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Success S av v y Business 101 Holiday Horror Q: What are the etiquette rules when it comes to getting holiday gifts to bosses, co-workers and assistants? Is it a requirement? Usually, my places of employment host “Secret Santa”-type activities, but this year, it’s not in the plans. I wouldn’t ask other than the fact that the majority of the office is hurting due to layoffs and salary cuts recently. I don’t want to be a scrooge, but I also don’t want to be the only guy getting presents for the entire office. A: C ustomer service is the heart of any business, whether it’s big or small. Excellent customer service is about sending any kind of customer or client away happy enough to pass on their positive experiences and help lure new potential customers. Even the best salesperson can’t guarantee they can sell their product to a customer more than once. Below are 5 refresher tips to keep them coming back: 1. Form a relationship with customers, one that the he or she will feel comfortable enough with to know that they can rely on you to please them consistently. 2. Listen and pay attention. Nothing annoys a customer more than having to repeat themselves or receiving something that wasn’t exactly what they asked for. 3. Always take an extra step. Extra attention to the customer is the kind of detail that encourages them to speak positively about your business. 4. Help the customer even if there is no immediate profit in it for you. They will be grateful and come back to return the favor. 5. Throw in something extra. Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount or a genuine smile, people love to receive more than what they expect to. It doesn’t have to be a large gesture for it to be effective. The Art of the Logo Looking to create the perfect logo? Take these time-tested tips to heart before you start working on the creative process. 22 The holiday season is the perfect time to give others a token of appreciation. The fact that your workplace decided not to have a “Secret Santa” was wise so that co-workers might not feel obliged during personal economic hardship. Your main concern should be to do what is within your own budget. Give with sincerity and do not worry about whether others give back to you or not. There are many ways for those who are unable to afford even the smallest gift to show their appreciation and friendship. They can bring a cake, pastries or a bottle of sangria to share. They can give a holiday card if that’s all they can afford this year. Likewise, if you are the one who is not buying gifts because of financial constraints, don’t feel bad if you receive from others whose situation is better than yours. I have had many discussions in therapy with clients whose bosses have made their lives nearly impossible at work. Some of them have realized that this situation has been in large part their own doing. They came to the conclusion that in order to improve working relations, they were going to reach out to others and show their good side. Don’t try to get secondary gains from giving or receiving gifts. Best wishes! Lisette N. Beraja of Beraja Counseling Center is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Parent Coordinator with more than 10 years of experience working with families and young professionals. If you have a question you’d like answered in a future edition, email it to Editor@BrickellMag.com or Lisette@Beraja.com. All names will be withheld to ensure the privacy of our readers. Original Artwork Keep it Simple Professional Help Avoid clip art and generic stock illustrations at all costs! You want your logo to be as unique as the services you offer. Don’t overcomplicate your logo with too many details. The cleaner it is, the more sophisticated vibe your logo will communicate. If you want to take your business to the next level, enlist a creative genius. One of our favorites is Designer Daniel Batlle; 305.931.3972.