Make the most of Agendize.

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Reduce no-shows by up to 80%, spend 75% less time managing appointments and never face double-bookings again.

 tutorialvideo2

Calendar Sync.

Never face double-bookings between calendars again. Synchronize your online appointments with Google Calendar and Windows Live Calendar. Online Scheduling will know when you are not available and your appointments will appear automatically on all your calendars.

Tutorial Videos: Google Calendar and Windows Live Calendar

PDF Guides:

PDF Document Admin Guide – Set up 2-way sync

PDF Document User Guide – Google Calendar Sync

PDF Document User Guide – Windows Live Calendar Sync

SMS reminder

Automatic Notifications.

Reduce no-shows by sending automatic email or SMS notifications to managers, staff members and customers at any point in the booking process.

PDF Guide:

PDF Document Admin Guide – Email and SMS notifications

Email notification

Reminders & To-do’s.

Reduce no-shows by sending automatic email or SMS reminders. Simplify the daily operations of your employees by automatically sending them daily to-do lists.

PDF Guide:

PDF Document Admin Guide – Reminders & To-do lists

 

 

 

 


Live Chat. Best Practices.

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Not too long ago, we gave you some industry insights about Live Chat – focused on impact. This time, we share best practices with you: how to configure, install and operate?

How to configure?

logo_proactivechat_fmtActivate proactive invitation.

67% of visitors are receptive to proactive chat invitation. The proactive mode also yields better conversion rates – up to 40% versus 22% for the reactive mode. Also, the proactive mode improves sales: visitors who respond to proactive chat invitations are 8 times more likely to purchase than regular visitors.

logo_transcript_fmtActivate chat transcripts.

Historically, keeping a “paper trail” of the communication was one of the main reasons why visitors preferred email exchanges. This is why we advise that you allow visitors to download a transcript after their chat session.

How to install?

chat-icon-positionOn the top right.

32% of visitors prefer a Chat invitation button on the top right.

 

Human or female.

A chat button including a human figure is far more likely to be clicked… People also have a preference for a photo of a female.

How to operate?

Number of operators

chat-operator-formulaExpect between 2% and 15% of your visitors to initiate a chat session. An agent should not handle more than 4 or 5 chats at the same time.

So…Take the number of visitors on your site at a given moment, multiply by 5% and divide by 4. That’s the number of operators you need.

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Opening hours

84% of visitors consider that operators should be available on week days (extended hours) and on weekends – similarly to shopping hours.

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Response time

80% of visitors are satisfied with a waiting time of up to 10 minutes. In fact, 47% of people like doing other things online while waiting.

 

 

Operator knowledge

For chat success, the most critical factors are the knowledge and speed of the agent.

The more complex the questions get, the less the operator is expected to be able to answer them.

 

 

Expected to answer

Product details
Customer inquiry
Delivery status
Pricing
Promotions
Return information

 

 

 

 

 


API Update: New Ways to Customize your Dialog Boxes

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Today we’re announcing some new additions to the Agendize Interface API. These new features will allow unprecedented configuration of your Agendize dialog boxes with a few simple lines of JavaScript code.

In addition to the existing Interface API features that already allowed you to change the text and colors of your dialog boxes, here are all the new things you can do:

  • Replace the Agendize icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the box with your own icon
  • Hide the Agendize icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the box
  • Replace the “X” close button with other text
  • Hide the “X” close button
  • Use your own Privacy Policy
  • Change the color of the border
  • Change the thickness of the border
  • Change the radius of the box’s rounded corners
  • Modify the box’s height
  • Modify the box’s width

With this new flexibility, here’s just one example of what you could do:

Take a standard dialog box like this…

Interface API - Standard Click-to-Call

…add the following code…

<script type="text/javascript">
var az_config = {
    bgColor: '#DDDDDD',
    borderWidth: '2px',
    borderColor: '#888888',
    borderRadius: '20px 20px 20px 20px',
    closeText: 'CLOSE',
    width: '320px',
    bottomImageSrc: 'https://www.agendize.com/shared/img/call.png'
};
</script>

…and your dialog box looks like this:

Interface API - Click-to-Call Modified

Some customers are already using this API to do a bunch of different things, for example:

  • Embedding a dialog box directly within a page by hiding the border, removing the close button and making the background color match the page.
  • Making the dialog box better match their site’s look-and-feel by modifying the colors, icon and border.
  • …and much more.

To learn more about the features, visit the Interface API documentation on our Developer’s site.


What is Conversion According to the Pros?

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If you follow tech blogs, read Internet marketing reports or tweet regularly, you’ve probably come across the buzzword conversion. Conversion marketing, optimization and calculating conversion rates are growing discussions on the web today. Many of us know the right steps to generate and measure web traffic. The challenge now lies in persuading users to buy something when they visit. Converting visits to business is never easy unless you’re Apple. It can be especially difficult for SMBs and startups who are also working overtime on growing their brand.

As I scanned the Internet for resources on web conversion for a new LinkedIn Group, I realized that so many users aren’t sure what conversion means for marketing. I tweeted my concerns out to many. I asked for help on LinkedIn and Quora. Some expressed their confusion and others thought I was inquiring about web conversations instead. So why is  conversion buzzing around so much lately?  Without fully understanding what web conversion is, the chances of  creating a successful marketing strategy and choosing the right tools to increase conversions are slim.

Instead of speculating and adding more confusion to the pot, I decided to ask the “pros” what conversion means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Eric Tsai

Eric Tsai

@designdamage Malaysia

Web Strategist, Marketing Ninja, Author. Focus on Integrating Social Media, SEO, SEM & Content Marketing for Business ROI & BI. I work @WebMetro

http://designdamage.com

On his blog, Eric Tsai defines conversion as “an action a user takes on your site that has value to your business.” In a recent Twitter interview, he added that “conversion is an opportunity to help someone and to build a relationship with your brand.”

Tsai posted a set of equations to show how conversion rate can be calculated to discover marketing campaigns ROI:

Brian Massey

Brian Massey

@bmassey, Austin, TX

Conversion is the science of turning Web visitors into leads and sales. It also makes the Web more interesting.

http://ConversionScientist.com

 

Brian Massey, Conversion Scientist and author of a column on Conversion Science featured on Search Engine Land, was quick to lend me his expertise on conversion over LinkedIn:

”Advertising takes money out of your pocket. Conversion puts money in your pocket. Social media takes your time. Conversion pays you for that time. Clicks cost. Conversion pays. Where are you spending your time and money?”


Ian Lurie

@portentint, 47.567177,-122.38454

Internet Marketer. Author of http://www.conversationmarketing.com. I tweet marketing & news 5-8 times/day.

http://www.portent.com/

 

Ian Lurie, tweeted me back a short and sweet definition: “Conversion: What happens that lets the marketing team keep their jobs.”

“No one’s done a really good job of tying all the separate components of a successful Internet marketing strategy into a single package. Lots of people have created and thrown around phrases like ‘Web 2.0′ and ‘Social media’. But those phrases only make things more confusing.” So Lurie took initiative and started his website as a guide for good decision making.

 

Aaron Bradley

Aaron Bradley

@aaranged, Vancouver, B.C.

Search marketing consultant specializing in enterprise-level organic SEO. Semantic web stringer, compulsive categorizer. I like to cook!

http://www.seoskeptic.com/

 

Aaron Bradley often blogs about Conversion Rate Optimization on Search Engine Land.  He defines conversion in a few steps:

“What is conversion? What people often overlook in focusing on the noun is the meaning more apparent when in the verb form. When you convert a visitor, you have successfully transitioned them to one state to another.In the context of the web, the nature of this conversion is almost always converting a visitor from a passive state to an active state.  Browser to buyer. Reader to re-tweeter.Just in traditional constructions using convert, such as a religious conversion, or a convert to a cause, web conversion optimization focuses on the desired outcome, rather that the starting point. Success is not measured by what a visitor was doing before, but what you’ve persuaded that that visitor to do.So what is conversion? It is successfully persuading a visitor to take a desired action or sequence of actions that satisfies the fulfillment of a predefined goal.”

So next time you need to create or tweak an online marketing strategy, remember conversion first. What steps can you take to influence your visitors to make the next move? Conversion comes in all forms and sizes. Whether you’re looking to get more people to order your product, share your article or techniques on how to baptize a bear(?), there are many great resources and experts that can help.

Thanks Eric, Brian, Ian and Aaron for all your help!

Nancy E.


If McLuhan was alive today, would he tweet and text his friends?

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Earlier this month, @BrianSolis blogged about “The Number One Least Asked Question in Social Media…Why?” He discussed why asking “Why” is important in all aspects of business, including social media. As we embrace a social media culture, Solis proves that Marshall McLuhan’s world aphorism “the medium is the message” (and palindrome: “the message is the medium”) is still valid today:

In an era where information is democratized and influence is equalized, the message is now also the medium. There are prevailing cultures unique to each social network. What you create for Twitter is different than what you might say in Facebook and certainly not at all how you would say it in Google+.

The real importance in understanding McLuhan’s quote is to remind us of the potential dangers of new “mediums” (technology)…like instant messaging.

@BrianZimm1 says that “digital conversations via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn can be very dangerous to the future of communication.” Research proves that a message is correctly interpreted approximately 20% more over phone than email. Without verbal communication, many opportunities of connecting with customers, leads and colleagues are lost.

McLuhan said, “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force.”

Therefore, if we discover that a new medium brings along negative effects in the way we do business, it’s our duty to intervene during the technology’s development and set it on the right track. Maintaining the right balance between digital and face-to-face conversations is key for maintaining healthy business and personal relationships. Every instant messaging tool such as email, text message and Twitter, must be complemented with a human touch engagement tool like Click- to-Call. By adding the right ‘combos’ of communication tools to your websites, blogs and marketing campaigns, you can keep up with new technology, without neglecting the importance of verbal communication via phone calls, video chats and live meetings.

Nancy E.


1 Easy Tool to Save the Date and Increase Attendance at Your Summer Event

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With social media booming from all corners, adding Google+ to the family this week, we’re realizing it’s easier to host events online in order to increase and organize attendance. From a business point of view, online brand visibility (via webinars, Live Chat, Livestream etc.) is essential for companies wanting to reach more people and gain trust.

Summer months are ideal for hosting online and offline events since guests have more time, energy and enthusiasm to network and participate. So if you plan on hosting a webinar, gala, BBQ or wedding that will be promoted on your website, blog, or mass email make sure to use the appropriate tools and methods of communication to spread the word.

Adding a Save to Calendar button to your event guarantees you won’t waste your time or money on guests who arrive too “fashionably late” or never show up at all. Also, the automatic email and text messaging notifications function is proven to increase attendance by 40% and more. It takes one simple click from your invitees to save your date to their personal calendars, making your event info accessible offline and on the go.

Other features include:

  • Compatible with Google Calendar, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Entourage and iCal
  • Customizable user interface and API available
  • Easy-to-install by copy and pasting code to website, blog or email template
  • Google Analytics integration helps track all of your guest’s actions and your company’s networking/conversion goals

Nancy E.


Technology Stress Management: 3 Tips on Keeping Your Cool

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Is there even a point asking the question have you ever felt stressed using technology? What about this instead…

Do you own a TV, cell phone or laptop? I know you’re raising your hand up high.

Technology-related stress has been fully integrated into our daily lives. Maybe this type of stress isn’t so bad if you see it as daily office- job workout routine…or something.

At the Montreal Agendize office this morning, our hearts started pumping hard when the portable A/C unit blew a fuse. This triggered the wireless router to turn off, booting all of us offline. Dealing with these types of issues in 100˚ heat will make you break a sweat. Other than burning some calories, stress is never good for your health.

I recently tweeted an article posted on @bitrebels by Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) that mentions a poll conducted by Stinky Ink focusing on employees stressing aver technology:

40% of those polled said that technology issues were more stressful to them than family or financial issues.

That’s a powerful statistic knowing that money is the leading culprit in most divorces in America.
So what’s the solution so technology doesn’t drive you to throw your computer out the window (like this guy) or end your marriage? It’s all about choosing the right partner and tools:

1. Don’t be afraid of trying new things

You won’t find a perfect match unless you play the field. Be open to get help and try out new tools that are proven to help your business grow. A conversion button like Live Chat and Click-to-Call can increase online sales by 25% and more.

2. Be picky when choosing between technologies

Do your homework so you don’t waste time downloading or purchasing tools that won’t work for you. Take some time to research: read online reviews and ask your friends what they use. Don’t always settle for big name brands. Sometimes the best help is free…this goes for apps too!

3. See flexibility as a major point of attraction

Flexibility is more than a bonus these days…it’s a requirement! Choose a product that is easy to work with so you’ll enjoy every step in the process. You don’t need to be a computer geek to get stuff done online. A company like Yola for example, makes it so easy for anyone to build a professional website.

How do you manage technology- related stress at your workplace? Which online tools help calm you down and how do they contribute to your business plan? Post your comments below!

Thanks,

Nancy E.
@nanceEss