There are some steps you can take to move you toward a more growth-oriented mindset
Step One – Awareness: Hear Your “Fixed Mindset” Voice
You most likely know this voice, even though you may never have identified it as an “inner critic.” The first step is to identify that voice and identify the times when you hear it.
These are situations where you are brought back to a fixed rather than a growth mindset.
To do this, you simply need to practice awareness.
Start by identifying the voice when you hear it.
Next, try to remember what event preceded those negative thoughts.
It’s a bit like trying to identify what is causing a stomach ache.
You have to go back and try to remember what you ate just before.
If you’re not sure you’ve identified your inner critic yet, try looking for cues.
For example, look for times when you find that you’re doubting yourself,
saying something like, “Can I really do this?”
Or be aware of when you’re focusing on failure rather than success;
for example, where you’re worrying about what will happen if you fail at something.
A good place to look for your fixed mindset voice is any time
you’re trying something new or challenging.
Step Two – Reframe
Once you can recognize the voice, you can learn to control it.
The way that you interpret challenges, obstacles, or criticism that you face is up to you. But this is the most challenging step for most people.
It is difficult to reframe the voice when you have well-grooved patterns.
The way to think about reframing is to imagine giving advice to a friend.
Naturally, you would never use a harsh, critical voice when trying to help a friend.
If you would never do this with a friend, why are you doing it with yourself?
We are generally harsher on ourselves than we are with others, so instead of talking to yourself, imagine that you’re giving advice to a good friend.
Take each statement that your inner voice gives you and imagine
if it were a friend, your partner, or a family member who was saying it to themselves. Now, imagine that you’re giving them advice and
reframe the negative statement that was made.
Skills examples
Fixed Are you sure you can do that?
Growth I’m not sure I can do it, but I can learn with practice and effort.
Fixed What if I fail? I’ll be a failure.
Growth All successful people have failures. I can learn from my failure.
Step Three – Action: Take on the Growth Mindset
After reframing comes action.
What challenges can you take on in order to foster and nurture a growth mindset?
What challenges have you been avoiding?
Choose a challenge and try it again, but this time, turn your fixed mindset around.
Find a work-related or personal task that you’ve either been shying away from doing or that you feel you’ve failed at.
For example, There might be an important client you’ve been meaning to contact but shying away from.
Start with one challenge, and
you can then apply it to the next challenge
once you have success with the first challenge.

How the Emotions of the Customer can affect the relationship with your business

The old way at looking at the customer business relationship was that the customer made the decision on whether they bought your product or service based on cold hard facts, features and benefits.

The emotions of the customer are playing in as a greater factor in purchase decision making than previously thought.

Behavioral economics has shown that rational decision-making accounts for approximately one-third of people’s decisions and behavior. Feelings influence engagement and engagement boosts sales, as engaged customers buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per transaction. by Unlock the Key to Customer Engagement with Virtual Reality

As new technology and our use of the internet is making how we connect more intimate with a business  (or more anonymous as “Fake News” and social media have no accountability for slander or negative reviews). A customer can instantly register a review on your business positive or negative depending on their experience in all of the social media platforms. They don’t have to pick up the phone to complain to an agent. A negative review can be spread 10x faster than a positive. 

According to Jay Baer in Forbes article, a business should respond to any complaint on social media whether true or untrue.

As (Jay) Baer puts it, “A lack of response is a response. It’s a response that says, ‘We don’t care about you very much.’ from the Forbes article Top 3 tips for acing customer service in the age of social media.

So what is a business to do to create the engagement and emotional connection that the customer wants? 

A few ways to engage and connect with your customer include:

1/ Connecting your business with an Influencer that your customer follows

customers

An oldie but a goodie is that  we, as customers, pay attention to the hero’s or heroines that we admire who tell us how wonderful is a new detergent soap or insurance company.

Today, we have new influencers we follow and some of them are celebrities but more often now, it can be influential people on social media that we follow and we pay attention to their recommendations. There are brands who pay celebrities to use and post an Instagram picture using the product now. There are brands who see the large engaged followers of a celebrity in the media and they offer a product line to them to create in that celebrity’s style.

The new pet lifestyle brand taps Ellen’s distinctive design sensibility and PetSmart’s pet know-how to create exciting new products for pet parents everywhere. by PetSmart Gets Big Customer Engagement Assist from Ellen DeGeneres

2/ Connect with their customers on social media

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Public Domain from pixabay

All you have to do is have a look at the Instagram accounts for Levi’s, Mercedes Benz with 8.1 million followers or Levi’s with 9.1 million followers or Ben and Jerry’s (benandjerry’s) with 600,000 followers and you can see how simple photos can still be engaging for any business.

If you can humanize your brand and products, and provide something for your customers to identify with, you are likely to build loyal fans. by How Customer Engagement Can Benefit Your Business – Due

3/ Have great responsive customer service

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Even a small business should have great customer service. A loyal customer will buy from you again and again if you provide a great experience.  Just something as simple as support@yourwebsite.com can be an easy way for a customer to connect to you on a personal level. I have discussed great customer service over on my youtube channel Solopreneur Success Strategies channel at http://jgtips.com/youtube if you want to get a few ideas.

4/Keep up to date on the new technology coming for customer business relationship

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For example, Virtual Reality technology is coming to the customer purchase experience according to this article (well worth looking at what is enterprise VR) as soon you’ll be able to view a product in a catalogue from all three sides, flip it over and measure it to see if it will fit etc. to answer all your questions on whether you need it. It is coming!

Enterprise VR empowers customers to interact with products and content in virtual reality and preview in 3D, touch, flip, and customize the products they are interested in. by Unlock the Key to Customer Engagement with Virtual Reality

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As well, how a business will communicate with a customer may change as text messaging becomes more acceptable as communication link to get questions answered or specials broadcast for the business.

An eWeek study revealed that 52% of consumers would be likely to exchange text with a live customer service agent and that the same number would actually prefer it to their existing channel of communication. by Increase Customer Engagement by Delivering Text-Generation Customer Service

To keep up to date on trends follow The Business of At Home Business

The Challenges and reality for Babyboomers as they get close to retirement

Have the challenges of the Babyboomer generation made it impossible to retire?

According to Gallup article, babyboomers still work even though they are eligible for retirement.

Although the first wave of boomers became eligible for early retirement under Social Security about six years ago, the generation still constitutes about one-third (31%) of the workforce, similar to percentages for millennials (33%) and Generation X (32%). via Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire | Gallup

So, why aren’t more Babyboomers retiring?  Well, besides the normal challenges of increased cost of living there are other expenses that were not considered:

For example,

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Medical expenses for themselves or their family members

When we were younger , did we think that we’d have to pay $10,000 for dentures?

Lack affordable health insurance plans, rising medical costs in general, long wait time for procedures and the massive explosion of the babyboomer population entering the years where they will need more health care, the rising phenomenon of medical tourism also called medical travel or international health travel via Medical Tourism Being Seen as an Alternative To Obamacare

Inconsiderate planning for retirement

Did you have training when you were younger on how to save for your retirement?

Over half of over 55s who currently earn £20k – £30k have saved less than £30k for their retirement. This translates to an income of around £165 per month. Yet despite this, almost a quarter of people (23%) in this category anticipate a retirement they describe as “comfortable”, demonstrating a dramatic difference between what they are used to and what they might actually afford. via Babyboomers reinvent retirement pJ 

Unexpected support of family members

When you were young did you know that besides supporting your children, you would be supporting your parents as they got older? It is not usually planned that you will be the caregiver of your parents. 

The number of older people with intense care needs will outstrip the supply of informal care from family members in 2017, with the consequent ‘care gap’ affecting as many as 230,000 people by 2030. via Thousands won’t be able to rely on family in old age. We need a contingency plan

Little did you know that when you had your children graduate from college that due to the economy and or cost of living, they return to your house a few times to live. Your children want a life of their own but the uncertain economy has made them return to their family home.

 

In the past decade and a half, according to the Economist, about 3.2 million 20- to 34-year-olds have gone back to live with mum and dad via Let’s see some babyboomer rage about Generation Jobless

Many seniors are realizing that what they’ve saved for retirement years isn’t going to be enough to support them and even provide them with necessities – much less the luxuries they’d like to enjoy.

That’s why so many seniors are building online businesses well before the retirement party. One of the benefits of building a part time business in your spare time before you retire is that you’ll already have an income and it can increase as your business grows.

Having a second business to pursue after retirement keeps your mind sharp and you won’t ever get bored if you’re committed to your business pursuits. But this time you can set your own hours and only answer to yourself as the boss!

For more about How to Get a Lifestyle Business Online and how to get an alternate retirement fund even before you retire, go and sign up for my free 30 minute training video which include the book How to Get a Lifestyle Business Online 

 

Customer Service Trends Predictions

Gartner Research predicts that customers will handle 85% of their relationships with a company without ever interacting with another human by the year 2020 from 8 Mega Customer Service Trends for 2016

This year it will be more important than ever for your customer service teams to provide quality support. At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding the customer and predicting what they will want next from  8 Mega Customer Service Trends for 2016

As a result savvy retailers will be switching to mobile formats, with  AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) tipped to be the system of choice for the future from Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source

In 2016 forward-thinking online retailers, particularly in the fashion space, will make more use of augmented reality to successfully redress the balance and eliminate the likelihood of missed sales and abandoned baskets from  Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source

A big focus for Google and one which will become even more prevalent amongst retailers this year is to champion a personalised approach that takes an individual user view to secure not just repeat custom, but incresed purchase volumes. Maintaining relevance means having a broad awareness of past purchases and personal preferences to win the hearts, mind and wallets of shoppers from  Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source

By three methods we may learn wisdom
First, by reflection which is noblest
Second by imitation which is easiest.
And third by experience which is the bitterest.
Confucius
The internet is full of great training programs
The real challenge is deciding which one is best for you.

Current state of Entrepreneurship in the World

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Public Domain from pixabay

Things are looking brighter in the startup of small businesses than before the crisis in 2008 according to a OECD Worldbank and Facebook collaboration on survey of smaill businsses.

Trend start-ups remain below pre-crisis rates in most OECD economies, although in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom rates were higher at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 than before the crisis. Trends in the most recent periods are pointing upwards in most OECD countries, from http://www.oecd.org/std/business-stats/entrepreneurship-at-a-glance-22266941.htm

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Public Domain from pixabay

 Give the ‘lure rather than the fish itself’

Many countries are recognizing that micro businesses will be the wave of the fuure to get their society off government support. In this report on Borneo, there was successful micro-entrepreneur startups to get people off of welfare. If you give a person the lure to catch the fish is much better than  giving them the fish according to the report from

http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/31/micro-entrepreneurship-can-help-break-poverty-cycle/

Some new Trends in Entrepreneurship

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Public Domain from pixabay

Get into the Industry you know

Rather than trying to learn a new industry a lot of successful entrepreneur are working in industries they either were a customer or worked in local business. So, they knew what problems or challenges that industry has so they can be more proactive in solving the problems.

For example, Steve Sullivan was a ski bum who hung around on the ski slopes and then knowing the challenges of the weather and clothing he decided to work creating clothing that actually functioned in that environment.

We get to actively test the products that we are making every day. I can run out from our office and do a tram lap for lunch and check out the fit and function of a new jacket that we’re trying. . . . The culmination of that leads to better products. viaTo Increase Your Chance of Success, Get Into an Industry You Know

New type of entrepreneur

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Instead of working a 9 to 5 job 40 hour week, a lot of new entrepreneurs are doing more than one business to give them the flexibility of hours spend at work and at home.

Savvy consultants told us they value being able to make almost as much money as they did at a big firm, but doing so by working late at night so they have more time with their kids from Wanted: Creative Solutions to Shape a Workable Future

If you are thinking about starting your own business try the Be Your Own Boss  quiz.

I am always doing things I can’t do
That’s how I get to do them.

Pablo Picasso
Success is all about effective learning
Take an inventory of your skills
Evaluate the skills needed to run your business
Where do you need to focus your learning?

Do you have a customer service plan in your business?

3d Group of customer service related words

3d Group of customer service related words

When you started your business, did you have a plan for setting up customer service policies in your business plan?  Is there customer service policies and trainings for when you hire and train new employees?  Is customer service even in your mind when you are designing your business plan?

No!

Then you’d better start thinking about policies to create good customer service in your business because the customer experience is becoming crucial for a brick and mortar business and internet businesses.

According to Desk.com,  82% of people say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. What’s worse is that 39% of those lost customers will avoid you for two years or more after that experience. As you can see, customer adoption and retention relies heavily on great customer service from Best practices for customer service training.

Just look at this article about Time Warner Cable and how their customer service rating has dropped critically for some simple customer service which they could easily improve.

Time Warner Cable had the lowest customer service rating of all cable companies in 2015, according to Consumer Reports, and lowest of all U.S. companies, according to another consumer agency from Calling all Time Warner customers to unite against its dreadful customer service

Word of mouth

What is the most effective and cheapest form of marketing for your business?  Word of mouth by your customers can increase or quickly decrease the revenue for your company.  People who have a bad experience will 10 times more other people about that bad experience than someone who has had a good experience. 

In 2012, the President of The Cheesecake Factory shared that his company’s marketing expenses are less than 20% of the industry average due to great WOM (Word of Mouth) from How Customer Service Interactions Foster Word of Mouth

Customer Experience

Since the customer experience is the relationship between your company and your customer, you need to identify what kind of relationship this would be. Some things to ask yourself  include:

The image you want to have in your customers’ minds.

The emotions you want interactions with your company to spark in customers.

The culture of your company that you want to convey to your customers.

Your company’s personality and how your customers see it.

Good customer service is ensuring that during every stage of this journey your client is taken care of, including, of course, providing an excellent product at the end of the journey  from Make Your Clients Ambassadors For Your Business With Good Customer Service.

Now, with customers willing to sign up with their email, address and answer surveys or contests or be willing to give feedback on a company just for a company, there is plenty of statistics and data on the internet to learn about your customers.  Google Search and Bing and Yahoo are providing search engines so they can collect information about what people want so they can sell ads etc.

 According to Forbes

Software can track how you like to buy how long you stay on reviews, the amount of time you spend comparing other products and more. With this data, you can customize your customer’s buying experience. For example, if your customer loves reading reviews, the next time they come to your website, the reviews may be at the top from  The Year Of The Customer: 16 Customer Service And Experience (CX) Trends For 2016

 Customer Culture

Consumers may want to purchase a product, but they want to do it in an atmosphere, online or in-store, that makes them feel something positive from Why You Should Think Less About Sales and More About the Customer Experience.
Just look at Starbucks where the coffee is distinct  and “hanging out” in Starbucks is an event. “Going for coffee” has become part of the North American culture in less than 20 years.

coffeeCompare your business to Starbucks and ask yourself:

Is visiting your business an experience?

Is your website easy to navigate?

Is your website easy to find your contact information?

Do you have  friendly, timely answers for anyone asking  for help?

Is a plan for customer service in your business plan?  No. Then come join us at the business of at home business newsletter to learn more about customer service!