Monday, October 17, 2011

Think Pink

Why do you see so much pink every October? October is Breast Cancer Awareness, which is an annual campaign by major breast cancer organizations to increase awareness of the disease. This includes education the public about early detection, the cause, diagnosis, treatment, and support for survivors.

In an effort to support Breast Cancer Awareness I wanted to post a blog about just that - Breast Cancer.

Here are the facts:
  • About 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.
  • Breast Cancer death rates are 2nd only to lung cancer.
  • Early detection saves lives.
I would like to focus on the final fact - early detection saves lives. Did you know that some doctors are so confident that they can treat Stage I breast cancer that they give patients a 100 percent five-year survival rate. Even in cases with a slightly more advanced stage of the disease, there are reasons to be extremely optimistic. For instance, those with Stage IIA have a 92 percent chance of surviving the disease for at least 5 years and even those with Stage IIIB breast cancer have a 54 percent survival rate.

The 2 best forms of early detection are:
  1. Under the age of 40: Monthly Self Exams. Women should perform monthly self exams to help locate potentially cancerous masses before they spread to other parts of the body. Women who find lumps or irregularities are able to see treatment while the cancer is in an early stage.
  2. Over the age of 40: Regular Breast Cancer Screening. And by this I mean Mammogram. The biggest advantage of regular breast cancer screening is that it can recognize warning signs before you notice any symptoms. A breast cancer screening can locate a mass before it is large enough to feel during a self-exam. The earlier the cancer is caught the higher the survival rate.
As women we often forget to take care of ourselves - so don't wait, do it now...schedule your Mammogram or visit this link for Easy Self Breast Exam.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Exceptional Customer Service

Customer service is critical to small businesses. Good customer service can be the difference between being able to survive and great success. Business to customer loyalty is what makes a company stand out.
  • Listen to your customers. Really listen, by re-capping the conversation and asking questions so that your customer knows you understand what they are looking for. Have you ever been on the telephone with someone in customer service that seems like they are answering someone elses question? Pure frustration. When you ask your customers questions and summarize what you are hearing your customer say, it lets them know you are on the same team...customer satisfaction!
  • Respond and Update Clients Quickly. Respond and update your client even if there's nothing to report. Hearing, "I received your request and am doing the best I can to get you your answer." is better then hearing nothing at all. If you can't get your customer the answer, try to provide a time line as to when you will have what they are looking for. I think we have all been on the receiving end of hearing nothing and I think it's fair to say that hearing, "I have received your request and I will let you know as soon as I have an answer for you." is better then hearing nothing at all.
  • Fix Your Errors. If an error was made that will affect your customer it's best to let them know and fix it to the best of your ability. Not taking responsibility for your own mistakes is a good way of gaining a bad business reputation. Transparency is important in any business. Handling errors honestly and efficiently is a great way to build a partnership with your client. You can defuse a bad situation just by saying you are sorry and reassure them the necessary steps are being taken to prevent the situation form occurring again.
  • Go the Extra Mile. Customers are happy when they get what they expect, and they are won over when they get even more than what they expect. In order to do this, make certain that what you are offering really is something that your customer can value and then go the extra mile by sending them a personal thank you note, or follow up call to be sure they are satisfied.
  • Put Yourself in their Shoes. It's as simple as treating your client the way you like to be treated as a client. Ask yourself this question; if you were in their shoes and were being treated the way you are treating them, would it be a good experience? If so, you're doing a great job.
Clients feel appreciated when providing exceptional customer service and are likely not only to come back, but to tell others about their positive experience. Providing great customer service will help you build the lasting business relationships needed in order to grow and become profitable.