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Transform Customer Complaints into Great Reviews and Referrals

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In business, problems always arise.
Things malfunction, customers get frustrated, or miscommunication causes delays. However annoying, big problems are still a gateway for better interaction. Consider this example from Toyota:
The year was 2013, and Webin Manzana noticed the dashboard of his 2008 Camry was melting due to the sweltering weather in the Philippines. Because the warranty on his vehicle had long since lapsed, Toyota Motors Philippines refused to get involved.
Manzana, frustrated with the inherent defect in the dashboard material, decided to fax a letter directly to the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda. To his shock and delight, the next day he received a call from Toyota Motors Philippines, arranging to pick up the Camry and replace the dashboard immediately.
3 Ways to Resolve Sticky Situations
When handled poorly, customer complaints can deal a heavy blow to your business.
Here are three ways to resolve sticky situations while improving relationships with your clients.
1. Respond…

Optimize Data to Make Better Decisions

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In 2015, data and analytics guru Bernard Marr said, "I firmly believe that big data and its implications will affect every single business—from Fortune 500 enterprises to mom and pop companies—and change how we do business, inside and out."
That was four years ago, and today Marr's statement could not be more true.
Solve Problems with Data
Likes, clicks, counts, views . . . you dream it, and the technology can track it.
In a world of limitless measurement, data is helping companies solve problems, see performance, and scrutinize the market. And while it's easier than ever to collect stats, knowing how to use this data can be a challenge.
Here are several markers to help you distinguish the forest from the trees.
Clearly Identify the Objective
Data seeks to support your business goals, so the best way to use data is to be precise in these objectives. For example:
A retail business seeking to grow revenue will measure which products are selling most quickly and if they are u…

From Ideas to Reality: The Basics of 3D Printing

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3D print capabilities are growing substantially, and soon, they will be a regular part of our ever-changing industry.
While relatively new to the market, 3D printing is here to stay. In 1984, Charles Hull developed the technology for printing physical 3D objects from digital data. As the industry advanced, so did the popularity and affordability of this technology. Today, 3D printing is taking business by storm: growth in this field is expected to expand by 31% each year (to a projected $21 billion market in 2020!).
Create What You Imagine
What is 3D printing?
A 3D printer is a manufacturing tool used to create three-dimensional objects that have been designed on a computer. Once an object is designed, it can be imported into software specific to the printer in use, which will slice the parts and send the printer a list of paths and directions to create the item. 3D printers have a wide range of shapes, sizes, and types, but all of them lay down (or "cure") materials layer b…

3 Common Management Traps (and How to Counteract Them)

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Are you looking to be more proactive in your influence?
Here are three common management traps, with practical keys for addressing them.
3 Common Management Traps
1. Avoiding a Problem or Tense Relationship
(Instead: Nip things in the bud)
Work environments and team morale can dramatically improve when managers deal with difficult relationships.
While most people avoid confrontation like the plague, effective managers deal with negative attitudes or relationships as soon as they appear. While it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt, issues rarely resolve themselves. The longer you delay correction, the more difficult it becomes.
Stuck on where to start?
When offering correction, be specific. Say something like, "the report you submitted was vague, lacking financial data, and contained several errors. Please give it another pass and plan to give more attention to your first drafts in the future."
When confronting team members, focus on a specific behavior, rather …

Use Themed Calendars as a Strategic Marketing Asset

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In a digital world cluttered with text messages, pop-up ads, and spam, sometimes paper products hit the sweet spot when it comes to organization.
As the end of the year approaches, client and employee gifts may be on your to-do list. Themed calendars are a clever marketing asset that can serve as a unique token of gratitude.
Calendars are practical for everyone, offering branded staying power while conveying your business goals in a way that's customized to the interests of your audience.
Looking for a few creative ideas? Here are three strategies to capture unique calendar themes.
1. Identify Your Goals.
Each company has its own high-profile days.
Whether you run a real estate company, a chiropractic clinic, or a financial consulting firm, there is a calendar theme that can be tailored to your needs. Start your design by identifying your goals. Do you want to generate more end-of-year orders? Keep employees on track for milestone deadlines? Sell more gym memberships?
Specify concrete …

How to Build Unity in Your Team on Three Critical Levels

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They are the most exceptional basketball team there ever was, or ever will be.
The 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team, made up of legends like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Scottie Pippen, dominated the Olympics, winning by an average of 40 points each game. The team seemed invincible, except for the day it wasn't.
The game was a 20-minute scrimmage, which took place in June of 1992, in San Diego, California. The shocked victors were a star-studded college line-up. The reported margin was around eight points, with a final score of 62-54 (though coach Chuck Daly cleared the scoreboard before media were allowed in afterward). How could a powerhouse lose to amateurs? The answer was simple. Individual stars could not work together as a team. The talent was not enough to compensate for the lack of unity in the team.
Acceptance, Agreement, and Alignment
Without a unified team, the mission of your organization is lost.
Unity refers to the synergy of individuals working together to ma…

5 Smart Strategies for Fantastic Font Selection

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Want to win in print? Let's talk text.
While fonts are a crucial part of one's design, often fonts are given merely a passing thought. However, good typography expresses personality, increases readability, and displays professionalism, ensuring your print ad delivers the right message in just the right tone.
Fonts can mark a clear difference between a piece that is awkward and amateur versus one that is sleek and professional. Don't fast-forward through this crucial element in your project design!
Increase the Impact of Your Print Piece with the Right Font
Here are five things marketers should take into consideration when choosing the right font.
1. Readability
The most critical factor in font selection is readability.
If people struggle to read your text, they'll probably pass on your business. Remember, script or decorative fonts are usually more challenging to read, especially in large blocks. Increasing font size and spacing between lines increases readability, whether …