Tuesday, December 24, 2013

7 Websites to Answer All Your Questions

In our generation no one has any difficulty in finding a reply to any question. The first thing everyone does is Googling the question. If there is no exact answer, we turn for help. No, it’s not our friends, neither encyclopedia, it’s all about Question and Answer websites. Although you need to register to become a part of the community to ask or answer any question, it doesn’t take much time. So you can choose the best websites, register once and use them for years.

When you become a part of the community, it becomes so interesting not only ask questions, but also give answers to the questions you’re sure to have the exact reply. So try to be active in both asking and answering.

But can we rely on any answer given in the internet? To say the truth, I doubt that all of them are trustworthy. In general I try to search one and the same question in different websites, accordingly made a list of the best Q & A Websites I used to participate to share with my readers too.

I am a member of Quora for years and I always describe it as a professional platform where you can get great solutions to your questions. Quora is created, edited and organized by its community of users; it aggregates questions and answers to different topics. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.

While being in marketing you should be aware of everything spoken about your company. I had no choice, but register in some more question-and-answer websites not to miss anything from my attention.

Yahoo!Answers – another big community that allows users to both submit questions to be answered and answer questions asked by other users. The site gives members the chance to earn points as a way to encourage participation.

Answerbag – “Every question deserves a great answer”- a website you can find in all the lists while searching for best Q&A websites. Users ask and answer the questions. Instead of the one question—one answer model, multiple answers to a given question are presented, in descending order of user ratings. A user who has created an account can ask and answer questions, comment on answers, rate questions and answers, and suggest new categories. Users have profile pages where their points and submissions are reviewable by other users.

Answers - “Real people are looking for answer” really like the slogan on the website! This website includes WikiAnswers, ReferenceAnswers, VideoAnswers, and five international language Q&A communities. 

Stackexchange – “Expert answers to your questions” - another fast-growing network of 109 question and answer sites on various topics with 4.2 million users. High-quality questions and answers, focused on the most important topics in each area of expertise. 

Answerbank – a real bank of questions and answers!  Choose a topic, ask a question and contributors will supply you with the answer.  If you’re a new member, you can watch an introductory video and start your banking.

All the above mentioned websites are free and all include “technology” category I was mostly interested in. Be active, help yourself and others!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kindle on Fire – Mayday Needed!

While chat solutions exist for years, Amazon decided to make a customer service revolution. It announced about a new support service available on Kindle HD products called Mayday.

Many people know what Mayday is, but I’m sure not all are aware about its being an emergency word used internationally. It derives from the French expression “venez m'aider", which means "come to help me".

“It’s a little odd when a company selling a new gadget says one of the most exciting features is its “help” button”, mentions “The Seattle Times” tech columnist Brier Dudley. Yet it’s a revolutionary new functionality, which will change Kindle’s future and… why only Kindle’s?

Will this button really help Amazon sell more stuff? In general opinions differ and it’s a normal procedure: some are happy to have a virtual assistant like “Amy” helping them; others express their negative feedback and make many people alter (Amy's real name is actually Amy - Amy Paffrath).

How “Mayday” Works

It’s so simple: you just click on the “Mayday” button and an expert connects with you and it is 24x7, 365 and totally FREE. The goal is – 15 seconds response time. The expert will ask the user to verify his identity before offering to help. You can see the expert on your screen. While some may be concerned about privacy, Amazon assures that the experts will not be able to see you. It’s up to the user to allow the Mayday expert control the screen and even change settings.

From Negative to Positive

People cannot think the same and if opinions don’t differ our life won’t be so interesting. First I’d like to mention negative sides: the Mayday functionality works only with Wi-Fi access and there are people who don’t want to see the expert and more...

  • “I am not sure if this is a feasible solution because it would cost the provider a lot of money to provide this level of support for free” (source - Quora)
  • "Mayday" is a pretty poor choice of a name for a product/service” (source - Commercialsihate
  • “I don't want Amazon CS accessing my tablet and looking through my internet history” (source - NeoGAF

In opposite to the above said some intriguing software enhancements:

  • “This feature is amazing and needs to be in every piece of tech”
  •  “As the tech head in my family I wish every single electronic device came with this goddamn button" (source - NeoGAF
  •  “What really caught my eye is that not only she can help you by telling what to do but she can point stuff in your screen” (source - Youtube
  • “Just got my Kindle Fire HDX and am trying out the #Mayday feature. Now THIS is customer service. Wow!”(Facebook comment)

And with this “Wow” opinion let’s take every innovation for granted.
"Knowledge is true opinion" Plato

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Calls – More Sales!

Many companies are embracing new technologies in an effort to attract more customers today. Click to Call is one of those technologies becoming more and more popular day by day.

Click to Call turns a website click into a phone call. It makes easy for a website visitor to connect with the company representative and solve the problem immediately.

As stated in the Infographic below “88% of visitors are more likely to contact a company that provides Click to Call solution”. Nowadays Click to Call is widely used in different industries like: technology, shopping, business, health, finances, travelling and more. Let’s see what makes many companies trust in Click to Call solution:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Present Face of Advertising

It was so funny to read about Radio-Television-Internet evolution. You start to realize how much has changed during one decade. It took 38 years to reach 50 million users via Radio, 13 years via Television and… only 4 years via Internet. Today there are lots of families who don’t watch TV at all or listen to the radio. They can find everything in the internet – latest news, films, music and even relatives and friends (although I don’t like the last part “relatives and friends” as it leads to a lonesome life, but I’ll speak about it in one of my future posts).

It’s become easier to target and reach an audience directly, and the traditional television, radio and magazine commercials advertising changed to different channels, like mobile, social networks which target a much more broad audience, raising brand awareness in a short period of time. Old methods are no longer essential in the ever-growing digital world.

Now we deal with tech-savvy consumers who are more in control. As a result, it became more difficult for advertisers to keep consumers interested in the brands. They should come up with innovative strategies creating messages that grab the attention of the audience. Add this is not at all easy – find right consumers, create a right message, choose the right time, and finally provide a great customer service.

“74% of today’s customers use at least three channels when interacting with a company for customer service”, according to Ovum. After all most companies are still using stand-alone, single channel experiences, which irritates many customers, they want to be heard instantly.

Note that 90% of all purchases are subject to social media influence. So let’s be active, creative, interesting and outstanding but at the same time realistic - here what our customers want from us!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You Can Hardly Meet Every Customer’s Needs

Every time when we speak about customer service or customer loyalty, it seems there is nothing easier than satisfying customers. Be polite, be attentive, be patient, be respectful… But can a rep meet every customer’s needs? Not sure…

There are different customer types and various solutions to satisfy them. Gone are the times when customer couldn’t reach a company. Besides an email or a phone call, there are also different social channels to connect with the company and solve the problem in no time.

But today’s customers became more difficult to deal with. People are more aggressive and they think if they pay for the service they should have no problems at all. They may cry loudly at the rep and never respond to excuses – “An ill payer never wants an excuse”.

It’s even worse while dealing with chronic complaining customers – they are never satisfied and will always find something to complain.

The most dangerous customers are those which never complain to the company, but post a comment in social channels. But even here where is a way out. The rep should take the customer offline through direct messaging or an email and clarify the problem as quick as possible.

And finally the best customer type - the ones who want a good service and are ready to pay for that. Their complains are reasonable and they are much interested in the results.

For sure customers cannot be always right, but anyway they should be treated with respect and sympathy. As the proverb says: “He who pays the piper calls the tune”.

It’s a reality - “Your customer makes your product”, so let’s at least try to meet their needs.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Be Where Your Customers Are!

Gone are the times of waiting on the phone to talk to a rep or waiting for an email response. Multi-channel marketing replaced many different activities and positioned in the first place.

72% of online American adults now use social networking sites (PewResearch Center)

Is it really so important to be where customers are and why?

The reason is that you should be in all the places where your customers are searching for information and help them find it, answer all their questions and do this as fast as possible. Customers raise their issues through social media and they don’t like to wait. If you’re late, you lose your customer – that’s the reality.

25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response withing 1 hour (AmericanExpress OPEN Forum)

Being on social platforms not only gives you direct access to your customers, but also gives your customers direct access to you.

“97% of customer issues can be resolved by proactive social intervention. On top of that, 40-50% of those customers end up saying positive things about the company online (Dell Investigation).

Whether these are social media channels, different forums, blogs, comments section of articles written about your company, you should be everywhere and be ready to take action.

And which social channels to use? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are must-channels for nearly every field.

“Facebook has 1.11 billion monthly active users ” (Facebook)

“61% of social media users primarily use LinkedIn for professional networking” (Lab42)

“Twitter has over 550 million users” (StatisticBrain )

From my own practice, I can say that I made great relationships with many authorities in my field via Twitter  and I become happy with every new thousand followers I have.

I cannot ignore Google+ too, as once I noticed to have the most link clicks from this channel.

“70% of brands have presences on Google+ ”(Simply Measured)

Pinterest? Yes, it also became a very popular one and the number of users is rapidly growing.

“Pinterest has around 50 million users” (Reuters)

To conclude I’d like to say that social channels are not only a must, but should also be something like “useful and pleasant” – that’s the secret to your success!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Make Your Customers’ Day or They Will Make Yours!

“Make your customer’s day”- a well-known statement used for all customer types. And many people will agree if we don’t make our customers happy, they can make our lives complicated. What can be worse than a negative word-of-mouth? Lost customers not only affect your business, but also prevent from attracting new customers.

But keep in mind that unhappy customers are like competitors, they give you an opportunity for change and improvement, they can even give birth to new ideas. Win back every single customer or it will cost your business lots.

In evidence to this I’d like to share an Infographic with some stats on poor customer experience and its cost:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Surf the web with us!

On daily bases people use different screen sharing solutions and many of them never think that co-browsing is something different from it. With traditional screen sharing a rep can see everything that’s on the presenter’s computer, including all the open tabs, applications, documents and programs. The rep can also control everything on the presenter’s computer. A great way in dealing with some close friends or relatives, no more!

If you’re a serious company you cannot use screen sharing. It’s a problem for customers who might have a concern allowing a rep to access the entire desktop. In other words it’s a security headache for the companies who want to show some private data. And here the most customer-friendly technology comes to help.

Collaborative browsing, also known as co-browsing is a relatively new technology which enables the simultaneous viewing of specific web pages by more than one individual. It is helpful in solving different problems. Nowadays many companies use it to offer a live help to their customers. Co-Browsing lets the rep to remotely see only the page the customer is on at the moment. Effectively, co-browsing allows a company and a customer to "be on the same page." This makes co-browsing much more secure than traditional screen sharing, especially dealing with sensitive information. No user downloads or installations are needed for co-browsing!

Co-browsing is deployed across nearly every industry starting from online education, insurance companies, banking, governmental segments, etc. (even army uses it to provide a place to meet 24/7 for the people and organizations engaged in keeping the peace). It’s widely used for customer/sales support, shopping, trainings, collaboration, transactions. Imagine how easy it will be to conduct sales using co-browsing! Call center agents use co-browsing to help customers navigate the company website. It’s also useful for group projects requiring joint information access between users. Plus to all its numerous benefits, the most important thing is that co-browsing guaranties security while sharing your web.

Visit LiveLOOK right now and we’ll help you surf the web! Make your web shareable!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Twitter - Build Your Brand Awareness!

Twitter became one of the most popular social platforms used by the great part of the companies worldwide. It’s used for broadcasting, engagement, content sharing, driving traffic.

Many companies have more than one twitter account (Dell has 44 Twitter accounts.) Anyway statistics shows that personal accounts have more followers than companies. Here you can see the statistics of the top Twitter accounts for the year 2013.

It was so interesting to read some facts about Twitter that I decided to put the most important ones here. (Most stats provided by Twitter via Hubspot.)


  • Twitter has 105,779,710 registered users
  • 300,000 new users sign up per day
  • There are over 100,000 Twitter applications
  • Twitter receives 180 million unique visitors per month
  • 37% of active Twitter users use their phone to tweet
  • 63% of Brands have multiple accounts
  • 97% of major brands use Twitter(Apple does not use Twitter or any other social media)
  • There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)
  • New York has the most Twitters users, followed by Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston
  • 21% of users have never posted a Tweet

Did you know?
  • The best time to tweet if you want to be retweeted is on Friday at 4 p.m. EST (says Social media scientist Dan Zarrella)
  • It’s recommended to use a maximum of two hashtags per tweet
  • Weekends are the best time to reach customers on Twitter
  • Tweets with media (a photo/video) get 3 to 4 times more engagement than those without
  • Twitter is good for busy hours (7AM-8PM). This, of course, will depend on your target audience and company type, but mostly it works.
  • Even though the tweet can contain 140 characters, try to use 100 characters (120 at maximum) to make it retweetable. First of all it attracts attention and, secondly, people can add their comments when retweeting.
In one of my next posts I’ll try to put some great free Twitter analytics tools that I ever used to measure Twitter effectiveness.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Enhance Customer Service Reputation

Most businesses understand and value customer loyalty, but it can be a challenge to implement strategies which inspire loyalty in their customers. Knowing and understanding the customers’ needs – this is the basic driver behind successful business. The more you know about your customers, the more effective your efforts will be.

Customers want good service – so much so that they are willing to pay more for a product if they are assured of receiving good service along with it. By providing that level of service, businesses can transform many first-time visitors into loyal long-term customers, increasing sales and inspiring referrals from satisfied customers – critical components of ongoing prosperity and success.
However, although much is spoken about the importance of a good customer service, some research suggests that little progress is being made towards improvements in this area:

“The surveys and research available for major markets worldwide make it clear that customer satisfaction indexes haven’t really improved for most industries over the last ten years. In fact, they have only kept steady or even declined”. Seven Customer Contact Trends 2015

Social Media Role

Today, social media plays a strong role in many people’s lives, resulting in customers’ attitude and experiences reflected across different social platforms. While no company likes to be publicly disgraced, when a bad customer experience is made public via social media, a new opportunity is presented. Now a rep has a chance to turn the disgruntled customer into a loyal one by solving the complaint in a good manner.

Research indicates that 62% of customers used social media for customer service, and 47% of social media users said they “actively seek” customer service through social media. 30% of customers prefer social media to the traditional customer service phone call. And 55% expect a response that same day.

Beyond reacting and responding, nowadays many companies use social media to proactively inform their customers about existing problems, and the corresponding resolutions, and in this way avoid complaints.

A reputation for good customer service has become a key factor for businesses. A good social media customer service strategy will ensure success in this area.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lead Generation – a challenge or a must?

Every now and then we hear about getting new customers, gaining customer loyalty, winning more customers, converting leads into customers, filling sales funnel, etc. and all this is about lead generation.

Lead generation is one of the most critical and challenging components for any business. It’s proved to be responsible for 42% of total sales. Lead generation combines many activities in it, starting with setting objectives → getting visitors → converting them to leads and a good follow up. 

60% of the marketers name lead generation as one of their top three priorities and 26% say it’s their highest priority


17% of marketers spend 15+ hours a week on lead generation”


Lead generation methods can be conducted online and offline. The leads may come from various activities: via the Internet, through calls, through advertisement, list purchase, referrals, telemarketers, and advertisements. Here are some crucial lead generation activities:

  • 42% of businesses name email as one of their most effective lead generation channels
  • 80.8% of users report reading email on mobile devices

  •  real-life conversation is the best way to build a connection

Content Marketing
  • 81% of businesses have reported their blog as useful or critical to generating leads
  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog with less than 10% of total time allocation
  •  9% of lead generation companies employ a full-time blogger

Social Media
  • 62% of companies say that social media has become a more important source of leads and 53% of businesses have one person dedicated to social media activities at the company
  • Marketers rate social media as the second-most important factor (64%) in search, behind only strong content (82%)
  • 65% of B2B companies have generated a lead from LinkedIn
  • 77% of B2C companies have generated a lead from Facebook
  • 40% of marketers report that Google+ is critical to their business
  • Businesses with 301 to 1,000 Twitter followers have over 5 times more traffic than those with 1 to 25 followers
  • Companies that use Twitter average double the amount of leads per month than those that do not
  • 83% of Pinterest users are women. In the U.S., the most popular categories are Fashion, Desserts, Clothes and Birthdays

Trade Shows /Conferences

  • 35% of B2B marketers say that ‘live events’ are most effective for lead generation’ pile


  • 80% of users said they would register for a whitepaper/ebook, while only 31% would register for a webinar

Search Engine Optimization

  • 61% of global Internet users research products online
  • 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation goals
  • 70% of the links search users click on are organic — not paid
  • 46% of daily searches are for info on products or services
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results

Surely a good budget is needed for all these activities. According to HubSpot survey where 167 marketing professionals answered how they spent their marketing budgets and how effective each technique was in generating sales leads, the budget breakdown was as follows: