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Tag: help

What Does Good Customer Service Mean to You? #AtYourService

What Does Good Customer Service Mean to You? #AtYourService

Good customer service is so important. Being responsive, helpful and polite when customers need your assistance can mean the difference between repeat custom and losing the client for good. In fact, out of a survey of 600 people 75% agreed that good customer service is incredibly important! This group of people stated that good communication skills and manners, as well as being able to access the correct support, are what makes for excellent customer service.

Some of the most common annoyances with customer service includes; poor communication, bad manners, not having direct access to the correct person, slow response times and language barriers. Unfortunately we’ve all been at the receiving end of poor customer service at some point. Generally though, bad service is the exception rather than the rule. Many of us have tales of positive customer service that stick in our minds, rendering the poor ones a mere unpleasant memory!

 

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Positive customer service –

I recently had a really positive customer service experience, involving a large UK toy store. With two girls in the house, you can imagine what Christmas morning looked like for us. Unfortunately, one of my eldest daughters presents and one that she was incredibly excited about, stopped working after about an hour of use. This was obviously really upsetting for her and disappointing for us as parents, after all no parents wants to see their children upset. Especially not on Christmas day.

So Boxing Day saw us trekking into town, with a hope of exchanging said gift – not the ideal start to a relaxing post-Christmas day! However, when we got there the staff were so apologetic. They made a fuss of our daughter whilst another member of staff swapped the toy quickly and without fuss. We left with well wishes from the staff and smiles on our faces. More importantly, our daughter could finally play with the much loved toy. In the end it was no bother to make the trip out in the middle of the festive period, all thanks to excellent customer service!

 

78% of those who took part in the survey agreed that larger companies provide better customer service. This was certainly the case in respect to our experience!

 

I asked a few of my fellow bloggers about their positive customer service experiences too, here are a few that really stood out to me;

 

Beth from Twinderelmo: ‘Our local shoe shop are always brilliant. Not only do they offer a discount for my twins but if they don’t have the size/style in we want, they ring around to find them and then call me to let me know they’re in stock. They’re all so friendly and it’s such a small town that they’re all local ladies working there. It’s so nice to have such a personal experience!’

Jodie from Maidenhead Mum:  ‘I bought a rug from Hus and Hem (gorgeous online shop) and I wanted it in time for my guests at Christmas so the house looked nice. I then got an email saying it would be delivered after Christmas. I emailed them and was furious. They then rang me up and said they couldn’t do anything about the delivery as it was coming from another country, but they would arrange to let me borrow one of theirs from the shop for Christmas and I could send it back to them after when mine arrived! Amazing!’

Adam from The Coaching Parent:  ‘I was flying with Norwegian. I had my own sandwiches as my meal for the trip. As I was clumsily unpacking them, one of the flight attendants saw me struggling and simply gave me a napkin (without being requested). It was really kind, and surprising. I felt like I was really cared about.’

Victoria from The Growing Mum: ‘I rang Sainsbury’s Bank to complain about a credit card charge. Turns out it was correct and it was my fault but they offered to cancel it anyway which was amazing!’

Charlie from Our Altered Life: ‘Many years ago I stayed in a hotel called Charter House in Warwick for the weekend. The service was amazing the whole time but on the second morning we came down for breakfast to THE most incredible eggs. Just yolks and not a scrap of white. The owner had noticed that I’d left all my whites the previous morning (they make me sick) and had ensured there wasn’t a tiny bit of white to be seen. Over 12 years later, I still remember that little touch that left a lasting impression.’

Jenny from Mama Foodie ‘I rang Amazon as I thought they hadn’t delivered when it said they had. They refunded the cost and gave me a free month of prime. It turned out I did receive it!’

 

 

If you need help with any customer service queries, you can visit https://contactcustomerservicesnumber.co.uk/ to help make the process super simple!

 

More interesting customer service statistics –

 

The most popular companies with the best customer service: banks, supermarkets, John Lewis and Amazon!

73% of those asked thought that being able to talk to the right person immediately makes for good customer service. Whilst 26% believe that being able to email the correct person is most important.

46% of those surveyed believe that customer service is better in the digital age.

Very few of those involved in the survey believe that customer service would have been better in previous decades.

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with CCSN.co.uk, who kindly provided the statistics included. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Credit and thanks goes to my fellow bloggers for their contributions.

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#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Whether you’ve been blogging for five years or five minutes, you’ll know that there is ALWAYS work to be done! It’s never ending, which is why we have to find time to complete as many tasks as we can throughout the day. I find that the key to keeping on top of my to-do list, is to assign certain tasks to certain times of the day. It’s crucial that I don’t attempt to complete tasks, when I know they’ll end up being abandoned half way through.

There are some tasks that I find are best completed everyday, in order to keep on top of them. Otherwise they spiral out of control, before we’ve even realised we’re behind! It’s so easy for us to shelve things at the back of our minds, but often we’ll forget to come back to them later. So, I have a little list of easy tasks that I know need to be completed everyday and I aim to do them before breakfast. Keeping on top of this list is a great way to keep my head in the game and to start off my day feeling productive!

 

Five easy morning tasks –

 

  1. Reply to comments left on your blog and social media

  2. Like and comment on Instagram posts within your niche.

  3. Retweet fellow blogger’s content on Twitter.

  4. Share your work to blogger support threads and linkys – provided you have time to come back later and complete the reciprocation requirements.

  5. Plan a blog post.

 

This may seem like a lot to get through before breakfast, but many of these tasks only take a few minutes to complete. Just imagine how much you can tick off of your to-do list if you stuck to this routine. Even it’s only for three mornings a week, you’re sure to feel more on top of your game than ever before!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

You might have seen disclaimers popping up on the blogs you regularly read. Disclaimers are really important to protect yourself and your readers, as often people with take advice from your blog. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your pearls of wisdom, as long as you make it clear that the information you are sharing may not be 100% accurate. It’s therefore important that you include a disclaimer help cover yourself if an individual acts on your advice.

Your disclaimer should be thorough and easy for your audience to read. If you’re really unsure about what you need to include, then seeking professional advice may be advisable. Here’s a brief outline of what a good disclaimer should include:

Terms of use –

Basically, letting your audience know that they’re reading at their own risk and free will.

Copyright –

Explain that you are the legal copyright holder of the material on your blog. Make it clear that others may NOT publish or reprint any of your work, unless they have your written consent.

Content –

Let your readers know that the content on your blog is written for entertainment purposes only. It’s essential to make it clear that you are NOT offering legal, professional or medical advice.

Privacy –

Make sure your readers and subscribers know that you will not NOT pass any of their personal details on to third parties. You also need to make it clear that you are NOT responsible for the privacy practices of your advertisers of blog commenters.

Reserve rights –

It’s good to reserve the right to shut your blog down, change the focus of it sell it or change the terms at any point and at your own discretion.

Sponsors and advertisers –

Make it clear that you are not responsible for the actions of your sponsors or advertisers.

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – WordPress Plugins You Need in Your Life!

#WorkshopWednesday – WordPress Plugins You Need in Your Life!

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

In case you’re unfamiliar with plugins, they’re the fancy bit of technology running behind the scenes of most blogs, making them look good and feel user-friendly. For example; if you see a Facebook feed on someone’s blog or a pop up appears, the site owner will have installed a plugin with that particular function.

I love plugins. I’m always searching for new ones to add to my blog, in an attempt to keep it as up to date and as eye-catching as possible. Much like the app stores on our phones, plugins are created by many different people and so it goes without saying that some are more functional than others. Also, similar to app stores, plugins can be rated by those that use them. This makes it much easier to separate the wheat from the chaff, so that you’re running the best possible plugins on the market.

Now to say I’ve tried a lot of plugins would be an understatement, but in doing so I’ve been able to find a reliable bunch that every blogger needs! Here are my favourites:

Broken Link Checker

I’m sure wading through and fixing broken links is a job that every blogger hates, but it’s essential nonetheless. This plugin makes things a little easier with its ‘bulk action’ option. Of course, you can only use this feature if you’re sure the links all fall under the same category. When they do though, it’s sure to save you a little extra time!

MiloTree Pop-Up

MiloTree is a widely used pop-up, encouraging your readers to follow you on social media. It’s a little box, that usually appears at the  bottom right of the screen when you visit a site. The great thing about MiloTree is that you can add whichever social media channel you feel needs a boost. MiloTree is used by a lot of bloggers and so most of us find it really inoffensive, in comparison to some pop-ups that are a little intrusive when you’re trying to read a post.

Revive Old Post

This one does what it says on the tin. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to this plugin, set time frames and even exclude certain posts. Once you’ve got your settings right, the plugin will publish content to your feeds at regular intervals. It’s really good for sharing old content that would otherwise be forgotten!

Rapidology

Rapidology creates beautiful opt-in forms that link directly to your email provider. You can create as many forms as you wish, linking them to all of your different mailing lists. One of the best things about Rapidology is the number of form designs there are to choose from. You can have them popping up, as banners or as widgets – there’s a form fit for every campaign you have running!

Social Media Feather

A blog isn’t complete without follow and share buttons! There are many different plugins available that enable social sharing and follow buttons. My favourite is Social Media Feather, it has a super modern look and is really easy to set up. Simple and effective!

Which plugins are your favourite?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Must have Apps for Bloggers

#WorkshopWednesday – Must have Apps for Bloggers

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

Personally, I find it difficult not to do most of my blogging on a laptop. When I’m writing I just can’t seem to make peace with smart phone or tablet keypads. I suppose I’m a little old school, but I need a trusty keypad to be able to churn out my best work!

There are however a handful of apps I have on my phone, that I just wouldn’t be without. They make the day-to-day side of blogging super simple and the notifications I get from some of them are great reminders, when time starts to leave me behind. From quick image editors, to scheduling and not forgetting the all important social media apps – the life of a blogger wouldn’t be complete without some of the best technology at their fingertips!

Here are a few of my favourites:

WordPress –

Now this one only applies if you’re a WordPress blogger. I find this app really useful for making quick amendments to posts and for adding images to posts directly from my phone. There’s also quick access to your stats among a few more of your standard WordPress features. For me, the best bit about this app is that it pushes comment notifications straight to mobile, making it really easy to engage with your audience!

PicMonkey –

Now if I’ve taken photo’s with my ‘big camera’, then I’ll edit them on my laptop ready for use. Like so many other bloggers though, more often than not I snap away on my phone as soon as a photo opportunity arises. I have been known to upload these images for editing too, but I’m also a big lover of PicMonkey – a really user friendly photo editing app. It’ll have your images looking Instagram ready in no time!

Tailwind –

I’ve written about Tailwind before so I won’t over egg this one. The app is a great extension of the desktop site, making searching for relevant content to schedule a breeze. If you like to schedule to Instagram too, you can prepare content using the Tailwind app. It will then notify you when it’s time for the content to be published – easy peasy!

Trello –

Again, I spoke about how amazing Trello is recently, so I won’t over do it. This app means that your organiser is will you at all times, notifying you when important deadlines are looming and allowing you to tick tasks off on the go! Trello can also be shared with others, so if you have some collaborative work going on you’ll be constantly updated on the progress of your partners!

Canva –

I use Canva a lot, it’s one of my favourite blogging tools. The app doesn’t have as many features as the desktop site, but it does give you access to your most recent work and allows you to modify it. I use this one regularly for creating my Pinterest vertical images – the template is there and I just edit and go!

Social media –

This one goes without saying. Quick access to social media is absolutely essential for every blogger out there!

Do you use any blogging apps?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Three Tools to Help You Become a Better Blogger

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Tools to Help You Become a Better Blogger

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

I know I’ve said this before, but all of the bloggers out there know how crazy the workload is. I swear you could sit at your laptop for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and you still wouldn’t get to the end of your to-do list. However much there is to do, we crack on because we love what we do. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get ourselves a little help along the way though!

Here are my three not-so-secret weapons that helped me become a better blogger:

Trello

I must admit I was a little late to the game with Trello, but now I can’t get enough. Having been a pen and paper sort of girl for far too long, I decided that having an online organiser would be more useful – seeing as I spend most of my time staring at a screen anyway!

Trello will help you to become more organised than you ever thought possible. You can plan as far ahead as you like, adding labels to tasks so you know what’s urgent and what’s not. You can also share your boards with others – if you’re working on a project with another blogger, it keeps you both in the loop. The advantages to Trello are endless, but the best thing about it is that you can get all of those ideas whirring around your head down and in order. Organisation is key in this blogging game and Trello makes it super easy to keep track!

Yoast SEO

I’m a little bit in love with Yoast. Before I installed this plugin I was totally at sea with SEO, I hadn’t taken anytime to really look into it and I certainly wasn’t getting it right. Yoast is the foundation to good SEO, it gives you clear direction as to what you need to do to get your posts picked up by search engines.

Once I began to understand SEO a little more through Yoast, it gave me the drive to do my own research to make sure I fully understood what the hell it’s all about. Now don’t get me wrong SEO can be a total nightmare at first, but lay the foundations with Yoast and take it from there – you won’t regret it!

Grammarly

Grammarly is a handy little tool that takes a thorough look at your work, to check your grammar. I wasn’t aware of this one until I started freelance writing, but clients often like a quick Grammarly check to be completed before any content is submitted.

I find this tool particularly useful when I’ve had a long day at the computer and the words begin to get a little fuzzy! We’re only human and sometimes we make mistakes, Grammarly is there to pick up on the things we miss before it’s too late!

 

What tools do you use to make you a better blogger?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Giveaways to Build up Your Audience

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Giveaways to Build up Your Audience

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

As a member of the blogging community it’s likely that you see a lot of giveaways popping up as you browse social media. Giveaways are a super way for brands to further their reach, getting their products and/or services out into the world for people to try out and hopefully recommend them to others. Running giveaways isn’t just beneficial for brands, they’re also a great way for bloggers to further their reach, to increase traffic to their blog and to increase follower and subscriber numbers across their social media platforms.

How do you get giveaways from brands?

Getting giveaways from brands is a lot easier than you might think, most of the time all you have to do is ask! Even if the brand or PR don’t mention a giveaway in their initial correspondence, simply asking them if they would like you to host one is usually met with a positive response. It’s a good idea to agree terms here too; will the prize be posted directly? How long will the giveaway run for? Make sure you’re both on the same page so the giveaway runs smoothly!

What products/services should you accept and host?

In theory there’s no restriction to the kinds of giveaways you should accept and host. In reality however, it’s good practice to host giveaways that are relevant to the niche of your blog. That way you’ll attract readers that may be interested in the rest of your content, not just that specific post therefore helping to build up your audience.

How do you host a giveaway?

Hosting a giveaway is really easy if you use widgets such as Rafflecopter or Gleam. Personally I’m a Gleam fan, I find it simple to use and install, I also think that it’s really user friendly when it comes to your audience entering your giveaways.

Setting up a Gleam giveaway is pretty self-explanatory once you’ve created your account. The platform walks you through each step; from setting start and end dates, adding entry options and including your terms and conditions. Once you’ve completed each step, you’re provided with a code to embed the widget into your post. It really is as easy as it sounds!

Adding entry options is a key area when you’re using giveaways to build up your audience.. You can add options such as visiting your Facebook page, following you on Twitter and subscribing to your You Tube channel. This gives you chance to showcase your social media platforms and to hopefully increase your following!

What terms and conditions should you include?

Including correct terms and conditions in your giveaways is essential. Hosting a giveaway doesn’t mean you can just create a competition and promote it across any platform, for anyone to enter by any means you see fit. There are UK regulations that have to be adhered to if you want to make sure that your giveaway is legal. HERE is a really useful article that will help you make sure you’re running your giveaways properly and most importantly, legally!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Create a Media Kit in Minutes

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Create a Media Kit in Minutes

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

A media kit is a document that showcases who you are as a blogger, what services you provide and how much you charge for them. If you’re a blogger that intends to monetise their blog, then having a media kit to hand is essential for sending to brands and PR’s at their request. It doesn’t have to be a huge document, offering reams of information. A short, to the point account of who you are and what you can offer the brand will suffice.

Personally, I think Canva is a super way to create documents like this. It’s simple to use and allows you to add a little design so that you’re media kit matches your branding. It also allows you to save documents in PDF format, making it perfect for sending straight over to the people who may want to work with you!

 

What Should Your Media Kit Include?

 

An introduction –

The best way to start your media kit is to include an insight into who you are and what your blog is about. Think about who your target audience is and the value you offer them. Include information about the journey of your blog and what you’ve achieved so far. Humbly outline your successes, letting brands know that you’re a contender and that you’re blog is going places.

 

Your stats –

In this section include all the significant numbers that you’ve spent time building up. Facebook page likes, Twitter followers and so on. Don’t be too worried if some platforms have lower figures than others, it still counts as reach and it shows your working towards building up your following further.

It’s a good idea to include your domain authority here too and the number of monthly visitors to your blog.

 

Brands you’ve previously worked with –

This is super important to show that you’ve worked with brands before and that you’re familiar with how the process works.

 

Your services and rates –

Think about what services you’re willing to offer and how much you’ll charge for them, separately and as part of a package. I have a rate card that includes everything from sponsored posts right down to single tweets. Having a rate card doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for negotiation. It just gives you a starting point, letting brands and PR’s know that you know your worth and won’t be working for nothing.

 

Contact information –

Does what it says on the tin – email address, social media handles etc. Make it easy for them to get in touch and find you!

 

Testimonials –

Including testimonials is a great way for brands to get a little insight into the service they’re going to get from you. A couple of positive testimonials could mean the difference between getting the gig and the brand moving on to someone else.

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

It’s after you get into blogging, that you realise the sheer amount of work that it takes to keep your corner of the internet running smoothly. Most of the bloggers I know are up until the wee, small hours on a regular basis, often there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why it’s essential to develop a few time saving tactics to help you on your way. If you can save a few minutes here and there, it all adds up to time better used elsewhere!

During my time as a blogger, I’ve developed a few key time saving tactics. It makes my life easier and saves me a tonne of extra work in the long run!

Email Templates

Having templates saved on your laptop or phone is a real time saver. More often than not emails from brands and PRs will command a similar reply, so I have a draft email tucked away ready to copy, paste and tweak when I need to. This is especially useful when the girls are around, as I simply don’t have the time to spend on typing a fresh email each and every time I need to reply. Obviously this isn’t always the case, some emails do need a little more thought, but when I can I use a template!

Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m a huge lover of keyboard shortcuts. There are so many you can use, some you will find useful and some you won’t. Have a play around with a few and get used to using them, honestly it makes blogging so much quicker and easier. My most used shortcuts are ‘ctrl + c’ to copy and ‘ctrl + v’ to paste, simple yet incredibly effective in the time saving game!

Store Commonly Used Hashtags

If like me, you’re an Insta lover, the chances are that you’ll have a set of hashtags that you commonly use alongside your image and description. The hashtag limit on Instagram is thirty and there’s absolutely no way I can remember that many – especially as I use a variety of different combinations depending on the image I’m posting. That’s why I have a few different sets of hashtags stored in the notes app on my phone. Copy, paste and voila! Done in seconds!

 

Do you have any time saving tactics?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Scheduling Content

#WorkshopWednesday – Scheduling Content

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

With blogging comes social media and a lot of it. It’s really easy to lose hours of valuable time manually inputting your content into the various social media platforms. Not only is this incredibly boring, it’s uneconomical when you think about the worth of your time and how it could be put to better use.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be posting to each of your social media platforms. I’m saying you should put a scheduling system in place to do it for you! Most, if not all scheduler’s have a free version that you can try out, but the paid versions are much more efficient and will literally save you hours.

I’ve tried a few different platforms including Hootsuite and Crowdfire, but SocialOomph is bar far may favourite. I pay around $3/week for a Twitter Unlimited account. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but when you begin to reap the benefits it will feel more than worth the spend. After all, you have to speculate to accumulate! There’s a free trial available too which lets you get a feel for how everything works.

My Twitter Unlimited subscription allows me to schedule more tweets an hour than the free version and it allows for tweets to be repeated until I pause them. This means that I no longer spend hours every Sunday evening, inputting my evergreen tweets. One tweet, click repeat, DONE! I’m a huge fan of the queue reservoirs it offers too. I use it a lot for tweets that I want to be published in a continuous loop, such as inspirational quotes to keep us all motivated!

Your time is valuable and finding ways to make the most of it is essential to make your business tick! Find a scheduling system that suits you and save you self a whole load of hassle!

 

*This post contains an affiliate link. I only recommended services I use and love, so I know you’ll be in good hands! 

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