Customer Service – Cheaper Than You Might Think!

We've all had our share of experiences with customer service … from the salesclerk at our favorite clothing store, the waitress at our favorite restaurant, to the customer service rep on the other end of the phone listening to our problem. How did we feel about our experience? Was it terrible, exceptional, or mediocre? Based on our customer service experience, do we continue to patronize that business, or did we move our patronage elsewhere?

Think about how you handle your customers, whether providing a new service or product, or trying to resolve a problem. Studies have shown it can cost up to 5 times as much to bring in a new customer than keep an existing one. So why do our customers leave? It could be because of small oversights or lack of attention from us, the provider of the service or product.

What can you do to ensure that your customer service is up to snuff? Read on and follow these simple steps.

When a customer calls on the phone, give them your full attention. Whatever the customer's need is, it's the most important item on their agenda at that particular time. They took the time to pick up the phone and call you, so stop multi-tasking and listen.

Smile (yes, even over the phone), be pleasant, and be genuine.

If they're calling about a new need, take notes. Ask questions. Listen. Sometimes our customers know they need something, but not necessarily what it is. If it's something you can not provide, do not be negative and just say, "Oh, I can not do that." Try saying something like, "While that's not a service (or product) I provide, I would be glad to help you find the right person (or company) who can." And follow up with that. Do not just say it, but do it. Take that a step further by following up to see how that relationship is going. After all, you would not want to refer someone to a business that is not very good at their customer service.

Now, the calm customer can be easy to talk to. But what about an irate customer who has a problem? How do we handle that? I mean, if you're a solopreneur, that customer is attacking the service or product that YOU provide; right? No. Distance yourself and do not take the criticism, rants and raves personal. This will make you go on the defensive, and that is not what you want to do. While trying to resolve the issue, put yourself in your customer's shoes. How would you want to be treated and what kind of resolve would you reasonably expect?

First off, allow the irate customer to vent. Think of shaking a can of cola and popping the top. Just let it spew … Do not interrupt until they have finished speaking, or until the can is done spewing soda. Before I started my business in 1997, I worked for a bank. I was the administrative assistant / executive secretary, but I also answered phones. Boy, can you get some cranky people in that job !! People would call and just be hysterical because their account was overdrawn and the fees that were being charged and this could not have happened. I let them spew, and when they were done, we would calmly go through what I was seeing happening on the computer. If I had tried to interrupt them before they had a chance to get what they wanted to say off their chest, we would not have gotten anywhere.

Also say things like, "I'm sorry" or "I apologize". To the irate customer whose account is overdrawn I might say, "I can see how that would upset you.

Use your customer's name through the call and have an interaction with them as you negotiate an acceptable solution to the problem. Conclude the call with a "thank you" or other verbal message of appreciation for their business, perhaps asking if there's anything else you can help them with.

As with the customer who needed a new service or product, follow up! Call to make sure the resolution was satisfactory and they are happy with the end result. Again, ask if there's anything you can do for them. Attention to customer service will go a long way in helping you satisfy your customers and keep them coming back.

How to Increase Your Laptop’s Battery Life for Longer Use

Although many people ignore it, the battery life is one of the most important parts of your laptop, unless you use your notebook for non-portable purposes. The average life of a notebook battery is between two and three hours. Unfortunately, most batteries don’t even stand for their minimum reference.

When I bought my laptop, they said that the battery will stand for three to four hours, but it actually stands for much less… What am I supposed to do?

While testing their battery life, most companies are trying to avoid loading high performance on their CPU, HDD and graphics memory, while you are using a huge part of your resources. You could always think about saving some battery life. Here are some effective tips on how to increase your battery life while not charging:

Dim your screen– You can always turn down the brightness of your screen, depending on the light in your room.

Turn down the volume– The volume needs a lot of energy. Turn it down if you are not using an external device with independent battery/charger.

Turn off unused laptop features – For example Bluetooth, or Wireless if you are currently not connected to the internet.

Turn off unused applications and processes – End the background applications that are not in use at the moment. You can monitor the resource usage of all running processes through the “Task Manager” – Ctrl + Shift + Esc..

Also, if you are not connected to the internet, you can feel free to shut down or temporary disable your firewall/anti-virus software.

Schedule Windows updates – While trying to save a battery life, it is not the best time to update your windows. Run these updates when you are charging your battery.

Another big mistake that laptop users always assume is charging the laptop even when its battery is full. Remember: It is recommended to unplug your charger when your battery is full. By this way the battery will get more “training” on its consummation.

What is the difference between sleep and hibernate?

While your laptop is “sleeping”, your display and hard drive are turn off. Currently running applications are stored in your RAM, while in hibernation, the applications data is saved to your hard drive. So, use the hibernate mode instead of sleep, because in hibernate mode, your laptop is completely using no power. You may have noticed that in sleep mode your laptop can be woken accidentally, which is another advantage of the hibernate mode.

Condolence Messages – How Long Should My Condolence Message Be?

You want to send a condolence message to someone you know who has suffered a loss. There is so much that you want to say, but you don’t know where to start. How do you say it all? Should you say it all? Maybe you’ll call them instead? But is that appropriate at this time? It can be a very confusing period for everyone involved after a death. Emotions are either running high, or seemingly non-existent. Decisions can be very hard to make, and when they are, you always wonder if it was the right one. This article will help you put aside the fears of being inappropriate once you’ve decided to write a letter of condolence. The length of a condolence message is, like so many things during the grieving period, dependent on many factors. Some things to consider are:

• Your relationship with the person you’re writing to

• Their relationship with the deceased

• Length of time since the death occurred

Keep the Condolence Message Short and Sincere

Generally speaking a condolence message need not be very long. This is not a time to “catch up” or address any outstanding “issues” you may have with the person you’re writing to. Basically the point of the letter is to acknowledge their loss and let them know you’re there for them. Those who are grieving are really not able to concentrate very well at these times, but a short sincere expression of your sympathy will be welcomed.

How Short is Too Short for a Condolence Message?

There are of course different levels of brevity you’ll want to consider when writing your note. If you had a very close relationship with the person, such as a dear friend or life-long neighbour, you won’t want to make it too brief. Writing too short of a communication at such a delicate time could cause an overly emotional griever to think you don’t care. They might believe that you don’t really care, or aren’t as close as they thought you were.

If you have a fond memory of the deceased, be sure to mention it, especially if it’s humorous. A little laugh at a time like this can go a long way. Just don’t draw it out. The secret to finding the right length lies in the principle of “quality over quantity”. Of course if you didn’t know the deceased, or are only a casual acquaintance of the person, it’s much easier to keep the letter concise. A much more difficult balancing act is based on the recipient’s relationship with the deceased. You might know that your friend and their sibling didn’t get along, had a somewhat strained relationship. Or that their parent abused them when they were younger.

Put Yourself in Their Position

Different relationships have different dynamics so it can be very tough to know how long a condolence message should be. The best thing to do in cases like this is to put yourself in their shoes. What would you like someone to say to you at this time? It would be best not to go into personal details at this point in the letter, so just acknowledge the deceased’s passing and your sympathy. Keep it simple, and keep it kind. Remember, this was their parent, or brother or sister. There will be deep feelings of sadness present, in spite of past happenings.

Condolence Messages are Better Late Than Never

If for some reason you could not write sooner and several weeks have passed, the letter can be a little longer. Perhaps you were away on business or vacation and couldn’t write sooner. After you’ve expressed your condolences, let them know you were away, or indisposed. They were probably wondering why they hadn’t heard from you. Again though, don’t ramble on too much or ask potentially painful questions about the death. Rather, follow up with a phone call or perhaps a visit after giving sufficient time for the letter to arrive. In the end, what really matters isn’t how long your letter is, all that matters is that you write the condolence message and send it as soon as you can.

Top Ten European City Breaks

Many travelers from North America and beyond like the idea of ​​spending time in Europe. That will not come as a great surprise, given that Europe offers a great combination of history, scenery and people. But how can you decide on which parts of the continent to see?

This article recommends 10 European cities that provide great destinations for short breaks. So, without further ado, here at the best cities for you to visit:

1. Paris: One of the most romantic cities in the world, offering a range of great monuments and places to visit. Some would suggest that the French are the best cooks in the world. A visit to France gives you the chance to see whether it's really true!

2. London: A truly international, cosmopolitan city. Some of the great attractions include the Tower Of London, the Houses Of Parliament and St Pauls Cathedral.

3. Rome: Known as The Eternal City, many people love Rome because of all that it represents. For many of us, this is the cradle of modern civilization.

4. Prague: If you think that all of the greatest European cities are to be found on the western edge of the continent then it's time to think again. Prague has become more and more popular and you'll soon see why. Some of the most stunning buildings in Europe are to be found right here.

5. Barcelona: This is a city where there's simply so much to see and do. With fantastic beaches and an amazing array of Gaudi buildings, Barcelona has to be seen to be believed.

6. Venice: The first time that I saw this city I was amazed. That amazement has not faded with time. The one great rival to Paris for the claim of being Europe's most romantic city break location.

7. Vienna: The Austrian capital offers culture and splendor. A favorite with many and one that should be on any European itinerary.

8. Madrid: There's a great rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona, ​​but the reality is that both cities have much to offer visitors.

9. Amsterdam: Famous for its canals, bicycles and liberal culture. The Dutch have a relaxed attitude to life and this is perfectly exemplified here in Amsterdam.

10. Dublin: Not the place to come if you're looking for great weather, but there are a few better cities in which to enjoy yourself!

So there we have it! The list of great European cities above is very much a personal opinion but I hope that you'll agree that each of them makes a wonderful holiday destination!

Review of Euro Pro Shark Pet Perfect Handheld Vacuum

Hand vacuums for pet hair are indispensable in a house where there are pets. Yet, there are so many models in the market that it is quite difficult to make the right choice. The Euro Pro Shark Pet Perfect hand vacuum saves the time and effort in finding the right vacuum.

– This small hand vac for pet hair is 16 volt, rechargeable and cordless.

– The twister cyclone technology that is ideal for long lasting suction power is used in this model of handheld vacuum. It is specifically useful in removing hair from pet and dirt from carpets, car seats and upholstery. There is a detachable motorized brush so that it makes getting rid of pet hairs easier.

– The filter is washable and there is the crevice tool, as in other models.

– The hand vac for pet hair can be well balanced in the hand and the recharging can be done very quickly. Although the charge lasts for fifteen consecutive minutes, this is fairly good enough to clean, considering the fact that it is handheld.

– Unlike other products of this genre, it has a removable replaceable battery which would otherwise end in being discarded.

– There is the LED indicator to show the status of charge.

– Measuring 15 by 4 by 6 inches, it comes with a one year warranty.

– Since there is a motorized rotating brush, the hand vac for hair from pets is good for cleaning fabric, too.

– When it comes to the negative aspects, it is bulky and uncomfortable for the hands; this may be due to the strong motor. It needs to be screwed in the wall, when not in use.

– The plastic pulley on motor shaft that drives the brush slips off sometimes, causing a hassle.

– Though the entire apartment cannot be cleaned with the Euro pro shark, it is ideal for the purpose it is meant for, to clean pet hairs.

How to Make Love to a Man in Bed – Sex Tips Every Woman Should Know

Lately, your love life just isn’t what you want it to be. You want to have an amazing sex life with your man and you want to make sure that not only are your needs being met in the bedroom, but that his are as well. You want to keep him happy and satisfied. You want to know how to make love to a man in bed to give him some of the greatest pleasure he has ever had.

Instead of wishing for a better sex life and a most exciting time in the bedroom, it is time that you made it happen. Now is the time to take the reigns and to really show your man what you are made of. Now is the time to learn how to make love to a man in bed with the help of these sex tips.

Most of the time, you leave it up to your man to initiate sex. That is something that needs to change now. Your guy wants to feel sexy and to feel desired as well. He wants to feel like you want him and the only way to do that is to show him. He wants you to have your hands on him and to not be able to take him off. By initiating sex, you make him feel special and this is a good first step.

As well, you should make love to him in a different sexual position. The missionary sure gets boring after a while and there is no room for further exploration of your bodies. If you switch up the sex position that you use, you offer him a different form of stimulation. The woman on top is always a very popular position for women who really want to blow their man’s minds in the bedroom. Men love this position and if you truly want to make love to him, then you should actually make love to him.

The most important sex tip is to have fun. Your man doesn’t want you to take things so seriously and to get upset if things go sour. Sex is fun and it should be fun. It is a time of bonding and creating more intimacy in your relationship. When you keep sex fun, you want to have more of it because you enjoy yourself more. As well, you want to explore more aspects of sex because you feel more comfortable about it. This is how you get in the right frame of mind to set your love life on fire and that is how you really make love to a man.

What Advantages Do X-Rays Offer?

X-ray has emerged as one of the most important tools in the medical industry over the years. It is a non-invasive procedure which makes use of a small ionizing radiation dose which gets absorbed by internal body structures to produce an image of the same. This imaging helps the doctor determine the level of injury or illness, thereby suggesting an appropriate treatment. When x-rays were not in the picture, an exploratory surgery helped the physician diagnose the condition. All what they do today is switch the button of the x-ray machine on, and diagnose the condition.

Easy usage

X-rays are available all through and are used in varied facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals and other medical facilities. Many doctors or radiologists make use of portable x-ray machines which make it easy for them to conduct the procedure wherever required in no time. With x-rays, the results become fast and this is the major reason why x-rays are prioritized when it comes to dealing with an emergency situation. As compared to any other medical imaging device, x-rays are more affordable and effective as well as easy to use.

Different uses of x-ray

X-rays may help in a number of areas, such as to diagnose a broken bone or fracture or any dislocated joint. At times, x-rays may even suggest an orthopedic surgery. Beside, varied other conditions can easily be detected using plain x-rays. These conditions may include arthritis, any foreign objects inside the patient's body, and any kind of abnormal growth in bones. Dentists equally use x-rays to produce teeth images or to diagnose periodontal disease.

Small radiation dose

The Radiological Society of North America reports that x-rays produce a very small amount of radiation, and an effective radiation is measured in the unit of millisievert (mSv). X-rays do not produce more than 0.001 mSv that equals the amount of background radiation received in a day by an average individual. Experts say that when the x-ray image is taken, the radiation leaves the body of the patient. However, other imaging tests may leave some amount of radiation in the body. Since, they involve injection of a radioactive dye into the patient's body, which may remain inside for a certain period of time. X-rays do not have any side effects so far.

One of the major benefits of using an x-ray is that it is a really fast procedure and typically provides you with the results on the very day that it is conducted.

MP3 Player Tricks for Beginners

I bet almost every one of you may get a mp3 player. The new gadget really has brought us wonderful experience. To be an experienced user of mp3 player, one need clear examination of e user manual first, and the considerable amount of practice. Be able to use is just the beginning, finding out what it can do exceed your expectation is more interesting and challenging. Here goes the mp3 trick for beginners.

Use earpiece as FM tuner. A lot of users complain that they can’t receive FM radio or it seems that their players never work in FM tuning. It is reasonable. Most players adopt internal antenna which is bad in receiving signals. To make things worse, most of you live/work in city buildings which will weaken and even block the signal. One good solution is to use the earpiece when tuning. The long wire serves “external” antenna at this time, and consolidate signal strength. You can test this if you don’t believe. And you will be surprised to find that at many places (office room, apartment, etc) where it cannot tune-in previously, now you get clarity of sound and selectable programs.

Take care of the battery. Most players use built-in rechargeable batteries and replacing a battery needs specific technique which mean when anything happens to or affects the battery, it will render the player useless. Basic rules are avoiding heat/moisture/water, don’t recharge until the player is completely drained, enough charge at each time, One acknowledgment is that the Lithium-ion battery has limited life span and the capacity will degrade naturally as time goes by. A few measures can slow down the degradation; they are regular breaking charge after particular time of using (one month, for example) and always keeping it cool.

Save power and gain longer performance. Do you know that almost every player can last longer than its specified hours. To achieve this, you have to take power saving measures.

1. Set back light time. There is no need to turn the back light on always, it wastes power. Set auto turn off after one minute of no operation.

2. Adjust brightness. Excessive bright color is not good, it hurts eyes, causes eye weariness. Adjust the brightness that best suit to your eyes.

3. Auto turn off. Forget to turn off when you fall into sleep? Set auto turn off and save power.

You need more excitement. An mp3 player, is not just a kind of personal music device, but an excellent source of all kinds of entertainment systems. You can connect it to your computer speaker, hear music from speakers without turning on the computer; or treat your guests by connecting it to your home stereo system; when on the rode, enjoy music by hooking the mp3 player to your car stereo system. With technology unification, you will find that your mp3 players are compatible to large varieties of other devices.

Cosmos Vs Globus

Visiting Europe is more affordable than you might think. The Globus family of brands has two options to choose from. Cosmos offers a great vacation value for those on a budget, while Globus offers premium escorted travel.

In order to understand the difference more clearly, I am going to use an example I came across earlier this week where a client was planning a trip to Spain, but was undecided between the Cosmos “Grand tour of Spain,” and the Globus “Spanish Fiesta.” Specifically, the client wanted to know why she should pay $500 more for the Globus trip, when the Cosmos goes to the same places and is one day longer?

This is one of the best questions you can ask your travel agent! The tourist industry is a very competitive field and if one company is offering the same itinerary at a decidedly different price, there’s got to be a reason. As we sat and discussed the two itineraries, here is what the client learned.

She would land in Madrid on either tour; both would have meet and greet, (if airfare had been purchased through the tour operator), and each would have a hotel room reserved in her name. Now where the difference begin, is that the Globus tour director would host a welcome dinner that evening and she would meet the other travelers. The Cosmos tour director would only be in the hotel lobby to say hello. Dinner will be on her own, and perhaps she would meet up with other travelers and join them.

After a buffet breakfast (included each morning in either tour) the Globus group will have in depth sightseeing in Madrid, seeing all the major sights, with entrance to the world famous Prado Museum included and paid for. The afternoon will offer free time. The Cosmos group leaves Madrid, and is driven to Valencia (via Aranjuez and Cuenca), a distance of about 222 miles, with a stop at the Royal Palace along the way. The driving time is about 4 hours, but there will be photo stops as well as a stop for lunch, although not included. The Cosmos tour would then stay in Valencia two nights, which no included sightseeing.

On day two, the Globus tour will head north to Vitoria, stopping at Segovia and Burgos…with photo, rest and lunch stops, of course. Lunch is not included with the Globus on this day either. The distance is about 175 miles, or about 3 hours.

I won’t continue the day-by-day comparison, as the article would be quite lengthy, but be assured that these differences continue throughout. Example: Globus has in-depth sightseeing in Granada, Cosmos offers it as an optional. The Globus tour takes you to Gibraltar, with entrance fee included; Cosmos does not go to Gibraltar. Globus stops for guided, fee paid sightseeing in Toledo; Cosmos does not stop at Toledo. The Cosmos visit in Madrid is at the end of your tour, no inside visits are included.

There are also more subtle differences that a Globus tour includes over Cosmos, such as extra nights in major cities to allow for more free time, a few extra meals throughout the trip, perhaps with wine included or entertainment. With Globus you often each at local restaurants, where we Cosmos you frequent the hotel’s restaurant.

To sum it all up, if your goal is to travel comfortably, with clean hotels, some meals, a tour guide as your shepherd and information source and at a price you can afford, go “budget,” which is with Cosmos tours. Just remember, there will be many “optional” tours and meals, so do the math. If you want to see as much as possible, gain access to outstanding museums and sights, stay in centrally located hotels and avoid many of the optionals, so more is included in your up-front price, you will find that Globus tours is the better way to go.

Keep in mind they are both owned by the same company, who have offered escorted tours for over 80 years, so you will not be disappointed either way, as long as you are clear on what’s included in the price.

Pregnancy Ultrasound Picture

When you are pregnant, sometimes it can be hard to feel like there is really a person living and growing on the inside of you. Many times you are focused on how uncomfortable you are or how sick you feel instead of the beautiful life that is blossoming on the inside of you. If only you could catch a glimpse of what is taking place in your womb!

In the old days, mothers did not know the gender of their baby until the day it was born. Things have changed! Now you can get a pregnancy ultrasound picture that will show you what your baby looks like while it is still inside of you! Usually a doctor will order one at 6 weeks and at 5 months. At 5 months, the sex of your baby can usually be determined. A pregnancy ultrasound picture is a great thing to post on your refrigerator to get you through those last couple months of pregnancy.

There is nothing more exciting than catching a glimpse at your baby while it is still in the womb. Nothing is more special than the moment you and the father of your baby get to see your child for the first time. Many times, the person doing the sonogram will point out different things on the baby. Most places offer still images of your sonogram and some places even offer videos! Getting a video is a great idea because then all of your friends and family can see the baby in action too! Sometimes you will be able to see the baby flipping, sucking on its thumb, and doing all sorts of cute things.

You are only pregnant once and your baby is only that tiny once. Kids grow up so fast! You do not want to forget what your baby looked like when it was that small. Your pregnancy ultrasound picture will be something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. If you are pregnant you should definitely get a sonogram that will capture your little one. I do not think anyone will ever regret keeping a sonogram picture.