5 Ways to Knock The Socks Off Your Customers in 2018

By January 19, 2018 No Comments

Back in 2014, small business author Jim Blasingame wrote a now-famous book called The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance. The book knocked the socks off many business owners who were used to delivering customer service in a status-quo fashion—maybe failing to pay attention to online reviews, thinking reputation would carry their companies through hard periods, and so on.

The book was a wake up call, and since then everything has changed. The Age of the Customer no longer only refers to Blasingame’s book. We are—as many news outlets, pundits, analysts, business experts and academics will agree—truly living in an age like business has never seen.

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Brian Solis at NextCon 2017

Brian Solis on Five Ways to Get in the Customer Mindset

By January 18, 2018 No Comments

In today’s hyper competitive marketplace, companies are grappling with how to net as many sales as possible, how to emerge as industry leaders, and how to innovate to attract customers.

And many are struggling to keep up.

In late October, Brian Solis, a futurist and principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet Company, stood on stage at NextCon in Scottsdale, Arizona, and delivered a high-energy presentation that spoke truth to business owners about how to be successful in our ever-changing world. 

The answer: focus on the customer experience.

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Nextiva Cares in 2017: Our Philanthropic Highlights

By January 15, 2018 No Comments

From snuggling with puppies to hosting a bra and underwear drive, Nextiva Cares made some great memories while making an impact in 2017.  We raised nearly $64,000 for the 16 organizations we partnered with, and dedicated over 1,300 hours to volunteer work.  Below are some favorite highlights from 2017, and our full Annual Report can be found here.

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2018 goals for business and habits to break

Mondays with Mike: 8 Bad Business Habits to Break for 2018

By January 15, 2018 No Comments

I’m not really one for all the “New Year, New You” hype, but I am a fan of making resolutions that make sense.  One thing I’ve learned from writing for and speaking to entrepreneurs is that we’re all hungry for new ways to improve our companies and our efficiency.  But another thing I’ve learned is that it’s not always about what new thing you should do.  Sometimes your emphasis should be on what you need to stop doing.

Here are eight business habits you should commit to breaking.

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Your Employees are Always Right, Too

By January 12, 2018 No Comments

Did you know that the saying, the customer is always right, was coined way back in 1909? I hope we’ve learned a few things since then. Business titans like Virgin’s Richard Branson recognize that customers fare best when businesses recognize employees as their most valuable assets. Putting your employees at the top of your priority list places customers there, too.

Valued employees pass that value on to customers

Regardless of the type of business that you run, valued employees are engaged and brimming with company spirit. And, employees who love their jobs tend to pass their knowledge and spirit on to customers.

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facebook live tips from smallbizlady

Work Your Biz Wednesday: 6 Ways To Leverage Facebook Live For Your Business

By January 10, 2018 No Comments

Facebook Live is an amazing video tool that can help businesses connect directly with customers and followers. It allows anyone broadcast from their mobile or desktop straight to their Facebook News Feed. Facebook Live is particularly popular these days as videos see five times the engagement of traditional videos shared on the platforms.

It's a great way to engage people with your brand, generate interest in a new product, conduct interviews, learn instant customer feedback, or just answer live questions. Video is king across most social media networks these days. “45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.” (HubSpot, 2016) A polished how-to video is a value add for any small business, and using FB Live is a good way to build a more personal relationship with your audience. It's considered one of the most authentic ways to share content and build a brand online. Here are 6 tips for using FB Live to promote your business on Facebook, the world’s most popular social media site.

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Mondays with Mike: 5 Ways to Gain Valuable Intel by Scoping out the Competition

By January 8, 2018 No Comments

Some of my best ideas have come from my competitors.  Think about it…as entrepreneurs, we’re constantly networking and looking for best practices and inspiration.  And sure, we can learn from people in every industry.  But each industry has its special concerns, the things that are unique and don’t necessarily translate well for outsiders.

That’s where your competition can be so useful.  Rather than developing solutions to every problem all on your own, take a peek at your competitors.  You’ll uncover all kinds of useful information from the following sources.

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