Now Accepting Applications!

Springfield’s Office for Mobile Workers

 

CoWork Springfield is home to a diverse group of businesses across industries and sectors. We offer maximum flexibility with no long-term contracts and unlimited access to networking events, workshops, and best of all, a variety of workspace options to choose from.
We are accepting applications for a limited number of coworking desks!
Interested in becoming part of this dynamic community? Come by our space at the Scibelli Enterpise Center on Friday, September 29th from 2-4pm.
Pick up an application, see the vision of a productive shared workspace, and learn what it takes to become a member! Reduced application fee of $25 this day only.
Address: 1 Federal Street, Scibelli Enterprise Center, Springfield – 1st (bottom) floor

 

 

Insights from a Customer Service Agent

5 Things I learned about working in Customer Service at a Grocery Store

Working in customer service is no easy task, and making sure the customers always leave happy is much harder. When I started as a customer service representative 3 years ago, I was told to just smile and be polite and everything should pan out with every customer. But that’s not always the case. Here are the 5 things I learned from working customer service at my local grocery store.

1. Know your Company’s Policies:

You should never go into customer service expecting to just wing it. Every company, no matter what it is, has its sets of policies to abide by. Those policies help keep the company’s mission, vision and values while still aiming towards satisfying its customers. Not all policies are strict rules, some policies help guide us on how to leave the customer feeling like they were treated fairly even though they may not leave happy.

2. Be prepared for Anything:

When you realize that every day will be different, your day will go smoothly. As I said earlier, working customer service is no simple task. You will deal with different people with many different personalities. Over the years I’ve had some of the nicest customers but then there are those who will yell at you because they are not getting what they want. I’m certain that not all customer service jobs will have the same types of encounters but it is always best to keep an open mind and be prepared for just about anything. Always remember that you are there to serve the customer!

3. Ask For Clarification:

Most people come to customer service knowing what the problem was and knowing what they want to gain from the call or visit to the customer service desk. You can’t always assume that you know the best way to take care of a customer because every customer has different needs and ways to ask for what they need. Sometimes asking questions is the best way to go but sometimes asking too many questions may irritate an already upset customer. So, just get a feel for what the customer wants and try to take care of the issue while still following your stores policies and procedures.

4. Be clear with the Customer:

Not only is asking for clarification from the customer important but also being clear with them is an essential part of customer service. It is always a good idea to repeat the problem back to the customer. That way the customers feel like they are being heard and you know exactly what you are dealing with in order to take the necessary steps to solve the issue. Another thing to remember is that you do not want to leave the customer wondering about what is going on. Keeping the customer informed through the process improves the overall customer experience.

5. Know when to Apologize:

It’s important to understand we are representing the company, what it stands for, and that customer satisfaction is the goal. When I first started working customer service, I took every problem that the customers had as a personal issue. I would get irritated whenever a customer came to me upset about a certain issue because that often meant that I had to apologize to the customer for any inconvenience that they may have experienced. The customer’s anger may not necessarily be caused by us but it is our job to deescalate the situation and help to the best of our ability.  An apology may not entirely solve the issue but it will give the customer a sense that they are being understood and that you will try your best to help.

Final Thoughts

Over the years of working in customer service, I have learned many concepts that can be applied to my personal life. Not only have I gained some insight on effectively dealing with the public but also how to interact, communicate and deal with all sorts of people outside of work including those closest to me.

3 Things To Know When Buying a Used Smartphone, Guest Post

Guest Post by Frank Tate of PHYX iPhone Repair. Frank repairs and sells iPhones and Androids and is a wiz at fixing broken screens!

 

3 Things To Know When Buying a Used Smartphone

Our electronic internet devices are seemingly indispensable. They’ve become everyday tools that hold a similar value to that of cars and other modern utilities. The basic concept when buying a mobile device is similar to that of buying a car: you need to get a task done, and you need a good and working machine to do it. But you need to acquire this machine in the most financially responsible way. The same economic ideas apply in purchasing a new device: it will immediately depreciate after first opening/use, the unit will eventually need repairs and some upkeep, and the unit will eventually (and sooner than your average car) be obsolete. Based on these three concepts, it’s strategically better to buy a good used mobile device.

Do Your Homework

The used device business is a multi billion dollar industry, and is super popular around the world. In America, there’s a stigma attached to used electronics. This is not only because of our throwaway culture, but also because many people aren’t educated about the benefits of actually buying used. Since a phone or tablet is simply just a tool, consumers need to find appropriate tools that will enable them to accomplish what they need to do. That means going to a *reputable reseller* and picking out something that’s in good working condition and has no underlying issues that will affect the future usage of said device.

This is where the hard part begins, as you have to make sure your purchase is solid. The one advantage of buying new from a major retailer is that there is no question about the functionality or integrity of device, as it is fresh out of the box. Some people enjoy the feeling of buying new things, but it’s not the smartest choice.

Don’t Pay MRSP

A new iPhone 6s from the Apple Store or from any major carrier might cost about $600-$650 plus tax if you were to pay in full (and the majority of people don’t/can’t pay the MSRP upfront). Buying the same unit in a similar like-new condition might run about $400-450. That’s an instant savings of $200, and there are no taxes. You have the same device, you support local business, the unit is unlocked for any carrier, and you own the device. And there is no need to worry about financing options.

My advice is never pay MSRP for a device. You will always lose on that deal. And with the financing option, you’re locked in to paying unnecessarily high priced service plans for 24 months, plus the cost of the device with interest. Payment plans on a device — which is essentially a utility — is just about the worst financial decision you can make. After fees, insurance, taxes, interest, etc, you obviously end up paying a lot more than the value of the device. And by the time you actually own the phone, it’s not even current anymore. Even with these facts, millions of people subscribe to this option. Fundamentally, the idea behind all of this is to always buy a used device that you can afford upfront.

Choose The Carrier That’s Best for You

Major carrier rates are skyrocketing. When you elect to purchase a used device, you give power to yourself. You can decide your carrier, you can pay as you go, decide your plan, and basically do whatever you like with the device. And since you have already put equity into it, that equity is still yours, and therefore, you can sell the device for its current market value if you so choose. None of this can be done with a phone that’s being financed by a bank. Just like a car. Why? Because technically the phone isn’t yours. You are making payments and you are locked in to what your contract says. Read your contract.

Just remember to make the best financial decision for yourself. Is your current device able to do everything that you are asking it to do? If not, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. If your device is functional or if you simply want to move up, the upgrade needs to be paid for in full, whether it’s a tablet, camera, phone, or any other similar consumer electronic device.

 

 

Be Your Own Chief Visionary Officer

What does a business visionary look like?

If you are a business owner, chances are you are the head of marketing, VP of sales, director of finance, webmaster, technical support, and probably 100 other titles. Where does business planning come into play daily, weekly, annually? How often do you sit down to plan, or even dream, about where your business is headed? We know it’s important to set goals, but when you’re in the trenches working “in” your business, how do you manage to work “on” your business?

Next week, at our Lunchtime Q&A Series, our guest speaker, Leanne Sedlak, “Chief Visionary Officer”, of SkinCatering will share her story and answer questions about how to plan big.

RSVP Here

Leanne Sedlak started her business as a traveling massage therapist. She had a small list of clients whom she had on a regular rotation. From there she added a retail space in Tower Square, a complete line of all-natural skincare products that she makes from her retail space, and has now added a second location as the spa partner with the D Hotel in Holyoke. And she isn’t even close to being done. Leanne has a plan to go big. Really big.

Join us on Tuesday, March 21st at 12pm to hear how Leanne has grown her business and learn some of the tips and tricks she uses to manage the mini heart attacks and strokes of being a business owner looking to grow an empire.