Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Entrepreneur

5 CREATIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE.


Imagine you walked into a store after an awfully long day, your dog chewed on your favorite shoes, the exact one you planned to wear for your presentation; you got a backlash at work, your supervisors didn’t think your presentation on customer service was as good as you thought, your car got smashed as you turned into the restaurant’s close, and you hadn’t eaten a thing all day.


Everything that could possibly go wrong in one day had gone wrong. You just needed to go to a restaurant to unwind and relax. Your friend Jerry had recommended Myer’s restaurant, he just could not stop talking about their impeccable customer service the last time he stopped by, you thought to head there and see what it is worth.


As you turn in to the close, the door man helps you park he acknowledges the bash on your car, he empathizes and recommends a place where you could get it back in shape. That lightens your mood a little.


As you walked in, the lady at the counter made eye contact and gave the warmest smile as she took your order. It was not long before it arrived in style, with your name on it and a nice note, you got a complimentary cocktail for first time guests. You had a bad day but a pleasant evening.


Just like Jerry, you could not stop talking about the experience with their customer service from the last evening with your colleagues the next morning and now, they would all like to go there on Friday after work to also see what it is worth.
That is what great customer service does, it makes your customers talk about your business and there is not a more powerful way of advertising than word of mouth.


It does the work better and faster. It gives your business a great reputation and it increases goodwill. More importantly it would increase sales turnover and improve your bottom line.


Now, to the real question, how do you improve customer service? Below are five creative ways.


Go above you Customer service
That is exactly what Myer’s did, it is likely, the food was not as great as its contemporaries but Myer’s beat them to it in customer service. Everybody wants to feel special and important and your business should strive to make every customer feel this way.

One way to do this is to remember their names. When you surpass a customer’s expectation they will talk, when you go below their expectation they will talk. Get your customers talking with your great customer service, that is the greatest referral plan.

Ask questions.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. How your business can show that it cares is by asking questions, it helps with information and strategy and it also helps with improving customer service. Ask questions like ‘what would you prefer?’. ‘how can we serve you better?’, is there a product/ service you wished that we provide?’


There is no set formula or question, what is most important is that the questions are tailored to suit your business and that they are genuine.

Customer Service Attendant

Match their energy
It is great to have an ideal customer profile but not all customers have the same behavior and approach. You want to be sure that your energy matches theirs. If they talk excitedly, you want to talk the same way. As people like to talk to people like themselves. It’s an art that must be learnt or you can hire the best hands possible within your resource.

Give rewards
It would be a good idea to engrave good customer service into your company culture. This can be done by top leaders communicating this culture to employees, setting the example and also giving a reward for customer service such as an award of the month called ‘customer service champion of the month’ or something along those lines. This will make employees more focused on providing great customer service.

Make it timely or communicate
How many times have you wanted to reach the customer service of your bank and you had to wait for long minutes and on your cost? Only to answer and give rote learned answers that do not solve your problem, it takes longer than five working days to reverse that transaction and you are in a fit. It is most important that customer service is timely.

It is also as important to communicate with customers to ensure that they are adequately informed. When their order is on the way or if there is a delay. This would make them feel part of the process and make them more patient and calmer.


In summary, great customer service has huge rewards. They serve as testimonials and drive sales even further.

Which of these are you implementing in your business and which do you hope to include?

Categories
Education eLearning Entrepreneur

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO FIGHT STAGE FRIGHT.

Have you ever been sitting in a room while listening to an obviously nervous speaker fighting stage fright? How did you feel? Uncomfortable?


As a speaker or presenter, you have a duty to get your audience in a place where they can receive what you are saying. It’s incumbent you as a communicator to make your audience comfortable and you do that by managing your anxiety and fighting your stage fright. Here are five simple ways to fight that fright to finish.


Greet your anxiety
In those few moments before your speech when you get tongue-tied, when your throat tightens, your pulse starts racing, you breathe rapidly, your hands, knees, lips, and voice starts trembling, your palms get cold and sweaty, that nausea and uneasy feeling bites at your stomach, you feel an imminent fart and finally you feel the cold and icy grip of stage fright, understand that it’s only normal and natural.

It’s not peculiar to you, everyone feels it, the greatest speakers of all time, even Shonda Rhimes feels stage fright, she mentioned it in her book. ‘Year of Yes’.

However, you need to learn to manage your anxiety because fundamentally your work is the work of a communicator whether it’s planned or spontaneous.
Just admit that you are nervous and that that’s completely normal and natural. It’s not going to reduce the anxiety but it will stop it from spinning out of control.

Unlike performances where there is a right and wrong way of doing things, in public speaking there is no right or wrong way, nobody knows the note or lines except you.

Practice your speech conversationally-Start with questions
The source of the anxiety is the situation, the reason the situation makes us nervous is that we see it as a performance. To get rid of stage fright we need to reframe this anxiety and see it as a conversation rather than a performance.


This is why asking questions is the easiest way out of anxiety. You put the spotlight on your audience as questions are by nature dialogical; they get your audience involved. Use questions adequately, it could be rhetorical questions where you don’t expect an answer but by asking a question you involve a dialogue because a conversation is a dialogue. It could also be a poll.


Also avoid tone or words that distances you from your audience such as ‘one must consider’, as opposed to ‘you should consider’. Use words used in a conversation.


Visualize
Before your presentation go into the presentation room if you have access to it. See the room and the people in the room, see them responding positively to your presentation, this desensitizes you such that on the presentation day it no longer appears new.

It would be something you have done before in your mind’s eye.
If you can’t get access to the presentation room before the presentation day, you can find out about the room on the internet and visualize it. It is also important to know the kind of people that will be there. What you should visualize is a positive response to our presentation. Decades of research show that visualization makes people feel more comfortable and less anxious.

Practice Proactively
Exposure is the antidote to phobia, the more you practice, the more you do it, in an environment similar to the real performance. Run it twice the night before and 3 times on the morning of the D-day, do it standing up, do it around a dinner table, do it around a coffee table, do what works. Get all the necessary approvals ahead of time to ensure that your script is ready at least two days before your speech.


Be present-oriented
The future concern makes us nervous so what you can do is to become present-oriented and unconcerned about the future consequence. For some people, it’s music, the sound of music rings them into the moment, some play video games, some count backward from an odd number, and others say a tongue twister.


Tongue twisters will especially help you to verbalize. Nervous speakers often don’t practice out loud, they practice in their head, and as humans what we think doesn’t always translate to what we say. Also, tongue twisters warm up your voice. Just ensure you do the simple things that make you present-oriented.


You can also stretch and breathe. When we are nervous, we tend to take shorter and shallow breaths. Close your eyes, breathe through your nose and out through your mouth then push out your belly with each breath. You don’t overcome stage fright; you adapt to it.

Everyone has their unique technique of fighting stage fright so you have to find the one or two techniques that work for you.
You are an entrepreneur and at some point, you will have to speak publicly, to your employees, to your clients, for presentations, the list is endless. Don’t let nerves hold you back, fight that stage fright.

Which technique will you be trying out first?

Categories
Education eLearning

6 STEPS TO MAXIMIZING AN E-LEARNING PLATFORM.

Thonia Adigwe is a budding entrepreneur in the food industry, she started Food Culture two years ago. So far, so good, it has been thriving despite all odds. But she has been having countless staff problems and increased staff turnover, a friend had advised her to maximize e-learning platforms.

To be fair, the thought of taking a course on leadership and strategy had been dancing on Thonia’s mind for many months but when you are growing a business, time seems to be an illusion especially with endless to-do lists and customer demands.


However, Thonia needs to hone these skills to become a better business leader and save cost on recruitment. Just like Thonia you may have procrastinated taking that important course for so long after registering and paying for it.

But as a smart entrepreneur, you need to spend more time working on your business than in your business for your business to thrive, taking a course is one way to be a better leader.

Here are some practical ways to maximize any e-learning platform and hone those skills.


Draw up a simple plan
The goal is to complete the course in a time frame. To do this, there must be a simple and feasible plan to maximize that e-learning platform. This plan must put key constraints into consideration such as network connectivity, flexibility, and time.


An e-learning platform requires a good network connection, you want to ensure that you are connected to the best network provider in your location.


Little drops of water make a mighty ocean as such little chunks of time is exactly what you need. Time blocking against your to-do list is a great way to start. This will give insight into the amount of free time you have in a day to effectively and efficiently maximize the e-learning platform.


Ward off distractions
Your cell phone is probably your biggest distraction. You must have caught yourself mindlessly scrolling countless times. To achieve your goal and complete that course you to make a trade-off. The course or a football match, the course or a party, the course or your cellphone. You’ll miss vital points and insights when you try to multitask as you learn.


Take notes
Research shows that we tend to recollect only 20% of what we hear, this is why taking adequate notes is essential. Writing notes also aids listening. You only write what you hear. It also helps to take notes of grey areas for further research, understanding, and comprehension.

Research grey areas
While you are listening and taking notes, it Is not unlikely that you’ll come across concepts and terminologies that you need more clarification on. Unlike traditional learning you have the replay option, it’s important to listen again or do more research.


Review and apply
Reviewing the notes immediately at least 24- hours after a lecture or your retention will drop sharply. This is important for the application. Research has it that students who review their notes within a day recalled 75% of what they had been taught. We learn by repetition and application.


Give feedback
This is could be in the form of star rating, filing a survey form, sending an email, or leaving feedback on the website. This will give the tutor insight and further improvement.


Klasroom.com is an e-learning platform for entrepreneurs to learn and gain insight into real-life applications and to solve real-life problems. Visit klasroom.com today for seasoned videos and blog posts.

Categories
Education Entrepreneur

5 WAYS TO RAISE CAPITAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS

There is one thing you must know; being an entrepreneur is hard. Raising capital is one of the things that makes entrepreneurship hard as nuts.

A lot of people underestimate how much resilience and resources you need to successfully grow a business from scratch till it becomes a well-known brand. The mindset of being your own boss, and not submitting to anyone simply means you are solely accountable for whatever it takes to operate a business successfully. It takes time, energy, and most of all capital.

On the other hand, there are people out there who have most of the details of a business plan sorted out but lack the capital to move forward or are unable to expand their business in size and reach because of the lack of funds. 

One of the major challenges for entrepreneurs is how to raise capital for a business. A smart way to grow your business is to incur as little debt as possible, but how do you do that? Here are five ways to raise capital for your business without a loan from a financial institution.

  1. Savings
  2. Friends and family
  3. Partnership
  4. Grants
  5. Investors

SAVINGS

Self-funding is a very effective way of raising capital for startups. Usually, in Nigeria, an entrepreneur saves up money to fund a startup one is passionate about from jobs, bonuses received from work done, monetary gifts, etc.

This is the safest way to raise capital for your business because one has absolute control over the source of funding. It also sets a good impression for others who intend to assist with business funds when they see that the intentions are backed up by actions

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Another means of startup funding is through the assistance of friends and family. Before one resolves to take loans from banks and other financial institutions, the option of family and friends who can aid should be completely exhausted. 

It is easier to take loans from family and friends because payback plans are money flexible, and sometimes you can get loans off them with little or no interest rate. Remember the aim is to have as little debt as possible while growing your business.

PARTNERSHIP

A partnership is another way to raise business capital. A common misconception is that partners only fund a business. While partnerships can be forged for financial reasons, they can also be forged when they contribute to other needs the business lacks, which in turn helps in the running cost of the business.

Raising funds through partnerships also means the business might undergo some changes in order to be profitable for both parties. Partnerships are also a great way of expanding your business.

GRANTS

Grants are financial aids given by the government, investors, organizations, or persons for specific purposes. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back, and this makes it a preferred source of raising capital for startups. To receive grant money for a business startup, one has to submit a business proposal and meet set requirements or qualifications.

INVESTORS

A way to raise capital for your business is through an angel investor. Angel investors are individuals with surplus cash and an interest in startups. They sometimes work in groups of networks to screen proposals before investments are made, and also provide mentorship.

Some businesses like Google and Yahoo were built through the aid of angel investors.

Regardless of obstacles paving the road of Entrepreneurship, it is often considered highly rewarding and it creates avenues to increase the employment rate in the country. 

Have you embarked on this path? You need all the support and knowledge in order to have a head start and avoid common mistakes in the field you might not have sufficient knowledge about. Sign up on Klasroom and learn from the experts on Entrepreneurship today.

Categories
Education Entrepreneur

5 ULTIMATE STEPS NEEDED TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR

Let’s play a game where you ask the person next to you if they fancy being an entrepreneur. Now ask yourself if you would like to have a business of your own.

Most times, the answer is yes.

The Nigerian Dream would most likely sound like this, ‘…being able to quit my job to start up this thing I have always dreamt about.’

This is brilliant because most businesses like McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and many other known brands were founded by entrepreneurs. These brands have grown to be notable worldwide.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), 75% of Start-Ups fail in a span of 10 years. Although these statistics seem discouraging, it simply means one has to be more aware of decisions made about the business.

The next question is what are the steps to becoming an entrepreneur?

  1. Evaluation of Skills needed to become an Entrepreneur.
  2. Research
  3. Learn about the Industry
  4. Entrepreneur Training
  5. Business Plan

Evaluation of Skills Needed To Become An Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. It is keeping long hours, working weekends, and a lot more unanticipated challenges. Like Kola Oyeneyin, CEO of Venia Group said in his course, ‘How to Build a Successful Business’, a business especially a startup is like a baby; it requires money and attention to grow before you take from it.

This is why you need to evaluate your personal skills. It is easier to keep at something when there is deep love to weather any storm that comes along. 

Do you have an industry you are passionate about?

Funke Bucknor, CEO of Zapphaire Events, after studying Law found a way to make profits from her passion. She became Nigeria’s pioneer event planner. Learn how to transform your passion into profit with Funke Bucknor here.

If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, it is best it stems from a place of passion with skills you nurture continuously.

Research

If you’ve scaled the first hurdle of finding a niche to build on, you need to do market research. You should be able to evaluate the demand and supply factors of the market. 

If you intend to start up a poultry service, for instance, you would need to research similar establishments in the area, find out how well the establishment fares, how many people patronize them.

When you find answers to these pointers, you know you are making good progress on becoming an entrepreneur.

Learn about the Industry

It is one thing to be passionate about something, and another thing to be knowledgeable in the field. You might love the art of MakeUp, but do you really know the techniques required for flawless facebeat? Are you knowledgeable about why you use certain products, what the products are made of, and their side effects if they have any?

To build a business out of any field, you need to become an expert in that industry.

While you Build from Scratch, you need knowledge in the field. Get a mentor to walk you through the process, and that brings us to the next point.

Entrepreneur Training

To Build a Successful Business in Nigeria, you need to have a guide. The market is competitive and if you are not well learned in business and entrepreneurship you will find yourself at a disadvantage.

One doesn’t need to break the bank to acquire knowledge in business. You can sign up on sites like Klasroom, where you can learn from experts in any field by taking interactive video courses created to give insights and tips in succeeding as an entrepreneur.

You can also take online business courses virtually on platforms like Udemy and Coursera.

With adequate knowledge, one can avoid making mistakes on their journey to getting started as an entrepreneur.

Business Plan

Now you have evaluated the skills in your arsenal, done your research about the industry, learned about the industry, made plans to get entrepreneurial training, or started on it, you need to create a business plan.

According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization’s financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets. 

It is a map that provides direction to the business. For your business to succeed, you need directions and reminders when you drift from your goal.

There are so many steps to becoming an entrepreneur, but these five steps would pave the way for building a successful business.

Categories
Education eLearning

HOW TO USE ONLINE RESOURCES.

If you want to be candid with yourself, the use of online resources was non-existent and personal growth in the 1960s would have been trips to libraries to gather resources from textbooks, journals, notes, etc, spending hours in commute to the different locations of your sources which equates to a minimum of weeks for the gathering process.

Today, personal development is as simple as signing up for online classes and training, watching video tutorials, or ordering self-help books via the internet. But with this access comes the overwhelming influx of data and sometimes you don’t know where to begin, or the best medium to use in your research leading to self-growth.

Online resources span from online newspapers, magazines, television websites, blogs, forums, webpages, and the list goes on. Knowing the field you wish to acquire knowledge or develop in, influences your choice of online resources.

Simply put, you can only find water in the river, not on dry land; to gain access to different kinds of resources, you have to find their home. Take social media, for example, if you intend to network with professionals on it, you automatically think LinkedIn.

In the same way, if you are considering broadening your knowledge on a field, you might think of taking online courses in that area. These are online resources, although available for everyone, their use tends to be specific. Some online resources to use for different needs are listed below:

Research

The best online resource to use for research is search engines. For academic research, search engines such as  Google Books, Google Scholar, Microsoft academic, etc provide immense value for researchers. 

For free ebooks, sites like Project Gutenberg, Overdrive, etc are good resources.

Social Networking

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ are some of the best online resources for social networking. Often times, one can find persons of interest and interact with them to get more information. These are also good platforms to find mentors and work with them for personal growth.

Video Tutorials

The YouTube platform is one of the most versatile video-sharing sites. One can learn almost anything from programming to cooking. 

Another video-based platform that aids self-development is Klasroom. One can learn almost anything from key structures for building businesses, starting a business from scratch,  raising funds, harnessing profit from innate talents, etc. Klasroom is tailored from experts from across industries all over Nigeria to give lessons and coaching tips to entrepreneurs.

These are some online resources you can harness in your path of growth. Remember to search in the best place, and you will find multiple answers to what you seek. And the best of it all is the knowledge you amass, transcends distance. 

Categories
Education eLearning

BENEFITS OF ONLINE LEARNING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT.

Have you  ever thought to yourself; “what is the big deal about online learning?” , “what are the benefits of online learning?”. If you have, you are in the right place to discover the magic many have found in the new world created outside of the physical space.

Interactive online learning has its roots set in Great Britain about 170 years ago when an instructor sent lessons and received students’ assignments via mail and since then technological advancements have made online forms of education the best trend since the invention of clothes.

eLearning, virtual learning, online learning, and many more re-phrases, all speak about the same thing; getting access to valuable information on the web with convenience. This trend has been made so popular that entire school curriculum, corporate training programs, training certification courses, etc, have been tailored in a way anyone can access them with any device connected to the internet by signing up either for free or by online payment methods all the while sitting comfortably at home. It is easy to see the appeal of this to many people even before the COVID-19 pandemic made this alternative learning source one of the major advantages of online learning.

‘Convenience has a new look!’

A lot of people complain about not having time, and it is understandable. Imagine working 9-5 or attending lectures from 8 am till 8 pm. It is physically impossible to maneuver extra courses or training in your schedule, but with online classes, learning is as easy as turning on your data and picking up from where you left off in your online training module or pressing play on a paused video training.
It’s that convenient. 

You can grow exponentially in your career and set career advancement goals by taking training and courses related to your field online without having to struggle through traffic to get to your training center. Best of all, you can explore a variety of personal interests with the best online schools and free online courses creating a wider learning field for your interests.

 ‘Flexibility for less’

There is something about cost; it dictates everything!
Physical classes are expensive. You pay to enroll. You pay for accommodation. You pay for transportation to convey you to your classes. You pay for books and other study materials. You pay more and seem to stress even more with physical classes. With online courses, sometimes you do pay to enroll for them or for the acquisition of certificates and the cost of data, but that’s about it. In the long run, you pay less learning online and that is one of the benefits of online learning that cannot be argued about.

‘Paying less? Sign me up.’

There are so many benefits to learning online, but as they say, we hope with these few points of ours we have been able to convince you to take a chance with learning online. And if you find it hard to focus, take up the challenge of grooming your self-discipline and get back at it. Online learning is the new reality, and it is a trend that is here to stay.

Thinking of starting your own business, increasing productivity, learning operational excellence, scaling, and skilling up?   Then sign up here for unlimited access to free online courses on Klasroom.