As a passionate Monzo user (I bore my friends rigid about it ) I’m increasingly struck by the trend to Open Banking -not just technically speaking but by its massive social capital. I think its another of those disruptive technology moments. For older greyer people like me, it has some parallels with the telephone banking revolution of the 1990s spearheaded by First Direct. I suspect it spells much deeper change for the banks though.
Lots more details on Open Banking can be found HERE
In this digital age of many of us swap contact details on Social Media like LinkedIn and by Email. It’s instant and you can import them easily into your Marketing/CRM software.Is there still a place for using Business Cards in your business dealings?
The answer is yes just as we said in our item on using handwritten communication (HERE) some more old fashioned methods of marketing can add some formality and novelty to your digital strategy.
So here’s why Business Cards still work?
1. Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin.People buy from people.Giving a business card helps people remember your encounter.
2. They are the most effective direct marketing tools.Email marketing, search engine optimization, and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange.
3. A business card is the first impression of your brand.When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.
4. Creative business cards get shared — spreading the word about your brand.A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them. If you hand over a creative business card that makes a great impression that person is likely to show it to other people — putting you and your brand in front of additional prospects.
5. Business cards show you are prepared.Have you ever had someone write his or her contact information on a cocktail napkin and hand it over to you? How about someone that had a mobile phone with a dead battery? It isn’t the most professional approach.
We are always looking to differentiate ourselves from the competition so here is a great way to do this?
For a free consultation on Digital Marketing or for more information Contact Us for more details.
LinkedIn is a personal networking tool favoured and trusted by many employees
It provides a ‘shop window’ for individuals to the world and allows people to connect to colleagues past, present and future. Its one of the largest global recruitment platforms.
However that visibility can also create security issues for you personally and your employer/business. LinkedIn is a favoured site for cyber criminals and can provide them with valuable information to:
Create targeted phishing attacks – using your contacts or role description for deception
Identify core projects, budgets and opportunities – valuable data in the wrong hands
Steal your identity – by cloning your details
So here’s 10 ways to maximise your online security when using LInkedIn :
Don’t use your work email address as your LinkedIn ID. Using your work email address can attract cyber criminals looking to attack your work email systems. Cyber criminals can steal lists of employees by their emails and use them to attack the organisation
Change your LinkedIn password regularly and make sure you set a reasonably complex password (9 characters including a capital letter and a symbol at least !)
Question whether contacts are genuine. Make sure that the contacts you connect with are people you know or are legitimate. Hackers use fake LinkedIn profiles to connect with you and steal your information
Don’t advertise your levels of financial authority .If you let the cyber criminals know this, they may target you and be able to use this information to defraud your business or for financial gain.
Don’t rely on privacy settings. Although there are privacy settings you can change, any LinkedIn user will be able to view the majority, if not all of your profile.
See your profile though the eyes of a cyber criminal – are you giving away anything that could make you a target?
Don’t disclose your location details.Too much information on your physical location allows criminals to better target you and your colleagues. It could also lead to direct physical contact.
Consider using 2-step verification.Can reduce the risk of cyber criminals hacking into your account
Consider the publishing of qualifications/ university attendance. Its good for your personal brand and for prospective employees to see this on your profiles, although consider this extra information is useful for cyber criminals to build a profile on you that may be used for impersonation.
Consider the use of your photo.If you are in a high risk role, you might consider removing your photo, although we appreciate for many this may be an unnecessary step. Photos can help cyber criminals to physically identify you, create false social media accounts in your name or help people validate other online information. Photos can even be used in fake ID cards.
For more information or help using LinkedIn safely and effectively please Contact Us for more details.
Live Chat Support is a relatively new way to interact with your website visitors. Usually the visitor initiates a chat request by clicking an icon on your website. The chat button can be positioned anywhere on your site. However generally it makes most sense to add it to the bottom right position as Facebook does the same in their chat application.
Live chat can be used for prospective customers in order to help them with their buying decision or for current customers who need support with a product they have already bought. Its often seen as a Business to Consumer tool and indeed it plays a key part in retail sales however its also really valuable for Business to Business too.
For example one of our clients Mobexx ( www.mobexx.co.uk ) installed Live Chat earlier this year and are pleased with the results Operations Director Steve Smith told me ‘.. it’s a great hook.We are in a niche market and people are often unsure of what they are looking for, so being able to interact with someone makes them much happier.I personally keep it on in the evenings and we get a steady stream of enquiries from what are obviously senior people who are obviously back from the pub and doing a bit of research. I make the interaction very chatty and by my wording and tone make it obvious that they are talking to someone in the uk not a call centre in India…..it might at first sight appear a bit unprofessional but seems to work. I was chatting to one guy in a very laid back manner, when we checked him out on LinkedIn he was the Technical director for a blue chip Company, he still remembers the chat!! ”
Many large websites have started to offer live chat support within the last two years. But live support systems are not only suitable for larger businesses ; small and medium-sized businesses alike have started to realise the added benefits live support can bring to their websites.
Live Chat is growing in use because it has many benefits. From the Customer point of view these include:
1. Live Chat is Convenient for Customers
A recent study by Forrester Research found that
“62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”
2. Live Chat allows Multi Tasking
There is nothing worse for a customer than having to waste a lunch break on hold to a provider. With live chat a customer can carry on doing day to day work or skimming social media whilst waiting for a “bing” sound that the agent has replied.
3. Chat Transcriptions
Unlike phone calls which are often recorded for ”quality and training purposes” the company may get a copy of your call but unless a customer has a recording function/app turned on, they don’t get a copy. With live chat software the customer can receive a transcription of the conversation afterwards for their records.
4. Right Place, Right Time Customer Service
For customers there is nothing more annoying than not being able to get hold of you when they have a problem. Live chat gives customers the option to speak to someone about a problem or just ask a question . This reduces the need for call back requests, expensive 08 numbers and waiting 48 hours or 2 working days for email responses.
5. No “On Hold” Music
Being put in a holding queue with classical music or 90′s pop can be tiresome to put it mildy. With live chat this simply doesn’t happen. A customer can choose your own background music (or not) whilst waiting to be transferred to another department or agent.
Having a problem is annoying enough for a customer but paying to have it solved makes customers feel worse. Many people resent sitting on premium rate phone numbers or having to stop work to make a support call. With live chat there is no cost to the customer and therefore no resentment from the outset of your agents conversation.
From the Business point of view benefits include:
1. Right Place, Right Time Customer Service
For businesses, live chat provides a direct method of communication right on the website and available to the customer whenever they need it. Obviously this will be more beneficial for companies that get a lot of queries about how to use something or where to find things on their site. But these days, in a world of real-time customer engagement users expect to be able to get in touch with someone virtually.
Live chat software is relatively cheap and easy to install . A business may already be employing a receptionist, call centre staff, and/or sales team to man the phones. You can assign each of them a time slot where they also man the live chat platform? This means there is very little investment needed to bring this into your customer communication methods.
Customer data is invaluable .Live chat software provides additional layers of data. this includes:
Referring Link: Where the customer came from on or off your site. You can use this to gauge what they might be looking for and to initiate conversation if they haven’t already.
Operating System / Device: This tells you if the visitor is viewing your site from a mobile, tablet or desktop and which operating system they are using.
Idle / Viewing: If the customer is currently reading pages or idle, e.g. not actively moving their cursor or scrolling.
Time on Site: If the customer has just come onto the site or has been on it for some time and therefore more likely to require your help.
Number of Visits: If the customer is a new visitor or has already been on the site several times?
Number of Chats: If this is the customers first chat or have they had previous live chat sessions.
Location: Using the customers IP address, the majority of chat platforms will tell you the area the customer is from.
4. Increased Sales
Live chat can help boost sales because it lets a business nudge customers towards certain products or services without the “hard sell”. A customer that comes to your website is likely to already be interested in your product or service, instead of hoping they make a purchase you can proactively engage them or offer them a special offer or discount.
For more information on how Live Chat can help your business please Contact Us for more details.
Businesses are constantly searching for new and novel ways to attract new Customers . Many are turning to handwritten communication . Surprising in this digital age ? No not really its all about novelty and perhaps a bit of formality ! Consequently business is booming for handwritten letters .No one is suggesting that we all go back to handwritten letters en masse there is the small matter of cost and coverage . Digital is vastly cheaper ,has huge coverage and is much more measurable.
However a handwritten message is powerful too perhaps we can suggest that it can be used most effectively for follow up from an initial enquiry or targeting key prospects .
So here’s a few ideas for how we can use handwritten communications to complement digital marketing :
-For some written communications hand write the envelope
-Target key customers with a handwritten letter
-Send thank you cards after an appointment or even better after an order !
-Write with a fountain pen and use a classic script
There are a few businesses growing to meet this new trend charging companies to write handwritten correspondence to customers on their behalf. One example is Inkpact .Or of course you can dust off the fountain pen and reacquaint yourself with ‘Writers’s Cramp’
For a free consultation on your Video,Online,Social Media Marketing or even Written Marketing needs or for more information Contact Us for more details.