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Quest Fore Blog

Craig-Robinson

April 8, 2013

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Categories: Business, Social Media

Information provided by Craig

The opinions expressed in this article featured on our site are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of Quest Fore.

Customer Service

As you may already be aware, a social media site like Facebook is the perfect place to handle customer service issues. Due to the intimacy, engagement and many communication options you have available to you in-house, handling a wide range of customer support issues is made incredibly easy. However, few new brands on the scene actually take the time and care necessary to provide such support.

If you’re not providing support to your customers by way of your Facebook brand, then you’re really behind the curve here. How will you get out of a crisis? How are you going to deal with disgruntled customers? In fact, how will you even know if you’re having any issues whatsoever?

A hands-off brand is a failing brand in any context and in any industry. If you want to have the best chances at running a smooth business with a happy base, then offering support is the direction you want to go in.

6 Ways to Provide Quality Customer Service

  1. Source, and Source Some More

    For the customer support in general, you may want to outsource this to any one of a number of companies online. This is a good move if you’re dealing with tech-based issues or other issues that may be very time-consuming. Of course, smaller brands may find it hard to deal with this expense.

    If this is the case, crowdsourcing might come in handy. Developing relationships with your peers, experts and authorities, and super-fans will enable a system wherein a customer’s questions may be answered by people loyal to your page.

  2. Take Charge of Everything

    Whether you’re hiring someone, handling things in-house, or have a system in place where common questions are picked up by others, you still have to let everyone know who’s in charge. This is your brand we’re talking about. You cannot allow someone else to represent it, and you cannot allow the misconception that you’re not in charge. So make it clear from the start that you’re in charge of the brand.

  3. Be Transparent in the Process

    One of the best things about using Facebook for business is that it’s easy to be transparent. However, few brands actually allow themselves to be transparent. For every open door, there’s an opaque window obstructing the view. This is definitely the case when a lot of brands handle customer service issues. They’ll deflect and divert blame and refuse to divulge information.

    Don’t go this route. Be very open and honest about your dealings. If something is your fault, own it. A customer with a complaint isn’t necessarily going to take his or her business elsewhere. More often than not, they just need reassurance. Transparency helps provide this.

  4. Learn the Issues

    Of course, you’re not going to be able to handle many issues unless you know what they are. If you don’t feel like eating the expense of outsourcing, you can always educate yourself on some common issues. You don’t have to go outside of what you handle with your brand. Perhaps you’ll want to learn about how your particular apps work, the coding of your pages, and other aspects pertinent to your brand. This way you’ll always be able to handle issues quickly.

  5. Create Alerts

    One of the reasons that a big website is able to handle customer service issues so seamlessly is that they have alerts. Whether it’s through a support ticket or emails, they are alerted when anyone has an issue. You can do the same here easily. Give people a way to contact you directly with their issues, and set up some alerts to let you know when anyone is struggling.

  6. Have a System in Place

    From the moment you’re made aware of the issue until the moment you’re able to resolve it, there’s a lot of stuff that may happen in between. This is why it’s always best to have a system put in place. Having a system to handle initial complaints, to separate them, to match them with proper solutions, etc – it’s all part of operating a well-oiled machine.

    Since a site like Facebook makes it so easy to handle customer support issues, you only have to do your part to actually offer support to your customers. With a little effort and commitment, you can set up a great system to handle any type of issue.

Article Written By: Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya – a facebook ad management tool. Besides writing about social media topics, Craig covers other trends within social media for Qwaya and he has studied social context and media-communication science.

Deanna-Lee

January 21, 2013

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Categories: Business, Internet Marketing, Social Media

Remember when you were 7-years-old, waiting all year for Christmas to come, because when it did, you just might be getting the coolest-ever, most-enviable, life-changing toy you could ever imagine? In the case of Luka Apps, this toy (a term that is surely a gross understatement to him) was the LEGO Ninjago minifigures kit. And he didn’t just receive these tiny wonders for Christmas; he actually spent all of his Christmas money on them. So, again, imagine being a 7-year-old boy and losing (yes, losing!) one of these tiny treasures just days after purchasing them. Heartbreaking.

What could possibly be done?

Prompted by sage advice from his father, Luka emailed LEGO and asked quite politely if they would be willing to replace his minifigure. The response he got was, no doubt, mind-blowing. Richard, a customer service representative at LEGO, wrote back with a personal message from Sensei Wu (a master from the Ninjago line) himself, letting Luka know that all is forgiven and a new figure, plus something extra, was on the way. (To fully appreciate Richard’s commitment to this kind-hearted ruse, read the full response.)

So, what can we learn from this? Give your brand/product a lot of credit. I get the feeling that everyone at LEGO is just as fired up about the Ninjago line as Luka, and it’s absolutely true that best customer service begins with believing in your brand enough to assume it could, as in the case of Luka, have an immense impact on your customer’s life. So, even if it feels a little melodramatic to think that a life (or at the very least, a Christmas) could be ruined by some flub with your product or service, just go with it. (But maybe don’t make this assumption out loud…)

Is it easier to do this when your customers are wide-eyed, enthusiastic children who can barely stand to go to sleep because it means they have to stop using your product? Sure it is. But in some way, we can all apply this concept to our customer interactions.

The nitty-gritty

Customer service, when it’s really good (when it makes a difference and results in brand loyalty), is – if nothing else – sincere and thoughtful. It’s not a script that’s read over the phone; it’s not a canned response or a coupon toward your next purchase. It requires actual listening and understanding. And perhaps if we all had the perspective that our product or service was as important to our customers as a LEGO figure was to Luka, we’d go a little bit further to make our customers happy. Personally, I’m praying that the folks at Comcast catch wind of this story.

November 7, 2012

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Categories: Business

Customer Service

Let’s face it, the business world these days is fast-paced, stressful, high-pressured and leaves us all with days where lunch breaks are just a dream, which may cause top-notch customer service standards to slide. But there’s a big reason why no business should let that happen: customer service determines whether or not your clients will continue to do business with you and whether they may refer your business to others.

There are a number of customer service tactics that should always be practiced:

  1. Response time. You never know when a client is calling because of a time-sensitive issue and needs something from you right away. The longer the client waits, the more stressed, irritated and frustrated the client becomes, which doesn’t look good for your customer service abilities.
  2. Understanding the client’s business/needs. How are you supposed to provide customer service if you don’t even know what your client does? Learning the your client’s business (or understanding a customer’s most important needs) doesn’t only help you to understand what services/product to provide, but it also makes you the “expert” and the “go-to” person.
  3. Consistent updates/communication. Updating your clients and keeping them in the loop is greatly appreciated and builds trust in the relationship. Providing status updates keeps the client involved and ensures them that the project is moving along smoothly. If, for some reason, trouble arises, inform the client right away. This shows that you are in control of the project and allows the client to make any additional plans or changes to get the project back on track.
  4. Admit your mistakes. The reality is that we are all humans and mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean we cover it up and hope the client doesn’t find out. Inform your client of the mistake, but also provide solutions on how to solve the situation. This demonstrates that you care about the project, taking the time and effort to brainstorm multiple answers to provide choices to the client for next steps. Not admitting your mistakes is a sure way of building a bad business reputation.
  5. Listen. Keep the communication doorways open. Make an effort to understand your client’s requests, and feedback. Also, if a client calls and is upset, stay calm; let them vent and don’t focus on the argument. Instead focus on the solution: After they are done speaking, try to reach an agreement. Most clients just need to be heard. Tip: If you smile while you are on the phone, you actually sound friendlier to the client and it is harder for you to come across irritated.

And one final tip: Happy employees equal happy clients. A majority of companies don’t realize that when their employees are unhappy, that tone carries through to their customer service. Clients can certainly sense a disgruntled employee or someone that isn’t happy with the company they work for.

To wrap it all up, remember that the client always comes first, keep a friendly demeanor, and go above and beyond for your clients.

Rob-Yencik

August 23, 2012

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Categories: Business, Internet Marketing

The Message Is the Medium- So Don’t Shortchange Yourself When It Comes to Creating Content for Your Marketing Communications Vehicles

Content Marketing

With apologies to Marshall McLuhan, is the medium still the message in today’s tech-savvy society? As we become more and more desensitized to the rapid progression of information technology, we have to consider whether the pendulum that McLuhan described in his widely read book, Understanding Media, has swung the other way.

Is it possible that the audience could actually be judging the value of our communications based on the content of its messaging – rather than the medium by which it’s conveyed?

As a professional communicator, I may be biased, but it’s obvious to me that the medium no longer “shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” – unlike it may have when McLuhan published his breakthrough work in 1964, when the advancement of media technology was in its infancy.

It’s equally obvious that a significant percentage of today’s marketers may be missing this message– and in the process, they’re shortchanging themselves and their organizations by giving short shrift to the creation of content for their marketing communications vehicles.

We see it frequently here at Quest Fore. With clients investing thousands with us for the development of advanced websites, multimedia presentations and the like, they sometimes unwittingly sabotage their efforts by insisting on creating the content for these vehicles themselves. The results of these efforts generally are uneven – and in the worst cases can be downright embarrassing.

With that in mind, here are my five favorite reasons why you should leave the creation of content for your marketing communications vehicles to the professionals:

  • Leveraging Your Investment- Developing something like a new website represents a significant investment. It may be tempting to try to save a few dollars by creating the content in-house, but it could end up costing you much more in the long run – in terms of limited effectiveness and lost opportunities.
  • Speed- If you don’t write for a living, you’ll probably find creating effective content more challenging than you anticipated. Chances are you’ll end up struggling and maybe even put it off for a while. We’ve seen lots of projects enter into extended hiatus while the client wrestles with the content.
  • Quality- When you peruse the menu in a Chinese restaurant, errors in grammar and usage can be an amusing part of the experience. When you see something similar on a corporate website, it detracts from your image of the organization. Make sure your communications reflect favorably on your company.
  • Third-Party Perspective- Even the best writers need a “reality check” occasionally. If you’ve been with your organization for an extended period, you may have trouble seeing the forest through the trees. Often a fresh perspective can be invaluable in ensuring your marketing messaging holds sway with an external audience.
  • Focus on What You Do Best- If you have professional writers on your staff, by all means put them to work on your marketing materials. If you don’t, it will probably be counter-productive to assign someone to create marketing content. Let everyone focus on what they do best, and leave the writing to the people who do it for a living.

Steve-Shane

August 17, 2012

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Categories: Blog, Business, Internet Marketing

The Power of Positive Thinking

When you open your eyes in the morning, do you think, “This is going to be a great day.”? Or do you ask yourself, “I wonder what’s going to go wrong today?”

In my opinion, the way you approach each day – from your personal interactions to your attitude at work – has a direct effect how you live your life. If you have a positive attitude, the good things that happen to you are magnified, and the bad things and challenges don’t seem as overwhelming.

Is this “Pollyanna” approach to life naive? Perhaps, but it’s been my experience that, with a positive attitude, life can be much richer and more fulfilling.

When my father passed away a few years ago, I was grief stricken. Being an only child, I didn’t have other family members for support (other than my wife, children and in-laws). At first, I was feeling sorry for myself, focusing on the fact that I would no longer have any more time with my dad. But what sustained me through this trying time was positive thinking: I started to focus on all of the good times I spent with my father and what a caring/sharing person he was. I was blessed to have this man in my life and started looking at things from a positive point of view. I thought about all the time I had with him while he was alive, rather than the time I would miss now that he was gone.

The point I am trying to make is this: Even though many people feel powerless in today’s world – that they don’t have control over their own destiny or the things that directly affect their happiness – we do have control over how we approach life. I find happiness in the simple things, and it’s amazing how empowering it can be. In America, we have so much, but we are always talking about what we don’t have: a new car, a new job, or the latest gadget. I think true happiness can be found by appreciating the people and things you already have in your life.

We all have problems and disappointments. However, our jobs, our relationships, our day-to-day choices can be manipulated by positivity. With a negative outlook, a problem is just one in a string of many more to come – with no end in sight. What’s the point in resolving it if something else is just going to come along? But if you’re a positive person, you will be optimistic that you will solve the problem and resolve the disappointment by taking action to do so.

Try it for yourself: When you wake up tomorrow, take a moment to be thankful for another day and imagine that it’s the first day of the rest of your life. I’m going to do something that matters and make a difference (even if it’s a small one).

And the next time you start thinking negatively, try to focus on someone or something that makes you happy. This isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort. You may be surprised at how things work out.