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Maximize Your Organization's Potential by Encouraging Responsiveness

In his book “Legendary Service - The Key Is to Care” author Patrick Blanchard boldly states, “Being responsive to your customers goes hand in hand with being attentive to their needs and preferences.”

He then provides compelling examples on the way service providers can demonstrate a genuine willingness to serve customers as they fulfill their individual needs. These include listening to concerns and needs; taking care of problems right away; showing the customer that you are on their side. Blanchard also describes how managers can engage team members to contribute ideas for providing better customer service through the use of a customer service model based on the acronym ICARE.

November 18, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio Conferencing, Conference Calls, ICARE, Kenneth Blanchard, Legendary Service, Meetings, R&D, Responsiveness, Success Sharing Event, The Key is to Care, Web Conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Empowerment

In his book “Legendary Service - The Key Is to Care” author Patrick Blanchard boldly states, “The more empowered the frontline people in an organization are, the happier the external customers are going to be, because their needs are being met.”

He then provides compelling examples of what makes people feel empowered on the job. Examples provided include the following:

 

November 11, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio Conferencing, Conference Calls, Empowerment, ICARE, Kenneth Blanchard, LCS, Legendary Customer Service Team, Legendary Service, Meetings, The Key is to Care, Web Conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential by Defining Ideal Service

In his book “Legendary Service - The Key Is to Care” author Patrick Blanchard boldly states, “Ideal Service is meeting the customer's needs on a day-to-day basis by acting on the belief that service is important.”

He then provides a compelling example on the use of service statements to provide a clear definition of an organization's service vision and values. Used properly, service statements can help each team member to “have a clear vision of the kind of service they personally would like to deliver to their customer.” Blanchard also describes how managers can engage team members to contribute ideas for providing better customer service through the use of a customer service model based on the acronym ICARE.

Two Rivers Conferencing has several clients that utilize Blanchard's guidance in their strategies for enhancing the quality of customer service. They routinely conduct weekly Service Satisfaction Meetings with employees and managers identified as part of a “Customer Service Team.” This meeting is chaired by the client's Vice President of Sales & Service, with the company's President & CEO and selected members of his sales, product development and business operations team in attendance. Using this approach allows a company the opportunity to fully evaluate its service activities and product R&D in light of its service vision and values.

November 4, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio Conferencing, Conference Calls, Customer Service Team, ICARE, Ideal Service, Kenneth Blanchard, Legendary Service, Meetings, The Key is to Care, Web Conferencing
Legendary Service The Key Is to Care by Ken Blanchard - Keep your customers coming back!

In his book “Legendary Service - The Key Is to Care” author Patrick Blanchard boldly states, “Simply put, companies can achieve Legendary Service by showing their customers they care about them.”

He then provides a compelling example on the use of regularly scheduled meetings where employees and managers can dig into the critical issues that can allow an organization to “consistently deliver ideal service that keeps customers coming back and results in a competitive advantage for your organization.” Blanchard also describes how managers can engage team members to contribute ideas for providing better customer service through the use of a customer service model based on the acronym ICARE.

Two Rivers Conferencing utilizes Blanchard's guidance in its strategies for enhancing the quality of our customer service. We routinely conduct Weekly Sales / Service Meetings with our Director of Customer Service Kristina Owen. This meeting is chaired by our Managing Partner, with our President & CEO and selected members of his finance, accounting and business operations team in attendance. Using this approach allows us the opportunity to fully evaluate Kristina's service activities in light of current business developments and other ongoing initiatives.

October 7, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Conference Calls, ICARE, Kenneth Blanchard, Legendary Service, Meetings, Microsoft Lync, The Key is to Care, Unified Meeting
Using Research and Customer Information to Maximize Business Potential

The cornerstone of any business is a loyal customer. That is why in September, our main focus has been on building strong customer relations using customer information supported by excellent service. The two simply go hand in hand. Starting in October, we will start a series, “Using Conference Calling to Define Service” building on that foundation. Conferencing can be a cost effective and simple way to facilitate this customer research and information gathering in order to provide the best in service.

Last week, we discussed the importance of excellent customer service in building loyal, repeat customers who makes referrals. Earlier in the month, we outlined ways to know your customer as well as steps to gather market intelligence. All the suggestions offered will help to serve your customer base. Ultimately, this customer knowledge can help your business reap tremendous benefits. We strongly emphasize that gathering this customer knowledge has to be a priority. It just doesn't happen! Outlined below are suggestions that will make this research a reality.

September 30, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Customer service, Market Research, Marketplace Trends, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
Why excellent customer service is important

“Spontaneous service brings joy to both receiver and giver. Good customer service has to come from people who like people and enjoy being nice to them. It starts at the top.” (Neiman-Marcus)

We have all heard the phrase “The customer is always right”. The truth behind this famous slogan is recognizing that customers are the lifeline for any business. A successful company understands that excellent customer service is essential for a healthy business, creating new customers, keeping loyal customers, and developing referrals for future customers.

Why is excellent customer service important? Simply put, future business depends on it. The best in customer service can result in three positive outcomes:

September 23, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Business solutions, Conference call, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing service, Customer Service, Customer support, Listening skills, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
Tracking Results to Maximize Business Potential

The most successful organizations in the world are also those who apply the most rigor to reviewing results against plan and providing guidance and training to ensure plans are met. That which gets measured, gets done! Audio and web conferencing are great ways to perform these reviews with individuals and functional groups throughout your company in a way that provides uniform dissemination of information while eliminating the need for travel to accomplish these purposes. Some common areas where this could be applied include:



September 16, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing service, Meetings, performance reviews, Strategic planning, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
We Build Relationships

Building a strong customer relationship is necessary for excellence in customer service. In order to build this foundation, it is essential to understand your customer's specific needs and business goals. This understanding will make the most of your customer relationships and allow you to provide them with the best service. It is equally important to know them on a friendly level, which will build trust and loyalty. This customer knowledge will guarantee a long lasting client relationship that will transition and grow as both of your businesses evolve.

Understanding how your customers are managing their business along with a knowledge of their future plans and goals will play an important role in building a strong relationship. Getting to know your client and their needs means that you need to be a step ahead of the game and know what will benefit them in the long run. This knowledge about your customer's business will help you put the right solutions in place for them, not only for the present but for the future. Knowing the direction a customer plans to take their business can make you an integral part of growing their business. This will also help to grow your business in order to maximize business potential!

September 8, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Business solutions, Conference call, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing service, Customer Service, Customer support, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
Gaining Market Insights to Maximize Business Potential

Gathering market information is an essential part of any business or organization - no business can work isolated from their industry, market, clients and partners. All businesses, regardless of size and type, have to continually maintain contact with their clients and business partners to keep current with relevant marketplace issues and trends.

The problem is businesses have time and resource limitations, impacting their ability (and willingness) to implement ongoing market intelligence/information programs. But businesses need to have a market intelligence program. The business environment and market factors evolve too quickly not to keep abreast with changes and trends.

September 2, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing service, Market Intelligence, Market Research, Marketplace Trends, Meetings, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
Integrating New Technologies with Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing in various forms has been around for a long time. There are few in the business world who have not participated in an audio conference at one time or another, whether it was a toll-free reservationless call, an operator assisted event call or an audio call in conjunction with a web conference or webinar. In fact audio conferencing has been around for so long it is sometimes considered old news compared to newer technologies such as web conferencing and the various forms of video conferencing (room-based video, desktop video, mobile video, etc.). It would be easy to assume that audio conferencing is a mature technology that has had no new developments for some time as everyone's attention has turned to flashier alternatives. That assumption is wrong!

August 26, 2014 | Categories: , , , , | Tags: Audio and Web Conferencing services, Communication, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Event management, Meetings, Mobile Conferencing, Technology, Timed Agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Unified Communications

Today's workplace is global and dispersed. Businesses need seamless collaboration that merges all forms of communication including voice and data. In our global work environment, meetings are held at multiple locations and varied times. Documents need to be shared for effective management and decision-making. Calendars have to be accessed quickly so meetings can be coordinated with geographically dispersed participants. Bottom-line, communications needs to be fast, efficient and flexible while using resources in the most cost effective manner.

Enter Unified Communications (UC) which integrates communication services in a cost effective real-time way. UC unites audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, presence information, telephony, document sharing, call control and unified messaging (integrated voice mail, email and fax) all under an integrated communication service.

August 19, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio Conferencing, Collaboration, Communication, Conference calls, Conferencing, Decision-making, Meetings, Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Workplace Productivity
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Quarterly Reviews

Our fourth article on effective meetings focuses on the quarterly review meeting. Author Patrick Lencioni strongly advocates the use of quarterly leadership team meetings in his book “The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business”. Regarding this meeting form he states, “Activities that should be addressed during these meetings should include reviewing the organization's strategic anchors and thematic goals, assessing the performance of key employees, discussing industry changes and competitive threats and, of course, reviewing the behaviors of the team members in regard to cohesiveness.”

Lencioni recommends the use of an outside consultant or leader of the executive team to participate as a member, organize the meeting and facilitate the discussion. He advises executives to step back and revisit the four disciplines covered in his book: team, clarity, communication, and human systems. The author advises that every organization spend two days each quarter for these developmental review meetings.

August 12, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , | Tags: Audio, Audio and web conferencing services, Communication, Competition Conference calls, Conference call, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Decision-Making, Meetings, Strategies, Two Rivers Conferencing, Web conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Weekly Staff Meetings

We all cringe at the thought of sitting through yet another weekly meeting in which we hash out the events of the seven days and discuss what each team member feels is top priority moving forward. These meetings can seem mundane and tiresome as can the time spent creating an agenda leading up to them. In “The Advantage” Patrick Lencioni addresses how to eliminate the fuss and capitalize on time to ensure your dreaded weekly meeting not only serves purpose, but makes it enjoyable.

According to Lencioni “there is no more valuable activity in any organization than the regular staff meeting of a leadership team.” He has designated weekly or bi-weekly meetings for tactical purposes. These meetings are to quickly create a real-time agenda and assess top priorities. The challenge is evaluating the importance of each priority brought up by team members while eliminating topic distractions.

August 5, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, communication, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Meetings, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Adhoc Topical Meetings

Continuing our discussion on effective meetings, Patrick Lencioni in his book “The Advantage — Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” said, “The highpoint of being a leader in an organization is wrestling with difficult decisions and situations. Truncating those high points just doesn't make sense.” Lencioni makes a strong case for the utilization of adhoc topical meetings where management digs into the critical issues that can have a long term impact on an organization or that require significant time and energy.

According to Lencioni, managers should separate their tactical conversations from their strategic ones. Combining the tactical and strategic conversations just doesn't work and leaves both set of issues inadequately addressed. He further states that if leadership goes more than a month without a strategic meeting, something is probably wrong.

July 29, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, communication, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Meetings, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing
Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Daily Check-in Meetings

In his book “The Advantage — Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” author Patrick Lencioni boldly states, “If someone were to offer me one single piece of evidence to evaluate the health of an organization, I would want to observe the leadership team during a meeting.” He then makes a compelling case for the use of daily check-in meetings where management teams briefly review schedules, events and issue alerts.

Lencioni advises the team get into the habit of gathering once a day, for no more than ten minutes, to clear the air about anything administrative that would be helpful to know. He further advises that there be no agendas and no resolution of issues, just an exchange of information. Two Rivers Conferencing's toll free reservationless conference services perfectly complements this healthy organization strategy!

July 22, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, communication, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Meetings, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing
Best Practices to Improve Your Conference Calls

International business is exploding across all industries as new technology makes the world a smaller place. Although more international business opportunities exist than ever before, communicating effectively with parties in different countries can be a challenge. Different physical locations, different time zones and long travel durations combine to create strong barriers to communication. Audio and video conferencing are powerful ways for geographically distributed groups of people to collaborate effectively. They allow multiple participants to communicate as a group and create real time teamwork where it otherwise could not exist. They can also allow sharing of documents, drawings, spreadsheets and even full motion videos, which aid the communication process.

As significant as the benefits of international conferencing may be, challenges to effective communication do exist. Accents from non-native English speakers can be difficult to discern. Some words and phrases have different meanings in different countries which can lead to confusion. With that in mind here are some do's and don'ts for international audio/video conferencing:

July 15, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Conference call, conference call moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Meetings, timed agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing, web conferencing, Webinars
Best Practices to Improve Your Conference Calls

It is a challenge to connect professionals suspicious of sharing information with other professionals in the same industry — even though sharing expertise could benefit both parties. Conference calling technology provides an effective way to bridge this need for shared professional expertise. A real estate agent program provides a strong example of the benefits of sharing information at a distance using conference calling.

A sales representative from a large conference service provider (CSP) attended a real estate sales seminar hosted by an acknowledged industry expert on the best practices for achieving success in residential and commercial real estate. His seminars were attended by some of this country's most successful real estate agents. The sales representatives were told that surveys taken by the seminar's attendees indicated that the agents strongly valued the information obtained from the program's presentations and educational events. Surprisingly, the survey data showed attendees gave even greater value to the information shared among fellow sales agents during the many social and business networking events that occurred over the course of the three day conference seminar event.

July 8, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio and web conferencing services, Audio conferencing, Conference call, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Conferencing service, Real Estate, Real Estate Sales, Two Rivers Conferencing
Best Practices to Improve Your Conference Calls

In our April 24th blog, we discussed conference call techniques for meeting managers, where we emphasized knowing your conference call provider's features and options. This will help you manage your calls more effectively. Last week's blog (June 24th) on conferencing etiquette provided guidelines for the moderators and participants. This week we want to add more ways for improving your conference calls.

We would recommend having your conference calls at a regular, recurring time. The conference call can be scheduled daily, weekly or monthly. The key, however, is to schedule the conference call at a consistent day and time. This allows your team members to plan their schedules and emphasizes the value you place on the participant's input. Having this fixed schedule shows respect and helps to maximize the success of your conference meeting for all involved.

July 1, 2014 | Categories: , , | Tags: Conference call moderator, Conference call provider, Conference calls, employee satisfaction, meetings, timed agenda, Two Rivers Conferencing
Conference Call Etiquette

Many business people have questions about the proper etiquette to use when hosting or participating in a conference call. While many have weighed in on this issue, there is no one set of definitive rules governing proper conduct of a conference event. We would like to offer the following suggestions as guidelines for consideration by anyone required to host/moderate or requested to participate on a conference call.

Guidelines for hosts / moderators:

  • Get comfortable with the fact you will be talking in front of a group and receiving no visual cues or feedback.
  • Set up the meeting in advance and communicate the dial in number, pass codes and other information. “Spring forward, fall back” is something to keep in mind for your time zone crossing colleagues. Hint: Check on the Internet or even phone a colleague in that country and ask what time it is!
  • Start the meeting absolutely on time; don't reward latecomers' bad behavior by waiting for them. Take a roll call at the start of the meeting, highlighting the missing attendees.
  • Treat the conference call as if it were a meeting. You know the routine; prepare and circulate an agenda, take notes, publish meeting minutes, and identify the date and time of the next scheduled meeting.
June 24, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , | Tags: Conference Call Moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Corporate Culture, Employee Morale, Employee satisfaction, Meeting Manager, Meetings, Moderator, Participants, Timed agendas
Meeting Manager

Whether you need to host recurring meetings or organize something last minute, setting up a conference call efficiently allows you to bring people together. Although conference calls make meeting convenient, they can get complicated when you involve multiple people.

There are many things that can negatively impact a conference call, such as background noise or interruption by late participants. You can also face the issue of people having the wrong dial-in info or bad connectivity to the call.

Know Your Conference Call Provider's Features and Options

Hosting a successful conference call is much more manageable if you make yourself familiar with all of the features and options available in order to alleviate any issues that may arise. For instance, you can mute all participants in order to avoid background noise. You can even lock your conference so that late participants don't have the option to join and interrupt. If a participant has an issue dialing in to the call, you can actually dial out to him/her for inclusion into the call. Another option is to record the call for people who may have missed the meeting all together. It is also helpful to notify participants of how you plan to conduct the meeting by sending an email ahead of time with an agenda and details of how you plan to conduct the meeting, such as your plan to lock the conference 5 minutes after the meeting starts.

April 24, 2014 | Categories: , | Tags: conference call, conference call provider, meeting manager

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