Friday, 24 October 2014

5 Ways to Build an Eco-Friendly Office

tips for eco friendly paperless green office

If your business isn’t making an effort to go green, then you’re behind the times. More and more consumers are expecting the companies they support to in turn support our planet. And guess what? It’s easy. Here are 5 simple, affordable ways to make your business more sustainable.

Embrace the Cloud. 

Instead of printing reports, invoices and memos, save them in the cloud. By allowing your team to access and store information wherever and whenever, you eliminate the need for sticky notes, printed emails and wasted paper. 

Eat Green. 

At OfficeBooks headquarters, we have a Meat Thursday tradition but we try to keep it as green as possible. In your company’s kitchen, make sure to get rid of paper plates and cutlery, and invest in the real thing. You may have to do a few dishes, but it will save a ton of paper and plastic.

Power Off. 

Not using that meeting room for another hour? Taking the rest of the afternoon off from your computer? Unused lights, computers and personal devices should be turned off or switched to power-saving mode. And don’t forget to invest in eco-friendly light bulbs. As an incentive to motivate your team, consider offering a reward to the employee who most effectively saves power every month.

Be Paper-Smart. 

Reduce your paper use through double-sided printing. Never done it before? It’s usually an option under “Layout” when you’re printing. Make sure to recycle or reuse the paper once you’re finished with it. If you want to take it a step further, then invest in recycled notebooks and other supplies for your office.


It’s a small world – chances are several people on your team live close by. Consider setting up a carpool system in the office so you can save fuel and money. 

How does your company reduce their footprint? Let us know in the comments. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

5 Ways Reports Help Your Business

Let’s be honest – no one jumps for joy when a report lands on their desk. But if you want honest, straightforward advice, then there’s no denying that data speaks. Next time you pick up a report, here are 5 reasons to stop skimming and start listening.

  1. Reports give you a different perspective. An effective reporting system will allow you to filter by different variables, so you can put every area of your business in the hot seat – from your products to your productivity. By looking at your company through a number of lenses, you can discover trends and changes that might surprise you.
  2. Reports are objective – and you are not. Our brains are selective, both in terms of what we notice and what we remember. Don’t rely on your own observations about the functionality of your business, or you might be fooling yourself. Reports offer unbiased, unavoidable numbers and facts.
  3. Reports save you money. No budget is complete without a report. If you’re wondering where to cut back and where to spend, reports help you understand where your money is going and whether it’s been effective or wasted.
  4. Reports help with Customer Relationship Management. Reports show you which suppliers or customers are especially beneficial for your business, and which have perhaps cost you money or resources. This allows you to foster closer relationships with those who are helping your business, and keep an eye on those who aren’t.
  5. Reports let you learn from yourself. Reports highlight areas of your business that are especially successful or need improvement. By understanding what’s working and what needs fixing, you can learn from your own successes and failures, and keep improving.

What do you find most helpful about reports? What could make them even more awesome? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Avoid Customer Service Failure By Empowering Your Staff With Useful Contact Information!

Avoid customer service failures by empowering your staff

Have you ever suffered through a customer service experience that was so grating and unhelpful, you wanted to hang up the phone and immediately contact a rival provider? Customers leave when they no longer believe a company can be trusted to solve their problems. If anyone on your team interacts with customers, it is their responsibility to convey that your entire company understands—in specific detail—what those customers need. Too many businesses do not give their client-facing staff access to the data they require to keep track of the information customers expect representatives to know.

Make no mistake, businesses lose customers when communication becomes inconsistent, fails to build a relationship, or when they feel they haven’t been listened to. The threshold for customer service failure is low. If you have ever repeated the same explanation, in full, to more than just one representative on a single call, you experienced all of these customer service pitfalls.

  • The first step to building a relationship with your customers is remembering who they are. Relationships never form between perpetual strangers. Your representatives need to understand what each customer needs, and how far along the business is at meeting those needs.
  • Consistency means that your customer service agents are able to provide the same details— the correct details!—for each client. If your customer-facing responses are not consistent, your business will seem amateurish.
  • Make your customers feel listened to by immediately keeping records of what they need! If any one of your employees are not able to call up this information, your customers will feel like their requests go in one ear and out the other.
Managers have a strong tendency to over-estimate their ability to delegate tasks. According to one 2013 study by Econsultancy, while only 30% of managers think they delegate well, only one-in-three of their subordinates considered those managers to be good delegators! When employees complain that they do not have the tools or resources to accomplish their tasks, their manager is not delegating effectively. If you need a subordinate to verify information with a supplier, they have to have access to the supplier and the information they need.
Providing staff the client info can avoid customer service issues

Our solution to avoiding a customer service catastrophe is to empower your trusted team with OfficeBooks. OfficeBooks is a powerful CRM in the manufacturing and hard goods industries because it is not just a CRM: it handles purchasing, sales orders, inventory, and reporting. OfficeBooks’ sales view compiles each contact’s sales history, and also allows users to record service events or even append documents to their contact card using Google Drive. There is no excuse to be caught unprepared, because OfficeBooks is a cloud service available to anyone on your trusted team with a modern web browser.

What is the worst customer service experience you have ever witnessed first hand? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.