How Safe Is Your Personal Information on Social Media?

Have you ever been approached on the street by some random stranger who knew your name along with some other personal information about you?

Stalker, right? If you geo-target your Twitter Tweets, Instagram pics, or public Facebook posts, that could very well happen to you.

Comedian Jack Vale decided to search through Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms for posts tagged near his location. He stalked the posters’ feeds, called them out in the street, and started conversations around the information that he had learned about them on social media.

Check out the video:

Cnet also reported that whenever you click a Facebook ‘like’ button, your preference is not just shared with your friends and followers, but data about your interests is sent back to Facebook’s servers – ready to be sold to third party advertisers. What’s more, personal data is exchanged when you use apps via Facebook. It has even been reported that signing up for these apps will give those companies who created the apps access to your personal data – even details you specifically told Facebook to keep a secret.

Rule of Thumb: Don’t share any private, confidential information on your social media channels. The less people know about your whereabouts and likings, the better.


80% of Companies Believe They Provide Good Customer Service

A recent study found that 80% of companies believe that they provide great customer service….unfortunately, only 8% of their customers believed that they actually provided a superior service.

Is your business one of the few that are actually living up to their promises? If so, then it’s very likely that you’re using social media and a customer relationship management tool to enhance your customer service offerings.

In case you’re not 100% sure, this blog post offers you tips on how you can keep your “superior” customer services top notch.


customer service


1. Be Personable & Social

The moment that consumers have a negative experience with a business, one of the first things they do is make a complaint on Yelp or Google+. If they feel they’ve been cheated, they will want the whole world to know how bad they thought your business was. When this happens, you should already have staff in place that will find these people and try to resolve their problems, professionally. When you do this, you are letting other customers and prospects witness how your business actually takes care of its customers and complaints.


2. Exceed Expectations

Over 55% of consumers don’t expect their complaints or inquiries to be responded to within an hour. What happens if you exceed their expectations? What if you had a social media manager or CRM software that could help you pinpoint the issue and resolve it in 30 minutes or less? It would significantly improve your customer service and exceed your customers’ expectations.


3. Make things convenient

Now a day, customers expect almost real-time complaint resolution and want to be able to communicate with organizations through a wide variety of channels (email, phone, SMS, mail, Web, social media). If a customer complaints to you on Facebook, don’t respond through email or a phone call. Respond on the platform so that the customer used, so all others viewing the complaint will see how you resolved it. Once the complaint has been addressed, offer the customers other ways to get a reach of you if they have any other concerns or questions.


4. Keep a record!

Be sure to record each and every complaint you receive in your CRM system, no matter how small or innocent it may seem. This will give insight into what processes are consistently going wrong in your business. CRM software can help keep things from slipping through the cracks, but in order for it to be effective, the information needs to be collected and analyzed.


4 Secrets to a Stellar Business Presentation

One of the best ways to succeed at owning a business is to acquire top-notch presentation skills.  Use these tips to get your next stellar presentation well underway.

1. Creatively Transfer Enthusiasm

It goes without saying, the boring presentations are often the ones that convey the least enthusiasm. Presenting a monotone, or overly wordy Power Point can leave an audience feeling their valuable time has been wasted. If you’re thrilled about your business strategy or product, find creative ways to transfer that enthusiasm to your audience, so that they can be, too.

2. Use Impact Stories and Anecdotes

Of course, this doesn’t mean spewing lengthy historical run-downs or sharing company quips that really only make sense to employees and co-workers. What it does mean is submitting relevant background that makes powerful impact and succeeds at bringing presentation points home.  These will serve to illustrate your position in a practical and down-to-earth way.

3. Bring in Meaningful Props or Statistics

That perfect photo or even a product prototype never hurts to spruce up an otherwise mediocre business presentation. Props give presenters a chance to be creative and to give their presentation personality. They also help visual learners in the audience identify quickly with the subject matter. Plus, they lend a degree of variance to what the audience eye beholds, keeping things interesting and on-point.

4. Use Natural Delivery Techniques

Relaxed body language and simple diction convey a sense of everyday charm to audiences – even in business.  The corporate world is full of formal stiffness and robotic sound-bites. Make a difference and stand out with a delivery style that’s both natural and professional. By rehearsing several times before the presentation, this style can easily be mastered in no time.



What Are the Long Term Benefits of a CRM?

Since the latter part of the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a buzz term especially among business practitioners and enterpreneurs. Companies, both big and small, have invested or are hoping to invest huge amounts to implement CRM strategies, tools and infrastructure in order to win the battle in the increasingly competitive economy. However, many executives are struggling to determine how their organization will balance the business value of CRM against its costs to determine CRM return on investment.

Many businesses in search of solutions and opportunities for increased sales and productivity may also be wondering, what are the long term effects of CRM.  CRM software can have a number of positive long-term effects worth exploring. In the short term, business relationships improve as a result of better behind- the-scenes organization and progress tracking, but even later down the line, CRM can prove to be a great return on initial investment.

For starters, companies can expect to see long-term improvement in sales. Due to the increase in valuable productivity time, sales teams spend less time manually compiling business relationship data and integrating complex information with other lines of communication. This means more freedom and flexibility for compiling evaluative reports such as sales forecasts and tracking progress over time – key ways to get ahead in today’s competitive markets.

Lasting cost-savings is also one of the long-term effects of CRM software.  Of course this benefit depends on making the very best selection possible when it comes to choosing the right solution for your company. If you decide to to get a hosted package be prepared to pay a set monthly cost for as long as you are own the software. On the other hand purchasing an on-premise package can save a company a lot of money in the long term since there is only a one-time cost. Be careful though some companies force you to pay yearly maintenance packages or charge you for upgrades so be sure to do your homework before making a choice.

Effective CRM software provides users with the tools to conveniently oversee business relationships from start to sale and even continuing on to regular follow-up. Without CRM, the task of tracking customers and their expectations can become enormously difficult.  With the right CRM software in place, companies can ensure clients and customers stay with them even beyond the critical first sale for lasting success even in the long-term.


How to Respond to Complaints with Contact Management System

Just last week, I was dealing with a service outage in my area. The internet as well as the phone lines and television services were not working. I called my service provider for assistance and they told me that they wouldn’t be able to fix the issue until a week later. I wanted to cancel because my alarm system was not working and causing me to have security concerns.

In this midst of finding out information about cancellation, the customer service representative’s line got disconnected. I wasn’t quite sure what to do because I had a contract with the service provider and wanted to weigh my options. Instead of calling me back, the CSR immediately assumed that cancellation was the only way out for me and cancelled my services. When I tried calling back, the tech department told me the billing department was closed. The next day I spent 6 hours, with long wait holds, on the phone trying to get an answer out of them. Upon the 6 hour mark, I decided to cancel because I was tired of being transferred from billing to technical from technical to billing and from billing to management.

Two hours after cancellation, I get a call from the retention department. They were sad to see me go after only 7 months with them. I was shocked! I was a customer of theirs for 7 months in my current location. In my previous residence, I was their customer since 2002. The bottom line was they would not tear up a contract for interruptions, large or small. Irregardless of the security concerns it was causing.

After careful consideration, I called and emailed the level 3 manager I previously spoke with about continuing our discussion about customer retention. I was promised a call back within 24 hours. 1 week later, I still have not received a call from that manager. What I did receive was an email blast from the VP of Loyalty telling me that he is sorry to see me go and recommended that I call their retention department to get the best deals.

If the company had invested in a proper contact management system, they would have known that I was interested in staying on and already tried to email and call the level 3 manager who clearly was avoiding my calls and emails. It is also safe to say that if they had a comprehensive contact management software they would have known that I was their client since 2002 and not for 7 months.

I am the first to admit that sales and customers are two of the most sensitive topics in the world of business. First impressions are very important and you don’t want to start off your relationship with prospects and customers on the wrong foot. Here are some tips you can follow when responding to a complaint or negative review.


customer service - contact management system


Stay Calm

When you receive a complaint about your business, your automatic reaction will be to respond immediately, defending yourself and trying to make things right. The problem with this is your emotional response will probably not sound too professional. Stick to a rule of waiting a couple hours before responding. This will give you time to calm and allow you to think straight.


Acknowledge their feedback

It may seem wrong at first to thank someone for complaining about your business, but just like in real life, courtesy can go a long way in putting out the fire. Start off your response by thanking the commenter for their constructive feedback and immediately follow that with an apology that they were unhappy. Encourage the commenter to contact you in person so that you can immediately rectify the situation.


Be honest

If there’s a true, honest explanation for why your customer had a bad experience, be open about it. Perhaps it was all just a big misunderstanding. Lay your cards on the table. Just keep it brief. If there isn’t an explanation, don’t be tempted to make up an excuse. Just own the fact that what happened did happen and it’s time to move past it.


Take action

Propose a solution to the complainant, if possible, that will help correct the problem at hand. Make sure that they understand their business is very important to you. Offer a discount on future services. But don’t get too carried away. Sometimes there’s no pleasing for an upset customer. Going back and forth may not do you any good.


Invest in Contact Management System!

Most often, customers aren’t happy with the services they receive because they feel that the service provider does not understand their needs and does not fit their goals. It’s a learning curve for some organization and business leaders  who should be looking at complaints as something positive and something that they could utilize to improve the organization in the future. A good place to start is to purchase a comprehensive contact management system, such as InfoFlo.

A comprehensive contact management software allows you to input as many important details about a customer or prospect as possible. Information can include invoices sent to customers, recent transactions, contracts signed, important milestones, birthdays of C-Level executives etc. You can even set yourself reminders in the calendar to ensure you don’t forget to follow up with them and see how they’re doing. Another purpose of setting up reminders is so that you can send occasional email blasts to those customers/prospects to show your appreciation for their business.


Your feedback about our services and our products is very important to us. We incorporate your comments into R&D and to delivering solutions that align with your requirements. Download your free trial today. 


The Differences Between Outlook & CRM Software

What is CRM?

The easiest way to define CRM is to call it customer relationship software. It describes a wide variety of software programs, both on and off the web, that promote better customer contact via a complete, well- organized data system. It can greatly enhance any organization’s administration since it links contact information with a large number of data points, including emails, relevant documents, purchase orders and more.

What are the differences between CRM and Outlook?

At first glance it may seem as though there are very few differences between CRM software and Outlook. Both are email clients that also have unique ways of storing client contact information. However, the difference become most apparent when one considers all that CRM software enables users to do above and beyond mere contact and email management.

CRM Goes Beyond Outlook

Even a basic contact management system is able to increase the capabilities of most businesses, and with additional features called add-ons, many software companies take the level of sophistication even further. For instance, the project management add-on allows users to coordinate project organization strategies with contact information, creating numerous ways to cross-connect information for perfect project completion.

What About Companies Reluctant to Abandon Outlook?

Outlook is perhaps the most popular email client around and has a great reputation as a solid contact manager, but companies should keep in mind that there are numerous Outlook alternatives that are highly capable of doing the job. For those who are reluctant to part with their tried and true Outlook configurations, but would still like to partake of the versatility a more advanced CRM system has to offer, it’s important to note that most contact management software s are compatible with Outlook and fairly easy to integrate.

Get the Best of Both Worlds

One convenient way to get around the fact that, as an Outlook reliant business, there’s plenty of progress your company could be missing out on, is to consider investing in an Outlook compatible CRM system.

The CarmelVision Infoflo Outlook Alternative & Contact Management System, for instance, offers all the flexibility of a genuine CRM system, and it’s easily integrated with Outlook. With the INfoflo system, all Outlook data can be imported hassle-free. This means you never even have to think about starting over from scratch.  Let Infoflo, with its affordable and customizable contact management software, do all the work for you. Find out more here.



How To Create PDF Fill-In Forms

Since its arrival in the early 1990s, the Portable Document Format Standard, also known as PDF, has become an essential part of the information technology world. It is widely used today by lawyers, HR managers, publishers, and other professionals and is  the digital format of choice for any important document.


The aim of PDF standard is to make it easy for people to share their documents, irregardless of the operating systems and devices that they are using. Unlike Word Processing files, PDF documents cannot be changed and can be password protected to ensure that only authorized eyes read them. The ubiquity of free PDFD readers, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, means that everyone with a computer or mobile device has easy access to them.


Although there are advantages to PDF, there are also some limitations that are worth noting. Particularly, when the user needs to edit or make changes to the document they saved in PDF format. Editing can only be done in a crude fashion, meaning that you will have to scribble on a printed page with a red pen or use a highlighter. There are also custom software that can help you make changes to the document, but many of them come at a cost.


The best way to create and edit PDF documents is to type them out in Microsoft Word or Open Document Format. Once done, save it as .doc. Then, make a carbon copy of the file in PDF format and send that to your recipients.


If you would like the recipient to fill out the form in PDF, here are the steps to creating an Acrobat PDF Fill-In Form:

  1. Install Adobe Acrobat from the Install Software page, and restart your computer.
  2. Then, create the PDF document.
    1. Open the document in the word processing program (Word, Wordperfect, etc) it was created in.
    2. Choose Print from the File menu.
    3. In the Printer Name drop-down menu, choose Acrobat PDFwriter
    4. Choose the file name to save the document to (must end in .pdf)
    5. Close the word processor.
  3. Go into Adobe Acrobat and open the pdf document you created.
    1. Click on the Forms tool in the left hand menu in Acrobat:
    2. Use the tool to draw a fill in field where you want the user to enter information; a field properties window will come up:
    3. Enter a unique name for the form field and choose a font and font size for the text. (If you want to make this a checkbox or other field type, you can pull down the field type from the menu in the top right.)
    4. For multiline text entry boxes, click on the Options tab and check the ‘Multi-line’ box:
    5. Click OK to have the field saved.
    6. Repeat for each fill-in section of the form.
    7. Save the file.

With the InfoFlo CRM Software’s Document Archiving feature, you can now instantly drag and drop any document, including PDF files, and link them to a contact, company, category or shared project entity. They will be automatically archived – making files quickly and easily retrievable for later use.