The first day I sauntered into Miss Amos’s English class, I was scared. Not because of the subject or because this was my first day in a big city school—I was startled by her face. My first thought: Did some terrible disease do this to her?

the ceo magazine, customer service,
Donna Cutting, Author, 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers

Smart small business owners know that when you roll out the red carpet for your customers it means repeat business, and referrals. However, how can you give champagne-style service when you’ve got a beer budget.

Delivering red carpet customer service does not have to break the bank.

Many business leaders resolve to jump-start their networking game in the New Year, a resolution more often than not accompanied by a vague sense of dread.

Question:  Why do so many of us dislike the concept of networking? 

Answer:  Networking has a reputation as a manipulative, self-serving, ineffectual, sleazy endeavor involving hard sells and soft cheese. 

Do you sometimes feel like the person or organization that you are buying from acts like they are doing you a favor? I do. You go into a store and literally have to tackle someone to help you. You call a company and don't get a call back for days. You get the distinct impression that you are an inconvenience rather than a customer. We have all had those experiences. Several recent events have caused me to think about this whole area we call “customer service” or the now popular term “customer experience.”

I am not much for resolutions. But, in the spirit of the New Year I would like to offer one that makes a lot of sense for small business owners. First, here is a little history. Over many years small business owners have been working to get some certainty about tax credits and deductions. Some will know this as “tax extenders” others might know Section 179 expensing. Essentially, small business owners have been working to try and get Congress to make some of the provisions permanent or to at least get multi-year extensions.



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