640K Solutions, Inc. http://www.640ksolutions.com Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:41:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Is YOUR Website Mobile-Friendly Enough for Google? http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/20/is-your-website-mobile-friendly-enough-for-google/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/20/is-your-website-mobile-friendly-enough-for-google/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/20/is-your-website-mobile-friendly-enough-for-google/ Not too long ago, “Mobilegeddon” began, triggered by Google’s new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that gives a significant boost to websites that have ...]]> is_your_website_mobileNot too long ago, “Mobilegeddon” began, triggered by Google’s new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that gives a significant boost to websites that have taken the steps to be more mobile-friendly.

The change took about a week to complete, and now that it’s complete, small and large businesses alike need to make sure their web pages are friendly enough for Google.

How Do I Know If My Website is Mobile-Friendly Enough?

Google has designed an excellent tool that you can go ahead and use, located here. It will tell you if your website meets some of the criteria, all of the criteria or none of the criteria. You only get a partial if some of the pages on your website are throwing errors, and Google can’t tell if the page is mobile-friendly or not. Otherwise, the test is completely binary. And yes – it’s mobile friendly.

What If I Don’t Meet All or Any of the Criteria?

As of now, that means that you’ve been reduced in ranking on Google’s searches significantly. However, this change only affects your MOBILE SEARCH rankings, not your desktop rankings. So while you may continue to show on the first page when people look for something you rank for in your area if they’re at a computer, the same user will get completely different results if they did the same search from their phone.

So Does That Mean I Need an App Now?

Strictly speaking, no. Of course not. Apps are expensive and painful to develop, and not every business is expected to have the resources to make one happen, especially if they don’t really sell or do anything that would require an app online. Downloading an app to view a mobile-friendly website would be silly, so leave the app development to websites that service customers with a portal that could potentially benefit from an app. Otherwise, you’ll just need to ensure that your website is made mobile-friendly, which most websites are these days.

What If My Site Redirects to a Mobile Subdomain?

Right now, the answer to this question isn’t clear. At first, Google execs indicated that a “responsive design,” one that automatically shifted to a mobile version when being accessed by a mobile device, was necessary. However, the company has backed off this idea, though it still says that it’s easier to crawl and index when a responsive design is in place. Since the company acknowledges there are other mobile site architectures, it’s likely that the algorithm has been adjusted for those sorts of situations. However, as times goes on, we’ll hear more about this.

What’s the End Goal?

Google’s end goal is much the same as yours: to make a pleasant browsing experience for all users, regardless if they’re mobile or not. The company is trying to envision the future and what’s best for its users.

In the end, it’s important that you update your website or use the tool above to ensure it is mobile-friendly so that it will continue to be viewed by those who may bring you business.

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Go Paperless: How to Take Advantage The Digital Media Market http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/19/go-paperless-how-to-take-advantage-the-digital-media-market/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/19/go-paperless-how-to-take-advantage-the-digital-media-market/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/19/go-paperless-how-to-take-advantage-the-digital-media-market/ Say your SMB is still doing mail-out campaigns, and you’re still spending all that money on postage. You still do paper invoices. ...]]> go_paperlessSay your SMB is still doing mail-out campaigns, and you’re still spending all that money on postage. You still do paper invoices. You still print everything out so you can collaborate on projects. You are a paper-fiend, and honestly, it’s costing you a pretty penny. Today is the day you can not only reduce, but almost completely eliminate the cost of doing things the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. Today is the day you can take advantage of a mostly digital marketplace!

Okay, so maybe you’re not ready to change everything over, but here are a few tips that can help you start small and save a bundle, too.

Invest in the Technology to Enable a Paperless Office

Having the correct technology to help your employees do the things they need to do without paper is a huge step in the right direction. A few examples:

Dual Monitors. Monitors aren’t that expensive, and sometimes one of the reasons something needs to be printed is because cross-referencing something you can’t see is kind of impossible. Switching from tab to tab is annoying for a lot of people, so they simply print their documents to prevent that. Another monitor gives them an entirely new work area and, in some cases, two – a large screen can and will allow for more than one document to be seen at a time. Plus, you probably won’t have to buy screens for a long time after your computer upgrade; screens often outlast computers.

Use a Digital Fax Machine Service. Just because someone else insists on using fax doesn’t mean YOU have to. In fact, many “fax machines” these days consist of a digital service, a scanner, and an internet connection. Services like MaxEmail or eFax allow you to send and receive faxes digitally through a phone, email, or the service portal they have online. Faxes come in attached to emails, and faxes go out to machines and other digital fax services just like they would from a regular fax machine.

Duplex. If something absolutely HAS to be printed, then investing in a duplex printer – which is a very common, affordable technology – will save you bundles. 50%, to be exact, as a document can be printed on both sides just as quickly and effectively as one-sided printing.

Online Collaboration Tools. Gone are the days where something needs to be printed to travel along proper channels and seen by a ton of people. A document can be passed, with notes and corrections, digitally now. Something as simple (and free) as Google Docs enables you to do this by uploading the document and simply passing along a link that allows people to edit or view.
Even if this doesn’t prevent all printing, it will reduce it significantly.

Digitalize Notes. Notes that have to be handwritten can be scanned and saved for later, and along the same lines, notes that don’t have to be handwritten can be done on a tablet, small computer, or even a smartphone and saved in the same way. This begins to discourage paper use among your employees who will likely begin to see the convenience of digitalizing things they will need later.

Investing in technology that helps your office go paperless will save everyone time, money, and the environment to boot. Whether it’s just another monitor or a brand new printer that can print duplex, the investment will be well worth it in the long run.

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“Free” Security Won’t Work for Your SMB Anymore – Here’s Why http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/18/free-security-wont-work-for-your-smb-anymore-heres-why/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/18/free-security-wont-work-for-your-smb-anymore-heres-why/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/18/free-security-wont-work-for-your-smb-anymore-heres-why/ You probably know by now that protecting your small business from threats is absolutely essential, and even if you haven’t taken the ...]]> free_antivirus_not_good_enough_anymoreYou probably know by now that protecting your small business from threats is absolutely essential, and even if you haven’t taken the steps to have an off-site backup or an on-board IT helper, you’ve probably done your best with your resources and installed the free software available to small businesses. Of course, this is a great start, and you should be proud that you’ve taken the first steps towards securing your customer data. However, cybercrime has evolved and changed over the past decade, and that free software may not be enough to hold back real dangers anymore.

A decade ago, hackers were more interested in having fun and impressing friends than they were in actually stealing data. Now that there’s a profitable, gigantic market for information, and the hacker culture has lost its fame aspect, your company is at serious risk for security problems.

Who are Hackers Targeting?

Symantec recently released their 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, and while the results are not surprising, they are alarming. According to the report, targeted attacks have almost doubled in the past few years. In the past, most of the campaigns run by hackers involved distributing a virus to whoever could be tricked into downloading them. Now, however, these campaigns are targeting a small or medium-sized business and throwing everything they have at that one particular business.

This is often done because there is some value in the business to the hacker (such as a high number of credit card transactions, or a vendetta) or the small business is connected to a larger business. For example, the large Target attack that happened last year was the result of a hacker finding their way into the HVAC vendor that Target uses to fix their heating and cooling systems. Target is obviously not a small business, but the heating guy it uses is, and his data was not nearly as secure as it needed to be.

In other words, hackers may be targeting you.

So What Do I Do?

Fortunately, we have many services that can help protect small and medium sized businesses. While a good anti-virus is an excellent place to start, it needs to be part of a multi-faceted approach to security. Make sure you invest in an anti-virus that not only counters viruses, but trojans, spyware, phishing attempts, and other dangers as well.

In addition, educating your team about the dangers of the internet is important. Even an obvious ruse may not be so obvious to someone who’s never seen it before, so having educational meetings about what should and should not be clicked, downloaded, or even visited is exceedingly important.

Finally, having strong, encrypted backups may not stop hackers, but it will ensure that if you do lose your data to a hacker (or something as awful as Cryptolocker), you have another copy. This will help you contact customers and have them change as much information as possible so the data stolen is less valuable.

Do your research as an SMB – if you’re aware that you’re at risk, but you’re not 100% certain what to do about it, don’t hesitate to contact a local managed services provider today for information.

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Are You Optimizing Your Security Budget? http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/17/are-you-optimizing-your-security-budget/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/17/are-you-optimizing-your-security-budget/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/17/are-you-optimizing-your-security-budget/ We know that as an SMB, you have a budget – and you have to stretch that budget each and every month ...]]> are_you_optimizing_your_security_budgetWe know that as an SMB, you have a budget – and you have to stretch that budget each and every month to ensure you can keep conducting business. Sometimes this means not upgrading something when you would otherwise do so. Sometimes it means foregoing that business trip you wanted to take and sometimes it means eliminating or severely shrinking the budget you have for security purposes. With limited funds and limited resources, it can feel impossible to get everything you need. So where do you start? How do you stretch those funds?

Educate Your Employees (and Yourself)

We love our employees, but unfortunately, they’re the weakest link when it comes to company security. Most of the time it’s not because they mean to do any harm, but their lack of understanding of basic security can lead to horrendous breaches of information, all while they’re apologizing profusely.

Because of the potential for problems with uneducated employees and the consequences of their careless (accidental) actions, education can benefit just about any of them and it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you happen to know a lot about security, you can put together a slide show to teach your workers all about what they can and cannot do. It’s even more powerful if you have a good example that’s relevant to the group because of a recent mistake made by an employee at the office, for example.

Worry About Your Network Perimeter

This point is especially important if you use any sort of cloud network, even if it’s a private cloud network (virtualization). It’s likely that at least some sensitive data resides in your cloud, which makes it even more important to protect passwords and have a firm network perimeter.

Consider:

Changing your passwords (rotating them) frequently on a strict schedule so no one can say they weren’t told

Two factor authentication and location tracking – both are easy to implement and are cheap, if not free

Some sort of third-party web security proxy service that serves as a cheap, neutral barrier between the Internet and your network

Protect Your Servers

If you have the cash, an extra layer of protection on your servers is never a bad move. Since even educated employees sometimes make mistakes, it’s important to have as many security layers as possible, and your server is the route of most of your data. When you’re on a budget, it’s important to determine how data is accessed, where it is, and what the most sensitive data is. That way, you can protect that first and everything else second.

In general, make sure that your servers are restricted. If you can afford it, VPN does the job. If you can’t, at least try to make sure that web mail and custom apps can’t access the server when they don’t have to. Secondly, keep all of your server software up-to-date, as this is your first layer of server defense. Remove everything that’s out of date.

A little in the security budget can go a long way if you spend it on the right things, and you’ll sleep better at night when you do.

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Let’s Talk about the $1,000 Google Chromebook http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/15/lets-talk-about-the-1000-google-chromebook/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/15/lets-talk-about-the-1000-google-chromebook/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/15/lets-talk-about-the-1000-google-chromebook/ There are laptops that are worth more than you pay for them, and there are laptops that are worth just about what ...]]> 1000_chromebook_pixelThere are laptops that are worth more than you pay for them, and there are laptops that are worth just about what you pay for them or a little less. When you buy a cheap laptop, that’s what you expect: a functional, but drab, machine that kind of just gets the job done most of the time. While Chromebooks have not been considered the lowest of the low in the laptop world, they haven’t exactly been considered premium, either, which is why the new $1,000 Chromebook is leaving consumers just a little boggled.

Chromebooks are generally priced in the $200 to $300 range, and while they are known for being a good quality for the money, they still aren’t worth $1,000. The screen is a little low-resolution. The track pad leaves something to be desired, and the colorful cases are difficult to scrub and keep their original colors. However, the Pixel aims the change that once for all.
Not only are all of the typical Chromebook issues that the Chromebook is infamous for gone with the introduction of the Pixel, it boasts all of the powerful features everyone knows and loves about the Chromebook. The battery has upwards of a fifteen hour charge. It charges quickly. A new processor keeps things going at a pace worthy of a high-end exec’s life, and the new Pixel actually comes $300 cheaper than the old Pixel, which was introduced about two years ago.

Pixel didn’t quite reach popularity when it was first released because of our general discomfort with cloud services when it hit the market. Most people believed that $300 for an experiment – that is, the unique Chromebook feature of not having a hard drive where things can be installed in the traditional sense, but rather depending on GoogleDrive for the majority of its storage needs – was completely reasonable. However, the original $1,300 price tag on the Pixel was just not going to cut it.

Times have changed, and Google has proven its point and the convenience of having a computer like the Chromebook. The typical Chromebook model is now a serious competitor in the low-end computer world, and the Pixel is about to find itself in an entirely different class with the features that only befit such a prestigious piece of equipment.

A Couple of the Standout Features

Pixel is more than just a powerful computer with a good battery. As mentioned earlier, all of the features that Chromebooks are known for that no one likes have been completely repaired, and Google outdid themselves. The 12.85 inch, 2560×1700 pixel screen is crisp and the perfect brightness to cover any fingerprints. The keyboard is backlit, and the trackpad is a smooth, long-lasting glass that will never again make your fingers ache for the mouse days. Best yet, the device comes in under 3.5 pounds and is easily portable.

One of the most interesting features of the Pixel is that it includes the new USB ports included on the MacBook, which are thin, quick, and designed for new thin devices that are hitting the market. These ports allow for charging to be done in less than an hour from a completely drained state. Obviously, the best part of it all is that the port is entirely reversible, a problem that has plagued the human race since USB ports became popular. There will be no more flipping and flopping a USB – there will only be plugging.

This little computer, with 8GB of RAM and the latest Intel Core i5 Processor, is a zippy little device that finds itself in direct competition with the MacBook, despite its cloud-like nature. More apps are being added daily, and despite some space limitations and problems syncing with a printer, it is a promising device with a ton value and the potential to deliver more as time goes on.

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Ways Cloud Computing Can Help Your Business Go Green http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/14/ways-cloud-computing-can-help-your-business-go-green/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/14/ways-cloud-computing-can-help-your-business-go-green/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/14/ways-cloud-computing-can-help-your-business-go-green/ An environmentally friendly approach to sharing and storing your computer generated documents and other communications, cloud computing can also help you and ...]]> Ways_Cloud_Computing_Can__71761_135440An environmentally friendly approach to sharing and storing your computer generated documents and other communications, cloud computing can also help you and your business save money and operate much more efficiently and effectively. Every computing need from servers to hardware to software to paper can be adapted by using cloud-based solutions, using less energy, resources and cash while keeping the productivity up and the information flowing.

Can’t Stand The Heat

Servers pose two types of problems related their operation and energy use. They contribute to an enormous energy load and they also throw off a tremendous amount of heat. The heat generated at data centers can require cooling systems to keep the hardware from deteriorating. If your business houses its own servers, the cost to operate and cool the equipment fall directly upon you.

Balance The Load

Moving to a cloud-computing arrangement helps reduce negative environmental consequences directly attributed to your company but it does not merely move the environmental effect elsewhere. Using cloud-computing services means sharing server capacity among a number of other subscribers. The efficiency and economy of scale means that the amount of energy attributed to each user is much less than if every user had their own server.

The mining and manufacture of materials used to construct a server also impact the environment. When accessed only by a limited number of computers, a server is often underused, meaning the damage to the environment caused by its very existence is doubly wasteful. When more businesses and individuals access storage and applications through the cloud, that server can perform closer to capacity and eliminate the need for duplication of hardware and other equipment.

Server Location

The radiant heat issues of large data center servers can be addressed by specially designed and applied venting and cooling systems. Consolidating the server needs of a large number of computing consumers permits these cooling and venting strategies to cover the computing of many users, lowering the cost and the ill effects per customer.

Another clever and environmentally savvy way cloud severs can minimize cost and impact on the biosphere is by locating the cloud servers in an area where temperatures generally are lower. Locating these multi-use servers in an area where cooling is rarely or never needed because of the ambient temperature is a great idea, reducing the need for both heating and air conditioning.

Update To More Efficient Equipment

Make sure that the cloud server and your own hardware is the most energy efficient available. Review your work stations, laptops, tablets and other electronics to make sure you are not negating the positive impact you are achieving with cloud servers by depending on poorly performing equipment that requires excessive amounts of energy.

Take Advantage Of Working Remotely

Using cloud-based servers means your work and the work of your staff can in many cases be completed away from your main place of business. The flexibility of the cloud server allows your employees and management to minimize commuting, reducing the environmental impact of getting the work of your company completed.

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Tools You Need to Truly Go Paperless in Your Office http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/13/tools-you-need-to-truly-go-paperless-in-your-office/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/13/tools-you-need-to-truly-go-paperless-in-your-office/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/13/tools-you-need-to-truly-go-paperless-in-your-office/ The mountains of paper your company has generated in the past cost money and time to store and access later. Additional space ...]]> tools_you_need_to_truly_g_75398_143004The mountains of paper your company has generated in the past cost money and time to store and access later. Additional space was leased and filing systems purchased to keep tabs on all that paper.

In recent years, a wide range of applications and technologies has been developed that encourage the digitization of your business’s documents, both historical and going forward. Your business may be trying to limit the hard copies send, read and stored on the premises, but what will it take to eliminate all the paper from your work space? Here are some tips to transforming both your personal office and the entire company from cluttered to truly paperless.

Intrabusiness Communications and Documents

Choose from a number of cloud based software programs or applications to share your internal documents with coworkers. Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 are two of the industry’s leading collaborative options. Real-time online and offline editing, commenting and sharing are all available on these applications, permitting robust teamwork opportunities.

These platforms also provide online storage at a secure server off your premises. If your business requires a more specialized system, you can work with any number of cloud service and storage providers that offer you a solution for storage tailored precisely for your industry and your company.

Go Paperless With Vendors and Customers

Just as with your personal bills take the online statement route, both billing and paying for products and services online. You will save employee time and money as well by avoiding postage costs when going this route, with the benefit of having all transactions recorded electronically. Your financial institution most certainly offers online-only banking and may actually offer incentives for you to manage your accounts without hard copies.

The Paperless Meeting

Once you get staff on board with collaborative applications or software, the paperless meeting is just a step away. Not only does using something like Office 365 or Google Docs, or a specialized solution developed for your company by a cloud based provider, permit everyone at a meeting to open their own copy of a presentation, proposal, paper or visuals like charts and graphs the owner of the documents can adjust the sharing protocols to allow real time edits and comments pertaining to or actually on the documents being discussed.

Management, staff and clients can gather together in a physical space like a traditional meeting room or meet virtually from a variety of remote sites. Everyone can view and interact on laptops, mobile devices and interactive whiteboards, and various video and audio applications can add to the virtual engagement of all involved without the need for paper generation.

Use Digital Solutions Rather Than Scanning and Faxing

A wide range of software and other applications exist to convert paper documents and images into PDFs of other file formats that can be stored digitally. You can even eliminate the need for a separate scanner and copier by using the camera on a mobile device to capture images.

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The Hidden Value of Customer Feedback from Social Media http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/12/the-hidden-value-of-customer-feedback-from-social-media/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/12/the-hidden-value-of-customer-feedback-from-social-media/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/12/the-hidden-value-of-customer-feedback-from-social-media/ Most companies that are active on social media are aware of the importance of having a social media manager, a specialist who ...]]> the_hidden_value_of_custo_76651_145401Most companies that are active on social media are aware of the importance of having a social media manager, a specialist who analyzes and brings their insights and conclusions about the company’s status on social media sites to management. There are obvious metrics and superficial insights that can be gained from a cursory examination of the data generated by social media analytics. However, to dig deeper and find the hidden meanings and value of what is being said requires considerably more effort.

Customer Feedback

This is the most important aspect of social media analysis. Yes, on the one hand it can be superficial. If a customer says that your hammer with the wooden handle causes splinters in their hand because the wood is made of an inferior material or is unsuitable for the weight of the head of the hammer, that clearly speaks for itself. But if a customer suggests that the handle of the hammer could use improvement, perhaps by covering it with a rubber or plastic sheath, there are a number of possible meanings and problems that are present. Getting specific information from the consumer would be the next logical step.

What can be asked is why the consumer who was general and vague about their complaint/recommendation would choose not to be harsher with their criticism compared to the obviously irate and dissatisfied customer. One possibility would be that the customer was a regular buyer of the company’s products and was satisfied with almost everything – except this particular product. Another possibility is that their muted response would elicit more specific and vocal complaints from other users. Yet another possibility is that the customer really didn’t have any problems with the handle and was just making recommendations to improve the product.

The Hidden Value

The hidden value in this example is being able to identify the type of consumer most likely to purchase one of the company’s products. Not all customers are created equally, but products themselves and the connected marketing messages are aimed at specific, target markets which have specific demographic and psychographic data to support the marketing campaign. The responses from social media need to be used in conjunction with the overall marketing and advertising strategies to have an even greater value.

Twitter Additions for Greater Insight

Twitter has recently added the ability for its users to form specific, invitation-only groups. For businesses, this additional feature can be used to invite specific groups of customers to a Twitter group meeting where answers and clarification to social media messages can be obtained. Twitter is not the only social media network that has group capabilities, and other social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn have their own form of interpersonal communication. The important things is to get organized and begin to ask the questions – internally and to customers – as to what the acquired feedback is really indicating about the company and its products. This is not considered to be an extra step, but rather an extension of the social media analysis and feedback process that many companies in every industry find extremely valuable to their future product and marketing plans.

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The Differences Between Customer Experience and Customer Engagement http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/11/the-differences-between-customer-experience-and-customer-engagement/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/11/the-differences-between-customer-experience-and-customer-engagement/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/11/the-differences-between-customer-experience-and-customer-engagement/ With all the emphasis put on the customer in the global business environment, knowing what your customers want, how they feel about ...]]> the_differences_between_c_76651_145399With all the emphasis put on the customer in the global business environment, knowing what your customers want, how they feel about your products or services and what their expressed views are on social media, knowing the nuances of customer terminology is critical to be able to differentiate between a satisfied customer and one who seethes beneath the surface because they believe their views are muted by more popular trends. Two of these terms, customer experience and customer engagement, will help you see through the superficial appearance and understand exactly what your customers say and mean.

Customer Experience

If there is one aspect of conducting business that most companies prioritize it is customer experience. This part of the customer is something that can be measured either in person or online. For example, a customer’s experience in the checkout process can often decide whether they will return to make a second purchase. A difficult checkout process and a cancelled purchase or failed return visit is definitely a negative customer experience – without any actual feedback. The result of regular negative customer experiences for a large number of people will reflect negatively on your bottom line.

Customer Engagement

If you have ever taken a survey or conducted one, you understand the basics of customer engagement. Instead of inferring a customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or the company, you have a method of directly measuring the criteria by direct interaction with the person. Even though a survey may not seem like a direct interaction, the responses are definite and clear. Customer service departments and representatives are the most often encountered point of engagement between company and customer. Other personal contact methods are showroom floors and social media networks. In fact, paying close attention to social media may be the best alternative as customers and potential customers are more likely to talk openly about their perspectives than most other direct contact methods.

The Result of the Mix

It is important to avoid separating customer experience and customer engagement when making evaluations of customer satisfaction. Each may be measured in different ways, but the message is communicated – either silently or vocally. The results need to be completely and objectively analyzed without placing too much emphasis on any one part of the marketing strategy. If a reduction of online purchase activity has been caused by customers cancelling the process in midstream, the source of the problem may be the technology or the design of the web site. Immediately suggesting technology is the problem advocates a simplistic approach to what may be a complex problem.

Likewise, if an avalanche of negative customer feedback comes back from surveys and in-store interviews, the problem may be with the product itself or may be in how the company is promoting or selling the product. Oftentimes, Twitterstorms are the result of a politically incorrect or offensive ad made by the company that has nothing to do with the quality of the product. The product may be desirable, or even great, but the customer’s concern is not about the product but the connection of the ad with the product. Social media analysis would be one way to clarify if this is the case.

However a company chooses to measure customer satisfaction and customer engagement, they are critical to the long term success of the company. The customer always customer comes first, and with a satisfied customer comes an increased bottom line. That is the final total of customer experience and engagement.

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Tech Investments Every Business Should Consider http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/10/tech-investments-every-business-should-consider/ http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/10/tech-investments-every-business-should-consider/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.640ksolutions.com/2015/08/10/tech-investments-every-business-should-consider/ Marketing Applications and Software With the automated options available for businesses, it is no longer necessary for your online marketing plan to ...]]> tech_investments_every_bu_75398_142998Marketing Applications and Software

With the automated options available for businesses, it is no longer necessary for your online marketing plan to be managed manually. Both time and money will be saved if you research, review and choose a package that makes sense for you and your company. This isn’t just limited to things like email campaigns and Facebook posts; take advantage of long range planning tools like website analytics, landing page builders, ROI calculations and other valuable information you can take forward to continue building your business.

The cost for this technology can be thousands of dollars, which may be money well spent. There are basic versions that cost far less that may help your company see what the benefits of using an automated system can be, helping you make a decision whether to purchase a more complete edition of the application.

Mobile Web Design: Be Responsive

If you depend upon Google to drive traffic to your website, it is crucial that you take a hard look at how mobile-friendly your site is. Many of your clients and customers use mobile devices to view your offerings on the small screen at least some of the time right now.

It is certain that the percentage of both your established customer base and new leads using a mobile device when checking out your company will continue to grow. Google will reward sites that do mobile well. An investment in responsive web design will pay off as it helps improve your business’s ability to engage and inform on a mobile screen.

Multiple Display Monitors

Two or more monitors available to view while at your workstation will help you be more productive. When it is important to compare and contrast information, having four or more windows open simultaneously can make the workflow seamless.

Standing Desk / Treadmill Stations

More and more research suggests that workers who sit most of the day may be causing a significant risk to their health. Taking a walk and moving around is an option, but to keep the work flowing at the same time consider investing in standing desks or their even fancier cousin the treadmill work station. Studies have demonstrated that workers are more productive when they stand or mix standing and walking with sitting throughout the day.

Flexible Point Of Sale System

As your customers are already browsing within your store, mobile device in hand, equip your staff with up to date point of sale (POS) devices to make buying and paying for your merchandise or services just as simple as the smart phone or wristwatch the consumer may be using. Make use of a variety of apps that will take payments where your staff is standing with the customer rather than transitioning to a cash desk or kiosk. Mobile devices will also aid your staff in checking for other sizes, colors and stores to find the customer exactly what they want immediately.

Retail Store Security

As mobile devices evolve, your retail establishment may be better protected from theft and fraud. Complex security systems may be beyond your budget, but as your staff roams the store they can be equipped with wireless video capability from any mobile device. When considering what types of portable POS systems you use think about adding inexpensive but effective applications that can survey the area and record video if necessary to stand in for more elaborate and costly dedicated security systems. Wearable technology such as glasses, lanyards and watches may be a good it for this kind of technological enhancement to your current security system.

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