realities through customers eyes. That can in some cases be difficult to endure but the rewards can be substantial.

Sure, some buy purely on price but I’ll bet that most desire a memorable ‘experience’ and are more than willing to pay more if their needs and desires are met. Thus, to obtain that revenue, all a business needs to do is provide good service. But like I said, if you honestly think about it, few, very few businesses really make much of an effort when it comes to customer service.

That lack of effort means there is an opportunity for any business willing to make the effort to benefit, with the pay off generally being far more than the effort invested. The great thing is that this effort is not limited in avilability to large businesses, it is in fact most effective when adopted by a smaller business.

Thus, in an age where traditional business competition is fierce, good customer service becomes the differentiator that smart businesses are using to succeed. Best of all, it costs nothing but a little discipline to implement and maintain, however the payoff can be substantial. Why? Because good customer service, like bad, generates leverage thanks to referrals. Think about it. How many people do you tell when you have a good experience? What about a bad experience? Importantly, people you share your experience with are highly influenced by your personal recommendations. The flow on effect of good or bad experiences is quite profound.

Thus, if you want to generate more income for your business focus on improving the customer experience. Invest in finding out exactly what the customer wants and then provide it at a premium price. You’ll have no trouble generating the revenue firstly because no one else is giving this level of service and secondly, those who won’t pay the premium price are probably customers you don’t want and would actually end up costing you more.

Great customer service doesn’t magically appear, it requires a consistent process to improve but to me it is well worth the effort and has no upper limit on what can be implemented. The better your service, the more you can charge and the more you can focus on the right clients instead of falling into the trap of believing that servicing greater numbers of clients is the path to increased revenue. As I can attest, thanks to my experiences with Mr Grumpy, customer service in a commodity focused market actually decreases to the point where not only will I never use that business again but I will tell as many people as I can about how rotten it was.

Before you spend another red cent on marketing, ask yourself whether you can improve the service your deliver your customer. If you look at those who already do it well you’ll find that you’ll never need to waste money marketing any more, the business will come to you, all because you invested in great customer service. How much simpler could it be?

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 108

Marc and I review all the latest news from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. We also dive deep into a raft of recent Azure updates as well a swag of Office 365 news. If you want to keep up to date with the Microsoft Cloud then there is no better episode to listen to.

Listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-108-news-from-wpc/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@marckean

@directorcia

Azure news from Marc

SharePoint iOS app

Windows 10 Delve app

Power BI connection to Xero

Why Facebook is going Office 365

Facebook taps Office 365

Publish to web from Power BI now available

https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiMGQ3YWU4ZWMtZDAwYi00NTZlLThkNjYtMGJlOTU3MjRhNTlkIiwidCI6IjUyNDNkNjNkLTc2MzItNGQwNy1hNzdlLWRlMGZlYTFiNzdhNCIsImMiOjN9

Microsoft has just announced the availability of ‘publish to web’ from Power BI. You can read more about this at:

Announcing power BI embedded and publish to web general availability

As you can see above I have taken something from my Power BI and embedded it in this post. Here’s how I did that.

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Firstly, I logged into my Power BI Dashboard and selected a report that I wish to publish.

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Then from the File menu at the top of the report I select Publish to web.

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I then receive an embed code for email that I can then paste into a web page.

That’s it. Pretty simple eh?

The great thing is the Publish to web features is available for all Power BI plans, including the free version. This reinforces how there is really no excuse to be using Power BI in your business and the product just keep getting better.

Beyond the license

One of the major limitations I find with many who have an Office 365 Suite is that they are only using it for email, and basic email at that! This means they are failing to make use of get services like OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Yammer and more!

In many cases this is because they are no aware of the products and services that are available to them as part of their Office 365 package. A while back I did a webinar with Greg Plum from plumuc.com where we focused on helping attendees understand the value that the Office 365 suite contained that they were most likely not taking advantage of.

We recorded that webinar and I’ve now posted it up on my Youtube channel as you can see above. The slides are also available at:

https://doc.co/gpEx8r/qcihGm

Hopefully, this webinar gives you a better idea of many of these ‘undiscovered’ Office 365 features and how they can be used to solve business problems. If you have Office 365 I’d urge you to take a deeper dive into the product and understand everything that you are paying for. Once you’ve done that you may be surprised at how many of the features within Office 365 can be used to make your business and users more productive. Investing a little bit of time up front to gain the knowledge pays big dividends down the track.

CIAOPS Need to Know webinar–July 2016

I am happy to announce the inaugural CIAOPS Need to Know webinar which will be held next Thursday the 21st of July at 11am Sydney Australia time. You can register for the event here:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/547641828883643908

To kick things off I’ll look at the differences between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online and how you can make the most of each one of these technologies.

Not only will we cover this topic but I’ll bring you the latest Office 365 and Microsoft Cloud news as well as open up the floor for an open Q & A session at the end. The main session will take no more than 30 minutes but I’ll hang around as long as required afterwards to answer any questions people may have.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron (for only USD$10 per month) which you can do here:

https://www.patreon.com/ciaops

I’m now aiming to run these webinars once a month and cover a specific topic as well as news and events from the Microsoft cloud to keep you up to date with the fast changing world of products like Office 365. Come along to the inaugural event and let me know what topics you’d like to see covered. Also feel free at any stage to email me directly at director@ciaops.com with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session.

I look forward to seeing everyone on the webinar.

Power BI content pack for Xero now available

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Microsoft has just announced the ability to connect Xero accounting systems to Power BI:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/explore-and-analyze-your-xero-data-with-power-bi/

This means you can easily view and report on your business accounting analytics using Microsoft’s free Power BI dashboard reporting tool.

More and more software vendors are moving to using Power BI as their reporting tool rather than attempting to building their own reporting engine. Why? First, because Power BI is such a great analytics tool and secondly because Microsoft have made the base Power BI offering free.

That therefore means there is little reason not be using Power BI to analyse your accounts but there is also the massive opportunity for IT resellers to sell services to customers using Xero now thanks to Power BI.

If you haven’t see Power BI then check out my tutorial here:

and then start getting into the opportunity Power BI provides!

Delve Windows 10 app preview now available

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I’m a big fan of Delve and have written previously about how important I believe Delve is in changing the way you look at being productive in a business:

Why Delve should be the centre of you Office 365 universe

Microsoft have just released a Windows 10 app (in preview) which you can find here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/delve/9nblggh4n0bv

It is free and allows you to connect your desktop Windows 10 directly to your Delve.

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Don’t forget that this Windows 10 Delve app is still in preview, so expect to see plenty of new improvements and enhancements coming soon.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 107

In this episode Marc is joined by Steve Hosko to talk about the latest with System Center. You’ll also get the latest news om Azure.

Listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-107-steve-hosko/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Marc Kean – @marckean

Azure News:

https://marckean.com/2016/06/30/azure-news-2016-week-26/

Reddit (SCCM):

https://www.reddit.com/r/SCCM/comments/4qhcwg/amawe_are_the_configmgr_team_here_to_talk_about

Facebook pages about SCCM:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ConfigMgr2012

https://www.facebook.com/groups/techkonnect

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mssccm

https://www.facebook.com/groups/windowsnoob

Guest Twitter:

@Steve_Hosko

Other:

Azure Stack user group meet-up, hear all about Azure Stack Vs Azure Public

http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-System-Center-and-Infrastructure-User-Group/events/232103039