Time to celebrate the New Year!

The New Year is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to think about our resolutions for 2014! True, we aren’t always successful with our New Year’s resolutions, but that’s okay – if you ask me, the process of formulating our goals and giving it our best try is just as important as success. After all, even if you don’t get everything you want, you’re sure to learn from the experience. I know things are a bit different in business, of course: You want to be sure to have clear, well-formed goals for your enterprise so it’s that much more likely you will see the kind of results you want. Let’s look at some of the big resolutions that I often encourage clients and colleagues to adopt for their businesses – whether retail or restaurant. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration!

Improve Customer Service! It should come as no surprise in a blog like this, but customer service is the first thing on my mind when it comes time to reassess each year. Yes, there are many different aspects to good customer service, but some of them are fundamental – it’s easy to focus and see fast, sustainable results from those. Coach your team members and make sure they are doing their best with the human touch: Things like smiling and eye contact. Slowly introduce more sophisticated tactics.

Champion Leadership Development! Sadly, there’s a perception of customer service as something associated with “entry-level” jobs – the lowest of the low. One of the most important ways to counter this feeling, raise morale, and help your team members feel valued is to help them cultivate advanced leadership skills. When you see that someone is doing great on customer service, give them the opportunity to coach and mentor others. Your results improve when the whole team benefits from one person’s success.

Encourage Work-Life Balance! Another aspect of customer service work that’s critical for both managers and team members is work-life balance. Let’s start with you, the boss: Are you taking too much work home? Are you getting adequate time for rest? What about your hobbies? When you are stressed out, everyone else will be, too. Learn to delegate, and build up your team members so they can make effective, proactive decisions even when you’re not around. Then, be sure they’re getting rewarded.

Other Ideas For A Great Retail New Year Need more ideas for great New Year’s resolutions? Let’s look at a few more thoughts from retail experts all around the web. Whatever your goals for this year are, I hope you have a happy and safe celebration – and that you and your team will enjoy one last New Year’s sales bump before 2014 gets here! Just remember, endless possibility is what each January is all about!