4 Apps That Can Make You More Productive at Work 34

4 Apps That Can Make You More Productive at Work

The following article is a guest post.

Do you want to improve your overall productivity?

Whether you’re a freelancer who wants to earn more in the same amount of time or someone working on a regular job where performance nets a good chance of salary increase, there are plenty of things that could keep you from reaching your full potential.

While placing sticky notes on your monitor can help, it would be a lot better if you have other ways to boost your productivity.

This list of apps can help set you on the right track.

1. BAND

Group communication apps are great for improving the efficiency of the way you can connect with people at work.

The BAND group communication app, for example, offers a streamlined chat room experience, group calls, meeting schedulers, and even message boards that allow you to reach out to people you need to coordinate with for work. This is especially useful if you often work on collaborative projects.

Because BAND is supported on multiple platforms (iOS, Windows, and Android), you can expect to have access to the app all the time as long as you have a smartphone and internet access. This means fewer downtimes and fast updates round the clock.

2. Momentum

One of the biggest reasons why people tend to lose focus during work is because of how easy it is to create a new tab and spend time viewing websites not related to your work.

You could work fast and save time as much as you want, but if you keep wandering back to your social media account, you’ll still end up wasting precious time. The Momentum browser app is a browser extension specially designed to address this issue.

This browser extension replaces the new tab page with a tab that asks you what you should be working on at the moment. Every time you open a new tab, Momentum notifies you via popup, reminding you to stay on track.

This makes you less likely to spend time on distractions, thus helping you keep your productivity’s momentum.

3. Harvest

If you think you have a good balance of working and slacking off but somehow you’re still not being as productive as you’d expect, it’s time to check if that balance is the real thing.

If Momentum reminds you of what needs to be done, Harvest tells you what you have been doing and how much time you spend on each task.

This way, you’ll be able to tell if you still need to dial back on your breaks and spend more time being productive.

Another good thing about Harvest is that it also allows you to set personal limits to all activities.

For example, you can set an allotted time for breaks, and the app will let you track how long you’re taking each break.  While it won’t instantly switch you back to your work-related tabs, it helps a lot in keeping you aware of how you’re spending your time.

4. Evernote

Many people consider Evernote as a must-have productivity app.

Because of how you can create memos and documents and how the app safely stores them in the cloud, you will never have a situation when you lose your important to-do lists.

Moreover, you will always have a backup copy of whatever work-related documents you’re working on. This means you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting an important file or if you need to replace your current file with an older version.

Thanks to cross-platform support, it’s also possible to manage your work files even while you’re on the go. As long as the app is installed on your device, accessing anything stored in the cloud is a piece of cake.

Need to send a file to your manager for evaluation and you’re nowhere near your work PC? Retrieve it using your smartphone and send it from wherever you are.

We’re just skimming the top of the iceberg when it comes to productivity apps.

There are countless schedulers, file managers, trackers, and other apps that can help you improve your productivity rate. These four apps are a good start and should take you a few steps closer to being the productive powerhouse that you always wanted to be.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.