Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wordpress Vs. Drupal

Wordpress is used by thousands of web developers, bloggers and internet marketers around the world. It has been the standard for amateur and professional designers alike who need an easy-to-use platform for their web development needs.

In recent years, Drupal has become just as popular as Wordpress because of the functionality it offers for different types of websites. The platform you choose will depend on the type of website you're looking to build.

Wordpress: Widely Adoptable, Easy to Use

Because Wordpress has been around for so long, it is the most popular platform available. There are thousands of plugins available for every purpose you can think of, and the vast majority of templates can be customized with little to no effort.

Advantages of Using Wordpress

  • Deployment - Websites built with Wordpress take very little time to setup. Depending on the amount of content you have and the complexity of the design, your site can be up and running within minutes.
  • Mobile capability - Wordpress websites can be easily read on all major smartphone platforms. Many free plugins are available that allow developers to have their websites automatically converted to their mobile counterparts when needed.
  • Easy to use CMS - Wordpress, as a content management system, is very easy to use. Any beginner with little to no developing experience will find that Wordpress is very easy to use. No programming of any kind is required and the admin panel is very easy to use.

Disadvantages of Using Wordpress

  • Saturated plugin market - There are literally thousands of plugins available for a variety of different purposes, which can be very overwhelming. Users are more likely to get stuck with a poorly-developed plugin that offers little to no support should something go wrong.
  • Site security - Drupal has far superior site security features than Wordpress does, which is the main reason a large amount of government and corporate websites are built using the Drupal platform.
  • Blog-style websites - Wordpress has been widely known as the platform leader among blogger communities for years. While they offer thousands of great themes for bloggers, businesses and online stores may find it more difficult to locate a theme that will work for them.

Drupal: The Professional Developer's Choice

Drupal has only recently taken the web development world by storm, and for good reason. Many design professionals use this platform exclusively for their clients' websites because it is very user-friendly and its CMS allows multiple types of users to be logged in at the same time to perform multiple functions.

The Advantages of Drupal

  • Admin panel - While Wordpress does feature an easy-to-use admin panel, Drupal's back end is cleaner and easier to learn. This is especially true for amateurs that need to do a large amount of content editing.
  • Enterprise websites and applications - Drupal is the best option when it comes to Enterprise level websites and web applications. If you have a web application that requires user permissions, Drupal is the way to go.
  • Designer friendly - If you've used Wordpress for your clients' websites for an extended period of time and are looking for a new platform, Drupal is regarded as one of the best for savvy website designers. Every template can be easily customized to fit any need by changing or inserting new lines of code, and its functionality is second to none.

Disadvantages of Drupal

  • The amateur designer - The amateur web designer or someone who has no coding experience will find Drupal a bit difficult to work with. Wordpress will likely be your best option if you fit into this category.
  • Plugin development - Because Drupal is relatively new when compared to Wordpress, its plugin market is very small. Individuals who have no experience with developing plugins will find that Wordpress will be easier to use because the plugin they need will likely be available.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 Ways to Improve Customer Service

More than 90 percent of consumers today rely on the opinions of others when choosing a company to provide them with a product or service. The rise of social media has given consumers unprecedented access to company reviews – if a potential customer finds negative information, she will not be likely to do business with you. For this reason, it is essential to provide exceptional customer service to keep your customers happy and develop a positive business image.

Unfortunately, many companies do not place a strong emphasis on customer service. As a result, they suffer from negative information provided by customers who do not feel their needs have been met. These three strategies can help you improve your customer service and protect your company's reputation:

1) Cross-train representatives for maximum effectiveness. It's frustrating for customers to spend time waiting to speak with a representative, only to find that they need to talk with someone in a different department to place an order or resolve a concern. Customers become even more discouraged if the representative they need is not available, because then they have to wait for a representative with the right expertise to call them back. It only takes one such experience for a customer to develop a negative opinion of your company.

Cross-training can help you meet customers' needs efficiently without transfers or other delays. Representatives who are trained for multiple roles are valuable both to your company and your customers. Cross-training allows your service professionals to address a variety of calls, which generates a positive customer impression.

2) Implement customer relationship management software. There are numerous software packages available for storing, segmenting, and retrieving customer data. This allows your representatives to quickly access the information they need to educate callers, provide upsell opportunities, and resolve customer concerns. Through proper segmentation, you can give access to customer information only to the representatives who need it, which can help allay concerns over privacy.

3) Consider outsourcing call center functions to provide exceptional service. As your business grows, you will need to increase call capacity to quickly address each prospect or customer's call. This can be an expensive task because it typically requires investing in additional office space, hiring and training new representatives, and purchasing additional software licenses. 

By outsourcing call center functions to a provider such as Tier 3 Scottsdale, you can easily increase or decrease call capacity while minimizing additional expenses. Outsourced call centers can assign and train additional representatives to service your customers as your business needs change. This helps prevent customers and prospects from having to wait to speak to a representative during peak periods.

The effort you put into improving customer service can reward you with higher customer satisfaction, increased sales, and improved company reputation. These tips can help ensure that your customers will happily recommend your company to friends, family members, and colleagues.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Five9 Review

After using a variety of call center options, it was very pleasing to come across Five9. An all-in-one service, Five9 offers many of the functions needed by small and big business, as well as non-profit organizations. The best thing about Five9 is how cost effective it is in comparison to other services that claim to do the same thing, while not offering nearly as much as Five9 does.

Whether you are looking to set up your call center needs domestically or offshore, Five9 offers unparalleled options. Customers hate being put on hold for hours, only to find out they have been transferred to the incorrect department or person. The automatic call distribution system by Five9 is continually building to maximize results. When there is a long wait for the next available representative, the service allows users to leave a message or request a follow-up call. For those looking to stay on the line, information pertaining to their wait time comforts any dismay they may have while waiting.

In order to assure that your callers get directed to the correct department, the Customer-Telephony Integration provided by Five9 will ask all the correct questions in order to get the right answers. The way their database stores information makes it easier for customers who have called before to be seen to more effectively, while allowing representatives to have a better understanding of why the person has called before. This feature boosts positive customer feedback, but also cuts down on potential fraudulent customers.

Also offered by the Five9 system is a top of the line text-to-speech service. With the implementation of smartphones with touchscreens, selecting numbers is not always the easiest. This is especially true in hands free situations, like driving a car or working on something important. The text-to-speech service offers callers the opportunity to verbally say what it is they are looking for and get the best resources available to meet that request. With a state of the art system, Five9 servers are continually updating their text database to understand better what customers are saying and looking for. Customers feel comfortable and pleased to know their call is being directed correctly, without disrupting what they may currently be doing. Furthermore, it allows customers to put less emphasis on the amount of time they are waiting, by feeling that they are already having their requests dealt with.

Five9 offers great resources for outbound calling as well. Their predictive dialer will automatically call contacts using their system awareness to determine which agents are available first. And in order to fill out non-party contacts, their power dialer will call multiple contacts simultaneously. It has never been easier to contact your customers to deliver information that is important to them. All of this is done without wasting your time, by assuring that the customers you contact are available to you.

A great service that really benefits the offshore centers, the agent scripting services offered by Five9 represents the consistency of your company. The script will allow callers to delivery script tailored information that pertains to each individual call. Your customers will feel as if each message is directly tailored to them, rather than a generic message that they quickly hang up on.

The Five9 program also makes it easier than ever to contact missed calls or scheduled callbacks. Sometimes callers will be contacted at an inconvenient time and request to be called back again. Five9 allows those calls to be programmed into a schedule that assures they will not be forgotten or lost. Your customers will appreciate the effort you show to work around the convenience of their schedule.

Five9 offers service that has long been looked for. They make it easy and convenient to reach out to customers in a more efficient way. You will save so much time with Five9, time that can be better spent doing more important things for your business or organization.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Advantages of VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology works by converting the user's voice into digital packets that are sent over the Internet. It is available via the same cable used to access other Internet services. While VoIP has proven successful among both residential and commercial users, its potential is largely untapped as many still rely on antiquated and inefficient traditional telephony. VoIP can provide a variety of advantages, especially for businesses; its benefits include:

The Savings
One of the better-known advantages that VoIP has over a traditional phone system is its low cost. Many are familiar with the savings provided by using VoIP services such as Skype in a domestic setting; however, an Internet-based phone system can save business users a lot of money as well. The cost reduction is an important factor for businesses that make lots of calls on a daily basis as well as for small enterprises that have to keep an eye on their budget. Depending on the location and the nature of how VoIP is implemented, businesses may see savings of up to 40 percent when compared to the cost of using traditional telephony systems. Another factor is that the purchase and maintenance of traditional PBX equipment can be expensive, switching to VoIP eliminates much of that.

No Bulky Equipment
This is especially important if the premise in which the business is located has limited space available. With a traditional PBX, it would be necessary to allot a significant amount of square footage simply for housing telephone equipment. This is not necessary with VoIP since everything is done online. The service provider will have all of the hosting equipment at their location.

VoIP is Highly Scalable
This is of obvious importance in a growing business. Unlike with a standard telephone system, there are no limitations on the number of lines a business may have. This means that a small business has the flexibility to scale up their lines easily in order to meet their needs.

It is DIY Friendly
With a traditional PBX, even small changes may require a call to the telephone company. With a VoIP system, a business owner may be able to perform many of the most crucial changes on their own. For example, moving traditional telephone equipment from one location to another has always been a major headache due to the issues involved in wiring; VoIP is mostly plug-and-play, requiring little technical expertise to move.

Easy to Access
VoIP systems use the Internet, which means that access to services is available anywhere in the world that there is an Internet connection. The user is no longer limited to accessing calls at a single location; instead, they can connect from anywhere just as they would were they in their office. A user can even have all their numbers forwarded to one device if they want. This functionality allows the worker equipped with VoIP to participate in meetings and interviews as well as to collaborate with their colleagues to get more accomplished.

The concept of unified messaging revolves around allowing access to everything (faxes, voice mails and so on) in one place. Some VoIP solutions can be integrated with browsers and email clients to allow for quick dialing. These features can make workers in a business more efficient and more productive thus helping the enterprise to be more profitable.