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Improving Your Business by Improving Your Social Skills

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Running a business will require you to develop various skills, not least of which is dealing with people. From employees to customers to suppliers, commerce is inherently social in nature, and developing your ability to deliver a consistently positive experience to the people that directly and indirectly impact your business will do wonders for your business. Here are the tips you’ll need in order to improve the social experience of your company.

Customer Service

First and foremost, the success of any commercial entity hinges completely on its customers. More specifically, the experience your customers get from dealing with your company will play a major role in turning one time shoppers into loyal customers, and brand loyalty is the primary force at play when it comes to long term success. There are numerous avenues by which you can approach improving the customer service experience, one of which is to streamline it.

 

Chatbots are a particularly useful way to improve customer support, for example. What is a chatbot? It’s an artificial intelligence that uses natural language processing to create naturalistic responses to user inputs. This can help resolve simple customer support problems quickly without involving a human representative, and this can help keep customer support lines from becoming congested, meaning that everyone involved is wasting less of their time. On the other hand, there will be far and away more instances in which direct, social contact will be necessary, and that necessitates social skills.

 

Keeping yourself and your employees brushed up on social graces is an important part of making the experience of each customer feel positive and even special. “Service with a smile” is a great place to start, because the smile is such a powerful force for positivity that it can be not only seen, but also heard. Even when talking on the phone, the person on the other end of the call will hear your smile in your voice, so it stands to reason that smiling figures heavily into making your customers feel welcome and appreciated. This is especially important when you consider that humans are hardwired to reciprocate certain social gestures like smiling, and smiling can even hack your own mood, meaning that everyone benefits in multiple ways from this deceptively simple facial expression.

Employee Morale

In addition to making your customers feel good about patronizing your establishment, you can also improve your company by making your workers feel good about their labor. Employee morale is a fairly new concern that’s still in the process of superseding the age old tactic of demanding excellence, and that can make it difficult for business owners to know how best to keep employees motivated and productive. It’s worth stating up front that trying to force productivity upon your employees is a non starter. It will work to some extent, but it works better for some employees than it does for others, and it doesn’t inspire productivity as much as it does obedience. On the other hand, improving how your workers perceive their boss and the work they’re doing will have them bringing their A game more consistently.

 

Actually making that kind of change is a different story, because it first entails getting to know your staff and their problems with the job and the environment. This is tricky, in and of itself, because the existing paradigm of iron fisted management has led workers to be wary. For this reason, step one is making it known that you’re open to discussing that kind of problem. Projecting an approachable persona will, first, put your employees at ease and improve morale a bit immediate and, then, make them feel comfortable coming to you with potential changes and other concerns. Once there is an open and honest conversation about the state of things, the real work can begin.

 

One of the most effective ways to make your staff feel better about their jobs is to reward their hard work by alleviating certain financial concerns. Regardless of how you might feel about it, many full time workers don’t have all of their needs met. Therefore, an employee that calls in sick is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, an illness will negatively impact their performance at work and put others at risk if they show up at the office like normal. On the other hand, missing work will mean missing out on essential income that can mean the difference between financial security and barely scraping by until the next paycheck arrives. Simply adopting a more lenient policy regarding medical leave, up to and potentially including paid medical leave, will reduce the anxiety involved in medical issues and leave your workers feeling better before, during, and after dealing with their medical issues.

 

The same principle can be applied to vacation, because many workers avoid taking that much needed break from the grind just so they’re not behind the 8 ball when it comes time to return to work.

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