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Two Essential Concerns for Anyone Scaling a Small Business

Small business owners might own and operate companies with a handful of employees, but these hard-working people never think small. As large as your dreams might be, you have to think carefully about scaling your organization to the next level of growth – after all, even one bad hire can cause serious problems for every member of the team. This narrow margin for error makes many small business owners understandably cautious about scaling upwards, even if options such as implementing improved helpdesk infrastructure will ultimately be positive changes. Two important factors should be kept in mind by any small business owner looking to cultivate enhanced growth.

Finding the Right People for the Team

As mentioned above, hiring the wrong person can have negative effects on all aspects of a small business. Finding the right person remains a difficult prospect and there are many strategies you might consider when it comes time to add new members to your team.

In a business with less than ten people, a new employee will make up a significant percentage of the organization; the percentage of a company’s total workforce dominated by a new hire only goes up the fewer current employees there are. Given that a new hire might make up ten, twenty, or even thirty percent of your small business, it makes sense to spend a lot of time finding exactly the right person.

Take time to investigate different interview strategies that will highlight the skills and compatibility of each applicant. A face-to-face interview is certainly going to be a cornerstone of the hiring process, but consider other ways of assessing an applicant’s appropriateness. Panel interviews and portfolio reviews can give a better perspective on whether or not a prospective hire is the right fit.

Related: Acing Idea Execution as a Small Business

Finding New Customers for Your Company

Expanding into new markets is a central scaling strategy, but is it possible to duplicate past success in new markets? Begin by thinking of your company as a natural response to people’s needs, not necessarily as a solution to their problems.

Speaking directly to the needs of the customers you wish to serve can be achieved with several different low-cost solutions, including:

• Email marketing platforms
• Cloud help desk solutions
• Social media advertising
• Website design and web development

Cayzu is a cost-effective helpdesk system that companies of all sizes can use to improve customer service operations. Email platforms let you reach thousands of contacts each month for just a few dollars; customize your electronic newsletters with links, photos, and more to encourage customer engagement.

Related: Benefits a Help Desk Can Offer Small Businesses

Some small business owners are hesitant to invest in web development, believing this to be a high-cost way to connect with new customers. While this might have been true in the past, there are several low-cost website design options that are easy to use and require only basic comfort with computer use. Having an established online presence raises your profile and makes you more visible to the customers in your area searching for a company like yours.

Scaling a small business into a larger organization requires being willing to try new things. Plan carefully at each step and then watch how these strategies boost your growth.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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Keeping Up With Customers’ Changing Needs – Are You Ready?

The many dimensions of company growth can be driven by a range of factors, including new and evolving customer needs. Often, a company discovers that helpdesk infrastructure is inadequate to meet customer needs only after multiple failures have occurred. These failures are not necessarily due to improper dispersal of resolution solutions and problem management; in many cases, failures occur because the existing system of customer service cannot accommodate the volume or scope of concerns. This can happen after a company has expanded into a new market, for instance, or rolled out a new product line. In other words, one form of success might lead to other forms of failure. Having scalable customer service solutions is a good way to accommodate the changing patterns of demands without dropping the ball.

What Exactly Needs Scaled?

The effective delivery of customer services depends on many factors, including the number of personnel dedicated to these essential operations. Scaling your service operations does not simply mean adding more people to the team, although this may be one part of your overall solution. The training given to customer service representatives is also likely to play a role in scaling. The process of providing service has to be carefully evaluated; these are just a few of the factors that may need to be taken into consideration:

• Existing helpdesk protocols
• Case tracking and management software
• Hardware required to run modern software solutions effectively
• Hours of customer service department operation
• Venues for service requests and delivery

The software used to input customer service cases and track their management can be one of the most valuable of all scalable solutions. Cloud help desk solutions in particular operate on multiple scalable principles. Not only can they accommodate a growing number of users and increasingly complex management operations, they can be built on network architecture that delivers increased support as user demand rises and diverts resources as demand falls.

Developing Nuanced Solutions

Job delegation and organizational skills are two important solutions that dovetail nicely with improved network support. Highly effective customer service departments make use of hierarchies to delegate common and uncommon jobs to agents that are most equipped to manage them. The majority of agents will be trained to address common, frequent concerns; a smaller number of highly experienced agents can be given service requests that are less frequently seen and that may require a greater degree of attention.

Delegation works very effectively when the progress made on a case can be tracked with in-house software. Each step of concern management can be logged along with the names of each person assisting; some concerns require the input of several service personnel or even personnel from other departments. Tracking helps ensure accountability and that service failures do not occur.

Sophisticated cloud help desk systems like those from Cayzu can be used to generate the analytics that will help pinpoint steps in need of improvement as your customer service operations scale to meet increased demand. This precise form of problem solving gives you the information required to develop the strategies that will be most meaningful to your organization.

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Top 4 SEO Strategies for Small Businesses

Being a small brand doesn’t negate you from the benefits of SEO. In fact, you can even begin to compete with bigger brands when you optimize your website. Big brands might spend thousands of dollars on marketing, but small businesses can get a lot of search engine traffic when they spend their money wisely on SEO and helpdesk services.

1. Consider Your Existing SEO Advantages

Some small businesses are poised to perform outstandingly without even knowing it. If your business has an old domain name that is at least a decade old, your website will be favored by search engine results. Search engines see businesses with old domains as reliable and stable. Utilizing your existing SEO assets allows you to compete without breaking the bank.

2. Start Revamping Your Website

Before you go all out on optimizing your website, do some research into your analytics. Which pages are driving the most organic traffic? What product pages or blog posts are getting the most views? Consider the most valuable pages that already exist on your website and use them as your starting point.

You don’t have to spend a penny on SEO services to get your website in better shape. Start by creating keyword-based title tags, including useful and authoritative content, and composing articulate Meta descriptions.

Related: 7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Online Marketing

 

3. Develop Strong Keywords

Your first instinct might be to use high-volume keywords to compete with bigger brands in your industry. This often fails due to the large volume of searches and how established brands are already using keywords. Instead, consider focusing your energy on longer keywords that competing brands might not be using as much. Using unique and longer phrases can result in better conversion rates.

4. Create High Quality Content

Content marketing has become a key aspect of SEO strategies in recent years. While it is crucial to have high quality content on your website, search engines favor brands that place this content offsite. Big brands are almost solely focused on their own websites. When they do create offsite content, it is usually not written by the actual business owners and therefore less compelling. Carefully crafting an offsite content marketing strategy will set you apart and give you an authoritative voice in your industry.

5. Use SEO to Improve Customer Service

Integrating marketing and customer support is a smart strategy if you’re looking to compete with big brands. Utilize customer data to find out what your knowledge base site is lacking and how you can optimize it. Ask yourself these questions:

• What questions are customers asking?
• What are customers looking for?
• Is there sufficient information on my site?
• If not, how can I add it?

Customer data provides a direct insight into what your customers want. You can create keywords and entire web pages based around this information. Integrating your SEO strategy with customer service support via a cloud based help desk solution that offers a knowledge base will increase customer engagement and returns.

Don’t believe the lie that you can’t compete with bigger brands. When you use good SEO and customer service practices, you will see conversions and sales increase. Your website is just waiting for you to tap into its potential.

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5 Effective Ways to Surpass Your Competition by Improving Your Customer Service

There are several things you can do improve your overall business in order to compete with your competition, but few of those methods are as powerful as improving your customer service. In addition to offering exemplary customer service software, Cayzu also specializes in offering exemplary professional advice on how you can leapfrog past your competition by pinpointing your customer service strategy.

Make Your Site Easy to Use

Every now and then it’s a good idea to put yourself in a customer’s position to see how well your site works. How well does your online helpdesk work? Does your site load quickly and is it easy to navigate? If you have a brick-and-mortar store as well as an online store, make sure you offer customers a self-service option. Doing so is a great way to ensure all of your customers get what they’re shopping for when they’re shopping for it no matter what time it is or the time zone they’re in.

Answers Should Be Quick and Easy to Come By

The answers to basic and common questions should be readily available on your site. Few things can upset your customers faster or easier than them not being able to easily find information that should be included in the FAQ section of your site. And speaking of FAQ sections, we recommend updating yours every year or so to keep up with changing inquiries.

Related: The Keys to Effective Customer Self-Service 

Be Considerate

Just as you have a business to operate, your customers have lives to tend to. Stick to whatever promises and delivery times you give. If there are ever any delays or reasons you’re unable to keep your promises or meet your obligations, make sure you have a good reason and that you’re completely honest with your customers. They’re often more forgiving if you take quick action, communicate with them and make up for any mistakes you make.

Prepare for the Absolute Worst

You and your customer service department are sure to have more than your fair share of bad and downright terrible days, so you might as well go ahead and prepare for them before they happen. Find out what some of the most common customer service complications are and find out how leading companies handle those specific situations. Be sure you include your customer service department to help with this step. They’re going to be the implementing your strategy, so they might as well help develop it.

Related: The Trickle-Down Effect of Customer Service 

Keep Every Impression in Mind

Don’t wait for your customer to come to you before you set the tone for your relationship, and this applies to your physical customer service department as well as your cloud help desk. You also want to be mindful of the message you’re sending to customers as they look over your physical store or website. Finally, you also want to end business transactions on a positive note rather than be quick to rush off to the next customer. Let your customers know you’re there for them if they ever need assistance in the future.

Rather than focus specifically on beating out your competition, focus instead on improving your business. No matter how crowded the marketplace becomes, it’s always best to focus inward rather than outward.

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Imbuing “Experience” Within the Customer Service Experience

We live in a world that’s more automated and electronic than ever, and that’s especially true when it comes to advanced customer service software. Cayzu is here to remind you that even though many of your business’s tasks can be done electronically, you should still make sure you devote some of your financial resources to improving the customer’s experience with your company. Your customers are sure to thank you, and you’re sure to notice a positive change in your overall business structure.

The Findings

In a study conducted earlier this year, market research company J.D. Power found that personal service is essential in the hospitality industry. The research showed that customers had a more positive experience when they were able to interact with several members of the staff, and those findings were especially true when they interacted with staff members from different departments. While your helpdesk is essential to making sure your customers get the assistance and service they need, make sure you don’t forget that some customers may want to speak with other departments in order to be fully satisfied.

Related: The Pizza Analogy. Customer Experience: More Than Just Customer Service  

Expedite the Process

Take a lesson from Jiffy Lube. If your business requires an abundance of paperwork, or if customers have to fill in the same information each time they order something from you, store their information in a database so that you have quick access to it and make it so that the information is already filled in when customers start a new order. Make sure your customers know you’ll be storing their information, especially if it’s sensitive financial or personal information, and give them the choice of opting out if they’d rather not have their information stored. With all of the hacks that have been going on, some customers may not like having the possibility of their credit card information being compromised.

Streamline Transactional Processes and Items

Depending on your market, your customers may be more accustomed to electronic receipts, product boxes that don’t have instruction manuals and possibly even physical stores that don’t have registers. Find out what your audience expects to see and how they expect to perform a transaction. For instance, paying by phone is rising in popularity, and customers may expect to have the option of paying through an app rather than handing their card over. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your customers as well as your employees to find out how you can best streamline the transaction process and the way in which you package your products.

Related: 5 Obvious Customer Service Lessons That We Sometimes Forget 

Don’t Forget the Emotional Element

Younger customers are more accustomed to interacting with technology every day of their lives, but they can still find value in face-to-face interactions and the emotional element of the shopping experience. If a large part of your customer base is young and technologically savvy, don’t forget to appeal to their emotions. Remember, every investment starts in the heart, not the wallet.

Just as Cayzu wants to improve your cloud help desk, we also want to improve as many other facets of your business as possible. While customer service is a great place to start, take the momentum you gain and spread it across the rest of your business. Take some time to enhance your customers’ experience and you’re sure to enhance your business experience at the same time.

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7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Online Marketing

The Internet may still be young, but online marketing is imperative to a highly successful businesses. Especially for small companies, a quality web presence can increase revenue and profit by making your products and services available to your customers twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Many enterprises aren’t making the most of their various internet platforms and customer service software, but with the right shifts, any company can begin converting web leads into paying customers.

1. Don’t Get Caught in the Family Trap

One of the hallmarks of entrepreneurship is calling in favors from friends and family. Though these types of “associates” usually come without fees, they are rarely experts in advertising or online content. The truth is you probably entrust your web presence to professionals who understand the market.

2. Choose the Right Service and Provider

Some firms are huge and mainly focus on even larger clients. Others will offer unbelievable pricing, but low quality services. When you are setting up your online business components like a cloud help desk, make sure you hire partners like Cayzu who have a track record of excellence.

Related: 7 Tips to Ensure That Your New Small Business is Successful 

3. Hop on the SEO Bandwagon

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization and it involves the use of keywords to get to the top of search engine results. Most companies base their efforts on the Google algorithms, but if you have an international business, you should cater to other popular search engines as well.

4. Beef Up Your SEM

Search engine marketing or SEM incorporates SEO tactics but it is a much wider discipline. The system might employ pay-per-click advertising as well as SEO to drive your businesses websites to increase search engine visibility. As far as customer acquisition, this s considered on of the most effective tactics currently in use. With over 3.5 billion daily Google searches, it’s not hard to imagine why.

Related: How to Keep Your Customers Right Where They Are 

5. Put the Work in for a Perfectly Engineered Site

Modern consumers are impatient and 40 percent of Internet users will leave a website if it doesn’t load in three seconds. Plus, 50 percent of web searches happen on mobile phones and apps. For these reasons, you website needs to adjust for mobile devices, be devoid of glitches and instantly engage leads with its design.

6. Sincerely Engage Social Media

When social media sites first popped up, they were seen as a way for young people to connect with each other, but they were not considered fit for professionals. Now, even the white house has an active Twitter presence. Social media sites reach millions of people and can be responsible for effective advertising.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Combat the Decline in Social Media Customer Service 

7. Snail Mail Is Dead but Email Isn’t

Email is fast and doesn’t require postage. Regular newsletters, blog content or special offers are a great way to keep customers engaged and they foster consistent communication between the business and client. Like social media, you can track results and statistics, which will help you make smarter company decisions down the line.

No enterprise should view their web presence as unnecessary or unimportant. Something as simple as having an accessible online helpdesk can draw in and retain clients who like the ease and design of the system. Follow these tips to get the most out of your Internet media.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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The Pizza Analogy. Customer Experience: More Than Just Customer Service

Too many organizations only think about the service they are providing rather than what experiences their customers are having. It’s easy to focus on customer service without considering the bigger picture of customer experience. While these two things work together, they are most successful when they are tackled with their own respective business strategies via customer service software. We’re here to help you understand the difference between these two terms so that you can give your customers a rewarding experience.

The Pizza Analogy

Everyone loves pizza, right? Well, maybe not everyone, but work with us! Imagine a plain cheese pizza. It’s pretty good and mostly anyone would eat some if there weren’t any other options available. Now imagine a pizza with your favorite toppings–pepperoni, sausage, or even pineapple. This pizza was handmade with all organic ingredients and cooked to perfection in a brick oven. The second pizza is more desirable, right?

The plain cheese pizza is customer service by itself. It is good on its own, but it is lacking something. Customer experience gives you all the extra toppings and backstory that make you actually excited to eat the pizza. Delivering comprehensive customer service is like delivering a good pizza. It matters how it’s made, how it’s delivered, the quality of the packaging, and how quickly it was delivered. The plain underlying cheese pizza plays a big role in how it’s perceived, but it becomes truly satisfying when everything comes together.

Related: How to Keep Your Customers Right Where They Are 

Let’s Get Technical

Now that you have entertained our love of pizza, let’s dig deeper into what this looks like operationally. Providing a successful customer experience means proactively predicting what your customers want. Customer service by itself is reactionary. Resolving issues such as process failures or user errors is customer service. Customer experience is about creating an attractive perception of your brand.

When you reach out to your customers in a proactive manner, they will feel good when they interact with your brand. Customer experience is making your customers feel comfortable about accessing your organization, while customer service is used to resolve issues and satisfy needs. When these are both applied strategically, you will keep your customers coming back.

Interact Before There Is An Issue

The best thing you can do to attract customers to your organization is providing interactive opportunities that get them excited to purchase your products or services. There are many valuable facets of customer experience, but social media is an emergent and ever-changing landscape that plays a big role. Rather than providing customer service separately across social media channels and via email, what if you could integrate it all into one?

We have HelpDesk customer service software that provides seamless integration of your websites, email accounts, and social media profiles. This gives you the tools you need to expand your presence and interact with customers more efficiently and proactively.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Combat the Decline in Social Media Customer Service 

Give Your Customers An Experience

When you develop a strategy to execute positive interactions with the help of Cloud Help Desk software, you will create a favorable perception of your business. Learn how our multichannel social software can help.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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7 Tips to Ensure That Your New Small Business is Successful

A lot of people have thought about starting their own business at one point or another, but unfortunately most of them aren’t quite sure where to begin. This is especially true for those who have no previous entrepreneurial experience. If you’ve got a great idea, though, and the passion to see it through, then here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Do Your Homework

When you start a business, your first priority should be to research the industry, so that you can make every step after that easier. Familiarize yourself with your product, competitors, and potential clients. Make sure that any assumptions you make are valid, that there is a market for your idea, and that you’re truly offering an innovative solution. One good step is to look at established companies in your industry and figure out what they’re doing right.

Build a Plan

Next, you should start creating a business plan. Set long and short term goals, come up with ways to keep track of them, and write out your strategy to accomplish them. Ideally, you should have a goal for what the first three years or so of operation will look like. A business plan helps you to see the whole picture and ensures that you have the direction needed to move forward.

Related: Small Businesses Can Combat the Amazons of the World 

Make Community Connections

You should make an effort to be in touch with your community. Not only will this help create loyal customers who want to help you succeed, it’s also a good way to generate contacts that can help your business grow. Plus, good PR is always a bonus. Get involved with business and commerce groups, non-profits, and other helpful institutions.

Make Corporate Connections

You might be familiar with the importance of networking in the beginning, but it’s very important not to stop. By creating new contacts inside your industry, you can more easily find providers, distributors, and other helpful contacts; by talking with people outside of your industry you can get a fresh perspective and even unexpected clients.

Related: Why Customer Service Should Replace Your Marketing 

Manage Your Time

Time management is one of the single most important skills that an entrepreneur can learn. Although clichéd, the phrase “time is money” almost always holds true. Figure out how to manage your time efficiently and make your downtime productive. Don’t procrastinate, don’t waste downtime, and don’t let your personal life overtake your business (or vice versa!).

Related: 7 Ways to Boost Your Small Business on Facebook 

Think About Financing

Don’t rely too much on external financing. Although it can be helpful later on, building a business plan off of it when you’re starting out is a recipe for disaster. Many institutions will not support a new business from day one. Consider what personal resources you have—credit cards, personal savings, small loans, or friends and family who would be willing to lend their support. Create a good track record and then use it to get outside investment later.

Respect Your Clients

Finally, be sure to treat your customers right. Without their support, your business is sure to fail. One major advantage of a small business is that you can give your customer service a personal touch, but it can be difficult to manage their concerns without an effective helpdesk solution. Cloud help desk customer service software like Cayzu is a great way to help ensure that customers come to and stay with your business. With some careful planning, your great idea can get off the ground.

Cayzu Helpdesk – Make your customers happy!

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How to Keep Your Customers Right Where They Are

Businesses can have the best products or services in their respective industries, but they likely aren’t going to be very successful if they’re unable to prevent customers from falling into the arms of their competition. While Cayzu’s cloud help desk is designed to allow you to take care of and keep your customers, there are several additional things you can do to keep your churn rate down and your customer satisfaction rate high.

Get the Entire Picture

We’re focused on customer service, be we also realise there are several departments that make up your organisation. Keep customers happy by keeping the lines of communication open and clear between your customer service, marketing, engineering, sales and any other departments your business has. Share information across departments to find ways to take the absolute best care of your customers.

Related: The Keys to Effective Customer Self-Service

Find the Root of the Problem

No matter how hard you try, there are simply some customers you aren’t going to be able to satisfy. For those times where you try your best and are still unable to provide customers with what they want, find out where it was that you misstepped. Is there a problem with your wares or services? Is your helpdesk not performing as well as you’d hoped? Did the customer feel neglected? No matter what the issue is, see if there’s a way to rectify it, and ask the customer to give you another chance.

Related: 6 Ways to Boost the Customer Service Capabilities of Your Small to Medium Business 

Make It Personal

Everyone likes it when you treat them as an individual, but it’s especially true when it comes to your customers. Any information you gather about customers should be utilised to make their shopping experience more personal. Rather than send out a blast email regarding an upcoming sale or new product, target customers who have shown an interest in the product or sale and send it specifically to them. After all, you wouldn’t let a customer know you have a new type of coffeemaker if he or she only drinks tea.

With the right information, it’s not as hard as you might think to reduce your overall customer churn and retain happy customers!.

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Agents Can Finally Create Tickets for Themselves + 7 Other Cayzu Help Desk Features

The Cayzu Help Desk team is excited to announce our latest update!

The release includes:

  • Enhanced Ticket History (Audit Log)
  • Ability for Agents to Create Tickets for Themselves
  • Ability to Delete Ticket Replies (Agent Portal)
  • Ability to Delete All Attachments from a Ticket (Agent Portal)
  • New Status Added to Cayzu’s Mobile Apps
  • Ability to Set an Articles (FAQ,Topics, News) Date
  • Ability to Select A Mailbox for Manual Ticket Creation
  • Consolidated Reports
  • & More

 

Enhanced Ticket History (Audit Log): Need more accountability when a ticket is worked on by multiple people over a long period of time?  You can now pull up an entire ticket’s history through an embedded audit log.

Ticket History

 

Ability for Agents to Create Tickets for Themselves: In the past agents couldn’t assign tickets to themselves and had to use a workaround of creating a secondary user.  This limitation has been removed and agents can now create tickets for themselves without a second account.  Want to test it out? Simply email your support address from your own agent email address!

 

Ability to Delete Ticket Replies (Agent Portal): Messed up a comment and want it removed from the ticket thread? Not a problem, you can now delete ticket replies.

 

Ability to Delete All Attachments from a Ticket (Agent Portal): You can now quickly delete one or all attachments from a ticket.

Delete - Cayzu Help desk

 

New Status added to Cayzu’s Mobile Apps: We’ve added the “Resolved” status in the mobile agent apps which allows you to quickly pull up the last 30 days of closed tickets.  On top of this, we’ve also expose the due date and who the requester was for each ticket.  To update, visit your respective app store.

 

mobile tech support

 

Ability to Set an Articles (FAQ,Topics, News) Date:  You now have more granularity when adding FAQS, News and Topics by having the ability to edit their posting date.

Cayzu Help Desk

 

Ability to Select A Mailbox for Manual Ticket Creation: Got a phone call about a billing problem from a customer and want the sales team to handle it? You can now associate tickets that you manually create with a specific mailbox so that the customer gets notified by the proper department & email address.

Mailbox at ticket creation

 

Consolidated Reports: It was time for a bit of a clean up! We’ve consolidated and combined some redundant reports to give you a better experience so make sure to log in and check it out (need it an account, sign up here) !

Get started today! Cayzu Help Desk is easy to get started with.  Just sign up for our no obligation, no credit card trial at: www.cayzu.com/sign-up .

Need more information? Not a problem.  Join an upcoming webinar or schedule a live demo today!

We look forward to your feedback as you use Cayzu Help Desk!

 

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