Great New Live Chat Features – Complete Redesign, Proactive Chat and Shortcuts

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New Agendize Live Chat Widget

The new Live Chat widget

We’ve been hard at work at some amazing new features for Agendize Live Chat, and I’m really excited that I can finally tell you all about some of them.

New Widget

We’ve completely redesigned and rethought the widget. It will now live on the bottom right-hand corner of the user’s web browser so they always have easy access to customer support chat at any time and anywhere on your website.

Proactive Chat

This was by far our most requested new feature. Having a Live Chat button on your website is great, but nothing is better than being able to come right out and ask your customers if they have any questions. With Proactive Chat, you can have your chat widget open automatically and do just that. You can configure how long it will wait before opening and what message will appear, and you can show different messages to new visitors and people who have been to your website before.

New Agendize Live Chat Operator Console

The new Live Chat operator console

New Chat Operator Console

From your chat console, you now have easy access to a lot more information about your customers. Here’s a list:

  • Where the customer is located
  • Which page of your website she was viewing when she started the chat
  • Which page of your website she is viewing while chatting
  • What information she entered when launching the chat
  • A history of previous chat sessions
  • Which operators are currently chatting with the customer

Chat Shortcuts

Are there certain phrases you use in chat all the time? With Chat Shortcuts you can add them all as predefined messages and never have to type them again. Just find the right message in the list or type in the shortcut you defined and the message will automatically be sent to the visitor.

I think you’ll find that these features make the Live Chat button on your website even more engaging for your visitors and will help turn them into loyal customers.

Matt Fogel

VP Product

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Deal of the Day Dilemma: So Many Appointments, Oh Dear!

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Problem:

Betty set up a deal with a local Groupon-type website to promote her nail salon. The “50% off pretty mani and pedi” coupon is a BIG hit: over 200 purchases and it’s not even noon! Instead of celebrating her success, Betty feels butterflies in her stomach. “How will I manage all these new appointments without a receptionist to answer the phone?” Oh no!

How to beat Deal of the Day anxiety?

Solution:

Book an Appointment online with Agendize

So you sold many coupons. Now it’s time to impress your new guests with a flexible online scheduling platform that is quick, easy and stress free — for you and your clients. With Agendize Book an Appointment, your customers can reserve, modify and cancel their appointments at any time of day. As an administrator, you can choose which services, employees, breaktimes and openings to offer. This tool is ideal for businesses that have a high volume or appointments and/or no receptionist to pick up the phone. Instead of wasting time and money on the phone, checking voicemails or hiring extra help, allow your customers to book with you 24/7 via your website or Facebook page.

Learn from Betty’s mistakes and plan ahead for your success. Sign up today and receive $5 of free credit.

Nancy E.

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Share Your Way to More Web Traffic with Agendize

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Sharing is caring. In the online world, sharing is caring about visits, conversions and your brand. You’re probably already familiar with the “Share” button, but do you really know how it can benefit your website or blog?

“Share” helps spread your content through the web, helping readers share, save, bookmark and email posts and pages using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, MySpace and many more social bookmarking and sharing sites. We’re also working on adding Google+ to the list!

Using a share button is an easy, proactive and free way to expose your new products, posts, press releases event details, infographics and more. You don’t need to be a programmer to create, install or manage a Share buttons. Simply copy and paste the code to your website and blog in minutes.

From a SEO point of view, sharing content that contains backlinks to your website will drive more traffic and increase your link popularity. With the latest changes to Google’s algorithms, social signals seem to be carrying more and more weight. The more your content is shared, the better you’ll rank in the search results.

Do your share of sharing. Share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

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.


How Not to Get Dumped by Your Angry Customers

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Building a business is like building a relationship. We all slip up at some point and make mistakes. It’s how we deal with our shortcomings that really matters…and learning from them.

As a dissatisfied customer, I learned three important lessons in customer service today:

  1. Don’t annoy your leads/clients
  2. If you do irritate them, respond to their frustration in a timely manner
  3. Not matter the situation, be polite and professional

Receiving  customer complaints via web forms and email is proving to be less and less effective. The main reason: response time. Our follow up expectations have skyrocketed in this digital age of real-time data.

How long is too long? Many users would agree that a response within 24 hours is necessary. Others are less patient.

So you or one of your employees made a boo boo. As a business owner, what are the right steps to take when responding to your customers’ complaints online?

Help your customer one to one:

  • Use Click-to-Call and Live Chat on your site so people can get in touch with you immediately (and free). Don’t anger your customer more by forcing them to wait on hold and pay for it.
  • Set up Twitter/Facebook pages and monitor them regularly. It’s important to know what people are saying about your company–good and bad.
  • If a customer complains, respond honestly, transparently, professionally and address their concern. Don’t try to hide and ignore bad reviews/Tweets. It can backlash into a bigger issue.

Always try to move the conversation to a more private setting. Offer to help your customer over email, chat or phone. New ways to complain in real-time are developed every day. Don’t risk getting a bad reputation and put your customers first.

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.


New Facebook app turns your fans into loyal customers

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If Facebook friends are real friends, then your Facebook customers are real too. Yes, ALL of them!

As a matter of fact, Facebook, blogs, Twitter and customer reviews are considered the most effective tactics for mobilizing consumers to talk up products online. (Etailing Survey of 117 companies, September ’09)

No matter what industry you’re in, developing your social media presence should be one of your company’s top online marketing priorities. On his blog, young tech entrepreneur, @stanleytang offers 41 Top Tips To Growing Your Social Media Presence. His advice: engage in conversations, be supportive, create a unique/professional profile and treat social media like a cocktail party!

After reading Stanley’s advice and listening to our users’ feedback, we decided to create a Facebook app that will develop any company’s social media presence by converting their visitors into loyal customers. The final product is our very first Facebook app, Online Scheduling with Agendize!

This app allows your Facebook fans to book appointments online with your company 24/7 in real-time, while reducing the numbers of no-shows with automatice and text message notifications. This way, your visitors don’t ever have to visit your webpage to contact you for a question, demo, interview, etc. They can do it all from Facebook where they spend most of their time anyway.

If you already have an Agendize account, it takes one click to add Online Scheduling to your company Facebook page. If you don’t already have one, sign up for Agendize in less than 5 minutes and get $5 in free actions.

Nancy E.


Your Social Media and Website Strategies—Together They’re Better

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If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest, between the United States and Indonesia.  And if your company website was a country, how large would it be?  Hmmm…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8&feature=player_embedded

Video courtesy of @equalman (www.socialnomics.com)

In a recent blog post, @BrianSolis investigates the ROI of social media.He refers to:

The Benchmark Report: MarketingSherpa, sponsored by Vocus, to prove the growing importance of social of business’ budgets and the increase social spending between 2010 and 2011. The report found that the priority areas for businesses responding to executive requests to “show them the money” have several issues to overcome such as developing an effective social marketing strategy, converting social media followers into paying customers and so forth.

More and more businesses of all sizes are introducing social media budgets, experts and tools to the workplace. However, the issue above lies in the fact that social media strategies are often handled independently from additional digital action plans. Social media planning is growing too distant from the company’s home base—the website.

Uniting your online strategies is essential to successful communication.

Once online communication strategies are more aligned, ROI can be better measured (and will increase if you’re taking the right steps). The more communication tools your business offers, the bigger the chance you have of growing a significant audience interaction  on whichever digital venue you choose to use— websites, blogs, Facebook, etc.

Your website and social media blueprint must share the same objectives:

  1. Keeping the lines of communication open when your visitors are online and long after they leave and;
  2. Always keeping your visitors close to the brand.

As @ChrisBrogan explained in Entrepreneur:

Your main site is your home base: There are two things your website should do well: execute a solid call to action and give people a way to connect with you further.

Whether you’re selling shoes, apps or ideas, your website should always promote a clear-cut call to action.It’s also important that you make it easy for your visitors to contact you.

Why would anyone want to do business with an impossible-to-reach business? Live contact with Click-to-Call, Scheduling and Chat tools are more than necessary for any Contact Us page. Shouldn’t contacting a business via their website be just as easy (if not more) as posting on a friend’s Facebook wall? Quick, easy and live conversion and customer service solutions are part of the revolution