Customer Service Tip

Customers come in all shapes and size as well as levels of development. They may be infants, toddlers, adolescents, adults or seasoned citizens. If you want loyal customers, you must continually develop your customers through your customer service for this is not a natural event.

For simplicity sake, you can group your customers into 4 levels of development.

  1. Suspect
  2. Prospect
  3. Customer
  4. Loyal Customer

These customers again come in all shapes and sizes. Loyalty has no barriers be they geographic, demographic or psychographics.

To build customer loyalty means that you must be able to identify specific behaviors from each of these customers.

1. Suspect is someone who does not know you. He or she does not meet the prospect criteria. However, she or he may become a center of influence.

2. Prospect may know you or may be referred to you. This person has at least 3 of the 4 criteria that makes a qualified prospect. Additionally, he or she may become a center of influence and a referral resource for you.

3. Customer buys from you at least one time. A long-term relationship has not been established. This individual may become a referral resource for you. At this level of development, these customers may consider themselves satisfied with your products or services.

4. Loyal customers consistently buy from you on a regular basis. They make many referrals. If and when your business makes a mistake, they are more forgiving.
Once you understand where your customers are, you can then build bridges or plans to take them to all being loyal customers.

To move suspects to prospects means that you must create an Awareness Bridge through your marketing activities, networking events to third party referrals.

Then from prospects to customers suggests that these folks must travel the Buying Bridge. The planks on this bridge include a 7 Step Sales Process to strong marketing and selling skills. As the prospect walks over this bridge, a relationship with the seller begins to be firmly established.

To take customers and build loyal customers requires the Communication Bridge. During this time, the relationship is firmly established, contact is made at least 2 to 3 times each month and the seller becomes a trusted advisor or resource.

Even if the buyer becomes a loyal customer, there is still the possibility of defection through the Bridge of Denial. This is a bridge that the sellers believe does not exist. Behaviors include focusing 75% of all resources on attracting new customers; and assuming customers will stay loyal and assume if it is not broken why fix it. Through these actions, loyal customers will defect and eventually become the patrons to your competitors.

If your goal is to build customer loyalty, then take action specific to this customer service tip. First group your customers and then understand the bridges to customer development. Finally, put a plan of action together to keep you from walking the Bridge of Denial.

What other areas of customer service do you need to think about? This free audit looks to how you can build customer loyalty.

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Outdoor Cooking Equipment

Having traveled all over the country in an RV years ago, we have retained a love of cooking in the great outdoors. To this day, we would rather cook outside then in, even in the winter with snow on the deck. In fact, my son is now in the process of designing a gourmet outdoor cooking area, complete with fireplace so we hardly ever need to cook inside again, even in the cold, not that I am a gourmet, but it sounds good.

But remembering back in the day when we saw the country in a travel trailer, I know it can be much more enjoyable to cook outdoors if you give it a little thought and preparation. When you are in your kitchen and need a certain utensil, just open the drawer and there it is. But if you have not planned your outdoor cooking equipment well, you are just out of luck or you have to run back inside for your outdoor cooking utensils.

So the first thing you need to do is to is try to think of everything that you could possibly need and then cross off your list anything you can do without.

Planning Will Make Cooking Outdoors More Enjoyable

Outdoor cooking equipment, can range from a fully equipped luxury outdoor kitchen with built-in barbecue equipment (you don’t have to worry too much about not having the proper utensils then), to, as we did for many years, cooking on a charcoal grill out on the deck without any fancy outdoor cooking equipment at all. In the last case, you might find it easier to do most of the preparation inside before you start to cook. This keeps what you need to a minimum.

There are some things that are a must, like tongs, long handled spatula, and of course, the charcoal, lighter fluid and matches. A nice serving plate and a chef’s apron are nice but not absolutely required.

Not Required, But Helpful

If you want to get a little fancier, you can always just add a little mesquite wood to the fire, giving whatever you are cooking a delightful, smokey flavor. And then, something a little more basic, such as aluminum foil, will make your life much easier, especially if you are cooking fish, certain vegetables, etc. Though, what I do, is make little individual packets of vegetables, potatoes and spices. A little olive oil or cooking spray on the tin foil works great. Those I can make beforehand, whether we are cooking on the deck or going for the day to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Which reminds me, a jug of water and some soap for clean up can come in really handy unless you are sure there will be running water wherever you are going. Though normally, the parks have, not only a grill, but also water to clean up. So that really cuts down on things you must take.

All in all, if I have to cook, I would rather do it outside. And it’s always nice to have the latest and greatest outdoor cooking equipment, but even if you don’t, so what? Outdoor cooking is great anyway you do it.

Cheap Travel Tips

Traveling does not need to put you in the poor house, just follow these 10 cheap travel tips to save money and still enjoy your vacation.

Carry Snacks With You

Buying snacks in bulk before you go and dividing them up into zip lock bags saves the cost and hassle of purchasing snack foods while traveling.

Bring Along A Water Bottle

Cheap travel tips do not need to be time consuming and inconvenient. This one is easy and simple. Just pack a nice water bottle and refill it whenever you get the chance, so you don’t have to purchase bottled water.

Look For Packages

Finding packages for services and attractions can be one of the most invaluable of all cheap travel tips. Package deals can be found on most things, from shuttle rides if you purchase round trip in advance, to hotel room rates that include free breakfast.

Walk Places

This tip can save you a lot of money and has the added benefit of allowing you to get your exercise in. It is also a great way to explore a new area.

Use Grocery Stores

Every meal does not need to be eaten at a restaurant. It can be great fun to find a grocery store and buy something from the deli and take it to a nearby park.

Bring Along Entertainment

Many people spend their time on vacation jumping from one attraction to another with no time in between. Why not bring along a book or camera and spend a day or two relaxing?

Save Extra Food

If you receive extra food on an airplane or with a meal, bring it with you so that you have a snack available and do not have to purchase one.

Go Camping

Road trips can really add up when you are staying in a hotel every night. Why not bring along a tent and spend some of the nights camping. You can alternate nights between a hotel and tent in order to avoid feeling grungy.

Plan Your Trips During Off-Times

Cheap travel tips can include staying at quality, premium places. This can be achieved through finding the times that are considered off-season and planning your trip during that time. Most hotels and attractions have times of the year when they fill up and can demand higher prices, but also times of the year when they do not get a lot of visitors and are willing to offer great deals to allure guests.

Don’t Be Afraid To Request Forgotten Items

If you forget a toothbrush or razor do not hesitate to call the front desk if you are staying at a hotel and asking for one. Most hotels have extras like this available and it saves you the money of purchasing one.

Follow these ten cheap travel tips to make your vacation cost effective and stress-free.

Travel Ideas

If you are looking for travel ideas for your next vacation, this formula will help you arrive at the destination or destinations that will make great contenders for where to travel next.

All you need is a journal and pen (or a blank digital document) and some time to give the following questions some thought and jot down your answers.

Where to Travel Next, Step 1: Determine who and why.

Who: Travelers. How many travelers will be going on this trip? Just you? A band of friends? If there are other people joining you, get them on board with this process!

Why: Vision. What is the real reason for your travel getaway? This is an example of a clear vision: “I want to have the adventure of a lifetime.”

Consider the question carefully and be honest about why you are looking to travel. There are no wrong answers.

Where to Travel Next, Step 2: Runway and Duration

How much time do you have to plan? This may influence the number of possible travel ideas. If you take the whole family overseas you may need more time, but fortunately most trips you only need a couple of weeks to plan.

How long can your getaway be? Your travel ideas are contingent on whether you can get away for a long weekend or for a few weeks, so this is important.

Where to Travel Next, Step 3: Budget

When it comes to budgeting, no amount is right or wrong. Only you know what is an appropriate figure. Some things to consider in your budget include:

  • Transportation and Lodging (airfare, gas, cruise, hotel, resort)
  • Adventure activities (ski lift tickets, parasailing, etc.)
  • Food (restaurants, groceries, snacks)
  • Other Experiences (spa treatments, snorkeling classes, etc.)

Play with the budget until all vacationers are happy with what you’ve planned out.

Where to Travel Next, Step 4: The Shortlist

At this point you should know who is going and why, how much time you have to plan and be away, and a good idea of your budget.

This is the perfect spot to brainstorm a list of possible destinations that are in line with the people, purpose, timeframe, and budget you’ve decided.

Spend some time making a long list of possibilities. If you have a large budget and a long timeframe to be away, write down smaller trips, too. Don’t hurry and don’t rule anything out — the point in this stage is to write down every viable option, so spend some time building your list.

Where to Travel Next, Step 5: Final Selection

At this point you should have a list of travel ideas inspired by Steps 1-4, so chances are you have some good options from which to choose.

The final step is a process of elimination, so you may want to do some research and some thinking and discussion with the other possible vacationers.

You don’t have to do this all in one day — sometimes the brainstorming process needs time to incubate. The point is that you’ve identified some criteria for your travel ideas and it’s much easier than starting from a blank canvas.

After going through this process we hope you’re ready to book and start looking forward to your next amazing holiday!

International Travel Packages

Cheap international travel packages have become quite popular over the recent past and there are many who choose to travel abroad. It no longer remains an elusive dream because traveling abroad has become quite convenient and easy. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that the world has truly shrunk and become one global village, after all distances don’t seem that long anymore. There was once a time when it remained just a dream to travel abroad and being able to go even once was a big deal. However, this scenario changed completely with liberalization taking place in the country and business opportunities opening up worldwide. It is now possible to travel both on business as well as on vacation to any part of the world.

What makes it extremely easy and simple is the availability of cheap international travel packages. These packages have made it possible for anyone to not only think but also enjoy a vacation abroad. America and Europe have always topped the chart of anyone planning to travel abroad. But what has come as a surprise is not only the ease with which one can travel to these countries but also the possible of enjoying cheap international travel packages to these countries.

Other countries that have gained immense popularity and are considered major holiday hotspots include countries in the South East Asia such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Cheap international travel packages are available for these countries that take care of all the requirements needed to enjoy a fabulous holiday.

There are quite a few online travel websites that offer all kinds of amazing cheap international travel packages. The options are varied and diverse and depending on one’s requirement one can choose the perfect package. These packages cover every aspect of the travel itinerary therefore ensuring that travelers need not face any kind of a hassle or problem. There short duration holiday packages that are perfect for a weekend getaway to long duration packages. Many will find short duration holiday packages for Southeast Asian countries that are apt for a weekend. Long duration packages of 20 to 25 days can be found for Europe and America. A number of European countries are covered within this couple of days and one can definitely make the most of their trip.

Cheap international travel packages are one of the best ways to enjoy the myriad facets that these amazing countries have to offer. There are many travel operators that offer excellent package deals and some of them are even categorized as per tastes and preferences. Hence, it is not uncommon to find travel packages that are culture, shopping, religious, adventure specific. Depending on one’s preferences, one can choose cheap international travel packages that meet one’s expectations.

Hawaii Vacation Package

Would you like to take a vacation to Hawaii? If so, have you already made your reservations? If not, you may want to look into Hawaii vacation packages, if you haven’t already done so. It is no secret that a Hawaiian vacation can get quiet costly. Hawaii vacation packages are a great way to save money. Therefore, whether you are traveling with your friends, your family, or your romantic partner, you are urged to examine Hawaii vacation packages. After all, who doesn’t want to save money?

When it comes to finding Hawaii vacation packages, you will find that these vacation packages come in a number of different formats. For instance, it is not uncommon to find vacation packages that include airfare, car rentals, and hotel accommodations. While these types of Hawaii vacation packages are quiet common, it is also common to find smaller, less exclusive Hawaii vacation packages. For instance, there are some vacation packages that just include overnight accommodations and a car rental. Before you start searching for a Hawaii vacation package, you are urged to determine what type of travel arrangements and accommodations you would like to make or need to make. Knowing what to look for will help save you time, as it will automatically eliminate vacation packages that you are not interested in purchasing.

Once you know what type of Hawaii vacation packages to look for, you can begin to focus on other important factors, such as cost. When it comes to all vacation packages, including Hawaii vacation packages, it is important that you thoroughly examine a vacation package before purchasing it. While most vacation packages will save you money, there are a select number of them that will actually end up costing you money. To ensure that you really are getting the best deal, you will need to do a little bit of research. That research involves determining how much money your Hawaii vacation would cost if you chose not to purchase a vacation package. Once you have this estimated, you will want to compare it to the cost of your first choice vacation package. To save money, you will not want to purchase a Hawaii vacation package that costs more than making each of your reservations individually.

Another way to find the best Hawaii vacation packages is to broaden your horizons. When searching for a vacation package, there are many individuals who mistakenly believe that they are only available through online travel websites, namely discount travel websites. This is not true. There are companies out there that specialize in certain types of vacation packages, vacation packages for a certain vacation destination, such as Hawaii. You are urged to examine these companies as well. You may also want to look for vacation resorts or vacation hotels. It is not uncommon for some of these establishments to also offer vacation packages to their guests.

The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind, when searching for Hawaii vacation packages. Keeping all of your options open is the best way to go about finding the best vacation package deals

Best Car Rental Tips

Many of us think that renting a car is quite expensive. Well, you do not really get a rented car for free but you can shave off a few dollars from the rent amount if you know how to get cars rental discounts. Aside from that, you can always maximize the amount of money you pay by getting the best car rental service around. Here are some of the best cars rental tips that you can use the next time you book yourself a car for personal or business reasons:

1. Book online.

If you want to have both convenience and savings at the same time, then you might want to book and reserve online. The best car rental companies often have websites where you can get not only useful rental information but also a means to book and make a reservation. Bigger companies even have online car galleries where you can choose your preferred rental car. Booking online gives you this convenience plus savings on the amount or rental money you have to pay. By booking online, you can make use of coupon codes and discounts. You can shave off 5% to 15% of the rental charge instantly if you enter a valid coupon code upon booking.

2. Book early but return the rented car on time.

Some of the best car rental companies often offer the early bird or early booking promo to all customers. If you book well in advance then you can shave off a neat amount from the car rental fee. However, it is also important to know that you must return the car on time to avoid late return charges. Booking your reservation early can also help you choose the car you prefer. This is applicable especially to smaller rental companies which often have limited car options. Booking early can also help you avoid the rental rush during peak seasons.

3. Avail of Loyalty or VIP memberships.

Car rental agencies usually offer loyalty programs as well as VIP memberships. These are meant to encourage return customers. If you are the type of person who rents cars often then it would be more practical to avail of these promos. As a loyalty program member, you can get discounts upon cars rental bookings. Also, some companies which often get the services of cars rental agencies are given automatic VIP membership for their employees. Check with your company so you can get the best car rental price or package for business or personal use.

4. Understand the rental terms.

Reading the terms and conditions of cars rental agreements seem to be pretty obvious but not all of us take the time to actually understand them. Sometimes, we are surprised by hidden costs or surprise charges. The best way to avoid them is to carefully understand the agreement or cars rental contract. That way, you will never have to pay more than what you expect and get the best car rental experience in return.

5. Opt for long term bookings.

You can also get a discounted car rental rate if you book for longer periods. If you know that you will need a rental service for a number of days, then you should already book the desired car for the entire duration. Booking by the day can lead you to a more expensive accumulated car lease amount.

Cruise Deal Tips

First and Foremost-Always deal with a professional Cruise Specialist who has access to the latest and greatest Disney Cruise Deals. While this may be logical to most, people like to ask their friends and family, who have been on a cruise. Sometimes that kind of advice can end up costing you more. What is a deal to some, may become an unhappy experience to others.

Shop around. It helps if you have an idea of pricing before you speak or think about booking online. After you find your best pricing, then contact a professional and ask questions to see if they can beat or at least match the price you have found.

Location-Location-Location! While this is true enough for real estate, we are talking about Cruises. And yes, your cabin can be considered real estate for the time you rent it out. If your cabin is right next to a noisy public place, it does not make for your best option. Not only does the location of your cabin count in cruise deals, but the size of your home away from home also counts. Inside cabins will always be less expensive. Most experienced cruisers already know this. But here is how that plays out. A cabin with a porthole (Ocean view) will come at a bit higher cost than the Inside, and a Verandah (balcony) cabin will be more. Also, there are several cabins on board that have an obstructive view and these would be offered at a considerable savings. A suite is a much larger cabin that offers amenities that may be important to you but not to your kids. It’s all about personal taste.

Magical Rates during off peak times. Yes, you can get a deal on Disney cruises but you must be flexible and not travel when the most popular times to travel are to get the best deals. Of course we are talking about Disney Cruise Line and with that most of you will be taking along the kids. And most kids are in school and tend to get holidays off. Well then my advice to you is, expect to pay top dollar and book as early as possible. But for those of you with little ones not yet in school and can travel during off peak times such as January, early February, May, late August-October, and even parts of November and December, excluding holiday weeks and can book your cruise at least 3-6 months in advance can get yourself a good deal on a Disney cruise.

Shipboard credits-this can give you money to spend anywhere on the ship and is definitely a good value perk. At times there may be a special on certain sailings that offers a $50 per cabin ship board credit. These are subject to availability and must be booked within a given time frame. So take advantage of shipboard credits when they are available.

Florida resident and military discounts can be a great savings for you. Be sure to ask your Cruise Agent about this as these discounts are subject to availability.

For those of you who are considering a Land and Sea Package- This means that you will spend part of your time on the Disney Cruise and the other part at Disney World. Sometimes it ends up costing less to book these as two separate vacations. Have your Cruise Specialist figure out the cost both ways to see which would work out to be the better deal. Most times it is actually less expensive to book these separately.

For a family of 5, there is a special cost saving tip for you. You have an option of booking into a more expensive Category 4 which is a Deluxe Family Stateroom or you could get two connecting Category 9 (Ocean view) or Category 10 (Inside). You’d be saving money by booking 2 connecting cabins in the lower category, while enjoying two full bathrooms and more privacy.

Cheap Flight Tips

If you are planning on cheap flights to Brazil, one of the things you need to realize is that flying to this country is not as cheap as some other destinations, this is because of the country’s rising popularity. There are however some things you can do to help secure your cheap flight to Brazil.

If you’re flying from the US, there are many direct flights you can take from different departures for example Miami or Atlanta. Miami is usually the cheapest airport to fly from attributed to the fact that there are so many Brazilian immigrants living within the Miami area. In fact a little tip here is to search online for travel agencies in the State of Florida (most are in Miami anyway) as they often have good deals on flying to Brazil.

For Canadians however it’s a little bit more difficult because Canadians can only fly directly from Toronto. A cheap flying tip here is to investigate the possibility to fly to an American city that has a Brazil connection.

For Europeans it is much easier to find cheap flights to Brazil, as there are many cities to fly out of , on often direct flights. Further, for European travelers, Lisbon is the best choice because there are more flights to Brazil from the Portuguese capital than anywhere else, and it is often cheaper flying from another European City to Lisbon for a connecting flight to Brazil.

One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is the charter flight option to Brazil as these offer some really cheap flights to Brazil that should be taken advantage of. A tip here is to consider flying to to cities other than Rio or Sao Paulo.

If you really do some research you’re going to find there are many variations of cheap flights to Brazil and the secret is always¬†to do your research and not just settle for the first deal that comes your way. If possible, try to keep yourself flexible as to time and once again going in the off seasons means you’re going to find that you are going to get substantial savings.

And my final tip for a cheap flight to Brazil is to consider flying to the 2 main cities of Rio or Sao Paulo and booking your own domestic flight at the airport. It is much cheaper than booking Brazil domestic flights online. For instance if you wanted to fly from Miami to Recife but find the flight cost expensive. Consider flying from Miami to Rio then booking an in-country connection to Recife.

Buying Cheap Travel Tickets Online

To get the best cheap travel tickets is all about knowing where to look online and other places. It might be time consuming doing all the research needed to find cheap travel tickets but it is time well spent. At some point in your life, you will most likely buy airplane tickets. It might be to go on a business trip, to visit a loved one across the country or just go on a well deserved vacation.

No matter what the reason may be, you are going to have to fly and will probably have to buy the tickets yourself. For a person who has never had to deal with buying airplane tickets, this may sound like a intimidating task but in reality it couldn’t be any easier.

With the invention of the internet, buying travel tickets takes almost no time. There are many websites that do nothing but sell airline tickets and many will sell them to you at a discount. These web sites are the best place to start looking for cheap travel tickets.

The most important thing to remember when buying cheap tickets online is to know your departure dates and times. Make sure you know exactly when you want to leave and where you are going. If you need a return ticket, make sure it is included so you don’t have to buy a return ticket later or you may end up stuck for a day or more.

Most websites let you type in your departure point, where you are going and then lets you choose your travel dates on a calendar. This is very easy to do, even for someone without any internet experience. Another tip is to know all the extra fees that you will be charged and determine if your tickets will be sent to you or if you can just pick them up when you get to the airport. With the invention of the e – ticket, everything is electronic at the airport. Check-in is a breeze with e-tickets.

Having your tickets sent to you can be a real hassle if the mail doesn’t show up for any reason, so it might be best to leave them at your airlines ticket counter. When you arrive at the airport, you just tell them your name, show ID, check your baggage, then you you go!

Always read the fine print before purchasing your cheap travel tickets. You don’t want to have to pay extra, have to wait 10 hours at 4 different airports or spend an eternity to get where you are going. Traveling can be very tiring for some people & now a days it is certainly stressful.

Usually, all sales are final when you buy cheap travel tickets on-line. So, if you make a mistake buying your cheap travel tickets, your usually stuck with what you bought. So be very sure of what you are buying before making the final payment or purchase.