Thursday, September 26, 2013

Three Essential Tips For A Stress Free Move

Custom Smart Homes has helped countless people from across the great state of Tennessee have the home that they’ve always dreamed of.  Some of our customers have planned their dream home up the street from their old homes, and others have planned their dream homes on the other side of the state.  It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a new home across the street or to a new home across the country, moving requires a lot of planning and hard work.  Moving can be stressful for people, especially those that are moving with multiple people.  If you want to make your move simple, you need to do a lot of planning before the big day.  If you’re going to be moving soon, make sure that you do these things before the big day.

Save money for unexpected expenses

You may have spent months budgeting and pricing out everything you need for your new home, but you never know when something will pop up.  You could get to your new home and discover you’re your old box spring won’t fit through the upstairs hallway.  You could be exploring your kitchen and discover that your gas range is need of repairs.  Relocating to a new house always seems to create new and unexpected costs, and you should be prepared to have some extra money stored away in case anything goes wrong.

Get utilities set up before hand

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you move is waiting until you physically move to contact your local utility companies.  You may not need cable TV or internet for the first few days, but you will need electricity, water, and other necessities.  If you don’t want to spend money on utilities you won’t be using, schedule the utility companies to set things up the day before your move.  That way everything will be ready for you as soon as you move in, and you won’t have to spend a lot of extra money.  Also, make sure you don’t forget to close your utility accounts at your old home once you move.

Change your address on important accounts

Before you move, you should make a list of every organization that should be notified about your change of address.    Most people remember to let their credit card companies and utility companies know about their move, but they neglect to notify their doctor’s offices, veterinary offices, and banks.  It’s up to you to make sure that the right companies and organizations know about your change of address.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Three Ways To Keep Customers Loyal And Satisfied

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the construction industry, own a large corporation, or have a small family business you run out of your home.  If you’re running any kind of business, happy customers are the key to your success.  Custom Smart Homes ratings reflect how much we do to keep our customers happy, and learning how to keep people pleased can take a little time and practices.  Every business has their own unique products and services to offer their clients, but all essentially need to do the same things to keep them happy.  If you want to keep smiles and your customer’s faces, make sure you follow these tips for excellent customer service.

Show loyalty

Do you expect your employees to be loyal to your company?  If so, don’t you think your employees should extend that loyalty to your customers?  If you want to keep customers happy and keep their business, you need to be as loyal to them as they are to you.  If you have a repeat custom that’s unhappy with a product or service, don’t hesitate to give them a refund or offer them products or services for free.  If you them that you appreciate their business, they’ll continue to be your loyal and happy customer.

Make promises you can keep

A good rule in the business world is to never promise something to a customer if you aren’t 100% sure you can follow through.  A promise can be anything from offering a money back guarantee to promising to contact someone at a certain time.  Nothing makes a customer more unhappy and wary of businesses than feeling like they’ve been misled, and if you want to keep your customers you should avoid committing to something unless you’re sure you can do it.

Be genuine

People can have a big pet peeve about dealing with rude employees, but they also don’t like dealing with employees they think are laying it on a bit too thick.  Train your employees to talk to your customer like they’re people, and not like they’re getting lines fed to them from an employee handbook.  People appreciate honesty and genuine enthusiasm when they’re talking to employees, so you should teach your employees to be friendly and authentic when they’re dealing with customers.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reputation Management 101: Three Mistakes People Make When Responding To Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can be the bane of any company’s existences.  In a world where the right or wrong kind of review can make or break your business, it’s understandable that many managers and employees spend time scouring the web to look for reviews.  There are a lot of Custom Smart Homes reviews, and our experiences with them have taught us a lot on the proper way to handle them.  You’ll see a lot of advice online about the right way to respond to reviews, but you don’t see too much information on how to not respond to your company’s reviews.  If you’re thinking about how you’re going to respond to a negative review, make sure you avoid making these common mistakes.

Responding without saying anything specific
Some people think that generic responses are the best way to deal with customer reviews, but if you want to get a positive response from readers it’s one of the worst things you can do.  A response like, “I’m sorry that you are unhappy with our services.  Please contact us so we can make sure that you have a better experience with our company”, doesn’t address the customer’s actual complaint.  Making a response that could virtually be about any problem shows readers that you’re more concerned about appearing concerned than about actually improving the customer’s experience.

Playing the blame game
When you see a negative review about your business, it’s natural to feel the need to defend your business.  Maybe you remember this particular customer acting rude towards or staff, or maybe you think that the client was confused about what your products and services actually did.  Either way, trying to defend your company by saying that the customer was the one at fault is a bad way to improve your reputation.  Even if what you’re saying is true, people who read your response will wonder why your company seems to want to place the blame on the customer instead of trying to fix the problem.

Responding to every single bad review
If someone is writing a bad review about your company you’re going to want to tell your side of the story, but if you respond to every single negative review you won’t be doing much to help your company’s image.  If you take time to respond to every review, readers are going to wonder why your company is dedicated to finding negative reviews and responding to them.  Your excessive responses could make some readers think that your company is aggressively responding to reviews because you have a lot of unhappy customers.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tips On Enticing Customers To Write Reviews

Positive reviews can make or break your business, and in today's world reviews play an even bigger role for your potential customer base.  Lizzio Development Group reviews are positive and abundant, but some other businesses aren't as lucky.  A lack of reviews for your business can make it almost invisible in the eyes of the public, so you need to try to get the customers that you already have to share their opinions.  If you want to get more reviews for your business, try following these tips.

Ask a happy customer

Do you have a repeat customer that always sings your business' praises?  Did you recently help a customer with a problem that had been troubling them?  Happy customers are the exact kind of people you want writing your reviews, and when you have someone who is happy with your products and services you should encourage them to write the review. You don't have to make them any lofty promises or go with a gimmick, simply tell them that you're happy that you could help them and that a positive review would be appreciated. 

Use social media

If your company has an account with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or another social media site you could be using your account to help get good reviews.  Plan to do a free giveaway in exchange for positive reviews.  A simple status that says something along the lines of "Leave us a review, once we get 10 reviews we'll be giving away something for free" can be enough to entice people to write a review.  It doesn't have to be something expensive, a free t-shirt or a gift card can be enough to attract people.

Incorporate review requests into communications

Sometimes all people need to get motivated to write a review is a friendly reminder.  If your customers are part of an e-mail newsletter, put a few sentences at the bottom of each email you send that kindly asks customers for reviews.  Put a few links on your website that direct them to a contact us form so your customers can easily submit a review.  A gentle reminder that you need and appreciate reviews can be all you need to get them.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Three Tips For Running A Successful Family Business

What do Comcast, News Corp, and Cargill all have in common?  They’re all successful corporations, and they’re all family owned businesses.  Lizzio Development Group was built on the backs of three generations of Lizzios, so we know what it takes to make a successful family business.  Running a family business is appealing to a lot of people, but they shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that running a family business is easy.  If you’re interested in running a family business, or if you run one that could use some improvement, remember to keep these tips in mind

Don’t be afraid of conflict

Some family businesses end up failing because family members never felt comfortable bringing up business problems to other employees.  Conflict is going to happen in any business, and you can’t be afraid to confront problems head on.  If the thought of telling your cousin that their work has been sub-par, you shouldn’t be running a family business.

Keep work and home separate

Telling someone with a family owned business to keep their home and work lives separate may seem strange, but if you want to run a successful family business you’ll need to learn to separate the two.   Don’t bring work problems to family dinners, and don’t bring up family conflicts at work.  If you can’t learn how to keep the two separate, you’ll start to feel stressed about the wrong things at the wrong time.  As long as you can leave your personal family problems at home, you’ll be able to run a good business.

Only hire skilled family members

This may be the most difficult rule for people to follow since it can be hard to leave certain family members out of the business.  Having a family owned business doesn’t mean that you have to hire every single family member; you should only hire family members you know can do the job.  There’s nothing wrong with hiring your accountant cousin to handle finances, and it’s a wise business decision to not let your uncle with a terrible work ethic join your company.