Effective Mobile Engagement 2015 (Part 1 of 5): Mobile engagement continues its rapid growth

In what’s becoming an annual event, we recently completed the second edition of Effective Mobile Engagement, a report based on a comprehensive survey of more than 5,000 respondents from around the world. Last year, in our inaugural report, we found that mobile engagement – customers communicating with companies via their mobile devices – was happening more often than we had anticipated. We were pretty confident that the survey would find that mobile engagement was continuing to grow. (It did.) But we also wanted to explore how and where it where it was growing.

One way we did this was by asking respondents about eight different scenarios, both support and mCommerce. Across the boards, they indicated that they were using their mobile devices more frequently than they had when compared to the year before. Growth was significant for each scenario, especially so when it came to product research and actual product purchase. It’s also important to call out that these numbers represent respondents who use mobile engagement often or all the time, not just on occasion. Companies need to note that, with results like these, it’s pretty clear that customers are increasingly looking to communicate with them through their mobile devices.

 

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We also wanted to see just where mobile engagement was occurring. Across our five geographies – USA, European Union, Latin America, Canada, Australia/New Zealand – each of the mobile engagement scenarios experienced growth. One interesting finding: mobile engagement is not as widespread in Canada and Australia/New Zealand as it is elsewhere.

The survey also continues to show that, whether for support or shopping, those engaging via mobile device tap a variety of channels. While phone and e-mail continue to dominate, other channels are also used. Of these – live chat, text messaging, social media, and video chat – live chat is the most popular for both support and mCommerce. Video chat was a new channel added to this year’s survey. While its usage is not yet that high (6%), this will be an interesting on to keep an eye on.

We’ll be exploring some of the other key survey findings – just what mobile engagement is worth, the role of the Internet of Things, smartphone vs. tablet, how satisfied customers are with mobile engagement – in upcoming posts. If you’d like to see the entire Effective Mobile Engagement 2015 report, download it here.

         

Five tips for turning service incidents into sales opportunities

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Thanks to social media and review sites, when someone has a less-than-positive support experience, the experience is shared with everyone on the Internet. On the other hand, positive support experiences, while they’re not as likely to get as much publicity, can make your customers or prospects more receptive to upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

Check out these five tips that we have found to help improve service incidents:

  • Pull together an FAQ: Users may not want to read through a manual or an instruction site, but they’ll look through a brief list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Chances are that a FAQ will have the answer they’re looking for. To jumpstart your FAQ creation, talk to your early adopters and find out what glitches they’ve found. We find it helpful to begin an FAQ when our product is in beta, and allow the FAQ to evolve over time.
  • Publish all your self-service items: Though FAQs are a great first step, publish your technical information for your more hands-on customers. This includes manuals, quick-start guides, and any applicable downloads (drivers, runtime modules). Even though some customers like the DIY approach – it definitely requires some support!
  • Offer multiple support channels: Some folks are comfortable with phone and e-mail, others prefer text and chat for support. By offering a variety of channels, the customer can choose the channel they would like to use, helping drive customer satisfaction.
  • Keep good support records: If you maintain detailed records of all support interactions, you’ll be better able to analyze the source of problems (and use the info to keep your FAQ up to date). A lot of remote support tools, like LogMeIn Rescue, can pull very detailed customized reports. This helps save your technicians time from having to manually document each session, and gives you the ability to quickly reference specific details from any session – even a session from over two years ago!
  • Show (don’t tell) your customers: Customers aren’t always good at explaining exactly what they’ve been doing or exactly what they’re seeing. Use a video-enabled remote access/remote control tool to see exactly what your customers are seeing, and show them first-hand how you’re fixing the problem for them.

While these tips may not look like they have a direct connection to selling opportunities, positive support interactions have a direct impact on customer loyalty. Positive support interactions will also increase the likelihood that your customers will turn to you for further products and services, and maybe even refer a friend!

         

Promote Employee Awareness During Internet Safety Month

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June is Internet Safety Month, as designated by the US Congress with support from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). While Congress started this initiative in 2005 with a focus on Internet safety among children and teens, the goal broadened to promote awareness among all ages of Internet users. Today the NCSA declares safe online business practices as one its 4 key pillars.

At most small businesses, Internet safety starts and ends with employees. From email to Internet browsing to password practices, informed employee behavior is the best way to protect your business from unwanted problems. In honor of Internet Safety Month we pulled together 4 core tips to keep your employees informed:

1. Build Internet safety guidelines – The first step for a small business is to have an opinion on what is safe and what’s not, and make it known throughout the company. Put these rules and regulations into a document that you share with employees on their first day of work and post it where it can be found at any time.

2. Promote good password practices – More than 30% of adults have over 10 passwords to remember.  Whether or not you use a password manager, your employees hold the key to a great deal of valuable company data, and you want it to be safe from hackers. Require employees to change their password every 30, 60 or 90 days, and give them guidance to create strong passwords with tips such as:

  1. Don’t use obvious names, dates or numbers like your birthday, anniversary or hometown
  2. Include both upper and lowercase numbers
  3. Include symbols and characters
  4. Use at least 8 characters

3. Create awareness of email fraud – Prepare employees to look for potential phishing attempts that are designed to steal personal and valuable information. Safeguard your company by understanding the key signs of a fraudulent email and communicating them to employees. Have employees ask the 5 questions below if they suspect a phishing attempt. If they can answer ‘yes’ to one or more, the email might be suspicious.

Does the email in question…

    1. Want you to verify account information beyond email address?
    2. Ask for your password?
    3. Contain personal information like social security number or age?
    4. Include links or required attachments?
    5. Ask for financial information?

Also look for a message from the company to offer validity to the email. For example, LogMeIn adds this notice to the footer of every email it sends:
Important Security Notice: LogMeIn never asks for your password or other sensitive information by email. Do not click links or respond to a suspicious email! For details, visit blog.logmein.com/products/avoiding-phishing-attacks.

4.  Encourage two-factor authentication – As the use of cloud apps in SMBs continues to rise and more employees are introducing their own apps to get work done, it’s important for SMBs to stay in control of their data. Encourage employees to use a two-factor authentication app that adds an extra layer of security to valuable company information. Many two-factor options, including the LogMeIn Authenticator App, allow you to enforce this practice company-wide if desired. 2factorauth

These four tips are just a start to safe, secure Internet practices for your business. Learn more about how to protect your business at the NCSA site. Happy Internet Safety Month!

         

Helpdesk Skills: Not sounding phony on the phone

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Companies often create scripts for their support reps to ensure that reps stay on brand, and provide the right support to customers in the right context. However, there is a downside – sticking too closely to a script may make your reps sound phony and robotic. Customers pick up on this, and that’s not a good thing. Who likes being treated like a robot? Customers don’t, and your support reps don’t either.

This doesn’t mean that you should do away with scripts; scripts are excellent guidelines and provide reminders to reps to be empathetic (e.g. “I’m sorry you’re having this problem,” “I understand completely,” or “Let me see what I can do”). These phrases don’t need to be delivered 100% verbatim, but there are times when your reps will need to make these points.

Educating and training your reps are important so they’ll get used to handling conversations that include both scripted and unscripted elements. Mock phone calls with their peers are a good way to practice. Mix it these mock phone calls with listening games and improv games to help your reps get used to handling situations that go off script. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations – your reps will have encounters with customers who are angry, perhaps even abusive, or maybe just hard to understand, and they need to be prepared.

Once your reps have worked through various support scenarios in mock environments, they’ll get used to handling conversations – scripted or not. They’ll begin to understand how to develop a real rapport with your customers, and how to express empathy for what they’re going through. Customers will be more at ease, and get the feeling that your support reps are on their side.

 

         

Wake Up and Engage! What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

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A focus on customer engagement is nothing new, but lately you may have been hearing a lot about “mobile engagement.” And wondering just what it is and what it means for your business.

To answer that first question, the simplest definition is that a customer is doing business with you using their mobile device. Whether you’re consciously aware of this or not, it’s probably happening among your customers more and more.

But there is another way to define mobile engagement – and to get ahead of the rapidly moving adoption curve on it. And that’s to look at mobile engagement as the ability to purposefully and proactively interact with mobile customers, assisting them whenever, wherever, and however they want to be helped.

Those definitions, and a number of insights gleaned from an extensive survey – five thousand respondents in more than ten countries – that BoldChat recently conducted, are included in a new research report, “Effective Mobile Engagement 2015.” In this free report, you’ll find the answers to these questions and more:

  • Is mobile engagement growing and at what rate?
  • What does mobile engagement mean for my bottom line?
  • What’s the relationship between mobile engagement and the Internet of Things?
  • Are customers satisfied with mobile engagement?

With so many of your customers wanting to engage via their mobile devices, this is one research report you won’t want to miss.

The full research report can be downloaded here. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore each of these findings in more detail.

         

[INFOGRAPHIC] SMBs & the Cloud: The Truth Behind Password Security

Are you part of the password problem? The nearly 50% of people that keep all their passwords in a spreadsheet or the 27% that write them on paper (what’s that)? Forget the third of people that rely on memory; they’re probably using the same password for everything.

Good password management isn’t easy and consumer habits revealed in recent research from Enterprise Strategy Group confirm that. The more unsettling part is how unprepared individuals and small businesses are to deal with the consequences. About 60% of small businesses have no policies in place to address the rise of cloud apps in the workplace, and only 44% require employees to change their password every three months.

You can read the complete report, Password Management in an Increasingly Cloudy World, or check out some highlights and tips for SMBs in the infographic below.

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Update on Cubby Access 

 

The issues impacting access to files in Cubby, as covered in a couple recent posts (detailed version, first alert), are now almost completely resolved.  As of Monday (15th June), our team has successfully restored access to 98% of all files impacted by this issue. And efforts will continue to restore access to any remaining files. Additionally, access to all join.me recordings created this year has been restored, with the same restoration process actively being applied to older files.

While we’re happy to report a positive resolution, we once gain apologize for any inconvenience this disruption may have caused.  If you experience any additional problems going forward, please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone, online, or on our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

         

How to Find and Keep Brand Ambassadors for Your Business

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Many say there’s no better form of marketing than word of mouth, and while most business owners spend a lot of time worrying about the words, it’s also critical to consider who the mouth is. While negative word of mouth can easily hurt the reputation of your company, positive word of mouth can present opportunities that are critical to capitalize upon. A brand ambassador can help you realize those opportunities.

In simple terms, brand ambassadors are promoters of your company, product, or services – the kind of people whose words carry a lot of weight and have ample reach. While historically the term brand ambassador has referred to paid spokespeople, recently it has also come to encompass non-professional advocates who are so enamored with your company that they’re willing to spread the word on your behalf without compensation.

What Does a Brand Ambassador Do?

The role of a brand ambassador isn’t set in stone and varies considerably by company and or market. Since there’s no formal job description or (typically) compensation involved, you probably won’t be directing a brand ambassador, but rather, gently encouraging them. Ambassadors are generally managed by the marketing department, and can be sourced by monitoring direct customer feedback or through social media or community forums.

In a typical organization, brand ambassadors may post about your company on social media (either on their own accounts, on your corporate accounts, or both), serve as an informal liaison with customers about what’s working and what isn’t in your product line, and generally be a public, if unofficial, face of your company.. Ambassadors are often tasked with bringing in new customers, particularly when payment is involved.

Work with your ambassador completely informally or through a formal contract – specifying how often they’ll write online about your business, for example, and what compensation they’ll receive in exchange. If you do formalize an agreement, have a lawyer review it first, even if actual money is not changing hands.

Where to Find Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors can be recruited from any number of places, including:

  • Your employees – This is often a first stop for new companies looking for brand ambassadors, as employees already have a vested interest in the company’s success and can be easily compensated through bonuses and other perks.
  • Your customers – The ideal brand ambassador often comes from your customer base, someone who is so passionate about your business that they’re willing to use their personal free time to promote it to others. This could be a regular at your café, a person who frequently answers community posts, or a person drawn from an analysis of who buys the most frequently from your online store. Groom these ambassadors carefully and reward them well.
  • Social media followers – Some ambassadors may be developed not necessarily from their business interactions with you, but rather from conversations you have with them on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media networks. Encourage these fans particularly to leverage their social media presence.

Discover individuals who are personally invested in or involved with your product, and utilize them to help spread the word. Positive mentions of your product that come from a voice other than the brand itself can often carry much more weight.

         

UPDATE.ME – COLLABORATION, INNOVATION, AND ENGAGEMENT

Week of June 12, 2015

It’s the future of work fact that everyone is buzzing about: in 10 years, Millennials will make up over 75% of the workforce. What changes can we expect in the workplace over the next ten years, as the scales tip?

We published some new research this week about millennial work styles and mobile device habits, and what implications there are for will have on businesses. This is a highly mobile, highly connected, tech-savvy generation, with a collaborative work mindset and a desire to lead. As they become the overwhelming majority in business and take more and more leadership positions, the changes will be major – especially as far as productivity apps, mobile devices, and IT systems are concerned.
Check out our full eBook below, as well as additional articles about preparing for this shift – including some specific implications for IT departments, and how companies should prepare for the Apple Watch wearing employees.

joinmePreparing for the Millennial Workplace Invasion
This eBook combines original research with commentary from leaders about this fascinating generation. We evaluate trends in Millennial mobile habits, career aspirations, and workplacebehavior to help determine what to expect as the generational scales begin to tip.

Follow: @joinme
Tag: #millennial

 

randstadThe Top 10 Ways the Millennial Shift is Transforming IT Departments
The millennial shift is affecting all departments of any business, including IT. This new infographic details how IT departments are preparing for this shift – and if not, how they should be.

Follow: @randstad
Tag: #millennial #IT

 

CMSwireGet Ready for Apple Watch Wearing Employees
Our research shows that 65% of millennials plan to buy a smartphone in the next 3 years. As they take over the majority of the workforce, is your company prepared for the implications of this new device?

Follow: @CMSwire

Tag: #applewatch

 

businessinsider5 Apps for Work Travel
As business travel becomes more common for employees at all levels, it’s important for people to stay connected and be productive on the road. Check out 5 mobile apps recommended by Business Insider to stay organized for work travel.

Follow: @businessinsider
Tag: #mobile

         

PREPPING FOR THE MILLENNIAL WORKPLACE INVASION

A coming of age is coming to work. Millennials represent over 50% of the nation’s workforce, and in 25 years, that number will jump to a massive 75% – it’s a full-on takeover! How will the habits, knowledge, and behaviors of this new majority change the world of work as we know it?

We surveyed millennial workers about their work styles, motivations, and mobile device habits. We combined our findings with additional market research and commentary in a new infographic and eBook, to help you determine what to expect as the generational scales begin to tip – and how you can prepare for the future of work.

Read the highlights in our digital infographic! Want to jump right to the full info? Download our eBook here.

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