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How to Utilize Intelligent Engagement

20 Jun

Despite the many recent advances in enhanced customer service technology, many companies are always looking for better ways to engage their customers and gain more customer loyalty. The latest technology is known as intelligent engagement.

Bold360 is an example of an intelligent engagement service provider. It:

“puts your customer insights to work in real-time, across every channel, at the point of engagement. We named it Bold360 because it gives your business a 360-degree view of your customer and guides your agents to the next best action for that customer, in that moment.”

The Right Insights at the Right Time — With intelligence gained from previous interactions and data from disparate systems, agents are empowered with real-time customer insights for more contextually relevant interactions. Intelligent Automation that Delights — Not every customer engagement is created equal. Bold360 uses customer profile information to automate routine interactions without sacrificing quality and to automate portions of the agent workflow to deliver the next best action. Channels that Work Together as One — Bold360 provides the digital channels preferred by today’s mobile-first consumers and makes it possible to seamlessly move across self-service and live channels with full context intact.”

 
Take a look at the video below to learn more.


 

Should Salaries Be Transparent?

19 Jun

This is certainly an explosive topic, with great differences of opinion. For example: Yes — This is part of a more open communication style. No — This invades privacy and can cause dissension among employees. What do YOU think?

Recently, Creative Group (a staffing firm) conducted research on this topic:

“Should professionals’ pay be public knowledge? Employers in the advertising and marketing fields don’t think so, according to new research from staffing firm Creative Group. More than eight in 10 creative executives interviewed (82 percent) said their organization refrains from publicizing employees’ compensation. Of those respondents, 61 percent feel pay transparency would decrease staff morale.”

“Is there an upside to embracing an open salary policy? According to the survey, the top benefits of sharing compensation information openly are increasing productivity (18 percent) and boosting recruitment and retention (17 percent). However, more than one-quarter of executives (27 percent) believe the potential risks outweigh any rewards.”

 

Take a look at the following infographic that summarizes that research findings.


 

Important New Report on 2017 Internet Trends

5 Jun

For more than two decades, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has produced a comprehensive annual Internet Trends Report.

The latest report was introduced at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on May 31, 2017: “The annual report compiles and analyzes data from a wide range of sources, providing insights on the state of the Internet Economy. The slideshow deck covers a broad array of topics, including global Internet user trends, advertising and E-commerce, gaming, online media, digital health, and much, much more. This guide is intended to highlight some of the key topics of discussion in this year’s edition – and to help media navigate the report.”

Thanks to KPCB for making this 355-page slideshow available through Slide Share.
 

 

Thinking About a Career in Data Analytics?

22 May

As we know, data analytics and big data are extremely important to millions of companies around the world. So, it is pretty clear that new jobs in data analytics are opening every day. If you are an analytical person, think of the career possibilities.

According to Dataconomy:

“The importance of big data and data analytics is going to continue growing in coming years.  Professionals in this field can expect an impressive salary, with the median salary for data scientists being $116,000. Even those who are at the entry level will find high salaries, with average earnings of $92,000. As more and more companies realize the need for specialists in big data and analytics, the number of these jobs will continue to grow. Close to 80% of the data scientists say there is currently a shortage of professionals working in the field.”

Many who are working in the field today have more than one role in their job. They may act as researchers, who mine company data for information. They may also be involved with business management. Around 40% work in this capacity. Others work in creative and development roles. Being versatile and being able to take on various roles can make a person more valuable to the team. Being willing to work in a variety of fields can help, too. While the technology field accounts for 41% of the jobs in data science currently, it is important to other areas too. This includes marketing, corporate, consulting, healthcare, financial services, government, and gaming.” [Red signifies marketing-related opportunities.]

 

Infographic Source: Dataconomy

 

The Transformation of Logistics

17 May

Logistics is a key factor in determining a company’s success, since it impacts on delivery times, inventory levels, sales levels, and customer satisfaction. As a definition, logistics encompasses the activities concerned with efficiently delivering raw materials, parts, semi-finished items, and finished products to designated places, at designated times, and in proper condition.

It may be undertaken by any member of a distribution channel, from producer to consumer. Logistics involves such functions as customer service, shipping, warehousing, inventory control, private trucking-fleet operations, packaging, receiving, materials handling, and plant, warehouse, and store location planning.

In recent years, due to the advances in technology and the growth of Internet transactions, logistics has been undergoing a rapid transformation. According to 2Flow (an Irish outsourced logistics solutions provider):

“Digital developments have provoked a transformation in what consumers expect from their product/service providers. These progressions have effected all aspects of professional business – in particular, the logistics industry. Over the past number of years, logistics professionals have made the shift onto digital platforms so that they can monitor and expand their operations. We created this infographic that outlines some of the biggest and most prominent trends within the logistics industry. Let’s take a look!”

 

Click the image for a larger version of the infographic.


 

Ransomware Now a BIGGER Problem — What Can YOU Do?

15 May

We have written several times before about the devastating results caused by ransomware hacking (see, for example, 1, 2, 3). “Ransomware is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.” [Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, by James Sanders]

Now, we are under the worst global cyberattack involving ransomware to date. On Friday May 12, 2017, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger reported for the New York Times that:

“Hackers began exploiting malicious software stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency and executed damaging cyberattacks. This amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the Internet. By late Friday, attacks had spread to more than 74 nations. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, said Russia was worst-hit, followed by Ukraine, India, and Taiwan. Reports also came from Latin America and Africa. The attacks appeared to be the largest ransomware assault on record, but the scope of damage was hard to measure. It was not clear if victims were paying ransom, which began at about $300 to unlock individual computers, or even if those who did pay would regain access to their data. Transmitted via E-mail, the malicious software demanded ransom before users could be let back in — with a threat that data would be destroyed if demands were not met.”

Today, Gerry Mullany and Paul Mozur report for the New York Times that:

“A global cyberattack spread to thousands more computers on Monday as workers logged in at the start of a new workweek. Universities, hospitals, businesses, and daily life were disrupted, but no catastrophic breakdowns were reported. In Europe, where the cyberattack first emerged, officials said it appeared that a second wave — based on copycat variants of the original software — had not yet materialized. New disruptions were most apparent in Asia, where many workers had already left on Friday when the attack occurred. China reported disruptions at nearly 40,000 organizations, including 4,000 academic institutions, figures that experts say are likely to be low estimates, given the prevalence of pirated software.”

Also today, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes that: “Ransomware can make you want to cry. A malicious program called ‘WannaCry’ has affected 200.000 people or organizations in 150 countries since Friday. Data by Symantec show that almost every industrial sector has been affected by ransomware in recent years. However, some types of companies are more vulnerable or more often targeted by cybercriminals trying to extort money for data than others. The analysis shows that the services sector was by far most affected by ransomware in 2016.”

 

Check out Statista’s synopsis. Click the chart for a larger view.

 

What Can YOU Do to Better Protect Against Ransomware?

Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to 100% protected against malicious ransomware. However, there are steps we can take to better safeguard our computers, phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Here are several tips, first, an infographic from Europol (click the image for a larger version) and, then, a few links:

 

Ever Wondered What You Can Do with Google Analytics?

9 May

All almost all of us have heard of Google Analytics. So, what is it and what information can be generated from using it?

As described by Google:

“Google Analytics gives you the digital analytics tools you need to analyze data from all touchpoints in one place, for a deeper understanding of the customer experience. You can then share the insights that matter with your whole organization. Build a complete picture: Understand your site and app users to better evaluate the performance of your content, products, and more. Get insight only Google can give you: Access Google’s proprietary audience data and machine learning capabilities to help get the most out of your data. Connect your digital analytics to results: Google Analytics is built to work with Google’s media and publisher products so you can use your digital analytics insights to drive real impact. Make your digital analytics data work for you: Process and share massive amounts of data quickly with an easy-to-use interface combined with shareable reports.”

Click here to read more about the capabilities of Google Analytics; and click here for a free sign-up for Google Analytics.

Morgan Jones — writing for Practical E-Commerce — provides a number of valuable tips for small and medium-sized businesses on how to better use Google Analytics data:

Niche E-commerce merchants must focus on cash flow. They do not have large capital reserves to support unprofitable investments. Although growing sales is good for the ego, growing cash flow is what puts food on the table. In this article, I’ll address how to use Google Analytics to track profitability by product category — reporting on sales, cost of goods sold, and advertising expense — to maximize cash flow.”

  • Reporting Sales by Product Category — Google Analytics E-commerce tracking can report sales by product category. To view sales by category, go to Conversions > E-commerce > Product Performance and select ‘Product Category.’”
  • Reporting Cost of Goods Sold by Product Category — Google Analytics has a feature to import product cost data. To set this up, first create a new custom metric at Admin > Property > Custom Definitions > Custom Metrics.”
  • Reporting Advertising Cost by Product Category — Setting up a reporting dashboard to track gross profit after advertising cost enables merchants to identify which categories generate the most cash flow. The optimal way to report advertising cost by product category is to structure advertising campaigns and ad groups to align with product categories. That way Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and other campaigns and their ad groups can be combined with category sales to report gross profit after advertising.”

Click the image to read a lot about Jones’ how-to tips.

 


 

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