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  • Comfortable and Safe Working Environments
    By admin on September 2, 2010 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Are you worried that your workers are falling victim to work related injuries?  Are they engaged in a bit of repetitive motion?  Are they at risk for things like carpel tunnel and cramps?  If so, then you are going to want to be sure that you are providing your workers with a few, quick, and simple fixes.  No, you are not going to have to worry about getting sued or anything like that, but giving your workers the things that they need in order to stay comfortable is a very powerful way of telling them that you care.  Sure, your office is all about professionalism, but it never hurts to make sure that all of you are on the same page, here.

    The first thing that you are going to want to do, here, is be sure that you are equipping your workers with some super comfortable chairs.  I mean, let us face it, reader.  Your workers are going to be getting a lot of mileage out of their chairs.  If your office is anything like my office, then your workers are pretty much sitting down all day long.  Of course, by providing them with nice, comfortable chairs, you can rest assured that they are not going to become angry or irritated throughout the day.  A comfy chair is perhaps the most important thing that you can buy for your workers when it comes to showing them that you care about their wellbeing.

    Moving on, here, you are going to want to be sure that you are buying ergonomic products for your workers.  Ergonomic keyboards, for example, have been proven to combat the dreaded carpel tunnel syndrome, which is actually much easier to develop than you may think.  When your workers are sitting there typing away, they are actually putting their fingers and arms through quite a bit of stress.  By buying them some ergonomic keyboards, you are going to be able to guarantee that they are not hurting themselves too badly.

    Of course, you are also going to want to be sure that your break room is nice and comfortable, too.  When your workers take their breaks, they should be able to relax fully and regain their morale.  As such, your break room is going to have to be equipped with the sorts of things that your workers need to relax.  Stick a nice, comfy couch in there, and for the sake of morale, do not make it against the rules to take a little cat nap in the break room.  Also, be sure that you equip your break room with a TV, so your workers can take their minds off of their projects for a few minutes at a time.  While these all seem like small changes, they are going to make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your workers happy and efficient.

    I have written several blogs on the subject, now, so you should be able to tell that comfort is a pretty important issue when it comes to the overall morale of your office.  If you do not take comfort seriously when you are designing your office, then you are going to see your mistakes reflected in the faces of your workers.  And when it takes so little to make them happy, why not follow through and make sure that you are doing it?

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  • Make More Of Your Work-Day
    By admin on August 10, 2010 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

     

    Are you sick and tired of feeling tired at the end of the work day?  Do you wish that you could give yourself a little bit more energy without drinking all of that coffee throughout the day?  Do you wish that you could get more into your work so that the time would pass faster?  Boy, do I know what you are talking about!  That much being said, I would like to offer you some advice as to how you can make the time pass a little bit faster when you are at work.  Do not worry, reader.  None of these things are going to get you in trouble!

    First and foremost, you are going to want to figure out if you are any good at multitasking.  That is, you are going to want to figure out if you get distracted easily.  If you are not concentrating on your work, and if you are not getting very much work done, the time is going to pass much more slowly.  By keeping yourself active and engaged in your work, you are going to watch the hours fly by when you are at work.

    Of course, it never hurts to appeal to a little bit of outside entertainment.  If you are not distracted easily, then you can put on some music to help you get your work done in a timely fashion.  One of my favorite things to do when the work day is dragging is put on a nice, entertaining classical station.  I find that classical music helps set the mood for working, and dually, it does not offend any of my coworkers.  If you have never tried this before, then I would suggest that you do so.

    Now, if you know that you are REALLY focused, and that you are REALLY hard to distract, then you may trying listening to a podcast while you do your work.  These, of course, are going to be a lot more distracting than something like classical music, because people are going to be talking in your ear all day long.  If, however, you know that you are going to be able to handle it, and that it is not going to distract you too severely, then by all means, give it a shot.  I really love listening to podcasts while I work, personally.

    Finally, reader, remember that it is very important that you take breaks throughout your work day.  Do not take more breaks than your employer permits, but take them when you need them.  Especially if you are doing a lot of typing or data entry, it is important that you get up, stretch, and rest your fingers for about fifteen minutes every two hours.  This is a medical fact, reader.  Just ask your doctor and he will tell you the exact same thing.  If you do not abide by this rule, then you run the risk of developing repetitive motion injuries.

    As you can see, reader, it is not all that tricky to make your work day fly by.  You just have to keep yourself in check and be sure that you are doing all of the little things that keep you happy.  Once you commit to this kind of routine, you are going to find that your work days are flying by faster than you ever thought possible.

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  • Furniture Storage – Moving and Packing
    By admin on December 20, 2008 | 121 Comments121 Comments  Comments

    The next time you decide to move make a plan well in advance. This is a thought that comes to many minds after a move is made from one location to another, while going through the numerous hassles and problems of relocating. The main problem is faced while packing furniture and making a choice of their warehouse location. The first thought that comes to mind, when we know about relocating is where to store the furniture and how to store them causing no or minimum damages. Furniture storage should be done with care and meticulous planning, because once damaged it is hard to get them in their original form. Many people go shopping for the best moving and packing company of their region to take care of their furniture until they are able to settle down. While others who cannot trust these companies undertake the entire packing and relocating work them.

    There are many factors which need to be considered before you are thinking about furniture storage . The first thing that you need to think about is that, you need to store your furniture on short term basis or long term basis. If it is for a shorter duration then planning may be different, but long term planning needs some more considerations. For long term warehousing, you need to look for warehouses which have climate controlled options. Excessive heat, dampness or chillness may cause permanent damage to your furniture. Moreover, if you are residing in areas of severe climatic conditions then temperature controlled units become necessary. Besides this, you need to see that the place you choose for furniture storage is secured. Usually many companies have their warehouses located far away towards the outskirts of cities. These companies need to be checked with respect to their security measures and accessibility options too. It may happen that being remotely located transportation is a problem or safety may be a problem. It is best to take references from friends and relatives about these places, specially related to security and accessibility. But it is best to choose a facility that is near residential areas or similar places, since in such conditions your commutation costs can be reduced to a great extent.

    When you decide to store your furniture think about the packing phase also, when all your furniture has to be well packed in boxes and crates. Many people prefer to pack the goods themselves while others take the help of professional experts. Professionals can do the best packing for you since they are trained and to a certain extent experts in packing. They can best advice you on packing materials, which items need to packed first, on the placement of items and also their specific placing when they are loaded on trucks and transportation vehicles. Furniture storage experts also advice you on their work procedure and method of warehousing so that you can be assured that

    Furniture storage professionals take care of your worries from the beginning since your plan to move is conveyed to them and by the time their services are hired. The first task that most of the companies do is assessment of goods that need to be packed. They usually visit the client premises to make a physical verification of goods that need to be packed. Once this is done, they make a plan of the entire process and consult you for final approval and suggestions. Once they are confirmed your storing woes are reduced and many a times completely gone as you know your furniture is well stored.

    Self Storage Prices

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  • Phone Manners in Self Storage
    By admin on January 8, 2007 | 95 Comments95 Comments  Comments

    Don’t you love being hung up on? No, I am sure you don’t. I was working last night at my parent’s restaurant and the phone rang. I answered and tried to help out the caller. He wanted to call ahead so his order would be ready when he got there. I explained that we do not do that and he asked to speak to John (my step dad), I told him that John was busy and he was getting upset. He asked if that was some kind of rule and I said yes. He then proceeded to hang up on me.

    Here are some reasons we don’t do call ahead orders; our food is made to order and never sits under any heat lamps, it’s not fair to the other customers who are waiting patiently for their food that they ordered when they got there. I really wanted to call him back and asked if we got disconnected, but I didn’t. Then, he shows up and it took all my power not to walk up to him and let him know that it was very rude to hang up on someone.

    A day doesn’t go by in PhoneSmart’s call center that our representatives will be hung up on. One of reasons our self storage phone script contains a price stall is that some people are really just shopping around for prices and as soon as they get the price they are done with the phone call and sometimes will hang up. It’s a shame that some people can’t just end the call, they have to hang up.

    Where are people’s manners? My only advice is to roll with the punches and don’t let it get you down. Just be positive and hope the next call will work out better.

    Written by Natalie Thomas, TQAS executive and business blog writer. Thanks for visiting PhoneSmart’s self storage blog, a blog about the self storage industry. PhoneSmart , your offsite sales force call center, located in Columbia, Missouri. Your local self storage unit provider in 2403 Rangeline, Columbia MO 65202 Total Quality Assurance Services Your all in one Quality Assuarance Portal

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  • Keeping It Familiar
    By admin on May 9, 2006 | No Comments  Comments

    Ann Sheehan, call center specialist and “old timer” brings a fresh perspective to habits

    Welcome to the Phone Smart self-storage blog, and inside view from the self-storage call center industry

    When working in a call center it is easy to become complacent. Phone Reps basically say the same thing over and over again – all day, all week, all month, etc. Sure, each call has its own peculiarities, but each call is fundamentally the same.
    That is why it was really interesting a few weeks ago when our director, Tron, asked us to no longer use the phrase “How may I help you”? We were all thinking – what do I say? Is a he nut? Everyone always asks that question! (This is exactly why he suggested the change! Phone Smart Reps are more original than everyone else!) At first it was very, very awkward. We all thought that this couldn’t be done. But more importantly, it made us think. Instead of reciting our spiel by rote, it made us conscious about what we were saying.
    The same can be said about our workstations. Most of us sit in the same cubicle each day, week, month, etc. We are comfortable with our surroundings and don’t really need to think. We know how our chair swivels, how loud our phone rings, where to look when we need reassurance, etc. Could we consider the very thought of sitting elsewhere? Unthinkable!
    It is amazing how well new phone reps do on the phone. Almost always, two or three weeks out of training “newbie’s” really excel. About a month or so later, their numbers begin to slide. We always refer to this as “beginners luck”. But is it maybe because they have finally become comfortable?
    Yes, we all get in a rut. But the thought of change? Unthinkable! Should Tron suggest phone reps rotate workstations? Probably. But sadly, I fear he would probably have a mutiny on his hands, because sales people do not like change!

    PhoneSmart Your Offsite Sales Solution

    Property Management Blog

    Self Storage Search Engine Storage in: New York

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  • Even flies can’t catch us…
    By admin on January 23, 2006 | No Comments  Comments

    Today’s self storage blog comes from Kay. Over the last year and a half she has become a self storage insider, talking to thousands of callers and learning the sales techniques that help us help callers rent a storage unit with you.

    Well! This is supposed to be a slow time of year but at Phone Smart things are jumping.

    We are all involved in some training, trying to hone our skills. There is the Secret Shopping and Evaluations and new stores are coming our way thick and fast. ( It’s all enough to turn a poor country girl’s head)

    It seems that the new year has just begun but we are already thinking about February schedules. It has been unseasonably warm here. While other parts of our nation are recovering from devastations of last year and there are wildfires on the prairies, we have fared much better. We always have our share of wind and lightning but it seems that Missouri dodged the bullet pretty well last year.

    There is a tingle of excitement here. New people are coming in; there are more Spanish speakers available. The new stores bring new learning experiences with them and the future seems to be only upward.

    Somewhere in the last year and ½ that I have been here I have stopped thinking of it as
    “just” storage. A good friend of mine here posted last month about her need to place her belongings in a safe place while she looked for a new place to live. She put a human face on the storage units that was not there for me before.

    Most people going into storage are experiencing some problem or situation that leaves them with the possibility of losing things that precious to them during their discomfort. We offer to them a friendly voice and real help with their storage needs. We answer many questions that we feel are a good service to our store managers i.e. “what time does the gate close?” “What time can I get in tomorrow to pay my bill?” “are there bigger/smaller” units available?” “Will they be open on the holiday?”

    We are here to serve and aim to please. We work hard and even find time to share a friendly moment with a co-worker. We keep moving. As my Father always remarked “Ain’t no flies on us”

    KAY

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  • T’was the week before Christmas
    By admin on December 20, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    T’was the week before Christmas and here at our call center
    We talked to your new tenant about the new lock you lent her.
    She said she had left you a voicemail on Monday
    And said she’d be bringing it back to you one day.

    On the next call we talked to a lady who said she was Jane
    Who talked so slowly that she could drive you insane.
    But she needed a 5×15 by this Thursday
    And she needed to get it confirmed in the worst way.
    So we took her numbers and set up her rez
    And just toward the end of the phone call she says,

    “Nick and I are trying to get all prepared
    get the reindeer in shape and the tires on the sled all aired.
    We need your unit to get ourselves staged
    Since the hurricanes, tsunamis and flooding that raged
    had displaced so many of the best girls and best boys,
    That we need distribution points to deliver our toys.
    We used to be able to do it all from home.
    Last year we needed some help from a storage place in Nome.
    And this year we are renting units in 27 different cities
    Because we must have all the toys to all the kiddies
    …By Christmas morning”

    Well our call center rep did not know how to answer,
    So she said, ”Give my greetings to Donner and Prancer
    And of course Rudolph and the rest of the deer.’
    To her surprise what was the next thing she did hear,
    But a jolly deep voice in the background that shouted with might
    “A merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

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  • Happy Anniversary
    By admin on December 14, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    This Friday we are celebrating PhoneSmart’s five year anniversary. On November 30, 2000, I was handed the keys to my office and our phone room which had four work stations and told to give it a go. I started by myself answering calls for 12 StorageMart stores. Today there are 25 of us at PhoneSmart. Between our call center, secret shopping, sales training, lead generating and marketing tracking services, we handle over 450 properties in 43 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces.

    We will be closing the call center at 6:00 PM central time on Friday the 16th to allow all our employees to attend. All calls will be going to voicemail for your properties during this time. This is the first time we have ever closed the call center to have a celebration. And what a celebration it is going to be. Our staff decided the best way to get everyone to attend was to “Roast” me and have some fun at my expense. The first thought was actually a dunk tank, so everyone could throw balls at me and dunk me in cold water. Since it was close to winter time I thought a roast sounded warmer. I am sure I will be thoroughly embarrassed and that everyone will have a few good laughs.

    We are also using the roast as a fund raiser for The Rainbow House in Columbia, MO.
    ( www.rainbowhousecolumbia.org ) The rainbow house is a shelter and service provider for children in difficult circumstances. Some children my have been removed from abusive households. Some are the children of a single parent who has recently become incarcerated. Some come from families who have recently become homeless and could no longer provide basic necessities.

    We have been very fortunate. We have incomes, even though most of us would like to be able to move the decimal point on our pay checks over one space to the right. We have a place to call home, even if we don’t have enough room for our stuff and need a storage unit to help get organized.

    Please go to the Rainbow house web site and make a contribution. It will make you feel better.

    Five years is a big deal. Most new businesses never see a fifth year anniversary. There are always bumps and challenges in a new business. We rode them out and turned them into opportunities. We continued to hold on to our core mission, which is to provide excellent service to our internal and external customers while making money hand over fist for our clients and ourselves. We have met with a good deal of success. We are well known as a great company with very competent and very friendly sales people. We are also well known for the profits we create for our clients.

    It has been my privilege to lead PhoneSmart through its early years and to work with all the great team members and clients along the way. I will also be recognizing some of our long term employees at the roast. Ten of our 25 team members have been with us for more than 2 years. Six have been with us 3 years or more. Our lead supervisor, Dana, will have her 5 year anniversary next week. This means we have a wealth of experience with which to serve you.

    We wish you and yours the very best for this holiday season and for the new year!

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  • Watch your telcos
    By admin on December 6, 2005 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    In case you haven’t had a wacky experience with your local phone service provider, I’ll pass you a word of caution. If you do anything with your phone service…change a line, switch to VOIP, add or subtract a service, place a repair order, make sure your call forward orders are not wiped out.

    Many times a call forward order that sends your missed calls to us will evaporate when the telco is doing some other kind of work on your account. If you put in a work order, make sure the rep you are speaking with knows to maintain your call forward orders.

    After the work is complete, check the lines to make sure the call fowrard orders are actually working.

    thanks, Tron

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  • Remembering
    By admin on July 26, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    This weekend the traveling replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial museum, known as “the Wall That Heals” came to our area. There are many who have not had the opportunity as I have to visit the memorial in Washington, DC. If you have not yet visited there, then do not miss the opportunity to stand in silence and awe in the presence of the thousands of names of the finest this nation had to offer during a frightening and terrible time in our history. All of the fallen memorialized there gave their “last full measure of devotion” for family, home and duty. This traveling museum is a breath-stopping tribute that comes to small communities throughout the land.

    My childhood sweetheart is inscribed on the very first panel. He left right after high school graduation with a promise that we would marry as soon as he fulfilled his obligation. He was struck down 5 months later, victim of sniper fire. (Rest in Peace my love)

    A good friend of my younger brother, a goofy kid with a slightly crooked grin, a combat Marine, is listed slightly to the west of my darling. He fell to hostile ground fire 2 years later. (Semper Fi, little buddy.)

    A young soldier listed as missing in action for 36 years is named a bit farther west on the wall. I had his POW bracelet since 1972 and have prayed for his return these many years. In July, 2005 he was finally positively identified and sent home. He was buried July 16, 2005 in his home town with full military honors. Some 1,800 Americans are still missing from this war alone. Do not miss the opportunity to stand and place your fingers on the names of our fallen and missing.

    Today, once again our young men and women are in peril, giving all they have to insure our freedom. We take many calls here at PhoneSmart from military personnel who are being deployed to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. We can’t all join the battle, but there is something that we can do for them and their families. When we help them with their storage needs, we can remember to tell them that we appreciate what they are doing for all of us. It may seem like a small thing but the soldiers and their families always express their thanks for the good word. May they come home soon.

    -Kay

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