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The rise of the Chatbots… does your business also need them?

Are chatbots worth re-allocating resources towards… are they a fad or worth investing in? We think the answer to this, as always, will depend on your business strategy, type, structure and needs. 

To help you think about chatbots for your business, we’ve created some initial questions. But before we go there, let’s find out a bit more about chatbots. 

 

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is software that can automate conversations and engage users through various messaging platforms. Chatbots do this by using artificial intelligence or pre-programmed responses to frequently asked questions. 

Some of the messaging platforms that utilise chatbots include:

  • Facebook Messenger – available for Facebook business pages, we’ve seen this utilised a lot and can be help automate answers to typically asked questions or let your customers know you will get back to them as soon as possible.

  • Chat windows on a website – these tend to pop up as you enter a website and appear as if you are instant messaging with a real person.

  • Text-based or app-based – there are many chatbots that provide you with information within specific mobile apps. Shopify for example has a chatbot that uses AI to help you create targeted Facebook ads by using integrated data and asking you relevant questions.

What are some of the benefits of chatbots for businesses?

The main obvious benefit of chatbots is the 24 hour service that it can provide to your business. 

In addition to that, chatbots can increase customer satisfaction through providing instant responses to simple questions and faster complaint resolution. As you can imagine, this will in turn provide you and your business with more time to focus on other important things. 

From a marketing and sales perspective, chatbots can perform marketing functions or provide lead generation when they’re set up correctly. 

 

What are the challenges with chatbots?

As with anything, there are some challenges with chatbots, some of the main ones being:

  • Ease of integration to utilise chatbots effectively it will have to be integrated correctly with your existing messaging systems, websites and other customer relationship management software.

  • Impersonal language our AI technology has not yet reached sophistication levels that users start to question “am I talking to a chatbot or a human?” Some of the complaints we see with chatbots is the use of misspelled words or bad grammar, which can cause doubt or lack of confidence from your users.

  • User adoptionas we mentioned at the beginning of this article, some people do get put off by chatbots and immediately click it off when they land on websites. Some see it as spam (much like those pop up ads) and would rather not waste their time to speak to someone who is not human. 

 

Does your business need a chatbot? 

Here at Neorise, we believe that every business has unique specific needs so our first advice is “don’t follow the fads.” If you’re thinking of chatbots because it’s a popular thing and everyone seems to be doing it at the moment, stop and ask yourself some of these initial questions:

  1. Is your business customer facing? 
  2. Does your business receive the same questions again and again from customers and spend too much time answering them?
  3. Does your business have existing communications channels and messaging in place that can integrate with a chatbot? 
  4. Is your target audience and existing customers technologically savvy? 
  5. Does your business have resources available to set up and monitor chatbots?

If you mainly answer “yes” to the questions above, then the next step would be to figure out which chatbot is best suited to your business. We at Neorise can help with the analysis, integration, implementation and support for chatbots for your business. 

If the “nays” have it, then we think you should look at solving your business problems with other solutions. Our analysts can help you with that too because they’re always eager to observe and advise strategically. 

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Content Marketing Made Easy with FREE Airtable

Content is king! 

How many times have you heard this? The marketing team at Neorise believes in this because good, valuable and engaging content that is relevant and helps our clients is important. 

It is part of our commitment to empowering small to medium businesses with the right magic software or good tech to make running a business more effective, productive and enjoyable. 

One thing that we often hear from our clients in regards to content is – we have so many platforms to send and post on, and multiple people working on it, and something we like, see and save in random spots – how do we streamline it all so that content marketing is not a challenge?

That’s where we recommend Airtable

 

What is Airtable?

Airtable works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organise anything, in this case, content.

The fields in an Airtable table are similar to cells in a spreadsheet, but have types such as ‘checkbox’, ‘phone number’, and ‘drop-down list’, and can reference file attachments like images. 

Users can create a database, set up column types, add records, link tables to one another, collaborate, sort records and publish views to external websites.

So if you like spreadsheets (and we do as well at Neorise) but you need it to set up and send reminders, collaborate together in, view it in various ways like Kanban or calendar view, Airtable is the answer for you.

The BEST part yet is that the FREE version of Airtable gives you so much functionality that you and your team can just stick to this pricing tier and get the best out of it. 

 

Favourite features of Airtable 

We have a few of our favourite features of Airtable which helps us with our content marketing and scheduling:

Linking between tables

To avoid the need to form a single large table when there is related data in multiple tables, Airtables provides an option to link records of different tables. Airtable allows linking existing tables of related records, creating a new linked table and also multiple links between existing tables.

Collaboration

Airtable allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the same Base allowing more productivity at the workplace. A new collaborator is added by clicking share button found at top of Base and providing the email ID of the collaborator. The owner can set the permission level of collaborator while sharing the Base. There are three permission levels in Airtable Base, namely “Creator”, “Edit Only” and “Read Only”.

Airtable Forms

Forms could be used to collect data from others like co-workers, customers or the public. A Form can be easily created from an existing Base, and the data collected by the Form is automatically organized in the Airtable Base. Airtable allows users to organise the required fields in the Form. A separate link is created for every Airtable Form. This link can be shared with others to get the required data. An Airtable Form can also be embedded in a website, to get the feedback from the website users.

Airtable integration

Airtable’s API can be used to connect to other web services by which information can be exchanged between external web applications and Airtable. Using the Zapier platform, Airtable can connect to over 450 applications and websites. Changes can be set up as triggers for actions in connected applications.

Airtable mobile app 

Airtable is available as a mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play. This means you can work on Airtable, anywhere, anytime. 

Get the perfect view

Kanban, grid, calendar or gallery views are available in Airtable, at a click of a button so everyone in your team can choose how they would prefer to see their tasks and content schedules. 

Get Airtable today, FREE!

 

Stay ahead 

Access magic tech for your business use, delivered to your inbox every few weeks. 

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exploding topics
March 20th, 2020

How to engage your customers & add value with Exploding Topics

Customer engagement and experience are important for a business overall success. 

After all, that old age saying that “customer is king” still rings true today. Without customers, our products, service offerings and business won’t survive.

What’s the difference between the two? 

Customer experience (also known as CX) is how customers perceive their interactions with your company. The first half of the definition focuses on perception, where the experience is positive, useful, and enjoyable. The second half focuses on the exchange, the two-way interaction with the brand. For customer experience to be great, every interaction along the customer must be exceptional. 

Customer engagement differs from customer experience. Customer engagement is the ongoing, value-driven, emotional relationship between the customer and the business. This includes direct, indirect, offline and online interactions, as well as the actions that customers might take – posting, emailing, tweeting, liking, recommending, buying and so on. 

Highly engaged customers buy more and are advocates of your brand,. They refer friends, colleagues, family members, they write positive reviews and are more loyal. 

 

So how can we use technology to drive customer engagement for our business?

Let us introduce you to Exploding Topics.

It is a FREE (yes you read right… zero charge, zilch!) online platform that scours the internet automatically for you, to find exploding trends that your business and customers are interested in, before they take off. 

You can then turn those exploding trends insights into:

  • Business advice blogs to prepare your customers for the future; 
  • Webinars or information sessions for your customers and other target audience; 
  • Q&A sessions via webinars or face to face; 
  • Inviting experts in the trending topics as speakers for customer engagement events.

How does Exploding Topics work?

The Exploding Topics website explains easily step by step how to use their platform. 

Here’s our explainer in five steps:

  1. Subscribe to the Exploding Topics weekly newsletter.
  2. Exploding Topics then uses their technology to analyse millions of searches, conversations and mentions across the internet.
  3. Their technology sorts through the searches for “trending” or “exploding” topics before they take off.
  4. The online platform curates the best topics from the list of topics.
  5. You get an email with the best trending topics weekly. 

 

Try Exploding Topics today

Try Exploding Topics, free and with no obligations today. 

Register your email for their weekly trending topics and content. 

 

Stay ahead 

Access magic tech for your business use, delivered to your inbox every few weeks. 

 

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CRM
February 15th, 2020

What is a CRM & How can it help your business?

We’ve been talking about telltale signs that your business might need a CRM – Customer Relationship Management – to increase customer satisfaction and create a more effective, productive way of delivering services. 

Let’s take a step back today and find out more about what CRM is and how it can help your business have more time to focus on the important things and also grow in terms of sales and profit.

 

What is CRM? 

To put it simply, CRM is a program or piece of software technology that helps manage your relationships with your customers. 

If you run a business where you rely on customers’ satisfaction and purchases to maintain profits and grow, then a CRM is probably something that you need to look at when you’re ready or showing one of these telltale signs. 

 

What does CRM actually do? 

A good CRM stores all your customers’ details in an organised, user friendly database that everyone has access to. 

More importantly, CRM helps your business manage communications, engagement and touch points with a customer at any key points. 

Here are some of our favourite CRM capabilities for our business:

 

  • Organise your customer data in one spot 

 

One of the most ‘basic’ things that a CRM does is centralise customer data – such as contact details, communication/engagement history, and information such as what they’ve purchased, how they found your business –  in one place that is accessible by everyone in your business. Better yet all this data can be segmented so that you can find the information you want faster and more accurately. For example, if you want to send a special offer to customers who have spent $100 with your business, you can create, find, download and email to a ready list. 

 

  • Help you develop and stick to a sales process

 

A good CRM can integrate all your sales systems and help build a sales process that identifies what is stalling a lead or a purchase so you can fix the issue, send you reminders when it is a good time to get in touch with a customer, predict sales outcomes and deliver a better sales experience for customers. A well recorded sales process also makes it faster for new team members to be onboarded. 

 

  • Increase customer satisfaction 

 

Imagine being able to personalise your engagement with customers because you have noted  their interests and behaviours at every interaction. Now that’s great customer service. A good CRM can help you anticipate your customer’s needs before they reach out to you, send you reminders when you have to call back or complete a request for a customer, and solve their problems as soon as they arise. 

 

  • Make your marketing more efficient and targeted

 

Using your customers provided data on their preferences and interests, you can make sure that the marketing / communications that you provide them is what they want to hear or know about. For example, if your customers indicate they only want to receive sales details, your marketing team can make sure they only get sales information. Or, if text messages is their preferred way for communications, you won’t call them or email them.

 

  • Make informed decisions 

 

A CRM allows you to download customised reports that will provide you important information such as which product or service is sold more or in which area and for what demographic? With this information, your business can decide on where to focus your marketing so that it is more effective or which product or service to put more resources on to meet the increased demand. 

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a CRM for your business. 

Want to find out more about CRMs and how it can help your business achieve better customer service, solve data management issues and increase profits? 

Get in touch and we can help you with making the best decision when it comes to all things CRM. 

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video marketing apps
January 12th, 2020

Engage customers with easy to use FREE apps on your phones

The statistics on using videos for marketing is saying you should definitely use videos:

  1. Landing pages with a video see an 80 percent increase in conversion over landing pages with only text;
  2. Video marketing converts leads into customers so well because it established a higher level of engagement with your audience, contributing to higher brand trust and loyalty. 

The statistics might say one thing but trying to create videos in the past has a pretty big investment. 

However, with tech these days, anyone can create a great looking video to share on social channels, via email or on the website. 

Even better, you can even create the videos on your phones!

Let’s look at two FREE apps that can help you create videos on the fly, on your mobile devices. 

 

Quik – GoPro Video Editor 

Quik is available via the Apple App store for iPhones and iPads. This app lets you create awesome videos with just a few taps. 

Choose your favourite photos and video clips and then let Quik find great moments, add beautiful transitions and effects and syncs everything to the beat of the music. 

You can also customise your story with text and easily share it with friends. Editing and creating videos has never been this fast or easy. 

Here are some key features of Quik that you would want to know about:

  • Add up to 200 photos and video clips; 
  • Choose from 26 pre-existing and beautiful themes, each with transitions and graphics designed for any occasion;
  • Adjust font, filters, tint and colours to suit; 
  • Customise your video – trim, zoom, rotate videos and photos, add text overlays and emojis, speed up or play it in Slo-Mo and more;
  • Pick the perfect soundtrack from 100 free songs or use a song from your iTunes library (subject to iTunes); 
  • Save and share your video to your social channels, via text or email. 

Check and get Quik today!

 

Magisto – AI powered social video maker and editor 

Magisto is an online video editor with a web application as well as a mobile app for automated video editing and production aimed at consumers and businesses. Magisto employs Artificial Intelligence technology in order to make video editing fast and simple. 

How does it work?

  1. Upload your business videos and photos
  2. Choose a video editing style and soundtrack from Magisto’s library 
  3. Let Magisto’s AI powered professional video maker analyse and edit your video 

Magisto’s pricing plan starts at $4.99/month for an annual plan and goes up to $34.99/month for a year’s subscription. 

Check it out.

Here are just two easy video creation and editing options to make your business marketing competitive and engaging for your customers. 

 

Stay ahead 

Access magic tech for your business use, delivered to your inbox every few weeks.

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mobile apps
January 8th, 2020

Does Your Business Need A Mobile App?

With the Google Play store home to over 3.5 millions apps, and the Apple App Store hosting over 2.2 million (according to Statista’s 2018 figures), it might seem that your business should also have a mobile app. 

The temptation to develop a mobile app for your business can be big. A mobile app allows your business to directly communicate with your customers through in-app purchases, ads and promotions. 

A mobile app that can gain you traction with customers can obviously be a significant way to boost your business brand and sales. 

Wherever you look, software development companies are offering mobile app development as a business solution. 

However, we at Neorise believe in creating solutions for real problems. Our point of view on developing mobile apps centres around “will it be a benefit for the user?” 

Because if we are to ask users to install an app, there would have to be a very good reason, such as, you can’t offer the services or experience on your website. If you don’t have a very good reason then it probably is not a good idea to go down the route of spending valuable resources on developing, marketing and maintaining a mobile app. 

If you’re thinking about developing a mobile app for your business, here are six questions we think you should ask first and have clear answers for. 

 

 

  • Why does your business need a mobile app?

 

Mobile apps offer clear marketing, sales and customer engagement benefits – but only if you create them with a purpose. So we advise you to ask the hard question: “why do you need a mobile app?” “what are the goals you want to achieve by having an app for your business?” 

 

  • How do your users and customers find your business? 

 

Is your website already generating a lot of interest and leads for your business? Or is it through word of mouth mainly or some other form of discovery? If there are existing methods to find your business and it is working well, do you really need to have a mobile app? 

 

  • Is your website optimised for mobile?

 

Responsive web design can greatly improve user experience on mobile devices, so before you go down the mobile app route, we suggest optimising your website for mobile experience and seeing whether that meets your initial app goals. 

 

  • Do your competitors have apps?

 

If they do, then have a look at the statistics on their app downloads and user reviews to see how the app is being received by their customers. 

 

  • Will your app offer solutions or value add to your customers?

 

This question is tied in with the first query on “why do you need a mobile app?” If your app doesn’t offer any extra functionalities that your mobile optimised website provide then why would they want to download your app? We would say that you need a “wow” offering with your app to get people to download them. For example, a bank app that allows you to transfer funds from one account to another anywhere, anytime is a pretty good reason. 

 

  • Do you have ongoing resources to create and manage mobile apps?

 

The resources associated with a mobile app doesn’t stop with just the build cost. Like any software, there will be bugs and also the need to continually comply with Google Play and Apple App store’ requirements. Which means there’s ongoing maintenance costs involved in delivering quality mobile apps. 

As you can see, there is a lot to think about before deciding whether a mobile app is the right way to go for your business. Simply building an app because it is the trend is not a good enough business reason. 

Instead, we suggest focusing on delivering tangible benefits to your customers and understanding what they need or want to engage better with your business. 

If that turns out to be a demand for a mobile app, then we’d love to help you build a high quality app for your business. 

Get in touch and one of our analysts or software developers will help you fully understand what’s next. 

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