Öva på att stänga av

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 20th, 2012 by admin

Tyska arbetsmarknadsministern vill stifta lag kring jobbmejlande efter arbetstid, samtidigt är flexibiliteten att kunna jobba när och var man vill en förutsättning för mångas karriär. Knepet kan vara att reglera tillgängligheten hårdare för sig själv.

Lag på bortkoppling ställs mot ständig uppkoppling
I förra veckan meddelade tyska arbetsmarknadsministern Ursula von der Leyen att hon vill förbjuda tvång eller förväntan på att anställda svarar på jobbmejl efter arbetstid. Man måste kunna stänga av huvudet och hämta kraft, tycker ministern och före detta läkaren. 84 procent av tyskarna uppger i en undersökning från försäkringskassan BKK att de är nåbara för chefer och kunder på fritiden.

Att ämnet är högaktuellt även här bevisas av det stora läsarintresset. I andra ändan finns tankar som hos Lucy Kellaway, kolumnist i Financial Times, som i en krönika från förra sommaren konstaterar att hon aldrig längre tar semester. Hon tar ”worlidays”, dagar på lantstället då det mellan artikelskrivande och mejlande finns tid för hundpromenader och grillning på stranden. Hon ser många fördelar med att sprida ut ledigheten och aldrig helt koppla bort och spår att framtiden ser ut så för de flesta tjänstemän.

Hellre flexibel och uppkopplad än borträknad
Undersökningar visar gång på gång att medan många stressas av ständig uppkoppling är det också många som upplever möjligheten som avstressande. Flexibiliteten i att kunna koppla upp sig på vägen hem och på kvällar och semestrar blir en förutsättning för att kunna göra karriär, särskilt för småbarnsföräldrar.

I en undersökning från Ledarna om vilka problem chefer upp till 44 år upplevde hamnade ”att jobba på kvällarna efter att barnen somnat” näst längst ner bland alternativen. I en tidigare undersökning från samma organisation uppgav 57 procent av cheferna att de blev mer stressade av att inte ha tillgång till internet och mejl i alla lägen. ”De flesta tycker att uppkoppling är stöd för balans i livet, men det är väl it-stress om något”, kommenterade ledarskapsexperten Anki Udd då.

Frågan är hur man löser ekvationen. Kanske handlar det bara om att vi lära oss sätta regler för oss själva för uppkopplingen?

Flytta ögonen från skärmen
Allt fler ställer sig frågan vad den ständiga internetuppkopplingen, främst sociala medier, gör med våra relationer. Nätskeptikerna blir fler och amerikanska journalisten Susan Maushart fick förra året en enorm uppmärksamhet för sin bok Nedkopplad om familjens halvårsexperiment i att leva utan datorer, smartphones och tv-apparater. De började föra riktiga samtal, spela brädspel och saxofon.

Tre av tio i en undersökning från Unionen upplever att krav på tillgänglighet under semestern stjäl tid som de hellre velat spendera med familj och vänner. Ett råd är att kolla mejl på bestämda tider. Och när det gäller surfingsug varnade stressexperten Giorgio Grossi i Svd i fjol för signaler som att du lovat dig själv att inte koppla upp dig under semestern och ändå sitter du där, en medvetenhet att du egentligen flyr från något annat och reaktioner från omgivningen på ditt internetbeteende som ger dig skuldkänslor.

Källa: SvD.se, Sara Lomberg, 2012
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Creative Thinking Matters – Bill Gates Looked for Creative Thinking

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 19th, 2012 by admin

When Bill Gates led Microsoft, he realized that he didn’t have to know everything. He recognized that he had employees who did. But, he appreciated the importance of taking the time to learn what they knew and absorb their creative thinking. He took time to listen to their ideas. He took time to think, to ponder the direction of Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal highlighted Gates’ bi-annual Think Weeks in an article a few years ago, In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft’s Future by Robert A. Guth. (You must be a subscriber.) The concept took hold in my imagination.

Essentially, for many years, Gates went into seclusion for two, one-week “Think Weeks” a year. Family, friends and Microsoft employees were banned from his retreat.

Alone, he read manuscripts from Microsoft associates on topics that ranged from the future of technology to speculation about the next “hot” products. Some papers suggested new products or different versions of current products. Any employee could use their creative thinking to write up ideas and send them for Gates’ perusal. He has said that he may read 100 papers during a Think Week and his record is 112 papers.

Not just reading, Gates took the time to respond to employee suggestions. One paper might have resulted in an email sent to hundreds of Microsoft employees world-wide. Employees waited with baited breath to see if their paper or idea might receive the go ahead following one of these famous Think Weeks.

The process of reviewing employee ideas, and encouraging creative thinking from employees, has evolved over the years. An assistant later culled the submitted papers prior to Think Week and a computerized response system let Gates easily respond to papers. But the basic idea – to read and think during time alone – to review ideas from the creative thinking of employees – remained constant.

Think Week Implications for Creative Thinking

Bill Gates took the time, twice a year, to read and ponder the future of Microsoft and the creative thinking of his employees. How often do you take time to read about new ideas, revel in the creative thinking of your staff, consider creatively your current work and life, and make changes? Not often enough, I’ll bet.

But, if the founder and long term CEO of one of the most powerful corporations in the world set this example, I am willing to learn from his creative thinking. This article idea came to me during a one-hour think time. I jotted down four additional ideas – in just an hour of reading and creative thinking.

I know, take time to think; take time to read and learn may be simple messages. But do you do it? If not, take time for creative thinking; take time to read and learn. You can transform your world.

Ten Exercises to Promote Creative Thinking and Innovation:
•Read with pen and notebook in hand; jot down any idea that comes into your consciousness.

•Keep a notebook in which you can keep track of ideas, by your bed and in your car.

•Write one idea down on a piece of paper and brainstorm any thought that comes from it: how to accomplish the idea, what to do about the idea, where to use the idea, who can help you implement the idea, and any other thought that enters your mind.

•Read a non-fiction book every week. Read magazines, journals, online articles, all-the-time.

•Clip articles and place them in a folder of related articles or ideas. Periodically, glance through the folder.

•Create “idea files” in most folders in your computer. Create an idea or to-do file in your email program. Add ideas as they come to you.

•Take time to stare out your window (if your setting deserves attention), play with a desk toy, take a quiet walk. Do any rote activity that allows thoughts to swirl through your mind.

•Encourage your staff and coworkers to do all of the above and share ideas with each other at “think” or brainstorm sessions. Schedule annual retreats or off-site meetings to plan and generate ideas.

•Develop an employee suggestion process.

•Schedule think weeks, think days, or think hours for yourself or your work group.

Thinking time and learning time are both critical to creativity and innovation. The old adage: “stop to smell the roses” is true for both your current work and your career. Take time to plant and harvest the ideas that fuel your progress and success. Creative thinking rules.

Source: About.com, August 2012
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Do these 12 things before noon to succeed

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 16th, 2012 by admin

A recent study published in an American Psychological Association journal, Emotion, suggests that early birds are generally happier than night owls.

More than 700 respondents, ranging from ages 17 to 79, were surveyed and asked about their emotional state, health, and preferred time of day. Self-professed “morning people” reported feeling happier and healthier than night owls. Researchers hypothesize that one of the reasons could be because society caters to a morning person’s schedule.

It’s certainly true that the working world does. Working “9-to-5” is more than an expression, but a standard shift for many Americans. It also stands to reason that those who like rising with the sun are also the most productive employees in the office.
Do you want to be more like them? Then take note of the tasks these high-functioning, productive, and more awake employees have completed before lunch:

1. They make a work to-do list the day before.
Many swear by having a written to-do list, but not everyone agrees on when you need to compose it. According to Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant with Sozo Firm in Shrewsbury, Pa., the opportune time to plan a day’s tasks is the night before. “Some people like to do the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out,” he says. “It helps to do that to-do schedule the night before. It also will help you sleep better.

2. They get a full night’s rest.
Speaking of sleeping better … lack of sleep affects your concentration level, and therefore, your productivity. Whatever your gold standard is for a “good night’s rest,” strive to meet it every work night. Most health experts advise getting a minimum eight hours of shut-eye each night.

3. They avoid hitting snooze.
Petitioning for nine more minutes, then nine more, then another nine is a slippery slope that leads to falling back asleep and falling behind on your morning prep. Ultimately it also leads to lateness. “Anyone can be made into a morning person,” Jensen says. “Anyone can make morning their most productive time. It could be that for the entire week, you set your alarm clock a little bit earlier, and you get out of bed on the first alarm. It may be a pain at first, but eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re getting your seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you’re waking up with all your energy, and accomplishing the things around the house you need to before going to the office.”

4. They exercise.
Schedule your Pilates class for the a.m. instead of after work. “Exercise improves mood and energy levels,” Jensen says. Not only that, but “there have been studies done on employees who’ve exercised before work or during the work day. Those employees have been found to have better time-management skills, and an improved mental sharpness. … Those same studies found these workers are more patient with their peers.”

5. They practice a morning ritual.
Jensen also recommends instituting a morning routine aside from your exercise routine. Whether you opt to meditate, read the newspaper, or surf the Web, Jensen says “it’s important to have that quiet time with just you.”

6. They eat breakfast.
Food provides the fuel you’ll need to concentrate, and breakfast is particularly important since it recharges you after you’ve fasted all night. Try munching on something light and healthy in the morning, and avoid processed carbs that could zap your energy.

7. They arrive at the office on time.
This one is obvious, right? Getting a full night’s rest and keeping your sticky fingers off the snooze button should make No. 7 a cakewalk. If you’re not a new employee, then you’ve already figured out the length of your average commute. Allot a safe amount of time to make it to work on schedule.

8. They check in with their boss and/or employees.
We all know the cliche about the whole only being as good as the sum of its parts. In other words, if your closest work associates aren’t productive, then neither are you. Good workers set priorities that align with their company’s goals, and they’re transparent about their progress.

9. They tackle the big projects first.
You can dive right into work upon arriving in the office, since you made your to-do list the night before. And Jensen suggests starting with the hardest tasks. “Don’t jump into meaningless projects when you’re at your mental peak for the day,” he says.

10. They avoid morning meetings.
If you have any say on meeting times, schedule them in the afternoon. “You should use your prime skills during the prime time of the day. I believe that mornings are the most productive time,” Jensen says, also noting that an employer who schedules morning meetings could rob his or her employees of their peak performance, and ultimately cost the company.

The exception to this, he adds, is if your meeting is the most important task of the day. “Sometimes you have to schedule a crucial meeting, or a client meeting, in which case you’d want to plan for a time when employees are at their peak.”

11. They allot time for following up on messages.
Discern between mindless email/voicemail checking and conducting important business. Jensen’s company, Sozo Firm, advises clients that checking their inbox every couple of minutes takes time away from important tasks. Instead, set a schedule to check and respond to email in increments. Consider doing so at the top of each hour, to ensure that clients and colleagues receive prompt responses from you.

12. They take a mid-morning break.
Get up and stretch your legs. Or stay seated and indulge in a little Internet surfing. According to Jensen, it’s actually good to zone out on Facebook and Twitter or send a personal text message or two. “You should take 10-minute breaks occasionally,” he says. “Companies that ban any kind of Facebook [use], texting, or personal calls can find it will be detrimental. Those practices increase employee satisfaction.”

Just be sure not to abuse the privilege. “The best employees will respect their employer’s time, and the worst-performing employees will find a way to waste time even if the company forbids personal Internet use,” Jensen explains.

Source: businessindsider.com, Jada A. Graves, August 16, 2012
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Facebook har 84 miljoner falska konton

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Digitalisering / Internet on August 15th, 2012 by admin

Nästan tio procent av Facebooks konton är falska eller felaktiga. Det motsvarar närmare 83 miljoner konton. Uppgifterna släpps samtidigt som den senaste kvartalsförlusten på 157 miljoner dollar skickar ner aktiekursen för Facebook med tio procent till den lägsta nivån sedan noteringen i maj.

• 4,8 procent av användarna har dubblettkonton vilket inte är tillåtet enligt Facebooks användarvillkor.
• 2,4 procent av kontona är felaktigt klassificerade som personliga konton när de borde vara sidor för företag eller organisationer.
• 1,5 procent av kontona handlar om konton som främst är öppnade för att spamma andra användare och dylikt.

Med tankar på Facebooks 900 miljoner användare är det inte märkligt att en andel av kontona är felaktiga. Det skulle vara ännu mer intressant att veta hur många konton det finns som är mer eller mindre övergivna av användarna.

Källa: Jajja.com, 15 augusti 2012
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Så får du nytt jobb efter semestern

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 15th, 2012 by admin

Efter semestern har svenskarna börjat leta efter nya jobb. Det avslöjar den intensifierade trafiken på jobbsökarsajter. Här är rekryterarnas bästa tips i jakten.


Källa: DI.se, Irene Sokolow, 13 augusti 2012
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Minska tidstjuvarna

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on August 12th, 2012 by admin

Tidstjuvarna som minskar effektiviteten är nu identifierade. Fem timmar i veckan försvinner på grund av pratsamma kolleger, datorstrul och annat som pockar på. Det visar en ny undersökning som DN Jobb har tagit del av.

En timme om dagen. Så mycket arbetstid går åt till alla små avbrott som stjäl uppmärksamhet. Man blir störd, byter fokus och återgår sedan till det man höll på med, en process som både kostar tid och energi. Till de största tidstjuvarna hör teknik som strular, enligt en undersökning som Manpower presenterar i dag. Plötsligt är alla mappar borta och i väntan på supporten blir man sittande sysslolös. En lika stor tidsbov är kollegerna. Skrivbordsgrannen vill få input eller kanske ta en paus och diskutera helgen. Men till skillnad från datorhaveriet kan spontant småprat med kollegerna ge tips och nya infallsvinklar som ger mervärde.

Anki Ljung, HR-direktör på ManpowerGroup, tycker ändå att man ska respektera att kollegan kan behöva jobba ostört.
– Vissa är känsligare än andra för att bli avbrutna, därför är det bra att stämma av om det är okej att ta upp något här och nu eller om ni ska ta det senare.

Avbrotten, oavsett vilka de är, ser hon som en arbetsmiljöfråga som både chefer och anställda borde sträva efter att minimera.
– Stress ligger bakom många sjukskrivningar och avbrotten kan vara en bidragande faktor. Det är väldigt frustrerande att känna att man aldrig kommer till skott eller blir klar med en uppgift.

Över 6 000 personer deltog i enkätundersökningen om ineffektiv tid och vad den beror på. Nästan tre av tio uppgav att över en timme går förlorad på grund av ständiga avbrott. Men samtidigt är det svårt att kräva att få arbeta fullständigt ostört. I synnerhet mejl och telefonsamtal hör till, även om de sällar sig till topplistan på störningsmoment.
– Man kan självklart inte förvänta sig 40 ostörda timmar i veckan, men var och en har ett ansvar för att hitta tid då man gör klart det man ska, säger Anki Ljung.

Biter inte arbetsmiljöargumentet på chefen, kanske tanken på att återta en del av den förlorade tiden fungerar bättre. I ett företag med hundra anställda kan det betyda mycket för effektiviteten om man lyckas minska den bortkastade timmen med 20 minuter.
– Diskutera hur ni ska förhålla er till varandra på kontoret. En del har längre ställtid om de blir avbrutna, det är viktigt att respektera. Är det tekniken som strular kan man enkelt räkna ut hur mycket man har att vinna på att exempelvis köpa in nya servrar.

Men man behöver inte vänta på att chefen ska agera. Med enkla metoder kan man själv undvika att fokus fladdrar i väg åt annat håll.
– Sätt av tid för när du svarar på mejl och stäng av alla störande pop up-funktioner. Många bokar också rutinartat in möten som är en timme långa. Kanske räcker det med 45 minuter i stället?

–  Ständiga avbrott är en arbetsmiljö­fråga. Både chefer och anställda borde sträva efter att minimera dem, säger Anki Ljung på Manpower, som undersökt hur mycket tid som ”stjäls” på jobbet.

Källa: DN.se, Linnea Bolter, maj 2012
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Vinnarskallen kan bli karriärshinder

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 10th, 2012 by admin

Elitidrottare sägs ha utvecklat egenskaper som gör dem attraktiva på arbetsmarknaden efter idrottskarriären. Men somliga andra egenskaper kan snarare bli oanvändbara, eller till och med en nackdel, i arbetslivet efter idrotten.
“Elitidrottare säger att de måste låtsas vara någon annan”, säger forskaren Natalie Barker till TT.

Universitetslektorerna Natalie och Dean Barker, vid Göteborgs Universitet, har tillsammans med forskare vid två australiska universitet intervjuat åtta tidigare OS-idrottare från Sverige, Schweiz, USA och Australien.
Vissa egenskaper hos elitidrottare har visat sig mycket användbara i livet efteråt, som uthållighet och organisationsförmåga. Däremot visar sig annat — som underkastelse, perfektionism, konkurrenstänkande och självupptagenhet — mer eller mindre oanvändbara i arbetet, studierna eller familjelivet.

Källa: DI.se, 10 augusti 2012
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Stressa ned med enkla övningar

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on August 10th, 2012 by admin

Som bodybuilding för koncentrationsförmågan och mer uppiggande än en powernap. Så beskrivs mindfulnessövningen som kan utföras utan att man lämnar skrivbordsstolen.

Att känna sig harmonisk en hektisk jobbdag kan låta som en utopi, men faktum är att man med hjälp av relativt enkla övningar kan lära sig att stressa ner mitt i kaoset.

Kärnan i mindfulness på jobbet är att dagligen ta en paus på tio minuter då man går in för att fokusera på andningen. En promenad på lunchen eller ett avbrott vid skrivbordet går bra vilket som. Det viktiga är att man mentalt släpper allt man har omkring sig.

– Plötsligt märker man hur stressad man är. Man får en referenspunkt: ”Det är så här det känns att vara avslappnad”, säger Jens Näsström, vd för Potential Project i Sverige.

Potential Project är ett danskt initiativ som i dialog med forskare och näringslivsrepresentanter utvecklat ett antal verktyg för att applicera mindfulness i arbetssammanhang. I slutet av förra året startade Jens Näsström en svensk gren av företaget.

Själv är han arbetspsykolog och har bland annat hållit kurser i stresshantering för advokater, en grupp som ligger i riskzonen när det gäller skadlig överansträngning.

– Advokater tål mycket, annars skulle de inte komma så långt som de gör. Men det finns en bortre gräns. Drivet som gjort dem framgångsrika blir i längden ett hinder för en hållbar livsstil, säger Jens Näsström.

Vid sidan av andningspauserna är acceptans en viktig övning. Det handlar om att lära sig acceptera att något inte blev som man tänkt sig. Missar man en deadline ska man i stället för att låta frustrationen ta överhand sätta sig ner och lugnt tänka igenom situationen för att sedan gå vidare.

Pauserna och acceptansövningarna i kombination med att man så långt det går inte arbetar med flera saker samtidigt, stärker vad Jens Näsström kallar för ”uppmärksamhetsmuskeln”.

– Man bygger upp förmågan att medvetet och fokuserat göra det man vill. Man lär sig också att reglera sin energi och sitt stresspåslag. Det finns något väldigt hoppfullt och självstärkande i det. Till det yttre jobbar man på som vanligt, men man ändrar sitt förhållningssätt till arbetet.

Källa: DN.se,Linnea Bolter, augusti 2012
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Is your leadership showing?

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on August 9th, 2012 by admin

Most members of a team know when they’re doing their work well. They often have a particular area of expertise, and they have deadlines and deliverables.

For leaders, it’s a bit different. How do you show that you’re leading? Here are five competencies that good leaders demonstrate. They are related to one another, and each is framed with a question to help you think about opportunities to display leadership.

1. Visibility
We know that leaders need to be seen by followers–from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.” The less-obvious occasions, however, are easily overlooked. They can be lost opportunities, or powerful expressions of leadership.

As a leader, when do you feel out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s when you have to deliver bad or unpopular news, or mediate a conflict between direct reports, or perform a necessary task that you just don’t like. One CEO client told me that he found it hard to celebrate the “small to medium wins” that his team wanted acknowledged. He considered these victories just part of doing business. His solution was to ask his executives to publicize accomplishments up to a certain level, allowing him to save his praise for the really big achievements.

Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t want to be?” The answer is not to pretend to like being visible–far from it. Instead, ask yourself this question prior to an uncomfortable event, and use it to help you prepare. Consider some behavioral options, and put yourself in a different mental space. Then you’ll be able to be visible in a more productive, less stressful manner.

2. Preparation
Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Too many leaders, however, don’t prepare regularly for the deeper daily requirements of leadership. This is a shame, because most leaders face complex challenges, relentless claims on their time, and increasing pressures to deliver on goals over which they don’t have direct control. A bit of regular preparation goes a long way.

Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. The next time you are running through your checklist prior to a leadership event, ask yourself, “How have I prepared my whole self for this?”

3. Comfort
This is closely related to preparation, because leadership discomfort is greatly enhanced by a lack of preparation. In order to be more comfortable as a leader and to appear that way to other people, you need to practice (which is simple preparation repeated). By “comfortable,” I don’t mean perpetually happy or even relaxed–I mean grounded in your complete embodiment of leadership.

Ask yourself, “How do I display that I am comfortable with the responsibilities and demands of leadership?” Look for nagging doubts in the back of your mind; or instincts that need to be surfaced around what you feel should be happening instead of what is happening, or that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach about an issue not faced. This is valuable data, and if you do not address your lack of grounding and comfort, others will certainly sense it for you.

4. Listening
One reason that modern leadership is hard is because an effective modern leader must listen to others. Though few people manage to do it, this may be one of the easiest competencies to demonstrate–provided you can resist the urge to talk.

Ask yourself, “What one thing can I tell myself as a reminder to listen more?” It’s vitally important that you think up an effective cue. If you can’t come up with one, that in itself could indicate a deeper internal misalignment.

5. Blend
This list started with visibility. When the opposite is required, a leader must blend in. Otherwise, he or she risks drawing attention away from the people and issues at hand. When you pull back, it makes it easier for other people to bring you hard problems, bad news, and perspectives that challenge the status quo.

As a leader, it’s not all about you. The clearest way to demonstrate this is to find the right moments to step out of the spotlight so that other people get the attention they need. Ask yourself, “When necessary, how do I lower the volume of my leadership presence?”

Though leadership can be hard to demonstrate at times, regularly questioning how you embody your role will serve your leadership well.

Source: Inc.com, August 2012
Author: Brian Evje: Brian is a management consultant with the organizational effectiveness practice of Slalom Consulting and an advisory board member of Astia, a global not-for-profit dedicated to increasing women’s participation in high-growth businesses.
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Five ways to take customer loyalty to the next level

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales on August 8th, 2012 by admin

New customers are the lifeblood of companies. Or are they? Lately, marketers have been spending more time on current customers — revamping what customer service means, investing more in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and building teams to improve communication with customers.

In this age of social connectivity, customer loyalty has become more valuable than ever. Consumers share stories of theirinteractions with businesses on social media, meaning that word-of-mouth marketing is more valuable than ever.

Since customer loyalty can be critical to making a sale, ask yourself what you’re doing to cultivate it. When was the last time you spent money or resources on making your customers feel appreciated? Many might argue that a focus on customer appreciation isn’t just a best practice — it could mean the difference between failure and survival in today’s word-of-mouth driven economy.

Here are five ways you can take customer loyalty up a notch:
1. Improve your “Thank You”
Most of us have a Web page or email that thanks our customers for converting, whether that means joining the community, purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. But chances are good that the “thank you” could use some work. Because the thank you page or email is seen by every single one of your customers, you should ask: Does it put your best foot forward?

Rather than merely using that page to confirm an action, why not add some useful resources, follow-up steps or company contact information? Other ideas for improvement include lacing in a promotion to instigate immediate action or simply making the message more visually enticing.

2. Optimize your feedback channels
Feedback comes in many forms, but chances are you’re getting customer responses you aren’t even using. While many companies tap into what their customer service department is hearing, they are less likely to proactively survey their website visitors or to analyze their cancelation and return forms. That’s a shame because these are all opportunities to get more information on what customers need.

When you take the time to improve your feedback channels, you are telling your audience, “We care about what you think.” This reminder can help build loyalty and help you answer concerns in a timelier manner, reducing customer loss and building trust.

3. Go beyond cancellations as a performance indicator
While you need to know how many of your customers are cancelling, it is a reactive performance indicator. In addition to monitoring your customers loss, you can gauge loyalty by watching your company’s “net promoter score,” frequency of customer interactions with your business and the length of time between customer visits. By tracking how engaged customers are and how likely they are to recommend your company, you can get a more complete measure of their loyalty.

More reading about measuring customer satsifaction and Net Promotor Score at www.3s.se // Johan

4. Assign someone to manage it
Tracking and improving customer loyalty can be a challenge if no one specific is managing it. Good candidates for this responsibility often come from customer service, marketing, operations or product teams. The key qualifications are the ability to work well with others and a belief in the value of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

Whoever you choose should understand that customer loyalty may touch a number of departments at your company, but it deserves its own champion for maximum success.

5. Evangelize the gains and losses
While customer loyalty should have a dedicated advocate, it is a company-wide effort. Unfortunately, customer loyalty scores rarely get touted as much as revenue and profits. Why is that? Many companies see customer loyalty as something beyond their control, that it is the natural result of the websites they build and products and services they sell. But companies have a number of opportunities to build trust and loyalty by making their interactions with customers the best they can be.

To show the importance of these interactions to customer retention, you can share with the rest of the company the results of your loyalty measurements, whether good or bad. This makes it a company-wide priority, and only then are you really taking customer loyalty to the next level.

Source: entrepreneur.com, August 2012
Author: Joanna Lord (more info here)
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