How Do You Do it?

About a week or so ago, I was waiting to pick up my kids from school as I engaged in conversation with a group of parents waiting to pick their kids up as well, when I was asked How do you do it? Naturally, I replied with the same question – how do I do what? And the gentleman asked – How do you guys (CEO’s ),  remain so calm cool and collective under duress?

Luis A. White Jr. CEO

By this time I have a smile from ear to ear, the poor guy probably thought I was crazy, but I said, can you say Oscar time? We have to be good actors, you have to fake it, hide your real feeling from your employees, never let them see that you are about to loose it.  Naturally, there is more to this, than just “faking it”.

Surround your self with good people:  I’m a firm believer in, “find the talent, and delegate — then,  follow up“. I’m sure that at some point in your career you have heard the phrase — “you are only as good as the people you surround your self with”. Ideally, have three or four members of management very close to you to help carry the workload.

Have at least one advisor:  This person must be someone that you can talk to about anything that stresses you out — this confidant should be your most trusted advisor, whoever this may be.

Take breaks — note that I used the word Breaks, this is very important for your sanity, I swim and take long walks to think. Make sure you take your break away from the office, and as many as you need. Never make a decision wile you are upset or out of anger, never write that what the hell were you thinking; email, before you take a break to clear your mind and organize your thoughts. While we are on the subject of breaks, it brings me to my next point.

Take a VACATION: This is the hardest thing for us as CEO’s to do, to be fair, it may not happen for a long time, a couple of years maybe, until you know that the business is running on all cylinders, but you must take one, and not a vacation where you spend half your day writing memos, sending emails, or texting back and forth with the team, you need to unplug completely — just have one person know where and how to reach you, and only in case, it’s absolutely necessary for them to do so, empower someone to be in charge, and spend some quality time with your family.

Remember where and what, I was doing at the beginning of this blog? Well I was there in the middle of the day because the day before, my little guy asked his mother, why dad never comes to pick me and my brother up from school? It was at that moment that I said to my self, there is no better reason to cancel or reschedule a meeting, Than To Pick your Kid Up From School or  Back To School Night. We could not do the job we do, without the support of our loved ones. So make sure to do whatever you need to do to stay connected and in touch with your spouse, and especially your children.

Last but not least, always take care of your self, physically and mentally, you can’t take care of anyone or anything, none the less a business if you can’t take care of your self. Take power naps, close your eyes for five minutes, keep a treadmill in the office if need be. Do whatever you have to do, to get rid of stress, by the way, coffee also works — as long as you have it away from the office.

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The Single Biggest No! No! On Instagram

Instragram is one of the fastest growing, if not the fastest growing social media sight today! Thus it begs to ask the question, are you on Instagram? If not, Why Not? Your customers are actively on Instagram to the tune of 300 Million Monthly Active Users, Liking over 1.6 Billion Pictures and uploading an Average of 70 Million Photos per Day, all that’s left to say is, Wow!

Source: Instagram press

Instagram is all about sharing your precious moments thru the unspoken magical wonder of photography, and giving validity to the phrase “A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words”.  This is the reason why so many companies have an Instagram presence. But you are not going to gain followers just by slapping some pictures  and coming us with a cool name for your site, you have to invest the time and effort in marketing your brand.

Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that you have done just that; Your marketing is all set, you have a killer content, and you have the best advertising your money can buy, then you do this:

Sorry this Company is Only for the Selected Few!

IG-Private

What are you thinking? This is the equivalent of hanging your Gran Opening Sign in front of your store or office and leaving the CLOSED sign on your Door, 1 in 10 will actually open the door, go in, and let you know that you left the Close sign on your door.

Social Media is all about socializing and engaging with your customers, make it easy for your customers to engage and socialize with your brand, be creative and always ask for their feedback, you will be pleasantly surprised on how much they can help you in finding out exactly what your audience is looking for and expecting from your brand.

Remember when I said that 1 in 10 will open the door, I said that because I believe that nothing in this world is that perfect, so I allowed a percentage to the unknown,  but in reality none of the people I spoke to would have open the door, they all said something to the effect: If I have to ask them for permission to see their products or to buy from them, well they can go …. them self – that’s putting it nicely! They were even unsympathetic to personal accounts with the privacy lock on them, to this I’ will say, if you have a personal account and you want it to be private I support you 100% is your discretion and your right but if you have a business account and you are selling or offerings services and goods to customers, HELL NO!

It’s all about engaging with your audience. Visit us on Instagram at: Whitelopezsm

 

 

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T-Mobile Rolls out Android KitKat 4.4.4 for Samsung Galaxy S4 Owners

It’s finally here KitKat 4.4.4 the new update for all of you proud owners of a Samsung Galaxy S4, I wish I could say that this is for all Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, but I can’t this update today is for T-Mobile customer only. Aside from the 4.4.4 upgrade, this software update brings some unspecified “Wi-Fi calling enhancements” to the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile. Owners can also directly download the update via the Samsung Kies app. The baseline version number for this update is M919UVUFNH7. On September 10, 2014 T-Mobile made the OTA (over the air) update available. Simply follow the steps I have outline bellow to update your phone.

Note: Before you proceed with this update make sure to back up your phone files to prevent data loss. Update to M919UVUFNH7 requires a Wi-Fi connection or see: Samsung Kies

Source: T-Mobile

Here is how you can check for the update:

  • From the Home screen, press the Menu key or Apps.

Home-Screen

  • Tap Settings.

Apps-Screen

  • Tap the More tab.

More-Screen

  • Tap About device.

About-Device-Screen

  • Tap Software update.

Software-Update-Screen

  • If you are not connected to Wi-Fi, you will receive a prompt to connect.
  • If Wi-Fi is not available, tap on OK.
  • If the update is not available, you will receive the message The device is up-to-date.

Screenshot_2014-09-15-23-48-38

  • Follow the on-screen prompts.
  • Wait as your phone restarts and updates to Android version 4.4.4 /Baseband version M919UVUFNH7.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners can use this process to check for any device update or check T-Mobile.

If you find this article useful, please feel free to leave us a comment or suggestion, if you are a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S4 and you are happy with this new update let us know.

How to Avoid a Customer Service PR Nightmare!

Over a span of 30 years of managing and taking care of customers, I have managed to learn a thing or two about customer service. It seems that at every turn; there is a new expert out there showing us the new formula to customer service success! I hate to break it you, but it’s still the same old formula and it’s not going to change ever! And that is: “Take care of your number one and your number two customers” . Yes! I will say it again, take care of your #1 and #2 customers. You see, we have a tendency to over analyze everything having metrics for this, metrics for that, when most of the time all that is needed is just a little common sense. The crazy thing is you can’t teach common sense. No matter how many years you spend in college or how big your degree, if you don’t have common sense you will never get it. In today social media environment disaster is just a mobile phone touch screen or send button away; however, if it hits the right social media platform it will go viral in an instant. The good thing is, it works both ways, great customer service can go viral too. Here are 3 important steps that any company can take to ensure that you offer your customers a good customer service experience even after dropping the ball.

See also: When Customer Service Goes Viral: The Good and the Bad

Take care of your #1 customer – Your Employee.

Empower

The biggest mistake we as managers and top-level executives, tend to make is: failing to take care of our employees, yet, expect them to take care of our customers. We can’t personally take care of all our customers’ issues, in fact, by the time we find out about the problem, very often it’s already out of control; or worse yet, it has gone viral on social media. A simple solution to this conundrum is to take care of your employees, not by being their best buddy or drinking pal, but by EMPOWERING your employees to make sensible decisions about customer service. You do this by Coaching, Training and Developing your employees; fostering an environment of leaning; and most importantly, taking ownership of the situation. This will help your employees recognize a potential problem before they happen, and by holding them to a higher level of accountability and expectations they will have the confidence to Pre-act to any given situation instead of Re-Acting. In short, empower your employee to take care of the situation before it becomes a bigger problem.

Listen to your #2 customer – Your Customer.

Listen-and-shut-up

In customer service the most difficult thing for us to do, is to listen to what the customer is trying to communicate. We have a tendency to want to explain and inform to the customer of the company’s point of view, policies, and procedures;  not realizing that the customer can “Give a Flying Fart In Space” about the company’s point of view, or its policies and procedures. At this point, all the customer knows is that they have paid us for goods or services, or worse yet, allowing someone to use the customer’s credit card in a fraudulent manner and failing to meet their minimum expectations. This moment is the biggest opportunity we will have during the crucial communication stage with the customers to gather all the information we would need to either make this a great customer service experience for our customers or turn it into the biggest PR nightmare we can possibly imagine. In short, knowing when to SHUT UP and LISTEN! Not just hear, but LISTEN to what our customer is saying makes the single most important aspect of providing a great customer service experience.

Provide a solution for the customer.

Happy-Customer

This is the easiest part in providing great customer service, yet we always find a way to mess it up with unchanging ability. Often, we tell the customer NO for the simplest of things; an even exchange for a defective product they purchased less than a week ago, when most likely you could RTV (return to vendor) the defective product. This is really simple, take care of the customer, take the Item back, and give them a refund or exchange for the product. Most of the time, the customer is not looking for a refund, they are simply looking for some help or assistance with either a product or service that we provided.

In short, if we take care of our employees, listen to our customers, and provide a solution for our customers; we would have gone a long way in providing a Great Customer Service Experience for our Customers, and most likely never finding our self with the kind of PR nightmare that could result from today’s fast pace social media environment.

Today's Beginners

5 Must Have Social Media Platforms For Today’s Beginners.

There are numerous platforms today in the Social Media Universe. The million dollar question is which one works best for you? While we cannot answer this question for you as it depends solely on your needs and goals, in this blog today I will shed some light on the 5 Must Have Social Media platforms for Today’s Beginners.

Twitter
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This is a Social Media platform that allows you to share information on real-time, the cool thing about this is you are restricted to 140 characters. Each individual post is called a “tweet” allowing you to share photos, video, text and even links, however you must keep in mind that each hyperlink and photo takes up one of your precious 140 characters. There are a few tools online to help you shorten a URL hyperlink and save some of those precious characters, these are just a couple of them. Po. St and Google’s http://goo.gl they are called URL shortener. Another cool feature is called “Re-Tweet”, this feature allows you to share other people’s post with your followers. There is no standard for posting on twitter, but I recommend that you post frequent and regularly throughout the day all while being careful not to post so many times a day that your followers drop you for “spamming”. I have a rule of thumb: post in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, this will ensure that your followers around the world will have the opportunity to view your posts while avoiding being dropped for spamming. Remember when I said that I thought that 140 characters was a cool thing? That was because I believe that 140 characters restriction forces you to be creative and will develop your Tweeting skills.

You can follow me on twitter @whiteluisa and my company @whitelopezsm

Facebook
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With 1.28 Billion monthly active users Facebook is by far the world largest Social Media platform and without a doubt one of my favorites. Facebook gives you the ability to post just about anything you can dream up. As the world largest platform, Facebook gives you the biggest audience on which to develop your brand and share information about your business. In my humble opinion in today’s Social Media Universe, every business should have a Facebook profile. Un-like Twitter, Facebook has no characters limitation so you can post text, videos, photos, and website links and truly set your business apart from your competition. Make sure to take the time to set up your “About” page and all of your business or brand information. In today’s Social Media environment, content is key, so make sure to post content relevant to your business or brand and not just share something because it looks good or it’s cute. Make sure to ask your fans to “like”, “share” and “comment” on your posts.

You can LIKE, SHARE, AND COMMENT on my company Facebook page at http://facebook.com/whitelopezsm

Google+

I call this one the sleeping Giant, Google is the Power House of the search engine world and Google+ is the forgotten child. Having said that, now that Google has relaxed their true name policy, businesses finally have the ability to use their name and truly explore the world of possibilities and marketability of their brand, and because this is a Google product any content and postings made here will rank higher than similar content from other sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You can post any style of post on G+ from text, videos, photos and links. Google+ has a huge advantage over Facebook: It allows you to categorize your followers into groups called “Circles” giving you much more control on who sees your post. This feature alone put’s it way ahead of its rival, Facebook. I strongly suggest that if you haven’t done so yet, that you truly give this a try to see how it works out for you because I believe that the best is yet to come from this sleeping Giant.

You can connect with me on Google+ at http://google.com/+LuisWhite and my company at http://google.com/+LuisAWhiteLopezsm

Instagram
Instagram-2

This is becoming one of my favorite Social Media platform out there. With approximately 60 Million pictures uploaded daily, this is the HOTEST up and coming Social Media platform out there today. You better watch out Facebook! Because Instagram is right on your tail, ironically, Facebook owns Instagram. This site is all about photos, pictures of you, your kids, your business and products; snapshots of your everyday life. Everything you do on Instagram has a photo attached to it, you can add comments likes to increase the level of engagement with your followers. Instagram is a lot like Twitter in that you don’t get to approve your followers unless your account is set to private, that’s why you must pay close attention to what you post on Instagram because everyone will see your post. In case you are wondering why you should consider Instagram as one of your Social Media platforms, picture this “25% of all fortune 500 companies use Instagram” Source: The Next Web, and “Instagram posts generates 1.6 Billion likes daily” Source: Instagram press.

You can FOLLOW my company on Instagram at http://Instagram.com/whitelopezsm

Pinterest

This is one very interesting Social Media platform. From its humble beginnings as a craft and recipes sharing, Pinterest has evolved into a highly visual content shearing platform that allows you to “pin” images to different boards of interest. Pay close attention to your visual content because everything here is done with the simple purpose of sharing, so make sure it’ s very appealing. One cool feature of this site is that your pictures and links can be linked back to your site, thus generating additional traffic. You can also include descriptions up to 500 characters, make sure to always include the address to your website in the description if you are selling products. Also include the price using the “$” so Pinterest will automatically create a price banner across your image.

You can Follow my company and our boards on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/whitelopezsm