Cyberattacks: Protect Your Business and its Data

Why do hackers target small businesses?

Are you ready to protect your business and its data? Then these best practices will keep your company as safe as possible. Many entrepreneurs don’t realise that small businesses are just as at risk for cyber-attacks as larger companies, but they are. The truth is small businesses fall into hackers’ cyber-security sweet spot. They have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer has but less security than a larger enterprise. 

The other reason small businesses are appealing targets is that hackers know these companies are less careful about security and to some they share their passwords and confidential information with different people.However, there are several reasons why small businesses are a prime target for cyber-attackers.

Ultimately, it’s because they’re easy to attack due to this complacent attitude and a lack of investment into cyber-security measures. In almost every case, the end goal of a cyber-attack is to steal and exploit sensitive data, whether it’s customer credit card information or a person’s credentials, which is then used to manipulate the individual’s identity online.

There are a few different basic types of security software on the market, that you can use to protect your data and that of your customers. Antivirus software is the most common and will defend against most types of malware. 

Following a research made by the global head of security threats and testing at IBM Charles Henderson, few years back. He advised running a risk assessment, preferably through an outside firm. Another security solution you should try is Firewalls, which can be implemented with hardware or software, provide an added layer of protection by preventing an unauthorised user from accessing a computer or network. Most modern operating systems such as Windows 10 come with a firewall program.

The next is Cobb, of ESET, advised that businesses invest in three security solutions. The first is a data backup solution so that any information compromised or lost during a breach can easily be recovered from an alternate location.

The second is encryption software to protect sensitive data, such as employee records, client/customer information and financial statements. The third solution is two-step authentication or password-security software for a business’s internal programs to reduce the likelihood of password cracking.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all security solution. 

Competitive Advantage: How to Use Pricing strategy to win

It doesn’t matter how great your product is or how wonderful your lead nurturing methods are.  If the price isn’t right, no one’s going to buy from you. We don’t really talk about pricing schemes all too often, but the fact of the matter is that if you aren’t pricing your products or services properly, you’ll either be selling yourself short or lose customers because the price of the product is too high for its perceived value.

You may think that everyone’s looking for a bargain, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  As a matter of fact, most spenders are really looking for mid-quality, mid-priced stuff – which is why you need to be taking advantage of offering multiple price points, whenever possible.

Studies have regularly found that if you offer a middle ground price for the same product, most buyers will splurge a bit to buy the mid-priced option and avoid buying the lower-end option, but will be less likely to buy the higher priced option. 

Companies can make a real impact on their top- and bottom-lines with effective pricing. A good pricing is both an art and a science which means that different personalities approach the topic entirely differently.

So to win using pricing strategy, you need to do the following:

1. Raise your prices to increase revenue

You can raise sales volume by raising your price. The key is that the buyer has no subjective way to judge pricing and may be more willing to buy at the higher price point.

2. Limit the number of options

If you give the prospect too many options (choice “overload”) sales will go down.

3. Offer tiered pricing

While choice overload is deadly, prospects respond well to tiered options. Always highlight the value of lower-priced tiers via “anchoring” – list a significantly higher priced upper-tier option. Interestingly, if you offer low-, mid- and upper-tier options, don’t be surprised if 50-60 percent of your sales come from the middle tier. That means when you offer low price, explain to them why it is low and still of high quality. 

4. Consider “all you can eat” pricing

Unlike transactional pricing (by unit, volume, time, etc.) the all you can eat model provides an unlimited amount of something over a certain time period. The name comes from the restaurant industry where patrons can eat as much as they want (buffet style). 

5. Set the price as “free”

 If it is a product, sometimes you can offer some for free. The free-trial offer is one where the user has access at no charge during a certain time period. . After that time, the user loses access or starts paying. The secret to this model is having a great conversion process to convince the individual to use and then pay for the product. The idea is to get them using the product, then convert to the paid upgrade because they need more functionality, data, or whatever.

Inexpensive Ways To Attract New Local Customers

For a business to grow, it needs to attract new customers, while also maintaining the customers it already has. But many growing businesses don’t have a lot of marketing dollars to spread around in order to try and grow their presence. This can provide a conundrum for businesses. So how do companies work to resolve this conflict?

The answer is to work on finding inexpensive ways to attract new customers. These are just a few strategies that can help you find the customers you need and want to expand your audience.

Build social media presence

We often think that social media presence is something that only big companies need to worry about, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even if your business only has a simple Facebook page and monitors its reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, that is a social media presence.

Keeping an eye on what’s happening in these locations can help you connect with local customers and niche buyers. These customers are the ones most likely to be your most loyal customers over time, so they’re important to cultivate.

Use physical advertising

Companies often focus on digital advertising, and with good reason. Building a social media presence, spreading word of mouth, and creating a high-quality website can all help customers find a business and trust the company to fulfill its promises.

But for companies that have brick and mortar businesses, there are more advertising options available. Physical advertising can be particularly important. When shopping offline, customers prefer to shop locally – in fact, some research has shown that the bulk of a business’s customers live just five miles away.

So making sure that customers can see that your business exists is key to bringing in new customers. Using signs, banners, and visual flags can help catch the eyes of potential customers and make them curious about what your business has to offer.

Support amazing service

Any business should offer great customer service, especially in a world where so many options are available for every purchase. Customers, especially younger customers, are looking for a great experience as much as they’re looking for a great product.

There are many ways to offer great service; your return policy should be simple and understandable, your in-store representatives should be knowledgeable, well trained, and friendly, and your pricing should be competitive.


Why should I have loyal customers instead of new customers

As a business owner your primary focus is to have a large customer base but it is also very important to have LOYAL customers. The importance of customer loyalty impacts almost every metric important to running a business. Without happy customers that continue to buy from you, the business won’t survive. 

Customer loyalty helps business to improve brand image. … As brand has already won trust of loyal customers, they are more likely to share positive experience than new customers. This eventually helps a brand to retain more customers and improve customer loyalty as well as brand loyalty.

See other reasons why you should have a loyal customer. 
1: Loyal customers buy more 
2: Loyal customers refer friends
3: Loyal customers provide feedback and ideas 4: Increasing customer retention helps boost profits simply because loyal customers already have trust in your brand and therefore are likely to spend more.

Attracting new customers may be rewarding, but it also often involves a lot of hard work and expense. … 70% of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one, while others have suggested that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be as much as seven times more expensive.

Remember the best strategy a business can have is to create customers that creates more customers. Without happy customers that continue to buy from you, the business won’t survive.

Reasons your business needs to hear the Voice of Customer

What are your customers actually telling you and how do you analyze this information to get to meaningful insights? Then, how do you use VOC data to drive change in your organization? There’s no denying that the focus on delivering great customer experiences (CX) has increased globally over the past few years. Whichever kind of service you provide, the voice of your customer is very essential because, It helps you to grow in providing service.

Listening to the voice of the customer helps to capture customer experience insights and it comes with many practical benefits.

* It takes something vague like customer experience, and turns it into quantifiable metrics.

* It identifies clearly the key drivers of customer satisfaction that are unique to your business and your customer base.

* It shows you the trends, progress, and declines of your business over time, allowing you to adapt to changes as you go.

* It plays an informative role in employee training, performance review, and shaping the internal culture of your business. 
Even though all these reasons are worthwhile, to the customer, they’re just corporate jargon that has little to do with the reality of their lives and their relationships with your business.

Looking at the notion of customer experience from their perspective, Voice of the Customer isn’t just a setting, it’s a promise.By listening actively to customers, you are promising to value their opinions as much as you value the opinions of the shareholders or owners who are profiting from their business.

When you guarantee to put your customers at the front and center of your business, it can inspire confidence, especially if they see enough action which proves your words are not empty. It also gives them an invitation to voice their opinions and participate, knowing that their voices won’t fall on deaf ears.

Are you delivering on your promises? CSM is passionate about improving the customer experience, and can show you how you measure up against your customers’ expectations. Contact us today to find out more

Real life: Tell us your customer service experience

Experience in good customer service is different from company to company, but the key characteristics of good customer include: a rapid response time to customer requests, responding to all feedback and requests (positive or negative), self-service help documents and FAQs, a frictionless process for getting in touch with a customer support rep, a willingness to apologize and compensate for errors, empathetic solutions to problems, and helpful recommendations customers can use to learn and grow.

One bad customer service experience can swear you off a product forever. But one exceptional experience, on the other hand, can turn you into a lifelong and loyal brand advocate.

See customer’s real life reviews:

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  • csm_ng What is the worst customer service you ever received ?14h
    • allthingswholesaleWaybill o. I sent some goods to ife and it took them 4 days to get it12h1 likeReply
      • View replies (1)
    • zita_collectionsGoing to get my goods that just arrived to a logistics company,d workers were looking for it for like hours,only for me to bring in the attention of one of the customer care rep,she was like,’who is helping this girl to look for her goods’ imagine…a madam like me.lol12hReply
  • eleccionscenthub Not receiving response on time and answering rudely12h1 likeReply
    • babydollconceptNot responding to messages ontime12h1 likeReply
      • View replies (1)

Could Distraction Be Costing Your Company Dearly?

Little distraction could cost your company a lot of money.
Focus and concentration are hot commodities these days, with social media, open office layouts and short attention spans running rampant in workplaces. The bank’s customer service rep was distracted. He was responding to emails in between phone calls. The problem was he’d get halfway into an email and then the next call would come in. It took a second for him to shift his focus to the caller.

At the end of the call, he’d hurry back to the email. He’d skim the email as best as he could and then hurriedly type his response in hopes of finishing it before the next call came in.

One particular email was from a customer inquiring about his loan balance. The rep looked it up and saw the balance was $15,000. In his haste, he left off a zero. 

His email informed the customer that the loan balance was just $1,500

Team distracted by mobile phone

Distracted By Design

Customer service reps everywhere are chronically distracted.

They’re balancing multiple priorities. They often work in noisy office environments. The typical contact center rep must juggle five to seven different software programs on two or more computer monitors just to serve a customer. And they’re barraged by messages on email, chat, and even their personal devices in between.

To top it off, many contact center reps work like the bank employee in the story above. They are asked to respond to email or another written channel in between handling phone calls in an effort to eke out every last drop of productivity.

It’s thought to be efficient, but it isn’t. Customer service reps working in this setup are often less productive and are prone to costly mistakes. For example, the bank ultimately had to honor the erroneous loan balance and write off the $13,500 error.

The High Cost of Distraction

Distraction can cost a company far more than the few dollars saved by cramming in some extra work in between calls.

Another customer service leader told me about the cost of distraction at his company at the same time I heard about the $13,500 bank error. This one was even worse.

A telecom customer had emailed to ask if he had won a promotional contest. He had not won, so the customer service rep started typing an email to politely tell the customer he didn’t win.

But the customer service rep was answering emails in between calls. And the rep was distracted. So the rep’s actual email read, “You did win.”

There was a kerfuffle. The company tried to claim it was an honest mistake. The customer sued, and the company eventually agreed to a six-figure Settlement.

You might be tempted to maximize productivity by having your agents juggle multiple assignments all day. Before you do, think about the potential costs:

  • Expensive errors caused by distraction.
  • Decreased productivity caused by constantly shifting attention.
  • Decreased service quality caused by a lack of customer focus.

 Jeff Toister, CXService360

Provide good customer service in retail with social media monitoring

The first step to providing good customer service in retail begins with listening to your customers.

Your customers won’t always approach you directly, so you may need to do some digging to uncover customer feedback or use a social media monitoring tool to do the digging for you. Keep in mind that your company won’t always be tagged when your customers mention you.

This is where social listening tools can give you a hand. Set up media monitoring projects to track mentions of your brand, product, industry, etc… and receive instant notifications whenever your customers mention you on-line, whether you’ve been tagged or not.

A powerful yet easy-to-use media monitoring tools that make tracking down customer feedback super simple are as follows:

Step 1: Set up your social listening projects

Start by selecting the keywords you want to track.

Step 2: Keep an eye on your social listening projects

Once you’ve set up your social listening projects, keep an eye on the data you collect. Personalise notifications to let you know when there is a sudden increase in results for your company or for particular types of results (such as negative or positive results, or for specific #hashtags, etc).

Internal Communication

Interact with your customers and keep them in the loop

Providing good customer service isn’t rocket science – it comes down to a good support tool and remembering to keep the customer in the loop at all times.  Before you know it, you’re the customer’s service hero.

There are a number of reasons to shop with online retailers: to save time, avoid crowds, do comparison shopping… whatever the reason, nearly all consumers have purchased items on-line at one time or another.
The user (Jane) below had a great customer service experience with the on-line click & collect service from food retailer.

I recently filled out a customer service web form at an online food store, asking some questions about a new delicacy (cookies). Since it was an online form, I instantly got a tracking number and an email receipt (good).

However, after I had posted the inquiry, it took 5 days for them to get back to me. After 2 or 3 days without any response, I started getting furious, thinking I should take my order elsewhere.When I finally got a response, I received a long email explaining that they were sorry for the delay, and the reason was that, part of the cookies I ordered was no longer for sale, and also out of stock……. They had to make a special order of a replica from abroad to complete my order. Imagine that; they had gone out of their way to satisfy my order (it would have been cheaper for them to just cancel and refund me), but since they didn’t keep me in the loop, I was by now, a dissatisfied customer, until I got a message explaining the reason for the delay, which indeed impressed me. And guess what? They went an extra mile to deliver my cookies without a delivery fee’.

As she describes in her post, all she had to do was place her order on-line, select a time slot for pick-up, and then when she arrived, a customer service representative brought her order directly to her car. She was impressed, especially by the way the retailer handled the situation when they discovered that a few items she had ordered were out of stock. A friendly customer service representative gave her a call to let her know about the out-of-stock items, and suggested some possible alternatives.

 A key step in providing good customer service in retail starts with remembering that your customers are human and connecting with them… in a human way. This means that you listen to them. Only then can you truly understand what your customers want and begin to build relationships with them. 

When the time comes (and it will) and your company requires understanding and human compassion from your customers, just wait: their reactions and support will reflect the strength of your customer relationships and just how well you’ve been providing customer service all along.

Provide good customer service in retail, even when the customer is wrong

The phrase customer is always right is not new to you. 

This is a popular customer service mantra that most businesses live by. But what happens when the customer is wrong?

If you own or manage a store, then you’ve probably had to deal with instances of shoplifting, at least once. Many business owners make their stance on shoplifting clear by displaying signs like the ones below, right inside their stores:

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The message is clear: if you shoplift, prepare to deal with the legal consequences of your actions. Sounds fair, but… it’s not always so cut and dry. Even in the stickiest of situations, there may be a better way.

If you treat your customers like real people and just listen to them, and react in a compassionate way, you might find a better solution that benefits all parties (and even make a positive impact on someone’s life), like the clever store manager did in the post below:A parent found that her son had shoplifted a lollipop from the store on the island.

She promptly brought her child back to the store where she had the boy apologize to the store clerk. When the store manager was notified, instead of following the rule book and calling the police, he told the little boy that he could have the lollipop if he was willing to work for it.

They struck a deal: the boy had to pick up 10 items of trash in the parking lot and he would have earned the lollipop. He went outside and picked up the trash, even a little more than 10 pieces. Afterwards, the punishment actually made him feel better, because he was then able to tell others that he had earned the candy, instead of stealing it.