Top 7 Benefits of New Customer Service Technology

Smiling Businesswoman Holding Specs

We all know that Customer Service has always been a critical component of all successful Businesses. However, you may not know about some of the latest Customer Service System Benefits.

If you are still using the same Customer Service Technology from 3 to 5 years ago, you may find this information helpful to help Increase your Customer Satisfaction, Improve Staff Productivity and Increase your Sales this year.


Here are the Top 7 Things New Customer Service Technology Can Do for You this Year:


1. Customer Service Feedback You can now automate customer surveys after each request for help is completed and get feedback on how you are doing.  If something went wrong or was delayed, this allows your customer an opportunity to give you the feedback directly vs publishing the feedback on a public social network like Facebook, Twiter, LinkedIn or Yelp.

2. All Customer Service and Support Requests are Consolidated in One Place The new systems allow you to consolidate the many ways your Customers want to request help or support.  Facebook, Twitter, Website Forms, Chat Forms, Phone Calls and eMails can be automatically converted to tickets or requests in the system.  Some of the new Customer Service Systems automatically convert a voice mail into a Ticket. Having all your requests, in one location, saves time and makes you and your staff much more productive.

3. Real-time Reports & Dashboard How fast do you respond to your Customer Requests for help? Do you know how many requests are overdue? Do you know the status of the top 10 critical customer service requests placed this week? How much time do you spend each month preparing activity reports for management? The new systems have real-time reports and special dashboards that give you this information 24 hours / 7 days per week.

4. Workflow Automation You can automate many aspects of your customer service workflow.  For example, when you receive a help request, you can automatically send the customer or prospect a confirmation that you received their request. You can also automatically send them updates as you progress answering their question. If a help request is received from a key customer executive or a manager, the request can be automatically escalated and put on a special report or flagged. These features greatly improves staff productivity and improves the Customer's impression of your responsiveness.

5. Knowledge Base for Employees You can replace procedure manuals with a Knowledge Base for your internal staff.  The new systems are easy to use and update.  You create one central location for all documentation.  New and existing employees can use them for references and training material.

6. Self Service Help for Customers and Prospects You can reduce the number of help requests by publishing easy-to-use self service help information for many customer questions. The new systems can help identify repeat questions that can be answered once and put on the Self Service Help page. Most people prefer Self-Help these days.  Surveys confirm that most bank customers prefer going to an Bank ATM machine now vs  going into a bank, waiting in line and talking to a Bank Teller.

7. Mobile App for Smartphones and Tablets In 2014, Smartphones will represent over two-thirds of all phones sold in America.  During the last two years, small 7” Tablets exploded in popularity.  Many of the new systems have Smartphone or Tablet applications that keep you updated all day long. You can process service requests at the office, at home, out having coffee or on-site at a customer.

These are just seven of the many ways the new Customer Service Systems can help you profitably grow your business. Some of the new smaller systems are free for 1-3 users and the larger systems can cost $200 per user per month.   Many of the Customer Service and Support Systems can be implemented in a few days or within 2-3 weeks.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Small Business Poll - Top Technology to Implement in 2012?

Are you starting to think about planning for next year? Do you have any feel for the top cost-effective new technology that will boost your company sales and productivity? During the fourth quarter, we asked Small Business Executives, Managers or Owners to share  the Top 3-4 NEW Technologies that they were thinking about implementing in 2012.  Based on the survey, the following are the top 4 technologies for 2012:

  1. Upgrading the Company Website with the Latest Technology
  2. Implementing Smartphones and Tablets
  3. Testing and Implementing Social Marketing
  4. Adding Video Content for the Website including: Customer Demos, New Product Announcements, Success Stories and Best Practice Tips

[polldaddy poll=5485445]

Note: The votes were  anonymous and we do NOT collecting any personal info.  All poll results are available now.

Please share the poll results with other managers or owners... and add any comments or questions in the comment field below.

Cloud Backup Best Practices, Services & Top Tips

Small Business Working on a laptop and Smartphone - Credit: freedigitalphotos.net Over the last five years,  we moved more and more of our important information from paper storage to our PCs, Smartphones and to Cloud Applications.   When we completed Spring Cleaning this year, we actually eliminated "two 4-draw File Cabinets" with folders  instead of typically adding more of them.

 

In the past, we only backed up the computerized information daily to external disk drives on site and kept a few of them off-site.

During the last 3-4 years, we added unlimited internet backup services.  We have hundreds of gigabites of data now stored off-site that are available if something happens to our local equipment. They automatically transmit an encrypted copy all our information off-site everyday.  (Note: We test different services to learn how they work and better help our clients).

The backup services are wonderful.  The cost of backing up your Smartphone, Laptop, PC or Mac  has significantly dropped, security is extremely high and the service is easy to implement.  To get started, you download and install a small program from their site on your PC or Mac.  We have our systems set up to backup all changes that occur during the day that night.  All the data is encrypted by the software before it leaves your home or office.  We've tested Mozy, Carbonite and Crashplan. The Transporter drive is next on our list.   So far, knock wood... no problems.

We spend about $120 per year for complete data backups of all PCs/Macs.

Below are some lists we compiled during our evaluation and use of the different Internet Backup Services:

  • 5   Backup Service Benefits
  • 5   Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process
  • 10 Applications to Backup in Your Office
  • 10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Computers
  • 10 Top Ways Data is Distroyed or Lost
  • 2  Top Internet Backup Solutions

 

5 Backup Service Benefits

  • Set-up is quick and simple
  • Software is easy to install on your PC or Mac
  • Backups are automatic and in the background
  • All files are encrypted on your Computer before transfer for best security
  • Perform incremental backups


5 Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process

Here are five questions to ask yourself about your current computer backup process:

  • How often should you backup your data?
  • Do you backup your data Daily, Weekly or Monthly?
  • Do you keep a copy of your backup in an off-site secure location?
  • Is the data encrypted to increase security?
  • Do employees (or you) leave backup copies in the car while doing errands,  dining or overnight?


10 Applications to Backup in Your Office

  • Customer Information and Order History
  • Sales Forecasts & Leads
  • Customer Service Info
  • Inventory
  • Purchasing / Vendors
  • Accounting- GL, AP & AR
  • Employee - HR - Payroll
  • Marketing Materials & Templates
  • Business Plans, Reports and Calendars
  • eMail, IM and Other Communications


10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Data, Videos, Photos and Music

You may want to think about how you would feel if a fire, flood, robbery or tornado destroyed all the photos and videos of all your:

  • Birthdays
  • Wedding & Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • Vacations
  • Family BBQ Picnic
  • Grandparents & Grandchildren
  • Financial Statements
  • Sons & Daughters
  • Sisters & Brothers
  • Family Holidays


10 Ways Data Is Destroyed or Lost:

  • Fire or Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Storm / Rain Damage
  • Tornados
  • Delete a File by Mistake
  • Burglary & Robbery
  • Children's Mistakes
  • Virus
  • PC Crashes
  • Lost Smartphone, Laptop or iPods


Summary

We get asked all the time.... So which is the best backup company to use for a Small Business or Home Office?    The bottom line is most of the top companies  work extremely well and we don't have a strong preference one way or another.  However, if you have a large amount of back-up data,  at this time CrashPlan has a few more options to speed up the restore process.  We highly recommend Mozy, Carbonite, CrashPlan and DollyDrive to our Friends and Business Clients.

As part of my consulting job at Deloitte and Touche, I use to perform security audits for large data centers and company computer systems.  We would have killed to have these great backup and security products available for our smaller clients.

Top Rated Cloud Backup Services for Small Business (and the Home)

If you want more information on four of the top rated Internet Remote Small Business Backup Services,  you can click the links below. All four services also provide home versions of their services that are ideal for the Family, a Home Office or a Small Office.

Carbonite Business Backup - Gives you secure, automatic & affordable online backup, plus access to your files anytime, anywhere $229 / year

Mozy Backup for Personal and Business - Secure Online Backup for Small Business... and Home Devices

Crashplan - Provides Secure Encrypted Cloud Backup for Small Business and Home Devices

DollyDrive  - Specializes in all Apple devices.  If you have an all Apple Home or Small Business, they have Apple specialists and very good prices on large amounts of data.

The Transporter Private Cloud - Low-Cost Cloud Storage and Backup for people that are concerned about Cloud Backup Security. Highly rated by everyone. We like this product a lot. There are two popular models now:

Transporter Sync Private Cloud - Buy from Amazon

Seagate 1TB SSHD and Drobo Transporter Private Cloud - Buy from Amazon These services protect you from yourself, your employees and criminals.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or please comment below.