5 Social Customer Service Tools You Should Know About

By Diana Gomez

Gone are the days of customer service phones ringing off the hook.

While some people may still want to use traditional means to connect with companies, modern consumers rarely want to pick up the phone if they experience a customer-service issue.

Instead, they’re turning to social media to voice concerns and ask questions, knowing that a simple tweet is often the best way to address an issue quickly and easily.

Social customer service tools

Did you know that 42 percent of consumers who complain on social media expect a response no more than 60 minutes later?

This may seem unreasonable, but compare that with the time it should take for a resolution via phone. And these days, the advent of social media has not only opened up more communication channels, but it has lowered patience. A recent study showed that people who complain on social media on nights and weekends expect the same service and response time as they would during normal Monday through Friday business hours. How can companies keep up with that? What a beast.

Smart companies are catching on that social media is their strongest customer service tool. KLM, for example, the leading airline in customer service, realized the importance of social media in 2010 when Icelandic ash left tens of thousands of customers stranded in airports everywhere. It was the biggest interruption to European air traffic since World War II.

Those customers turned to social media for solutions to their travel woes, and KLM responded. Soon after, the airline made social media the focus of its customer service efforts. Resolution time was cut to one day, and one social media post is responded to within one hour — and it all happens via social media.

There are several tools out there ready to help companies get their customer service needs under control as efficiently as possible using social media. Here are a few I’ve found to be worthwhile.

Salesforce

Salesforce is the tool that drives the customer-service machine of KLM. How does it work? Its system extracts customer-service requests from over 150 million social media networks, blogs, forums and more using customized keyword identifiers. The tool’s technology works its magic by searching comments and phrases combining, for example, #KLM, @KLM, and any KLM mentions with customer-service trigger words like “help” or “my flight is late.”

The cool part is that the software can then prioritize the results automatically using the purchase history of the customer and their activity level on social media. So if you have a big Twitter following and you’re a frequent flier, you’ll probably be placed at the front of the customer-service queue. Pretty nifty.

LiveOps Social

Another social customer service tool, LiveOps Social, is a cloud-based contact center/virtual call center software. But instead of tickets submitted through voice, online contact forms, or email, it searches requests on Twitter and Facebook and then submits a ticket that way. The concern is then placed in a service queue alongside all the other requests, but it is prioritized according to the customer’s social and service history.

Social Dynamx

This social customer service tool lets companies manage one-on-one, real-time social conversation. The system automatically routes customers to an agent based on his or her expertise, work group, current caseload, average time to respond and service satisfaction rate. Work groups represent different issues, so say a product has a very specific issue — a work group is created to address that particular concern, and they’ll receive all the tweets relating to that issue. If a customer prefers a different agent, or expert, that change can be easily made.

SparkCentral

Companies that handle a high volume of customer service requests are turning to social media helpdesk platform SparkCentral. Formerly known as TwitSpark, the key to its success lies in the response time. This tool provides super fast and efficient follow-up customer service over Facebook and Twitter. From seemingly petty problems to crisis management, it’s all automatically prioritized and attended to promptly.

ConverSocial

Used by big companies like Google, Barclaycard, and Hertz, ConverSocial is a cloud-based social service solution for large-scale monitoring. Using sophisticated technology, the service decides for itself whether or not a social media complaint warrants a response.

Any Tweeter out there can understand that not every tweet deserves an agent to spend his or her time responding to it. ConverSocial totally gets that. Like other tools, it prioritizes a response according to social and customer history. More serious issues of course would go to the front of the queue. If a response is delayed, the system automatically reroutes the issue to a new agent.

Has your company used social media to resolve customer service issues? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Author’s Bio: Diana Gomez is the Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America, where she integrates social customer service and business marketing strategies for USA and Canada. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase.

Overcoming Big Data Skills Concerns

abigdate

Big data analytics has been proven to be highly beneficial for businesses, allowing them to extract optimal value from their data and make better-informed decisions.

As more and more businesses are adopting big data analytics, it is becoming increasingly necessary to make big data a part of your business strategy.

However, it is not easy to implement a big data solution, because there is a significant shortage of big data skills.

Then again, if you use the right hiring strategies, you may be able to recruit some of the best big data experts available in the market.

How to Hire the Right Big Data Talent

Define Responsibilities

Before you start the hiring process, it is essential that you clearly define the role and responsibilities that you want the big data expert to assume.

This will help you determine what kind of big data talent you should look for, so that you can attract the most suitable candidates. It also gives the candidates a clearer idea of your expectations.

Set Job Requirements

First of all, you need to set the minimum academic and experience qualifications to ensure that the candidate has the necessary knowledge, skills and training to handle the tasks that come with the job. Then, list down the specific skills and qualities that he or she must possess.

For instance, the candidate should be familiar with the specific type of big data solution that you are planning to implement.

According to a blog post entitled “Combating Big Data Skills Concerns“, business organizations are not only trying to recruit and retain experts to handle long-existing data management technologies, but also new big data technologies such as Hadoop.

It is important that you hire a big data expert who makes an effort to stay up-to-date with the latest big data technologies.

Attract the Best Candidates

Big data experts are highly sought after these days, and they can afford to be selective.

As such, you need to make a very competitive offer in order to attract the best big data talent. Big data experts enjoy solving challenging problems, and they thrive in an environment that allows them to exercise their creativity.

You can bait them by giving them interesting data to manage and fascinating problems to solve, so that they can satisfy their intellectual curiosity endlessly.

While money may not be the main factor affecting a big data expert’s choice of job, it is still an important consideration. Therefore, you have to make sure that you offer your big data expert a highly competitive salary.

Evaluate the Candidates

There are many tools from reliable sources that can help you perform a thorough and accurate evaluation of candidates.

You can use these tools to do resume screening and reference checks, conduct competency-based and background interviews, and create real-life scenarios to assess the responses of the candidates.

It is also a good idea to use psychometric assessments such as cognitive testing, emotional intelligence testing and motivational assessment.

A competent big data expert can do wonders for your business by helping you get the most out of your data.

By following the tips above, you can significantly increase your chances of landing the best big data talent.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

How Technology is Powering Success

By Teddy Hunt

The year was 1994. Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel, and their guest sat around a quaint coffee table between NBC’s “Today” segments and pondered the pronunciation of the “@” symbol. “That little mark,” he said. “With the ‘a’ and then the ring around it. Couric said she thought it was ‘about.'” He went on to ask, “What is the Internet, anyway? Do you write to it, like mail?”

Just two decades ago, this was the reality, even among some of the most successful, high-profile people in our society. Now, the Internet and other forms of technology have become ingrained in our culture, and for good reason. Businesses and the people who run them depend on technology for success in many ways. 

technology to print on potato chip

Improving Efficiency

In today’s economy, a business has to squeeze out every ounce of productivity to remain competitive and successful, and technology provides us with many avenues to accomplish just that.

Efficiency serves as technology’s over-arching theme; it encompasses everything we’ve come to love and expect of the wonderful little gadgets we depend on. We can retrieve and share data in an instant, swipe a magical piece of plastic in exchange for goods and services, and tasks that we once performed by hand are now being streamlined by technology, void of human error.

Expanding Knowledge

Have you ever stopped to consider the sheer volume of information available to you on the Internet? Why not use that to your advantage? Except for encyclopedia salesmen, just about every other business person is reaping the benefits of unlimited amounts of knowledge with just the click of a button.

Internet searching brings you everything from interview dos and don’ts, to market trends, to tips on how to start your first business, all without ever having to leave your home. Even if you do leave your home, that same information is available to you on a smartphone or tablet. Technology is constantly reshaping the nature of knowledge, giving us the potential to be smarter and more efficient than ever before.

Instantaneous Communication

We’ve come a long way since the first mobile phone call in 1973. Communication on the go has become a necessity in the business world. Email and smartphones have changed the way we communicate with our peers and our customers by providing us with a variety of instantaneous connections. We can run our offices from the road if we have to, or instantly respond to customer inquiries after hours. No matter how personal you believe old-fashioned snail mail to be, the reality is that technology has taken over communication. Putting pen to paper puts you a step behind the competition. 

Promoting Open Mindedness 

As technology evolves, a successful person must learn to adapt. New developments keep us on our toes because we understand the importance of being up to speed when it comes to new technologies that could better our businesses.
This translates very well to being adaptive in general. All too often, we dig our heels in and resist change because our way of doing things works. Eventually, we must accept that it’s possible for something else to come along that works better. As technology grows, we should be willing to follow suit. 

Shrinking the World

Consider this scenario: A journalist on location in an unknown Middle Eastern village witnesses the beginnings of what could turn out to be a breaking news story. She pulls out her trusty 4G smartphone, snaps a few high resolution photos, and uses the phone to type a brief news blurb about what just took place. She can instantly upload all of that information to her news site. 

Technology eliminates boundaries. We can use it to manipulate the business world and in our professions in ways we couldn’t before. It brings everything to our fingertips so that we may, in turn, deliver it to someone else. 
Technology continues to redefine our culture as it grows. We should all be willing to use it to learn and become better at what we do because, without it, we would truly be in the dark.

Author’s Bio: Teddy Hunt is a freelance content writer with a focus on technology. When not behind a computer, Teddy spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, Florida.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

Site Crash: What’s Your Response Plan?

By Michelle Rebecca

Website crashes can be detrimental to a company’s operation. If your host goes down, your software fails or your internet provider encounters a problem, it is your business that suffers. When these situations occur you are no longer able to conduct e-business or to monitor your site’s feedback.

In order to decrease the impact of site crashes it is important to have an emergency response plan. Below is a list of tips for helping your organization navigate a site malfunction.

Investigate the Issue

Once you have been alerted to an issue with your website, the first step is to look for yourself. While a customer or employee may have encountered a problem with your website, this issue could be related to their network connection or a number of other external causes.

Accessing your website and attempting to navigate the pages will determine whether or not this is an actual issue with the website or simply a problem on someone else’s end. For instance, if you were to check your site’s XML management page and find that it was down, then you would know you have an internal problem to manage.

Once you’ve established that there is a real problem, you need to find out exactly what the issue is. This issue may be related to your website’s host, a programming error or a network problem. Identifying the cause for the site crash will allow you to make a plan for contacting the necessary individuals and getting your site back up as soon as possible.

Programming Error

You can determine whether or not a site has a programming error by checking the status bar at the bottom of the page as suggested by Smashing Magazine. If this bar reads “loaded” or “done” then you can be sure that the issue is not related to the site’s software or server.

On the other hand, the terms “waiting” or “connecting” designate that the problem is in fact a programming error. Having identified this problem, you now know to alert your tech team in order to locate the error in the coding for your site.

Web Server Software

If programming is not an issue, then web server software may be the culprit. By logging onto your website’s server you can determine whether the server has run out of space, run out of memory or whether there is another situation of that nature.

Also, when you log in, many servers take you to a control panel that may indicate the problem for you. As for disk space and memory concerns, there are a series of commands you can utilize while logged into your server to view available space as noted in Smashing Magazine’s article.

Hard Disk Space

By inputing “admin@server$ df” in the command line of your server its disk space allocation will be displayed. This will display your site’s file systems and the percentage to which they are currently being used. If this percentage is 100 percent then you’ve found your issue and need to free up some space.

Memory

Considering the small likelihood that your server’s hard disk space is taken up, you should proceed to check the memory. Utilizing the “free” command will allow you to view how much memory is currently in use. From there you can determine whether a particular piece of software is slowing down your server and proceed to solve the issue accordingly.

Getting to the bottom of a website issue can be a time consuming and stressful situation. Use the aforementioned steps and tips to help identify website problems and to determine how to solve them.

Author’s Bio: Michelle is a blogger and freelancer with a passion for social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Big Data for Bloggers

Have you noticed? Big data is the new buzzword. Apparently, it’s so hot you should “make out with it,” according to Mitch Joel in his new book, CTR ALT DEL.

But if you’re like most entrepreneurs, bloggers, or small business owners, you have no clue what big data is, or how it might apply to your business.

So here is my all-access definition: “big data” is sets of information that are way too large to be accessed or analyzed on your average computer or set of servers. Think of data being fed from RFID tags globally, or all of the data in Facebook’s open graph, or earthquake sensor networks. You’re probably contributing to big data yourself, whenever you serve up an ad on your site from an ad network.

Big-data-for-bloggers
Perhaps none of these big data sets apply to your blog site, but the wider discussion about how to draw business insights from big data absolutely does apply.

Maybe we should call it “medium data.”

Here are three ways you can use medium data to draw insights for your blog.

Google Analytics

It’s free, and it’s getting deeper every day. If you haven’t signed up yet, here’s a quick tutorial on how to get started with Google Analytics.

At the most basic level, you can draw insights on who is visiting your blog, which content is the most popular, and where you can improve.

Once you dive deeper into the data, you can figure out whether all that time you spend on Twitter is actually driving people to your blog using Advanced Segments in Google Analytics.

Customer Surveys and Interaction

If you’re a blogger, your customer is a reader, perhaps a commenter or member of your community. Maybe they downloaded your eBook or signed up for an online course. Every time you interact with them, you have an opportunity to gather intelligence.

Whether it’s a quick one question “how did you like that book” sent in a followup email, or a more in-depth customer survey, you have the ability to pull together data to feed your future efforts.

John Jantsch said in an article a year ago, “Until a business of any size gets serious about listening to their customers, talking to their customers, and measuring every possible data and touch point, the promise of more data will only serve to distract.”

Accessing Big Data from Researchers

All of the data you use doesn’t have to come from your own blog site or customers. There are myriad free or inexpensive resources out there that can help you build business insights on your subject area.

Organizations like Edison Research, Gartner, and The Social Habit routinely produce scientifically valid research based on a much wider data set that you can access on your own. Find a research outlet that covers your industry or topic, and leverage their reports to come up with blog post ideas, watch for future trends, and increase your own utility to your audience.

Are you using data (small, medium, or big) to draw insights for your blog?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Image: Flickr CC

VoIP Small Business Savings Can Be Music to Your Ears

In tough economic times, many small business owners look for each and every opportunity to save themselves money.

With the end of 2012 fast approaching, it would behoove those who run small businesses to sit down and take a look at where many of their company expenses went for these last 11 months.

In some cases, saving that money going forward into 2013 is next to impossible, while there are other areas that definitely can be tweaked in order to make the coming year a more profitable one.

If your business phone expenses have left you dialed-in to less savings, have you considered dialing into small business VoIP?

According to a 2011 FCC report, usage of VoIP grew 21 percent, to more than 30 million VoIP subscribers just in the U.S during a one-year period from June 2009 to June 2010.

With VoIP in your office, you can not only save money, but you can provide more efficiency for both your customers and your employees in ways you may never have previously thought of.

In the event small business VoIP may be something for your business to consider going into the New Year, note the following:

* Business VoIP users receive a toll-free or area phone number along with a variety of voice-mail features;
* Among the other features are call forwarding, an auto attendant, automatic phone routing, online faxing, and virtual directories;
* With Internet access, your small business can initiate communication efforts that include emailing to voice calls to video conferences. In the event you have employees on the road handling sales calls or attending networking events, you can still conference with them via VoIP;
* With both remote employees and/or completely remote offices, you can provide IP handsets and IP PBXs (private branch exchange) at each locale, therefore permitting all devices to communicate with one another minus outside provider intervention;
*  Should you go hosted or non-hosted? One of the decisions to be made is to go with a hosted service or non-hosted service. With the hosted service, it is commonplace for providers to oversee major processes offsite, thereby bringing calls to your phones and your customers. Many hosted VoIP solutions will not require added on-site hardware other than phones. With a self-hosted onsite service, your business will require an IP-based PBX to move your calls to your network phones, along with a PSTN (public switched telephone network) getaway. The gateway acts to convert calls to and from digital signals as required. Typically, what you pay for such a service will depend on the necessary features.

Lastly, those small businesses considering VoIP would do well to get a number of provider quotes, along with reviewing both each company’s customer service record and its financial stability. Make sure the technology you are considering for your company makes sense not just now, but over the long term as you look to grow your business.

With the right VoIP solution in place, your small business could ring up significant savings in the months and years to come.

Photo credit: digisecrets.com

About the author: Dave Thomas covers a variety of small business topics for various websites.

Analyze Social with Google Analytics Today

by
Franklyn Stephen

cooltext443809602_strategy

Social media reporting in Google analytics

Google analytics provides a reporting which would make you understand little bit easier that efforts you put in social media marketing are worth the investment. Also it gives you in-depth analysis about which social channel gives value to your business and which plans are most effectual.

Business metrics with Social Media

These new reports are framed in a way to span the gap between business metrics and social media. Using these reports, you can assess the traffic/clicks comes to your site from different social channels and how they leads to conversions, future conversions, and where the users navigate within your website and many social activities that are going on and off the website which enables to do in-depth analysis and take further actions in social media for the growth of your business.

If you are unaware of these updates, check through as you log in next time. Here are few things that you can keep an eye.



By the above overview report, we can have a quick look at how much conversions has been produced by social channels. Also it gives you comparison between the money invested and profit obtained from all your goal completions obtained through social referrals.

Social Channel Conversions

We can evaluate the conversion rates of each social channel whereby it allows marketers to measure the value of each social network that drives profit and supports your business. This conversion report gives influence of the social content whether it may be from facebook conversion post, or Google plus post or stumble upon post or new video.


Social Plugins Report

Social plugins report gives good insight of how the article pages of website is influenced by the social media through the social buttons (like facebook, Google plus, twitter) being clicked on the article page to share them. By this, clear picture can be availed of which articles are most engaged, interesting among the users and how the users are following socially with your content on and off your site.


Activity stream: What is going on outside of your website?

All other reports would depict the social content as how it is being engaged inside the website, While this activity stream report will present the activities that are carried out in the social content off the website across the social web.

Social content shared publicly as how it is shared, where it is shared (through facebook, twitter, Google plus, stumble upon etc), what people have commented and URLs of all these sources can be seen. Presently activities are covered for Google+ and the list of social data hub partners is growing which includes Meetup, Badoo, Hatena, Echo, etc…These new reports can be availed through standard reporting tab.

Sources of Social visits

This report gives visits received to the site through different social referrals and how users behave in the site, as shown in the parallel comparative picture . The in-depth details of conversion metrics of each social network and how the content is engaged and interacted among the people is depicted. This report turned out to be handy, because whether visitors are getting the desired outcome in the website can be examined here, which is essentially and really you want to know.

Focus on Content

Recently, Google analytics has brought few updates which enable the users to get adept understanding about their social impact. For the long time this was lagging being unable to find how much the content was socialized. But now Google analytics is able to measure the social reach of content/website/product/services. Notwithstanding the availability of tools on hands, social reach is all about how the content is being used and shared. Keeping all these in track, Google has released few updates designed in its analytics tool. Two significant new updates are centered on assisting the users to get clear understanding on how the content is socializing online and how it’s being viewed across different devices.

Content Experiments

Users can experiment content to test and improvise the website. Site owners can create different versions of a page say A, B, and C experiments to measure how effectively each versions get the visitors to convert. Google analytics already have this facility called website optimizer. It is now called as ‘content experiments’ and incorporated into analytics. Website optimizer isn’t a standalone product any more from August 01_2012. Content experiments assists to hone toward the goals that have already set in the Google analytics which will help to find out which page design and content is most effectual.

To start up with these content experiments, open Standard Reporting of Google analytics, and in the Content section, click Experiments.



Here you have to go through four steps to complete the set up wizard.

Browser-Size Analysis

The visible portion of a web page is very smaller than the actual screen resolution for the users who are accessing through mobile platforms due to many toolbars and welters. Essential factors for conversion rates are items that are above the fold on a web page. To find the percentage of visitors for whom the page items displays below or above the fold is really baffling. Therefore Google analytics facilitates users by creating a visualization to ascertain which parts of page are viewable to which percent of visitors.

Go to the Content section of Google Analytics, and click In-Page Analytics. Then click on the browser-size to see the shaded portions of the web page that are underneath the fold. Now click in at any place of the screen to find how much percent of visitors can view it or just hold the threshold percentage by using the slider.



Clicking on show-percentiles will display the summary visualization of several percentiles. This depiction will help to get the clear picture of how the browser sizes are dispersed among different devices. For instance, if you select to compare all the visitors of mobile device traffic, solid difference can be noted.

Concentrating on the good content and where the content flows is so essential to the sound health of any website as well as the experiences it gives to users. Thus far, web analytics focused on page clicks/visits and traffic sources to get the picture of what is working and what not is working in the website. Although it is significant, it is also as important as to perceive how content in the each page of the website impress the user’s/visitors. With this new website optimization tool, more mystification comes into picture!

Conclusion

These new reporting styles will significantly and ultimately help the marketers to generate the desired results who want to produce solid numbers and assist them in furthering their marketing efforts. Nevertheless, it is important for the company to set the fair and sensible goals which would really convert them into indispensable and worthwhile.

Author’s Bio:
Franklyn Stephen Issac.J is a webmaster having substantial four years of experience in analytics, Search engine optimization, social media marketing, SEM and PPC. His achieved results will highlight his profile as one having great passion for analytics and ecommerce solutions. More than 50 keywords ranked prove his strong insight knowledge on keyword research and analysis.


Be Accessible

A Guest Post by
Rosemary O’Neill

cooltext443809558_authenticity

You must be accessible if you want to build a human-centered enterprise. I recently participated in a Twitter chat hosted by the Association for Women in Communications (#AWCchat) on the subject of web accessibility, and it made a huge impression on me.

Did you know that people with disabilities are 18% of US population with $175 billion in discretionary spending power? Did you know that adults with disabilities spend 2x as much time online as those without disabilities?

Here are some tips on how to ensure that your web presence is inviting and accessible to visitors with challenges:

  • Include an accessibility checklist in your quality control process (refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for detailed help: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ or this Blog Accessibility Checklist:
  • Remember to consider all disabilities, not just sight challenges (think about keyboard use, auditory, etc.)
  • Always, always use alt tags for images, icons, and graphics
  • Try to use custom, descriptive URLs wherever possible (rather than numbers/codes)
  • Consider polling your audience to find out whether they are having any issues with your site; seek assistance from anyone in your circle who uses assistive technology (like the JAWS reader).
    Provide transcripts for audio and video clips where possible
  • Run your site through an automated checker like WAVE: http://wave.webaim.org/ or one of the tools listed here: http://webmasterformat.com/blog/top-ten-accessibility-analysis-tools
  • Be aware of the font sizes you are using; larger is better, and the ability to resize text is good as well.
  • Make sure that you are not using color as the sole indicator for a required action.

…and here’s the bonus…almost all of these tweaks have the extra benefit of helping your SEO at the same time!

Big hat tip to #AWCchat (which happens Thursdays at 11:30am CST) and the co-host (and source of the statistics) Glenda Watson Hyatt, who is known as The Left Thumb Blogger. You are vessels for good in the world!

_____

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out their blog. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
_____

Thank you, Rosemary!

You’re irresistible!

ME “Liz” Strauss

Do You Rely on Analytics to Tell the Whole Story?

A Guest Post by
Rosemary O’Neill

cooltext443809602_strategy

The Tools Only Get You Halfway There

Many tools offer to help you analyze your customer community, so that you can capture the elusive “ROI.” These tools evaluate a multitude of data points, including number of followers, likes, blog comments, retweets, etc., to come up with the success equation. Small businesses can be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of starting from zero in all of these social categories.

However, I propose that numbers only get you halfway there. The other half is composed of humanity. Information like, “dog’s name,” “has 3 kids,” “is insanely into photography.” The reason that is often left out in the cold is because it’s hard to automate that kind of connection. That type of information is only really gleaned from a steady stream of interactions over a long period of time. And many of us don’t invest the time to build up that data.

There’s an old-school sales trick that says when you walk into someone’s office, you look around and take note of the family pictures, fishing trophies, or other personal items on the desk. Those can be used to start conversations and begin building a connection…”hey, I went to UVa too!” If you want to build up your humanity data, you need to do the digital version of that; i.e., take note of the human information that is available online.

I’m not suggesting cyberstalking in a creepy way, but if your customer is sharing his/her interests publicly, it’s fairly easy to build on that. Here are some concrete ideas:

  • Build a web of connections, via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other networks
  • Promote your customers’ projects and content
  • Work on expanding the ways you connect—if it’s all digital, try the phone. If you’ve always emailed, try finding them elsewhere.
  • When you respond, try to read-up first. If your customer is reaching out to you on your FB page, why not show them you know them. Same with Twitter followbacks.
  • Find ways to allow your customers to be “whole people” in your community, include an area for off-topic socializing. And allow your reps to be human too.

The bonus is that, by including human data, you also build in “delight,” as people recognize that they’re being noticed. And that’s priceless.

—-
Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work on the Internet. Check out their blog. You can find her on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Thank you, Rosemary! People like you are easy to remember and fun to do business with! :)

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

Steve’s Shorts: #Commentz on Facebook Fatigue, Moms, Influencers and a Dreamweaver Screen

We Interrupt Regular Blogging for Steve’s Shorts

Take a simple few minutes where a guy who is brilliant makes an observation about the social web that you might have already be thinking. This interruption brought to you by the evil conspiracy that is Steve Plunkett and Liz Strauss.

by Steve Plunkett.

cooltext467743303

A few facts Mr. Plunkett finds interesting …

  • Facebook customer satisfaction is in the bottom 5% of all private sector along w/ IRS tax e-filing, airlines and cable companies. (Source)
  • More than 60% of moms said they would provide info about themselves to a trusted brand if it meant more personalized content. (Source)
  • The 5 “most valuable” types of online influencers are: Megaphone, Open Book, Social Butterfly, Business First, and Enthusiast. (Source)
  • According to Morgan Stanley, within 5 years global internet consumption on mobile devices will surpass the same activity on PCs.
  • — From StevePlunkett, Dallas SEO Blog, via PRSarahEvans

A Short Look at … What’s Next?

Hope you enjoyed these moments with Steve’s Shorts.

steve_plunkett

M/C/C’s Director, Search, Steve Plunkett, is responsible for all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet user behavior. Plunkett’s competitive personality makes him a perfect fit in the competitive world of SEO. As a child and a gamer, he worked hard ensuring that it was his initials at the top of every arcade game unit in his neighborhood. Today, he uses SEO to ensure his clients appear at the top of the search engine results –and offers an array of optimization services that are scoring big for those clients.

Successful-Blog is a proud affiliate of

third-tribe-marketing