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5 Tips for Creating Long-Term Online Customer Engagement

By on Oct 23, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

As a business, it can be hard to know where the trends are going. It seems that anything could push a certain industry in one direction and then moments later it could get blown somewhere else. Indeed, e-commerce is a peripatetic industry. Fads, trends and styles come and go. The real question becomes: how do you create staying power while at the same time maintaing relevancy and customer engagement? The answer to this question is not so simple, because there are actually many answers. Moreover, one answer may work for one business and not another. It all depends on what industry you are in and who your demographic is. Here are five tips for creating long-term online customer engagement. Make sure that you create a brand identity that people can relate to. The more identifiable your brand is, the more customers will want to connect with your business. Many businesses exist behind a shroud and there is no definable identity with which to relate to. However, by creating a timeless identity, customers will time and time again be able to recognize your brand, which can be critical when there are so many other businesses to compete with. Make sure that you know exactly who and what your demographic is. Many new businesses may know who their demographic should be, but oftentimes, demographics change. A business that should belong to one demographic, could – all of a sudden – grow a whole other other demographic. So, it is important to not fight it, but to go with the flow and see where it takes your business. Next to setting up business directory software and creating your SEO initiatives, creating a strong profile of your demographic is vital. Without this profile, it will be hard to know what direction to take your business. Make sure that your representatives know that customer engagement is vital. By creating a culture of customer engagement, you can create stronger relationships with customers. The stronger the relationships is, the more likely customers will be loyal to your brand or business. If you have an online business with customer service reps, make sure that customer awareness and satisfaction are a part of the golden rule. When it comes to training new employees, customer engagement should be something that is drilled into the training process. Make sure that you have live response and chat services on your website. There are a number of plugins that you can download for your site that can allow browsing customers to live chat with customer service reps. Basically, some customers may not be so inclined to pick the phone and call if they have questions. Sometimes they just want to write in and get an immediate response. With a live chat service you can not only increase customer engagement, but also sales. Make sure that your social media campaign is a hub of activity. If you don’t respond and engage with customers on your social media platform, you will never connect with customers. Social media is the perfect controlled environment to market your brand and engage with customers, so it is important to never take it for...

How Specified Are The Skills Tested By Microsoft Certification Exams?

By on Oct 18, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

Exactly how much does each certification earned from successfully completing Microsoft Certification Exams tell you about the skills of the person who holds that certification? This is an important issue to tackle because these certifications are supposed to tell employers what you can do. How specified and, therefore, how useful are they? Different Subject Areas Certifications are divided at their most basic level into different subject areas. These subjects are only the preliminary way of telling one certification from another and don’t say a whole lot about what you can do. Rather, they speak to what area of the IT field you are dealing with. Greater detail comes with the next distinction. Different Skill Levels Once you know what aspects of the IT field a certification deals with, the skill level differentiation is the one that counts. There are certifications that are geared toward those with rudimentary skills and more certifications for every level as the skills advance to complete mastery of the most complicated applications of that specialty. These certifications are highly specified so that every certification provides a clear idea of what the person who holds it can do. The Right Certifications Point Directly To The Right Career In the end, every certification or collection of certifications tends to point directly to a specific career path. The fact that these certifications are highly specified makes it easy for IT professionals to know which certifications to get and for employers to know what certifications they need to look for during the hiring process. In short, these certifications help...

Press Releases Mean Business

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

Today we can truly say that getting media exposure has became a reality for small business owners as well. This is because the “press” is no longer restricted to newspapers, but also includes blogs and other online properties. Here is an infographic that drives home this point. Infographic Credit

Branding Thrives in the Blogging Era

By on Sep 25, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

There were those who worried that when the blogosphere took over, brands would be dead. Apparently that is not what happened. Check out the following infographic for a revealing fact: blogskinny.com

Generating Buzz Is Not Easy — Unless You Play it Smart

By on Sep 24, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

One of the best ways to create buzz is by tapping into the blogosphere. What I like about the blogosphere is the fact that there is a high level of engagement between bloggers and their readers. This infographic does a good job of explaining that. Source

New DSL Technology to Close the Gap

By on Sep 4, 2013 in Business & Marketing |

“Cable is still king in North America,” says Erik Keith of Current Analysis. Although currently, cable Internet access provides higher speeds, DSL Internet providers and AT&T’s U-verse are preparing to boost their Internet speeds by 100 megabits per second or more. Two technologies called bonding and vectoring are the plan to “help close the gap” between cable and DSL, according to an article from San Jose Mercury News. Bonding will allow DSL providers to transmit signals over multiple phone lines rather as opposed to only one. Experts predict that this will allow for speeds to double without network upgrades or even laying new wires to homes because many American houses already have multiple lines installed. The other possibility, known as vectoring, remains in its developmental stages. But it would work by compensating the excess noise and interference on and around phone lines. When finished with development, vectoring is expected to greatly increase the speed with which data can be uploaded from computers to servers. This would make uploading photos and videos to website like Facebook and YouTube a much quicker process. By closing the speed gap between DSL and cable Internet, DSL will, analysts predict, be able to compete with cable and even have an advantage. This is because the bandwidth used by DSL providers can offer consistent speeds while cable Internet is a shared bandwidth composed of all the customers in a neighborhood. This shared Internet creates potential problems when multiple homes are streaming movies or doing other activities which simultaneously require a lot of bandwidth. DSL, on the other hand, promises dedicated bandwidth. However, cable representatives retort that they are still able to provide superior service even during peak times when bandwidth is required by multiple houses. Cable also hopes to maintain the gap by improving its speed as well to deliver faster Internet at up to 1 GB per second. This in turn begs the question, how many customers really care about increasing bandwidth speeds? Many maintain that the average consumer will not really notice these impending upgrades. And if the new light-year speed of Internet does not majorly impact the average home, then many residents may prove unwilling to pay for these increased speeds. Sonic.net is the largest independent broadband provider in Northern California, and it has already introduced a bonded DSL service to the Bay Area. With speeds of 40megabits per second, doubling the speed of its regular broadband service, the bonded DSL has also doubled in price, costing $90 per month. But the increased speeds will undoubtedly prove worth it for some customers. Small businesses and other clients are rapidly taking advantage of something called VoIP, voice over Internet Protocol. This is a method of sending analog audio signals, what you would hear over the phone, and converting them into digital data to transmit via the Internet. This has allowed many to say hello to free long distant phone calls. Companies like Vonage have taken advantage of this possibility for while. But the technology continues to grow with carriers such as AT&T, again, preparing to offer VoIP calling plans. Image from...