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Put a Smile on That Face!

Posted on September 16, 2009

Photo by netamir
Photo by netamir

Are you sitting there thinking that customer service doesn?t really apply to you and your job? Do you spend your days typing away at your computer, listening to on your headphones, huddled in your office avoiding communicating with anyone? Do you cringe when the phone rings and briefly consider letting it go to voice mail? Do you secretly wish that you could hide under your desk every time someone stops by to chat thinking ?Can?t these people see that I’m busy and don?t have time to talk??

That, my friends, is a problem. So often we get wrapped up in our own lives, in the tasks we are doing at that very moment, that we fail to see how our attitude negatively affects how we interact with, and react to, other people. And that unfortunately reflects poorly on us and the company paying our salaries.

Let?s put it in perspective. Imagine that every time you went to the grocery store the teenage boy at the checkout barely looked you in the eye, acted annoyed when you handed him a pile of coupons and rolled his eyes when he had to call for someone to scan in a bottle of wine? Would you complain to the management? Stop going to that store? Tell your friends about your experience? Spread the word about the terrible service you received? My guess is that you would do one, if not all of these things. And suddenly that teenager and the store he works for has a bad rep for poor customer service. Something as simple as a bad attitude changed your opinion, and it will take A LOT to fix it.

Sure, you may not work in a retail setting, but the same principals apply. If you answer the phone snapping at the person on the other end, reply to emails without first greeting the person or brush off those who stop by your desk, you?re doing just as much harm as the checkout boy. You?re hurting yourself by giving the impressions that you won?t take time to help others, that you are in a bad mood or, worse, that you just don?t like people. And then people will be reluctant to help you when you need it most and will address you with the same annoyance that you?ve shown them. You?re also hurting the company that you work for, because whether you like it or not, your negative attitude is a reflection of that company.

So the next time the phone rings, pause for a minute before answering. Take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and greet whoever it is like a long lost friend. Well, maybe that?s a little over the top, but at least keep your voice pleasant and upbeat, and most importantly have a positive attitude. Keep in mind the person on the other end of the phone might be having a bad day, and if you greet them with a happy voice and are willing to help them out, you just might brighten their day. And the next time they call, they will be a little nicer and little by little you?ll build a stronger, happier relationship with them.

Or if you are replying to an email, take 3 seconds to ask about their weekend, their family or their pets. You just might make a new BFF. At the very least, you will remind the person receiving the email that there is a person, not just a computer, typing away. And maybe they will take 3 seconds and answer you. And again, you?ll start to build a strong, long-lasting relationship.

We want to hear from you! What other tips do you have for dealing with people in a positive, happy way?

Phone vs. Email

Posted on September 2, 2009

Have you ever sent someone a quick question via email, only to receive a phone call from them a few minutes later? And instead of simply replying back to the email with a one sentence (or less) answer, they spend 10, 15, 30+ minutes on the phone talking about everything except the question you asked? Or, on the flip side, receiving an eight-paragraph email that would have only taken a few minutes to discuss over the phone or in person? Not to mention all of the other forms of communication available today (Facebook, Twitter, Ning, ? ok, the list is endless). How do you know what?s appropriate?

Photos by otjep and daniel437.

Think TIME and CLARITY. What will take the least amount of time while still conveying a clear message?


  • Quick question needing a short answer
  • List of many changes to a project (for easy and accurate reference)
  • Needing files, fonts, logos, etc.
  • Sending information during non-business hours
  • Arranging meeting dates
  • Needing to send the same information to multiple people


  • Questions regarding an unclear email
  • Topic with many talking points in need of a discussion
  • Sensitive subject material that could be misconstrued in an email

These are only a few examples, and there are always exceptions (like a detailed email highlighting the points of a conversation or project for documentation). Knowing the other person is key, like calling people who never check their email, or emailing people who never answer their phone. Let?s face it, the goal is communication and there are definitely people who have strong preferences in using one or the other.

Saving your clients time is also saving them money. Finding the most efficient way to communicate with them will get the work done in the least amount of time? time you can use to check us out at (yes, shameless plug at the end)


? Post written by Cristy Wiza.

(0) Comments   |   Filed Under: Clients/Customers, Communication    Tags: , , ,

The Art of Estimating

Posted on August 20, 2009

One of the hardest and most frustrating things that we do as designers are estimates. Ugh?the dreaded task of trying to pin down the value and time limit for the work that we create. Yes, it?s a necessary evil, but that doesn?t mean we have to like it!

It is nearly impossible to know beforehand how long a project will take, and that is something that customers often have a difficult time understanding. It varies depending upon the subject matter, the type of work being done and how creative or off-the-wall it needs to be. Oh, but that?s just the beginning. There are so many, may other factors to take into consideration, and a lot of it depends on the customer themselves. How many people, both creatives and customers (the dreaded designed-by-committee) will be involved? How many rounds of changes do they expect to go through? How many discussions, meetings or phone conferences are required during the creative process?  Will all content be available at the start of the project or will it trickle in as time goes on? Does the web site need to be programmed in a specific language or way to meet the IT departments requirements? Are they expecting the logo to be redesigned as part of the brochure project? Customers sometimes have expectations that we aren?t aware of during the estimating process, which is why an estimate is really, just a (somewhat) educated guess.

So bear with us as we spend a day or two (or five) as we review the project scope, try to get inside your head and figure out what your expectations are. And after all that, put a number on it. I know, it?s a daunting task.

If you are looking for a team that has the art of estimating refined, we are the team for you! Visit our web site to find what we do, and how WE CAN HELP YOU.