7 Contacts You Must Keep on Your Speed Dial and Why 50

7 Contacts You Must Keep on Your Speed Dial and Why - Let's Reach Success blog

This is a guest post by Sarah Williams.

The same way you keep your significant other on speed dial, you should keep some professionals too.

Granted, you can’t count on them to pick up the kids or feed the dog, but you’ll be glad you put them on speed dial when other emergencies happen.

Here are seven of the most important professionals to always have on speed dial for when life happens:

1. Local Police.

Some police departments have non-emergency phone lines for when something seems not quite right in your home or neighborhood.

You can call 911 in cases of emergencies, but most of the time, it might be something like rowdy kids, a noise complaint, or a theft.

Even if you just want an officer to check out someone acting suspiciously, this number should be on hand. Make sure you have the non-emergency phone number for the local police in your phone’s speed dial.

2. Emergency Plumber.

When a pipe breaks, you can quickly get flooded, destroying flooring and even walls in your home. If it’s an upstairs flood, you will also have to replace ceilings.

Getting the emergency plumber in Sydney to your house as quickly as possible will save you a lot of money in repair costs.

3. Gas Utility Person.

If you smell natural gas, it may be a matter of minutes before a house is filled up and explodes. Call the gas utility and have someone come in and check that issue without delay. A gas explosion can not only destroy a home, but also cause an entire neighbourhood to blow up in flames.

4. Poison Control Center.

When a child pops one of those laundry detergent pods into their mouth, thinking they’re candy, you’d better have the poison control center number on speed dial.

Getting help immediately for this type of event is essential to surviving some accidentally ingested poison. You don’t want to be frantically searching a number online when you or your child is poisoned.

5. Animal Control.

What about noisy dogs or a stray alligator in the neighbourhood?

Animal control can pick up strays and deal with some thorny animal issues that you just may not be equipped to handle.

By asking animal control to deal with a neighbour’s noisy dogs, you won’t have to face their wrath and they’ll get the message to keep their pets under control.

6. Fire Department.

If you have a fire in the neighborhood, you can call the local police department.

A fire, particularly if your area is experiencing a drought, can spread very quickly and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. You can also call them if you plan to burn and don’t want them showing up at your door with engines blaring.

The fire department can also help in cases where fluids from a car or truck accident has caused a fire nearby.

7. Roadside Service.

You’ve decided to take a long road trip, but in the middle of nowhere, you’ve gotten a flat tire or run out of gas. Have your roadside service on speed dial, whether it’s AAA, the rental company’s roadside service you bought, or some other service.

It just gives you peace of mind and saves you time waiting for them to show up and help you out.

Life doesn’t always go as planned, so you want to be as prepared as possible. By putting these professionals on your speed dial, you won’t waste time in a situation they are most needed. Plus, you’ll know exactly what to do to get started resolving the issue as quickly as possible.

See also:

How to Be Prepared for Anything
How to Keep Your Family Healthy
10 Steps for a Safer Workplace
The First-Timer’s Urban Survival Guide

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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.