What Are The Different Payment Processing Services For My Small Business?

If you are not currently accepting credit card payments for your goods or services, you are leaving money on the table. Accepting credit cards is one of the best ways to boost sales throughout your business. Accepting credit cards allows customers have more flexibility with their payments to your business which is only going to boost conversions and total sales. However, choosing the best payment processor is not easy given the variety of factors involved in the decision and with the countless processor options available to choose from.

Tips For Sorting Through The Different Payment Processing Services:

  1. Fees

The main thing that any small business is going to be worried about when choosing a processing service would likely be fees. The fees range from setup to transactional fees. Along with this, a lot of processors charge various additional fees that you will need to factor into your decision-making process. The fees associated with each processor is a major concern for small businesses because it can alter the profitability that you are able to achieve with your business and picking the one with the best fee structure for your business can make a big difference in your bottom line. Some processors are going to be ideal for certain businesses based on having smaller transactions.

Best For Small Transactions: Paypal

Paypal is going to be a great option for those that are looking to incorporate credit card payment processing into their business because it offers an excellent fee structure for businesses that generate a lot of microtransactions which range from $1 to $10. IT also has a zero-setup fee that is required and can help to facilitate both mobile and online payment solutions for your business.

  1. Convenience and Technology

Another major thing that is going to come into play when you are looking to choose the right payment processing solution for your business would have to be both the convenience and technology that each processor offers. Some processors are faster to adapt to new technologies than others. Having a processor with a fast adoption rate of newer technology can allow you to take advantage of being able to offer more convenience to your customers. Not only does it help your business look better, but it can improve the perception of your entire brand in the marketplace as well.

Best Forward-Thinking Processor: Square

Square has been a leader in mobile payment solutions. For this reason, a lot of restaurants are using this payment processor because they make it incredibly easy for customers to use. Having a forward-thinking processor will put your brand in a good light when it comes to brand perception.

  1. Contracts

Another thing that you are likely going to want to factor into your decision-making process would be whether or not the payment processor is going to force you into a long-term contract. Some businesses might not like the limited flexibility that is offered by certain processors that attempt to lock you into long-term contracts. Therefore, this might be a deal breaker for some. There are processors available that will not force you to sign a contract.

  1. Setup Costs

As noted previously, a small business is likely going to be concerned with the total amount of setup and setup costs associated with choosing a specific processor. You want to find a processor that is not only quick and easy to setup so you can get started with accepting credit card payments right away, but also one that is not going to cost a lot of money to set up. There are various options available that are not going to have any sort of hefty setup fees associated with the processing service and these options might be ideal for small businesses.

Best Low-Cost Setup Options: PayPal, Square

  1. Customer Service

When looking to identify the right payment processing services for your small business, you will want to be sure to figure out how reliable their customer service and customer support are. You want to place a significant emphasis on finding one that has excellent customer support because it can make a big difference in determining how reliable they will be and how quickly your issues will be resolved.

Best For Customer Service: Cayan Merchant Services

  1. Customized Solutions

The fact is, the only way to get the best processing service for your small business is to opt for a company that is willing and able to offer customized solutions for your business. Your business model might not be entirely conducive to specific processors because they might charge more money per transaction than you can handle. By finding a processor that is going to be able to offer you more flexible and customizable solutions, you should be able to find one that is going to effectively tailor it to your business model. There are certain processors that excel at these criteria.

Best Customized Solutions: PayPal, CreditCardProcessing.com

Overall, there are a lot of different things that you will want to think about when you are looking to identify the right credit card processor for your business. Your small business needs to accept credit cards to succeed in today’s marketplace. Therefore, it is wise to choose a processor for your business. However, as noted above, with the endless amount of options available, it can be difficult finding the right one. Luckily, the endless amount of options on the market to choose from has led to stiff competition for your business. Because of this, many processors are offering more value at lower costs than ever before.

There has never been a better time to choose to invest in a credit card processor for your business. Whether you value innovative payment solutions or customer service, you should be able to find the right fit for your business. In fact, many processors will even tailor their fee structure to your specific business model which can help you keep more profit in your pocket rather than dishing it out in transaction fees. Follow the tips above and you should be able to choose the right payment processing solution for your small business.

6 Talent Assessment Tools, Ranked from Most to Least Effective

In a race to recruit and hire top talent job candidates, many employers are turning to an array of talent acquisition tools to help them filter through their candidate pools during the employee assessment test and job test process. But which talent job assessment test is the most accurate in terms of their relationship to predicting job performance?

The truth is it depends on the type of employee assessment tools your organization uses, and the process you use to analyze the results.

COMMON EMPLOYEE ASSESSMENT TOOLS, RANKED FROM MOST TO LEAST EFFECTIVE

Talent assessments provide a wealth of information to help leaders understand why people think and behave the way they do. From simulations to interviews, there are a number of different candidate assessment tools organizations use to find, hire, and keep talent that drives there business forward. However, not all of these tools are created equal.

Below is a look at six talent assessment tools used in the employee selection process – ranked from most to least effective – and an analysis of their predictive power in terms of determining future performance.

1. WORK SAMPLES AND SIMULATIONS

Work samples and simulation tests are used in the pre-hire assessment process to give employers the opportunity to see the candidates in action. These tests involve giving the candidates a work-related task to complete or having them engage in a role-play simulation test. The main objectives of this type of testing are to access job-specific skills and to analyze decision-making capabilities.

While work samples and simulations are similar, there are some key differences between the two. A candidate completing a work sample will perform a subset of a job’s tasks, often in the actual environment and using the requisite tools and equipment. A candidate completing a simulation will perform job-related activities in a fictitious environment that mirrors the actual job.

Employers who utilize simulations and work samples can assess how the candidates work under pressure, and if they can multi-task and prioritize. This assessment technique is one of the strongest predictors of job performance when administered correctly. Getting the most accurate results from these employee selection tools requires customized work sample and simulation assessments that are highly structured and based on accurate job responsibilities specific to your organization. A trained evaluator also should analyze standardized results.

2. COGNITIVE ABILITY / PROBLEM-SOLVING TESTS

Pre-hire assessment tests used to analyze cognitive ability and problem-solving measure a person’s reasoning and logic skills, ability to learn new material, and reading comprehension.

study conducted by psychologists John Hunter, Ph.D. and Frank Schmidt, Ph.D. showed a direct link between cognitive ability and job performance across multiple job types. Additionally, these types of tests are cost-effective to administer, and cognitive ability tests have been shown to predict job performance particularly well for complex jobs. The more intricate the job or training demands, the better these types of assessments work. Problem-solving tests, on the other hand, can assess leadership, potential, vision, insight, and intelligence, all of which transition into a higher job performance level.

3. PERSONALITY / CONSCIENTIOUSNESS TESTS

Personality and/or conscientiousness pre-hire tests assess the applicant’s thought process and analyze behavioral and emotional patterns. Job candidates are asked to evaluate themselves through a series of structured questions.

Many employers find that these tests can help pinpoint important attributes, such as leadership, integrity, attendance, creativity and cooperation. These traits in turn are quite effective at predicting future job performance, which can help with employee selection. However, the accuracy of these predictions is directly related to the quality of the tests. Highly structured personality tests that are industry specific tend to offer a higher level of results than standardized personality tests.

While personality tests can help produce a number of valid inferences for different organizational outcomes, personality tests alone aren’t as effective as simulations in identifying candidates who have the raw skills (e.g., data entry, keyboarding, or multitasking) needed to perform certain tasks essential for success on the job.

4. STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS

While there are a variety of different types of interviews, structured interviews have a higher degree of predictive power than other types of interviews. In a structured interview, the interviewer asks each prospective job candidate the exact same series of questions. The interviewer can elaborate if the candidate does not understand the question, but he cannot stray from the pre-determined set of questions. This type of pre-hire tool can help assess certain types of skills, such as communication skills, but this is only the case if a trained interviewer and highly-structured interview process is used. Otherwise, the results are very subjective, a factor that is not accurate at predicting job performance and not very useful in the employee selection process.

5. UNSTRUCTURED INTERVIEWS

On the other hand, unstructured interviews have no set format and no set of questions to ask each job candidate. Many managers like this format because it gives them the freedom to take the interview in any direction. They believe this allows them to better assess candidates in the employee selection process.

The truth is that this type of interview leads to inconsistent and subjective results. Even trained interviewers have a difficult time comparing job applicants and providing useful results for employee selection. In addition, it is not uncommon for the interviewer to miss asking vital questions during this type of interview process, which makes it even more difficult to predict future job performance.

6. YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Many companies don’t just consider past experience a strong attribute in employee selection – they require it. Certainly, you want candidates that have the skills and tools necessary to perform the duties of the position – but do years of experience equate to a higher job performance?

Well, not always. In fact, sometime past work experience can have a negative effect. Employees who have clocked up a number of years on the job bring with them previous work experiences, both good and bad. They may also bring with them poor work habits and incorrect problem-solving strategies.

Work samples/simulation, cognitive ability/problem-solving tests, and personality/conscientiousness test all provide real value to the employment selection process, and when used properly these test can be a good indicator of future performance. FurstPerson research has shown these types of tests demonstrate significant workforce improvements, including:

  • 15% – 60% reduction in early-life attrition
  • 10% – 70% improvement in performance

While interviews do provide the opportunity for candidate engagement, due to the subjective nature of both structured and unstructured interviews, the predictive power of such tools is far more limited. Using a variety of pre-hire tools is a good strategy for increasing the defensibility of the pre-hire selection system as a whole.

No two companies are the same, which is why we partner with each of our clients to create customized pre-hire and post-hire assessment test solutions. No matter what role you’re hiring for, our consultants always work directly with you to assist with the creation and implementation of a winning strategic talent assessment process. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how we help our clients find, hire, and keep high-quality candidates.

How Fleet Management GPS Can Help To Reduce Theft

Having cars get lost, stolen or totaled is a fleet manager’s worst nightmare. Add to the loss of cars the subsequent hike in insurance and you could be looking at vastly increased costs for your small business. But what if it could be prevented? What if you could not only track down stolen cars easily but prevent those cars from being stolen in the first place through first-rate security and state-of-the-art GPS fleet tracking? If you’re a fleet manager who lives in fear of auto theft, technology is on the verge of making your life way easier. Not only do the best GPS systems curb auto theft, they help keep tabs on driver spending and behavior so that you don’t have to worry about stealing from inside or outside of your company. If you’re looking to get a serious grip on theft in your fleet, here are some things you should know.

Live Tracking Keeps You in the Know

Installing the best GPS system in each car in your fleet doesn’t just keep your drivers accountable. It helps you keep track of where your cars are at any moment. Live tracking features give you the control to monitor vehicles while they’re on the road or in the shop. In the event of theft, you’ll be able to live-track your vehicle using coordinates sent to you from your car. You’ll be able to notify police with the exact location of the stolen car and help authorities cut off your driver en route. You won’t have to rely on guesswork, license plate numbers, or vague descriptions to actually track down your car. You’ll be able to have cops on the scene within minutes if your driver deviates from the route. In the event of a driver being overtaken on the road, you’ll be able to send out an alert almost immediately. Most GPS tracking devices will alert you to any suspicious activity via driver correction systems. When your driver tries to go off-route or disconnect, you’ll know about it within plenty of time to get the authorities on the case.

After Hours Alerts Keep You Notified

When your cars are shut down for the night, your GPS system doesn’t quit. New tracking systems come with the ability to notify fleet managers directly when a car is unaccounted for or on the road during off hours. Any suspicious activity can be reported back to you within minutes, allowing you to easily track and cut off your thief. Since GPS tracking systems work to keep your fleet in line and every car accounted for, you can set up customized alerts not just when your cars are on the road, but even when they’re idle, in the shop for repair, or closed in the garage during off hours. Your GPS designs metrics that let you see a certain vehicle’s full activity for the day or the week, along with driver information, mile logs, and gas consumption. Quite simply, new GPS tracking works to allow you to keep track of everything going on with your vehicle even when it’s not active.

Disconnection Notifications Loop You In

If someone gets a hold of your car, the first thing they’ll try to do is disconnect the GPS tracker to keep you off their scent. New trackers, however, have created a perfect solution to this. The minute someone tries to tamper with or disconnect the tracking system, you’ll get an alert with location coordinates. You can set up alerts so that drivers have to respond, or you can trigger alerts to go off in the car after the system is tampered with. Either way, you’ll be notified of any suspicious activity before it can go too far. Along with tracking your driver behavior, fuel consumption, and maintenance needs, you’ll be able to stop theft before it occurs with the right tracking system.

Driver IDs Tie Cars to Users

When a driver is accountable for a specific vehicle, they’re more likely to drive carefully and act responsibly. Many fleet managers have taken to “fobbing” certain drivers to vehicles during a run to make sure no one else gets control of the car. This isn’t just great for stopping auto theft in its tracks. It also helps with driver education and correction by monitoring their progress on the road, alerting them to better routes, preventing them from idling, and keeping them finishing jobs on schedule. The best GPS trackers also monitor fuel consumption and make sure drivers aren’t overspending on fuel or gas station commodities. Tracking makes it easier to keep drivers in line and to protect vehicles from ending up in the wrong hands no matter what.

How Can Social networking Enhance Your web business?

With the actual increase within online industries around the world, social press (SM) may be playing an important role within bringing customers nearer to every business nowadays. No matter what type of online business you’ve, you should make use of the SM platform among the primary resources for advertising your services and products. Now, there has been many speculations which indicated in the event that SM is actually reliable with regard to marketing an internet business. No question, the reasons are extremely strong in order to qualify this kind of speculations as well as, therefore, many successful internet sites are distribute across on multilple web sites. Here really are a few this kind of reasons that you should know how social networking can enhance your web business.

Building a powerful network via SM

Every company today includes a network regardless of the market locations associated with its clients. Therefore, SM is really a complementary function for internet sites and you’ll discover large networks of individuals from various regions and age ranges. It offers you the chance to present your company to the diverse selection of people. It’s far much better than any additional traditional advertising platforms in obtaining the maximum quantity of viewers.

Marketing on a more economical platform

Within simple phrases, using SM is completely free. Networking sites for example Facebook, tweets, and LinkedIn could be easily leveraged for multilevel marketing, without producing any costs. The benefit of SM is that you could market your services and products to a lot of people, unlike the standard methods that need you to spend a great deal.

Reaching individuals from just about all ages along with different needs

In a conventional marketing technique, you may reach a particular group. SM is perfect for everyone — people through all age ranges and skills. No issue what services or products your company owns, you could share info with everybody. Using social networking is a good opportunity to obtain a lot of exclusive purchasers who can become your potential prospects for a longer time.

Meeting the prospective market very easily

Your internet business may preferably have products for any specific selection of people. While these folks may be positioned in different elements of the globe, social social networking sites bring them all into a typical platform. That indicates your target audience is positioned on social press and serves since the best setting for advertising your services and products and growing the scope of the business.

Competing together with your competitors

No matter how large or small your web business is you’d have your competition scattered almost everywhere, and this really is applicable to social networking, as nicely. If you need to make your company a big-time achievement, you should be there on social networking to permit people compare to determine what you need to serve. You need to allow individuals to see what your company can offer when compared with your rivals. Plus, why let your competition take up all of the space on social networking?

SM not just increases your own customer base but additionally spreads attention to individuals from various demographic areas. SM is a good way associated with tracking client discussions that simultaneously helps a person structure your whole online business depending on customers’ needs. Using internet sites to market your services and products can significantly enhance your web business.

Choosing Company Phone Techniques

Business telephone systems are an intrinsic investment when establishing phone techniques for little offices. Company communications really are a key in order to success and therefore it is crucial to stay current with the most recent technology as well as trends. Say for example a voice more than IP company phone program can save your valuable company a lot of money over period. Now that many IP dependent phone systems are actually an progressively reliable method of communicating, it seems sensible for a small company to employ this tool successfully. Additionally the particular hardware within phone techniques for little offices offers improved; this really is both essential for functionality as well as sending the best messages. You want your workplace to appear professional because running a business clients may generally create a first impression of the services once they are inside your office in line with the feel these people get. As with your own personal appearance, your workplace needs to appear professional in order to project the best image associated with you as well as your company. Correct, up-to-date technology might have the image that you’ll require while also offering you superior technology to ensure your telecoms are current using the times.

There are many options to select from, these consist of: Traditional PBX as well as Key Techniques, Nortel, ShorTel, as well as 3com. Conventional private department exchange techniques offer dependability and scalability. This can be a very broadly trusted information platform, that offers fully showcased systems and is made to meet the actual voice marketing communications needs of each and every size company. This offers sophisticated messaging, get in touch with centre as well as computer integration. For many years Nortel is a staple with regard to reliability as well as efficiency, for smaller businesses this can be a great answer because it’s a cost efficient for a small company. This answer usually brings together voice, data as well as business programs onto just one unified system. ShorTel provides unrivalled scalability as well as manageability, the consumer interface actually sets the conventional for today’s market. This may be the ideal solution since it is purpose constructed with no solitary point associated with failure. This is a good solution with regard to businesses of sizes as possible implemented along with seamless scalability in one to 10 thousand users which include all performance. The equipment and options that come with these cell phones are unrivalled, they are very stylish without becoming overbearing.

It is crucial to opt for a solution that provides technical and customer care trouble capturing options. Quality associated with service in this region is a sizable the main service becoming purchased and to ensure there isn’t any interruption associated with service or down-time, it is essential that an agenda is occur place to your requirements. Often the technician could be dispatched to complete on website repairs or perhaps a customer support line that’s available on a 24 seven basis ought to be in spot to provide assistance. In the current market system downtime may cost companies lots of money. You wish to ensure you’re using a well balanced product along with high dependability and limited requirement for service. When you select a solution you need to make use of a company that understands the requirements of your online business and increase service as well as technology to match the budget you’ve for your company phone techniques.

Main Benefits of Computer Telephony Integration in Customer Support  

Computer Telephony Integration is a technology that many businesses can profit from. Being able to control a telephone without actually using a telephone is undoubtedly very convenient. Salesforce integration offering computer telephony integration brings customer support up to the next level and it comes with these main benefits.

Increased Productivity

The ease-of-use that comes with being able to make and receive phone calls from your computer results in higher efficiency. Agents can have control over calls in a browser where everything is integrated. They know exactly who is calling and have all necessary caller information in front of them. The database of user information allows agents to transfer phone calls easily to the person that is qualified most for helping out a specific customer. Furthermore, computer telephony integration achieved through Salesforce integration increases collaboration due to the ability of warm transfers and real-time information updates. The average length of calls is significantly reduced, which maximizes the amount of phone calls agents can make per hour. Call monitoring and recording gives team leaders the chance to give agents valuable feedback on their performance so they can further improve.

Reduced Costs

Having to purchase various equipment, such as telephones, for your call center and having to maintain and replace it can get very expensive. A computer telephony integration system is much cheaper and allows for more flexibility. In addition to saving a lot of money on expensive and redundant equipment through Salesforce integration software, you can also reduce your costs by being able to hire remote agents, which eliminates the need for a large physical office location. With increased productivity also comes reduced costs as less agents are necessary for maintaining a call center.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Automatic caller authentication gives agents the chance to screen all incoming phone calls and prepare themselves. The detailed caller information enables agents to resolve an issue as fast as possible without having to make the client wait. Having information in one virtual place saves time and customer service can be more personalized. There’s no need for going through various databases in order to find the right information. Customers don’t want to have to repeat themselves over and over again when being transferred. When having to transfer a call, all necessary information is already readily available for the other agent through the synchronized database. Being able to monitor agents’ calls and guide them leads to improved performance and ultimately increased customer satisfaction.

Computer telephony integration can make your call center more effective and your agents and customers are going to be happier and more satisfied. Be aware that your call center can benefit from Salesforce integration in many more ways than discussed.

The Importance of Strategy and Governance for Global Business Services

Welcome to my third article in a series focused on insights, experience and practical advice on an operating model called Global Business Services (GBS). The GBS operating model is the latest step in the evolution of shared services (SS). To refresh your memory, SS is an operational model that’s been around for decades. It enables functional resources (i. e., HR, IT, Finance, etc. )#) to be leveraged across an entire organization, resulting in lower service costs. My first article discussed the evolution from traditional SS to GBS, the drivers for the change and the desired benefits. Article two highlighted that even though the transition to GBS continues, there seems to be a return on investment (ROI) shortfall with a number of implementations. The primary reasons for the ROI shortfall and some solutions to enhance success were also covered. This third article takes a “deep dive” on two key elements to ensure a successful GBS implementation: strategy and governance. Let’s get started.

When you talk to experts who guide companies through GBS transformations (and I have had the pleasure of working with many of them, such as Deloitte, Accenture, The Hackett Group, and others), or talk with GBS leaders who are viewed as having world-class GBS operations, similar critical success factors (CSFs) are consistently mentioned. Some of these CSFs mentioned include:

1. Executive Leadership – getting the entire C-Suite aligned and onboard.

2. Technology Enablement – making the appropriate investments in people, process and technology to ensure success.

 

3. Delivering on Commitments – meeting cost savings targets and aligning your deliverables/measures with your clients’ expectations.

4. Critical Mass – transitioning enough process scope and execution authority that is impactful to P&L.

There are several other CSFs that could be added to the above list. However, there are two items that are foundational and provide the direction to the above items… strategy and governance. A famous proverb says, “Without vision people perish. ” Translating this to a business context, “Without a strategy, your initiative will ultimately fail. ”

Importance of Strategy

Strategy is critical for every corporation and especially for every major transformation. For GBS, lack of strategy alignment at the C-Suite is largely viewed as the #1 reason for failure. The GBS operation may not fail immediately, but if the strategy gaps are not addressed over time, it will lose its influence and relevance, and will ultimately fail and be restructured. So what are the elements of a good GBS strategy? There are several, but here are the main ones:

1. Primary Purpose – define primary focus, such as cost reduction, scalability/growth, regulatory compliance, etc.

2. Scope of Coverage – define processes that will be transitioned into GBS at the start, and will be candidates for the future.

3. Service Delivery Methodology – define approach of how services will be delivered to clients. Internal (or captive) vs. outsourced centers; global vs. regional centers, etc.

4. Governance – initial organizational structure, operational roles and responsibilities across the enterprise, and executive leadership roles to provides GBS direction.

5. Execution Plan – transition methodology discussing sequencing of businesses and geographies on a timeline.

The Evolution of Business Service Management (BSM)

Looking back, the emergence of business service management (BSM) seems inevitable. This new generation of tools helps IT organizations manage technology infrastructures within the context of the key services they provide for their customers. BSM tools are critical enablers for the increasingly popular process-focused IT Service Management (ITSM) approach.

What’s driving this evolution to BSM and its related IT management paradigms? Executive Consultant Troy DuMoulin of Pink Elephant, an ITIL events and consulting firm, explains, “The interest in ITIL, the evolution of legislation like SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), and the interest in standards is symptomatic of something much more rudimentary. At the base of this growing focus on formalization and legislation is a growing awareness of exposure and dependency that the business has on IT. Before, IT was seen as an enabler, supportive but yet somehow separated from the business processes themselves. But now there is a realization that there is no true separation between the business process and the underlying IT services and systems. ”

Information technology has become so vital to business today – so ubiquitous in every aspect – that most businesses literally cannot function without it anymore. Even simple manual tasks like filling a car with gas or cashing a check now require the support of an IT system.

This heightened reliance on IT has placed companies at a crossroads. They are compelled to address this new dependency by putting processes and technology in place to ensure IT does its job serving the business effectively. So the move to BSM can be seen as a natural reaction to the new way IT interacts with and enables business.

“BSM is a way for a company to agree on what the business expectations are, and manage the IT performance to those agreed upon expectations, ” clarifies Brian Childers, a consultant who also serves on the Board of Directors for itSMF USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting best practices in IT services management. “Once we understand the expectations, we can build the processes to suit the expectations, and manage against them. ”

 

Vendors are responding rapidly to these new service management imperatives. Leading software providers – like HP, BMC, Mercury and Managed Objects – are already introducing new BSM-versions of their popular tools to help revolutionize the way IT managers gauge technology performance and leverage that knowledge to meet business needs. And new kinds of automated, self-learning software from companies like Netuitive, are making it easier than ever for managers to cut across their technology silos and tie together their existing management tools.

“Over the years – especially during the frenetic IT build-out of the late 1990s – companies cobbled together a mishmash of systems within their IT organizations, ” adds Tony Gilbert, vice president at Netuitive. “The result now is a heterogeneous set of components in the IT environment, and individual departmental silos for managing each one. The right set of BSM tools makes it possible to tie together all of these pieces of technology across an enterprise and to monitor IT from the perspective of the service it delivers. ”

BSM tools help IT groups see technology in terms of how it impacts their business services, and zero-in on the cause of a particular performance issue that is affecting that service — a capability companies do not have when they manage IT solely through technology silos. The new BSM tools can also enable a company to prioritize resources based on the relative importance of multiple business services. For example, a brokerage firm could manage online trading or online banking services holistically instead of piecemeal within silos: the server group, the database group, the application group.

Business Services – Strategies For Improving Client Satisfaction

Maintaining good relationships with your clients is critical for business growth. Many prosperous businesses are built on favourable word-of-mouth. Strong client relationships mean more repeat business and more referrals. Dissatisfied clients tell their associates and subsequently ruin the business image in the marketplace. There is the risk of an unsatisfied client bringing their complaints to public attention which can be detrimental to business.

At the heart of all client dissatisfaction is a disparity between client expectations and the service provided. The key to maintaining good client relations is in understanding and managing client expectations.

How to Handle Common Root Causes of Client Dissatisfaction:

Service does not live up to client expectations: In your clients mind, he or she, has an internal representation of how a service should perform. They have a preconceived idea of the benefits they will receive, the problems your service will solve and the quality of work that will be delivered. If a service does not live up to these expectations, they will be dissatisfied. It is important to engage in a constant dialogue with clients to ensure the service meets their internal representation. Since services are intangible, client expectations are more subjective. Demonstrate the tangible aspects of a service to create more objectivity. Show your clients the deliverables that you produce. For example, as an Accountant, I can show samples of financial reports, business plans, business models etc. This way the client has physically seen the outcome of the service.

 

Over promising: Managing client expectations plays a key role in long term satisfaction. Over promising may help win the business in the short term, however, if a company does not deliver on their promise it creates disparity between the client expectations and the service. Over promising and can often occur if there is a breakdown in understanding between marketing and the staff executing the service. Marketing departments may promise the world in advertisements but may be unaware of limitations arising from the practical day to day aspects of executing the company service. To solve this problem marketing communications needs to be coordinated with service staff.

Misunderstanding client needs: This can be prevented by doing a thorough needs analysis, active listening and empathising with the client. Misunderstanding client needs can lead to mismatched service specifications. Work closely with the client to ensure that the service is on track. Get their feedback along the way. Make an effort to obtain accurate information about the clients evolving expectations. This provides an opportunity to take corrective action before it is too late. Companies can use technology such as databases to track important events in the client relationship, new needs that arise and changes expectations.

 

Essential to maintaining client satisfaction is the early detection of service gaps. If a company is unaware of their client dissatisfaction, they have no opportunity to make amends. Many clients do not report dissatisfaction, so pro-active steps need to be taken to ensure that the client is happy with the business service.

Using Business Service Management to Succeed in a Tough EconomyUsing Business Service Management to Succeed in a Tough Economy

Whether the economy is booming or facing a crunch, one factor plays a critical role in business: IT. In today’s business environment, almost all business activities are tied with the IT department. However, most of the departmental heads have no idea of the impact of complex technology on their respective business processes. Many a times, department heads have no means of identifying and preventing bottlenecks within applications so that end users are not affected. In today’s tough economy, Business Service Management can come to the rescue of many IT managers as well as departmental heads to ensure a smooth running of business processes.
The importance of knowing end to end performance is not only applicable for large enterprises, but smaller entities too. In fact, monitoring end to end performance of applications is more important for small businesses, considering that they function on a very tight margin. In order to stay on top of any performance issue and to effectively solve it, business owners need application monitoring tools through which they can monitor whether their business services are functioning properly. Such application monitoring would also inform them of any bottlenecks in advance and prevent any large scale impact on end users. Business Service Management enables both the teams to do just that.

 

Business Service Management solutions help bridge the gap between the departmental heads and the IT team. When a BSM solution is put to work, the business department can work in coordination with the IT department to ensure that all the services are available and any potential problems may be solved before they start affecting end users. BSM helps in detection of IT issues, tracing their root problem and solving them quickly.
With Business Service Management,
o Issues related to business-critical applications can be dealt with proactivelyo Departmental heads can start prioritizing tasks according to their importanceo Information can be presented according to the role of the person concernedo IT Service Management is easier to put into practice
Businesses hence need to consider Business Service Management as a necessary component in order to know the end to end performance of all their critical applications. However, businesses are sometimes forced to choose between two extreme BSM solutions: one which is inexpensive but lacks functionality, and another, which is expensive and needs a lot of manpower to support it.
An ideal Business Service Management would be one which is integrated, affordable and easy to use. A business should not have to make a compromise in quality due to the cost of the BSM solution. An ideal solution would allow end to end performance monitoring as well as management Service Level Agreement. It would also not require any manpower to manage it.