Thursday, April 10, 2014

Social Customer Service – Keeping Your Fans in the Loop!

If you’re looking for your customers, you should jump on social platforms – a place where most of them live. Unfortunately, not all businesses take advantage of social media customer care yet. Although there is a tendency to its usage year by year and I’m sure very soon it will become a must.

Once I mentioned that for business success we should consider social channels not only a must, but also something like “useful and pleasant”. 

The new research showcases statistics for the popular social networks ideal for marketers in the US, where Facebook comes first, then Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  

Key elements of social customer care
The first important thing about social customer service is tracking your presence in all the platforms you use. As you have no right to miss anything, set alerts if you are short of time to check the messages all the time.

Now when you received an inquiry or a complaint, be quick to respond. Remember - in the social media two days are equal to two weeks. Politeness and patience are the next useful attitudes while dealing with any type of customers.

Another specific feature is being informative. Update your fans with every single renewal or failure. Anyway many of them will be informed about problems, so it’s reasonable to learn about everything from you. This can also prevent their being angry or dissatisfied with your service. Just a short note can change their attitude towards you.

Why not reward your best fans? A great idea used by many businesses already! Imagine receiving a message “Best customer/fan of the week/month!” – so pleasant and motivating! Just remembered while posting in  DZone I used to receive “Best post of the day”, which was also retweeted in DZone’s Twitter and made me twice happy.

The future of customer service is quite obvious – so if you still stay out from social networks, it’s high time to show your presence – keeping your online reputation up!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

March – Another Month Full of Acquisitions

I have an opinion that several large companies decided to buy as many smaller companies as possible. At the end of each month I go back to see what has been acquired and every time I am surprised to see the number of mergers and acquisitions. Names of many companies appear on my lists every month. And I should also mention that there are only the largest and most prominent acquisitions in my lists, otherwise it will become an endless list. And, here we go: 

March 5 - Yahoo Acquires  Social  Data Visualization Startup Vizify

Yahoo acquired Vizify, a company that turns social media data into interactive visual aids such as infographics and videos, adding to the Internet giant's string of acquisitions designed  to get talent and access to new technologies and services

.March 5 - News Reader Company Flipboard Buys Rival Zite from CNN

News reader company Flipboard has bought rival app Zite from CNN and struck a content partnership with the cable news network. The deal is valued at $60 million.

March 12 - Google Buys Green Throttle, a Smartphone Game Controller Company

Google is going to jump into the home game console market with a set-top box and has just snapped up a gaming company "Green Throttle Games," the producer of a gaming controller for Android.     

Vodafone continues to strengthen its fixed network holdings by acquiring Spanish cable operator Ono for $10.1 billion. Vodafone sees the acquisitions of Ono and Kabel Deutschland as opportunities to combine mobile, fixed broadband and TV.

March 24 - Dell Continues Software Expansion with StatSoft Acquisition

Dell has added another company to its growing software portfolio with the acquisition of predictive analytics company StatSoft for an undisclosed amount. StatSoft sells analytics, database management and integration software. Terms of the acquisition were not detailed.    

March 24 - Palo Alto Networks Buys Maker Cyvera

Palo Alto Networks - next-generation firewall, is buying Israeli startup Cyvera for about $200 million to gain access to its endpoint security product for real-time attack prevention. The deal is expected to close in a few weeks. 

March 25 - Facebook Buying Oculus VR Virtual - Reality Company 
Facebook announced it is buying hot virtual reality gaming company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Facebook noted, and with Oculus it plans to tackle areas such as communications, media and entertainment, and education.

Golden Gate Capital, a leading investment firm has acquired a majority stake in LiveVox a leading provider of cloud-based contact center software and solutions for business process outsourcers and enterprise clients. Golden Gate Capital is highly experienced in the contact center software market,having previously invested in Aspect Software. 

March 26 -  Klout Acquired for $200 Million by LithiumTechnologies

Social score startup Klout has been acquired by Lithium Technologies for nearly $200 million.Lithium is a provider of social customer experience solutions for the enterprise.  

March 26 -  SAP to Acquire Fieldglass, the Global Cloud Technology Leader in Contingent Workforce Management

SAP acquires Fieldglass, the leading technology provider for procuring and managing contingent labor and services. The addition of Fieldglass' cloud-based Vendor Management System (VMS) solution meets the growing demand among employers to manage flexible workforces that can be quickly engaged and on-boarded to support rapidly changing business and customer needs.