Guest Post: 5 Tech Solutions That Will Help You Exceed Customer Expectations

In a time where the world is more connected through technology and social media, providing excellent customer service is crucial. The reputation of your business is built on its effectiveness, including the customer experience.

Exceeding customer expectations creates loyal customers and it differentiates you from the competition. In addition, word of mouth is now more powerful than ever, as customers can easily share both positive and negative opinions online.

Here are 5 powerful tech solutions that will help you exceed customer expectations and provide exceptional customer service:

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  1. Vision Helpdesk 

Serving businesses of all sizes and levels, Vision Helpdesk is a leading customer support software that comes in 3 different products. There’s the Helpdesk software, which enables customer support agents to receive, process, and respond to service requests. On the other hand, the Satellite Helpdesk software provides a multi-company customer support management solutions.

Additionally, all features from Helpdesk and Satellite Helpdesk combined are provided by the Service Desk software which follows the discipline of IT service management.

Unique features of these software include task management, ticket billing, asset management, and release management. Vision Helpdesk allows you to stay on track as you serve clients, creating a client portal that is convenient for both customer and company.

There are multiple pricing plans offered, varying by the specific software and the hosting plan. Pricing starts at $7 per month to host Helpdesk on your server with a recurring license, or a one-time license for $150.

  1. TeamSupport

This customer support program allows teams to collaborate better by eliminating miscommunications and quickly addressing customer issues. Improving customer communication helps teams handle the customer service process better.

The program has some key unique features that help with the delivery of cohesive customer support. There is ticket automation, which allows support staff to flag messages by word or type. For example, a staff could add a flag for any support request that contains the word “upset” or “frustrated.” This allows the team to prioritize the more urgent requests that need attention.

Another key feature is the Knowledge Base tool. This allows clients to try to solve their own minor issues, which enables support staff to handle bigger challenges that may arise. With TeamSupport, customers can have their needs prioritized and met with efficient responses. Pricing starts from $40 per month.

  1. Office 365 

Another top solution that will help you exceed customer expectations is Office 365. This cloud-based service features a number of different tools that can be beneficial. One of the newly debuted services is Bookings, which allows customers to schedule appointments with a company using online software. This makes a convenient process for customers as it eliminates the need for a phone call.

Dynamics is another Office 365 software tool. The CRM package brings a line of integrated business management solutions that allow your staff to make important business decisions with a greater sense of confidence. Key features of Dynamics include lead management, contact management, and territory management.

Pricing for Office 365 starts from $5/month per user, for the Business Essentials plan. Microsoft Dynamics pricing plans start at $4 per user/month.

  1. Samanage

If your company is seeking a more advanced, user-friendly help desk solution then Samanage is the option for you. Making life easier for both your team and the customer, Samanage has comprehensive functionality that allows you to quickly respond to service requests. This results in improved support for your customers.

The intuitive service desk ensures that your team will deliver exemplary support. Clients use their email or the powerful self-service portal to submit service tickets. Users can even search for a solution independently by using the system’s Knowledge Base.

In addition to submitting a new service ticket, your customers can easily track the status of a pending issue.

Samanage allows for a desk data integration and can be used on the go from any smartphone or tablet with web browsing capabilities. You can experience the convenience and up-to-date reliability of Samanage for an affordable annual subscription based on your software needs.

  1. AmoCRM

AmoCRM allows you to manage your pipeline and sales team. The sales management service is a web-based platform enables businesses to manage customer relationships more effectively. You can directly link platforms such as Facebook, Dropbox, Xero, and Zendesk to AmoCRM.

Valuable features include sales analytics, lead scoring, and email integration. The software supports custom field creation and provides a user-friendly approach to managing your company’ interactions with current and potential customers.

AmoCrm allows you to upload existing customers from contact databases such as Gmail and Outlook. There are also follow-up tasks to keep you up-to-date on meetings and calls, and these are attached to the contact or lead cards.

AmoCRM is free to try and plans start from $15/month.

There are many excellent technological solutions available that help businesses thrive in managing their customer service by maximizing efficiency and enhancing communication. However, technology can only take you so far. In order to provide a stellar customer service, your entire business should be customer-service oriented. Strive to exceed customer expectations whenever you can and this will definitely take your business a long way in terms of longevity and reputation.

 

About the Author:

heather

Heather Redding is an avid reader, freelance writer, coffee snob and a tech enthusiast from Aurora, Illinois. When she is not working, Heather enjoys swimming and hanging out with her friends. You can reach Heather via Twitter.

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Salesforce.com Announces New Salesforce1 Fund from Salesforce Ventures to Fuel Mobile Innovation for the Internet of Customers

What’s new in the land of start-ups? Well Salesforce.com just announced Salesforce Ventures which has allocated $100 million to invest in companies building innovative mobile apps and connected products that extend the power of the Salesforce1 Platform. The first wave of Salesforce1 Fund investments include DocuSign, i.am+, InsideSales.com and Skuid. The idea is that with Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can leverage the expertise of the Salesforce.com Foundation to make giving back part of their business model from the beginning.

Salesforce Ventures invests in the next generation of enterprise technology to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding to accelerate their growth and gain a competitive edge through access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of salesforce.com’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage the expertise of the Salesforce.com Foundation to incorporate its 1-1-1 model of integrated philanthropy to make giving back part of their business model.

It makes sense since technology continues to transform the way companies connect with their customers. By 2020, according to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected things and a trillion connected sensors on the Internet of Things—from smartphones and wearable smart devices to jet engines and cars. But what matters most is that behind every device, every app, and every product is a customer. This is really the Internet of Customers, and the opportunity for companies to revolutionize how they connect with their customers has never been greater.

More on the companies they are funding:

●      DocuSign—DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platform empowers mobile Salesforce users and their customers to go 100 percent digital so that anyone can transact anything, anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device securely – all from within Salesforce1. 

●      i.am+i.am+ is a fashion and technology brand that makes aspirational garments and accessories with functionality and untethered communications.

●      InsideSales.com—InsideSales.com integrates core telephony features like Click-to-Call™ and Lead Management—powered by a predictive analytics engine—into any Salesforce1 mobile experience to make field reps more productive and accelerate sales.

●      Skuid—Skuid allows customers to quickly create powerful, gorgeous apps for any device without code.

 The Salesforce Ventures portfolio includes innovative cloud companies such as Anaplan, Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, FinancialForce, GainSight, Kenandy, Layer, MuleSoft and StayClassy. Salesforce.com has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud startups since 2009. Looks like Salesforce Ventures is furthering salesforce.com’s commitment to creating the world’s most innovative cloud ecosystem that extends the power of the Salesforce1 Platform to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways.

If you want additional information on this new venture, you can find it here:

●      Learn more about Salesforce Ventures: http://www.salesforce.com/ventures

●      Follow @salesforcevc on Twitter: http://twitter.com/salesforcevc

●      Learn more about the Salesforce.com Foundation: http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/

And if you want to start giving back, join Salesforce Ventures and The Salesforce Foundation at Disrupt SF on Tuesday, September 9 to assemble backpacks for SFUSD students.

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

See you at Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise

The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 
Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

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The TOP 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter: A Study by @DrNatalie & Big Data Cruncher InfiniGraph.com

Wondering what brands are the most engaged on Twitter? We wondered too. This New York Times article explores engagement and Twitter.

I also wondered what drives engagement on Twitter and I began my own study by looking at the top 100 brands who had the most Twitter followers. Then using the InfiniGraph.com platform, we added those brands into platform which did the big data crunching. InfiniGraph is different than social media monitoring. It is a interest graph platform.

Mashable has a ton of articles on how social networks like Twitter are trying new things to increase engagement. Here’s a recap article about the study and the actual engagement of the brands we evaluated on Forbes by Mark Fidelman.

Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter

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There’s certainly lots of definitions of engagement. Here’s a great article by Jay Baer who interviewed David Armano on how brands need to create a iterative strategy around engagement- micro-interactions & incremental customer experience victories. The LA Times has many articles on how brands are using social media and networking. Jon Swartz writes about the abundance of platforms for customers to engage on, hinting that perhaps more is not the answer. Maybe really understanding what engagement means is a beginning. In this case, the InfiniGraph Engagement Platform looked at Twitter engagement as measured by RT’s, clicks and @ replies.

Study of the 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter was written about on Mashable and it provides a very nice overview of the study’s results.  The details and the results of the study are in this report found here:

Graph of the Brands with the Highest Engagement @DrNatalie

Here’s the of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter:

1.  Notebook of Love2. Disneywords3. ESPN4. Funny Facts5. PlayStation6. Disney7. Chelsea Football Club8. BBC Breaking News9. NASA10. CNN Breaking News11.  Instagram12.  YouTube13. Facebook14. NBA15. Arsenal16. The Onion17. Disney Pixar18. FunnyorDie.com19. CNN20. National Geographic21. UNICEF22. Dropbox23. MTV24. WWE25. Chanel

Here’s more details on how the study was conducted:

1. We looked at the brands with the most Twitter followers and created a list of 100 of the most followed brands for the month of February 2013

2. We used InfiniGraph.com to crunch all the “BIG” Data in this report

3. See the Engagement Analysis and Platform powered by InfiniGraph

4. The 100 brands with the most followers were put into the InfiniGraph Platform for the time period of 02/2013 to 03/2013

5. The InfiniGraph Platform took the information about each brand and gathered the data you see in this report:

      • The volume of posts

      • The level of engagement

      • The content that is shared by each brand

      • What days / times during the day it is shared and

      • Compares and ranks it

6. Then the InfiniGraph system creates the graphs you see in this report.

If you are wondering how your brand’s engagement compares to your competitors, you can find out by following these steps:

  • Search on your own brand at: http://smo.infinigraph.com

  • Or click on the industry analysis on the right

  • If your brand is not in the system, request that it’s added

  • Then select the brands you want to compare to your brand and run the report in InfiniGraph

  • Study the results of the comparison

  • Compare how much you post vs the level of engagement

  • Study the other brand’s engagement capabilities and tactics

  • And make changes to your strategy and tactics

The study I did was commission by Nestivity and Evolve Capital. And in full disclosure, I work with InfiniGraph and I am proud to be on InfiniGraph’s Advisory Board.

 

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