How To Provide Good Customer Service in Six Easy Steps


Good customer service needs to be a benchmark for your brand as it is a huge part of the reason people will return and use you again and again. Customers like to have a pleasant experience and if you invest the time in ensuring your business provides it, you’ll have a much better chance at ensuring they return and use you again in the future.

1. Make it easy

Whether its setting up an instant online chat option, providing a phone number or responsive email address, make sure your customers can contact you to let you know they have a beef with something. No matter how smooth your logistics are planned, unforeseen problems can occur and you need to be able to fix these promptly and pleasantly. People are forgiving, particularly when presented with a simple solution.

2. Know Your Service

There is very little more frustrating than trying to describe a product or service to someone who hasn’t got a clue what you’re talking about. Make sure you know your business and what it provides inside out so you can knowledgeably handle any call or complaint that comes in. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many companies neglect this detail and come across as incompetent when it comes to their own services.

Related reading: 3 tips for using technology for better customer service

3. Friendliness Matters

The first thing a customer will want is to get their point across, so you need to be sure you’re listening. Don’t rush them to get to the point, but take the time to let them finish. They’ll be much more reasonable about your suggested solution if they feel they have been heard to begin with.

Maintaining a non-confrontational, patient approach is one of your most valuable customer service tools. People want someone to blame when something goes wrong and sometimes this will be you. If you handle it with gentle language, respect, and a friendly demeanour, it can turn them around. It’s incredibly hard to continue yelling at someone who is being placid and understanding about your problem. They might even brighten up and end up thanking you at the end of it. They’ll remember that the next time around, and hopefully, will use you again knowing that if something goes wrong, they’ll have a pleasant experience making it right.

4. Provide A Consistent Experience 

Nothing irks a client more than inconsistencies in how their account is managed, whether this is in the sale of goods or supply of services. According to a McKinsey article, sustaining the long-term commitment of a client boils down to maintaining consistency in three different categories: customer-journey consistency, emotional consistency and communication consistency.

One way to ensure consistency when managing client accounts is to have clear workflows and processes, especially in the areas of payments and finances. Ensure you have in place the key legal documents that outline your payment practices, including the following:

  • Sale of Goods Agreement or Supply of Services Agreement: These documents outline the foundations of how you do business with a supplier or client.
  • Purchase Order: This is a document between a supplier and buyer that confirms a purchase and details the items the buyer agrees to purchase at a certain price, the delivery date, and terms of payment for the buyer.
  • Invoice: This is a document that you send to a customer requiring payment for goods or services, that serves as a bill and a proof of the transaction.
  • Late Payment Letters: These documents are useful and affordable way of following up on overdue invoices in a professional manner.
  • Letter Accepting Payments in Instalments: This document helps to formalise the agreement for payment and sets out clear rules to prevent potential legal disputes from arising.

Businesses often do not pay enough attention to these critical documents as they regard payment transactions as mere formalities that are not central to the customer experience. However, there may be detrimental consequences if such processes are inconsistent and the documents not well-drafted. You (and your sales force) should have the same answer to answer these questions:

  • What payment options do your company accept?
  • Is there any option to make payments in instalments?
  • Are there discounts for bulk purchases?

These are questions that may be on the mind of your customers. Having standardised documents and systems in place ensures that both you and your clients know what to expect.

5. Get Feedback

People often like to voice their opinions and if you ask them how you did at handling their problem, they may give you some hints at how you could improve the next time and will also feel like you really care what they think. This is a very positive way to end a conversation, whether it’s over the phone, in person, or on email, and will leave your customer on a pleasant note that may lead to beneficial word of mouth to one of their friends, who could become your next customer.

6. Train Your Staff

Make sure every member of your staff knows your policy on customer service and employs the above techniques. Have them listen to you deal with calls or copy them in on emails so they can continue to learn how to handle different situations. It can make all the difference in the success of your entire business if you can entice repeat customers based on your handling of problems when they arise.

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Building A Website In 2018

If you have a business but don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website is many things for your business: an online storefront, brand ambassador and salesperson. Your customers are going online to research your product, service, and brand as they make purchase decisions. A website can in fact be the most important marketing tool for your business. Having informative and engaging content on your website can help you connect with potential customers. 

Here, we outline the steps for building a website for your business: 

1. Choose a Website Builder

There are plenty of easy-to-use website builders that offer different packages depending on how much you are willing to spend versus how much you feel confident to do yourself. Most website builders operate on a simple drag-and-drop method that guides you through the steps as you go along. You’ll insert text, images and videos yourself without any need to sit through coding classes before you begin. Here are a few to look at and decide which provides the services you’re interested in for your site:

2. Choose your Domain

This is actually probably the hardest part. This is the URL people will type into the address bar to get to your site. You’ll want something that is apt for your business as well as easy to remember. Getting a domain name you like that is short, succinct and available can be a difficult task. Some website builders include a custom domain name when you sign up, but builder’s like WordPress for instance, will provide a domain that includes wordpress in the URL, which makes your site look a bit more Mickey Mouse than you might like. You can also purchase one yourself through a registrar like NameCheap, 123-reg, or GoDaddy.

You’ll also want to have email addresses that match up with your new domain name, which you can arrange inexpensively through Google’s G Suite, or you may find the website builder you’ve chosen also includes email services, which can be an easy option but may cost more for the overall package. Try to opt for a premium domain name like .com, .net, or a localised one like as this immediately gives your site more credibility. On the downside, it will also be harder to find an available one but you’ll find that registering a domain name is a much less expensive option than acquiring one that’s already been purchased.

Related reading: 7 Online Marketing Tips For Your Small Business

3. Choose Your Template

One of the reasons website builders are such an effective way to create your own website without coding knowledge is because they have already designed a whole array of sites for you to choose from. All you have to do is have a gander through the different styles and pick the one that’s best suited to your service.

4. Add Text and Images

Once you attract people to your site, you’ll want them to stick around and see what you’ve got to offer. So make sure you choose high resolution images that look crisp and clear when uploaded (with website builders you just need to drag and drop them in) and spend some time writing the text that will inform visitors about what you do and why they need your service. Play around with font sizes and colours to make it look attractive to the eye. Add pages to the menu to separate your offerings into clear sections that are easy to find. Make sure to add an About Us paragraph (people always love to know the story and ethos behind a business) and a Contact Us page, so customers know how to get in touch easily.

5. Proofread, Edit and Test

Now this is will be more time-consuming than you might think. Read and re-read through all the text on your new site. Nothing will send customers running for the hills as fast as a typo or poorly written website that looks like it could be a scam. You want to convey trustworthiness and the best place to start is with a mistake-free site. Test the menu headers and make sure they all link to the page you want them to go to.

Then you’ll want to ensure it works and looks the same no matter which platform customers are viewing it from. Bring up the site on several different browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox to ensure the look is uniform on all and check it on mobile too. Ask your friends to preview it and get feedback on their experience so you can make final amendments before unveiling your site to the world.

6. Put in Place a Privacy Policy & Terms of Use  

The aim of a website is to raise awareness for your brand and increase engagement with your potential customers. It is thus important that you put in place the right documents and legal protections to ensure that you establish clearly the rights and obligations of your business vis-à-vis the individuals you engage with online.

Essential legal documents to include on your website include the following:

  • Website Privacy Policy clarifies how data provided by users of your website will be collected and used by your business. Users of your website are deemed to have accepted these terms by if they continue to use your website. By clarifying the scope of data privacy, you can avoid future disputes concerning data privacy infringement. 
  • A Website Terms of Use structures the relationship between you as a website operator and your website users by setting out each parties’ rights and obligations. They are made available on your website for users to read and, by continuing to use the site, your visitors are deemed to have accepted these terms.

7. Publish!

Once you’ve completed these steps, and your website looks and functions exactly as you want it to, your new cyber-baby will be ready to make its grand debut to the world wide web. Now, you can get it on search engines like Google so customers will be able to find your new little work of art that will hopefully help do a lot of the hard work to make your business a success.  

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Hiring Foreigners in New Zealand: The Process and Your Obligations As An Employer


The process of hiring employees from overseas is one that can be complex and time consuming. At the same time, it is a process that could potentially be extremely rewarding for both you and your business. Hiring foreigners injects your company with greater diversity and a wider range of talent opinions, as well as providing insights and connections that could be highly beneficial. If this is an option that you are considering, there are several things about the process and your obligations as an employer that you should be aware of.

The Process of Hiring a Foreigner

The process of hiring a foreigner can generally be broken down into three steps. These include advertising a position, selecting a suitable candidate to fill it, and finally, getting the new candidate on board.

Do note that before you recruit offshore, you may be required to first offer the role to a New Zealand citizen or resident who can do the job or be readily trained to do it. The only exceptions to this restriction are that you are an Accredited Employer with immigration New Zealand and employ a migrant worker under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa criteria, or the occupation you are seeking to recruit for is on one of the Essential Skills in Demands Lists. Under the second exception, the applicant must also meet the qualification requirements set out on the list.


The idea behind advertising a job is simple. You are aiming to attract the greatest number of people who are both capable and suitable for your job vacancy as possible. There are various ways that you can do this. Two of the most efficient methods include advertising on popular online platforms that are relevant to your target group, and by word of mouth. Examples of the former could include platforms for startups such as, or Jora. These sites are frequented by talented individuals who are looking to work in a dynamic environment such as a startup or business, who are looking to work within a particular geographical community.


The selection process should not differ vastly, as compared to when you are hiring someone locally. You should continue to apply the same standards of assessing an application, as you would with a local hire. At the same time, when assessing a pool containing both local and foreign candidates, it is important to ensure the process is discrimination free. This means ensuring that you do not eliminate a worthy candidate from the job on the basis of protected traits such as their age, race, or sexual orientation, amongst others.


So you’ve interviewed numerous candidates, have reviewed countless applications, and have finally found a compelling candidate you want to hire. Congrats! Now, the next step of the process is to facilitate the administrative process for your new hire. This is to ensure that they will be able to get up to speed and start working for your company. Ideally, you should be assisting your new employee with the visa application process, by providing supporting documents and occupational registration as required.

Once this process has been completed and an employment agreement has been signed, you should also ensure that your new employee knows what is expected of them, in terms of the scope of their job. The typical contracts you can expect to produce in these cases include an Offer of Employment Letter, or an Employment Contract.

Legal Obligations Relating To Hiring Foreigners

In the process of hiring and onboarding your foreign employee, it is also important for you to be aware of laws relating to immigration and employment. You are required to comply with these laws, or you could potentially face penalties such as having to pay monetary damages. These could be costly for your business.

Immigration Laws

You should take note of the laws relating to immigration, as these would be relevant to the process of moving your employee over from their home country. One key piece of legislation you need to consider, amongst others, is The Immigration Act 2009. This is the main source of all immigration law in New Zealand. It sets out the types of individuals who require a visa to travel or stay in New Zealand, as well as the criteria for the grant of such visas.

These are all important to take note of, as you will not be able to legally move your employee over if these visa requirements are not complied with. The good news is that you can legally offer a job to an overseas candidate before they have a work or resident visa, thus securing your ideal candidate to fill the position.

Generally, you should strive to ensure that your job vacancy meets the requirements of one of the visa categories, and provide the relevant documents needed to support a migrant’s visa application. These visa categories include resident visas (such as the skilled migrant visa and residence from work visa), and temporary visas (such as work visas and working holiday visas). The former type will allow you to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely, whereas temporary visas, while allowing you only a period of stay, can eventually be used as a step towards settling in New Zealand permanently. A potential employee should apply for the appropriate visa based on the skills your job requires, and how long the job will be for.

In addition to this, you should also remember that providing immigration advice to a migrant is illegal, unless you have been licensed to do so, or are exempt from this requirement.

Employment Laws

Foreign workers in New Zealand generally have the same rights as employees. This is governed by employment laws in New Zealand, and more recently, The Immigration Amendment Act (No 2) 2015. The latter sets out certain provisions to specifically protect migrant workers from exploitation. An employee is generally entitled to holiday, leave, work breaks, minimum wages and written employment agreements. This is so as to prevent some errant employers from exploiting foreign workers, who might be seen as more vulnerable and easy to exploit.

Related reading: Is there a minimum wage in New Zealand?

These obligations are generally enforced by organizations such as Immigration New Zealand, and The Labour Inspectorate. Do be mindful – if you, or any of your other employees in higher positions breach any of these obligations, you could be subjected to penalties such as having to pay monetary damages.

At the end of the day, it is important for you, as a potential employer, to be aware of both the process and regulations behind hiring a foreigner. These individuals will no doubt add diversity and vibrancy to your organization, but only if you are able to effectively navigate these processes to successfully bring them on board.

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The Ups And Downs Of An Open Office Concept


Cubicles are rapidly disappearing in today’s workplace as managers opt for the open office concept. The main purpose? To break down social barriers and encourage more collaboration between workers from various teams.

Of course, it comes as no surprise that tech giants the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple, are the frontiers of this new office concept. Few years back, Microsoft Asia Pacific unveiled its take on this concept at its Singapore office, whereby all the staff have no pre-assigned work stations. Other companies jumping on the bandwagon include Twitter and Airbnb, where employees of Airbnb can sit at any desk on any level.

Of course, what makes an open office concept so popular among companies these days is that it allows for more cohesion between employees. However, does it actually improve productivity?

Surprisingly, it seems that some employees are, in fact, not too fond of these new open office floor plan.

In a recent online new article published by SFgate, it was reported that some Apple employees are threatening to leave the company if their workplaces are not suitable. What triggered this major backlash from these Apple employees then? Well, it is due to Apple’s decision to hop onto the open office concept, with their new USD5 billion “spaceship” headquarters.

While it might boast the latest state-of-the-art energy efficiencies, a massive foot fitness center and even an orchard, the new space will do away with personal office spaces. Instead, all employees, including programmers, engineers and designers, might be literally rubbing elbows with each other over long tables that they will be sharing.

Related reading: 5 tips for finding the right coworking space for your small business

This then brings the question as to whether companies should be joining this new open office concept trend?

Based on an anonymous study of 2,000 high-performing employees, slightly more than half (58%) of respondents indicated that they need private workspaces for problem-solving. As these high-performing employees tend to work on solving problems for long hours, they would need quiet and calm spaces to work.

Open office concepts might also elicit a sense of discomfort and suspiciousness within the team. In certain circumstances, the manager or superior might use such an arrangement to check or even spy on staff.

Essentially, open office spaces are not fit for everyone. Therefore, when designing innovative office layouts, employers need to consider certain workspace for various types of jobs. Moreover, it is best to include the HR department as they tend to have an overview of the diverse positions and responsibilities within the organisation. With that, they are able to provide recommendations on the best workspaces that accommodate all employees and their unique ways of working.

For instance, departments such as sales and marketing tend to work closely together and an open workspace concept might encourage exchange of ideas. However, departments such business analytics, engineers or programmers might need a quiet and personal workspace in order to work out algorithms or business solutions.

In all, organisations should have a good blend of open and closed workspaces to accommodate all needs. That way, it will certainly bring out the productivity of each and every employee.

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This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

A Japanese Company Starts Paying Workers In Bitcoin


GMO Internet, a Japanese web hosting company, has decided to pay part of its employees’ monthly salaries in Bitcoin. This is in hopes for the company to gain a better understanding of this virtual currency.

Starting February 2018, the company will start paying up to 100,000 yen per month in Bitcoin to its employees , which translates to about USD890 per month.

According to the company’s spokeswoman, GMO Internet employees can opt to receive their salaries by Bitcoin if they want to. This offer to have salaries being paid out in Bitcoin is available to around 4,000 employees of the GMO group in Japan.

GMO Internet started the Bitcoin trading and exchange business in May earlier this year. Starting 2018, the company will join the ” Bitcoin mining” business – earning the right to receive newly mined Bitcoin as an reward for helping to keep the Bitcoin network secure by approving virtual transactions.

The new virtual payment – Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has seen a surge in recent years. Broadly defined, it is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and in most cases, anonymous.

The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was created in 2009. Today, it remains as the most used cryptocurrency. In the decade, there has been a sudden proliferation in interest towards cryptocurrencies. Today, Bitcoin is valued at more than USD10,000, as of November 2017. Additionally, this figure is expected to rise and interest booms.

Related readingUnderstanding the Risks of Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies

Will it work for companies?

Cryptocurrency, like any other market investment, is subjected to fluctuations as a result of market demands. While there is the upside, that its valuation in the market can rise exponentially depending on market demand, it can also come crashing down at any moment.

Moreover, given that cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset, it is subjected to online hackers as well. From a company’s point of view, in addition to mining out this digital currency to compensate employees, the company has to ensure that cyber security protocols are in place as well.

Ultimately, whether it is suitable for a company or not depends on the circumstances of each individual company. If the employees in the company are relatively experienced in understanding cryptocurrency, then this could possibly work for employees.

However, if both the employees and top management themselves have no experience in Bitcoin, then the company should certainly think twice about investing in cryptocurrency or compensating employees in Bitcoin.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

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