Tag: Roger Robinson

The Bee-Attitudes, 10 Keys for Customer Service

By Roger Robinson, Ph. D. Certified Score Mentor

Bee-Attitudes - keys for customer service

We all know that success in business is a direct function of customer service. We constantly implore our associate to exceed customer expectations. But do we ever teach them how. Following are some hints based on over 50 successful years in business. We called them our ten Bee-Attitudes, our keys to providing absolutely awesome customer service.

  1. Be friendly, greet every customer sincerely when they enter your business or shortly thereafter. Make them feel welcome. Wear a smile, put a smile in your voice. They will notice.
  2. Be identifiable, always wear your business identity. Customers want to know who you are and who to call if they need assistance. Easy identification of associates may prevent a customer from becoming confused and just walking out.
  3. Be presentable, convey your professionalism and pride in the way you present yourself. Keep yourself and your business neat, clean and well organized inside and outside.
  4. Be informed, know what goes on at your business. The more information you convey to your customers, the more confident they will be in your products and services.
  5. Be effective, process customer transactions smoothly, efficiently and courteously. Make their experience enjoyable. The customer is your boss, s/he pays your salary.
  6. Be helpful, suggest additional purchases. Customers are often overwhelmed or uniformed about all you can do for them.
  7. Be agreeable and helpful. Handle complaints courteously. The customer may not always be right but s/he is always the customer. No customers, no jobs.
  8. Be positive, acknowledge customers as they leave. Whether they have spent money or not they should be appreciated. They will remember how well they were treated. Your last transaction with a customer becomes that customer’s lasting impression of your business.
  9. Be conscientious, maintain an awareness or your customers, answer questions helpfully. Convey to them in words and actions that they are your most important priority.
  10. Be professional, thank customers and invite them to return.  Customers don’t want to be taken for granted, convey your appreciation to them. Create a lasting impression that will make them want to come back. Treat them as you would like to be treated. Make your goal absolutely awesome service, exceed their expectations.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts
and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

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The Future of Nonprofits, a New Approach

By Roger Robinson, PhD, Certified Score Mentor

The Future of Nonprofits, a New ApproachNonprofits are traditionally defined as legal entities that conduct business for the benefit of the general public. They are without shareholders and without a profit motive. They cannot distribute corporate income to shareholders. The funds acquired must stay within the entity accounts to pay for reasonable salaries, expenses, and the activities of the corporation. An excessive salary may cause the entity to lose its nonprofit status.

Nonprofit corporations are exempt from the income taxes that affect other corporations only if they conduct business exclusively for the benefit of the general public, i.e. are mission driven. They may charge money for their services. Contributions to tax-exempt nonprofit organizations are tax deductible, subject to Internal Revenue Service approval.

Today, given the difficulty nonprofits have in finding funds, a new approach is evolving that resolves or at least minimizes the dependency of nonprofits on donations. These new entities are caller social entrepreneurships. They are defined as mission driven organizations that use entrepreneurial behaviors to deliver a social value. They cater to the underserved through an entrepreneurially oriented entity that is financially independent, self-sufficient, and sustainable. They are lead by social entrepreneurs, ambitious, persistent individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Note, this definition of social entrepreneurship does not extend to philanthropists, activists, companies with foundations, or organizations that are simply socially responsible. While these agents are needed and valued, they are not, by definition, social entrepreneurs.

Some social entrepreneurs overcome the challenge of funding by having an earned income strategy. They operate a social enterprise performing hybrid social and commercial entrepreneurial activities to achieve self-sufficiency. They still seek donations but also operate as a for profit entity. For example, the entity may operate as a restaurant profitably during the day and then utilize its facility and staff during the evening to create meals for the homebound, thus fulfilling its mission. The income developed during the day supports the evening activity hence it is meets the IRS definition of a nonprofit. Revenues and profits generated are used only to further improve the delivery of social values.

Caveat however a danger. If the IRS treats the income generated as unrelated business income, it is taxable. That being said, this issue can easily be resolved by careful, appropriate accounting procedures.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts
and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here.

Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

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Setting Strategic Business Goals

By Roger Robinson, PhD, Certified Score Mentor

Setting strategic goals helps you know where you are going. As Joseph Bronkowski noted in The Ascent of Man, one of the major differences between mankind and other forms of life is our ability to think in terms of the future consequences of present acts. Thinking in terms of future consequences is another way of saying goal setting, an end toward which effort is directed (Webster’s). This is a dominant attribute of human behavior, whether we are acting in groups or individually. In the business world we call this process business planning. It can be as simple as setting a destination when entering a car or as complicated developing a strategic plan. The critical elements of planning, and specifically to strategic business planning, include the creation of goals, of what the organization really wants to accomplish and how it will be accomplished. The prime task of strategic business planning is thinking through the overall mission of the organization:

“…that is, of asking the question, what is our business? This leads to the setting of objectives, the development of strategies, and the making of today’s decisions for tomorrow’s results.” (Peter Drucker)

Thus strategic business planning is the determination of where an organization is going over the next 3 to 5 years and how it’s going to get there.
Goals and the process of goal are invaluable, they motivate. Goal setting theory of motivation supports the assumption that behavior that leads to performance is a function of conscious goals and intentions. For this to occur there must be:

  • Involvement in the goal setting process
  • Acceptance of the goal as realistic, attainable, meaningful
  • Commitment to the attainment of the goal
  • Appropriate intrinsic and extrinsic

Once this has occurred a goal becomes an acquired motive – it has drive strength, the ability to move the individual and/or the organization to its accomplishment.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts
and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here.

Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

 

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