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Dealing with unhappy customers

NO one likes to receive a complaint, but it really is a matter of whether they arrive sooner or later. 96% of unhappy customers don't actually complain.

However, 91% of them will simply leave and never come back. Knowing this, wouldn't you agree that a complaining customer is sometimes better than one that is silent but halfway out the door? Having unhappy customers might be a second chance in disguise. Here are some tips to help you deal with unhappy customers.

* It is all about brand reputation

In this era of social media, people frequently turn to social networks to complain, and they can be really rude about it sometimes. What you need is the skill not to respond unkindly, because your answer may well be read by anyone. Protect your brand by being kind - always.

* It is not personal

Always remember that complaints are not personal, and that the customer's anger is not directed to the employee, but towards the company in general. This fact will help you to remain calm and polite. If you listen with understanding and sympathy, even the angriest customer will calm down.

* Listen carefully

Find out what their problem is, so you can work towards alleviating it and not towards a solution that does not actually help them in any way. The point is to resolve the customer's issue.

Before taking action, verify that what you are doing really helps the customer by asking the customer himself/herself. Once a resolution is agreed, act quickly to implement it. All the customer really wants is a listening ear that will respect their point of view, and work towards helping them.

* Don't make excuses

No matter what or who caused the problem, never blame your customers (even if they have caused the issue). Making excuses is simply a waste of time, and it makes customers even more annoyed. Instead, take full responsibility and do whatever you can in your power to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

* A unique opportunity to improve your service

Think about customer complaints as opportunities to improve your service and to transform unhappy customers into fans. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

Employees who handle customer service complaints quickly, efficiently and professionally take advantage of a unique opportunity: the chance to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied customer.

According to a report by White House Office of Consumer Affair, happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. Not bad, right?

Next time you have to deal with a disappointed customer, remember that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, so believe me when I say that you do not want to miss even one chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Source: New Straits Times - Compiled by 1Klassifieds Team 

How to raise your child's self-esteem

BUILDING your child's self-esteem is one of the most important thing you can do as a parent. When you start with these positive changes, it will stick with your child for their entire life.

The early childhood years are critical in the formation of self-esteem. During these first years, children form impressions of their capabilities and self-worth based on their successes and the feedback they receive.

Independence - In order to develop a healthy self-esteem, a child needs to learn how to do things on her own. Parents can help a child accomplish difficult tasks, set challenging, yet realistic goals and offer encouragement to meet those goals.

As a child grows, parents should step back to let her solve problems and complete tasks on her own.

A child will have many chances to learn how to be independent and competent as she grows. Parents should allow as much freedom as possible, and only step in when the child is getting overly frustrated.

Special Gifts - A healthy self-esteem will flourish as a child develops his own special gifts. To build confidence and self-esteem, a school-aged child can be given chores and allowed to participate in the age-appropriate activities that spark her interest.

Chores allow a child to contribute to the home and family in a positive way. Activities that are challenging, but doable, give a child a sense of pride and a chance to set achievable goals.

The self-esteem of peer-oriented children will always be dependent on the way others perceive them. A positive self-esteem means that children and teens consider themselves to be valuable even when they are being judged by others.

Challenges - Children with a strong sense of self-worth are able to take on challenges, believe in their ability to succeed, and see setbacks as temporary situations to be overcomed. Children with poor self-image are easily discouraged, lack the initiative to begin daunting tasks, and see obstacles as defeating and permanent.

Praise and Encouragement - Self-esteem begins with a child's earliest memories. The things you say and do to your children will have a huge impact on them for the rest of their lives. Children thrive on praise. You can never "spoil" a child with praise. You should always offer praise to your child for a job well done. No feat or activity is too small for praise and encouragement. Your child needs to know that you are there always, that you love him and that you believe in him.

This will help him build confidence that he needs later in life, for everything that he tries to do.

Criticism - Criticism should always be constructive and you should remind your children of their positive traits and abilities, and of how much you love them even when you have to scold or correct them. Encouragement will go a long way to help raise your child's self esteem. Encouragement can make a shy kid come out of his shell and try something new.

Ongoing Development - Fostering and building a child's self-esteem is an ongoing job for a parent. One that begins at birth and continues through childhood and into adulthood. A child with healthy self-esteem will have confidence in himself and his abilities.

Compiled by 1Klassifieds Team

10 steps to launch your product successfully

TO launch a new product in the marketplace, you need a strategy that will guide you to success. Launching a product requires meticulous planning, coordination, and a start-to-finish strategy that will serve as your guide on what to do next. Here are the steps:

Planning - You have to plan ahead, and not haphazardly decide to launch something and have it magically fall into place.

Observe and evaluate your competition - Research products similar to those you are launching, and is already well-known by the consumers.

Know what others are doing and find ways to outsell them. Does your product have added features, special warranties, or a better price? Use these information to direct the attention on how your product is different and better than the competition. Create a unique selling point (USP) to differentiate yourself from them.

Design an attractive packaging - Attractive packaging is the key to lure potential customers to your brand. You need to make sure your packaging is both attractive, tamper-proof, and safe. Smart packaging is the first step to getting your product noticed.

Test launch and product sample - It is important to do a test launch to see if your product is viable. Capture the attention of your target market by showing them how your product works.

You can also post it on YouTube and link it to your website.

Give the product samples to your prospects for them to experience it. Test and track the results. Gather feedback to improve your product and keep tweaking it before rolling it out to the general public.

Build anticipation - A successful product launch is all about anticipation. You need to create momentum leading up to something big. This creates buzz and anticipation from those who want to find out more.

Reminding them constantly before the event date is good strategy to build up anticipation.

6 Advertise - You can place ads in several media outlets to reach the maximum number of consumers. There are different ways to advertise, you just need to select an appropriate channel that works.

Depending on your target market, you can use traditional media such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or even the internet as your marketing medium.

Create a website - Design a website to advertise your new products and offer more information to consumers. Include user testimonials, product comparisons, ordering information and promotional offers to entice buyers.

Engage customers through social media - This is now a very important part of getting products out into the broader, global marketplace. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can be great launching pads for your product. Have blog posts and articles at the ready. Publish links to all of these content from your social networking site.

This will give your new product the necessary speed to take off the ground.

Hire a public relations firm - Work with a public relations agent with experience in your industry, or in marketing new products. An expert can help you solidify your target audience, determine the best media channels for advertising and promotions.

Hold a press conference - Schedule a press conference with consumers and members of industries related to your products and services which allows you explain the product, offer samples, answer questions, and create a buzz in the industry.

Source: New Straits Times - 1Klassifieds

Managing Insomnia

DO YOU have trouble sleeping? If you do, your sleep pattern may be disrupted.

It is important to synchronise you sleep pattern with your biological clock, to ensure you have a deep and satisfying sleep.

Oppose this, and you may have insomnia - a common condition that affects us due to our hectic lifestyle, work habits, and stress. The tell-tale signs are usually feeling fatigue, groggy, or having a bad mood, which may interfere with our daily routine and diminish our ability to function at peak levelS. If sleeplessness persists, the consequences can become more severe.

Here are some steps on how to manage insomnia.

Sleep on schedule - Varying your sleep times by more than an hour can disrupt your sleep quality and break your Circadian rhythm. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. By establishing a regular bedtime and wake-up time (even on the weekends), your body will adjust its internal clock.

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine at least three hours prior to bedtime If you are particularly sensitive, try not to drink coffee or soda past lunchtime. Although alcohol may make you sleepy, avoid it near bedtime, as it can actually disrupt your sleep.

Be mindful of what you eat or drink before going to bed - Your stomach should not be too full, and not too empty. Wait at least three hours after dinner before going to sleep. Digestion does not work well while you are on a full stomach, and may interrupt sleep. Do not eat heavy food prior to sleep. Similarly, avoid going to bed on an empty stomach, as it may interfere with your sleep patterns.

Meditation and reading while sitting on a comfortable chair, and listening to music can help adjust your body's level of relaxation to make a restful sleep possible.

Turn off the lights -Keep the room as dark as possible, as exposure to light when you are sleeping can affect your body's internal clock. It is one of the primary clues to the body that is either sleep time, or wake-up time.

Do not sleep during the day, reserve sleep for the night instead - If you feel sleepy during the day, try to distract yourself, talk to a friend, or do some exercise. Persistent napping during the day may detract you from the amount and quality of sleep you get at night.

Consider herbal sleep remedies - Valerian root is an herbal remedy that has been used to deal with sleep problems, and you may find it to be just the thing for you. Chamomile is another herb to help you relax, and get a good night's sleep.

Seek medical advice - If making lifestyle changes such as mentioned above does not work, see a doctor and tell him or her your sleeping problems. Various medical conditions can also cause insomnia.

Have regular checkups - Insomnia may be due to underlying factors and medical conditions such as heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, acid-reflux disease, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, overactive thyroid, arthritis, Parkinson and Alzheimer's disease. See a doctor and make sure your medical conditions are well treated to help prevent insomnia.

7 perfect jobs to work from home

The following list details the jobs that you can most likely do fully from home or at least supplement your income through freelancing.

The idea of working from home (productively) and acting as your own boss sounds incredibly appealing to many stuck in the daily grind. But what careers are conducive to freelancing - and actually making a living? Assuming you've got the talent, passion and drive to work from home, what does it take?

1. Graphic Artist

Sure, you can go to college for graphic arts and hone those skills, but the best tools to have in your arsenal include experience and software. A graphic designer who can not only prove he or she is worth RM100 an hour, but also has the portfolio to back it up, will likely earn a new client.

Toting a MacBook Pro equipped with your own legally-obtained software (Adobe Creative Suite or at least Photoshop) will sell you as a worthy professional and not some high school dropout doodler.

The strongest advice available for anyone interested in taking his or her talents on the road or online is to study up on marketing and self-promotion. These are the business skills one must have in order to successfully work from home because finding your client comes down to selling yourself and your skills.

2. Music Teacher

Though you don't have to be a guitar teacher to work as a freelance music instructor, teaching guitar allows flexibility and easier access to online lessons. Drum and piano teachers certainly can teach online as well as in-home, but guitar teachers have an easier time of it.

Music teachers on all instruments have the ability to not only teach from their own homes or offices but also to teach as an independent contractor from a local music school.

Getting a job as a music teacher in a well-known chain store often means having experience playing and teaching, as well as a degree.

3. Social Media Manager

Social media and its multitude of platforms are not going away. If anything, more and more outlets exist for social media, from Facebook to Snapchat. Understanding how to use these platforms to boost a business's SEO and drive traffic to a company's website is a critical need.

Most small businesses as well as larger corporations still don't have someone dedicated and knowledgeable enough to manage social media according to an integrated strategic marketing plan.

If tweeting according to dedicated hashtags and sharing infographics that encourage click-through action from Pinterest is something you excel at, you can most certainly market yourself as a social media manager. Work from anywhere with an Internet connection!.

4. Writer

You may not make a million dollars writing the next great American novel, but if you have the skills it takes to pore over brochures and edit technically then you can make a freelance career as a writer.

Working from home as a writer means you can do anything from copy editing to content creation because you have the mastery of grammar as well as the background to communicate effectively, which is one of the most highly sought-after traits for potential employees.

Many journalists start out as copy editors and move up to managing editors, but you don't have to work at the local or city paper -you can just as easily market yourself and work from home.

5. Web Developer

Most people interested in web development have gone to college to earn a bachelor's degree, but again experience and knowledge are the leaders in this industry. Anyone with a sharp portfolio and a decent client list can start selling web development services online and from home. Many web developers work at a job and freelance in their free time. Staying up-to-date with coding makes web developers better.

6. Photographer

Though you may wish to make a living photographing red carpet events and your favorite concerts, you are more likely to make a decent living as a freelance photographer providing clients with a service; photographing anything from jewelry in an independent store for the website or brochure, to helping insurance adjusters.

Even contractors and small businesses selling repair services could use professional photographs to make their products and finished results pop. So, if you've got a talent and a passion for photography, invest in the right lighting and lenses and market yourself as a freelance photographer.

7. Coach or Tutor

More and more parents choose to home school their children, so if you have an advanced degree and a knack for explaining difficult concepts, then you can make a living consulting as a tutor or even a coach for sports. Students who learn from home will usually need a tutor for at least one subject.

Try looking into groups and networks for home-schooled children in your area. Look into what sports programmes are available after class from local high schools and even middle schools because if sports, art or music have been cut, you can develop an afterschool programme that can supplement your income.

Working from home and freelancing to supplement a regular salary afford individuals the flexibility to pursue their passions their own way. Marketing yourself as an independent contractor is the key to success, but once mastered, working from home can mean the freedom to take a month off to travel, as well as work 20 hours a day to  afford the trip.

Compiled by 1Klassifieds Team