Good Money? Nice Life? Here Are The Three Places You Should Be Looking At!

When it’s pouring with rain and the house prices have gone up again while you enjoy a salary freeze, the grass can seem an awful lot greener on the other side. Emigration may not have been something that you have ever considered before, but when you feel stuck in a rut with your job and your finances are doing a nosedive, it’s only natural to look around and see where you could thrive elsewhere. When you look at your family, there are two things that you could want more than anything; good money and a nice life. You want to up your earning potential, so that the salary freeze that you’ve been frustrated about for years will end. You want to be able to give your family the nice life that they deserve and sometimes that means upping sticks and going abroad. The cinch? Knowing where on earth to go that will give you what you want. Financially, you need to consider all the costs of moving abroad and you need to give yourself a reality check while you’re at it to ensure you really will be better off.

So, where in the world can you go to get a nice life and have a far better income than you do right now?

Switzerland. For years, Switzerland has been cited as the best place to find a well-balanced lifestyle of a higher quality than the one you have right now. You can find the right career prospects while enjoying a healthy salary, and it’s a fantastically well-balanced place for families to grow up. It’s a place where expats have a lot of faith in the economy and it’s exactly why it’s a booming one!

Monaco. It’s one of the smallest places in the world, but it’s one that enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year and the residents benefit from no income tax, wealth tax or capital gains tax. Finding the right help with relocating to Monaco doesn’t have to be difficult, and knowing that you are moving your family somewhere with more cameras and policemen per capita, you can be safe in the knowledge your family is safe.

Japan. Working in Japan is an experience not many will ever get to have. The infrastructure, the nature in the islands and the amazing quality of life that can be found in Japan makes for an enormously appealing place to go. Expats can enjoy amazing salaries while enjoying new and exciting experiences, not to mention the food is just fantastic.

These three countries are just the tip of the iceberg for expats, and there are so many places that you can choose from for your family. Professional expats tend to earn more abroad than in their own home country, and you are more coveted if you are lucky enough to be picked up by a company abroad. Take the time to do your research and you can choose the perfect location to start all over again with your family.

How to Make Your Money Work For You

When you think about money, how do you feel? Anxious? Stressed? Complete denial?

For lots of people, money isn’t just a taboo topic, it’s something to be avoided at all costs. And yet, with a little bit of sensible thought, your money can be made to work for you. In many ways, it doesn’t really matter how much you earn or whether you have a regular income or not. Making money work is about creating strategies to get you from one day to the next and one year to the next.

Here’s what you can do to start looking more carefully at your money, and turn your financial situation around.

Money is Functional

One of the main reasons that people feel unhappy about their financial position is that they focus on how much they want rather than how much they need. If you find yourself dreaming about winning the lottery while your spending spirals out of control, there are clearly going to be some problems soon.

Instead of thinking about how much you want, consider how much you need. This is a healthier perspective for two reasons: first, it gives you a more sensible aspiration to aim for; second, if you can manage to earn more, or save more, your aspiration can be exceeded. Everyone needs different amounts of money each month to achieve a happy lifestyle so working out how much you need will require an honest look at your finances.

Money is purely functional – it buys you things you need and want – so splitting it up into budget categories is a smart way to start managing it. A need is something you can’t live without such as your home, water, electricity, weekly groceries; a want is something that brings you pleasure but you don’t have to have it in order to live.

It’s all about finding the balance and ensuring that your outgoings match your income. This means that you must prioritize your needs over your wants.

Finding the Balance

To find the balance, first you will need to sit down with a large sheet of paper and your bank statements from at least the last 3 months, preferably 6 months to a year. This is a scary process for lots of people and it can be upsetting to see how you have managed, or failed to manage,  your money so far. However, opening your eyes to your troubles is the best way to get on top, so take a deep breath and plunge straight in.

First write down the cost of your needs, including: rent or mortgage, bills and groceries. Add up the numbers. This is the cost of your basic needs and the number you need to reach each month in order to survive. This is the first step in achieving financial independence.

Next, write down all your other expenditures into categories such as: dining out, entertainment and clothes. Add up all these numbers and then think about where you might be able to cut back, or where you could exchange one item for a cheaper one.

This exercise is all about finding where the balance is between your needs and wants. Ideally from here, you will be able to see where you could cut back, where problems may be emerging, and where thinking more carefully about how you spend could help you to plan for a very happy future.

Planning for the Future

If you haven’t really thought about your finances until now, you probably won’t have a plan for the future. Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about it.

The first thing you should do is improve your credit score. This can be difficult, especially if you are saddled with high-interest debt already, but there are ways to help you back up. Start by working hard to repay your debts. This could be done with extreme saving tactics like a no-spend week, or you could transfer your debts to a different, lower interest credit card. Finding credit cards for low credit might sound like a challenge, but they are available and can be made to work for you.
Once your debt is resolved and you have a better balance in your finances, you should start saving some money each month – around 10-20% is usually advised but isn’t necessarily best – to create an emergency fund. And from there, you can continue to build your savings, start investing to earn a little more and create a financial future that fills you with hope, not dread.

Ways technology can strengthen customer service without losing personalisation

From email and social media to instant chat and mobile apps, customers today have a variety of communication platforms at their fingertips. This means they now also have elevated expectations on every interaction with businesses. Even if customers still prefer to pick up the phone and call your helpdesk, they are more likely to have zero tolerance for being placed on hold or routed through options on the keypad.

Technologies have provided businesses with the opportunity to completely transform the way they offer support. Thanks to innovation in contact centre tools, keeping up with these expectations is no longer a big challenge.

But, being able to deliver faster, smarter, and better customer service is just one part of the equation. While technology can streamline support processes, customer service should never lose its human element. Relying too much on digital service channels and artificial intelligence can easily lead to a one-size-fits-all approach. In most cases, consumers appreciate the digitised experience but still want to feel treated as individuals.

Accenture Strategy’s Global Customer Pulse Research has found that 88% of customers use digital channels when interacting with brands, but that only 36% of customers consider digital channels better than human interactions. Accenture notes that brands who get too carried away with digital may be neglecting the human personalisation needed for upselling and cross-selling.

Written in collaboration with Merchants, here’s how your business can establish digital-human relationships and provide an excellent customer experience.

Data management and analytics

Gathering concrete insights into your customers helps you to connect with a customer on a personal level and customise your service accordingly. You can collect data points via a range of channels including contact centre records, social media, website activity, or online surveys, and keep track of them in your cloud computing applications. By applying customer and consumer data, brands can curate tailored recommendations based on their preferences.

Voice biometrics software

Voice biometrics technology uses a customer’s unique voiceprint to authenticate the identity of a caller over any type of phone. When a customer phones, the system automatically detects them through their voice sample that is stored on a database. Voice biometrics is used to protect your company from customer fraud, but at the same time it also improves the customer experience by eliminating the manual authentication process such as asking for personal details before identifying callers.

Chatbots

Customers are keen to sustain relationships with customer service agents when they receive a friendly and polite service. While good manners ranks high in the preferred qualities of a customer service agent, it can be difficult for agents not to lose their temper with demanding customers.

Customer service agents are emotive beings. Chatbots, however, are programmed to treat customers with respect even if the customer is unreasonable. They may be an artificial intelligence but still create the impression that the customer is chatting with a real human being who understands their needs.

Apart from displaying perfect human behaviour, chatbots have the benefit of 24-hour availability, easy access to information, and help generating sales leads when a customer browses a website.

Self-help channels

Even if a brand delivers excellent support, there are customers who prefer to bypass the contact centre and take care of issues themselves. Fortunately, many contact centres nowadays give customers a self-service option via interactive voice responses and other automation services. Using data-directed intelligence, self-help technology enables customers to easily find answers and information online around the clock.

Outsourcing your customer service offering

Companies looking to make the shift towards the digital customer experience have the option of business process outsourcing. Not only are bpo solutions more cost effective than running your own contact centre, but your business also gets access to highly skilled staff and the latest customer service technology, so that you can concentrate on other core functions.

As technology continues to evolve, it gives contact centres the opportunity to fix many of the customer service issues that were common in the traditional call centre. It’s vital that brands adapt to emerging trends and technology to create a consistent pattern of great customer support. As was discussed above, one of the important developments will be a customer service experience where technology meets the human touch.