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Christian Services Service Or Using Others

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 734)
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I know a good Christian lady who cuts hair for a living. That's her occupation. That's how she makes a living. She is very good at it. Why is it that when Christians come to her shop they expect a "discount" just because they go to the same Church that she attends? There are some who refer to this practice as a "believer discount".

Now I am not opposed to finding discounts and deals, but not at someone else's expense. If someone decides that they want to give me a haircut at no charge, or half price, out of love, then that's fine. But to just expect that Christian businesses are supposed to give discounts to all the "brothers and sisters" is not love. It's actually an indication of a poverty mind set. I'll explain that later.

For me to think that my Christian brothers and sisters are obligated to give me a cheaper price is selfish and it takes money away from them. Suppose you couldn't find a Christian for the service or product you needed? What would you do? You would end up paying someone the price they charged.

I know some Christians who are very good at doing car repairs and some of them even do it as a business. And hardly a week or two goes by that another Christian asks them for help in fixing their car, expecting to pay little or nothing for services rendered. That is very selfish and, again, an indication of a poverty mentality.

Here's a startling thought: pay your Christian brother or sister more than they normally charge! Now that's a concept that has love written all over it. Why would you do that? First of all it is indeed a blessing to have a Christian provide a service or a product. If they operate their business with integrity and love, that love will have an impact on my life. Secondly, by believing God's promises of abundance you can go over and beyond and give more to the person who is providing you the service or product. That increases their prosperity. But, if you have a poverty mentality, you are always looking for someone to charge you less for everything and expecting any Christian to give you a discount. Why not believe God's promises of prosperity, receive His abundance, and then share that abundance with others?

Now I would rather pay a Christian for a product or service, but there is another side to this coin. Just because I am a Christian does that mean I have to find another Christian to provide my products and services? Suppose I know a Christian who could get the job done, but not with the quality I require? Am I obligated to hire a Christian anyway and then have inferior work done? Some say that would be the "Christian thing to do." I say, "No."

If I hire you to fix my car I am expecting you to know what you are doing and to do it right the first time. If that doesn't happen then I have wasted the money God gave me to steward, not to mention the time that I have lost. Perhaps the "Christian thing to do" would be to be honest and tell someone that their work is not the quality that it could be. Instead of feeling obligated to hire them, why not give them some money so that they can get the training they need so they can do quality work? Feeling sorry for someone and then having them do a job that they or someone else will need to re-do it is not helping my brother or sister.

As a final thought, why shouldn't Christian businesses be the best businesses on the face of the earth? That takes a lot more than just having a Christian sounding name. It means quality work. It means integrity and honesty. It means operating biblical principles of giving more value. Having a Christian business reflects back on our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, whether we own a business or are simply employed by someone, the "Christian thing to do" is to work heartily, ethically, and honestly with the love of God. Our light should so shine that everybody, Christians and non-Christians alike want our products and services.

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Ten Ways To Build Client Trust

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 566)
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Clients work with professionals whom they trust. Building trust is an ongoing process. Here are 10 ways to build trust with both old and new clients.

1. Keep your agreements with your clients - If you promise delivery on a particular day, make sure to deliver when it was promised. Even something as small as the time you have scheduled an appointment is an agreement. Each time you break an agreement with a client, you break the trust.

2.Create realistic client expectations - Help the client to understand exactly what you will do for him or her. Put boundaries around what is included in your service and what is not. What will create extra charges? How and when will you be billing the client? Living up to the expectations you create helps your clients to take you at your word.

3.Help client to understand the process - If your client understands how you and your office works the client can then know what to expect and when to expect it.

4.Explain your plan and strategy - Not only does the client need to understand your office procedure but also what the plan and strategy is for his/her particular case. This will help client to know what to expect and when to expect it. Trust comes when the client feels confident and comfortable with the plan and the strategy.

5.Never over promise - It is tempting to promise whatever the client requests without consulting a schedule or asking if it is doable. Over promising often causes broken agreements and thus broken trust.

6.Carefully explain the client's role - When a client is clear on what his or her role is then the client gets clear on what progress can be made without his or her involvement and what needs his or her input before moving on. Getting really clear on what the client needs to do to move his or her case forward, helps you work as a team and builds trust.

7.Discuss potential pitfalls - Nothing disturbs the trust of a client more than when something unexpected happens. (If it is good of course you can celebrate! Whew!) Guard against something negative happening as a surprise by discussing the potential pitfalls with the client.

8.Review the agreement in detail - Any agreements that the client is going to have to make should be discussed in detail. Trust is built over a long period of time but it can be broken easily. A surprise that results from an agreement the client made but is unaware of breaks that trust quickly.

9.Avoid making the client feel stupid - No one likes to feel stupid. If clients feel that you think they are stupid they will no longer entrust you with their ideas or thoughts. Clients who don't feel valued by the professional may stop trusting that person. Professionals probably don't set out to make a client feel stupid. In fact it may be an attitude, an inadvertent comment, or a look that gives the client that impression. Be aware of your inner thoughts. They show up without your noticing. Use careful language.

10.Don't allow interruptions at meetings - If you take interruptions during meetings with clients it makes them feel they are not important to you. Eventually you erode the good will and trust that you had with them.

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The Internet The World S Greatest Telephone For The Success Of Your Business

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 154)
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Business owners of companies both large and small can achieve rich improvements in their operations if they start to ask themselves regularly, "I have just been handed a powerful new tool. It essentially lets me costless communicate with anyone on the planet. How can I best use it to my advantage?"

To focus, business owners must first ask themselves two questions: As a business owner, what am I trying to achieve?

Marry your answers to the diverse communications capabilities of the World Wide Web; you will inevitably create some powerful and highly beneficial new initiatives.

In exploring strategies for success in the developing environment, it is essential to recognize a fact that is often overlooked: The Internet is fundamentally a new communications vehicle. As a consequence, a large part of its value arises because it permits cost-effective communications

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Is It Really Worth The Money

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 443)
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When it comes to services I sometimes wonder if the asking price is really worth it. I can usually find the service that I am looking for online. Then I have to look around to find witch one is going to give me the most for the money. Well I have found that if I go with the low ball guy, he is reeling me in for a huge sales pitch to asks me to spend more than I would with the high roller guy. Maybe that's where I should have started my search.

Then again I wrote an article a couple of months ago about an auto repair shop that promised to fix my truck for $1,000.00. Fair price to install a new rear end and I agreed. 2 months later I could not get my truck out of the shop for less then $2,000.00. They actually told me "two grand or we will auction off your truck to pay the charges." I was robbed!!

I found out once again that maybe checking with a higher priced guy may have been a good idea. I am sure the price is higher because the put all of the add on stuff in the original quote. The quote is supposed to at least be close to the actual price, right?

The gist of my article is this. I have been in the carpet cleaning industry for almost ten years. We get a bad rap, no doubt about it. We have to earn the respect that others have spit on and ripped off. There are a lot of great cleaners out there and there are a few that kill the reputation of the entire industry.

Now we all have to make a living and I have chosen to make mine honestly. I may not be the cheapest, but my quotes are on the mark. If I give you a quote and then try to charge more for the same amount of work after you let me in. I am sure you will kick me out then or never call me back, so I prefer giving a little extra than taking what ever I can squeeze out of you.

I say go with the guy in the middle when it comes to choosing your service providers. If it seems to good to be true then it probably is. If it seems way too high compared to the competition then it probably is for the more elite or just plain over priced. Talk to others to find out whom they use and give an honest man the job.

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Sure Fire Ways To Drive Customers Away

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 1176)
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Call it a blind spot. Call it regimented thinking. Call it the-way-we-have-always-done-it. But by any name, there are actions and practices that far too many businesses engage in that can unknowingly drive customers away.

When I observe such practices, I move from being angry to just plain sad. Really sad. Because the truth of the matter is that no one CONSCIOUSLY set out to ruin my day. No one sat in a board room and dreamt up procedures that would have us leaving in droves. No one woke up and said, "I can hardly wait to make you miserable." It happened "because". Because the truth of the matter is that it takes courage to stop and ask the critical question: Does this serve our customer? Our member? Our community?

We all "know" the rules of service. But sadly, sometimes we don't take the time to think through just what our actions might be do or say to the customer. Here are some actions guaranteed to drive folks from the doors of an enterprise. It's time for all of us to sit up and notice!

Over promise and under deliver.

Bring people to the conference with the promise of cutting edge material. Lure attendees into thinking that the hotel is a four-star marvel. Tell customers that they'll have all the material they need in three days. Promise the meeting planner that the press kit will go out overnight. Then sit back and watch. Really watch. If it isn't true 100% of the time, it's a bait and switch promise.

Take the idea of "cutting edge material". I've attended conferences in which the only cutting edge was the serving knife on a buffet table. Same ideas. Same methodology. Same format. Get a clue! Shake it up. Be provocative. If we say it, we better deliver.

How about that four-star hotel? Brochure looks great. The conference walk through is stunning. But then, could that ghastly-looking luncheon plate REALLY be the same chicken marsala you were served in the tasting? And, how about the fact that the hotel "forgot" to tell you that the major dining room would be undergoing renovation. Yikes!

The three-day guarantee. If you can't deliver it all the time, it's not true! Now, perhaps Three Day Blinds has reversed its practices, but years ago, I ordered window coverings for our new house. My mother was coming to visit us over Christmas and I needed shades. Alas, the third day came and went. I discovered that only "some" shades are three-day, not all. Beware of the implied promise.

Never walk the talk.

The brochure for the conference said, "a celebration of members", a "community that listens." Too bad it didn't play out in reality.

The setting is New Orleans. A couple thousand folks have gathered for the "celebration" and the "community". Alas, the reality is another fact. I discover that people are invited to parties based upon their status in the organization. The luncheon session I am addressing has some 50 "important people" file into the banquet hall and take their places on a stage that is three tiers deep. Talk about a "we"/ "they" set up. I am told, "This is the way we have always done it." The intent to "honor" these 50 people was to have hundreds watch them eat and to also set up the boundary between the "us" and the "them".

Come on. There are a few more creative ways to showcase the "us" that is far more inclusive, educational, and community building than a camera shot of folks eating. I end up addressing an audience while have my back to 50 plus people. It's rude, off-putting, and the exact opposite of what the organization, in all good intentions, wishes to create.

Our lives had better mirror the words we use and the beliefs we profess to all. Otherwise, we're merely impersonators. I watched a very well known speaker who specializes in relationship building turn into a snarling, demanding customer who treated the flight attendants like personal servants. How many disbelievers were created on that day?

Make technology your primary form of communication.

Make sure there's a voice mail doom loop from which someone will never emerge to actually speak with a live human. Conduct all business via e-mail, assuming that a message sent is a message received. And while you're at it, hit send as soon as a message is written.

These three practices can doom any business relationship. Amazing isn't it: having a person answer the phone can actually be a competitive advantage! How easy do we make it for people to do business with us via the telephone or even our web site? I tried to book a reservation in a lovely hotel, only to be treated to a lovely online tour of the property without ever finding a contact number!

E-mail is great for data but not perfect for relationship building or critical pieces of information. In fact, often the E in e-mail stands for escalation and error. Two colleagues almost became bitter enemies over rapid fire e-mails that had the sting of a viper and the warmth of the Arctic. Neither thought to pick up the phone and talk things out. Thus, the lop-sided "chats" turned into internecine warfare. Talk about beating folks up!!

I discovered fascinating information about a client when we talked through my normal pre-program survey rather than depend upon an electronic transmission. I had thought my online survey was a time saving device. Instead, what it became was a gatekeeper, preventing me from digging deeper into an issue. Likewise, multiple choice answers on written or online customer service surveys will never result in information of substantive depth.

Forget the wisdom of the outer circle.

In organizational life, there's always an "inner circle" of power and control. Boards of Directors wield it. So do powerful departments. When practices and policies come only from the inner circle, the rank and file is not only unheard, but can turn its back on the organization. Members leave associations when they feel discounted and "not in the know".

Never say "thank you".

Mother was right when she made us kids write notes to relatives after Christmas. It's a forgotten habit that can go a long way to letting people feel appreciated. Likewise, pick up the phone and call a client or member who has a complaint and THANK THEM for making that complaint known. You'll discover a huge dividend in goodwill after they recover from the shock of your call.

Three Practices to KEEP customers and members.

Common courtesy isn't common. Be uncommon.

Service is an unnatural act. It takes emphasis away from ourselves and gives it to others. Be unnatural.

Time is the only non-renewal resource. Never waste people's time.

Hope I haven't wasted yours!

(c) 2005, McDargh Communications. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

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10 Critical Decisions For Successful E Discovery Part 1

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 982)
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The Information Management Journal/September / October 2007- Today's explosion of electronic data, coupled with the December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) concerning electronically stored information (ESI), requires information and legal professionals to expand their knowledge about handling electronic discovery. The recent changes to the FRCP include:

* Definitions and safe harbor provisions for the routine alterations of electronic files during routine operations such as back ups [Amended Rule 37(f)]

* Information about how to deal with data that is not reasonably accessible [Amended Rule 26(b)(2)(B)]

* How to deal with inadvertently produced privileged material [Amended Rule 26(b)(5)]

* ESI preservation responsibilities and the pre-trial conference. [Amended Rule 26(f)]

* Electronic file production requests [Amended Rules 33(d), 34, 26(f)(3), 34(b)(iii)]

There are many opinions about how ESI should be planned for, managed, organized, stored, and retrieved. Some of the available options are extremely costly in terms of their required financial and time commitments. Constantly changing technologies only add to the confusion. One area of confusion is the distinction between computer forensics and electronic discovery; there is a significant difference. These are described in the sidebar Computer Forensics vs. Electronic Discovery.

Making the Right Choices

Successfully responding to e-discovery within the constraints of the amended FRCP requires organizations to make many critical decisions that will affect the collection and processing of ESI.

Collection Decisions

The following questions need immediate answers:

1. Are e-mail files part of this project? If so, do any key people maintain an Internet e-mail account, in addition to their corporate accounts?

The sheer volume of transactions for large e-mail providers prohibits the storage of massive amounts of mail files. Many Internet e-mail account providers, such as AOL, BellSouth, and Comcast, retain their e-mail logs no longer than 30 days. If a case could potentially require the exploration of e-mail from Internet accounts, the discovery team must expeditiously request the records, or they may be gone forever. This usually requires a subpoena. In rare cases, fragments of Internet e-mail may be recovered forensically from an individual's hard drive.

2. Is there any chance illegal activity may be discovered?

Many cases involving electronic data uncover wrongdoings. These situations may involve a member of the technology department or a highly technical employee. In these cases, an organization's first inclination may be to terminate the employee(s) involved and determine the extent of any damage prior to notifying law enforcement agencies.

This may be exactly the WRONG thing to do. If the wrongdoing is by a technical person, there is a chance that he or she is the only person who knows how to access the files, find the problem, or fix it. This is often the person who knows the passwords for mission-critical applications. The technical employee usually has the ability to work and access company files remotely. Unless such access is eliminated prior to the employee's termination, it is possible that a terminated or disgruntled employee may access the network and do great damage.

A better solution is to restrict the employee's complete access privileges, both local and remote. The employee is then notified of management's knowledge of the situation and given an opportunity to cooperate to minimize the damage. If the situation involves criminal matters, especially if financial or medical records have been compromised, a good decision is to involve law enforcement as early as possible. Electronic criminals frequently disappear and destroy all evidence of their activities.

3. Is it possible that deleted or hidden files may play an important role in this case?

There are three ways to collect electronic files for discovery:

* Forensically ะ as described in the sidebar

* Semi-forensically ะ using non-validated methods and applications to capture files

* Non-forensically using simple cut and- paste copy methods to move copies of files from one location to another. These methods do not include hashing files to ensure the files have not changed, which involves using a hash algorithm to create a mathematical fingerprint of one or more files that will change if any change is made to the collection.

For some matters, the content of electronic documents is all that matters. The context of the files ะ who created them, how they are kept, how they have been accessed, if they have been changed or deleted ะ is not as important.

For other cases, contextual information, including finding deleted files, is vital and requires a forensic collection. This includes

* Ensuring legal search authority of the data

* Documenting chain of custody

* Creating a forensic copy using validated forensic tools that create hash records

* Using repeatable processes to examine and analyze the data

* Creating a scientific report of any findings

Determining the value of electronic forensic file collection must be done prior to any data being captured. Once semi- or non-forensic methods have been used, it is impossible to return records to their original states.

4. Are backup tapes part of an active collection?

Some cases involve historical issues, making the method of handling computer backups important to address immediately.

Most businesses use a schedule of rotating their backup media. For example, in a four-week rotation, daily backups are done for a week and then those tapes (or drives) are taken offsite for storage. A new set of media is used for the second, third, and fourth weeks, and then those three tapes are stored offsite. On the fifth week, the tapes/drives from the first week are reused. This process is done for financial reasons, as it is extremely cost-efficient.

Backup tapes may become part of the active information required to be kept under a litigation hold. This requires cessation of any rotation schedule, and the 2006 amendments to the FRCP make it critical for the legal team to convey that information to the technology employees responsible for business continuity processes.

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Engage Your Customer Write About Benefits

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 1111)
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Think quick. In 10 seconds, can you list the 5 key benefits you offer your customers?

I bet you said "Yes". But are you sure you listed benefits? If you'll bear with me for another 10 seconds, I'd like to test out a theory on you.

Recap your answers - maybe even write them down. Now list the 5 main things your business does. In other words, what are your 5 core services? What are the 5 core features of your product?

If your first list looks anything like your second, chances are you're mistaking features for benefits. As a result, it's likely that your marketing materials aren't engaging your customer. Customers don't want to know what you can do. They want to know what you can do FOR THEM.

Don't talk features - talk benefits.

Don't be alarmed. You're not alone. Most business owners and marketing managers are so close to their product or service that they have a lot of trouble distinguishing benefits from the features of their offering. Ask a web host "what are the benefits of your service?", and you'll likely hear something along the lines of, "we offer load-balanced server clusters." But that's not a benefit... that's what they do. The benefit is superior uptime and performance.

In fact, so many people think features instead of benefits that it can work in your favour - to dramatic effect. If you can accurately identify your benefits, and convey those benefits to your market, you'll be light-years ahead of most of your competition. You'll be converting leads into sales while they're still bogged down trying to promote features.

So if you've ever sat down to write a sales letter and wondered how you're going to grab your reader's attention, or you've ever gone 'round in circles writing draft after draft of web copy without ever hitting the mark, now you know where you were going wrong.

The only question remaining is, how do you do it right? Advertising copywriters and website copywriters do it all the time - and most of the time, they do it with benefits. Benefits are the copywriter's holy grail. But if you're not a seasoned copywriter, how do you identify the benefits you offer your customers?

There are any number of ways to identify the benefits you offer. This article discusses just three:

1) Customer Research

2) Speak to Your Sales Team

3) Make it Easy for Your Customer to Get Buy-In

The method you choose depends on your time constraints, budget, and level of customer interaction.

1) Customer Research

The most obvious way to identify benefits is to ask your existing customers. They're spending a lot of money on your offering, so you can be sure they know what benefit they're getting from it. (In many cases, it can be handy to ask them what benefits they'd like to be getting from you too!) Unfortunately, like everyone else, your customers are busy people. In most cases, you won't get useful feedback by simply sending an email enquiry. You have to make it easy for them to respond, and you have to make it worth their while. Think about questionnaires and surveys for quantitative data, and interviews and focus groups for qualitative data. These are the simplest techniques, but you still have to make sure you interpret the results appropriately. And always remember that they're self-report methods. People will sometimes tell you what they think you want to hear. (That's also why you have to word your questions very carefully - try not to ask leading questions.) Of course, there are plenty of other research techniques around. Do a bit of homework and find the methods which best suit your business requirements. But don't get carried away by the possibilities. All the research data in the world is pointless if you're not talking the language of your customer.

2) Speak to Your Sales Team

Sadly, not every business can afford to invest in market research. If your budget doesn't stretch far enough, try talking to your sales people. They're out in the field every day, talking to customers. And because their livelihood depends on their success in engaging customers, chances are they'll be able to tell you what your customers want to know. (A word of warning, though... Be careful not to make lofty promises. Unlike your sales team, written collateral doesn't generate a rapport with your customers. Customers won't make as many allowances, so you can only stretch the truth so far in writing before your credibility suffers. What's more, if you do push the boundaries, you're more likely to be held to your word!)

3) Make it Easy for Your Customer to Get Buy-In

If you don't have the budget for in-depth customer research, and you don't have a sales team, a good tip is to imagine how your customer gets buy-in from their boss. Quite often, the decision maker is someone higher up the food chain than your direct audience. Your audience will probably be the key stakeholder - they'll be the user of your product, or the recipient of your service. But when they find an offering they like, there's a good chance they'll have to sell it to someone further up the line. If you can make this sale easier, you'll have a foot in the door. Don't just appeal to the sensibilities of the direct audience. You also need to ask yourself what they need to know to convince the decision maker. If the decision maker is a CFO, think Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). If the decision maker is a CIO or MIS, think performance, technological sustainability, availability, manageability, and ease of integration. If the decision maker is a CEO, think liability, risk management, and ROI. And only use jargon to prove you know your stuff. Remember... jargon will probably have the ultimate decision maker scratching their head, not reaching for their cheque book.

There are many many more ways to identify benefits. This is just a very superficial snapshot of some techniques you might like to try. At the very least they'll get you thinking benefits.

In the end, the message is simple. Forget all the fancy talk about complicated revolutionary marketing principles. Forget new-age hard-sell advertising quick-fixes. Forget looking to so-called "experts" for solutions. Just think benefits. And if you can accurately do that, the rest is just mechanics. Once you know what you want to write about, you just need to put pen to paper. And that's a whole 'nother story!

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The Golden Rule Of Customer Service

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 491)
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"Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Don't worry; I'm not trying to take you to Sunday school under the pretense of a business article! However, in one form or another we have learned this rule for as long as we can remember. Many people try their best to apply this rule in their everyday lives. But, how many of us try to follow such a simple principle when it comes to business?

If you think about it, it could single handedly be the most important rule to follow in business. After unpleasant sales encounters, most customers are not most upset with the product or service that they purchased. Sure that may have been the root of the problem. But, most people understand that we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes things don't work!

The reason most people leave these situations upset is because of the way that they've been treated. They feel that they have spent the money for your product or service that for one reason or another did not perform properly. This upsets them, but what really angers them is that they feel that no one cares.

We've all had negative customer service experiences. Those of us in sales have most likely been on both sides of such exchanges.

When we're in the salesperson role, we may be running ragged from an extremely busy day. We may have issues going on in our personal life. We might simply have gotten up in a bad mood that morning. There's nothing innately wrong with any of those things. However, it is our job to find a way to put all of those things aside to help the people we're paid to assist. This is why I feel that sales people should really be required to take Acting 101! Ideally, we would always be able to genuinely be interested in listening to our customers and helping them find the solutions that work best for them. But, we all know that that's pretty much impossible everyday, absent a fairly large prescription of Prozac! Salespeople are just that, people. We're not always going to be at the top of our game, but we must be able to "act" as if we are. Convincingly, act as if we are!

On the other hand, being that salespeople are people, we are constantly faced with these situations in which we are the customer. Undoubtedly, you have run into a few salespeople who have irritated you or who may not be quite as helpful as you'd like.

Now, obviously, we will never be able to be perfect in all of our customer interactions. However, if we were to try and keep the good old "Golden Rule" in our consciousness at all times when dealing with customers, I think we'd find our jobs more enjoyable, our customers happier and yes, even our profits growing!

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The Best Help Desks On The Internet

(category: Customer-Service, Word count: 497)
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If you are having a technical issue with your computer, and you need assistance, your best bet is to call your manufacturers technical support line. In most cases, technical support is part of the package when you first purchased your computer. If, for some reason, you are unable to use your computer manufacturers help desk services, here are a few free help desk sites on the Internet.

Tech Support Guy claims to be the #1 tech support site on the web and can be found at Tech Support Guy help desk site offers free assistance to users of Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP and Linux.

This site is free because it is run completely by volunteers and is paid for by donations. Donations are requested but not required to use this site. The way this site works is that first you must search the topic of you problem. If you can't find it, then you can post your technical issue on one of Tech Support Guy's forum pages where other users of the site will try and assist you.

One positive aspect of this site is that it has an extensive forum of questions from previous users so you will most likely receive the answer to your technical issue pretty quickly. One negative aspect of this site is that it is up to you to find the answer to your technical issue. There isn't a customer service support representative to walk you through your technical issue at this help desk.

5 S tar Support technical services can be found on the web at This help desk provides support to users of Windows, Linux, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Netscape, Windows Messenger, AOL, Networking troubleshooting, Microsoft Office Products.

Simply enter your technical issue in a web form that will be emailed to several volunteer technical support representatives and then wait to receive your reply back. You may receive several replies from several different representatives and each solution may be different. You may email the representative back if you are unable to satisfactorily fix your technical issue.

For people who want a solution faster, there is a method available where you can phone a computer support specialist and they can talk you through a solution to your technical issue. There is a small fee for this service however and can be purchased in annual, monthly or per incident increments.

Another service the 5 star offers is free PC help tutorials on topics such as Clean Installation of Windows XP, Install a Home Network, Configuring a Network Card and Partition a Hard Drive.

The best thing about the forums is that you will usually receive good quality answers to your technical or general computing questions. There are a few dedicated people that seem to field a majority of the questions, so depending on the time and day; your answers may vary greatly.

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