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Secrets of Using a Toll Free Number to Boost Your Business Calls

Do you have a toll free number for your business? If you do, then are you using it to its full potential? Toll-free numbers can benefit your business in numerous ways, and most importantly, they can boost your business calls.

Smartphones ended the era where we memorized phone numbers. If people are no longer memorizing phone numbers of loved ones, do you think that they will remember the phone numbers of businesses? Definitely not. A company that relies on phone calls to find new customers could suffer from these problems if they are not using a toll-free number in their marketing strategy.
The digital age had a very quick rise to the top, and many businesses shelled out a lot of cash to increase their search rankings or spent a lot of time trying to find followers on social media. Many companies realized that marketing online is not easy and have now turned back to traditional channels of marketing. Currently, there are more radio, print, and TV ads because they are secure means to measure ROI. Broadcast, print, and television can help to get your name out to potential customers, but if you’re looking for callers, then they need to get your phone number, too.

Making Your Business Number Memorable

So, how will a potential customer remember your phone number when they won’t even bother to memorize their mother’s phone number? The answer is with a vanity number!
A vanity number is the best way to get a customer to remember your phone number. Vanity numbers are toll-free numbers that use the letters that are placed on a phone’s keypad to spell out something related to your business. For example, if you are a baker, you might use 1-800-COOKIES. Vanity numbers stand out among the crowd and don’t look funny printed on an ad or spoken about on television. Many successful companies will attach a jingle to their vanity phone numbers when advertising on radio and television as a new way to help commit the phone number to people’s memories.

Using a Toll Free Number for Business
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Vanity Numbers Have Seen a Rise in Popularity

Vanity numbers are gaining popularity again because they are so simple to remember and can be used anywhere. If you’re driving past a billboard, you can memorize a vanity number, or if you’re listening to a radio ad, you can memorize a vanity number. Vanity numbers and toll-free phone numbers have always been an excellent choice for businesses, but the recent gain in popularity means that the best names are going fast, so don’t wait to secure the best vanity number for your business.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact Your Company Using a Toll Free Number

Customers do not want to put in work to contact your business. And why should they? It is your job as an excellent company to make it easy for them to get into contact with your business. Your company should advertise its number in as many places as possible so that it is not hard for your customers to find it. It can be very frustrating for customers when they can’t find a way to contact a business. Once they find your number, make sure that you are available for their calls at any time of the day. Toll-free vanity numbers are also beneficial to customers because it does not cost them anything to call a company. A customer probably won’t choose your business if they have to pay to get in touch with you when they can call another business for free.
Vanity and toll-free numbers are also great for credibility. A customer will assume a company that uses a toll-free number is a large company or corporation, but in reality toll, free phone numbers are so affordable that any size business, whether it is a very small start-up or a large corporation, can afford to get one. If you are working from your kitchen table, you can still have the same credibility that a Fortune 500 company has, and that ability will give you the edge over your competition.

Building a Professional Name for Yourself: Why Credibility is so Important

In today’s market, brands and products are introduced at super speeds. Research indicates that approximately 250,000 products are launched per year and these products have an average of an 85 to 95 percent failure rate. While new brands come and go, some stand out and last. At the root of being a brand that lasts, is credibility and trust. Trust and transparency rank even higher than product quality. This brings us to the topic of building a professional name for yourself and why credibility is so important.

Customers are wary of scams and shady marketing tactics and they are more often basing their purchasing decisions on how genuine they believe a company to be. Unfortunately, many companies do not practice authenticity and instead try to build their companies on what they believe customers want to hear. Listening to customers, however, is not all about repeating back to them whey they say. This is not the path to building a professional name for yourself. It is not about trapping customers with empty promises. Instead, it is about steadfastly proclaiming what you believe in and then taking a step back to see who is drawn to the message.

Brands that are authentic are able to establish and maintain a loyal following. In discussing building a professional name for yourself, it should be part of the business’s core to maintain authenticity and produce results and outcomes based on this. Customers will then share their experiences with their friends and family and if the company stays true to their message and continues to provide products or services that are in line with customers’ expectations, you will develop a brand that will stand the test of time.

If you are thinking of launching a startup or introducing a new brand, here are some points which are key to building a professional name for yourself.

Clearly define your mission and values. This could take a while to mull over. You will need to choose which values you are ready to commit to unwaveringly and you will want to convey this with clear messaging.

Do not half-heartedly commit to something that you are not fully prepared to embrace. Customers will see through this and credibility will not be established.

Determine how and where you will showcase your authenticity in establishing credibility. Whether it is online with social media or your blog or behind the scenes interactions with others, really get to know your audience and allow them to get to know you as well.

Keep your messaging consistent. The messages that you are sending out through marketing, promotions, and social media should be completely in line with the in-person experience that you are providing to customers.

Prepare for opposition. When a business gains a certain level of publicity, this often attracts backlash. Do not let this distract you or discourage you from your values and mission. Stay true to your messaging, your core beliefs, and you will gain the respect you deserve from those around you. Loyal customers will continue to support you based on the trust and credibility you have established.

Why Credibility is so Important
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Credibility in leadership is just as important as establishing credibility in the brand. Actively engaging, as a leader, in actions that follow the same value system as the brand is a critical part in establishing credibility and trust for your brand. Again, acting with integrity, being consistent, communicating, caring for others, being committed and inspiring others as a leader will support you in building a professional name for yourself as well as establishing credibility and trust.

In the end, launching a business and building a professional name is about being true to your values, expressing those values unwaveringly, and following through on promises to customers and clients. For those who adopt this method in embracing authenticity for establishing a business or a brand, you will find that building a company on a solid foundation provides lasting and tremendous stability that is unparalleled, no matter the challenges that lie ahead.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business

How many times have you dialed the phone number to a business’ customer service department and been greeted by someone who sounded like they were less than enthused to answer your call? It happens often, unfortunately, but businesses do not realize how much this can hurt them. Just because a customer service representative is on the phone all day does not mean that they have to be bored and sound really unhappy. The proper etiquette and some enthusiasm can go a long way in sounding professional when customers call your business – ultimately giving your business a reliable appearance.

Here are a few tips for sounding professional when customers call your business to help you make each phone interaction with your customers an amazing customer service experience:

Using the right phrase will start a conversation off on the right foot. Beginning a conversation with good morning, good afternoon, or a similar greeting and thanking the customer for their call is a great way to start. Stating your name and then asking them how you can help them comes next. Also, it is important to be friendly, upbeat and act like you love your job while providing the best customer service to them. This can all be heard in the tone of a customer service representative’s voice, as well as in the words that are chosen in speaking to customers.

The Power of Positivity

Positivity is also paramount. Ensuring a customer that you will work diligently to resolve whatever issue they have called about and that it will be solved as quickly as possible is important. If you are not able to resolve the issue yourself, ensuring the customer that you will then find someone who is able to is important as well. Saying something like, “I am sorry that you are dealing with this issue, but we will figure this out and resolve this for you as soon as possible” exudes positivity versus sitting on the phone and telling a customer, “I just can’t figure this out” or “I don’t know what the problem is and I am not getting anywhere with this.” Fill your conversation with positive statements, no matter how challenging the issue is to resolve.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business
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Pay Attention to the Energy You Give Off

Displaying energy through the sound of your voice also goes a long way. Even if it is super early and you have not had your coffee yet, sound like you are excited to speak with them and be of service to them through the resolution of their issue. Even if they are agitated and possibly raising their voice, it is your job to remain calm, energetic, and positive.

Being patient is another principle part of sounding professional when customers call your business. If you happen to ask the customer a question, be patient and wait for them to give you an answer. Do not talk over a customer. Talking over a customer is not only rude, but it may also cause you to miss out on hearing something very important that they are trying to convey to you. If you talk over a customer, they will need to repeat themselves and this will not only potentially aggravate a customer, but also force things to take a longer period of time to resolve. Remember to wait patiently for their full response.

Dealing with distractions in an appropriate way is another tip to sounding professional when customers call your business. There will always be distractions. It is part of life, no matter if you are working from a call center, your own office, a home office, or some other location. How you deal with those distractions is key. Callers know if you are distracted. From the moment you answer their phone call to the moment the call has ended, your one and only focus should be on the customer you have on the phone, their explanation of their needs, and how you are going to go about resolving any issues and fulfilling their needs. It is important to be attentive and helpful and treat the caller in the same exact way that you would want to be treated.

Just as displaying energy and positivity is important, the tone of your voice in demonstrating energy and positivity is just as important. Customer service agents should examine how they sound when they answer the phone. You should sound happy. Practicing with other coworkers in training can help customer service agents to hear themselves and adjust, if needed, accordingly.

Sounding professional when customers call your business is critical to the vitality and growth of a business. Remember that the person on the other end of the call is a human being and they are calling for help, guidance, answers, and to determine if they will invest in your brand or not. Make sure conversations are kept professional, focused, and upbeat from beginning to end.

Your Toll Free Number Could Be Trending

Toll free numbers are alive, well, and remain in high demand despite all forms of new technology introduced in the last decade. Businesses continue to take advantage of how toll free numbers can help their businesses enhance their use of marketing analytics and call center intelligence, as well as other innovative forms of customer engagement. If you own a business and a toll free number, your toll free number could be trending and you should be taking advantage of this to boost visibility and your bottom line.

About Toll Free Numbers

A toll free number is a phone number that starts with a toll free area code such as 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833. When a person dials a number that starts with one of these prefixes, they are not charged for the call. The business or person that owns the toll free phone number instead pays for the calls made to the number. Toll free phone numbers can be random digits or they can be words. When they are words, they are called vanity numbers. The most widely known example of a vanity phone number is 1-800-FLOWERS. Toll free numbers with the 800 prefix are considered premium toll free numbers and are typically a little more difficult to obtain than toll free numbers with other prefixes.

Benefits of toll free phone numbers for business use include:

  • Being available to customers and clients everywhere with an established national presence
  • Add the company name to the business phone number through use of a vanity toll free phone number
  • The ability to forward phone calls made to the toll free phone number to a landline or mobile number of the business owner’s choice

Global Call Forwarding offers toll free phone numbers with access to many great features. Some of the features include a full virtual phone system with call forwarding, VoIP, voicemail, SMS texts, and much more.

A toll free number helps a business to establish its reputation. It projects the image of a larger business with offices across the nation, even if the business owner is, in fact, working from a home office. In essence, a toll free number creates the kind of national presence that can indeed level the playing field when it comes to smaller companies competing with much larger companies.

Customers are also more likely to call a toll free phone number than any local area code phone number that they do not recognize. When customers call a toll free number they assume the company is established and trustworthy. Studies show that a customer feels better about buying from a company that has a toll free number on its website, business cards, and other forms of advertising. And, who knows, your toll free number could be trending in no time, further increasing the amount of traffic to your website and the profits to your business.

Toll Free Numbers Trending
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Toll Free Vanity Numbers

Toll free numbers with easy to remember digits or toll free numbers that spell out the company name or the name of a company’s main product can increase the number of phone calls to the business. In the same way that an easy-to-remember website address can help to drive an increase in traffic, a vanity toll free phone number can help a business to be the first choice in a customer’s mind for a particular product or service. With a vanity toll free phone number like 1-800-FLOWERS, your toll free number could be trending in no time and the value of this is limitless.

Uses in Marketing

Vanity toll free phone numbers have proven to be a timeless marketing tool, which helps to increase brand recognition and awareness through the use of mnemonics. A great toll free phone number can help to strengthen a business’ brand and it makes the company’s marketing efforts much more memorable. Most importantly, vanity toll free phone numbers have been proven to drive an increased number of phone calls to the companies who use them in an efficient manner.

Vanity phone numbers are easily recalled in any situation. Whether someone is driving while listening to radio ads, walking rapidly by a poster or a billboard sign, or scrolling past a banner ad on a mobile device, the best vanity phone numbers help consumers to recognize a business’ brand. And, if you choose a vanity toll free number and market it well, in no time your toll free number could be trending and that translates into more profit for the company.

Empowering Your Business

Global Call Forwarding has been dedicated to empowering businesses of all sizes by giving them access to the best phone numbers available, and at a competitive price matched with an extended array of features to best compliment the business’ offerings. For answers to questions related to how vanity toll free phone numbers work, or to purchase them for your company, contact Global Call Forwarding today.

Toll Free Numbers for Social Media Marketing

If you are crafting a new marketing campaign, you may be trying to come up with new ways to affordably boost the success of your campaign and also involve social media tools. If this is indeed the case, you should consider using toll free numbers for social media marketing as a key tool in boosting the success of your campaign.

A customized toll free number fits well into a marketing campaign because it enables you to use the phone number of the company to define the brand. When you think of a vanity toll free number, such as 1-800-FLOWERS, you know specifically what the company offers when that number is dialed. If you dial 1-800-FLOWERS you are able to order flowers for any number of occasions.

Generally speaking, you can use a custom toll free number to do a number of things, including sharing the name of the business, communicating a benefit the business provides, and tracking marketing efforts for a specific campaign. Either way, whether you use toll free numbers for social media marketing or toll free numbers to advance your business in any other way, the toll free number should reinforce the brand’s image and clearly indicate how the company differs from its competitors.

Research has repeatedly pointed to the benefits of incorporating toll free numbers for social media marketing or any kind of marketing into a company’s marketing campaign plan. In addition to offering a way for the company to communicate something specific, incorporating toll free vanity numbers in a marketing campaign can provide additional meaningful benefits, including:

Increased Interest and Calls

A greater number of inbound calls and referrals. Because toll free vanity numbers are expressed with a word or words instead of a string of random numbers, vanity numbers are much easier to remember than a number that is composed of digits exclusively. This means that it is more likely that customers and potential customers will use these types of toll free numbers and also share them with their friends and family. In fact, research indicates that vanity toll free numbers have a rate of recall that is approximately 75 percent higher than the rate of recall for phone numbers that are exclusively numeric. Custom toll free numbers also generate a much higher response rate than regular phone numbers.

A Social Media Credibility Boost

Having toll free numbers for social media marketing or for all of the company’s marketing can improve a business’ credibility and enhance sales efforts. A toll free number shows customers that the business owner and marketing team have taken steps for them to contact the business with more ease and without having to incur any long distance charges for calls. Vanity toll free numbers and regular toll free numbers also make a business seem more established and larger than it actually is, which will help people to have more confidence in the company’s offering of goods and/or services.

Tracking Capabilities

When a company uses toll free numbers for social media marketing or any other marketing efforts, there is ease in tracking key performance indicators. These key performance indicators can help in analyzing the success of an ad campaign overall and allow for a company to adjust their message on an as-needed basis. Having the ability to do this is critical in aiming to generate the best results for a business. Tracking calls linked to a campaign is an affordable and effective way to identify what is working and what is not. The information that is gathered through the tracking of campaign efforts can help a business to improve in every way, whether it is social media marketing, sales campaigns, print ads, or other forms of marketing efforts.

Toll Free Numbers for Social Media
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Superior Customer Service

Depending on whether you use toll free numbers for social media marketing or for other types of advertising, toll free numbers can help a company to offer better customer service by helping the business owner determine why a customer or potential customer is reaching out to the business before anyone even answers the phone. When a company has an idea of why a person is calling, it allows customer service representatives to be better prepared to offer superior customer service.

Global Call Forwarding offers toll free numbers for social media marketing or any other type of marketing that a business would like to include in their marketing efforts. Global Call Forwarding has been offering quality products and superior customer service to each and every client worldwide for over two decades. With a knowledgeable and professional staff, GCF customer service representatives are able to best serve each client to ensure each and every business takes advantage of the most advanced services and features available to support business success.

10 Things You Should Never Say During a Customer Service Call

Working in customer service can be very rewarding, but it can also be very demanding. Most customer service agents must deal with angry customers daily. Customer service representatives must be able to take these unhappy people and turn them into satisfied and loyal customers. During a customer service call, this is no easy feat when a person enters the conversation angry or upset.

When someone is already upset, it is easy for problems to snowball. One wrong word from a customer service agent could mean the loss of a customer forever. However, customer service call agents cannot just placate customers; they do have problems to solve, and some issues cannot be resolved. Customer service agents should be able to walk a fine line between being stern and being friendly. All words that are exchanged over a customer service line carry weight. If you are a customer service agent or are training agents for your business, be careful to avoid these common verbal slip-ups that may ruin a customer’s experience.

  1. I can’t help you with that
    Sometimes a customer service call agent has to follow a specific protocol, and some things will be outside of their jurisdiction. When you realize that you cannot help the person over the phone, it is best to forward them to a more senior person on the team or management. The answer should never be that they can’t be helped.
  2. That’s just our policy
    Telling your customers that you can’t help them is terrible, but not giving them a reason for why you can’t help them is even worse. Saying, “sorry, that’s our policy” is basically you shrugging your shoulders at them and tossing their inquiries away. It isn’t an acceptable answer to an angry or confused customer. This customer is only interested in the problem being resolved. To be that short with a customer gives the impression that your company doesn’t care about its customers.
  3. Unfortunately, no
    No is negative; it does not matter how its phrased. Saying, unfortunately, might make you think that you are mitigating the severity of the word, no, but you are not. Do not lead with a negative when speaking to an angry customer. If you are unable to help them in the way that they want you to, use a different phrase such as, “here’s what we can do for you.”
  4. Interrupting a rant
    If you are a customer service representative, you have probably had to sit through a rant or two in your time. The critical thing to remember when dealing with an angry customer is to let them get it all out. When they come up for air, that is when you can start talking to them. Never interrupt and never tell a customer they are unreasonable, even if they are.
  5. Never Say During a Customer Service Call
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    I don’t know
    A call center agent should always have an answer to a customer’s issues. Answering with I don’t know is unacceptable and should never be uttered by an agent. Customers call companies and speak to representatives because they want to be helped, and an incompetent agent cannot help them.

  6. Give me a second
    A second is a vague measurement of time that should not be given on the phone. If you are looking into something for a customer, it’s better to be honest about how long they will be waiting for you to look things up.
  7. Actually, it’s this
    Don’t even bother correcting a customer on a name or pronunciation or anything. It will be taken as condescending, and you will put the customer off or make them feel embarrassed.
  8. I’m sorry
    Don’t get me wrong, it is important to apologize to upset customers, but it is best to avoid it if you don’t mean it. It won’t carry the same significance if you actually do not care and are just repeating this overused phrase.
  9. I have to put you on hold
    A customer does not want to be placed on hold, and this should be avoided at all costs. However, sometimes it is unavoidable, and in those cases, you must ask the customer if it is okay that you put them on hold and be sure to explain your reasons for doing so.
  10. I don’t see your account information here
    Never announce this to the person that you are helping on the other line. More than likely you are missing their name in the database or you input the wrong information. Humans make errors, and you should never assume that the customer called you by mistake. It certainly happens, but until you’ve exhausted every possible way to find their information, they do not need to hear this phrase uttered.

5 Ways to Increase Your Sales with a Business Phone Number

Communication is critical in all relationships across the board; not only does that include your mom, your coworker, and your spouse; it also includes your customers. How is your business communicating with your customers? Are you offering your customers multiple ways to get in contact with you? Do you think that an email address is sufficient? Learn five different ways to increase your sales with a business phone number.

Businesses have been changing a lot in recent years in order to keep up with the ever-evolving digital landscape. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for a business phone number. Nothing will ever replace speaking one-on-one with another human being who knows your business, in and out. If your company does not have its own phone number, then you may be missing out.

  1. Uphold your brand’s image
    When customers stumble upon your website, before purchasing they will often look to see if there is a contact number on the site. This ensures that if there is a problem with the order or product, they will be able to get in contact with someone who can solve their issue. Email addresses are okay, but having a phone number is much better because it lets your customers know that they can get in contact with you at any time of the day that may be convenient for them. Think of your friends; the ones that are the easiest to get a hold of are the ones that you are going to spend the most time with. As you would build a relationship with a friend, you can also create a relationship with your customers.
  2. Use your business number as a marketing tool
    A business phone number can not only be used as a tool to communicate and make a sales call, but you can also use it to track your marketing efforts. Wherever you advertise your business phone number, whether it is on your website or business cards, you can track where the phone calls are coming from. If you decide to use more than one number or change the extensions, you can place different numbers across each marketing effort. For example, if you were to create a billboard with one of your business numbers, you could track all the phone traffic from that particular number and compare it to the business phone number that is advertised on a flyer.
  3. 5 Ways to Increase Your Sales with a Business Phone Number
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    Use it to solve complex problems
    The best way to solve a customer’s problem is in person or over the phone. It is easy when you have this voice-to-voice interaction because a customer can explain their problem in detail. They also will not have to endure long wait times during a chat space or over email. One phone call can solve many issues in a short period of time.

  4. Build a relationship
    Outbound calls aren’t the easiest way to make a sale, but it is still possible to do so today. When you make a sales call to a customer, you are able to listen to them directly. You hear what they have to say, how they say it, and you clearly can decipher what they want and what they need from your business. When you can gauge your customers on this personal level, you are able to create a better product to suit your customers’ needs. You will need to invest your time into making these outbound calls and forging these relationships, but it will be worth it to create a better product and see it sold to your original customers and the customers you gain through word of mouth.
  5. Easy to remember
    When choosing a business phone number, it is better to choose something easy to remember. A phone number that sticks in the mind of your customers will ensure that you have a steady stream of calls from customers. You can make your phone number easier to remember by purchasing a toll free number or a vanity number, or if you already have a number, think about adding a jingle to the number in commercials and web ads. Adding a business phone number will help you increase your sales.

Effective Problem Solving to Build Customer Confidence

Having your own business is a competitive environment. One wrong move and you could be losing customers to your competition. That’s why it is essential that your business focuses on problem solving to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. But what happens when your company makes a mistake, such as not allowing a customer to return a damaged product or putting your customer on hold for a lengthy amount of time? Your customers may take that very personally.

Building Confidence while Problem Solving for Customer Satisfaction

Your business should be focused on keeping the customers’ confidence because once you lose the confidence of a customer, you can lose everything that you’ve worked for. According to marketwatch.com, Comcast, Wells Fargo, American Airlines are the companies with the worst reputations. How did they get placed on that list? The reasons range from poor customer service, cutting employees’ salaries, cutting jobs, and in the case of BP, it is still reeling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, which tarnished their reputation beyond repair. If you have found that your business is suffering from poor customer service reviews, public relations, or consistency, you could be in danger of losing your customers. When you lose your customer’s confidence, it can cost you everything. If you think you may be at risk of losing customers, you need to inject trust back into the relationship.

Loyal customers can make or break a business because returning customers account for much of your profits. Additionally, they are great for word-of-mouth marketing. Losing the trust of a customer who pays money for your product or service means that you could permanently damage the reputation of your company. If you’ve made a single mistake or just suffered a miscommunication, there may be a way to win your customers’ trust back. If you don’t want to see the end of your business, here are some key tactics to execute to regain that trust.

Problem Solving
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1. Effective problem solving techniques

To begin problem solving, you must find out where the leak is. Once you have figured out the source of your issues, you can take steps to rectify the problems. Sometimes you will get customers that are open about the issues that they have and will voice their opinions directly to you. However, many customers will simply switch to your competitor without saying a thing. You can find out feedback from these customers by asking customers to fill out surveys, following up with your customers after a purchase, scanning Yelp for reviews, and reaching out to once-regular customers who haven’t purchased in a while.

2. Take responsibility

Once you’ve found out where you’ve gone wrong with a customer, it’s time to own up to your mistake. Never get defensive with a customer or blame the issue on something else. Apologize so you and the customer can move on. Think about it, if you were the unsatisfied customer, would you want to the company you’re giving your money to, to get defensive when you contact them with a problem? Absolutely not. Apologizing is always the best solution.

3. Remedy the situation

While an apology is the first step to begin to remedy a situation, the next task is to rebuild the trust. Be sure that you do this by ensuring the problem never happens again. There might be a flaw in one aspect of your business, and if you do not fix this issue, you may have future problems with other customers. Retain feedback while you source out the issues and make the appropriate changes, that way you know that your business is on the right track.

4. Offer the customer something for their troubles

Problem solving issues, so it never happens again may help you to retain other customers, but if the problem was very bad, then you may have to do more to regain the customer’s confidence. Provide the customer a gift along with your apologies such as a discount or a free sample. This little act of giving shows to your customers that your business will go above and beyond for their customers’ happiness.

Your Digital Footprint: What You Should Know About Your Online Presence

Your digital footprint, or online presence, stick to you like glue and will be with you for your lifetime. You need to make sure that your online reputation is upstanding, particularly if you own a company so that your brand is not affected.

The Importance of Online Presence for your Business

Your digital footprint is comprised of anything you put online, and anything put online about you by others. That includes business information, photos, comments, social media posts, customer reviews, and complaints. It also includes all your websites, and any articles or blogs you have written and posted online. Once it’s accessible on the internet, it is potentially there forever, which is a very good reason to stay on top of it.

Who is looking at Your Digital Footprint?

Anyone who is looking for information about you can access your online presence. It will usually carry information about your location, political views, demographics, affiliations, and interests. Your digital footprint is used by headhunters and prospective employers, recruiters, marketers, businesses, and if you’re a business owner, your customers. That gives you plenty of reasons why you need to maintain a good online reputation.

How to Make the Most of your Digital Footprint

Here are some tips to help you manage your digital footprint and keep control of your online reputation.
Google yourself: Yes, it sounds self-indulgent, but it’s the place to start if you want to find out what’s out there for people to see.

Get alerts: You can set up a Google alert for any keyword phrase, so why not create one for your name. This will tell you when a post crops up with your name in it.

Stay private: Don’t post your personal information such as your phone numbers, personal address, bank account details or credit card numbers. If you own a business, consider getting a virtual phone number for your company, so you don’t have to give out your personal number.

Lock up your login: Don’t share your login and password details with anyone.

Use your discretion: Always stop for a moment and think before you post. Don’t post if you are angry; your feelings will pass, but your post will be permanent.

Avoid pictures: Unless they are promotional pictures for your business, avoid them altogether. Personal pictures can be pulled up and used to your disadvantage when you least expect it.

Digital Footprint Online Presence
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100185868144

Benefits of a Digital Footprint

It’s not all bad; your digital footprint can be beneficial. In today’s competitive job market, a healthy online presence can be a big asset for your career. These days, most employers conduct online searches to supplement resumes and cover letters. The reason for this is that a search can reveal much information about prospective hires’ interests and involvements, as well as how good they are at marketing themselves.

If you own your own company, your digital footprint will reflect the strength of your business. Make sure you address all customer comments, even negative ones. If you are getting negative comments or reviews online, make sure that you address them straight away in a positive way. Always apologize and correct the issue, so that other customers will see that you care about them.

Keeping Your Digital Footprint Strong

Now that you see the advantages of a strong digital footprint, here are some ways to maintain a good online reputation.

Be deliberate and plan for the long-term: Build yourself a positive digital footprint from the beginning. It’s much easier to start out right than to have to try and clean up your image later. This might be something you also want to talk to your children about if they are old enough to use social media.

Don’t over-share: Of course, social media is all about sharing, but some things are best kept out of the public eye. Check your social media privacy settings before you start posting. Remember, if you are having an issue with someone, sort it out offline.

Say no to tagging: Even if you are keeping your online reputation pristine, it doesn’t mean that your friends are. If you’re getting tagged in videos or photos, it might give the wrong impression. Go to your social media settings and turn off tagging, it may save your reputation.

Positive can go public: If you have already established a great digital footprint, then you should make the most of it and share your successes and accomplishments. These are the posts that you want to be making public both on your professional profiles and your social media channels.

Be articulate: Always speak clearly and with respect when you post online; whether it’s your own social media channel or someone else’s. Let loose your talents and creativity and make sure to check your posts for clarity and correctness before you put them online.

Make the most of your digital footprint and always remember: what goes on social media, stays on social media.

Your Toll Free Number is BORING – Here’s How to Fix It

It’s not a secret that it’s much easier for people to remember vanity numbers over the average phone number or toll free number. Vanity numbers are making a comeback in popularity for large and small businesses alike. Any business can benefit from using a vanity number, so here is a deeper look at what they are and what they offer. If your toll free number is boring and you are ready for an upgrade, read on!

If your toll free number is boring – Use a vanity number!

Vanity numbers work exactly like toll free numbers, only you can customize the number to reflect your business or products. For example, 1-800-Flowers lets you know exactly what you’re getting when you dial them.

Vanity numbers have all of the benefits of a toll free number, plus they are easy for people to remember. The more people who know your number by heart, the more often you will receive calls, and the more sales you can make. Vanity numbers are still no cost to the customer, and they can be used for marketing purposes. Vanity numbers can be placed on billboards, and the drivers whizzing by can read your ad and remember your number on their commute to work. You should also be advertising your number on your website and business cards. Customers and clients prefer the companies they do business with to have a phone number. This is because they know that they can reach your company at any time and be greeted and helped.

Why are words easier to memorize?

According to cognitive neuroscientists, when a customer wants to remember a telephone number they heard or saw, they will use their “working memory,” which is the “voice” inside of your head. The one you hear when repeating something to yourself silently, so you do not forget. However, repeating something over and over to yourself does not guarantee that you will remember it. While your brain works to try to memorize a number, anything can come along to distract you. Whether it is a crying baby, barking dog, or a car horn honk, things are always around to distract you from what you want to be doing. This is why we will forget a sequence of numbers no matter how hard we try to remember them. The best way to remember a telephone number is to link the number to something meaningful or memorable. This puts the number into our long term memories, instead of the short term, which is quickly forgotten. For example, if you associate a phone number with a word, then that word will bring up a picture in your head, which is precisely how vanity numbers work.

Oddly enough, some sequences of numbers are easier to remember for humans than other number sequences. Many American citizens have an easier time remembering a number using the series 1776, as that is the year that America gained independence from Great Britain. A citizen that is not from the US will not have that ability, unless they studied American history or it is important to them for another reason, like a date of birth. If your toll free number is boring, it won’t stick as much than a number with a more familiar number sequence.

Now that you understand how vanity numbers can work for your business, you can begin your research into choosing the right one for your business. So how do you go about finding the number that you want? It can be tricky, because some of the best number and word associations are already claimed, such as 1-800-CONTACTS. Nonetheless, you can still find a vanity number that will get the job done for you. The first step is to brainstorm a list of numbers and words that would work for your business, and then you can search for these numbers. Some of them may already be taken, but Global Call Forwarding will work with you to find you the best number. One way Global Call Forwarding looks out for their customers is that they offer other toll free prefixes. So if you won’t budge on a word, then you can make an exception from 1-800 to other alternatives such as 1-855 or 1-866. The popularity of alternate toll free prefixes is rising, and more people are becoming aware that 1-800 isn’t the only toll free option. All you need to do is use a little bit of creativity, and you will be on the fast-track to success.