23 Dec

Holiday Wishes From The Synergy Staff

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 23.12.11 by John Meloche

Christmas time is almost here! Wow, does the time ever fly! This Sunday is Christmas day and today marks the final day of 2011 that Synergy Marketing Consultants will be open for business. We’ll see you in the new year on January 3rd when our staff will all be back from the holidays, ready to serve you.

We’d like to take this opportunity to offer our sincerest and warmest wishes to you and your family for the holiday season. In fact, many of our Synergy staff members would like to send you their holiday wishes themselves. So, in today’s blog, you’ll hear directly from a few members of our staff.

“Happy holidays everyone! It’s been another awesome year of providing great business owners across our country with top-of-the-line promo gifts. In fact, we consider it a gift to be able to help so many people grow their companies through our great products. So in addition to Merry Christmas, I’d like to say thank you!”

“Merry Christmas and a happy new year one and all. May your bellies be as full as the joy you feel each day until the new year and well beyond. This is my favourite time of year for many reasons. But the main one is that I get to spend more time with the people I love the most – my family. I wish you and yours all of the blessings of the season.”

“Be safe and be merry. This is a great time of year. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. But please don’t forget those who may not be in such a cheerful mood this time of year. We can’t forget that there are those who don’t have much to be happy about. Do what you can this Christmas to give to the needy and spread the holiday cheer as far as it can go.”

“Happy holidays everyone! Thanks so much for being so loyal throughout the past year. It’s been an honour to work directly with so many amazing entrepreneurs who have that forward-thinking go-get-’em attitude. It makes my job so much fun. See you all in the new year and may it be your most successful one yet!”

“Have a great Christmas and an amazing new year. 2011 was an awesome year for us here at Synergy. And it wouldn’t have been without our great customers. We look forward to getting to know even more of you in 2012. Until then, eat, drink and be merry! And may all of your holiday wishes come true!”

Comments Off on Holiday Wishes From The Synergy Staff

22 Dec

Creating A Great Greeting

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.12.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at the importance of having professional, yet friendly outgoing phone greetings for your customers to hear. Without them, you may be leaving a very bad impression on those who contact your business. This will be especially important during the upcoming holidays when many companies will be depending on their answering services to handle customer calls.

On About.com, Mary Sando outlines three important elements that should be part of your phone greeting so as to make customer calls that end in the leaving of messages very pleasant ones. They are pleasantry, sincerity and brevity. Picking up where we left off yesterday, Sandro insists that being sincere is sincerely important.

“No scripts,” insists Sandro, “I am against scripting phone greetings because they sound insincere, irritate callers, and discourage employees. Scripted greetings usually include some kind of slogan.” Instead, be as natural as possible. This helps for your greeting to sound more consistently pleasant and genuine.

Sandro explains that the key ingredients to your phone greeting is to include your company name as well as your own and an offer of assistance. In some instances, you may need to state your department name so that the customers know they they are in the right place.

For many customers, it becomes extremely aggravating when they are forced to leave messages, but aren’t sure that they are leaving them for the right people. Be sure to include all pertinent information in each greeting, also allowing the caller to know how to find the department that he or she needs to have any issue resolved.

Finally, phone greetings need to be brief, says Sandro. “Keep it short,” she advises, “I have heard telephone greetings that are so long, I feared the person answering the phone was going to hyperventilate and go into cardiac arrest trying to get it out in one breath.” She also notes that long greetings are generally considered unprofessional.

Firstly, they don’t sound sincere because “technically they are impossible to execute.” Callers generally feel that their time is being wasted, especially when they are in a rush to get assistance. When you use brevity in your outgoing messages by getting to the point quickly, you will be doing your customers a huge favour.

Comments Off on Creating A Great Greeting

21 Dec

Make Your Messages Meaningful

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.12.11 by John Meloche

Over the past couple of days, we have been blogging about the benefits of doing business over the phone. Quick and convenient, the act of making purchases over the phone is the best way to ensure that you are getting exactly what you are expecting. All questions and concerns can be answered immediately as you have the peace of mind in knowing you have done business with a real live person.

But what about when there is no person to deal with on the phone? As a company owner, it’s important to consider that your customers may not be able to get in touch with you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Especially with the holidays officially starting this weekend, many businesses will be celebrating them along with the rest of society.

Therefore, it’s important to consider the impression you are leaving on customers who contact your business and may be required to leave a voice message. On About.com, an article by Mary Sandro reveals that a company’s outgoing telephone greeting is “critical” in leaving a good impression about the business.

Sometimes, a customer’s experience with a voice greeting can determine whether or not he or she will do business with a company. Especially for those customers who may be irate about a particular issue, a company’s outgoing message should communicate its ability to help and solve issues quickly.

As Sandro points out, “many companies convolute the telephone greeting to the point that employees hate saying it and customers and prospects dread listening to it.” There is “power in simplicity”, she continues. Mastering the perfect outgoing phone greeting can be done by incorporating three easy elements in it: pleasantry, sincerity and brevity.

First and foremost, writes Sandro, phone greetings need to be pleasant. It sets the emotional stage for callers as they tend to “mirror” the emotional states of the voices they hear. If you want your customers to respond in kind, the voices they hear when they call your company and get an answering machine should also be kind.

The opposite approach, naturally will have the opposite effect. “I recall calling this small store once,” remembered one of our Synergy staff members today, “and on the answering machine, I could hear a dog barking! I actually thought I had the wrong number. Either way, I just thought it was really unprofessional. I didn’t do business with them again.”

Of course, you want to be as kind and friendly as possible when you are actually on the phone with a customer. So why wouldn’t you want your answering service to provide the same type of warmth? In tomorrow’s blog, we will go over the elements of sincerity and brevity in your company’s outgoing phone messages.

Comments Off on Make Your Messages Meaningful

20 Dec

Dial Up A Smile

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.12.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we began talking about the convenience of making purchases over the phone. Recalling a time when one of our staff members purchased an airline ticket over the phone, she unveiled through her story just how much quicker one can receive up-to-date information about products and services from a live representative.

There are, of course, other benefits to buying over the phone. What if there is a billing error? Although this situation is often an inconvenient one for consumers, they are well aware that the quickest way to resolve a dispute is to contact customer service over the phone. This is especially true for credit card companies who have call centres set up primarily for this very purpose.

Some websites do have a space for “tickets” to be set up in order to have questions, concerns or disputes addressed. But the time it takes for a real person to attend to the issue is a lot longer than it would be if a phone call had been made. Some customers, however, find it annoying to have to sift through what seems like countless voice prompts to speak to someone real!

It’s a good thing Synergy is staffed with numerous knowledgeable reps who are ready to take your calls quickly! As well, one of the reasons you will find our staff so energetic and friendly is because of how excited they are about the products we offer. Our sales team is well aware of the high quality of our products, so it’s easy for them to be confident about them.

Often, our clients get quite the amusing experience when speaking to our sales reps. Not only do they get off the phone knowing that they will be shipped premium items at great prices, but they also get quite a kick out of the affable and courteous nature of our team members. Another benefit to making purchase over the phone – you get to make a friend!

Online shopping is convenient, but it certainly doesn’t take your feelings and personal issues into account. Consider that we are just under a week away from Christmas – our sales staff is very well aware that some clients will be requesting rush orders. While a computer cannot make any concessions, a live person will, at the very least, work to make sure the satisfaction of the client is guaranteed in any way possible.

Don’t believe us? Give one of our Synergy reps a call today at 1-877-748-9884 and hear for yourself! Be sure to ask about our special holiday offers which will be good for the duration of this week. At Synergy, we make it our mission to ensure that all of the telephone conversations with our clients are enjoyable ones. Talk soon!

Comments Off on Dial Up A Smile

19 Dec

A Real Voice Is The Best Choice

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.12.11 by John Meloche

Last week, our blogs focused primarily on the convenience of online shopping. This week, we’d like to discuss yet another method of making purchases that is perhaps, even more convenient and safe. In today’s fast-paced technologically-advanced world, we sometimes tend to forget about those tried-and-true traditional modes of communication.

Remember the good old telephone? Well, although many people tend to use their “smartphones” for a number of other activities than actual phone calls, the telephone is still an ideal way to make your shopping life an easy and enjoyable one. In fact, this is the number one avenue for clients of Synergy Marketing Consultants to get their hands on our incredible promotional products.

The phone enables customers to get first-hand access to information that the internet cannot provide. After all, what could possibly be better than having the answers to your questions given to you by a real live human being? Making purchases on the phone ensures that you are getting the info you need right away – instead of having to search for a website’s FAQ section, for example.

Speaking with a phone representative also ensures that the information you are receiving is up to date. One of our Synergy reps recalled a time when she was buying an airline ticket and found out just how much of better move it was to call in to buy it. She not only got herself a cheaper seat, but realized how important it was to “buy live”.

“I went on the airline’s website,” she recounts, “and noticed a ticket for a pretty good price. I went through the motions to finalize my purchase and put the ticket on my credit card. But when it got to the final checkout page, I noticed the price had increased from out of nowhere! I felt I had no choice but to call in to figure out what the deal was.”

“When I did,” she continued, “the representative explained to me that when airline tickets are sold, the website doesn’t update the information as quick as the system that the phone reps use. He was able to sell me a ticket at a lesser amount because the website no longer had tickets available at that price. I was really glad I called in. Speaking to someone live made the process of buying the right ticket for the right price a lot easier for me.”

Considering that we are just under a week away from Christmas, this is definitely the time to call one of our great reps, here at Synergy, to put together an order for some awesome promo gifts for your company. Our offices will be opened until this Friday and then they will be closed for the holidays, re-opening on January 3rd. We hope to speak with you soon!

Comments Off on A Real Voice Is The Best Choice

16 Dec

Solutions To Stop Overspending

Posted in News on 16.12.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we began discussing the fact that many shoppers in Ontario tend to overspend when it comes to holiday shopping. A recent RBC study confirmed this, as reported by Sheryl Smolkin on Moneyville.ca earlier this week. To avoid this, RBC listed a number of tips to help shoppers stick to their budgets this year.

Picking up where we left off yesterday, the second tip is to “pay yourself first”. In other words, make sure you don’t lose sight of your priorities. Be sure to set aside appropriate funds for necessities like cable, utilities and mortgage payments before hitting the shopping mall. Once you’ve taken care of that, you’re in a better position to buy gifts.

“Track your expenses” is tip number three. This is something you can do year round to avoid overspending. Write down a list of your expenditures over three months and examine opportunities to turn spending into saving, says Smolkin. Are there things you can do without so that you will have more money down the road?

The list of tips also suggests that you keep a separate savings account. Dedicate one of your accounts to savings. This way, you can ensure that your balance will grow and be available to you without getting mixed up with your day-to-day cash needs. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be better equipped to set a target for your savings goal.

That’s tip number five. “Having a deadline can help you decide how much to put away and how often,” writes Smolkin. “This is what I did to save money,” added another member of our staff, “I bought a GIC account once and ensured that I never touched it. I put money towards it on a regular basis which was my way of paying myself.”

“After a few years,” she continued, “I had saved enough money for a major purchase.” Evidently, our staff member had visualized her savings goal. RBC’s final tip asks you to figure out exactly what it is you are saving for. A home? A vacation? A big screen TV? Whatever it is, “keep a photo of your dream on hand, to inspire you to continue saving.”

Finally, offers Smolkin: “Using cash on hand as opposed to credit is another way to better manage holiday expenditures. The RBC survey reveals that many savvy Canadians are already eschewing credit for cash (55 per cent) or using their debit cards (27 per cent) to pay for holiday purchases.”

Comments Off on Solutions To Stop Overspending

15 Dec

Ontarians Overtly Overspending

Posted in News on 15.12.11 by John Meloche

We’ve been talking a lot of about online shopping lately. And it’s become quite the topic of discussion around the Synergy offices. The truth is though, online shopping is being discussed worldwide.

One of the many benefits of online shopping is that the discounts that are often found on the internet help consumers to save money. You don’t want to get too caught up in the savings though. Impulse buyers who are attracted to percentage signs that symbolize discounts may end up feeling like they can buy more as a result.

The last thing you want to do this holiday season, regardless if you shop online or not, is overspend. On Moneyville.ca earlier this week, Sheryl Smolkin wrote of this potential problem and spoke of the various ways that shoppers can avoid falling into the trap of overspending this year.

Her article comes hot on the heels of a recent RBC survey that found that many Ontarians actually plan on spending more on gifts this year than they did last year! In fact, the study showed that, on average, Ontario residents will spend about $663 on gifts which is just under $50 more than last year’s $615.

As well, the survey’s respondents revealed that “they also anticipate boosting their spending on other seasonal items like clothing, travel, decorations, beauty services, food/drink and entertainment to $572, as compared to $544 in 2010.” The thing is though, last year over a third of Ontarians ended up overspending their holiday budgets!

In fact, they spent an average of $402 more than they planned. “I relate to that all too well,” admitted one of our Synergy reps earlier this morning, “Every single year, I tell myself ‘I’m not going to spend as much as I did last year’, and sure enough, my credit card bill will be higher than I expect it to be when I get it in January.”

Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away with the “holiday spirit”, our staff member said. There are ways, however, to avoid this. Smolkin reveals a list of tips offered by RBC to help shoppers stick to their holiday budgets this year. The first one, almost naturally, is to “curb your impulses”. One way to do so is to wait 24 hours before committing to a purchase if you’re shopping online.

We’ll fill you in on the rest of the list of tips in tomorrow’s blog!

Comments Off on Ontarians Overtly Overspending

14 Dec

Online Shopping Only Getting Bigger

Posted in News on 14.12.11 by John Meloche

Not surprisingly, there are various benefits of online shopping. Not only is using a computer to do Christmas shopping a convenient activity (no long line ups in stores!), but it is also becoming a widespread time-saving trend. And it’s a trend that’s apparently only growing in popularity.

On Monday, Alistair Barr of Reuters published a report that confirmed that shopping online is the way to go. Barr’s report revealed that online shopping is reaching record highs this year. According to comScore, American consumers spent $5.9 billion online in the first nine days of December!

This is a 15 per cent increase from last year. As well, this year’s edition of Cyber Monday reached a record of $1.25 billion in sales in the United States as well. That marked a 22 per cent jump in sales from last year! With online sales remaining consistently high all month, it’s obvious that many people are right there with John, ditching the malls for their desktops.

According to comScore’s Chairman, Gian Fulgoni, these strong online sales numbers “represent another very positive sign for the holiday shopping season, as the week following ‘Cyber Week’ often experiences relative softness in spending momentum due to retailers pulling back on their promotional activity.”

And just when you thought they had run out of names for specific shopping days during the holidays, this past Monday has recently become known as “Green Monday”. While it was “Free Shipping Day” in Canada, the United States recognizes the second Monday of December as the beginning of the busiest online shopping week of the year.

As Barr points out, “Green Monday” was coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the increase in sales this time of the season sees online. He also notes that comScore data has determined that “Green Monday” is “among the top spending days of the season, ending the year as the top-ranked twice (in 2005 and 2007) and the second-ranked spending day three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2010).”

In the United States, “Free Shipping Day” comes on December 16th. So online sales are bound to only increase throughout the rest of the holiday shopping season. The day is likely to outdo “Green Monday” as the heaviest online shopping day of the year. Perhaps it’s time that we all start wearing our pajamas while we shop!

Comments Off on Online Shopping Only Getting Bigger

13 Dec

Flashing A New Sweet Deal

Posted in Promotional Products on 13.12.11 by John Meloche

We are all very well aware that this Christmas, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer will be resuming his position at the head of Santa’s sleigh to guide the rest of the gang throughout the world on their annual quest to deliver presents. If only we were all so lucky to have a Rudolph of our own to help us see throughout the cold and dark nights.

Well, Synergy Marketing Consultants is happy to announce yet another amazing special offer this holiday season that will provide the alternative. Our 6 Ultra Bright LED flashlight is the ideal illuminator. This amazingly bright flashlight features a long and sturdy aluminum handle and also comes with three AAA batteries to keep it shining all winter long.

A very practical and useful gift, the sleek design of this flashlight is also a feature that is sure to impress. Not to mention, with room to imprint your company name and logo on them, these great gifts will shine light on your company for years to come. As with all promotional gifts, the key to handing them out is to keep your business on the minds of your customers, encouraging repeat business.

But through this special offer, you will be able to do that at a much lower cost than normal! Usually sold at $15.00 a piece, the 6 Ultra Bright LED Flashlight is now only $9.95 each! As well, we are cutting the set up charges in half! Simply call one of our friendly sales reps at 1-877-748-9884 and mention this advertisement and the set up fee will drop from $50.00 to $25.00.

Be sure to call us quickly so that we may process your order in time to get it to you by Christmas. These awesome flashlights, by the way, come in elegant gift boxes, so they are all ready to go as your ideal promotional gifts of choice this holiday season. We look forward to lighting your way to an increased customer base in the new year!

Don’t forget, by the way, that our special offer on the Christmas Music CD & Card is still in effect. Usually $4.99 each, this card and CD combo is now on sale for just $2.95 each. Containing 12 memorable holiday instrumental classics, this CD is the ideal promo gift this season. The cards are not marked with the year, so they may be used for future holidays as well.

Speaking of the holidays, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients that the Synergy Marketing Consultants staff will be celebrating the holidays between the dates of December 23rd and January 3rd. Be sure to give us a call before the holidays become official so we can make them the happiest ones you’ve enjoyed to date!

Comments Off on Flashing A New Sweet Deal

09 Dec

Online Sources Of Standing Out This Season

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 09.12.11 by John Meloche

Christmas is coming! And all week, we’ve been blogging about ways that you can help your business have the happiest holiday season yet. One way to do that, of course, is to take advantage of our special offers on some of our most amazing holiday-based promotional gifts.

The other way is to better utilize social media as your free way of communicating with your target audience in an effort to bring more customers into your store. Before we head into the weekend, we’d like to take a look at an article from EmailMarketingProfessional.com. Like us, this website believes that its important to stand out during the holidays.

After all, it’s important to remember that your store isn’t the only one that will be enjoying heavier traffic this month. So what things can you do to make sure that the traffic continues to flow in well after the new year? According to the email marketing website, there are at least five things one can do through email and other online sources in order to stand apart from his or her competition throughout the holiday season.

Step one is to “think benefits”. According to EmailMarketingProfessional.com, “It’s tempting to write a quick subject line that says ‘50% off Gifts’ because it requires little thought and seems enticing…A better way to stand out is to write subject lines that focus in on the benefits you are offering to the customer. For example, a subject line such as ‘A Generous Offer’ will entice the reader to want to view what the offer is.”

Step two takes a page out of the last couple of blogs we posted this week. It’s important to have “Facebook Fun”. Over the holidays, you will want to make sure you keep your profile “fresh and interesting”. Engage in fun chat and be sure to post pictures. This “good time” often attracts people to your page to check out what’s going on.

Step three – surprise, surprise – is to “tweet well”. One way to stand out, says EmailMarketingProfessional.com is to find out what good quality content is attracting people and post tweets about it. Will it make them smile? Will it encourage them to respond? Is it likely to paint a favourable picture of your company? These are the questions that should be answered when choosing what to tweet about.

Send greeting cards, the site suggests for step four. At this point, we’ll simply recommend that you send the type of greeting card that comes with a great holiday music CD! We have them on sale right now! Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 to speak to one of our friendly and informative sales reps to place your order today!

Finally, step five: “deck the halls”. Says the site: “This is the ideal time to remember the importance of good design. Incorporate a holiday section on your website to engage your visitors. Use professional templates in your emails to highlight the significance of your holiday message.” A quick look at our very own website and you can see that we’ve taken that advice!

Comments Off on Online Sources Of Standing Out This Season