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Success’ Trajectory

20 May

What success looks like

Tech Companies Need To Spend 98% Of Its Time On This To Be Successful

21 Mar

cyrus-massoumi-sitting-on-a-ball

Today’s advice comes from Cyrus Massoumi, CEO and founder of ZocDoc, via his interview with TechCrunch.

“If you look at all of the technology that we developed across our entire engineering team of the last four and a half years, there are really only four pages that a consumer would see, which represents maybe two percent of our intellectual property.

The other 98 percent is in the back-end.

Massoumi’s company ZocDoc has been a huge success since launching, but its rapid growth comes from constant back-end work, specifically focusing on trends taking place in other similar businesses. He said that even when you think you’ve got it to where you want it, occurrences will happen and more changes will need to be made.

“How do you accommodate that?  How do you make sure that patients have this great level of customer service? These are just some of the very few things. We like to say that ZocDoc is the culmination of 1,000.1 percent things.”

Trust In Your Team

12 Mar

jared-friedland-ceo-catalyst-prep

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jared Friedland, founder and CEO of the national test preparation company Catalyst Prep:

“One of the hardest things that I’ve had to do in the last year is really trust the people that I’ve hired and understand that a lot of them are actually much better at their jobs than I would be at their jobs.”

When Friedland founded Catalyst Prep in 2005, he did everything from bringing in sales to managing his staff to actually teaching the students — who were also his clients.

But as the company began to grow exponentially, Friedland realized that he would have to put his faith in his employees to do the jobs they were hired to do.

He says that one of the best decisions you can make for your company is to hire efficient, self-starting employees. This will relieve you of the day-to-day operations and allow you to focus more on the ideas that will drive your company’s growth.

“I always knew that if the business was going to grow that I had to divorce myself from the day-to-day operations. And I’ve certainly had my role evolve in that way. Right now I’m about 90 percent divorced from the day-to-day operations and there’s a tremendous, tremendous team of people behind me.”

Advice for Entrepreneurs from Richard Branson

16 Jan

Since Branson founded Virgin in 1970, the company has grown from a small record outlet to a global powerhouse. Can the brand continue its success without him?

Your Business Needs More Than Great People

18 Oct

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jim Burleigh, CEO at Cloud9:

“If you have to have the best of the best, you’re relying on your people to carry your organization; this won’t scale. You need process to ensure success.”

Aside from understanding your customers and “treating sales as a science,” Burleigh says that constructing your team is one of the most crucial elements in sales success.

To be the best, Burleigh told us you don’t actually have to hire the best. Instead, you should rely on great process which will allow you to “optimize your people, scale the organization, and produce superior results.”

“Now, of course I’m not advocating hiring and rewarding mediocre employees. Rather, evaluate what – or who – you’re expecting to drive your organization’s success.”

Know Your Consumers Better Than Your Competitors Do

16 Oct

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jeff Jervik, CEO of Elements Therapeutic Massage:

“We continue to do the research to make sure that we’re delivering, that we have customer satisfaction, tools that tell us what our consumers say we’re doing well, what we could do better, and we continue to listen to the consumer, and continue to improve.”

Entrepreneurs looking to launch a business in a market already saturated with competition shouldn’t be deterred by this fact.

Instead, Jervik says you just need to know your customers better than your competition does.

When you run a company in an industry with a lot of competitors, it’s important not to assume you already know what your clients want. Talk to consumers and allow them to tell you themselves; it will give you a leg up in the market.

“Make sure that you’ve done your homework and that you know what it is your consumer is really looking for so that when you start your business you’re not trying to figure that out once you open your doors.”

Richard Branson’s 7 Customer Service Success Rules To Live By

12 Oct

1. In Customer Service, Saying “Yes!” is Fun

Branson didn’t achieve the success he has today by saying “no” at opportunities to do new things, be bold in how to approach projects, and meet the needs and wants of customers. He often defies the conventional wisdom, pushes the envelope and decides to say “yes” and try new approaches to how to do business when others would simple say “no”.

Too often we treat our customer interacting teams as gatekeepers, deciders of the yes or the no when it comes to customer needs. Rather we should be helping our people be a concierge to customers, assisting and caring for customer needs.

2. If You Are Going to Dream Up Customer Service, Dream Big!

No matter what the project, Branson’s companies are created around saying “yes” to what other companies don’t. He wins customers by making customer service, value, and experience the focus on his organization. He then sets the bar high, higher than what others are doing or think is possible of achieving. Customer service isn’t just for phone, Internet, or TV companies.

Whatever type of business you’re in, exceptional customer service is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.

3. Having Fun in Customer Service is Fun

As with most successful individual, Branson is constantly asked for “the secret” to his success. His response? There’s no secret. Hard work, smart work, and above all have fun while working in customer service . Branson’s been known to say that if you have fun, work hard, that money will eventually come. He’s also shared that when you stop having fun with what you’re doing, it’s time to move on.

Ultimately, we all have a choice. You can endure work, or you can work and have fun while doing it. It’s really up to you do decide. Choose to have fun. Choose to relax. Choose to loosen up and enjoy the moment, it only lasts once.

4. Always Take Risks – Calculated Customer Service Risks

Irresponsible? Reckless? Branson’s been called this…and not a few times. But it’s best to see Branson as visionary at always seeking to push the envelope. One time success can be attributed to luck. Multiple successes come from evaluating risks, then putting all your energy into making your vision happen.

Great success doesn’t come without taking risks. The key is taking the right risks.

5. Live for Each Customer Service Moment

We need goals. We need aspirations. Both inside work and out. Branson says that even dedicating 80 hours a week to a business still allows for a few hours of fun. Don’t forget, people can have fun at work too. Great customer service is making personal connections. Encourage people to have fun, be themselves. Making personal connections requires us to be personal. What better way to connect with customers than to learn about your customers, what they like, what they do, find similarities and build on that.

Some of the best customer service professionals I’ve worked with were never the most experienced or the most knowledgeable. But they were the best and personally connecting with customers, each and every time.

6. Always Give Respect to Customer Service

An early lesson Branson learned is that in business, everyone commands respect. Any person could be a potential future customer or partner. The way you treat them could affect your business future. Give people respect and your reputation will thank you.

7. Give Back in Customer Service

Success in business means money. Money is the bottom line. But satisfaction doesn’t come from money. To feel the ultimate satisfaction from the work you do, you’ll need more than money. You’ll need to have a worthwhile, positive, emotional connection with what you do. Give back, remember that no matter what we achieve, we all received some help along the way.

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