In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve started to cover a lot of heavily scientific articles recently here on the Buffer blog. And judging by the spread of them, they have been really well received.
One thing struck me though. What about simple things we can do? A friend recently told me she has added a 20 minute window in her day where she tries to go for the “quick wins”.
I thought that’s a brilliant idea! So I went ahead and looked up 7 simple things all of us can do today to get more productive, happier and successful. Of course, all backed up by science! So here 7 simple productivity tips you can put in place today:
Why did the Mona Lisa become one of the most famous paintings of all time? That’s a question an incredible amount of people have asked themselves in the past. And one possible answer is this: because of her unique smile.
The smile is is the “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content” concludes scientist Andrew Newberg. And for me personally, I’ve been very reluctant before embracing smiling. Only a few years back, when one of my teachers told me: “Why don’t you smile more? Go learn how to do it!”, I started to research learn about the actual power of smiling.
I had a brief moment of disbelief that anyone can learn how to smile better. And yet, since then, for many years, I practiced smiling in the mirror and on many other occasions. That’s a fact I’ve often been a little embarrassed to admit, yet the research of this post confirms how powerful practicing a bit of smiling can be.
“You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure” goes one of the most famous quotes in business. And this line has also been one of the biggest problems for doing great customer service. “But you can’t measure it!” is the response I receive from a lot of budding entrepreneurs when it comes to chatting about customer support.
And to be honest, I think they are right, it is tough to measure it. Yet, the reason, we place such huge importance on customer support here at Buffer is altogether for a different reason. It’s to make people feel great, because this law exists:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Customer support is the very rare opportunity to connect to your customers on an emotional level. You can’t do that in any other way. And that’s why, for example we have almost 4 people full time on Wowing customers at Buffer, when we are just 11 people in total. It’s simply that important we believe.
One of the first things I’ve learnt, close to 2 years ago when taking the plunge into Social Media with Buffer, was that things aren’t yet very defined.
There guiding metrics and studies are really just in their beginning phase and a lot is still quite vague. To help make things a tiny bit more clear, I thought it might be helpful to collect 10 of the most interesting social media studies and see what we can best learn from them.
So without any further ado, let’s dig in and talk about the most important social media stats out there:
It seems like a big task, I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, research is starting to show that even small changes can make a significant impact for a better way of saying no. In fact, here’s one change you can make right now that will make it easier for you to say no, resist temptation and improve your productivity and your health:
“Manage your energy, not your time” – Tony Schwartz
This is the quote that made Tony Schwartz famous. And it is one, that I believe best represents a truly efficient lifestyle in the 21st century the best.
And yet, living “manage your energy, not your time” is incredibly hard, at least for me. It probably took me around 1 year, to just fully grasp its meaning. Since then, I’ve turned my life upside down and changed my routine dramatically.
As one example, here at Buffer, we use an informal line to help us make better decisions. It goes something like this:
“Working more is never the answer.”
Whenever we are struggling under more workload, the first thing is to stop what we’re doing and think about a better way to manage our energy, not to add more work hours to our days.
Schwartz famously proclaims in his book, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.
Our energy can be broken down in 4 different elements:
Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
Your emotional energy – how happy are you?
Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something?
Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?
The order of how these energies are written down is not random by the way. But Tony gives them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way. And in doing so, your physical energy comes first, because it is naturally our base and foundation for any other energy or focus we want to develop.
So for this article, I wanted to break down all elements of physical energy as our most important foundation. Let’s dig in:
Here is a secret right off the bat and I hope it isn’t too odd. One of the things I fuss about a lot (especially for Buffer copy, for example our welcome email if you sign up!) are words; very simple words in fact. Should it say “Hi” or “Hey.” Should it be “cheers” or “thanks.” How about “but” or “and”? I’m guessing you might have a similar obsession with this.
There are many occasions when Joel and I sit over one line and change it multiple times, until we feel it really sits right. This is partly to improve our metrics for click rate and others. It is also to simply create an emotion. The one key question we ask ourselves is:
“How does this make you feel?”
The question might sound very obvious. And yet, it’s a very different question to say for example “Which message do you want to send?” or “What is the content of this announcement?” By always focusing on “How will this make someone feel” whenever you write even a single line, we immediately improved the amount of responses we got from our users.
Recently we explored how much sleep do we really need to work productively. Let’s do the same with language and dig in to how our brain works and expose some of the most persuasive words in english:
There is no doubt that you have heard about the uproar on Twitter and the blogosphere: Google Reader is shutting down.
As of July 1, 2013 Google will discontinue Google Reader and shut down the site. A lot of people, who have been using Buffer with Google Reader got in touch with us yesterday asking if there is any way to keep reading their RSS feeds whilst sharing their articles with Buffer. And most importantly a Google Reader alternative to be safe after the site shuts down.
And fortunately, the answer is yes. There are a few amazing apps you can check out that come with full Buffer integration who are awesome Google Reader alternatives. Here is a list of the top 8:
And the following science will hopefully prove it, in case you ever had any doubts about your own creativity. After all, creativity, at its very core, boils down to this:
“A creative idea will be defined simply as one that is both novel and useful (or influential) in a particular social setting.” – Alice Flaherty
This applies to every field Flaherty explains, including programming, business, mathematics together with the more traditional “creative” fields, such as music or drawing. And yet, there is still a very distinct process behind it:
“When it comes to creating customer happiness, better service is the answer…”
Hands up: how many times have you heard that and thought, “Yawn…”
We’ve all heard the same trite advice before.
Although WOWing your customers time and time again (like Buffer continues to do) is important in creating a business people love, the “customer evangelists” out there are always talking fluff, and very rarely address the far less sparkling side of implementation.
That’s because it’s easy to talk the talk… but what about putting it in to practice?
The post you are about to read isn’t your typical take on customer service, because it actually digs into how you can improve your email support system with some very easy steps to take advantage of the most popular communication platform on the web.