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Introduction to Bulk SMS

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Bulk SMS means sending quick and short messages to a large number of people. The number may vary from hundreds to thousands. The same message is sent to all recipients contained in a list. This service is frequently used for sales promotion and for advertising products and services. For instance, you could inform people of a forthcoming event, like a concert or the launching of a new gadget. However, generally these messages are forwarded to consumers who volunteered to be among the list of clients of any business or company. Voluntary messages may irritate prospective client and could be interpreted as harassment.

The purpose of sending SMS in bulk is to inform people of the local events like musical concerts, movies, club opening and sales announced by prominent stores in the local area, allowing those interested to attend the event. Any business wishing to promote its products or services need to compile a list of telephone numbers of its prospects and clients, and forward that list to a provider of bulk SMS service, who types the suggested message. The message is then sent to all the people whose telephone number is contained in the list. When receiving the message, the may respond to it, if so required, or just make a note of it and discard it subsequently.

The service providers generally charge on monthly basis. Most businesses consider that fee as an expense towards advertising, saving them the bother of sending hundreds of messages on their own. It also saves them of the expense of investing in proprietary software designed for sending SMS messages in bulk.

Cost effectiveness

Compared to other available options for sending messages to prospects or already existing clients, bulk SMS service works out to be very affordable. Imagine the expense of making telephone calls to hundreds of people and the time it would take doing the needful. Then, you can’t be sure if the called party will receive your call and thus get informed of the forthcoming event. So, you save a lot of man hours and also the expense of making calls. By making use of the services of a provider of bulk SMS, you can send your message to clients even if they happen to be in different parts of the world. Well, calling people on phone could be more successful than sending SMS, especially when you are looking for new clients, but recipients would find an SMS to be less intrusive and not so time-consuming too. The most helpful feature of an SMS is that the message gets recorded in the telephone of the receivers, allowing them to go through it at their convenience.

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Designing a Process For Customer Service Issue Escalation

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Most companies have some sort of customer service. However, the companies that are good at customer service do more than just offer it. They have a process for escalating customer issues to prevent their losing the customer. Then they train their customer service staff in that process, as well as how to best serve the customer within company policy and manage to keep them happy too. Consider documenting a customer service escalation process and training towards using it. At a minimum the process should include the following levels of escalation.

Always start the escalation process with the first person to talk with the customer. For a phone or internet customer service, this is typically a customer service representative (CSR). When the CSR is working with a customer, it is their responsibility to try to resolve the customer’s issue or problem in a pleasant manner. The CSR should make an effort to really meet the customer need without lying or bending company rules. Often a solution at the first level will make the customer happy enough that they continue business with the company. Training on how to improved customer service offered on the phone and in-person will help make this step more effective. This type of training should include role plays to allow the new CSR to practice. Since the CSR job can be stressful and new information is always pertinent, it is important to offer periodic retraining as well.

If the customer’s issue is related to a technical problem or a specific product and the CSR does not have the information to help the customer, then they should pass the issue onto an appropriate expert for resolution. The CSR should let the customer know that an expert will need to handle the issue and give an idea when the customer may expect to heat back from the expert. The expert should reply as soon as they find an answer for the customer, even if they must take the time to leave a voice mail or compose a detailed email. If a customer’s problem goes this far, only a quick and great solution will result in a happy customer. Providing a list of product or technical issue experts that CSR’s may refer to will make this second escalation step easier. However, the experts should receive some additional training in people skills so that they treat the customer appropriately as well.

When there is no expert or the expert does not resolve the issue, the CSR should request the issue be promoted to the customer service supervisor or manager. Or the customer may request this third level of escalation if they are unhappy with what they have encountered thus far. The supervisory person should resolve the issue for the customer immediately after they receive the escalation. The supervisor or manager will have to sincerely apologize to the customer and explain what they are going to do or have done. It they do not, the problem will only get bigger as customer may choose to personally escalate their complaint to a fourth level that can result in unfortunate consequences for the customer service group.

A customer service escalation path that is well designed and has properly trained representatives should indicate no need for customers to want to seek a fourth level. However, the fourth level the customers could choose to implement their self. This might be to write a letter or email to the division manager, the company president, or the organization’s CEO. Or for external customers, they may choose to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Customers that chose to escalate to a fourth level will be lost to the company unless they get a solution that they feel is above and beyond anything that could reasonably be expected at the other levels. Prevent the need for the customer to desire this level of escalation by answering their need and resolving their problem at one of the first three levels.

For the reasons outlined above, consider documenting a customer service escalation process and training customer service staff appropriately. An effective process for escalation of customer issues will help maintain current customers as future ones. Be a company that offers more than a customer service contact, but be one that is good at delivering the service as well.

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Smooth Operator: 5 Simple Ways To Help Your Business Run Smoothly

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If you run a business, you will appreciate how many protocols and processes must be overseen on a daily basis. You may have automated where possible, and delegated what remained. But it is still likely that there are some areas of your business that could run more smoothly.

While running a business is a process of continual refinement and improvement, some areas are regularly identified as requiring attention. These areas are vital for the overall functionality and effectiveness of your business. Supporting them in running smoothly will allow the business to run smoothly overall – allowing for the inevitable road bumps and adjustments along the way!

Read on to discover these five simple, but highly effective, ways to help your business run more smoothly.

1. Review Regularly

Reviews and assessments may only seem valuable once a year – or even only when something goes wrong – but the reverse is true. Reviews and evaluations should be undertaken well in advance of anything going wrong or getting severely off-track.

You can help facilitate this by scheduling regular reviews in your calendar, and especially the key areas that should be assessed such as budget, processes, and deadlines.

By incorporating regular reviews, audits, and assessments into the overall day-to-day running of your business, you will always have a clear overview of your operations and be able to stay in control. Reviews are especially effective in spotting small problems before they have a chance to develop into big ones.

Don’t forget that you can also hire professionals or those with an objective ‘outsider’ perspective to assist with this, such as auditors and accountants.

2. Use Professional Couriers

Many businesses report that one of their biggest areas of stress and disruption is in mail and deliveries.

Using the conventional postal service often simply is not good enough for a business. It can risk losing supplies, being unable to track the package or contact the driver, and leaving customers disappointed as a result. They may also be waiting on supplies and equipment of their own.

Using professional, reliable couriers may involve an initial outlay, but it can be an investment overall. There are many reasons why businesses are choosing to use professional couriers, but some of the most common are speed, reliability, and price.

If this is an area that your business relies on – or even struggles with – consider consulting with a professional courier service.

3. Hire Experts

Know when someone else knows better! Many businesses waste countless hours trying to figure something out that an expert could have solved in minutes. This may be true of budgets, business plans, logistics, social media, Search Engine Optimisation, and more.

Expand your network by bringing in experts and professionals. Have them assess your processes and offer ideas for improvement. Consider hiring experts regularly to oversee the most crucial aspects of your business too.

While it is important to understand and appreciate your own processes, it is still likely that an expert could offer more than you have had time to learn.

4. Update Key Equipment

It can be helpful to identify key pieces of equipment that help keep your business running smoothly – and ensuring they are always in excellent working order.

This might include computers and electronics, machinery, software, or even a car that you use for business. Ensure that you get things serviced regularly, such as taking your car to a reputable garage and driving in the most fuel-efficient way between visits.

Upgrade your equipment where necessary as a legitimate business expense, and continually assess whether your processes are as streamlined as they could be.

It is not just about accumulating or upgrading equipment for your business. These assessments could also show if there are things you are hanging onto needlessly that are not vital for your business. You could declutter and save money as a result!

5. Take Breaks

One of the most vital aspects of the smooth running of your business is you. Invest in your health and wellbeing, being especially conscious of stress or circumstances that may harm your mental health.

Mental and physical health concerns in the workplace are on the rise, so it is important to be vigilant. Take scheduled and effective rest breaks – throughout the day, but also throughout the year where possible.

Prioritise your health and wellbeing, as well as that of your team, and your business will stand the very best chance of thriving!

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Copywriter Jobs for the Talented Wordsmith – A Satisfying and Well-Paying Career Option

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“All the news that is fit to print” and all the other catchy slogans you hear from time to time that you either find impossible to forget or that become a part of the popular culture, come from the pens of copywriters. If it weren’t for those clever word artists who work endlessly behind some of the most well-known catch phrases, slogans, tag lines and popular rhymes, businesses would probably have no way to sell their products. Copywriter jobs aren’t just for the creation of advertising catchphrases though, of course. Copywriters design brochures, they design the websites of companies, and almost anything written that can affect sales, almost anywhere where using the right words can attract better business.

As with any position that involves creativity in a business setting, copywriter jobs work best for people who do well in a team – a team of project managers, editors, developers, graphics designers and accountants – all these people focused narrowly on getting someone to buy a product. That doesn’t mean that all copywriter jobs exist in large corporations or advertising agencies though. While those do make up the bulk of the copywriter’s employment market, freelance opportunities success as well.

When copywriters come to be employed by a large company, they work on the company’s internal creative team. The copywriter in such a job needs to have a great understanding of the business of the company, and needs to accept responsibility for the company’s performance. He can be asked to come up with materials to serve almost any marketing need at the company – the production of a brochure, a press release, material for a tradeshow, anything. And advertising agencies that provide corporations with all the advertising solutions they need in multimedia, social media and all kinds of marketing, are all about narrower specialization. Since an advertising agency constantly receives work from clients, it can afford to keep specialists on the payroll for each specific job. A press release writer in such a position would probably get to constantly write press releases for all of the company’s clients. A copywriter who writes advertising scripts would probably gain such expertise doing his job repeatedly, that they wouldn’t let him write anything else. Now a copywriter working in these kinds of organizations is spared the trouble of finding new clients when a job is done. That’s what the business he works for is there for. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works for a freelance copywriter.

A freelance copywriter needs to be completely competent not only in the writing of great slogans and arresting copy, but also in the talking up of a strong game. He needs to be able to network, to find clients, maintain business relationships. Still, creative types like copywriters do tend to gravitate in any direction that offers them more freedom. Copywriters make a pretty decent living – about $50,000 a year on average. It’s rewarding work, and if you a have degree in communications, journalism, advertising or language, and if you have a great way with words, you’ll probably find the hiring managers coming after you.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing Business Card Printing Services

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In any business setting, business cards are important and this is because they make it possible for customers to learn more about the company. In addition to this, when used appropriately, they also come in handy for the purposes of branding. In order to enjoy the benefits that come with this, it is therefore advisable to hire business card printing services. There are hundreds of service providers to choose from and while this is supposed to make things easier, it can only complicate them. For this reason, there are a couple of things you need to consider in order to make an informed choice.

Excellence

Regardless of what you buy or sell, quality is the first thing you look at and it also plays a major role when choosing a service provider. Quality shows that you care about you’re the image you project to your customers and as such, this draws them closer. Unless the service provider can assure you of meeting this end, you are better of not hiring the services at all.

Price

Price plays a crucial role when choose business card printing services. In this case, you don’t want to settle for extremely cheap prices that comprise on the quality and at the same time, you should not settle for high prices that do not measure up to the desired expectations. It is therefore advisable to weigh your options carefully and carry out thorough research and comparisons in order to make the most informed and appropriate decision. Set a budget and work within its confined to see whether you can afford the services.

References and Reputation

These aspects work hand in hand and as such, they cannot be overlooked when making your pick. Talk to people who have used the services offered by the company before you and make enquiries about the quality of service offered. This will also go a long way to determine the type of reputation they have built. Make sure that the business card printing service provider is well known for following the agreed timeline and meeting the customer’s needs. This is the only way to increase the probability of getting the most out of the services.

While at it, it is also advisable to research and have a clear picture of what your competitors are doing and the type of services they are using. There is no doubt that competition has become rife in the industry and for this reason, it is important to find out the type of printing they are using. This will is important as it gives you an idea of what you ought to settle down for and as such, increases the possibility of getting the most out of the cards.

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Steps to Starting An Internet Business

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1. Decide on your niche. What methods will you use to generate income? Basically, what do you want to sell? Here are few ideas of what you can do to generate income with a home based internet business.

Information – Create an information product or e-book.

Services – Perform a service for others.

Products – Sell products wholesale or using dropshipping.

AdSense Websites – Create a content website and earn income with Google Adsense.

Affiliate Programs – Promote other people’s products for a commission.

Find other websites that are already doing what you want to do. Make notes regarding what they do that you like and what they do that you don’t like. Strive to address what you don’t like about your competitor’s website in your own website. This will help you set yourself apart from everyone else.

2. Choose your domain name. Make is short and easy to remember. You want people to be able to easily type your domain name into their web browsers without misspelling it. You should also make your domain name descriptive of your business in some way, but this is not an absolute requirement. Many companies have successfully chosen a domain name that has no reference to the business at all. Take Google and eBay for example.

3. Choose a reliable and high performance host for your website. Your website should be available at all times and should be able to handle any load of traffic demand on the servers that you need. Imagine how mad you would be if you were spending money on advertising only to find out that your website is intermittently unavailable because your hosting company is frequently down. Choose a reputable hosting company that provides a responsive and helpful 24-hour customer support. The website host should offer all the functionality that you need so that you don’t have to waste time looking around for additional services that you have to figure out how to install yourself.

4. Build your website. Create an attractive and professional website that is easy for your visitors to navigate. Don’t go overboard with flashy animation or colors because this can cause your web pages to load slowly and can distract your visitors away from your content. Focus on adding high quality content to draw visitors in. Product reviews work well with if you are selling products. Choose the methods in which you will accept payment. You can incorporate shopping cart functionality into your website and accept credit cards through your own merchant account or you can use a third party to process your payments such as PayPal. If you are promoting affiliate products payment processing is handled for you.

5. Get the word out about what you have to offer. You will spend the rest of your time promoting your website with internet marketing techniques. You can choose from pay per click, article marketing, e-mail marketing, and search engine submission and optimization techniques as a start. And there are plenty of other things that you can do. You must plan on how you will attract traffic because without traffic your business will inevitably fail.

6. And finally, never stop improving. Use ad-tracking software to manage your advertising effectiveness. Take the time to periodically review your website to see where improvements can be made.

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How To Choose The Right Website Designing Company

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Websites play a very important role in the success of every business. They are the ones representing your business in the ever growing online world. A well designed and visually appealing website not only helps in attracting customers, but also builds good brand value for your business.

Every business understands the importance of a good website to deliver the company’s message to potential and existing customers. It is the basis to succeed in a competitive market. You can hire a professional website designing company for your website design project. There are thousands of designing and development companies, ranging from large corporate companies to small companies with very few professionals. Choosing the right website designing company can be difficult if you don’t know what you should look for. Here are a few steps that can help you choose the right company for your business needs.

  • Find Companies – The easiest way to look for website designing companies is to search online. You can also find companies listed in the yellow pages or phone directories. Shortlist a few companies to have a personal discussion with them.
  • Check portfolio – You can get an idea about the skill and expertise of a company by having a look at their portfolio. It is always good to hire a company with an impressive portfolio and a good track record. A company’s portfolio should speak for itself. A good company should offer quality of design, ease of navigation and consistent look throughout each site.
  • Experience and Skills – Hiring an experienced company will be less troublesome. The company should have skilled, qualified and experienced professionals who know their job well. You should also ask a few questions to check their technical expertise.
  • Testimonials and Reviews – To check the reliability and trustworthiness of a company, read online reviews on various forums. Also ask the company for the references of past clients. Don’t feel hesitant to contact them and ask about the type of services provided by the company. This will help you in making a right and informed decision.
  • Get Quotes – You should contact a few website designing companies and ask them for free quotes. Compare the prices and services offered by different companies and choose the best one which suits your requirements.

The website designing company you hire should pay attention to details as sometimes even the smallest things can make all the difference. It is important to choose a professional company that not only understands your business goals, but also offers you the best services within your budget.

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