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8 Reasons why Investing in an Extranet could be Beneficial for your Business

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8 Reasons to Invest in an Extranet

An extranet can help give your company an edge over the competition.  Extranets help streamline processes, workflows, and business functions, while cutting your overhead costs. Below is an infographic with 8 reasons to invest in an extranet to benefit your business.

Benefits of Extranet

Extranet Infographics

The Future of Customer Service is Online Self-Service Portals

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We’ve all been there. We have all been on the receiving end of the frustrating “hold music” when you’ve called an organization to resolve an issue. “One moment please. Your call is important to us. A representative will be with you shortly”…repeated… again….and again. Being put on hold when you call a customer-service department has become a fact of life. In fact, according to a survey by ResearchNow, the average person will spend 43 days on hold with automated customer service in one lifetime. Unfortunately, when people think about calling a customer service line, it is usually accompanied by negative and unenthusiastic feelings.

Consider these scenarios as well: Have you ever waited in line for an ATM machine even though there is nobody in line for the teller inside the bank? Have you ever arrived at an airport and chose to use a kiosk, rather then going to a person at the desk, despite being no line? Often, as consumers, we try to avoid situations where we can’t help ourselves in some shape or form. A recent study by Zendesk confirmed that 67% of respondents prefer self-service to speaking to a company representative.

Online self-service is becoming one of the most popular channels by which customers are looking to resolve problems and learn more about organizations. Today’s digital customers are happier when they can manage and complete their tasks at any time they want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Is your brand delivering on what customers want?

Consider these facts:

  • 3 out of 4 consumers prefer to solve their customer service issue on their own (aspect)
  • 90% of consumers expect an organization to offer self-service customer support portal; 60% of consumers have a more favorable view of the brand if the self-service offering is mobile responsive (parature)
  • 73% of consumers want the ability to solve product/service issues on their own; one-third say they’d rather ‘clean a toilet’ than speak with customer service (parature)
  • 91% of survey respondents said they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs (zendesk)
  • 75% of consumers move to another channel when online customer service fails, and Forrester estimates that unnecessary service costs to online retailers due to channel escalation are $22 million on average

Why self-service?

As consumers, we like to schedule appointments, troubleshoot problems, change a reservation, ask billing questions, get status updates, seek technical support, access FAQs, and ask our own questions, with minimal human interaction.

There are 3 underlying themes as to why consumers prefer online self-service:

  1. According to a survey done by zendesk, 75% of survey respondents said that self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues. Customers can do it any time they want and take as long as they need.  Phone and email support can’t measure up to the timeliness of online self-service.
  2. Additionally, customers want online self-service for efficiency. Forrester found that 77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do to provide them with good customer service. Customers do not long for conversation and don’t want to be waiting in a queue to talk to a person, only to be transferred to a different department after already waiting. They want to get online, find what they are looking for, click around, and be done – as painlessly as possible, so that they can get back to what they were doing before they had the issue.
  3. Lastly, customers want control. Customers are increasingly being empowered to do almost anything themselves online. They do not want to have to rely on other people to do what they can do themselves. The customer does not want to give up control to the company but would prefer to take it into their own hands. Give your customers service on their own terms, not yours. 

Why self-service is also great news for companies

Online self-service is not only a good thing for customers. The shift towards online self-service is hugely beneficial for companies as well:

  1. Online self-service keeps your customers engaged with your brand and website.  A self service portal allows you to manage your customer relationships in a scalable way, as your company grows.
  2. Centralizes information and tools so that customers will always know where to find the information that they need.
  3. Online self-service provides companies with insight that simple website analytics can’t provide. Companies can track what their customers are doing on their self-service portals to get a clearer picture of their customers and experience with the brand.  This allows companies to continuously improve the experience based on observing what their customers are doing.
  4. Online self service portals are the most cost-efficient customer service channel.  A well built self service centre has the potential to be huge cost-savings for organizations.  By allowing your customers to track information online, in one place, you can lower the number of calls coming into your customer support centre

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Customers are making it clear that they are eager for effective self-service. But, they have also made it clear that the self-service experience that they want must perform seamlessly. Online self-service is only convenient, efficient, and control granting if you are giving your customers a great experience. On the flip side, a negative self-service experience provides your customers with an inconvenient and frustrating experience, forcing them to switch channels to get their issue resolved, which can be quite costly for the company.

So, how can your organization create an online self-service experience that lives up to customer expectations? Stay tuned for a new post, coming soon, where we will discuss the keys to creating a self-service experience that supports your customers and brand.

The Internet of Things Will Explode by 2020

By the year 2020, there will be 24 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed around the world. In fact, it is predicted that every day in 2016, we will see 5.5 million new things get connected (TeamViewer). IoT has been labelled as The Next Industrial Revolution because it will change the way people live, work, entertain, and travel, as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world (Business Insider). It surrounds us in our everyday lives; from how we live to how we communicate. The IoT is a network of internet-connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Most people interact with IoT technology on a daily basis. Some everyday examples you may be using include:

  • Smart home devices such as smart thermostats
  • Wearable fitness trackers
  • Smart phones
  • Smart watches
  • Microchips

The impact of IoT is not limited to areas of our daily life as consumers and employees; it will also lead to innovative changes in the IT infrastructure that companies depend on. The following infographic, courtesy of Business Insider, dives into what IoT is and how rapidly this revolution is growing across several different industries.

The Internet of Things Will Explode by 2020 Inforgaphic

 

Top 4 Reasons to Attend Intra.NET Reloaded in Boston

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Intra.NET Reloaded is a 2-day conference focused on defining the future of the digital workplace. This conference brings together over 100 decision makers from corporate IT, Communications and Business departments who are responsible for creating tomorrow’s digital workplace to network, partner and exchange knowledge in a unique event format. This year it is taking place from April 21 – 22nd, 2016 at the Hyatt Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.

Veriday is delighted to be co-sponsoring and speaking at this year’s conference with our technology partner, Liferay. The 2-day event is a combination of inspirational keynotes and well moderated, interactive World Café Sessions, workshops, break outs, roundtable discussions and activities.

So, why attend Intra.NET Reloaded?  Here are four reasons to join Veriday at the biggest intranet-, digital workplace and social collaboration event in the US:

  1. Connect with others

Attending this conference will connect you with over 100 decisions makers from a wide range of industries. Through sessions ranging from workshops, roundtable discussion and purely networking-focused activities, networking is highly encouraged and made easy for everyone.

Intra.Net pie chart showing job function demographic and industry split.

  1. Expand your knowledge

Learn from more than 30 industry-leading speakers, including Veriday’s CEO, Marc Lamoureux. At Intra.NET Reloaded, you will have the opportunity to go through real case studies, participate in supportive workshops and breakout sessions that will bring you closer to the best solutions for leveraging the business value of intranets and collaboration platforms.

  1. Discover the newest technologies

Attending this conference will enable you to gain insights from your competitors’ experiences with intranet platforms, tools and technologies. You will have to opportunity to share best practices and benchmark experience with individuals working within your industry. The Intra.NET Reloaded conference will provide you with a chance to discuss upcoming trends and opportunities in your industry to increase the business value of your company’s tools and technologies.

  1. Why not?

What do you have to lose? Intra.NET Reloaded will push you to discover new ways to break down silos and organizational barriers, collaborate with peers on shared problems and reflect on how to best exploit current technologies.

Join Veriday as we help celebrate, discover and shape the future of intranets, the digital workplace, and collaboration platforms at this years Intra.NET Reloaded conference.

Come Say Hello!

Come and chat with the Veriday and Liferay team, at our booth, to discover how your organization can implement and maintain an effective and value-adding alignment to your Digital Workplace.  If you are interested in attending, please contact us to receive our sponsorship discount code.

We look forward to seeing you at this years Intra.NET Reloaded conference!

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About Intra.NET Reloaded

Intra.NET Reloaded is the annual leading event on digital workplace transformation and connects IT, internal communication, and business leaders across industries to bridge existing gaps and discover opportunities of intranet, digital workplace and collaboration platform projects.