As a business owner you want to make sure you are giving your clients the best service around … all the time! But it is human nature to let things fall through the cracks as we juggle a myriad of things, most times not purposefully, but it happens.
So how do you keep your clients happy, get the work done and keep track of what is going on overall in your business (and ultimately in your clients business)?
Project Management Tools
Using apps and software programs that can help you keep everything in one place and that can allow you, at a quick glance, to see what has been done, what is on hold and what still needs to be done as well as the timeline and so on is imperative in this day and age. Having effective project management tools in your business is the best thing you can for yourself and your clients.
Now, there are so many available out there, which one should you choose? That all depends on the type of business you have. Is your niche marketing, are you a graphic designer, website developer, customer service or a blogger? The type of business you have will determine which tool will best serve you and provide you with the outcome that desire.
In this article I am going to discuss two lesser used tools which specialize in the marketing space and the customer service space. CoSchedule and FreshDesk – Both are great project management tools for the marketing and customer service sector (and can be applied to many other sectors too).
Which one is the most beneficial for your business? Let’s find out …
CoSchedule is great for the marketing industry as it has a Marketing Suite built in with features such as:
Marketing Calendar – A global visual real-time calendar that allows you to see (wherever you may be in the world) how the content will look with graphics and text. This can be shared with the entire team. The calendar is customizable and can be changed as the business need changes.
Content Organizer – Imagine a triage for your content schedule and strategy. Prioritize things and shift as needed, all in real-time and allowing your global team to access it all.
Work Organizer –This one is all about your team. Help them reach their full potential, set deadlines, allow them to see progress and so on. This will alleviate bottlenecks and possible missing of important deadlines.
Social Organizer – Make templates so that they can be filled in and re-used, eliminate the busy work. Keep the workflow and work communication transparent and you can automatically set tasks and social plans and content that need to recur. “Set and Forget” is their motto.
Asset Organizer – Categorize the work at hand. Quickly locate and access and use the folders you need to get the work done, on time every time.
Overall this feature is perfect for business and enterprise. It allows strategies to be put in place, it allows for flexibility, it gives global real-time views so that a team can have access no matter where they may be in the world. Transparency and customization is also evident in this feature of CoSchedule.
If you are an individual or a startup, do not fret, you too can benefit from the Editorial Calendar feature of CoSchedule. These include:
Blog Editorial Calendar
Social Media Publishing
Re-queue Social Automation
You can organize everything in one place and schedule out content and articles without the headaches. The automation and integration features of the key benefits with this feature.
Is providing stellar customer service more your buzz? Then FreshDesk may take preference between these two project management tools. Let us find out more.
“Trusted by 150,000+ businesses”
That statement says a lot, there are many reasons as to why this statistic is the truth and here are some of them.
Convert emails to tickets – This feature allows you to take emails from customers and automatically turn them into tickets and respond that much faster. Never miss another email.
Intuitive Reporting – This feature is great because you track team performance and customer satisfaction.
Social Helpdesk – This is a brilliant feature as it allows you to take Tweets and Facebook messages and automatically convert them into tickets. You can now respond to customers anywhere, anytime.
Smart Automations – Automate the ticket assignment process
Seamless Integrations – Have everything your support team needs in one place with ease of access.
Knowledge base – Set up a Knowledge Base. This allows customers to possibly find the answers they are looking for, and therefore they would not have to wait on a response from the support team. For example, adding screenshots or links to changing passwords, or changing profile details and so on.
Overall, Freshdesk would be great for anyone who wants to create a seamless, effective communication channel with their customers and provide high-end customer service around every corner.
Is this you?
These two project management tools are by no means the only ones available, however they seem really great and capable of handling the tasks at hand.
As you can tell they both have different functions in the workplace, but that is not to say you would not benefit from both. Essentially, if you have a product or service that you offer, you need to have systems and processes in place (CoSchedule) and a customer service platform (FreshDesk).
For a comparison as far as usability and price points go, you can click here and get up to date information to help you decide on the way forward.
You do have what it takes! Some of the comments I have heard lately:
“What is your new year resolution?”
“What have you given up for the next month?”
“Are you detoxing”
“It doesn’t even feel like I’ve just come back from leave”,
I have found the start of 2020 quite hectic, but isn’t it like this every year?
Everything you never got to at the end of 2019, now you are faced with. There is no running away from it or leaving it for tomorrow. It’s all about the new year, the new you, but I’m finding I’m still the old me. I don’t have any new year resolutions, I am not fasting, dieting or not drinking for one or two months. I find myself merely carrying on, after a couple of stress-free days after a very stressful festive season – not any different from every other year.
A new strategy
I went to a conference this past weekend and as everyone spoke about the strategy for the year ahead, with motivating slides, I was faced with the same old same old, until the sales director stood up – known to be a bit of a left hand throw – starting his motivational speech with this:
“Who of you had a bad 2019? Who never lost the weight they wanted to? Who never achieved what they wanted to?” – as many people in the audience lifted there hands, he said, “you know who you have to blame? Yourself.”
Gasp, shock and horror. How can I be to blame? He carried on with saying, “Stop blaming your boss. Stop making excuses. Stand up and finally be the change you keep looking to everyone else for. If you are having a bad day, deal with it, decide why it went wrong and change it. “
And finally it hit me, we all make mistakes, we all have bosses who need to pull us in line when we are not bringing our A game, we all need that push sometimes to get things done. And these all have one thing in common – it’s you. You are the one that’s in control. No one else.
I am my own worst enemy
Plan, plan ahead. We all say it again and again, failing to plan is planning to fail but we never actually do so.
I make lists and lists and lists and then never look at them.
I don’t take notes as I think I will remember and then I don’t.
There is no one else to blame but myself. I am my own worst enemy.
So for 2020 I am going to take the time to grab a pen and notebook, to actually take the notes and to actually look at them. I am going to plan, make the time to actually sit down and do the task at hand. It is okay for me to tell someone to wait, to not answer that call and to focus on what I am busy on now. To not run around like a headless chicken saying yes to everything.
I don’t know if it was Gandhi, Buddha, Abraham Lincoln or Albert Einstein – they seem to always say smart things – but you cannot please everyone. Saying yes to everyone else is actually saying no to yourself. No to your plan, to your time and no to getting things done.
I tend to overflow my basket. A jack of all trades. A master of some (not none as I get them at least 80% done – it’s the 20% that’s stolen by someone else).
That is me for 2020. It’s all about me, it comes down to me, no one else. I have the power to create the year I want to have.
Welcome to 2020. And welcome to the year that I start to pick up a book and read again! How about you?
Did you know that thoughts are nutrition for the brain? So it would make sense to feed your thoughts with only the most inspirational, motivational and valuable information as possible right? And that is why reading a good, thought provoking or information rich book is so important.
Now, knowing this I went on the search to find some of the top reads for you (and me) to indulge in this year. Whether you are just on a journey of enlightenment or you are a business owner needing the motivation to stay on track and to be the most successful at whatever it is you choose to do, there is sure to be something out there that will tickle your fancy.
Before I dive into that thought let me summarise what, for me, makes a good read:
A great opening line or three. Something that immediately gets my attention and makes me want to read more because I know that yes, I am going to be a changed person at the end of this book.
Not just any information though, relevant information. Information which I can relate to and that is relevant to the title and description of the book.
A great take away that I can put into practice easily and that gives some sort of reward
And lastly – it must make me want to refer it to someone and make me want to read it again at some point
Right, now that I have that out the way – let us get to the list and where you can find it.
My pick of 5 books:
Just to be clear, this is merely my suggestion from the plethora of books I found listed. These are the ones which caught my eye and made we take notice. Perhaps you have seen others that speak to you more – that’s awesome!
Girl Stop Apologizing – by Rachel Hollis – If you fear taking on new challenges or taking the steps to do new things because you do not want to fail or be embarrassed, then this book is for you. Great read!
Manage your Money like a F*cking Grownup – by Sam Beckbessinger – I just loved the name of this one really. But in all seriousness, I think the key to success and wealth and just balance overall is learning to manage everything, and especially when it comes to money.
The Power Of Positive Thinking – by Norman Vincent Peale – This one speaks for itself and is one I have actually read. The mind is a powerful thing and when we can tune it to be on a positive frequency all the time, oh wow, amazing things will happen for you. Things you can only imagine. Get this book if you are in a slump and need some motivation and a mind shift.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan – The whole premise of this book really caught my attention and is on my list of must reads this year. I also asked myself, “What is the one that if done right can make everything else in my life easier?” I have not come up with an answer as yet but I am guessing that by reading the book, it will help me on my path of discovery.
The Disruption Mindset – by Charlene Li – This books shows us how many businesses use disruption to be successful. They disrupt the norm without thinking about it, and the results are quite phenomenal. Think Uber, AirBnB
Imagine a house filled with friends and family. Filled with love and laughter. A fridge full of food and a big Christmas tree and under it a whole lot of beautifully wrapped presents.
That sounds wonderful right?
Well the reality is that there is a house filled with people, some family, some not, who have fallen on hard times and life has given them a bit of a beating.
The fridge is lean and so are the cupboards, but the upside is that they have a place to sleep and call “home” for a while. Or at least until life decides they have had their run of bad times and are ready to be rewarded and start over again.
Another plus is that the children in this house will have some gift to look forward to on Christmas day because the angels that are in charge of this house have made sure that there is some joy this festive season.
This house is called The Angel House and it is run by The Table View Angels.
Who are the Angels
The Table View Angels are an NPO who have been involved in my community for many years. They have recently (after a lot of blood, sweat and tears) opened the first safe house in the area. This house allows families and individuals who have found themselves in a downward spiral to have a safe haven, a space to come up for air and to start focusing on starting a fresh.
The Angels believe in a hand up instead of a hand out and provide many services to those who are needing it, from food for a month just so the single mom can get back on her feet, through to a job portal WhatsApp group. Through this group many have found their new jobs which have led to their new lives – best of all – some of these once helpless and hopeless people have come and pledged their support to the Angels by helping with fundraisers, donating money themselves or just packing the weekly food parcels.
So how have I assisted the Angels?
So you may wonder, “Have you actually done anything to help this amazing organization?” Well yes I have – and this Christmas I intend to give even more.
I am by no means a very wealthy person however I know, just like many of us, I have things that truly are just taking up space and can be put to better use by people who need it.
This is why, in the past month after moving, I donated 7 black bags filled with clothing (men’s, ladies and kids), and specifically to the Angel House where I know there are many families. I also donated some furniture.
For Christmas I am clearing out toys, and getting my eldest son, who is 6, involved and will get him to help me deliver them to the house too. This for me is important as it teaches him to be grateful for what he has, to give without conditions and to help put a smile on another kid’s face (which I know will put a smile on his).
As I too have had hardships in life and being helped by others, I will continue to try and assist and give to The Table View Angels as well as various other organisations within the area – because it only takes one small change to have a big impact on someone else’s life.
Lastly – my motto is to give without expecting to receive. This will send positive vibrations to the moon and back and before you know it – you too will be blessed.
Since it made its first appearance in the 1990s, blogging has come a long way. Blogging was first used as an online journal or diary to share a person’s own individual thoughts, feelings, opinions and experiences and it usually attracted just a small following. These days, blogging is a platform used by individuals and businesses alike and can be read by thousands and even millions of people worldwide. Blogs are easy to set up and update regularly making them an important and usually a low cost tool for companies wanting to stay in touch with their customers and followers.
Benefits of a company blog
Increases traffic to a website using links
Inbound links in a blog will direct readers to relevant parts of a website, increasing overall traffic or increasing traffic to particular pages.
Improves a website’s SEO
If a blog is regularly updated and relevant to your business, it is more likely to be picked up in Google and other search engines which focus on a website’s quality of content and frequency of posts. Blogs create an opportunity for businesses to insert keywords that are likely to be used to search for your company or brand.
Promotes a brand and company as an expert in the industry
By regularly talking about a subject in well written blogs, your brand will become associated with and respected in its particular field thus encouraging readers to go to your site for valued information.
By providing high quality content and advice in a particular field, a blog can help give readers/customers the confidence to trust the brand. Comment sections in a Blog are often read and if monitored and updated regularly, this can further improve levels of trust with potential and existing customers.
Creates sharing opportunities
Including a sharing option in a blog creates viral traffic via twitter, email, Facebook or other platforms. Free marketing!
To increase your company’s online exposure and to establish yourself as an expert in your field, blogging is a must! And remember, it doesn’t have to be written by the company director himself, it can easily be outsourced and written by anyone as long as they do their research and create good quality pieces that are interesting to the reader. In fact, it is advised that a company’s blog is written by several people to vary the writing style and knowledge base.
Set up your company blog with a few launch articles and see just how easy it is! Use a Virtual Assistant to keep it updated and fresh with regular new content.