Customer Service Encounters the New Digital World, Part II

In the first post of this two-part blog series, “Customer Service Encounters the New Digital World,” we discussed how digital disruption is transforming customer service. This presents both opportunities and challenges to businesses of all shapes and sizes. And without some of the same legacy encumbrances of their larger business counterparts, small businesses can embrace digital technologies faster and with greater agility.

Of course, this doesn’t mean small businesses are doing so. One in four still don’t have a website, and of those with a website only half are responsive and thus deliver good user experiences on mobile devices.

Crossing the Digital Divide

Once a small business has an established digital presence (e.g., website, social media channels, etc.), other aspects of the digital age need to come into focus. Customer service is most certainly a critical part of the digital landscape, albeit one that many businesses miss.

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Customer Service Encounters the New Digital World: Part I

The advent of the digital age dictates that companies rethink how they run their businesses. Customer service is one of the areas where a completely new approach is needed. Once conducted in an organizational silo, customer service touches virtually every aspect of a business.

The digital customer service transformation that is underway not only impacts large and mid-market businesses but also small businesses. The upside for small businesses is that the entry point is much easier for them. Larger counterparts already have significant investments in technology and business processes, and simply bolting additional components onto these existing pieces produces further fragmentation and inefficiencies. Without much of the same legacy infrastructure in place, small businesses can adopt new capabilities focused on a holistic transformation of customer service experience.

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Personalized Omnichannel Engagement

Personalized customer experience is something that companies of virtually all shapes and sizes must provide. Once thought to be a highly complex undertaking & only accessible to large companies, personalization is now something buyers and customers—B2C and B2B—expect from virtually all vendor interactions. This new world of personalized customer experience means every interaction with a brand—whether email, text, online, or in-person—must reflect personal and business preferences and requirements.

Why Personalization Is Important

The business case for personalization is patently obvious. The ability to create unique, personalized experiences translates into more loyal and engaged customers and increased sales. Office space was one area that was mostly unchanged, until Davinci Meeting Rooms changed the industry by letting our customers personalize their office needs by offering hourly rentals. Indeed, a recent study by Gartner finds that brands offering personalization will outperform competitive brands by 15 percent by 2018.

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Three Use Cases for a Receptionist in a Virtual Office Location and Meeting Space

As the workplace becomes more mobile and new demographic changes take hold, the overall percentage of virtual workers will continue to grow. There are certainly tangible benefits associated with these changes. For example, recent studies, including one in the Harvard Business Review, show that virtual employees are not only happier and less likely to quit, but they are also more productive.

The Virtual Workplace and Small Businesses

To compete in this new marketplace, small businesses must adapt. Not only do they need to give employees who live and commute within the “proximity” of their local offices an option to work virtually (or maintain a hybrid schedule), but they also need to look for talent outside of their locales who will work virtually 100 percent of the time.

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Part Two of 10 Things to Consider When Building and Optimizing Your Website

In part two of this two-part blog series, we explored 5 of the 10 things small businesses need to consider when building and optimizing a website. Some businesses may not have a website, and they are not sure where to start. Others may have a website, but they are not getting the results they want.

This blog series is intended for both scenarios. In part one of the blog series, we looked at core building blocks small businesses need to consider when building a website:

  1. Do It Yourself or Do It For Me
  2. Website Platform
  3. Listing on the Search Domains
  4. Website Performance
  5. Search Optimization

The following five considerations (or 6 through 10) relate to how a small business elects to engage with website visitors.

  1. Content

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Part One of 10 Things to Consider When Building and Optimizing Your Website

A recent study by GoDaddy found that 59 percent of very small businesses (five or fewer employees) operate without a website. Yet this number is going to change very soon; over half of them report plans to launch a website in the next two years.

Some of Davinci’s customers find themselves in this category. You started a business and have been so busy growing it that you haven’t had time to build and launch a website. Others have a website, but you feel it needs improvement—that you can get better results than what you’re currently achieving.

The following are 10 things a small business needs to consider when launching—or enhancing—a website.

1. DIY or DIFM

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11 Ways to Use Meeting Rooms

Getting time for in-person meetings with your prospects, customers, and even internal stakeholders is not easy. Time is a valuable resource. Expectations for meetings are quite low. Nearly three-quarters of business professionals believe meetings are unproductive and ineffective, failing to meet desired outcomes.

How does a business ensure their meetings fall into the 25-percent minority? Upfront planning (for everything from logistics, location, the agenda, presenters, communications, etc.) is a critical starting point. Flawless execution of the agenda must then follow.

Don’t Forget the Meeting Room

Meeting location is an important facet of managing a successful meeting that is all-too-often neglected. Few businesses have offices in all of the locations where their meetings need to take place. This means rented meeting space is required. However, even when a business has a permanent office space, this does not mean they have a conference room that suffices for all meeting scenarios.

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8 Things That Can Go Wrong When Hosting a Customer Meeting

Whether customer meetings are hosted onsite or offsite, there are a number of things that can go wrong. Nearly every business professional has been witness to at least several of the following scenarios. Some may have simply been minor distractions; others may have been show-stoppers where deals were lost or service issues were left unresolved.

1. Obscure Address. Not every company is able to afford a location that is easy to find. While your office location may fully satisfy day-to-day business functions, it may not be the best location for a customer meeting. Indeed, beyond a late start to the meeting, having customers “frantically” searching for a hard-to-find address creates a bad customer disposition before the customer even arrives at your location.
Tip – Davinci Meeting Rooms are Google optimized so they are easy to find and direct your clients to. Your client will always find the address as we already took the necessary steps to make Google aware of the location.

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Are You Planning a Customer Event? 12 Things to Consider

Customer events are great opportunities for companies to foster deeper, more strategic relationships with their customers. Research shows that customers who attend events have fewer support issues, are more loyal, and enlarge their spend.

The benefits are a two-way street. Users yearn for the chance to interact directly with their vendors and with each other. Because of the information they obtain from these interactions, they leave more knowledgeable and better equipped as an end user.

Business Value of Local Events

While some companies can afford to manage annual end-user conferences, many cannot do so—and this is particularly true for most small businesses. Large events require substantial logistics, resources, time, and cost. On the flip side, local customer events are much easier to orchestrate for small businesses. Many customers also prefer intimate events where they can have more substantive conversations with other local users.

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Your Next In-Person Prospect Meeting: 7 Things to Consider About the Location

Despite technology disruption and demographic shifts, “old-fashioned,” face-to-face meetings remain the most effective means for conducting business. Business professionals in a study published by Oxford Economics found that virtual meetings with prospects are 85 percent less effective than in-person meetings (only 12 percent indicate virtual meetings are more effective).[1]

Facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tone, and other mannerisms provide valuable information to the listener. They are often just as important as the words themselves. Even when virtual video technologies are employed, the experience is not the same; listeners simply are not able to derive the same information as when in-person.

3 Reasons for In-Person Prospect Meetings

There is no replacement to the energy and connections that occur with in-person meetings. This is particularly important in sales scenarios, when sales managers aim to secure a prospect’s interest and further engagement. Three of the most salient ways in which in-person prospect meetings enable greater sales success include:

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