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Essentials : Dealing with customer complaints

As a business, you want to give your customers the best products, services and care as possible. This is the same for all kinds of businesses – whether you’re a retail business, a hospitality business or a service based business like a PR agency. Even though you might take the necessary steps to ensure a happy customer experience, there will always be unsatisfied customers – there might be an issue with your product or service, a delay or maybe a simple miscommunication.

 

Customer is king, and when a customer is unhappy, you need to address their grievances in order to prevent customer loss. Unhappy customers might also spread the word, which is definitely bad PR and can cause you to lose potential customers too. Here are some essential tips for dealing with unhappy customers.

 

Listen to what your customer has to say

 

When a customer has a complaint, you have to listen carefully and put your emotions aside – it is essential that you remain calm even if the customer is screaming their lungs out. Do not respond aggressively because this will only make your customer more upset. Complaints are not always verbal, it can also be written through emails or even reviews on various channels online. Pay attention to all the complaints you receive, this will help you understand the problem. With a better understanding of the problem, you can work on solutions to help avoid such complaints in the future.

 

Accept and offer help

 

Whether it is your business at fault, a product malfunction, or your customer was just unlucky to have a bad experience, apologize for any inconvenience caused. When you do this, you show your customer that you acknowledge their feelings. Don’t just stop at that, thank your customer for their feedback and also let them know that you will help them make the issue right.

 

Every problem has a solution

 

Now matter how complicated an issue is, there’s always a solution. Whether it is replacing a malfunctioning product, offering a refund, or something else, finding a suitable solution to make your customer happy is essential because leaving the issue unresolved could result in losing that customer.

 

Ask more questions to the customer and get them to talk about their problem. As you keep the conversation going, you will find it easier to get to the root of the problem. And you most definitely want your customers talking to potential customers about how well the issue was handled.

 

Follow up

 

After the complaint is handled and your customer agrees with the solution offered, you need to follow up. By doing so, you show your customer that you truly care about them. Making them happy can earn you a loyal customer for life and they will be sure to spread the word about.

 

How you deal with customer complaints can completely change the way your business is perceived. Address issues quickly and work with the customer to find a solution that is satisfactory. Fixing issues effectively can help with customer retention and also boost your business reputation.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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How can Public Relations drive businesses?

Public Relations is certainly an undeniable driving force behind businesses. PR drives businesses and as PR professionals, it is our job to help customers feel connected to the business and its services. Let’s take a look at why PR drives business.

 

Improve your reputation

 

If there’s one thing that PR can do for your business – it can improve or improve your business’s reputation, which can drastically impact customer acquisition or retention. However, public relations professionals are not usually in charge of making or spreading advertisements. PR will get the word out about your business nevertheless through newspapers, online publications and of course, social media.

 

Manage social media handles

 

Not all PR professionals are social media managers but all social media managers are PR professionals in their own right. Social media plays an important role in reaching current and potential clients, especially in this day and age. A social media manager can help create social media accounts and manage its upkeep by posting relevant content – this may come in the form of engaging posts, advertisements or even replying to user engagements.

 

Forging relationships with other businesses

 

PR can help your business build relationships with both your customers and also other businesses. To forge a relationship between businesses, a PR professional can work with other businesses to promote an event, create joint partnership activities that benefits both parties or even plan a sale.

 

Promoting events

 

PR professionals are not the ones who will actually plan an event, but they will be the primary source of getting the word out because, if no one knows about the event, no one can benefit from it.

 

PR professionals will prepare a press release about the event, promote the event in newspapers and on media, or even distribute flyers. During or after the event, PR professionals can turn back to the attending journalists for their comments on the event and make sure they publish to keep the public interest in the business or brand event after the event is long done.

 

Manage crises

 

The last thing that business owners want to think about is what could go wrong with their business, but that’s never really the case. There are a variety of things that could go wrong depending on the nature and size of your business, from something as simple as negative customer feedback to something as serious as a public scandal involving your business.

 

This is where public relations comes in, PR professionals can help limit the spread of bad news or turn the bad news to something positive and help maintain the public’s trust in the business. Public relations professionals usually get in touch with news agencies and media to make sure that the story that goes out is the one the business wants to be told, rather than fake news from rumours going about.

 

PR can help build a long lasting relationship between your business and the public. An efficient PR professional will do everything they can to get positive attention for your business and try to cut down negative attention, these are just some of the reasons why public relations is a driving force behind so many successful businesses.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Prepare your PR agency for a COVID-19 quarantine

Remote working is not a new concept. Most of us have done it, be it for an occasional household chore or as part of a regular schedule. While the perks of working for home are numerous, you must always be prepared for some unexpected challenges that could arise. Here are some tips to get your virtual office set-up running smoothly in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

 

Evaluate your company technology

 

Make sure all your company laptops are up-to-date. Also check the limits of your remote working facilities. If you use virtual meeting-solutions such as Zoom, make sure your plan will be able to handle all your employees at once.

 

Explore new tools at your disposal

 

Brainstorming is one activity that can be missed out on, and there’s no true replacement for the energy and ideas that come from a face-to-face session. Employ collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, which offer several features to get your team involved – it might not be the same as face-to-face meetings, but it works.

 

Make sure your team is technologically equipped for remote working

 

Your team will discover the limits of their home Wi-Fi when they are forced to count on it everyday – it might be fine for surfing and streaming, but your team must make sure their home Wi-Fi network is capable of handling the workload of remote working. You will also have to think about printing – you will definitely miss your workhorse office printer when you have to rely on a home deskjet.

 

Meeting etiquette

 

A virtual meeting might be unusual at first and will take about 4-5 tries to master the art of video-conferencing. One thing you should make sure to do is to use the mute button until you’re ready to talk to prevent talking over each other – you can use the chat feature to let your colleagues know if you want to say something next.

 

Establish your limits

 

When you start working from home, you will feel incredibly productive because you will have eliminated your commute, which means you will be starting your active workday earlier than usual. However, on any given day in the office you will have natural breaks from work – whether you stop by a colleague’s desk, grab a coffee or even step out for lunch. It is important to build similar breaks while you’re working remotely, otherwise the work will get to you and you feel burned out early very soon.

 

Don’t pass on a chance to communicate:

 

Successful remote working banks on transparency. Every team member has to post a schedule everyday, allowing other members to know what they have on their plate at the moment. Don’t forget to make sure your clients know that your office will be working remotely for a while and let them know all the new ways they can get in touch with your team to assure them that work will go on as usual.

 

Make sure you have all these points in check before you decide to adapt to a virtual office to steer through the current COVID-19 situation.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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How to maintain productivity and stay focused while working remotely?

The answer to this question is quite simple. The biggest challenge in working from home for an PR professional is a lack of structure and routine which you are generally accustomed to in an office environment.

 

It’s up to you to create a work environment at home with a structure that caters to both your professional and lifestyle needs. These six simple tips will help you stay focused and productive throughout your workday at home.

 

Define your working hours

 

It is very easy for your work life to creep into your personal life and vice versa, especially when your office is probably 15 feet away from your bedroom and a simple way to avoid this happening is to define when your work day starts and ends – have a predetermined schedule, whether that is done by your employer or yourself. This rule obviously can be broken when you need to work out of your usual hours to meet a deadline.

 

Designate your workspace

 

Whether you have a home office you set-up shop in the middle of your living room, having a designated workspace can help you mentally prepare to stay focused throughout the day ahead. The bedroom is a strict NO (unless that’s where you’re most productive, in that case, to each his own) because it’s very easy to lose focus and crawl under the covers to take a nap or binge watch your favorite series, especially towards the weekend.

 

Dress for work

 

Dressing up like you normally would if you are going to step into the office will add to your productivity. Wake up, drink your coffee and get dressed like you normally would before you sit down to work. This seemingly insignificant practice can help you mentally prepare yourself for your workday and acts as a level of separation between your work and home life.

 

Avoid tending to household chores

 

Those dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty pile of laundry, a messy living room and everything around you can distract you when you’re working from home. As tempting as they can seem, hold off on all personal talks until your predefined workday is done. Try and tidy up before going to bed every night so that you don’t feel the urge to take it on during your workday.

 

Take scheduled breaks throughout the day

 

Schedule microbreaks throughout your workday besides your lunch break. This will help you recharge both physically and mentally – take a little walk around the house, call up a colleague, check on your social media, etc. to prevent getting too immersed in your work and eventually breaking down.

 

Take advantage of the technology on offer in 2020

 

Not everybody loves being alone. If you’re an extrovert and you thrive on interacting and sharing your ideas with other people, take advantage of text-messaging platforms like Line to converse with your coworkers all day long. If something important comes up, you can connect with your team on Zoom to have virtual face-to-face conversations. At Vivaldi PR, we are set-up to make full use of the technology at hand.

 

Follow these simple steps and you will be good to work from home – focused and just as productive as you’d be at the office.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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What you say and do during COVID-19 will define how people view your company or brand when the crisis passes

We are all, of course, trying to navigate the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 crisis; we are living on a day-by-day news cycle as new information and statistics constantly come to hand. Now is the time for companies and brands to show what they stand for and what they believe in. This is where your values become very public.

 

Those who step up to the challenges we’re all confronted with and offer either a solution or a helping hand will not be forgotten, because consumers can see they are doing something with a purpose and not for a profit.

 

Take Coca-Cola in the Philippines for example, they put commercial advertising for Coca-Cola and all their other brands on hold and committed their advertising space and budgets towards supporting COVID-19 relief and response efforts across the most affected communities in the country. In their statement, Coca-Cola said they will re-channel PhP 150 million to the provision of protective equipment, beverages for health workers, deliver food packs to the most vulnerable families and they are also supporting small retailers affected by the crisis.

 

All business owners and leaders need to reassure their staff, customers, and suppliers throughout this crisis. They need to be present and reach out and ask what they can do for others. Instead of looking for sales, look for ways you can help. This kind of understanding and compassion will be reciprocated once the crisis passes, and it will pass eventually.

 

There’s not one business that is immune to the commercial and personal affects of the COVID-19 crisis, we are all in this together, so the more we all communicate, share information, and work towards ways to help each other the better positioned we will all be when we return to business as usual.

 

If you need some advice, please feel free to call us.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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HOW WORKING REMOTELY CAN BE BUSINESS AS USUAL

The growing concerns surrounding the spread of Covid-19 is forcing business owners to look at alternatives for how they can stay operational yet protect their staff, customers, and suppliers. For many businesses, one option is to initiate a remote working policy and have all employees work from home. But how is that manageable?

 

Some companies embraced remote working many years ago and they have proven it can be done; one prime example is Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress website and blogging platform. This is a billion-dollar company with around 400 employees and no offices, that’s right, not one office.

 

The technology available to us all today makes remote working easy and productive. Aside from email, we have Skype, Zoom, Slack, Eko, WhatsApp, and more. Even the good old-fashioned conference call is effective.

 

One of the most important factors to making this work is having a project manager or a project management tool. The aforementioned Slack is one such option, as is Thailand’s own Eko, developed by Korawad Chearavanont as an alternative to Slack and other apps.

 

Change is difficult for many, but when circumstances such as those confronting us all right now arise there is a need to embrace change and make it work for your business.

 

Once a company masters the remote working process they can continue to use it to their benefit once the Covid-19 crisis passes. It opens the door to engaging the skills and talents of freelancers and consultants from all corners of the world. This, of course, expands the capabilities of a company.

 

There is another benefit to embracing remote working and that is staff morale. There are times when some staff may need to be at home for personal or family reasons, giving them the option to work from home while still being a productive member of the team gives them a boost and shows them that the company respects their needs.

 

At Vivaldi, we started to explore the potential of remote work in early 2019 and we have not looked back since. If you would like to discuss our experiences with this and how we make it work for us please feel free to get in touch.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Influencers online and elsewhere

It’s not just what you buy, but who you buy it from, and how you buy it. And how, of course, how you browse. Case in point this holiday season is the rainbow of excitement being created by palette influencers. These small boxes that open to reveal a multi-colour range of eye shadow is not just about attracting the boys, but are status symbols in their own right. Getting into digital queues to acquire “in” palettes are long and seen as a privilege to get into. Having the right palette will win you friends in many high schools. The accessory well reflects just how far influencers have gone to win over fans and followers.

Now on You Tube

Vloggers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson are popularly promoting palettes on the world’s biggest video-sharing platform. Other YouTubers are turning to palates to colour up their brand influence and as stepping stones to becoming beauty and fashion icons of the online world. Palletes have become the must-have fashion accessory this holiday season. The steep prices they have, while turning off some, to others only happily help spread the message that you have arrived. What’s more, some fans of superinfluencers are primarily buying pallets to show their loyalty to the YouTube personalities, and not exactly, for the product.

Dog-ear this

The multi-layered, hyper-modernist phenomenon of practically for shopping for shopping’s sake and to supporting not brands but the promoters of brands is counterbalanced by an old-school promotion technique from yester-century: the catalogue. These glossy, colourful magazines featuring smiling models promoting clothes, home accessories and much, much more, despite having plummeted in overall number in recent years, have carved out a distinctive edge among young adults who crave analogue charms like vinyl records as an antidote to e-mail and social-media overload. The surprise factor and tactile experience of the fabulously lo-tech catalogue has many supporters who crave off-the-grid experiences and still have money to burn. In-the-know digital marketers and online retailers – including Amazon – are using them to drive traffic to their websites. Digital natives are relishing the chance to flip pages and stop scrolling – for a short time, at least.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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How businesses can build reputation during this crisis?

Clear communication and leadership is key for all companies and organizations during the Covid-19 crisis.

 

The total impact of Covid-19 is yet to be understood, but it is imperative that companies and organizations manage the situation sooner rather than later to ensure they can traverse this period in the best possible way and to do this requires a well-defined leadership position and clear and concise communication with staff, stakeholders, and customers.

 

Unexpected events such as these can catch businesses off guard; they can also have a major impact on sales, revenue, and a brand’s reputation if the situation were to be mismanaged.

 

The importance of having protocols in place, both in-house and out-of-house, for prevention and protection cannot be underestimated at this time. These actions are seen and noted by everyone and as such will be remembered once the crisis has passed.

 

So business leaders need to develop a plan and implement it sooner rather than later. It’s key that staff understand the measures being put in place to protect their safety, the same applies to any customers that interact with your staff and also your suppliers. In a world where fake and misleading news is widespread, the onus falls on companies and organizations to put forward reliable and fact-based information.

 

But to ensure this information remains current it needs to be continually updated as new details come to hand from resources such as the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, and credible and trusted media only.

 

Working closely with your chosen PR and communications partner is an important factor to ensure your messages are as clear and effective as possible. They can also help with internal training to better help the management team respond to both internal and external questions about your preparation, plans, and management of the effects of Covid-19.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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ROI that keeps on giving

A new survey of 9,000 people in the United States shows that consumers are willing to support companies that support the causes important to them. Just over half of respondents said that they had actively supported a cause of importance of them over the last half a year. Almost 70 per cent among this group reported being altruistically active on more than one front, and were engaged in activities such as making monetary donations, signing petitions and participating in protests.

 

Build a better planet

 

Americans of all ages expressed willingness to stand up for what they thought was important. Issues supported varied, with the topics of stopping global warming and strengthening anti-firearms legislation being particularly popular. Other matters of concern included boosting animal rights, and protecting and promoting opportunities related to women and children, plus expanding access to educational opportunities throughout society. Survey takers reported significant interest in willingness to support and buy from companies perceived as being in synch with their own values.

 

Towards egalitarianism, maybe

 

The onus is on companies to evidence their engagement in helping build a fairer society. Although 180 firms in the US recently signed an agreement to enacting economic policy that would support all people in the country, over half of respondents said that they doubted that companies would actually deliver on this promise. If and when companies took a position contrary to their own, almost 75 per cent of American consumers said they could overlook this and still buy their products and services. However, around half of respondents said they would need a good reason from a company’s leadership explaining their position.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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A world even more online

E-commerce will continue its rise in 2020, making buying things easier than ever. AI will seep into more facets of everyday life, helping automate previously complicated problems related to Internet usage. Cloud services and storage networks will become more standard as well. Websites will be easier to create as coding requirements decline. Overall, 2020 looks to be a year full of opportunities for anyone involved in shopping online, from sellers and buyers to digital marketers. However, industry watchdogs are concerned that more privacy protection will be needed.

 

Make life simple

 

Two years from now, over 60 per cent of Thailand’s economy is expected to be digital. Getting all kinds of products and services, from groceries and taxis, to airline tickets and meals delivered to your home, will be increasingly simple and efficient. Moreover, Thailand will focus on fully developing 5G network services. Sectors linked to healthcare and transport in particular are expected to be made more efficient to benefit society, according to the Digital Economy and Society Ministry. The resulting opportunities for e-marketers is unprecedented.

 

Security concerns

 

A new survey of stakeholders in data security indicates that almost three-quarters of companies have in place processes for valuing data. However, less than 40 per cent of these firms report that data usage is consistent, significantly reducing the use of data for generating profits and plotting future investments. The amount of data on consumers is increasing dramatically. However, much better privacy protection is needed and industry experts are calling for clearer guidelines and stricter enforcement in order to build public trust.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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