Lemon Get Gold!

We are very pleased to announce that Lemon have been awarded Investors In People Gold for the second successive time.

Investors In People (IIP) was introduced in 1991 and is a standard for people management, emphasising the importance of leading, supporting and managing people well for sustainable results. The continual growth of the framework is such that it is estimated that more than a third of the UK’s workforce uses the accreditation in 2015.

As well as the standard accreditation of Investors In People, there are an additional three awards that can also be achieved; Bronze, Silver & Gold.

To put our team’s achievement into context, only 3% go on to achieve IIP Gold. That percentage is then reduced even further for companies, like ourselves, who have achieved successive Gold awards.

The assessment itself took place over a couple of days and focused on the main attributes that make our company excel; our people. By speaking to our staff on a one to one basis, the assessor was able to judge not only how our staff look after the business, but just as importantly how Lemon looks after our staff.

At Lemon, we’re very aware that the people we employ are integral to every aspect of our company and we place a lot of trust in our team. As it says in our Mission Statement, ‘Zest is recognising the importance of our team and empowering them to achieve’ and we firmly believe that retaining our IIP Gold award is testament to the excellent people we have on board.

We know that by presenting our team with the best environment possible, it makes their job of providing excellent customer service 24 hours a day much easier. Ultimately, this not only benefits our people but also the customers that we speak to every single day of the year.

If you would like to rest safe in the knowledge that your calls are being answered by happy, motivated professionals then give us a call and see what our people can do for you.

Your Responsibility For Your Lone Workers

Did you know that 81% of lone workers are concerned about violence and aggression, with one in ten of those surveyed having been punched, kicked or suffered another form of violent attack whilst working alone, according to a recent survey by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics also show that there were an estimated 649,000 incidents of violence at work and 133 fatalities in 2013/14.

The HSE estimates that it costs an organisation approximately

What Fawkes Taught Me About Business

Bonfire NightFirstly, we all ‘Remember, Remember the 5th of November’ but why do we celebrate Bonfire Night?

The reason we do it is because it’s the anniversary of an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 led by a man called Guy (Guido) Fawkes. It was called the Gunpowder Plot and was essentially about religion.

In 1605 England was a Protestant country, and the plotters were Catholic. The group wanted to return England to the Catholic faith. They thought they could do this by killing King James I and his ministers.

Fawkes and his group put 36 barrels of gunpowder in cellars under the Houses of Parliament in London, ready to set off a massive explosion. Unfortunately for Mr Fawkes one member of the group sent a letter to his friend who worked in Parliament, warning him to stay away on November 5th. The King’s supporters got hold of the letter and the plot was rumbled! Guards broke into the cellars where the gunpowder plotters were waiting. They were arrested, tortured and executed.

Fawkes’ failed plot highlights the small margin between success and failure. If it wasn’t for one member of his team writing the letter, his plan would probably have worked and changed the course of history (and the landscape of Westminster) forever!

Ultimately Fawkes’ plot failed because one member of his team wasn’t fully committed to the cause. As within any business the team is critical, you must ensure that everyone is on board and pulling in the same direction, with no ulterior motives – just ask Mr Fawkes!

It’s equally as important that you make sure any critical suppliers you partner with also understand and care about your business and that they do not just have their own selfish motives at heart.

If you utilise a Call Answering service for instance, or are thinking of using one, make sure that they take the time and effort to understand your business, your ‘plot’ and their importance in achieving the overall goal. Ultimately they are an extension of your team.

So whilst you celebrate Bonfire Night with fireworks, sparklers and maybe even by burning an effigy of Mr Fawkes himself on top of a bonfire, think of this:

Is everyone who is involved in your business, employers and suppliers alike, totally committed to your cause?

If not, it’s time to start doing something about it…

Don’t let your customer service go up in smoke this Bonfire Night, call the customer service experts at Lemon now and partner with a call centre who truly have your business at heart.

A Spooky (but Critical) Business Lesson

Halloween 2014Trick or Treat!! Over the millennia Halloween has evolved from a sombre pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes and sweet treats for children and adults, but why do we actually celebrate Halloween?

Well, as you know, Halloween is celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October, but did you know that we have our ancient ancestors the Celts to thank? Yes it was our brothers and sisters the Celts of ancient Britain who originally had a holiday called Samhain, which was used to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, but on the spooky side they also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead! Woooooo!

It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and the donning of masks would allow the wearer anonymity so they would not be recognised as a human by the walking dead and would therefore escape unscathed!

It is here that I believe our Celtic brethren have unknowingly taught us an important business lesson.

In business it is very easy to just follow the crowd, wear a mask the same as everyone else and walk around not being noticed. Now, you may not be doing this intentionally, but answer this question honestly:

Have you really given time and thought to why anyone should buy from you?

If the answer is no, then to use the correct business term, you have no Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and there is no reason why anyone is going to buy from you instead of your competitors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that you will get no business, but you may get very little and you will certainly never reach your full potential.

So take the time out to identify what will make your company unique, be specific and keep it short. Effective USP’s identify the most important benefits of using your services, solve an industry pain point, and (of course) are unique. For example you may want to offer your customers the ability to contact your business 24/7 and speak to a live operator (as opposed to a ghost or ghoul!) which could be achieved by using a suitable Call Management Centre to partner with.

Whatever your USP, once you’ve determined it, the final step is to integrate it into all of your marketing collateral and customer communication tools, such as email signatures, social media sites, invoices etc. There is no point having a USP if you’re not shouting about it! It will be time well spent.

So this Halloween, whilst you are dishing out treats in to the grubby palms of children that come knocking on your door, remember the business lesson that the ancient Celts taught us:

Having a truly unique USP is CRITICAL to your business success!

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