Author: <span class="vcard">Adam Sandler</span>

What waiting chairs can tell about an office’ culture?

None of us likes to wait, and if someone is made to wait on a waiting chair in an office, it can tell a lot about the office’s culture. A customer at some time or the other has to go through waiting time.
In a company’s waiting room, a customer waits primarily because service providers are lagging behind their schedule or the service is itself being performed at that point in time. These two instances point to the fact that a waiting room forms an important part of operations.

The waiting time in a waiting room of an office makes a customer less patient with passing time. As the customers wait, they start forming a perception regarding the office that is making them wait. Their trust in that company starts to dwindle and they start thinking about the level of service the company offers.

How will the wait time for the customer impact your office’s perception?

If a customer gets to wait, it is one of the first things that the customer complaints about the office. A long waiting time or queue can almost always spoil the mood of customers. There are certain factors that can spoil the impression of the company in the customer’s mind. Read on to know more:

1. An overall bad vibe

Because the customers had to wait their turn, the remainder of the day that they spend in the company will also be of a bad vibe. This could happen when the service for which they waited was not up to a required standard. One thing to keep in mind is that the customers should be told the exact amount of time they would have to wait to ease out the process.

2. Creating a negative reputation

While operating a business, a business owner can focus on a thing wherein he or she under-promises and over-delivers. But if the opposite happens, it could lead to the building up of a negative reputation amongst the customers, which is the last thing the business owner would want.

3. Incompetency and inefficiency

If your company comes across as incompetent and inefficient, it can be a roadblock and can very likely destroy your reputation. Try to be more efficient in your ways of making your customers comfortable during and after the waiting time.

Try to be competent and see what you are doing wrong that is driving your customers away by making them wait long hours. Look for ways in which you can fill the void in your customer’s waiting time.

How can you improve the experience of your customer’s waiting time?

Even a minute spent unhappily in the waiting room is directly proportional to the customer questioning the office’s culture. There are certain ways that can help you prevent losing your customers when they have to wait in the lobby or reception area. These ways are:

1. Provide free Wi-fi

As so many people have a smartphone today, you can easily provide your customers with free Wi-Fi so that they can pass away the waiting time without forming a bad perception of the company.

It’s great that you have a cable TV, but providing Wi-Fi is a huge plus. In addition to this, make sure that you put the Wi-Fi login and password at a place where it’s easily visible to the customers so that they do not have to go ahead and hunt it down for themselves.

2. Show a diversity in subscriptions

The theme of your business doesn’t matter when it comes to providing a variety of magazines in the waiting area. Your clientele will always consist of different types of people. You can put magazines on different topics, including travel, fashion, cooking, automotive, sports, home design, cooking, beauty, etc. in your office’s waiting area. You can also pitch in for some reading material for kids that accompany the customers.

3. Coffee and snacking options

You can provide some personal services by providing a snack and hot coffee. Don’t worry as things need not be over-the-top in order to make a nice impression. To ease the waiting process, providing fresh fruits, tea, coffee, fruit drinks, etc. will always come in handy.

4. Options for charging

A charging station for laptops and mobile devices can be a huge advantage in easing out the pain of the customers when they are required to wait. A lot can be done by the customers if they have this feature because it will enable them to check out their work emails and have a personal time in which they can sit back, relax, and plan something that they are going to do after leaving the premises of your office. Such a personal time would never seem an inconvenience to your customers and they would leave with an air of satisfaction.

5. Turn the waiting area into a stress reliever

Waiting time can always shoot up the stress levels and it could augment it even more if someone is waiting for something that has the power to impact their finances and health. To boost up the relaxation levels, you can provide massage chairs and calming aromatherapy. A chair that can double up as a massage chair can reduce the agony related to the waiting time in a jiffy.

6. Staff optimization

Sometimes your office might be understaffed. After you decide what contemporary office furniture you need to put in the waiting area, you can start to focus on creating the right team to help you out in carrying out all the operations in the waiting area.

So, we can now decipher the reason behind the customer’s perception of the waiting time in an office and how to eliminate the pain that customers go through waiting those long hours. Following certain rules can go the extra mile in making your customers feel at ease while going through the otherwise painful waiting time in your company premises.

First of all, you should not make your customers wait at all but if a situation arises where they have to wait, you would have to go out of your way to please them and to make them come back for your services again.

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Moving House 101: Furniture Storage Solutions

One of the biggest challenges that people face while moving house is coordinating the move from the old house to the new one. Some factors can adversely affect this part of the moving process. One of the most frustrating scenarios is when the lease runs out well in advance to the actual moving date, forcing you to pack and remove your stuff from your current home and wait for the new place to be ready. You are left in limbo, trying desperately to find ways to store your things.
Another common moving house problem is the question of whether or not to order new furniture. You’re planning to move into a new house and want to buy new furniture for it. But, you don’t want to wait to move into the new place before buying the furniture. Because doing that could leave you sleeping on the floor while you wait for the furniture to be delivered. So, what’s one to do in such chaotic situations? We have three words for you: furniture storage solutions.

well furnished house

Furniture Storage Solutions

Storage facilities can come in handy when you’re moving house, moving out of the country for a while, or downsizing. When it comes to storing your furniture, there are a couple of different options that you can choose from. Depending on how much storage space you need, and for how long, you can choose the option that best fits your needs.

Shipping Container Storage Units

shipping container

If you have a lot of furniture to store and will need to keep them in storage for long periods of time, then the shipping container storage units might be the right fit for you. As the name suggests, they are shipping containers used to store your things. One of the biggest benefits of using shipping containers as storage units is that they are highly durable. Since shipping containers are typically made to last the harsh environment at sea, they offer secure storage. You can store all your belongings in a shipping container without fear of damage. Most storage and removal companies provide packing and moving services as well. So, you can have them come in, pack up your belongings and move them. They will then be transferred to the warehouse and loaded into the shipping container. Alternatively, you can also do the packing and move, renting out a shipping container to store all your stuff.

Self-Storage Units

Self-storage units are great when you want quick and easy access to your stored items. People opt for storage units for some reasons. While moving house is the most common one, there are other instances where storage becomes essential. Consider this example; you are moving house and realise that your new place cannot accommodate all of your furniture and belongings. What do you do? If you can’t stand the idea of parting with your precious belongings, you can put them in storage instead. Self-storage units are great for storing items. They offer secure storage, and you can rest assured that you are the only one who has access to your storage units. Most self-storage units offers 24/7 security, with cameras and other safety measure in place. Your items will be stored safely, kept in a humidity controlled environment where they won’t be affected by the outside elements.

Mobile Storage Units

Mobile storage units are one of the most convenient options available when it comes to storing your furniture. The storage facility will have the unit delivered to your doorstep to be loaded. Once loaded, they will then move the unit to their warehouse for safekeeping. When you’re ready to have the items back, you can request for the group to be delivered to your doorstep and unload your belongings. Of course, you can make this entire process even simpler by opting for a full packer and mover service where the packing, loading, moving and unloading is all carried out by hired professionals. Mobile storage units are perfect for when you want to store your items quickly without any hassle, for long or short periods of time.

Onsite Storage Unit

onsite storage unit

Another option that has gained popularity in recent years is the onsite storage unit. This is ideal for those looking for a storage option for items that cannot fit in their home, but also want to be able to access the things at any time. Onsite storage units are storage units that will be delivered to your house. You can load up all the extra furniture or unused items in it and have it in your backyard or garden. Your items are stored safely, and you can open up the unit and access the items whenever you want. Onsite storage unit brings the best of both worlds: secure storage and easy access.

When choosing a storage facility, be sure to ask all the right questions, such as:

  • Does the storage facility have round the clock security (cameras and secured entrance/exits)?
  • Are the storage units moisture-resistant and durable?
  • What are the lease options available (weekly/monthly)?
  • Is there a fine or penalty if you opt out of the lease early?
  • Will you have 24/7 access to your storage unit?
  • Are there any items that you cannot store in the unit?
  • Do they provide additional services (packing, loading and unloading)?
  • Where is their warehouse located (is it easily accessible)?

Asking the above-mentioned questions will help you narrow down to a facility that meets all your requirements. Opting for furniture storage is an easy solution for your problem. But, if you want things to go smoothly, you need to ensure that you pick a storage facility that is reliable, trustworthy and deliver what they promise.

Whether you want to store your dirt bike or want a place to store your family heirlooms, there is something for everyone when it comes to storage units. With a little research and some phone calls, you can get quotes for storage options that best suit your needs.

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Planning A Christmas Party: Tips and Tricks to Make It the Perfect Party

Who doesn’t love a party? A time to unwind, have fun and indulge in good food and drinks. What’s not to love? And then there are Christmas parties, which are in a league of their own. Christmas parties are just so much more special than any other parties. There is excitement and anticipation about the upcoming holidays, coupled with the idea of presents leads to a very festive mood.

Organising a Christmas party can either be a fun project or a harrowing experience, depending on how you tackle the party planning process. Here are some useful tips and tricks to make planning a Christmas party—be it for work or for your family and friends—a enjoyable experience.

Party word written with many colours

Start Planning Early

Christmas has a way of creeping up on us. One-minute Christmas looks like it’s a long way off and before you know it, you’re scrambling to have all your presents neatly wrapped. Avoid the hassle by starting your planning early. You’ll need ample time to secure the venue for the Christmas party, make up a guest list and send invites. Remember, your guests need to be informed early so that they can plan their schedule around it.

Set The Budget

stack of coins

Your budget will determine a lot of the party details, from the venue to the food and presents. So, getting the budget sorted out first will go a long way in helping you organise the other stuff easily. If it’s a work party, check with whoever’s in charge of funds allocation and figure out what the budget is for the Christmas party. Always aim to spend less than the given budget. More often than not, unexpected expenses can come up and eat up the budget.

Pick The Venue

Pick the venue based on factors such as the budget, the number of guests, and the type of party you want to throw. If you’re keen on a party with lots of dancing, then you need a venue big enough to accommodate dancing. Alternatively, if you want a cosy atmosphere where guests can eat, talk and have a good time, then you can consider having the party at a smaller venue. From cruise ships to terrace gardens, there are venues to suit any party style or budget that you’ve got. All you need to do is to do your research and be sure to book a venue at the earliest to avoid missing out. Christmas is a super busy time when every corporate office will be looking for party venues. So, try to beat the rush by planning early.

The Food

table full of different food

When you send out the party invitations, request the guests to provide their dietary preferences. From food allergies to other food restrictions such as being vegans or vegetarians, need to be noted. Once you have all the information that you need, you can then plan the men, making sure that every one of the guests has some options when it comes to food.
Once you have the menu sorted, you will need to figure out the seating arrangement. Do you want a formal sit-down dinner affair? Or would a buffet be a better option?

Alcohol

No-alcohol events are a big thing these days. Depending on whether your party is a family affair or not, you can decide whether you want to serve alcohol. If you’re going to be serving alcohol, get that sorted out well in advance. It’s also a good idea to organise taxis for guests unable to drive at the end of the night.

The Party Theme

A great idea to break the ice and get people in the party mood is to have a fun theme for the party. You can make it a black-and-white or a red-and-gold themed Christmas party. Or something as simple as providing your gets with Santa hats can help bring the Christmas cheer and get the festivities started. No Christmas party is complete without lots of balloons, a tree and other colourful party decorations. Such efforts will make for great photographs, so don’t overlook the tiny details.
Let’s not forget the entertainment! Depending on your budget, your entertainment for the evening can be anything from a playlist of Christmas jingles to get everyone in the mood, or if you have a bigger budget, you can splurge for a live band. If it’s a family affair, organising some fun party games for the kids will be a sure hit.

Invitations

Don’t leave this till the last minute. Give your guests plenty of time to decide by sending out the invites at least two weeks before the party. To make things simple, send out invitations through email. Provide an RSVP deadline so that you’re not caught unawares with last-minute changes to the guest list.

Presents

Presents are a huge part of Christmas. Who doesn’t love giving and receiving presents? But one of the biggest issues with giving gifts is determining how much to spend on them. Come up with an acceptable amount and pass on this information to all your guests, so everyone’s aware of how much to spend on their gifts.

Post-Party Clean Up

animated broom and dust Organising a Christmas party extends to post-party activities such as cleaning up the venue. Check with the venue manager to see if they have a cleaning crew to take care of it or if you’ll have to hire one. Plan this to avoid having your guests clean up after themselves. No one wants to be cleaning the venue after a party, where’s the fun in that! So, organise a cleaning crew to take care of the post-party clean-up.

Party Favours

Give your guests a little something to end the party on a sweet note. Party favours are a great way to show the guests how happy you are that they could make it to the party. It’s the thought that counts, so don’t go overboard with it. Something simple such as a Polaroid photo of them enjoying the party, or even just some chocolates will make great return gifts.
Christmas is a time for jolly good fun. Don’t let the stress of organising a party take away your Christmas cheer. Follow these tips instead to help you plan your Christmas party like a pro.

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Packing Boxes – How to Choose them

Even the best product needs an appealing packaging to make it stick with the customer. For the same reason, a wrong choice of packaging can be very detrimental to the success of the product. Like the adage, the first impression always is the best impression and marketers are focusing on packaging more than ever in a world where competition allows only the best to survive.

Packing Box
A wide range of packing boxes are available and depending on what gets into it manufacturers choose the material. But even before the choice of packaging material, there are several factors that should be considered. Let us, therefore, explore some of these factors:-

Your packaging should travel well

A killer design is undoubtedly essential, but it also should be able to move from point A to B without suffering any significant damage and should be comfortable to handle. Packaging fragile or bulky material would mean that your focus should be on strength. Similarly when an outward display is important such as in the case of the package sitting on the retailer’s shelf like a proud peacock, then the external display comes into focus. However, this is an area that should not cause much worry since technology behind colours and printing technology itself has come a long way from it was a few decades ago. Today, you can mix and match a sea of colours before a chosen design gets printed. You can even pre-coat the surface on which your design is to be printed to add strength as well as visual appeal.

You should also consider how well the packages stack. This will ensure that people who handle the packages from the point of origin to its destination handle them well and with ease. For a lightweight material such as electronic products or components, and blister packing sheets are widely chosen to provide a cushioning effect and prevent damage to the delicate content.

Corrugated boards are now available in bio-degradable paper as well as acrylic (plastic family) and can be converted into desired size and shapes according to your needs. These sheets come in varying thickness with or without the flute. A 3 ply sheet means three independent sheets are sandwiched together to make a single sheet. These sheets are then fabricated to the desired size and shape.

Corrugated birds are sturdy enough for heavy-duty and the acrylic corrugated sheets are capable of being tossed around without causing serious damage to the contents.

Choose to package with focus on the content

While choosing to package, the content comes first. In other words, you should be picking packaging that suits the content and not the other way around.
Paperboard performs well for lightweight content and comes with exceptional printing results too. This type of packing is best suited for a diary, food, cosmetics, hardware, pharmaceutical products and host of other retail products.

Corrugated sheets

As explained earlier, these are a flexible type of boards ideal for heavy or fragile items, e-commerce packaging and shipping cartons.

Cling film/shrink film

Cling wrap or Cling film is a relatively new entrant in the packaging space. Think of a dozen pet bottles with content being wrapped around similar to a box. A major advantage with this type of packing is that they are stackable and there is no worry of getting the empty boxes back. Depending on the volumes you use, this can be a cost-effective packing too. Aerated drinks and liquor industries use this widely.

Size matters

Different size boxes

When you have products coming in say, 4 different sizes, you can design two packages to accommodate all the 4 products than producing 4 different packages. However, you will need to be savvy with design and economical with dimensions to achieve this. But, that would be a measure that brings consistency, savings in money and time across your product line.

Understand market preferences

A 2013 study of packaging preferences for Indian consumers showed that smaller packaging of cosmetics was preferred over the bigger pack sizes. The 10 ml shampoo packaging constituted a revelation for the entire cosmetic industry after one brand stole the limelight with its 10 ml offerings. Today a host of products in the cosmetics and other consumer brands have adopted the 10 ml sachets and some 98% of all shampoo sold in India today is accounted for by the 10 ml sachets.

Understanding your audience

Any amount of effort that you put into packaging your product/s can be set to nought if it does not appeal to your audience. For instance, most customers would want to see a liquid product in a transparent bottle or container. Now, if the same product gets into an opaque container, chances are that your sales will dip and so will your profits. This task gets a lot easier when you, as the manufacturer get into the shoes of the consumer and consider the preferences.
For some products, the customers would focus on the product itself than the packaging and therefore the product gains precedence over packaging. Ceramic tiles, paint, and electrical fittings are among the examples.

Ergonomics

Some people may think that ergonomics does not apply to packing. But if your packaging presents discomfort for the end user in terms of size and/or shape, then you are overlooking ergonomics. Imagine a toy being shipped through an e-commerce portal like Amazon. Your customer would expect to see the bare material within seconds after he has received the consignment. Now, you thought the toy is very precious and pack it in 6 layers requiring the customer to access a series of tools before he can reach what he has paid for! That is essentially discomforting and maybe even a negative approach to packing. In other words, all your efforts in material selection and design for your packing should put the end user first and make the packaging comfortable for him/her to handle.

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