How to Deal With Dissatisfied Customers?

It is well said by the Bill Gates “ Your Unhappy Customers Are The Greatest Source of Learning“.

With the increase in digital channels, and online reputation management keeping your customers happy is a big task. Customer complaints spread like fire on the social network. When a customer feels that they have been wronged they go out of there ways to tell people about it. Social media has become one of the biggest platforms to amplify their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction about a brand.  

There is always a customer who isn’t happy, no matter how good of a customers service is provided. You need to be aware as to how to handle this negative situation. These situation need to be handled efficiently or else not only you lose the customer you might have to deal with a bad reputation for your brand as well.

It is important to protect your brand reputation. Your team should be able to handle all the complaints on time by making it more convenient for the customers.

This kind of reviews on social media spoils the reputation of a brand. Even if a problem has been created, if the company takes the responsibility in their hands the customer will still be satisfied.

Here are 3 ways in which you can prevent, identify and also engage with the unhappy customers:

  1. Avoid complaints by analyzing the customer behaviour

Take care of the customers even before they bring you a complain. Keep a eye on them and resolve their issues. The brands should collect intelligent information on high impact shopper, and brand can keep a check on the behaviours of those customers who might complain offsite.

Doing this will help to know what

  • Customers are hovering a complaint form or on the customer service page.
  • Keeping a interaction record helps to know the site visitor who are more capable to complain.
  • Customers who have been looking for some kind of support.
  • Customers facing navigation problems.

With all these information about customers it helps to resolve their issues before they get upset and vent their frustration somewhere else.

2.  Look into the matters that need your attention

Whether, a customer is happy or unhappy they do talk about your brand on different forums, social channels, blogs, sites or complaint bureaus.

The survey conducted shows a better picture.

More than 6 customers look into google to get customer review.

Since most of the traffic comes through Google, it effectively checks other review sites showing the star rating used before they click through their search results. Google has jumped ahead of many major players in the review industry.

Almost ⅔ of the people check Google for the reviews. So make sure you are presented in the Google my business listing and keep a watch over customer review.

By having a social listening tool, a conversation can be tracked in real-time and understand the issues mentioned by the customer.

Listening to what customers have to say is a key to engage and put the necessary steps in place that will lead to a change in the conversation. Ignoring the social conversation can opt out to be a dangerous step, while you also miss out on opportunities to build better customer relationship.    

The person responsible for handling this has not given any kind of response. This will lead to losing your customers or either ruining your brand name.

3. Engage with customers

If someone posts a review about your brand on social media with a negative experience they would be wanting a response from your side and if they notice there is no response it only incite them to never come back to you.  It may be difficult at times to handle a situation like this online but not responding only creates more trouble.

What To Do When Your Customer Gets Steamed?

Losing a customer could be damaging. Not only in terms of stature but also in monetary terms.

As per a report, 82% of consumers have discontinued their relation with a company due to bad customer service.

On the other hand, acquiring a new customer is 6-7 times more expensive than keeping a current one.

Considering the importance of good customer services for business, below I have mentioned an action plan.

It’s a bunch of key steps that should be followed while handling dissatisfied customers.

These steps will be helpful not only in resolving the issues, but they’ll also help in boosting your customer base.

  • Put All Your Listening Skills to Use

The foremost thing to do while handling an angry customer is being a good listener. Vigilant Listening does half of your work. Listen patiently and let your customer vent out. Never ever argue or talk over the customer.

Instead, listen to whatever they are saying and try figuring out why are they being so aggressive and impatient. Being a patient listener assists you in understanding the whole issue.

Image source

  • Don’t Take it Personally

The customer is yelling at you because you are the representative of your company. So there’s no point taking things personally. There might be situations where a customer would try to provoke you, but do not lose the temper.

Maintain the professionalism and understand the fact that customer is behaving that ways due to your company. S/he doesn’t know you personally.

  • Change Your Stance

Imagine yourself in your customer’s place. You paid a good amount of money in exchange for a product or a service. But the quality wasn’t the way as you expected.

You called customer care and narrated your dismay.

The customer service agent’s reply:  I understand the problem you must be facing, and I’ll try my best to resolve your problem.

Wouldn’t it be great to hear such kind and empathetic words?

Responding in a right manner is as important as listening to your customers’ needs.

Try doing the same with your customers and observe the difference.

Image Source

  • Apologize for the Inconvenience

Never forget to apologize for the inconvenience caused to your customer.

Because no matter what your customer is in trouble because of your company’s product. So, say sorry for the problem caused.

Also, make sure that your tone is not rude and shows real concern.

For instance: There could be two ways to apologize.

First: We regret the inconvenience caused to you. We’ll do every possible thing to resolve the issue.

Second: I am sorry. I will look into the matter personally and would take a prompt action to fix this issue. I’ll make sure no such problem will bother you in future.

See the difference and choose yourself.

  • Walk Towards the Solution

Here’s a small incident that happened to me last month.

Since a long time,  Myntra has been my first choice since for shopping. Last month, I ordered a dress from the site. It was in my hand within a day (as always). The product was exactly the way I saw on the website.

But after second use it got torn. I immediately got in touch with the customer care and narrated the whole story. They not only reacted promptly toward the issue but also apologized profusely.

Not only this, they asked me about how I want to get the issue resolved.

Though I was upset with the product quality, I was happy with their customer support.

Within 3 days, the dress was returned, and my money was refunded.

I was again their loyal customers who always brags about their product quality and customer care services.

What should be learned?

Handle your customers personally. As soon as you understand the issue, start working towards the solution. Be prompt and genuine while resolving their problem.

Bonus Tip: It is great to give your customer the lead to provide a prospect solution. This gesture makes them feel that the situation is under their control. Give suggestions wherever required.

“Ask your customers to be part of the solution, And don’t view them as part of the problem.”                   

– Alan Weiss

Some Additional Tips:

  • While talking, observe your tone. Don’t be rude and make sure your replies show real concern.
  • Talk as if the customer is sitting right in front of you.
  • Always use a positive language while handling a customer. For instance: if the customer is asking for something that isn’t in your control, patiently explain the same to him/her. Support your response with a reason.
  • Don’t jump to the solution. First, be clear on the issue the person is addressing.
  • Never make false commitments as this can further worsen the situation.

Above mentioned is just a root map to what could be done to handle a dissatisfied customer. Rest depends on your skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Consider your customer as someone who’s in trouble. S/he has chosen you for help. It’s your moral duty to help him out. Chalk out your plan and try your best to assist your customer.

P.S. We’d love to know what you think about good customer services and what could be done to satisfy a dissatisfied customer. Share your ideas, suggestion, and experiences in the comment section below.


HOW TO MAKE AN INTELLIGENT CHATBOT?

When we watch a Hollywood movie and science fiction novels they depict some form of Artificial Intelligence as human-like robots that take over the world. But with the current innovation in Artificial intelligence technology, it has become more advanced and is capable of providing more benefits to the different industries as well.

AI was a term came into existence in 1956. It was in 1960s when the US department of defence took interest in this type of work and began training computers to mimic basic human reasoning. This was long before Siri, Alexa or Cortana came to be known the defence advanced research project agency completed street mapping project in 1970s.

The first chatbot developed was by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s. It was known as ELIZA.  

Other Chatbots came into existence in the second half of the 20th century later on.  

In today’s technology world Chatbot has created a new buzz in the business world. It’s increased potential has got itself with some great opportunities in the hands of marketers and executives. Chatbots are needed to understand and solve the human problems with it’s artificial intelligence.

It can process all forms of data whether it is text, audio or visuals. It can be used by business to streamline internal communication, provide good customer support, customize buying recommendations etc.

What makes artificial intelligence important ?

  • Adds intelligence.
  • Automates repetitive learning and discovery through data.
  • Adapts through progressive learning algorithms.
  • Analyzes more and deeper data.
  • Archives incredible accuracy.
  • Gets the most out of the data

What makes a chatbot intelligent ?

“I think chatbots are the furture of engagement between a fan and a brand or celebrity.” – Christian Milian

Bots aren’t smart by default. They are made capable of showing artificial intelligence by leveraging on technologies like machine learning, big data, natural language processing etc.

Building an intelligent chatbot is different thought and building a chatbot on a intelligent platform is altogether a different one. There are various successful chatbots built. So, as per this the platform becomes the intelligent agent and the chatbot becomes like a sensor for this intelligent agent.  

The intelligent agent works to gather all the user information, and process store and convert that information into a goal. The challenge at this point is not about infusing intelligence into chatbot but about creating an intelligent platform. The focus should be on the factors sense-think-act capabilities into the platform.

As of now, the chatbot motive is to meet user-centric task. And for this the chatbot should be intelligent. It is a challenge to build a intelligent chatbot when the elements surrounding the building process arise.

Let’s analyze how can artificial intelligence be infused in chatbots and make those conversations human-like.  

  • Contextual Understanding:

This is like the first challenge faced when trying to build a chatbot. To have a good understanding of context a bot needs to analyze inputs like time, day, date, conversation history, sentence structure etc. for a sensible responses both the physical context as well as linguistic context should be integrated. For incorporating the linguistic context, conversations have to be embedded into a vector which is a difficult task.

  • Coherent Responses:

To have a human like conversation a bot needs a tone and dialect for communication just like humans. We can’t expect bot to talk in different tones or accent but it needs to be consistent with its language and style. To accomplish this it is important to think of a character for the bot and stick to it while managing all the conversations. To achieve this coherence can be complicated, especially if the bots are in audio along with the text.

  • Generative Responses:

Most of the conversation on chatbot are based on predefined flow, which are directed to take the users from the stage of introduction to the conversation. The ability to produce relevant responses depends on how the chatbot is trained. The generative system fails if the chatbot is incapable of providing the diversity required to handle specific inputs.

  • Learning Abilities:

Chatbot might ask multiple question just to know about the user preference. But if it asks the same question every time it will become irritating. Also users tend to continue the conversation from the point they last left off. Therefore the machine learning abilities are needed for a chatbot to be looked upon as artificially intelligent.   

Where the chatbot is built on a open domain model, it gets difficult to judge whether a chatbot is performing its task. There isn’t a specific goal that is attached with the chatbot to perform. The main question is whether the chatbot performs the task it has been built for.         

Researchers found that the metrics used in this case cannot be compared to human judgment.  

As we look into the future, intelligent chatbots will be built to rule the world of connections.

How to know if a chatbot is intelligent ?

The AI chatbot has a goal to fix and works autonomously to achieve those goals. Choosing a goal for a situation is itself a complicated problem. The chatbot follows three step process for realizing the goal, Sense-Think-Act. The AI chatbot goes along the cycle to have progress towards pre-defined goals.

  • Ability to sense

The first step is sensing the environment to get the information it needs to execute a task. Chatbot gets it easy to listen what a user is conveying rather than typing into it. Like in case of a robot, the sensing part becomes a scientific challenge to infuse sensing power into it.  

  • Think

The chatbot has to convert the information received from the user into a understandable format and then store it in knowledge base. The chatbot makes a decision depending on the pre-existing knowledge. Make the chatbot think and take actions depending on the request placed by the user by using the neural network in machine learning.

The decision of chatbot are based on the information stored on knowledge base. Information gathered and learned helps the chatbot to decide on their actions ahead. Predictive analytics using machine learning makes the AI chatbot to plan in advance any queries that might come from the users. This adds to the chatbot intelligence.

Due to popularity of deep learning and neural network people know more about the learning that is possible. Learning helps intelligent agent to see patterns in the information received and responds to them accordingly. Though there are several agents that are quiet powerful and intelligent without learning component.

What does an intelligent agent do beside learning? The first thing it does is convert the useful information. Natural language processing and understanding is the area of AI that deals with issue in case of chatbots. Even though progress has been made in this area it is a problem that can’t be solved.

After the natural language and before the learning components lies the crucial part of making an intelligent chatbot. It’s the knowledge base, which means how to store the information gained. This is a important part since it determines the quality of learning and the level of intelligence that an intelligent agent is capable of showing.   

  • Act

The last step is to take the decision, based on all the gathered information and learnt. Now the chatbot has to act. The chatbot has to respond to the question raised by the user. The response for the audio and video query becomes difficult for the chatbot in the way it has to sound like a human.

A intelligent bot can plan a few steps ahead. The chatbot can make a decision on a series of questions to ask and modify this decision according to the information gathered.

What do you want the chatbot to do ?

It all depends on the purpose for which the chatbot has been created. Some of the common uses are:

  • Virtual Assistants

Different business have different purpose for the use of chatbot, such as customer service. AI services are required to answer simple questions, help with booking services, buy products etc. chatbot helps with these task and allows human agent to focus on more relevant problems. Chatbot also let’s company have 24/7 services to serve their customers.    

  • Idea Generation

Data is a very important factor in the digital economy. It is important to have the resources to transform them into something which has value. The companies generally have the solutions in place that can automatically learn from the data they collect. The artificial intelligence is considered powerful because of the fact that it can learn. This helps them to adapt when there is a change in the market behaviour as well improve the performance as more data gets collected.       

  • Automation of manual processes

Artificial intelligence automates routine and mechanical cognitive processes. The intelligent algorithms now can collect data from various reports and conduct an analysis to check the profitability of a particular business path.

  • Analysis  of unstructured data

There is about 80% of data that is not structured. Tracking and organizing these data leads to a better understanding of the users.

There are two types of chatbot i.e Rule based bots and AI bots.

As explained by the Co-Chief AI Scientist Kumar Shridhar at BotSupply how both them work.

Rule Based Approach:

Under this approach the bot answers the question based on the rules it has been trained on.

The rules can be simple or complex. Even though the creation of these bots are straightforward they are not efficient enough to answer questions, whose pattern does not match with the rules the bots has been trained on.

Artificial intelligence:

For a chatbot needs to have artificial intelligence to do more than just simply answer questions. AI allows the bots to learn from the interactions it gets from the end users. Behind all this learning there are analytics platforms, integration with APIs etc. These add to the AI and provide resources so that the chatbot is able to respond to users with a correct answers.    

While infusing the chatbot with the AI it can either help the users or collect information from the users. A chatbot that helps is considered more smarter than the chatbot as a collector.

A intelligent chatbot can help users buy products, seek informations etc. A helper chatbot is recognized by its natural language processing and understanding power.

Collector chatbot leads the conversations with the users. They work on predefined questions and are not smart enough to respond to user in case of a query. The purpose of increasing the intelligent quotient in the collector chatbot depends on the intelligent platform where they are built to reside.

The question here is How can we build intelligence into a collector chatbot ?

A collector chatbot becomes intelligent when it collects information from the users and presents it in the most appropriate way to the user’s purpose.      

So are all chatbots intelligent ?

If you are talking through a messenger to a machine/ algorithm and it is giving you some kind of responses, that means you are talking to a chatbot. But are all of these intelligent chatbot?  

Most of the chatbots assumes to be intelligent but they are far along the way. But it doesn’t have to be this way, there is some amazing technology which can help change that.

These technologies are:

  • Semantic parsing  –

It converts the user expressions into a form that is understandable to the computer.

Let’s take an example,  

Using semantic parsing for pancakes

“I’d like a pancake with chocolate sauce”. It is clear here that i want pancakes with chocolate sauce. But if “I want pancakes with waffles”. It would surprising to see pancakes with waffles toppings.

This is called prepositional phrase attachment. It defines whether the phrase “with waffles” attach to “pancake” or  “want”?

A traditional parser will only tell you the sentence structure. It will help you understand the sentence as a whole. Here semantic parser will translate the sentence into a form which is understandable by the computer.

With chatbot this is a structure that would be referred to as intent. Which might look like this:

{

        “Intent”:   “order-items”,

        “Items”:  [{

        “item -name”:   “pancakes”,

        “Toppings”:        [“chocolate sauce”]

}]

}

On the other hand the intent for “I want pancakes with waffles” would look like this:

{

        “Intent”:   “order-items”,

        “Items”:  [{

        “item -name”:   “pancakes”,

        “Toppings”:        [“Waffles”]

}]

}

In first case it is clear chocolate sauce is needed as topping whereas in second case it has two items pancakes and waffles.

Chatbot tools such as Dialog flow, have semantic parsers that will do this type of analysis. But this is very limited. They do not give such an output as described in the intent.  

Semantic parsers do this analysis. So if there is this sort of technology to make the chatbots smarter why isn’t it being implemented?

The reasons are:

  • May be chatbot designer are not familiar with this.
  • It adds on the complexity to the tools. The intent handling in most current cases are easy and simple flat structure. If they become trees of arbitrary depth and complex, it would make everything much more difficult.
  • It also makes it harder for the chatbot designer to figure out how to handle these trees.   

Doing AI is a difficult task. Until some serious efforts are put in and the chatbot designer starts to demand more from their tools nothing can seem to go further and the chatbot will remain the same.

  • Automated planning –

It chooses a series of action to achieve a goal.

If we are able to overcome these obstacles, we may be able to have a nice complex trees for our users.

A request from a user can be viewed as a goal or desire of the user, and there is a whole lot of AI trying to complete these goals by Automated planning. Wouldn’t it be much better if the chatbot could firgure out the best way to deal with this by itself ? This is where automated planning can work.

There would still be more work to do. We would have to describe the “world” that the chatbot resides in, so that it will know the actions it has to take and know about the effects of those actions. There is a formal language called Planning Domain Definition Language, or PDDL for this purpose.

There are different PDDL for different types of problems. One of these problems is particularly Observable Markov Decision Processes or POMDPs. They have been applied with the spoken dialogue system by Steve Young at Cambridge and his colleague and allow uncertainty in the result of actions and current state of the world.  

SLU – spoken language understanding unit.

NLG – natural language generation unit.

The output of spoken language understanding unit may include uncertainty about what the user said. Similar is the case with the chatbot where there is still uncertainty and ambiguity about what the user intended.

This type of confusion is generally created because of sentence structure. For example the word “run” has around 606 meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary. This type of intepretation can easily be incorporated into a POMDP.

Instead of tracking a single state, the POMDP can keep a track of distribution over possible states. This defines it is able to act rationally even in the suitation of uncertainty.  

(Planning system – Dialogue Manager)

So instead of defining how chatbot should act in every suitation, it defines what can a chatbot do best. This will make the chatbots more intelligent.

We still need to describe what a chatbot is suppose to say. And we probably need it to form it’s own sentences that’s where natural language generation comes in.

  • Natural language generation

It helps the computer to respond to people in it’s own language.

The current system will take up a template sentence with one or two slots which can be filled and returned to the users. But what if the users are looking for a detailed information?

Imagine we could generate any form of data infomation automatically. You could ask for a brief idea on web analytics, or you could ask about retention, new users, or landing pages. All the queries would be translated into a set of database queries and the results would be summarised for you. The possibilities are endless.

Natural language processing is about finding answers by parsing language into intent, entities, agents, actions, and contexts. With NLP as the driving force, NLP platforms like WIT< API, and LUIS can be used to built an intelligent chatbot.

Are the travel bots or weather bots that provide some information on your query are artificially intelligent? Ofcourse they are, but they are not far along the conversation axis.

There are various articles about how to build a chatbot that appears intelligent. It could be the conversational interface or the natural language processing or it is able to understand sentences that you structure in a wrong way.  

For lot of people if a chatbot answers questions off topic it is smart. But their is another defination to it that is the chatbot has memory, it should be able to remember who you are and provides responses accordingly. For few this is also not good enought the chatbot should actually learn something over time and also evolve over time or else it is not intelligent.

There isn’t any one specific deifination to it. The important question here is “ is it actually useful in the chat from?” if the chatbot interface allows you to do something better than what is possible in another form, it is adding value. If you are trying to look whether a chatbot is intelligent or not, the question you should ask yourself is whether its functionality coud be replaced?

You comment on this below.


How to set goals with OKRs

As stated by John Doerr “Ideas are easy, Execution is everything. It takes a team to win.” John Doerr is the first person who worked with OKR goals under the guidance of Andy Grove at Intel. He is considered one of the experts and a source of invaluable insights on the power of OKR.

Andy grove the President of Intel implemented it in 1970s. It was later spread among different companies, especially when Google was on its initial stage. Nowadays OKRs are used by tons of companies from SMEs to Fortune 500. Some of the well known companies are Google, Intel, Linkedin, Zynga, Oracle and Twitter.

There are certain insights on OKRs, that we will discuss later.

First let’s know why bring OKRs to your organization ?

When bringing OKRs to an organization it helps to clear about what they are, why they can be helpful and how can they be used. OKRs shows complete transparency. Research also reveals that the performance is higher when people are committed to a specific goal.

OKR is a leadership process for communicating the set goals and also monitoring those goals and results in organizations. The main goal of OKR is to connect company, team and other personal objectives in a way to measure the results, making all the employees work together in a unified direction. There is a OKR software that is needed to implement OKR.

OKRs is required to make sure each individual knows what is being expected out of them at work. It is kept public for everyone, so people and teams move forward towards the goals and know what others are focusing on.

OKRs has 3-5 high level objectives. These objectives have 3-5 key measurable results. Every result has a progress indicator of 0-100 or 0-1.0 that shows its achievement.

It is also said that every leaders should  implement it’s OKRs since, it is lightweight and does not consume time or resources. There are a lot of benefits for productivity, focus and company culture.

Benefits

  1. OKRs increases clarity

The greatest benefits of OKRs is that it provides structure and clarity to an organization to work towards a common goals.

When there is a team of dozens or hundreds all moving towards one goal, you can achieve come pretty incredible results. This seemed to get more clarified seeing the results obtained.

I was once working on a case study of a customer, which by the way is fun on its own. It became all the more paramount with the perspective gained from OKRs. It helped draw a line from OKR of case study to company-wide OKr for revenue.

Let’s look at the steps

  • First is going through the case study
  • Then middle and bottom funnel traffic
  • Then is higher conversion rates
  • More trial starts
  • And therefore this leads to increase in monthly recurring revenue.

2. OKRs increase focus

It is important to revisit the OKRs, ideally every week would be great. This helps to keep your mind focus since there is a objective to achieve.

It’s like when your mind is drifting you could stop yourself and ask

“does this get you any closer to meeting your goals?”

This will drive you towards the OKR review board to see if the current tasks fits within the stated goals. With this OKR review board it will help you get back to work and feel confident to move forward to right directions.

3. OKRs increases collaboration

Collaborating with OKRs is a good decision. It was difficult to set a new landing page live because they do not have a front end development skills. It needed to create 3 to 5 new infographics.

You have to simply get in touch with the people you need to work with on different projects and find a common ground with them so the work ends up on a person’s OKR list.

Other benefits:

  • Alignment and cross functional cooperation
  • Reduced time for setting goals
  • Clear communication
  • Employees engagement
  • Autonomy and accountability
  • Focus and discipline
  • Bolder goals

It keeps vision, goals and objectives always in front of employees. It helps them know exactly what is expected out of them. They can also align the work to teams and department and company goals.

If OKRs is set up and used regularly, it is very simple to use and does not take much of the time to implement it. It takes just few hours to check and review the OKRs. It is appreciated by the leaders and managers, seeing the employees moving forward to important goals and not small unimportant tasks. Focus and productivity is the results of a good OKRs process.

How to use OKRs ?

Once everything regarding an objective is decided the OKR strategy can be communicated to all the stakeholders and make sure they well understood.  

As the people start working they will update their results regularly. An objective is considered done when 70 to 75% of the target results have been achieved. If 100% of the objectives results get done then it is not considered ambitious enough.

Make sure to review the OKRs regularly. The OKRs can be changed according to the company needs. No process should hold more value than common sense and everyday business.

  1. Start small and iterate

It is important to know about the tradeoffs before adoption of OKRs. Which means it is a good idea to start small and iterate as you understand the fact how it works in your company.

As per Google introducing OKRs start with the basics:

  • What are OKRs? Give a basic explanation to your team and how it works.
  • Why use OKRs? Review your current status to goal setting and limits or issues. This is a good time to show how OKRs connects everyone’s work to the company’s purpose.
  • How do OKRs work? Have a timeline for your OKRs cycle. This will indicate what is expected of each person. What will be the major milestones. What will success look like. And at times it might take a little work to convince the team that 60/70% is enough.

2. Focus on communication and prioritization

Since the OKRs is public sometimes it is not  a easy thing for the team. Therefore it is clear as to where you can see what people are working on and what metrics they are chasing an important part of adopting OKRs.

As said by Dick Costolo former Google and former Twitter CEO,

“As you grow a company the single hardest thing is to scale a communication. It is very difficult. The OKRs is a great way to make sure everyone understands how you are going to measure success and strategy.”

3. Use regular check-ins to stay disciplined

It is important to have regular check-ins on the OKRs strategy set. Though this doesn’t mean only at the start and end of an OKR cycle.

It might include:

  • OKR planning sessions: Bring together a small team together to talk through the objectives and key results for next cycle.
  • Weekly check-ins: A meeting for the team focusing on the tactical updates to ensure everyone is working on the right priorities.  
  • Mid cycle review: A step needed to reassess the OKR. Addition or elimination of any action plans for addressing OKR that are below your goal.
  • All hands meeting: A wide company meeting where everyone is communicated and reiterate your strategy and goals.

4. Don’t go all in on OKRs

It might not be a good idea to just drop OKRs on the entire team. Instead choose to either integrate them horizontally or vertically.

  • Horizontal: Start with a team and add other teams each cycle or quarter.
  • Vertical: Start company with OKRs and senior management and then add new layers each cycle or quarter.

Now we know the uses of OKRs. But how does OKRs fixes the strategy execution problem?

Strategy execution is a difficult task. Let’s look into some facts over this.

  • Donald Sull found that in his research in 2015 that even 45% of middle managers could not even name one of their organization’s top priorities. These were the managers responsible for executing strategy. But they had no clue what strategy is.
  • Kaplan and Norton found in 2015 that 9 out of 10 organization failed to execute their strategy.
  • Almost 95% of the employees didn’t know or understand their organization’s strategy. They didn’t even know whatever they are doing will actually help to realise that strategy.

Having knowledge over objectives and key results can help your organization become a great place to work. It helps to clear the path of success and held the teams consistently hit their goals.  

It helps to become a great place to work by letting teams have more autonomy. You make them responsible for objectives without actually dictating them how they need to realize those objectives.  

It also to have more clarity on the strategic priorities by making them transparent to the entire organization. This helps to focus on what truly matters. Teams will be able to consistently hit their goals by following a simple structure which has real data so the teams can actually push the company forward.

The anatomy of OKRs

Now since we know where the OKR  framework is coming from and the value is to bring the organization. Let’s look into the anatomy of OKR.

The objectives tells you where you need to go. These are the statements that aspire and set direction. Key results helps to know “ how do i know i am getting there?”  They help you specify the objective and helps you measure the progress towards it.

Initiatives answers the question, “ what will i do to get there?” initiatives are are work that you need to put in order to drive towards the progress on your key results.

Your objective and key results are your outcomes, and your initiatives are the outputs.

OKRs should be public within an organization so that the employees know the organizational objectives and the success point.

In an interview Dick Costolo, former Google and former CEO of Twitter, was asked ”What did you learn from Google that you applied at Twitter?”

To which he replied, “ The thing that i saw at Google that i applied at Twitter are OKRs. Those are the great way to help everyone in the company understand what’s important and how you’re going to measure what’s important.”

“The thing that I saw at Google that I definitely have applied at Twitter are OKRs – Objectives and Key Results. Those are a great way to help everyone in the company understand what’s important and how you’re going to measure what’s important. It’s essentially a great way to communicate strategy and how you’re going to measure strategy. And that’s how we try to use them. As you grow a company, the single hardest thing to scale is communication. It’s remarkably difficult. OKRs are a great way to make sure everyone understands how you’re going to measure success and strategy.”

How To Send Emails To Inbox Not Spam?

Okay, now that’s something that can’t be ignored. Can it? I doubt that, since if your Emails don’t reach the inbox then who is ever going to view it.

Do people check their spam mails ??

Umm, i really don’t think so.

So this is a problem faced by a lot of startups mostly since they do not have any sender score built up for their domain. The struggle with the delivery across different mailbox providers is a set off.

Few senders also struggle with the delivery problem as well as the engagement with the customers through one mailbox providers. There are spammers who get hold of the list and take over the messages from the new IPs/Domains and then vanish.

Let’s talk about how to optimize the deliverability of the emails. To make sure your email reaches the inbox rather than the spam.

Pointers:

  1. It’s important to make sure you are sending the email to the right person, i.e the people who have subscribed for it.
  2. All the invalid email addresses are removed.
  3. The content should be relevant and should have meaningful information in the Subject, From, and Reply to headers.
  4. Take care of all the unsubscribed requests, spam complaints and users who are not active with your email, i.e no click within 30 days.
  5. Suppression list should be maintained and incase of any form of migration from a specific company it should be taken along.
  6. DKIM should be set up and verified for your Domains.
  7. Set up a Custom Bounce Domain.
  8. Set up a Custom Tracking Domain.

It is very important to build a sender score with the Email provider. Without this it is really difficult to optimize your email deliverability.

In this case let’s avoid these bad practices:

  • Sending the message without testing it.
  • Use a misleading subject line.
  • Hide the sender and unsubscribe link.
  • Obtain the email list from a unreliable source and sharing it with the third party.
  • Ignoring the unsubscribe request.
  • Email appending should be avoided.

It is important to have a consent of the recipient prior to sending messages to an Email address.This consent also involves adding the recipient to any ongoing and repeated communications. This gives a chance of not having emails considered as unwanted or abusive.

The subscription can be at different levels –

1. Single opt-in

This is for extreme situations as it means adding unconfirmed address to the mailing list. There is a possible chance of emails going unchecked, unsubscribing, and eventually the decline in the sender’s reputation.

The recipient should be aware of the fact about receiving the emails notification, when the address is being collected.

The sender should also specify the list recipient wants to be included in. For example, do they want to receive email notification regarding the product they have purchased or a similar ones. This kind of control helps the senders to send more efficient emails reducing the chance of emails going unchecked.

Email address should  be used only got the purposes disclosed to the recipient at the time of signup. The email can have visual example making it more likely for the recipient to view it.

2. Double opt-in

The email subscription under this confirm his or her wish to be added to the mailing list twice. The confirmation consist of two steps –

  • The contact fills out the form
  • The contact gets a confirmation email along with a link to confirm
  • They are now added to your list along with information on their IP address and when they sign up and subscription confirmation.

3. Single opt-in with notification

A confirmation email is sent after the sign up. The email here should included the same “From” address so as it allows the recipient to add it to their address book.

The server sending confirmation emails should be differentiated from the bulk sending IPS.

4. Confirmed opt-in

Recipient of the confirmation messages requires to take an action so as to be added in the list. The confirmation email should be free of advertising as to avoid it being considered as abusive emails.

Sometimes, an email gets a better response if during the collection of the address, the consent of the customer regarding the notifications of the emails and being added in the mail list is taken into consideration .

unsubscribe –

It should be easy, clear and should be done instantly as a request is received. The longer the  request is delayed it is considered as email abusive and complain.

Unsubscription link should have an subscription ID and a list to unsubscribe from in case of multiple list.

Senders should use easily readable text description instead of images, to accompany hyperlinks a click online unsubscribe webpage. Senders should be capable enough to process email based unsubscribe request through forms and replying to address in the unbound emails.

Senders should also a policy for unsubscriptions. It will be different for various business but they have to decide if the unsubscribe should be valid for all emails or an individual list. It is better to remove the recipient from the entire list.  The offline unsubscription option should be available.

When a hyperlink is presented with a online subscription that includes multiple subscriptions options, the option to unsubscribe should be available in the entire list. The returning subscribers should be made available with the new selections unchecked by default.

It should be made easy for the subscribers to unsubscribe without any hassle or experience any other form of security. A recipient email address should be included in the message body to remind the recipient of the email address they have used to subscribe to a particular list. This is required in case the recipients have multiple email address.

Data security

Security is one of the primary consideration to be taken into notice. Cybercriminals have the tendency to obtain an email address for wrong reasons. Since software applications stores only email address it should not be seen as though it can’t be attacked by the cybercriminals. This data can be misused, so it is important to in store this data appropriately.

Data Transparency

It is a form of principle required for building trust in the email industry and also includes IP and Domains of the senders along with any links that might be included in the message body of the email. So this way senders are held all the responsibility for any kind of happening. With transparency senders build trust and ability to deliver the emails to inbox while keeping away from spam.

Receivers can know all the information about senders through the following mechanism –

WHOIS Information:

This helps get the contact information for the IP address or Domain name administrators. It is important for the senders to maintain up to date WHOIS information. It is important for the senders to provide appropriate points of contact to help remedy abuse related issues.

Email Authentication:

This form of authentication further helps to clear out the identity of the sender thereby, avoiding any kind of forged or abusive email address. With a proper authentication and identity clarification, the receiver can make an easy decision based on the mailing history and reputation for a Domain.

There are other ways as well to detect the authentication of the sender’s/ Domain.  

  • SPF (Sender policy Framework) –  It is required to detect email spoofing, and validate the sending IP and HELO domain.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) – It uses a digital cryptographic signature to validate a specific domain in the headers.
  • DMARC ( Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) – This gives senders to control as to where is their authenticated and unauthenticated emails with their domain are being delivered. It also helps to set policy for the emails that do not get through the SPF and DKIM.  

IP details

This provides guidelines for the transparency of the sender and to know there responsibility of sending mails server to system making their filtering decisions. These guidelines also help during any complain or issue.

The guidelines are:

DNS Forward –

It is required to find a domain name using an IP address. A name must be given identify the responsible party’s domain. The name should indicate that the machine is a server.

In case of shared IP, there can be more than one name pointing at the same IP address.

Whereas in case of dedicated IP situation all the mails belonging to an advertise/ESP required for sending emails should use the same name or a small number of names at the domain registry level and different subdomains can be used.

Example: Do not use espname01.com, Instead use server1.espname.com, etc.


Reserve DNS –

It is used to find a domain name using an IP address. This is also called as PTR or IN-ADDR configured. One IP address should be used in case of one reserve DNS and the name should match the primary name.

HELO names –

It is identical to the full hostname of the mail server. It is required in SPF authentication. The HELO should be matching the DNS name.

It can be sometimes be useful in diagnosing the email problems with NATs. So each mailing system or customer in a shared environment behind NATs should have their own HELO name which is the subdomain.

IP environment – (shared and dedicated)

Dedicated environment:

The sender or ESP may want to isolate the emails from other entities, to protect the reputation,  develop quality emails and also track the quality.

The sender can also control the number of emails originating with an IP. Combination of marketing and transactional email or mail of other category can create a irregular traffic volume. The consistency of the volume describes the integral part in determining the IP reputation and deliverability.

The entity may require outbound MTA setting that is different from shared environment. The entity may also required certification, whitelisting or enhanced deliverability service from third party.  

Shared environment:

The mails from more than one entity can be combined to have a consistent average sending volume to establish and maintain IP reputation. By provisioning the number of entities within a shared environment, mistake made by single sender can affect the entire reputation of the IP.

This is comparatively less expensive and makes the mailing system feasible for small businesses.

Vetting –

All the ESP must have a vetting system since it helps to determine between the spammers and a customer. Vetting of clients is an integral part of maintaining a good reputation and decreasing messaging abuse.

Feedback Loops –

This is the largest source of complaint data senders receives from automated feedback loops which are needed to be set up by the mailbox providers, but ESPs can also receive complaints directly in the mailbox. ESPs should be able to handle complaints received. Complaints help to determine whether the email sender is not in any way violating the terms and conditions.

Forwarding Service –

The ESP may be set up for small customer with an address based on the ESP sending domain for the use in the header of their message. The ESP may be required to forward the replies to the customer, for this ESPN set up a mail forwarding service.

Non-deliverable handling –

There may be a possibility that the email sent may not reach the customer even with the correct address. The reason being the email system may reject or return the emails to sending system.

The sender need to make sure that they have sufficient resources for sending and receiving volumes of SMTP traffic.

When a sender receives an email return it may be rejected in the SMTP conversation. This can happen hours or days later as well. There is about 95% of returns that occur. The sender should identify the address which has bounced the email in order to process them correctly.

The reason can consist of numeric “status code” and a “descriptive message”. Most MTA software, ISPs and mailbox providers will provide an honest and accurate “status code” that follows the RFC requirements.    

Understanding and adjusting to the multitude of receivers returned messages is the key required to get your mail accepted and maintain a reputation.  

Permanent failures –

This indicated the message should not be retried to send. The is most common in “users unknown”. Many types of 5xx code indicates the policy violation as per the descriptive text. These types of errors do not allow sender to retry sending this message.

It is important to take into account your sending reputation in the past and present. Sometimes the emails delivered to inbox get marked as junk and this is because the message sent is of poor quality. So the goal of ISPs is to make sure recipients do not get any spam messages, so therefore they go through every information to avoid this.

The sender should make it a point to take into consideration the preferences and the expectations of the recipient. The sender should obviously follow all the policy and guidelines and if required should follow up with their legal department on the choices made to ensure they are in compile with the law.

In case of new contacts senders care more about the relationship they share with the customers. The more contacts opens your message from you, the more it will create a form of good behaviour.

Generally, a reputable senders have a list of customers base they send emails to. But in case of a new contact it won’t work right away. To figure this out, try to separate your transactional message from marketing messages. But in case your email only contain welcome messages to first time customers, try to min other types of transactional messages like confirmation, password reset etc. This will help even out first time recipients.

When an email is sent it can be marked as junk by the recipient. This is to be taken into consideration as to how many of these emails land into junk, in order to add value to your email campaign. Keeping a track of email can provide great insight into user behaviour. So, be mindful and try to make adjustments in your mail stream.  


How To Make Customers’ Happy

What do u think customers are looking for?

Any idea, whatsoever ? leave it in the comment. We can discuss on it.

But since i’m here to share my view point so i shall begin with that.  

People start a business, and the motive is always and forever will be to get some return on it in form of income. But does it make it that easy to do it ?

As said best by Walt Disney, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring in their friends.” There should be some connection between your company and your customers so as to bring in a positivity through the word of mouth which is an absolute delight.

All that a customer tends to look for is the satisfaction of spending their money on a specific product. So it becomes our sole motive to provide them with that satisfaction.

The uncodified, unspoken gospel of any industry is to ensure the satisfaction of its customers, in the various levels and forms that they might appear. To this end, the multiple actors on the production and supply side engage in varied methods simply to attract the interests of the customers towards their products. However, such attempts yield effective results only when they are informed by a certain amount of knowledge about customer behaviour.

While we notice advertisements as perhaps the prime ways in which producers and suppliers vie to attract customers, it must be acknowledged that advertisements are but only the most visible forms of all such attempts made.

There are different form of advertisement that are displayed to attract customers. This helps to spread the word about your product and services to generate more sales. Ads are used not just to launch a new product but to encourage new customers to buy the existing product as well.

Before displaying an advertisement it’s important to know who your target customers are and the cost effective way to reach them as many times as possible.

“A known fact about advertising to attract customers is,  you can always be as creative as you like to get noticed”.

Let’s get into few ways by which customer can be delighted.

  1. Be a good listener

Listen to what your customers have to say and what are they really looking for. While interacting them take into account the feedback so as to bring in a improvement if required. Your customer is like the life of a business so,  not dealing with them doesn’t leave you standing anywhere in the market.

Try to gather the feedback from customer either through a survey, observation, customer service, social media, emailing, point of sale etc.  

2. Treat your customers appropriately

Treat your customers in the best possible way. Take responsibilities for your product or services and avoid any kind of excuses. This only makes the customers relentless against your product and services.

This reminds of this incident i read about on a blog. It was about a bad customer service experienced by a customer on Amazon.

The conversation went on like this

Even after this, the customer was not given a solution to his problem, so he had to create a new email address.

This is not the kind of services that will keep customer holding on. They need answers, and not the kind like you speak in a press release. Talk to the customer as you would in person.

This is well conducted by American Express.

Providing good services always creates a “Happy Customer”. It is important to make sure you hire the right person, train and equip your employees with tools necessary to provide answers to customers. Try to make the waiting time as short as possible.

3. Customers satisfaction on an ongoing process

It is important to measure customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer will recommend you to their network. Small businesses get around 85% of their customers from word of mouth.

A satisfied customer doesn’t fail to exist in long run. If closely considered it is a lot more expensive to acquire new customers than retaining the existing ones. You should do everything possible to provide excellent service to your customer.

Be consistent with providing quality service. Customers should know that their satisfaction is your main goal. Improvise on the channels of communication and get feedback. Keep your support team updated with any idea that will help improve the customer services.  

This fact can’t be denied that it is important to focus on customer satisfaction. Keeping customers happy and loyal can turn out to me more business for you.

4. Build trust among your customers

It takes one bad experience to lose all the trust gained from the customers.

Pointer:

  • Avoid selling products customers are not looking.
  • Do not misinterpret the features, advantages and benefits of a product or services.
  • Make only those promises that can be fulfilled.
  • Refrain from accepting any kind of bribery, gifts as this is unethical.
  • Same pricing among different stores.
  • Resolves the problems, in case any after the transaction.
  • Avoid any kind of trash talking, even if it relates to your competitors.

The problem is that trust can’t be built in a day. It takes a lot to make customers believe in your product. A company which loses its trust knows it well enough. As they try to get the trust back they realise that advertisements won’t do the magic for them. Trust can’t be forced on people neither can it be tricked.

How to build trust among you costumer ?

1.Improve your level of security

Customers need to feel safe when they shop. For example, if you spam them through your advertisement or have a checkout process on your website which is way too complicated, customers may suspect that your platform is unsafe.   

2.Go all out for customer service

If a customers experiences a problem and is promptly given some guidance, they will think of your brand as a reliable one. Don’t try to pick the most cost effective to resolve a problem, but make sure your customers feels like they have been heard and will be helped out in all the ways.

3.Always be available

This is needed because people feel comforted when they know their is somebody they can talk to anytime. Make sure there are multiple lines of contact for customers all time. This makes customers feel more reliable towards your brand.

4.Make your brand more personal

Try to interact with customers on personal level rather than a formulaic response. These small changes can change your brand image drastically.   

5.Communicate more

Communicate more with your customers and do not provide any false detailing. The more you talk to them the better. This is true in case of a consultant or a marketer working with clients one on one.

Building trust among customers won’t be easy but it is one of the powerful strategy to keep consistency among your customers and keep them happy. The more loyal your customers will be the stronger your reputation will grow.

5.Be transparent

Being transparent is a critical factor in satisfying your customers. Being transparent means your are not afraid of any kind of feedback, since you have nothing to hide. It also means you can openly converse with your customers without any hesitation.

According to the survey customers are willing to spend more for transparency. No matter what kind of a company you are running, regardless of the fact whether you are providing a product or services you will have to prove your worth again and again. Being transparent kind of helps you with trust and collaboration to keep your clients happy in every situation.  

Pointers:

  • Begin your proposition with honesty.
  • Take responsibility for your mistakes and follow up.
  • Be like an open book about your product.
  • Make  social media pages a community.
  • Stay open to others opinion.
  • Respond to customers questions and queries timely.

McDonald’s was trying to make efforts to regain the trust of the people by starting this campaign on “Our Food, Your Question.” McDonald’s is one of the popular eating joints and has had its name for a long time. They were facing some serious image problem regarding the quality of food, which is why they were willing to open doors to take questions from customers directly.

McDonald’s illustrated the production process behind it’s product like chicken McNuggets or McRic and how they go from farm to the restaurant. The company is struggling with misinformation and myths about food and ingredients.

This campaign was created to give customers a chance to ask questions publicly which will be answered. McDonald’s also shared a video depicting how the beef patties are made from real cow. The sole motive here was to bring transparency in their products to gain customers trust back.   

P.S  Since the launch of the campaign in 2014 there has been over 42000 questions and about 3.8 million visitors reading the questions and answers on the website.

6.Keep up with your words

Live up to your words. Your words are like a bond for the customers. Make sure you are able to meet the expectations of your customers by setting realistic goals.

Almost 75% of the customers agree that they have spent more money with a company because they had a great experience. The quality of interaction with a customers creates a huge impact on their experience..   

Few best things you can probably say to customers:

  • ‘Here’s how to reach me’  
  • ‘What can i do to help you?’
  • ‘Let me take care of that for you’
  • ‘I will keep you updated’
  • ‘I take the responsibility’
  • ‘I appreciate your business’
  • ‘Thank you for shopping with us’

“ The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you”.

  Derek Sivers, founder CD Baby

7.Let customers feel they are always right

Customer is always right, which means create a customer service policy to show your customers that they are right. Customer is utmost important part of your business growth and existence. A business without customer is like pitching to a deaf ear since nothing will be heard.

Customers needs to feel important and welcomed. They should be appreciated for their loyalty towards your product or services.

Reasons why customer should be given most importance:

  • It’s good business ethics
  • It showcases the quality of your customer services
  • Business is made by the customer

There is this famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi which depicts about the customer being right.  

Even though as per my article I’m writing about Happy Customers, yet there can be an argument over this weather is it true in all the cases. Is customer actually always right ?

Let’s talk about this in my next article. You are free to share your thoughts over this in the comment below.

8.Kindness and gratitude for the customers

An act of gratitude gives a customer positive experience. Kindness and gratitude keeps your customers in your business for a long term.

You can simply say “Thank You” or “Thank You very much”. There is nothing wrong with these words while talking to a customer.

You can also use phrases like

“I appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you again”

“We acknowledge the experience you just had and let you know how much we appreciate your patience”

“I understand the problem you must be going through and i really appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to resolve this issue for you”

Appreciate the customers as much as possible for taking their time to go through the process to resolve the problem.

Here, i share an good story of a customer experience in Ritz Carlton hotel.

“There was a customer staying at Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and was in a rush to leave for the airport. In this rush she forgot her laptop charger at the hotel and thought of giving them a call when she reached the office, but before she could do that the very next day she received a air package from Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. They had already delivered the charger even before she asked for it with a note saying “i wanted to make sure we this to you right away. I am sure you need it and just in case, i sent you an extra charger for your laptop”.”

This shows great customer service and a great experience for the customer. The customer are given the utmost importance to a level that the employees are given authorized to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve the customer service. This employee can be at any level.

The deceptively complicated character called the ‘customer’, however, works on certain very obvious and simple and largely generalizable terms. All levels of producers and suppliers have to deal with them let’s try to understand them with these terms.

Following are a few of them.

  • A customer is almost always a rational choice actor, who is visibly uncaring about production and market economics. Acquiring the maximum utility out of a product, which can also be understood as the best product or the product that would satisfy their needs the best, with minimum possible expenditure in order to attain it, is their main objective in the market.

Given that they are the wielders of the purse and can afford the luxury of choosing between different suppliers, it only sustains logically for the seller to keep the prices attractively flexible, with enough wriggle room for both parties to bargain their respective positions.

It has been observed, especially, in cases of retailers that those with stringent attitudes regarding prices have been seen to lose customers to those that offer a degree of flexibility.

  • It also must be noted that when considering the case for flexibility, one must not become too ready to drop the prices. It invites the suspicion of a customer regarding the quality of the product when one is too willing to drop it, especially if there is a prevalent stringency regarding the price in the market. In all situations, therefore, it helps if the flexibility is kept within a plausible range. Not giving in to demands of negotiating beyond a particular justifiable price closes all chances of suspicion while assuring customers of the quality of product and satisfying their appetite for a good bargain at the same time.
  • A customer is always the best detective of quality, not considering the time spent in judgement. Therefore, it never helps to compromise the quality of products in order to help calculations of keeping prices low. Also, supplying of products of sub-par quality is a dangerous venture into the realm of illicit business and seeks to threaten the people’s justiciable rights to good quality products and thereby to life and health

Maintaining a supply of good quality of products appeases customers better than any other measure and on a very personal, humane level. Also, it provides for a more effective mode of advertisement than any other that a supplier could hope for.

  • It is an observed fact of interpersonal relationships that a positive initial impression or rapport establishes a secured prospect of future interactions in a similar positive direction. It stands all the more true in cases of suppliers and customers, who are perpetually bound in a never-ending joust to assert their respective positions. It is noticeable that those sellers or suppliers who establish a strong and positive rapport with their customers are able to make them happier with their transactions and thereby, attracting their attention for later, far strongly than those that seek simply to be done with the transaction at hand.

Therefore, it is more of a long term psychological investment, to establish a bond with the customer. One can easily draw examples from one’s own life where we have select shops and suppliers, out of various others that we prefer approaching on a regular basis. They might be selling the same product at the same prices like others, but it is the established rapport that encourages us to return to them.

  • It follows from the point of interpersonal behaviour, that a seller or supplier must consider their conduct in the transaction of their business with a customer.Nobody likes a sour faced, acid tongued character, far less the customer, who has both the luxury of choice and power of the purse. It does follow that a seller with an easy demeanour and a decent, cultured tone, gets far ahead in transacting business with a customer and returning them happy.

Customer Experience Index India 2017


In conclusion, one could infer a few very succinct points about the consumer’s psyche that informs their behaviour and determines the ways in which they could be satisfied by a supplier.

More or less these complicated characters function on certain very easily observable terms. Some of these terms are rooted in basic human behaviour, like the factors of maintaining positive impressions to secure and facilitate future, mutually benefitting engagements.

The factor of maintaining decent candour is another that has its basis in general human nature to predispose people to feel and react positively to positive stimuli and negatively to negative stimuli. The factors regarding the maintenance of plausible degree of flexibility in terms of prices and that of a  conveniently negotiable atmosphere appeals to the rational decision maker within customers, driving towards satisfying their appetite.

Therefore, keeping customers happy requires the acknowledgement of the basic and largely generalizable factors upon which customer behaviour is hinged which in turn have their origins in basic human tendencies towards self-benefit.


Free alternatives to Marvel App

In this article, you can get yourself familiar with the prototyping tools which will help you with your design and iterate faster.

Designing  

  1. Invision studio

It is one of the most popular prototyping tool in the world. There is a constant addition of new features to help the designers prototype more efficiently. The best features that Invision holds is its management of project feedback. There is a convenient way to provide feedback by the client directly on the prototype. They all collated in one convenient location, so they can track the feedback easily.

It is easy to communicate the status of the project to your client and team through project management page which can be organised with the design components into a status workflow. There can be columns for To-Do, In progress, Needs review, and Approved. Just drag and drop your design components into the suitable column.

Invision is always into new features, recently it release one it calls boards which is a home your  project can live. It is also used as a presentation tool, an asset manager for project, and a place where moodboards and galleries can be created. This moodboard and galleries can be shared with the clients and team so as to receive a feedback.

Features:

  • Faster creation with the vector drawing tool
  • Responsive and adaptive layout
  • Speedy prototyping
  • Friction free animations
  • Incredible collaboration
  • Easy syncing for stronger teams
  • Amazing open API
  • Cloud flexibility

There is also a version control with unlimited history,  unlimited free user testing and integration with apps like Slack, Dropbox, Box and many more. It is like a game changer and it doesn’t seem to slow down.

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

2. Sketch

While designing it is important to see your work in action. With the use of Sketch prototype features it is easy to preview your designs as your users will see them and create a interactive workflows.

You document should contain Artboards which can be connected with links and hotspot layer to create interactive, clickable prototypes. There can be a start point which specifies which Artboard to start your prototypes from.

Once a prototype has been created it can be previewed in Sketch, test it on IOS Sketch Mirror and share it with the clients or colleagues by uploading it on Sketch Cloud.

Features:

  • Complete toolkit
  • Non destructive editing
  • Pixel precision
  • Vector editing
  • Export presets
  • Code export
  • Grid and guides
  • Prototyping

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

3. Zeplin

When using Sketch with plugins it gets really great and these plugin becomes the most useful ones. It helps the developers with checking of size, fonts, colours, and dimensions of your interface.

Along with this Zeplin allows to directly download each element from artboards to elements. It prepares the CSS style file of the interface, thus saving front end developers a lot of work.

Features:

  • Sketch integration
  • Adobe XD CC integration
  • Figma integration
  • Photoshop Integration

Platforms

Mac/Windows

Price

1 project/ free

3 projects/ $15 per month

Unlimited projects/ $100 per month

4. Figma

It is a free web based design tool that can be used in your browser. In order to explore this visual language and find the best way to communicate ideas, designers should often experiment with many different possibilities and move on the directions that work.

Figma is a interface design tool with real time collaboration. It helps to keep everyone on the same page.

Features:

  • Easy to move between designs and prototype without syncing and exporting
  • Simply send a link to share and get feedback on prototypes
  • Keep all the feedback, changes and updates constantly in sync
  • Power editing tool
  • Built for UI
  • Reduce the friction of turning visual concepts into code
  • Built for teams
  • Consolidate feedback, bringing the conversation into your design tool
  • Create design systems with linked UI components the whole team can use

Platforms

cloud

Price  

Basic – free

Professional – $12

Organizational – $45

Wireframing

One of the important part needed during the designing process is Wireframing. A software is not necessarily required for this. Even though it is easier for a designer to draw the structure of their design using a pen and paper, there has been a growing number of online and desktop applications available that offers you tools for wireframing the design.

Wireframing is a great way to test the ideas in the UX projects but there are tons of Wireframing tools that are available to do it with. It might be hard to choose the right tool but the way to get familiar with these tools is to get your hands on with the tools and play with it.

The few Wireframing tools are

5. Mockflow

Mockflow provides one place for all the solution for the UX needs which includes Wireframes, sitemap, style guide and more. The services are offered by ‘A Produle System Limited’.

This application has been around for a short while but looks very promising. It is a online flash based wireframing application which can also be downloaded as a desktop editor. It is easy to use, and produces clear wireframes with wide range of templates to get started.

Features:

  • Clean and simple interface
  • Sharing prototypes is simple
  • A range of pre made themes
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Independent page management
  • Various exportation option
  • Enhanced collaboration

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

basic – free

Professional – $14

teampack – $29

Enterprise – $160

6. Balsamiq

It is a wireframing tool which helps to work faster and smarter. It gives a experience of sketching on a whiteboard, while using your computer. Balsamiq requires little investment in time and efforts. It is perfect tool for lean and agile team.

Balsamiq is the perfect “in between tool” for product managers, developers and designers. It is designed for smooth collaboration from the ground up. It is quick, low fidelity wireframing tool which can be used to wireframe any kind of software interface.

It is a graphical user interface mockup and website wireframe builder application. It allows the designer to arrange pre built widgets using a drag and drop.

Features:

  • Low-fi sketch wireframes
  • Click through prototypes
  • UI components and icons
  • Export to PNG or PDF
  • Quick add for speed
  • Import and Export
  • Drag and Drop for simplicity
  • Works offline
  • Full keyboard support

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

Personal – $12/ month

Starter – $24/ month

Team – $49/ month

Agency – $99/ month  

Enterprise – $99/ month  

Unlimited active projects – $249/ month

A single user license – $89

Plugins for Google drive, Confluence, JIRA, FogBugz & XWiki – $5/ month

Designing and developing

Write something here

7. Webflow

This tool allows designers and developers to create a premium quality of website quickly and efficiently. It provides with a environment for both designing and developing. Webflow gives the web designers a fully featured website with all the power of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

As the website is being built, the designer creates clean, semantic code that can be published to the web or can be handed to the developers. Build any layout using the box model, floats, or flexbox. One can choose layouts options, edit text modules, choose from multiple pages, and view and edit CMS collections.

The design community at Webflow is quiet robust and designers can join teams and work together on larger scale projects too.

Features:

  • Designer
  • CMS
  • Hosting
  • Editor
  • Interaction

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

Hosting:

  • Basic hosting – $15/month
  • CMS hosting – $20/month
  • Business hosting – $45/month

Account plans:

  • Start – free
  • Lite – $24/month
  • Pro – $42/month

Team plans:

  • Team – $42/person
  • Large team – custom

8. Flinto

It is one of the tools good at integration from sketch. Flinto allows the designers to create interactive prototypes for mobile, desktop and other web applications.

It also helps to create complex micro-interactions on top of your layers exported from sketch.

Features:

  • Animated transitions
  • Micro interactions
  • Scrolling
  • 10+ gestures
  • Drawing tools
  • Viewer app
  • Springs and easing
  • Sound effects
  • Video layers and 3D rotation
  • Dribble integrations
  • Free form canvas

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

Flinto software – $99

9. Framer

Framer is useful for designers  who are new to coding. It shows how flexible and powerful code can be. The app is well designed for Mac and provides live previews as you begin writing the code, which might be encouraging for the first time coder.

It is one of the popular prototyping tool. The tool’s coding language for designing and animating prototypes can become a barrier even though the language can’t be used outside the framer.

It uses code to build prototypes. You can also incorporate real time data into your prototype from sources like Twitter and Parse. Framer also supports Sketch and Photoshop projects and will also preserve your design layers. Unlike other tools you can import after effect files as well.

Framer can generate a URL that can be shared with your clients. This URL can be opened on mobile devices for live previews.

Features:

Design –

  • Adaptive UI done right
  • CSS ready gradients
  • All the icons are available
  • SVG based vector editing
  • Export anything

Prototype –

  • Animation made easy
  • Visual editor
  • Third party modules like mapbox can to be used to build anything

collaborate –

  • Live mobile previewing
  • Get better feedback
  • Support from UIKIT, Facebook pop, Rebound, Velocity and more.
  • Live versioning

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

start – free

Individual – $12

Company –

  • Small team – $250
  • Companies – $750
  • Enterprise –  custom

10. Rapid UI

It is prototyping tool that solve problems using a less wasteful process.

This platform helps transform photoshop files into live sites without actually writing the code. Just drag and drop the PSD file into its dashboard and within minutes it will get transformed into HTML and CSS.

The designs can be made fully interactive bringing to life sliders, videos, maps, buttons, and anything you could want with just a few clicks.

The is completely accessible and synchronized with the designs, which allows full collaboration with the programmers if required.

Features:

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price  

Starter – free

Pro – $39 per month

Hosting – $12 per site per month

11. Hype 3

Hype keyframe is based on animation system which brings content to life. Create beautiful HTML5 web content. Interactive web content and animation made with Hype can work on desktops, smartphones and ipads. This does not require coding.

It can create natural curves by just clicking and dragging on the elements motion path to add control points.

It is like a blank slate type of application for creating content. The tools provided are powerful and encourage experimentation. The chances of what you can build seems endless.

Features:

  • Animation
  • Webpages
  • Ecard
  • Ebooks
  • Infographic
  • Presentation

Platforms   

Mac users

Price  

Standard – $ 49.99 USD

Professional – $99.99 USD

12. Hype professional

It is one of the advanced app for creating stunning animated and interactive web content. It is a tool which must be ergonomic for extended use. Snapping, guides, recording and intelligent app behaviours make Hype Pro one of the most intuitive animation app.

It works on HTML5 and does not require coding.

Features:

  • Responsive layouts
  • Easy control bounce, air drag and density
  • Timing function
  • Grid system
  • Rearrangeable UI
  • Dark theme and templates
  • Advanced exports

Platforms   

Mac users

Price  

Standard – $ 49.99 USD

Professional – $99.99 USD

13. Principal

Principal makes it easy to design animated and interactive user interfaces. This software is a mix between Sketch, Keynote, Flash and After Effect.

Principal helps to create designs that looks and feels amazing, even though you’re designing the flow of multi screen app, or a new interactions and animations.  

Principal can create various designs like a short animation, a slick interaction, or an extensive multiple screen app.

It is powered by core animation. It also supports record feature. You can export a video or an animated gif that can be shared on Dribble, Twitter and anywhere you’d want.

Features:

  • Animation
  • Freedom to experiment without predefined transitions
  • Multiple screens
  • Easy to share designs

Platforms   

Mac users

Price  

Buy for $129

14. Adobe XD

It is built for today’s UX/UI designers, who need intuitive tools to speed up and make there task effortless. You can switch to interactive prototypes in just a single click. No syncing is needed when changes are made to the design.

Preview your prototypes, complete with transitions on iOS and Android devices, and then share them with your team for a quick feedback. Adobe XD allows to bring photoshop and Sketch files into the app. The designs are automatically convert into XD files and you can get you prototype started.    

It is a part of creative cloud, which includes photoshop, illustrator, and other creative desktop apps.

Features:

  • Eliminate tedious tasks with repeat grid
  • Fast and versatile artboards
  • Reimagined layers and symbols
  • Powerful tools that are easy to use
  • Control and customizable
  • Quick feedback to iterate faster

Platforms   

Mac users

Price  

Individual

  • Start – free
  • Single App – $9.99
  • Creative cloud all apps – $52.99

Business

  • Start – free
  • Single app for teams – $22.99
  • Creative cloud all apps – $79.99

15. Origami

Origami studio involves the use of patch editor to build an app. They have a library of patched at your disposal, which includes switches, animations, boolean operators and even the readouts from a phone sensor.

The new feature is the layer panel which gives the view of the element you are working in a way it looks familiar to Photoshop or Sketch. Just copy and paste the document from Sketch and use it to build your prototype. It is easy to work with pretty much all the screen formats.   

Origami is useful for building micro interactions and showing exactly how a page works. It also records sounds and keeps a track of recording time and the number of recording. Prototype built in Origami are great for tweaking the interactions and forwarding it to anyone who needs to see your designs.

It is a very versatile and powerful tool that allows the designers to take their prototype to a high fidelity. It also helps designers build many of their products like Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

Features:

  • Design with layers
  • Reuse components
  • Build interactions
  • Preview it live

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

Free

16. Axure RP

Axure RP creates flowcharts, wireframes, mockups, user journey, personas, idea boards and more. Drag and drop elements from built-in or custom library to create your diagrams then style it with fills, gradients, line styles and text formatting.

Add your diagrams and prototypes to specify functionality, keeping track of tasks or storing project information. Axure RP allows multiple people to work on the same file at the same time. Just create a Team Project.

Features:

  • Dynamic content
  • Conditional flow
  • Animation
  • Data driven
  • Adaptive news
  • Math function

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

  • Pro – $29 per month
  • Team – $49 per month
  • Enterprise – 99$ per month

17. Proto.io

Creates a fully interactive high fidelity prototypes that looks and works exactly the way you want. Coding is not required. You can speed up your design process by using the beautifully crafted UI components.

Can create a flow for your app with automated screen transitions or can use the timeline feature to animate any on its own. Transform your idea into a inspiring user experience and see that in action for real in no time.

Features:

  • New vector animation component
  • Exporting UI assets
  • Visual easing managers
  • Masking in Porto
  • Record how users experience
  • Group, layers and multimedia edit
  • Colour adjustments, shapes, arrows and dropbox sync
  • Adaptive filters and material design UI library

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

  • Freelance – 24$
  • Startup – 40$
  • Agency – 60$
  • Corporate – 160$

18. Atomic

This tool helps solving complex problems during the building of the product. The vision of the entire prototype for designing will take place on their platform. Atomic puts advanced interactive design features like logic, data and variables into the hands of every designers.

Atomic let’s you imply incredible realism to their designs in seconds, and also scale up to fully functional prototypes with ease.

It is important note that there is an indistinguishable resemblance between the interface of Atomic and interface of Sketch in terms of building columns, artboards, layering, and shortcuts. So if you are familiar with Sketch, Atomic won’t be difficult to use.

Features:

  • Import from your favorite design tools and start working on Atomic
  • Add gestures, user inputs, events and keyword interactions
  • Finely controlled keyword animation
  • Use external data to create realistic interaction designs
  • Share data and more with your team
  • Share links and provide feedbacks while designing
  • No compatibility or versioning issue

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

  • Custom -145$ per month
  • Team – 99$ per month
  • Individual – 19$

19. UXPin

Convert your ideas into high fidelity and clickable prototype. Create designs from the scratch from the UI libraries. You can also upload existing designs from Sketch.

Gather feedback on design elements and connect with jira to make engineers have easy access to the recent version on your prototype. The CSS and code snippets will be documented for each element in your design project. This makes it less time consuming for redlining and writing documentation.

Document your design system and your time team will use the same components and spec. It helps to make the product to market faster.

Features:

  • Cloud based
  • Multiple devices
  • Complete fidelity

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

  • Free trial –  29$ for 25 projects and 49$ for 50 projects

20. Protopie

It allows you to create sophisticated micro interactions when producing prototypes for the product. It can be easily synced with Photoshop or Sketch.

It helps you test the functionality of your prototype by scanning a barcode. Piece hi-fi interactions together along with build sensor aided prototypes.

It works with a code free prototype.

Features:

  • Code free prototyping is possible
  • Easily control the sensor of smart devices on prototyping  
  • Create interactions that involve two or more smart devices
  • Share the prototype with links or dashboard.

Platforms   

Mac/Windows

Price

  • Free trial – 99$

Examples of OKRs

OKRs stands for objective and key results. The most common question come under OKRs are

  • How to write a good OKRs?
  • What should I put in my OKRs?

To get these questions answered, I will give you a set of examples so you can get started and can strategies your own OKRs. It will cover everything from the company, marketing, sales, engineering etc.

For example:

Let’s say you have a clothing franchise, and more than 80 stores are spread throughout the country.

As the CEO of the company, your responsibility would be to set 2 objectives:

  • Increasing the number of stores by 10%
  • Increasing the profits by 5%

These objectives raise the following question:

Where do I want to go and how will I get there?

By just keeping a count of a number of stores I’ve opened and checked the financial indicators these questions can’t be answered. It is important to check the key results which will determine the progress of the actions that lead towards the objective.

Objective 1: Increase the number of stores by 10%

Key results:

  • open 10 stores before October
  • Have at least 20 new franchise candidates
  • Sign contract with 25 of them
  • Train 15 of them before July

Keep a track of these numbers and it will let you know what you are getting towards.

objective 2: Increase the profit by 5%

Key results:

  • Have a supplier registration reserve auction system and save 5% on purchase
  • Reduce the cost by 25% by outsourcing the distribution.
  • Have seasonal campaigns during special occasion like mother and father’s day, etc

With OKRs the employees know exactly what they have been doing and what they have to achieve and for which what action should they be taken. Everything is transparent with OKRs.

Okrs goals examples

  1. For Companies

Objective: Build a corporate culture that is delightful to employees

Key results:

  • Interview 20 employees every month for improving the work culture
  • Conduct a Q&A session with 5 employees every month
  • Set a 2 ways process feedback with employees
  • Reach the employee satisfaction score by 5% every month

2. For Marketing

Objective: Achieve the sales record in all the areas of marketing

Key results:

  • 170000 website visitors  ( out of which 55000 visited )
  • 23000 signs up ( out of 8500 signed up )
  • 7500 trials ( out of 1590 achieved )
  • 3500 new paid customers ( 1000 new paid customers received )
  • Maximum paid per acquisition cost of 25$ ( 4$ paid )

Objective attained is 27% as per the data. More efforts are required to achieve better results.

3. For sales

Objective: Improvement in the sales process activity indicator

Key results:

  • Increase in the number of calls per salesperson by 6300 per quarter ( 2000 calls )
  • Achieve 315 demo calls per quarter per salesperson ( 93 calls)
  • At least 33% of online signups ( 12% reached )
  • Set salesperson spending at least 48 hours on support chat ( 33 hours)

Objective attained 33% as per the data.

4. For finance and management

Objective: Raising new capital for growth needs

Key results:

  • Approach 100 venture capitalist and seed funds ( 25 VC )
  • Get 30 seconds contact meetings or conference calls ( 12 seconds )
  • Have at least 3 term sheets of the minimum required terms ( 1 term sheet )
  • Close the investment round with a minimum of $10 million pre-money ( $6 million)

Objective attained 39% as per the data.

4. For product

Objective: Research, analyze and understand what our users and non-users really want

Key results:

  • 50 phone Interview to be conducted by the sales team with key accounts ( 21 phone calls )
  • Support team conduct 50 phone interview with churned accounts (19 interviews )
  • 25 external team leaders to be interviewed by the product manager (15 leaders
  • Design team to conduct 30 web-based user testing sessions on new and old users (9 sessions)

Objective attained 42% as per the data.

5. For Human Resources and support

Objective: improve satisfaction with receptionist work

Key results:

  • Decrease the number of complaints and negative feedback per quarter from 15 to 5 ( 5 negative feedback )
  • Increase the number of positive feedback from 5 to 15 quarter ( 7 positive feedback )
  • Improve the end-user satisfaction ranging from 4.0 to 4.5 ( 2 satisfaction rating )

Objective attained 40% as per the data.

6. For administrative

Objective: Improve our document and information management procedure

Key results:

  • Set a better system for tracking incoming requests  (40%)
  • Software review for incoming documents tracking  (59%)
  • Compiling a weekly “office highlights” newsletter for all team members  ( 41%)

Objective attained 46% as per the data.

7. For Design

Objective: Promote our design as the best place to work

Key results:

  • 5 external design competitors to be applied ( 1 competitor)
  • Have open source designs and UI/UX freebies  ( 1 freebie)
  • 3 monthly meetups to be conducted for designers in our office ( 0 meetups )

Objective attained 23% as per the data.

8. For Tech

Objective: Review and improve data security procedures

Key results:

  • Review and learn the security policy for 5 companies ( 1 company )
  • Conduct external penetration testing using at least 2 different software packages ( 1 package )
  • Implement Backup policies ( 51 %)
  • Guarantee uptime and availability of 99.95% ( 60 uptime )

Objective attained 45% as per the data.

9. For Education

Objective: Design and launch an internal employee academy

Key results:

  • Conduct a survey on 15 team leaders on educational needs and gaps ( 4 leaders )
  • Talk to other companies 3 HR directors on they do internal education ( 1 HR directors )
  • Have 10 training modules and design content for each ( 4 modules )
  • Conduct the first 3 offsite teams to test out the academy curriculum ( 53%)

Objective attained 38% as per the data.

List of Intercom alternatives 2019

The intercom was founded in 2011, boasting more than 25000 customers in 117 countries and has been growing since then. This platform supports around 500 million conversations per month and had been doubling with rapid growth.

Intercom is one the fast growing customer engagement software which is used by businesses worldwide. Recently, they closed a funding round of $125m and growing at a rapid pace and is being called as “Next Generation Sales Force”. This means everything in the SaaS industry. The fund raised would be used for further developing customers platform.

The pricing policy

It is a expensive software meant mostly for premium customers. The charges are based on the number of contacts and penalizes for growing website visitors and users.

A 14-day free trial is available. Companies such as small teams, early stage startups, those with small user base, or new customers who meet qualification requirements are eligible for a flat rate of $49 a month for up to one year. You can contact the vendor for details. The following packages are offered:

  • Respond: from $53/month – Manage conversations with leads and customers at scale.
  • Engage: from $53/month – Send targeted messages to the right people at the right time.
  • Educate: $49/month flat rate – Create, organize and publish help articles
  • Live Chat for Sales (powered by Respond + Engage): from $106/month – Capture, qualify, and nurture leads to convert them to customers.
  • Customer Engagement (powered by Engage): from $53 /month – Send targeted messages to onboard users, make announcements, and re-engage people.

Customer Support (powered by Respond + Educate): from $102 /month – Solve customer problems faster with an integrated help desk and public knowledge base.  

Intercom’s position in the market:

Intercom is one of the top 3 customer experience management software products.

Intercom is one of the top 10 customer support software products.

Intercom is one of the top 10 help desk software products.

Intercom uses stripe for online payments and chases failed credit card payments by setting up chaser emails.

Drift

It is one of the traditional marketing and sales platform that deals using a form and follow ups. It connects businesses with leads in real time. Drift uses bots to deal with visitors and also identifies the sales rep to be assigned.

Features

ABM (Account Based Marketing) –

A new dashboard account where target account can be managed. To add an account sync with salesforce or manually. Once added or synced all the information for the designated account will be available.

With Drift all the activities like who visited your website, every conversation with a VIP account, meetings booked and much more. All these information is provided.

Sequence –

This helps the sales rep create an amazing buying experience for their potential customers. It helps the sales rep send emails to the customers. They have reinvented sales email services.

Drift sequence let’s the sales rep connect with their potential customers, when they visit your website. It works on machine learning and natural language which allows easy opting out.

It also includes sending smarted emails by analyzing the behaviour of the leads and avoid repeats emails with a customer.

Email Marketing –

It gives a fewer emails and a faster buying experience. It helps with a real time conversation at sale. Now it will be easy to delight your customer.

Put an end to annoying emails send very often accidently to the lead who are already engaged with sales with smart filters. You can also check the ROI on email activity and any kind of marketing email can be sent.

Chatbots –

  • Leads on your website without using forms.
  • Booking meeting for sales.
  • Conversations can be based on your routing rules.
  • Bots are available 24/7.
  • Booking Meeting for VIP leads.
  • Bots answers the questions based on your knowledge base.

Meetings –

  • Never get double booked
  • Meeting management
  • Efficient meetings

Integration –

  • Sales force
  • Slack
  • Hubspot
  • Marketo
  • Zapier
  • Google Analytics
  • Full story
  • Knowledge base
  • Madkudu
  • Shopify
  • Zendesk
  • Stripe
  • Poptin
  • Front
  • Gro CRM
  • Desk.com
  • Hipchat
  • Mautic
  • privy

The pricing policy

Standard – $50 per month (engage more leads)

It includes:

  • Custom greetings
  • Live view site visitors
  • Email sequence
  • 1000 active contacts
  • 150 emails per day

Additional  $25 per month for 2 seats.

Additional $10 per month for 1000 contacts.   

Pro – $500 per month (automate your funnel)

It includes:

  • Bot playbook
  • Automated meeting
  • Push activity to CRM
  • 1000 active contacts
  • 150 emails per day

Additional  $50 per month for 5 seats.

Additional $10 per month for 1000 contacts.   

Kayako

This customer support service was started by a young man in a remote area of India (Jalandhar), with very little money.

It was founded in 2001 by Varun Shoor, a drop out from college. He began coding at the age of 13 and had built kayako when he was just 17 years old.

It has a help desk software and customer service software that helps business grow more productive and build customer. Even though not having much of a external investors Kayako worked just fine which is a rare thing in SAAS startup and now it has around 131000 customers already.

Kayako allows companies to connect with their customers at a better level, while providing them real time services. Companies can install a simpler form of live chat services and drastically use it a lower price.

There can be multiple conversation at once and can also view who has replied who is typing and who is online.

No message will be missed now, since a customer can start a conversation even when your team is not online. If a customer steps away and does not see the message an email is sent on that regards for the same message. And if the conversation was left mid way your  customer can pick up the conversation from there itself.

Features

A modern messaging software –

It has created an ease with which you can message your customers.

Follow your customers –

Use kayako on your mobile website or integrate SDK into your own apps. Embed it in your mobile app for mobile messaging and in app support.

Help center –

Provides live chat services on your help center.

IOS and Android –

Embed into your mobile apps for an integrated experience.

Measuring performance –

All the activity by your customer can be tracked like log page views, orders, history, help center searches or events conducted for your own product or services.

Team analytic –

use the feedback and know how your team deals with it.

Customer satisfaction rating –

with customers rating improvement if required can be done.  

As per kayako 46% prefer live chat services, and 45% feel they won’t get the support they need in a reasonable amount of time.

Kayako provides self services –

If a customer doesn’t want to talk kayako does it for them.

Let your help centre with the insights into what customers are looking for and how self servicing can help them. Customers are happy of they can find an answer to what they are looking for.

Few customers might not have an idea to what they are looking for. Kayako understands the real language of the customers and try to understand what they are looking for to give a better answer.

The help center available 24/7, even if your team isn’t.

The modern help centre includes-

  • Content management
  • Help centre comments
  • Full content localization
  • Internal help centre
  • Rich articles
  • Article attachments
  • Help centre article tags
  • Article statutes
  • Article keywords
  • Proactive answers
  • Full customizations
  • Requests

Social customer services –

Engage customers through Twitter and Facebook easily. Turn followers into customers.

  • Unite multichannel conversation
  • Get closer to customers
  • Turn customers into promoters

Integration with kayako –

  • Zapper
  • Webhooks
  • API
  • Kayako apps  

The pricing policy

inbox – $9 per agent/month (for small team)

team – $15 per agent/month (for small team)

growth – $29 per agent/month (customer service software for growing teams)

scale – $59 per agent/month (customer service software for growing large teams )

Customerly

Easy to get started it is integrated with customer support services with live chat with screen sharing and live video.

It helps your customer have an easy way to contact. Customers can find the help desk at the bottom of the page.

Features

Customer live chat –

  • Video calling
  • screenshots easy
  • Share attachments

In app surveys –

Customerly makes it easy to conduct a survey with unbelievable competition rate. The surveys are delivered instantly to the audience by Customerly widget.

Email campaign –

It is easy to use and customisable templates are available to express yourself in different ways.

Analyzing these campaigns for better optimizations of your marketing goals.

Marketing automation –

Automate your communication with your customers. Choose who enters your automation and create an audience based on those customers.

  • Email message: send customized emails to customers
  • Widget message: send in-app messages on web and mobile app
  • Wait until: add a wait condition in case the customer doesn’t satisfy the terms and conditions.
  • Wait time: add a time to stop customers for an amount of time.
  • If else condition: splitting the flow depending on the condition.
  • Leave point: add a leave point when customers wants to leave.   

Integration –

Slack

Shopify

Bigcommerce

Github  

Woocommerce

Upscope

Zapier

Mailchimp

Google analytics

Stride

Stripe

Click send

Magento

Twilio

G Suite

The pricing policy

Customer support live chat  $49/month/10,000 Emails (free forever upto 500 emails)

It includes:

  • Unlimited conversation
  • Unlimited teammates
  • Mobile app included
  • Lead acquisition
  • Video call
  • Screen sharing
  • Screenshots sharing

(30 days free trial and no credit card required)

Email marketing and automation – $59/month/10,000 Emails (free forever upto 500 emails)

It includes:

  • Customer intelligence
  • Easy email and template builder
  • Unlimited sending
  • Create unlimited automations
  • Include custom data
  • Unlimited send

(30 days free trial and no credit card required)

Survey and satisfaction: $39/month//10,000 Emails (free forever upto 500 contacts)

It includes:

  • Deliver survey by widget
  • Instant survey replies
  • Customer satisfaction feedback
  • Monitor feedback based on segment

Customer intelligence: comes free with every package

It includes:

  • Create unlimited audience
  • Export audiences
  • Import audiences
  • API integration
  • Analyze audience
  • Unlimited event, attributes and companies

Reamaze

Remaze combines email, social media, mobile and chat conversations so smoothly to reach your customers however they want. Customers conversations can be easily managed from multiple storefronts and websites no matter you have one or hundred of them.

Start a conversation with your customers and build better engagement in real time even when you’re not at your desk. Customizable office hours to fulfil the need of the customers. Remaze helps to  preview the customers message before hand while typing to stay a step ahead.

Features

Live dashboard –

Keep a track on live customers as they visit your website and engage them by sending messages directly.

Personal insights –

Gather customers date to keep them engaged with your team. Pull the data from 3rd party apps and integrate your own app data through SDK.

Satisfaction survey –

Conduct a survey to know your team’s effectiveness.

Multi Brand –

Manage support sites for multiple brands.

Team presence –

Keep a check on when your team is replying to the customers.

Freedom without any hassle –

Download the mobile app and receive notifications for direct message from the customers.

Integration –

Slack

Shopify

Bigcommerce

Github

Woocommerce

WordPress

Upscope

Zapier

Mailchimp

Google Analytics

Stride

Stripe

Click send

Magento

Twilio

G Suite

The pricing policy

Basic – $20 per team member/ month

It includes:

  • Unlimited email inbox
  • Social media integration
  • Sms integration
  • Basic reporting and analytics
  • Workflow automations
  • Website integration
  • Live chat

plus – $40 per team member/month

It includes:

  • All the basic features
  • Manage multiple brands in one account
  • Live view
  • Advance reports
  • Customizable staff roles and email templates
  • Custom hosted domain
  • Customer ratings

Chaport

Chaport is a modern messenger that makes your communication more easy and convenient with your customers.

Talk to your website visitors in real time, solve there problems and increase your sales. And for this you do not need to be online all the time. Chaport will reply to the customers in form of an email from any location.

Increase your sales by having more conversation with your customer by sending them automatic chat invitation.

Chaport is available for  IOS, Android, Web, Window, MacOs. Synchronizations is available between all the devices.

Features:

  • Sending of files – send files to your visitors.
  • Typing insights – read the messages even before they are receives for faster response.
  • Saved replied
  • Visitors information
  • Multilingual chat widget
  • Customization of the widget
  • Chat invitations to visitors
  • Group chats are accessible
  • Reports regarding the chats

The pricing policy

Sign up for free

$9.80 per operator/ per month (when paid annually) $14 when paid monthly.

The service includes

  • Unlimited registered operators, chat, history and websites.
  • 5 operators online at same time.
  • Notifications
  • Group chats
  • Offline messages
  • Reports
  • SSL encryption
  • Browser app
  • Window / MacOS apps
  • Iphone / Android mobile apps

Payment method accepted PayPal, Apple Pay, Visa and MasterCard.

Convert fox

It helps the sales, marketing and supports team to communicate with the customer.

Features

Live chat –

It help turn leads into customers. Start a communication with the customers and visitors proactively. Make users take action and use customized message based on user behaviour.

Live user profiles –

Provide support to the customer by understanding the activity data such as name, location and more.

Saved replies –

Can give a quick response by inserting canned responses.

Get your entire team on board –

It provides with a shared team inbox to manage all the chats and emails.

Email marketing –

  • Create email campaigns
  • Segment users based on interest
  • Deliver emails with total control
  • Gather powerful campaign reports

User analytic –

Covertfox autotracks the clicks, form submission, page view, and more without the coding required.

  • Track very action
  • Segment users by their action
  • View live customer profiles

Track custom events –

You can also track a custom events that convertfox doesn’t track automatically.

 The pricing policy

Basic – $59/month/ 21 days free trial

It includes:

  • User segmentation
  • Live chat
  • Email campaign
  • Manual event tracking

Pro – $79/month/21 days free trial

It includes:

  • Everything in basic
  • Marketing automation
  • Automatic event tracking
  • Advance reports and insights
  • Priority support

User engage

Send automatic messages and build a new relationship easily. Easy way of communicating.

Features

Live chat –

  • In app messaging
  • Unlimited proactive invitations
  • Customizations
  • Mobile app
  • Notifications
  • Chat messages as emails
  • Default replies
  • Automatic assignments
  • Agent groups  

For sales and engagement –

User tracking –

  • Filter
  • User behaviour
  • Device and social media information
  • List and tags
  • Dynamic events
  • Custom events and attributes
  • User timeline
  • API
  • Contacts import/export

Analytics and dashboard –

  • CRM statistic
  • Track aggregates sales
  • Conversion impact management
  • Number of registrations over time
  • Number of ongoing conversations
  • Number of total visits
  • Users of each segments
  • Companies for each segments

Email marketing –

  • Campaign
  • HTML templates
  • Tracking and testing
  • Set a cooking from link
  • SMTP
  • IMAP integration
  • A?B test
  • Clicks and open emails

Call centre –

  • Automated calling
  • Calling from user profile
  • Record calls
  • Scripts
  • Receive calls

CRM –

  • Deals
  • Activites
  • Companies
  • Workflow integration
  • Permission management

List of all the interactions used by user engage

  • Page views
  • Email click
  • Events
  • Email subscription
  • Chat messages
  • Forms filled out
  • Notes
  • Email send and opened
  • Phone calls and sms
  • CRM deals and activities

The pricing policy

Basic – $48/month

It includes:

  • Marketing automation
  • Pop up forms
  • Website user tracking
  • Website form tracking
  • User segmentation

Standard – $76.80/month

It includes:

  • All the basic features
  • CRM
  • Mailing system
  • Online chat

premium – $86.40/month

It includes:

  • All form standard
  • API access
  • Mobile SDK
  • Analytic
  • Call center

Just funding is not the only reason why Intercom has been  growing but its growth in the number of customers in the past few years

Intercom has a very strong presence in the United States and Ireland and plans on expanding the workforce by 500 employees.

It’s in app messaging is fantastic i.e the engagement rate is high, read rate is great and user love the usability of it. It also provides with Gmail extension. It is fast to get started with. They give you a code to paste into your apps page and make a default assumptions of what you wanted to track. Example – login, signup.

It provides with easy integration with your product or website. Third party integration also allows to easily integrate other tools with Intercom. It also helps to segment users according to their actions they have taken on your app, location, signup date, last seen date, etc. It gets easy to send emails having all of this information.

Messaging automation is super easy and it works really well. All the actions on your website can be tracked, which means you are given the entire history.

The UI/UX designs keep improving. Therefore preparing a newsletter gets easy.   

Features :

In app messaging :

It is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. Intercom takes care of every details of your customers to provide them with a best experience every time they interact along with a up to date messaging app.

The conversation seems real and customers feel more connected. The important thing here is that customers should choose the services accordingly.

The messaging app should be

Modern i.e it should be free of all the the outdated tools and should be easy to use.

Flexible i.e choosing the perfect app messaging for any kind of situations so you can serve your customer best.  

Personal i.e trying to build real relation with your customers.

Multi Platform i.e  a good experience for your customers wherever they are web, IOS and Android.

Intercom makes sure while communicating with the customers, they are able to express themselves. They even show customers the profiles of the team so they can feel that there is a real person on the other end. It’s important to build loyalty with the customers.  

Operating bots

These bots can be annoying at times since they try to answer your questions like they are human, but they help to make your task easier as well so you can focus on important task human can only do.

Operating bots include certain skills:

Differentiate the sales and support conversations –

Make sure to separate the support and sales conversations. Identify the existing customers and try to bring them to your website and create new leads for sales.

Qualify leads –

Try to get the customers informations and create leads in salesforce.

Schedule meetings –

Focus more on the best leads.

Answers the users quick –

Do not make the users wait too long. You can also provide them with a suggestion to read few articles based on their questions.

User experience –

Close the conversation and feedback from the users so a better experience can be provided.

Collect contact information –

After closing the conversation try to get all the details about the customers.

Try to get the customers feedback so if there was anything missing and improvement can be made.

Intercom for mobile :

As the Intercom app is installed everything can be tracked in your app including your users. You can also segment your users and get details about the users company. Try to keep your users engaged.

You can also create and launch campaigns in minutes without any help of engineers.

  • Target the right customers through your email.
  • Choose the right channel and compose your message.
  • Measure the results.

An in app help center helps to get easy and quick answers to your problems.

Integration

Intercom makes it very easy to integrate with the tools users are already using.  Few of the popular integration Intercom provides are – Slack, Segment, and Salesforce.  

Other integration tools –

Github

Facebook

Twitter

Clearbit

WordPress

Stripe

Zapier

Hipchat

Mailchimp

Mixpanel

Trello

Chargedesk

Marketo

Fullstory

Satismeter

Starbot

Aircall

Asknicely

Wootric

Productboard

Hull

Survicate

Nomnom

Landgiri

Front

Privy

Microsoft teams

Adespresso

Tray.io

Geckoboard

Meya

Notion

Piesync

Stamplay

Datahero

Chameleon

Justcall

Toky

Leadsbridge

Blendo

Smartlook

Automate.io

Salesseek

Insycle

Cloudapp

Median

Jira

Stitch

Driftrock

Grow

Natero

Logrocket

Woocommerce

Wistia

Woopra

Intercom API

Make intercom works as per your requirements with the flexible API, webhooks and tools.

Freedom to build everything you need –

Everything is synced

Sync all the data with Intercom and other tools.

Create efficient workflow

Have custom integrations to make work easier and more efficient.

Analyze data

Collect all your data and aggregate with other sources for in depth analysis.

Intercom helps you manage your inbox from anywhere. Conversations can be easily viewed.

A new conversation can also be started. Send a new message and respond to a customer through mobile device. You can also search the new leads and deal with the existing users. Everything that is needed to deal with a customers is provided by Intercom.


How to acquire your first 100 customers organically

Hey are u trying to find customers for your new business and it has been like a never-ending job. Nothing seems to keep your workflow on. Must be a difficult task to get through.

No matter how good your product may be but if you do not have customers your business can’t inflow the cash you expect it to, and therefore it might fail to exist.   

So Lots of ideas and nothing defined as to where to begin with and how to do it.

No problem! I am here to help you with that.

Even though there is no specific step by step guide to follow to acquire your first customers. Yet let’s take it from the basics.

This is a follow-up email from Amazon after a purchase was made for a kindle. This message prompts the customer to review their product. This signals customer appreciation while getting the reader back for future purchase.

This happens by the actionable, yellow CTA that takes you back to the Amazon website and reconnects to the online marketplace that got us here in the first place. Round two of buying!   

How to reach out to people so as to make them your customers?

First thing first, you need to know your customers. Not that you need to spend a huge amount on your market research, but you do need to have a good idea about your target market.

Try to build a profile, where you can understand your customers and also think of ways how you can appeal to them. Provide customers with the value they can appreciate and also offer them something unique or better value for the money than the competitors.

When a business goes through it startup phase, it explores all the channels to find as many customers as possible.

Networking is a important part of finding customers!

You can also start with the network you already have. Your friends, family or any professional connections. Finding a network among your network is the most convenient way. Ask to introduce yourself with the networks your current network might have.

You can also expand the network by looking in your past customers or investors. If you have another business, and your previous customer can benefit from your current product, it is some good networking.  

You can also access your networks from the investors you have. Investors generally have a good networking going on. This will help you snag a few early customers.

Take it as a challenge, to get 10 customers in the first month of your business using any kind of channels or networking. This will help you explore different ways to connect with the people and to know your target market as well.

Some customers are really hard to reach out to. For this you sort of need to ‘stalk’ them. Not the kind of stalking which is illegal but where you need to be constantly in contact with the customers to get any insights on their preferences. To build this contact you need to try to find a way to get yourself introduced to them and then start with a welcoming email or a call.

You can also get this potential customers interested in some events you might held so as to get into a better interaction with them. And when you have bought enough value for your product may be it can turn out to be your customer.

   

Deliver the positive.

Positive thoughts are the best. Isn’t it ?

When speaking to your customers, they might bring in new and varied questions they want to be answered to. Questions may vary depending on the customers preferences, like how many current customers do you have? Time period to the existence of your business ?

These questions need to be answered positively to bring in some good insights about your company. Even if you do not have a large number of customers but trying to build few, try to answer it positively by saying that the number isn’t that important then the fact that those who have tried it have recommended it to their friends and family.

Increase your credibility.

Your brand owns zero credibility. This is not such a good thing. Try to build a credibility for your brand by using the credibility score from a existing  trusted company. Find a group or a person that you customer can trust, offer them a partnership on certain portion of the revenue, or the chance of being a customer at a discounted rate or whatsoever they might reasonably agree on.  

Get on the map.

Maps on smartphones have become one of the search points for every customer. Since putting yourself on the map is a easy and free task, every startup should do this so as to make customer reach you.

It should be easy to locate your business on the map easily.

Start a blog

Blogging has been trending now a days. Even though being a slow process it works really well in long term. Few things to consider while blogging.

  • Try to develop relationship with the existing market.
  • Increase your search ability online.
  • Take in feedbacks and pitch a solution.
  • Try to create a brand image and make people aware about your product.

To know the power of blogging let’s look at a example, KISSMETRIC.

It was founded in 2013, and 50% of the revenue came from the organic SEO. By bring together some of the great leaders in the marketing industry, KISSMETRICS’ blog receives around hundreds of shares and comments, with the consistency in the readership keeping the engagement level high.

Guest post can also be used to reach out to top bloggers which will expand your reach for more customers. Be different as to what you are offering from the competitors.

Their is quiet a competition in the blogging world, and it can be time consuming but with a great content it is a good long term investment for your startup. You do not need to be a professional writer, but just being honest and transparency about the thought or knowledge shared on blog makes is work.

Emailing

This is one of the services which might be easy to conduct but comes with it’s own complications. Sometimes when you send your email it might not reach to them and might land up into a spam box since you are messaging them for the first time. You need to build a sender score to deal with it. I have talked about this in details in the earlier article.

You will have to email to strangers as potential customers and pitch your product to them. If you do not have a shared connection, you need to build one by researching an emailing them.

Writing cold emails is also one of the way to generate more customers.

What is cold email ? It is an email that is sent without any prior contact or request for information by the receiver. It is like cold calling a stranger. They vary from spam emails.   

In case of cold emails, you have to test and adjust according to the reactions of the customers. It is very important to make sure you are pitching the right type of customers otherwise there will be no response.

Start with the people you might already know and are familiar with your work ethics like friends, family, previous customers etc.

Use your network to get into a opportunity to speak to a connection you may find in any  company. Introduce yourself and try to pitch your product for their benefit . If nothing try to walk away from these conversations with the name for who you should be reaching out to. Then you can work your magic on cold email.   

Giving away your product for Free trial /  Free plans.

Giving away your product for free obviously attracts more customers as a startup. It is one of the marketing tools that tend to work, since who doesn’t like free stuff.  It is comparatively less expensive than traditional marketing tools.

It helps is creating large user group and drives more traffic. To get that success it is important to have great value in the free product for the users to prefer it enough to pay for it and tell others about it.   

These are few ways you can try to reach out to people to create your own customers. Rest you should try to go for as many meetups and events held in your country. This will help you meet and interact with more people and may be build some clients. This will also help you to know your market better and the existing requirements.

Social media is a great platform to interact with people and since almost everybody is now a days available there it will be really helpful.

The task does not end here. After finding your potential customers you need to monitor the reachability.

Did you think just bringing in customers would solve all your problems?

I don’t really think so.

You need to make sure the tactics you have used to bring in customers is working to sustain them.

Pointers:

  • Try solving the problems your customers might face.
  • Keep a track of interaction level.
  • Listen to what they have to say and get feedback.
  • Since you are a start up try solving problems for a few people to see what solution works best and what price.
  • Try to get feedback on your product and services.
  • Try to get a  validation from people who are willing to pay for the solution and delivery.
  • Make sure to get them on board before dealing with other group of customers.   

After building up some customers it is important to maintain a relationship with them. For this you need to keep a constant communication flow with the customers and also take their feedback.

What is customer feedback ?

Feedback is something said about someone in a context to describe the services received, whether its direct or through a conversation on twitter, or a review on a blog post.

It is obviously important to know what you have been working on is making a difference. You might keep launching new products and create marketing campaigns but without customer knowledge and feedback  you are just taking a shot in the dark .

Customer surveys can be conducted to know customer feedback. Inventions on some of the worlds best product have been based on customer feedback. Knowing your customer is utmost important. Further some research on the competitors and the market can lead you to a good path with your business.  

Knowing all the analytics is beneficial in a way but through survey their is a clear picture.

Feedback is conducted on different levels i.e the idea phase, pre-launch phase, early traction phase and if things go well period of long growth phase.

The idea phase – This is a phase when a idea clicks your mind and you want to get ahead on it, but before you do that maybe you should look back and talk to people and get their reviews. Don’t worry about getting it stolen, that’s a risk to be taken since it’s a greater risk not talking to people about your idea. This will avoid you from spending a lot of money on something nobody really cares about and turns out not so worthwhile. Talk to people not necessarily your friends and family but also people beyond that.

The goal here is to identify your customers and the problems and convivence you may tend to offer them though your product.

Begin with asking questions related to your products like

what kind of product would help them?

What kind of things they have been looking for in the market ? etc.

Start these conversations with a pitch and don’t jump right into it. The main motive here is to gain customers knowledge.

The pre launch phase – once target customers are found, you need to get their feedback on your product, whether it is worth spending on. At this point you are on your pre launching of the  product so you can create a landing page/website to collect all the customers informations. Their are different ways this can be done.

One of the ways to get feedback is on your blog which can have call-to-action or comments or questions by the customers. YouTube videos, or sending email newsletters etc. Building good content is one of the ways to drive traffic to your website who can give you feedback.

Getting feedback on your content can also help you improvise on that.


Early traction phase – At this phase the product is being launched and you are expecting a lot of customers to dive into your product. But the situation can go either ways so if it all goes well it good but incase it goes the other way around the probable solution is to talk to the customers get their feedback and try to understand why your product hasn’t gained the recognition it should have.

offer free trial and get the customers feedback on it. Ask them questions like:

  • How was the product?  
  • Was it helpful and worth spending on ?
  • What is not working well in the product ?

Get these feedback and use it to your benefit.

This will not lead to Current customers feedback – It is important to keep track of customer feedback ongoing basis. The current customers should not be neglected to get new ones. Don’t neglect your existing customer.

Make sure your customers hear from you on regular basis but their is define line between annoying and informing which should be maintained. Sending promotional or some interesting information is a great way to stay on your customers minds. The  more engaged you are with your customers the chances of their staying going high.

Customers support is also a place to get valuable feedbacks.

These are few ways to get customers feedback so as to launch a new products and continue existing in the market.

It is important to maintain professional relationship with the customers. Build a meaningful relation with the to be customers so they care about your offering.

Deliver great customer service –

The ways to provide great customers service.

  • Respond as quickly as possible – This is a important factor. Customer doesn’t like to wait too long for a response as in this case they will switch on to other options. So in order to retain customers it’s important to have a good response rate.  
  • Know your customers – Interacting with the customers is important. Customers love personalization. Remember your customers and probably the conversation you had with them, this make them feel like considered and leave them with a great experience.
  • Fix your mistakes – Not  taking responsibility of your mistakes gives a bad reputation. Try to achieve a higher level of standards.
  • Go the extra mile – Putting some extra efforts for your customers is surely a good deal. It always leaves customers with a good experience. This also helps to retain customers for  long term, which is one of the requirement of any business.


For a good customer service it is important to have a good delivery system.

Customer service is the utmost deal for any business. A survey found that around 68% of consumers would react by telling their family and friends, few by posting on social media. And social media is biggest platform so a good review surely add values.

A great value ensures you deliver a positive customer service. Business should be built around how to deliver good customer service. Just having a brand will not get the success rather it depends on customer service and their experience with the brand.

Customers never buy product because of their features, rather because of the “benefits” they acquire from those features. Most of the marketing and sales messages depict the features of the product.

There are rules based upon conversation –

  1. Understand the difference between a benefit and a feature

Example – This car has a supports safety roof . (feature)

                This car keeps your family safe. (benefit)

    2. Use plain language –

Example –  This roof provides protection in case of a accident. (feature)

                 This car helps to walk away unharmed in case of accident. (benefit)

    3. Keep the list of benefits on minimal –

Example – Top 10 benefits of our product. (feature)

                 The few important things to remember about the product.  (benefit)

    4. Focus on the unique factor your have –

Example – Our software provides more productivity. (feature)

                The report from our customers depicts 30% decrease in the cost.  (benefit)

    5. Make your benefits more real –

Example – The average cost is reduced by the use of our products.

                The average cost can be reduced at a level of 25% by our product.

Get the lifetime value and acquisition cost of each customer –

Often entrepreneurs get busy building a business and they forget to pay attention to each individual customers. Tracking such a data may seem like a lot of work but it isn’t. Online business can use Google Analytics to track the customer activity, similarly bricks and mortar companies can use point of sale software to get detailed data.    

Become an expert –

Not having a good track record of happy customers, is not going to be working for any business. The best thing here to be an expertise in your chosen domain. If your customers trust your knowledge in a specific area, they will buy from you.

Develop your expertise, and express it through different media resources. Whether is social media or write a guest blog to spread the message. You can also get people together for a seminar or invite them to learn about your subject area.

Have the urge the sell to customers. Use your platform to try help people and find your first customer. This first customer will breathe life in your startup.

Examples :

  1. How did Facebook go viral ?

Product that goes viral, are rare. As is the case for Facebook.

Facebook was launched as the inverse of Myspace. Even though Myspace was colourful, vibrant and open Facebook at that point didn’t really qualify all these qualities.

Facebook came into existence on Harvard campus, it began to grow gradually form selected universities to increase the demand in the later stage.

Facebook went to next level by restricting access to only those fortunate few with a college’s domain name. They even combined the feature that nobody could view the content from outside unless they are logged in.

They took it step by step until they could dominate the existing segment. From Harvard to Ivy League. Then it went on expansion to all colleges. Then high schools and then companies before it went accessible to general public.  

The strategy here was to take it slow so as to build a momentum, allowing Facebook to bring in the most elusive form of promotions, i.e the word of mouth.

When the platform was available for the public, Facebook has enough leverage to move forward dramatically. They had proven viral loops in place that utilized a series of automated emails to increase the level of engagement and get more people to join.

This is a closed-to-open tactic which turned out beneficial for Facebook at all levels.

2. Onboardly –

It is not like one tactic will help you through out. It is the combination of various ides that bring out the best results. At Onboardly, they combine the public relations, content marketing and social media together to create a strategy that works for all the startups. With content marketing it has to been done correctly. The logistics suggest that 80% of the time PR either spends sourcing publications to post your content to promote it  so as to build a relationship key. This is the kind of relationship that helps drive your marketing forward.

As a big startup you can surely spend million and billions on advertising and quirky promotions and many other paid form of promotions. But as a startup it won’t get that easy with the small cashflow. With the limited cashflow allocating those resources to marketing spend is not so much of a priority.

At this point what you need to do is start out trying to build your network, speak at events, conference or meetups. Get to know your community. Your opportunities can be anywhere.