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Just Say No: Three Reasons the Customer Isn’t Always Right

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It’s 11:30 pm. My wife has already gone to bed. I was cramming to get an ad
done for the paper the next morning. The phone rings. It’s the client’s assistant.

“So? Is it okay?” I ask.

“She hates it,” she replies.

“Did she say why?”

“No.”

Frustrated silence. After a fruitless exchange of profanity and exasperation
we get off the phone. My wife is exhausted and livid at this ungodly hour.
So I turn off the ringer and go to bed, knowing full well that the assistant
is still furiously trying to get through to me and leaving messages on my voice
mail. I have a choice here between my wife and my client. I choose my wife.

Needless to say, I lost the client, including payment for several unpaid invoices
totaling in the hundreds of dollars, not to mention a great deal of lucrative
future work. That money is gone.

The next day I sent an email apologizing for dropping the project right before
the deadline. I swallow my pride and try to explain my actions without placing
blame on their boss. I was cornered and had to choose between my wife’s
well being and stretching to accommodate what most people may consider an unreasonable
expectation without any kind of guidance or support. In retrospect, I do not
regret losing this particular client. I simply regret the way in which it happened.

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5 Remote Support Tools for Small Business

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In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, there is tremendous pressure on organizations to offer quick and effective customer support. This is not only an important approach to achieving a high level of customer satisfaction, but also a way to potentially cut time spent on dealing with problems that could otherwise be solved in a quick and organized manner. As a self-employed entrepreneur competing in the IT industry, I’ve come to realize that the most effective and time-saving way to deal with most of my customers’ issues is by offering remote support.

Providing technical support from the comfort of the office allows me to resolve nearly 80% of all technical issues encountered, and subsequently saves the time and money which would otherwise be spent on going on-site to tend to minor issues such as updating a customer’s settings or installing required software onto their machines. Clearly, not all issues could be resolved remotely and on-site visits are still required ever so often; however, the use of remote desktop software has clearly reduced my costs and increased customer satisfaction due to the quick response time.

Today’s remote desktop services come in a wide scope of price-ranges, levels of functionality, and installation requirements, thus making their implementation dependent on a number of factors such as the company’s budget and security guidelines. As a result, this industry brings together large and small businesses alike, allowing them to compete and provide technical support to their customers without necessarily having access to a large resource base. I’ll talk about some of the tools which are currently available on the market and which I’ve had the ability to personally test. Specifically, I’ll discuss VNC, iRemotePC, Techinline, Teamviewer, and LogMeIn Rescue

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Survivor, Freelance Style

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One of my online friends recently approached me with a question she says she knew I would have the answer to.

She asked me if anyone’s ever gotten competitive with me.

Oh sister, you have no idea! I told her that I have faced this throughout my life. In fact, the competition can be fiercer than cameras rolling on a reality TV show!

I suppose as a Type A personality, I’m a bit of an achiever. I usually attain a goal when I put my mind to it. It’s just how I am. And throughout my life, even though I have had support from people who can appreciate my success, there have been others who…well, they just can’t. The majority of these people have tried to push me to share my trade secrets. Some people criticize and insist their work is better. Others are eying the client list I’ve worked so hard to create, wondering if they can work for the same companies.

Here’s the thing about competing—it happens rather silently. People won’t always say, “I can do better” to your face. They may try to inquire about your clients or try to one-up you. But let me be honest here: work competitiveness is a very real thing. Even when you’re a freelancer sitting at home working alone—and even when you don’t want to get caught up in the drama.

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