Category Archives: Work Issues

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How to give a refund, even you don’t think you should

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Have you ever had a customer demand a refund on the 29th day, after the purchase, demanding a refund… and you have a 30-day refund policy? Has one of your most difficult clients asked for a full refund after going through your program, claiming it wasn’t worth the money? How do you handle these types of situations? Unfortunately, there’s no app for that!

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Difficult customers come and come, again. Hopefully, they are a very

small percentage of your customer or client base. When customers and clients ask for a refund, it sometimes seems like a slap in the face, right? It’s like they’re saying, “You’re not good enough.” or “Your services stink!”

Don’t take this too harshly. There’s an old saying that goes, “Kill them with kindness.” Simply put… don’t get on their level of frustration and meanness. These types of people are often the same ones who almost always find something wrong with their food, customer service, etc. They almost always want a discount of some kind.

Unfortunately, these people don’t walk around with signs on their chest saying, “I’m about to do my best to make you miserable and work your butt off to please me!

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Goal Setting Overwhelm Overload Busted!

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the idea of planning and working toward your short termmid term and long term goals? Or are you thinking, “What should my goals be?” No worries! This is a very common question many of us have asked ourselves time and time again. It’s like you know you need a change… some type of change… but what? Truth is, because it’s so easy to “keep on keeping on”, we often get comfortable and settle for “good enough” because it’s not that bad, right?

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If the idea of steering your life in a new direction is so overwhelming that you don’t make any type of change…PLEASE SHAKE THAT UNCERTAINTY OFF! Let’s take this goal setting thing one baby step at a time, ok? I want you to look at your long-term goals (remember, this could be a 5-10 year goal), and break that goal down into many mini-goals, if you will. This is how your short term and mid-term goals are developed. Here’s an example I want you to follow. We’ll use a fake person named Sue:

In 5 years Sue decided she wants to be a self-employed Life Coach. She feels she has the people skills needed to be a really good Life Coach who can help others weave through the road blocks that are stopping them from making progress toward achieving their goals and dreams.

Sue works a full time job, and is a single mother of 3 children, so her schedule is pretty tight, only allowing her, maybe, 10 hours each week to work toward her goal of becoming a Life Coach.

Sue’s first list of short term goals are:

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The Character Challenge: Intro to a 3-Part Series to Help Clarify Your Personal Development Journey

This introduction to the 3-part Character Challenge isn’t about the type of challenge that will dare you to do something that can hurt you, in any way. Instead, this will actually challenge you to take a good look at the type of character you are, and to see how you can improve upon at least one aspect of your being. You’re probably a great person to yourself and others, but there’s always a way to bring out the better you. You know my motto: Live and love your life! 

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There are dozens of character traits that make up our being, but I’m going to cover just a few of the most common character traits that people often struggle with, when working on their personal development. In this 3-part series, I’m going to cover the following 18 character traits:

Part 1:

  • Attentiveness – Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
  • Boldness – Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
  • Creativity – Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
  • Decisiveness – The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
  • Dependability – Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
  • Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.

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Cruising Customer Service

My husband, Mike, treated me to a Mother’s Day/ early Anniversary cruise to Freeport and Nassau, Grand Bahamas…YAY! We had a wonderful time on the Carnival Sensation, and on each of the islands. Much better than the cruise we took last year to Nassau. Last year we cruised with Royal Caribbean. The only part of the cruise with Royal Caribbean that was better than the cruise on Carnival, was that we stopped for a day on Coco Cay Island, which is privately owned by Royal Caribbean. On Coco Cay, you get a great lunch buffet , plenty of fun in the sun and fairly-priced souvenir shops and great drinks!

(Neither of these gents is my husband. In fact, I didn’t realize they thought I was taking a picture of them! Lol)

However, the Carnival Sensation had Royal Caribbean beat, hands down, in customer service! Mike and I are used to the room attendants addressing the passengers by first name. The dining room and guest services wait staff and crew members do as well. But, when I called to order room service, for the first time, I must say that I got a true welcoming feeling when the lady, taking my order, addressed me by name, too! I told my Mike, “How cool? She just addressed me by name!.” Mike was so impressed, he insisted on placing the room service order the next night. Lol

The only “oops” I experienced during the entire 5-day cruise was a bit of a doozy. The next morning, i put the room service tray on the floor, in the hall outside of the cabin, as we’re supposed to. Well, apparently the other passengers had already put their room service trays out, much earlier, while I didn’t put ours out until a little after 10am, as I was leaving the room to get some coffee. As I was walking down the hall near our cabin, a crew member was bending down to put up our room service tray and muttered, “… Americanas!” in what I believe was French. Instead of losing my temper, I kindly ignored the hasty comment and said, “Thank you,” with a big smile. I wasn’t about to get into it with him and dampen my mood. I was enjoying the awesomeness of the entire trip, and “one monkey don’t stop no show!” Lol Plus, I knew there would be an opportunity to tell Carnival about this incident later.

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Customer Service – Comcast is a Great Example

Comcast is in the news, yet again, for its deplorable customer service. But, this customer may be laughing all the way to the bank. After your read the article about Conal O’Rourke, the poor customer service, and the lawsuit, I want to hear your input. Do you feel Mr. O’Rourke or Comcast should come out the victor in this case?

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Comcast Customer Service Reps
                          Customer Service – Comcast is a Great Example

My opinion on Comcast, after being a customer for 10+ years, is that they have a very unfriendly attitude toward customers as if to say, “But where else can you go?” It’s no wonder to me that they have so many high profile customer service complaints.

Yes, they have the fastest internet service (I am still anxiously awaiting Google Fiber to come into my area, although Comcast is making leaps and bounds in an attempt to stay in front of Google). And, yes, Comcast provides great telephone and cable service, compared to the satellite companies in our area. But, does this give them the right to shrug off providing good customer service?

I say, with every cell in my body, and with great disgust “NO!” The last, but very important part of providing good customer service (because, apparently great is not in their service description) is billing. Comcast made a whopping $2 billion profit in the 2nd quarter of 2014. You might think that Comcast could afford a top-notch accounting system that would minimize, if not eliminate, the over-billing they are too well-known for.

Conal O’Rourke’s case is based on just that… over-billing, not just once or twice, but on a continuous basis for over a year! What in the world was Comcast thinking? I’m not sure how much discretion each of their Customer Service Reps have, but wouldn’t you think that, after about two or three months, one of them Reps would bring this issue to a supervisor or someone who could finally resolve the issue? I would!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

May this Valentine’s Day find you in the company that you want to keep 🙂 Don’t settle for less than you want. Life is too short for that! Have you given into the hype that you have to be with someone… anyone on Valentine’s Day? For what? Candy, flowers or bragging rights that you received an expensive piece of jewelry? I hope and pray that you’re not living that kind of life!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Be your own Valentine first 🙂

So, what are you up to this super-charged, romantic day? Movies, dinner… what? Are you planning on spending it alone, cuddled up with a good book, or a good tv marathon? That’s cool, too 🙂  In either case, is it what you want to do or is it by force, not by choice? Basically… are you living and loving your life, day in and day out?

I often wonder why so many people say that they live their life for themselves, but get caught up in what society says they’re supposed to be doing, and who they should be doing it with. Where along life’s journey, do people become so afraid of expressing themselves, that they eventually end up representing someone else dreams and expectations?

We all have heard the saying, “Life is too short.” That is totally true! So, what would it take for you to live the life that you could completely love? Isn’t living the lifestyle you desire, the whole reason behind every decision you’ve made? If it hasn’t been for you, then who?

I’m sure you’ve had suggestions, from family and friends, to live this way or follow that path… go to college or the military, get this degree, etc. I will say that, as a parent, it is hard to see our kids make certain kinds of decisions. We feel we know what’s best for our little one’s, and we do, for the most part. But not always for the most important part... fulfilling their dreams.

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Perfect example… I sent my oldest off to attend college in NY to major in Audio/ Video Production (his choice). He ended up a theater major. That was a hard pill for me to swallow, but it was his reality. Not easy to support, especially since I was raised by a “starving artist” and know the struggle that more than likely is in his future.

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Customer Service Is Your Business

The customer experience is ultimately what we all should be focused on. Yes, the bottom line is important, but without a positive customer interaction and reaction (i.e. selling your products or services), honestly, there’s no point in calling yourself a business.

What sparked the idea of writing about this topic, is while watching a Bar Rescue marathon, the one common factor I noticed with each bar, was the horrible customer service they each delivered. I mean people being serviced martinis in plastic cups without any vermouthSERIOUSLY?!

Bad vs Good Customer Service
From TheDealCutters’ “Customer Service” Pinterest board

Or what about the store clerk who politely, told a customer that she’d have to find the product herself because, “I’m the only one here and I’ve really gotta finish this. I’m sorry.” She was making more coffee. I felt bad for the customer, but was glad the employee was making more coffee.

Alright, serving a martini in a plastic cup… nothing else needs to be said except DON’T DO THAT! But, was the store clerk right in her response? Like I said, she was very polite. I’ve been in that situation before and I know it’s not easy but, I think the better response would have been, “If you can give me just a minute, I’d be more than happy to help you.” I think the customer would have been fine with that. Instead she left the store in a huff.

Businesses that operate 100% online have it a little bit harder than their competition in a physical location. Primarily because there are so many online businesses to choose from, offering the same type of product or service. According to Forrester Research, “45% of U.S. consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.”

The primary reason for this is that, there are so many online businesses offering the same products and services, consumers have, literally, thousands of companies to choose from. There are many reasons that result in the average of 80% “shopping cart abandonment” has nothing to do with your products or services. This reason is simply… no relationship. If the consumer doesn’t know you, will probably never see in person or have any type of relationship with you, there really is no obligation to stay and shop with you.

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How To Handle An Outrageous Customer Service Experience

Outrageous is the best word I could think of, to describe this particular customer service experience. Unfortunately, I had to witness this interaction. Fortunately, it wasn’t toward me! But, even so, I was truly disturbed by the offender, but equally proud of the employee who the verbal assault was aimed at.

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So, what exactly happened? While stopping to grab some coffee for myself, and a snack for my husband, Mike, I was waiting for another customer to be helped at the counter. As usual, I was listening to my music, through my earbuds, but not too loud, so if anybody spoke to me, I could hear them over my music.

I saw and heard, what seemed like offensive words and body language, and turned my music completely off. The first clear words I heard were, “Does it look like I’m laughing?! I don’t see or hear anything funny!”. The customer was irate about something, so I listened, intently, trying to figure out what happened.

The young man behind the counter had a smirk on his face, so I figured some sort of joke or comment was made that set this hostile interaction in motion. The customer continued by saying, “Man, you acting like a little bitch right now!” Before I could think, I said, “Whoa! Whoa! What the…?” I didn’t need the play-by-play details to know the customer had gone way overboard! If he was that upset by the clerk, it was time to call in the Manager. At the very least, he should have let the other clerk complete his transaction.

I left out of the store and listened to my music for a minute, to pull myself together. Upon re-entering the store, the rude customer held the door for me. I held my tongue, and gave him a short, “Thank you.” When I walked in, the two clerks behind the counter were giggling, as if what had happened was somehow amusing.

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Happy New Year!

It seems like just yesterday that we were texting and calling Happy New Year to friends and family, and saying “bye” to 2014. The days are just rolling in to one another, making a week seem like just a couple of days. Seems like we don’t have a full 24 hours in a day any more. What’s the deal with that?!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to make and get the most out of each day… every day. There are routines I can’t get around, like working and resting, but with my other waking hours, I strive to be as productive as possible.

Thankfully, our bread-and-butter business affords me about 11 hours per day to think and “study”. I mean, what else can you do while you’re holding the steering wheel, right? Lol

I listen to a lot of podcasts… I mean A LOT! I’ve listened to 600+ hours on Stitcher alone. That’s not counting the many, many hours of YouTube videos I was watching before I found Stitcher. Now, I’ve also started listening to iHeart Radio. So much content and info, but so little time to take it all in, let alone implement what you’ve just learned.

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2014 was my first year in the online marketing world. I actually didn’t even realize I was a marketer until around June, so I’ve had a solid what… six months to try and figure it out? I didn’t even know this blog was a marketing piece, or at least it’s supposed to be, I’m told. I’ve been blogging since late 2013. I was just talking and try to find some light-hearted people to “kick it” with. I’m still learning, but loving it!

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Best Practices For Setting Life Transforming Goals – Long-Term Goals

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You’ve made it to the long-term goals post… CONGRATULATIONS! Either you are actively working toward achieving your short, mid or long-term goals or you’re already toasting the great leaps and bounds you’ve made in accomplishing your long-term goals. In either case, here’s a big hi-five to you!

If you haven’t read the posts preceding this one, please click on the following links to get caught up:

Now, that we’re on the same page, let’s recap a few key points regarding goal setting:

  • Write everything down and adjust your goals as needed
  • Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goals system
  • Define your “Why” and keep it in front of you at all times

Ok, long-term goal setting may be the hardest, when you get started with your goal strategies, simply because they are set for so far away. Most people have no clue where they’ll be in 5 years. If you have or know a teenager, ask them every few months where they plan to be in 5 years. See how often it changes?

It is imperative that you break your long-term goal down. This is where your short and mid-term goals come from. Here’s an example of a financial goal: (Please remember that we are not financial experts or advisors):

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