Customer Service: 3 Ways to Go the Extra Mile


Having the best customer service means providing more than just what the customer expects. It is valuable because it builds a customer relationship that is strong enough to withstand a mistake here and there. No customer is ever going to leave a place they know works extra hard to treat them right. But how exactly do you go that extra mile? Here are 3 ways your business can do so.

1. Use artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is extremely beneficial in customer service departments. It can communicate with customers for you when they have simple questions leaving customer service representatives to working solely with the clients who need them the most. A computer can also benefit your customer service department by allowing artificial intelligence to listen to conversations and generate recommendations for what to say next that the customer will most likely want to hear. Overall, this is going to create a much better atmosphere and will give customers more than the basic customer service expectations.

2. Train to meet customer needs

Most businesses train employees to simply say, what do you need and then try to accommodate. However, a person who is giving 110% customer service to customers will ask their needs and meet basic requirements, but they will also meet needs a customer might not ask about. For example, if a fast food employee sees a customer drop their food on the ground, jumping to clean it up and making them a new meal goes above and beyond the basic expectations. Another example would be a hotel employee who goes to pick up a guest’s luggage they forgot at home, so they don’t have to stress about having no clothes during their stay. It’s not something that is expected, but extra things that show you really care about them will gain you a customer for life.

3. Inspire employees

One of the best ways to get your employees motivated and working harder to give the best customer service experience is by inspiring them. Showcase an example of superb customer service once a week or have people recognized in training meetings. Just like how smiling at someone can cause a chain reaction of smiles, a good act of customer service can inspire employees to want to go above and beyond. You don’t have to necessarily even showcase amazing acts of customer service in your own company, so as to avoid it feeling like a sort of reward system. Even talking about things other people have done in other businesses should be enough to motivate employees to step up and do more for your valuable customers.

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2018 Marketing Predictions Worth Following

As the new year comes, so do all the predictions of what is to follow. This year, especially, there are a lot of predictions of what will come in the marketing world. Marketing is a huge part of any business, and even just to keep up with all the competitors, it is important to stay ahead. But what marketing predictions are worth taking a closer look? Here is a list of what 2018 has to offer.

Automation through business

The improvements to artificial intelligence in the last few years have grown dramatically to the point where most businesses have or should have some sort of artificial intelligence company they are working with to use the technology. It is no longer some distant future we all hoped we’d see but a reality. And in that reality, we are seeing amazing ways automation is working for businesses and marketing departments. AI Chatbot can answer questions and communicate with people through text, social media conversations, and chat. A business can have automation basically run their social media accounts and give recommendations on what content their audience most wants to see. Decision making is much easier with the help of machine learning recommendations. In 2018, businesses will make AI more important than ever.

Marketing with a purpose

While being political has been a bit taboo in the past, it is expected that many companies will begin to make more political stances. This is largely due to the Millennials and Generation Z who are more interested in purchasing from a business they believe has a purpose than just anyone. They want to do what is good, which means, in part, buying from a company they believe is doing good.

If you choose to get political, however, expect that there will be many social media battles fought over your stances on social media. It is better to simply post a stance and let it be without engaging one side or another too much, but be prepared for the high emotions that come with political opinions.

Creating a brand identity

More brands will start focusing on creating and sustaining a brand identity in 2018. While click bait may get a customer to your page for a moment, it ultimately will not win them over in the long run. It is important to start focusing on creating a brand identity that customers can associate your business with and that will develop more trust in their company.

Many businesses are using influencers to help create that identity and build trust with customers. It isn’t just a one time ad but a long-term relationship that will really save the day. While brand loyalty died out a bit with Millennials, it seems to be a major focus again and will continue to build up brands in the new year.

A focus on local

In 2018, you’ll see more businesses focusing their marketing efforts on local communities. People are interested in shopping with companies who care and companies who build up the community instead of large corporations who seem too big to care about the little guy. While online marketing is still important, there will be a shift in the new year to to focusing on local marketing again, something that has disappeared somewhat in the last few years as the Internet and Smartphones have thrived.

A return to traditional marketing

A lot of companies have abandoned mailers, billboards, and TV ads in the past few years for online marketing. And while using the internet to reach out to customers is still extremely important, we will see a shift back to more traditional marketing tactics in 2018 in order to try and balance a long-term relationship and short-term marketing goals again.

Online is still essential

No matter what your business, an online presence is essential. Many people aren’t even willing to visit or try a new business unless they can look them up and do research on the company first. In 2018, businesses will put a higher emphasis on online engagement but especially in finding ways to communicate with them through online platforms.

The biggest focus of marketing in 2018 will be on technology and online marketing, but there will be a newfound focus on local and traditional marketing methods that have been overlooked in the last few years.

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Using AI in 2018: What to Know

Artificial Intelligence is one of the hottest new trends right now because it can be used on a personal level and a business level very effectively. People have been very satisfied with their personal assistants, and companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been working hard to ensure they are getting better and better every day. But how are businesses using AI in 2018? Here is what you need to know.

Get your employees trained

The fact of the matter is, employees hate when things change. Most people like to get in a groove and keep doing the same thing every day because they know they are doing it right and they feel confident in the work they are doing. But when things change, people get nervous they aren’t doing it right or they struggle to learn the new technology. Keep this from being a problem in your office by training your employees on how artificial intelligence works and how it can enhance their jobs. If your employees are ready for it, it won’t be such a shock when an artificial company suddenly shows up to get the technology installed.

AI will become default customer service

What’s amazing about artificial intelligence is its ability to use natural human speech patterns and to really come off as being the same as a regular person. This is the main reason why customers don’t even realize they’ve already been interacting with artificial intelligence in many ways when they contact a business. In 2018, it is expected that artificial intelligence will become a default for how people communicate with businesses making it so live agents are able to focus on real problem solving instead of spending so much time answering repetitive questions.

Artificial intelligence use with machine learning

Machine learning is the part that makes artificial intelligence work so well because it is the part of the computer that takes in and analyzes data in real time in order to kick out a response. It is extremely powerful and will be used in 2018 for more than just answering simple questions. This type of technology can be used throughout your company to give recommendations on basic decision making. This is especially useful in a marketing department when machine learning can analyze the behaviors of your audience and tell your company the best ways to interact with your audience. It is something people have been doing for years, but it is more efficient and faster because the machine can look at more data at once and give more accurate recommendations.

Engagement on social media

Artificial intelligence is also extremely helpful with engaging with customers on social media. In 2018, you can expect more businesses to start using t his to ensure the most efficient engagement possible. It can help you determine exactly what to post on social media to drive customer engagement, and it can even offer recommendations on responses to customers who have posted on your social media accounts.

Much more personalization

If there’s one way in which we’ve already seen a progression in marketing and customer service, it is through personalization with customers. Artificial intelligence, however, makes that easier than ever. Personalizing content to the individual can be done through the analysis and breakdown that AI does. Customers will see a huge increase in the amount of personalization from businesses in the coming year as companies become more familiar with the use of artificial intelligence.

The key is that customers can expect to see AI being used more commonly by businesses in 2018 in new, innovative ways. With how quickly the technology advances, it wouldn’t be surprising to see businesses completely changing the way they run in a few short years due to the improvements from AI.

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Top 2018 Marketing Trends


It’s nearly the end of the year, which means it is time to start strategizing for the new year. What will be your marketing techniques, and how will you compete with the competition? To get you started in the right direction, here are the top 10 2018 marketing trends.

1. Chats using more AI technology

Whether communicating through texting or online chats, expect more businesses to start incorporating more AI technology. Artificial intelligence technology has progressed significantly in the last couple of years and is continuing to improve at an amazing rate. More companies are starting using AI in communications with customers. An artificial intelligence startup can get your business set up.

2. More accurate recommendations

Machine learning can learn the behaviors of customers pretty quickly. It is the reason why advertisements have become so personalized over the years. Your company can use this technology to make valuable recommendations to customers on what they should buy and how it is applicable to their current situation. More companies will be using this type of technology in the new year.

3. Increase in augmented reality

Augmented reality is one of the hottest new things in the market right now. Companies have already been working to create more games available for augmented reality, especially since the new iPhone features have been released, but we can expect to see augmented reality ads hitting the market pretty hard in 2018.

4. The beginning of self-driving car ads

If cars are driving themselves, and customers no longer need to focus on the road, there’s more opportunity for marketing. More in-car advertising will be expected in the new year for self driving cars as they become more popular.

5. More Voice-content search optimization

More and more people are using their voice to search things through Siri, Google, Alexa, and other personal assistants. As these become the norm in every major households, you can expect more searches to start happening through voice commands instead of being typed into the box. 2018 will be the year marketers start really focusing in on optimizing for those voice searches.

6. Social media focus on Instagram

In 2018, we’ll see more of a business focus on Instagram instead of Facebook. Facebook has been the biggest advertising social media platform for years, but it is about to change. Instagram is perfect for businesses because it is the best and easiest way to create a personal relationship with customers. Plus, brands are seeing more engagement from customers on Instagram than any other platform right now, making it extremely valuable.

7. Time to start going live

When going live on social media first became a thing, customers weren’t entirely on board right away just yet. However, it has become not only a popular method of getting news to customers in real time; it is now expected by many customers. Companies who aren’t going live are falling behind, meaning the new year will be the year of live social media posts.

8. No more Twitter

While a lot of people still have and use their Twitter accounts, it hasn’t shown growth in quite some time. Most businesses and customers have started shying away from Twitter and focusing their efforts on other social media platforms such as Instagram and SnapChat. In 2018, you can expect Twitter to die completely.

9. Increased use of influencer marketing

The success rate with using influencer marketing has been phenomenal, as 95 percent of marketers who use it say it is beneficial. You can expect the use of influencers to increase next year, so it is important to figure out what to look for in an influencer and how to market your product with them.

10. Death of virtual reality marketing

As virtual reality became a hot thing among customers, businesses started to think it would become a new way to focus marketing. Unfortunately, creating the ads was extremely difficult, as it was hard to create a high-quality ad in virtual reality and it was expensive. In 2018, the virtual reality marketing sector will likely die, especially since many customers aren’t even using VR on a regular basis.

There will be a lot of changes in marketing in 2018, but if your company can keep up, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to stay ahead of the competition.

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4 Ways Machines Improve Customer Service

Every business spends time contemplating how they can improve customer service. It is an essential part of selling your product. This is especially true in a world where one upset customer can spend 15 minutes on their social media account thrashing your company, meaning you’ll lose their business as well as their friends and anyone else who may end up seeing the post. And while working with a person is still necessary in many situations when someone seeks out customer service, there have been extremely positive results from changing to a machine. With machine learning and artificial intelligence startups taking charge, machines are becoming quicker and more efficient for communication with customers. Here are 4 ways a machine can improve customer service at your company.

1. Automate repetitive tasks

The first way a machine can improve your customer service experience is by automating tasks that are necessary but don’t need an actual human to do them. For example, banks have machines that count out the money for them, so they don’t have to waste time doing that, and many pharmacies are beginning to install machines that dispense the most common prescriptions they have quickly and easily to customers. These types of machines will help improve the customer experience by decreasing the amount of time an interaction takes and by allowing the actual employees to focus more on the customer’s individual needs instead of wasting time counting pills or money.

2. Customers communicate on their own time

With the right artificial intelligence in place, you can allow customers to contact your business at any time and through any means while still getting an immediate response. An artificial intelligence platform would allow a computer to receive questions from a customer, recognize what the person is asking, and then formulate a response either asking for clarification or just answering the customer question. And while there are times a person may still prefer to speak to a representative directly, having an offline system is still extremely valuable to letting customers reach out on their own time and schedule.

3. Reduce wait times

One common complaint that customer service departments deal with on a regular basis is about the wait times. Either they had to wait to long to teach a customer service agent or it took too long for that agent to get an answer. As a business, reducing wait times often just means increasing the number of support positions, but that isn’t always realistic for a specific budget and doesn’t actually reduce the time a customer must wait in many cases. Machines, however, can help drastically improve the amount of time a customer has to wait for help. For example, T-Mobile has a service where a customer can put their name on a list to get called back later instead of having to wait on the phone for the next representative. The machine can also communicate with more customers to resolve problems using AI making it easier for real agents to focus on bigger issues that need more human and complex resolutions.

4. Increase accuracy

Another way machines are helping with customer service issues is that they are creating more accuracy. Human error is one of the biggest reasons customer service agents receive calls and texts from customers with questions about their experience with your company. However, if things are done correctly in the first place, there’s less likely to be an error. For example, a machine will copy the address a customer gives and post it directly onto a shipping label to ensure an accurate shipment. However, a human copying it over might mistakenly put one of the wrong numbers or even the wrong address in some cases. By reducing human error and increasing accuracy through machines, you are taking preventative steps to ensure your customers are happy in the beginning. The best customer service is preventative.

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How Superheros Taught Me About Customer Service

Superheros are a big deal right now. If you aren’t watching a superhero show, you’re probably at least planning to see the next movie that comes out. There are multiple series running as well as movies being made that cover pretty much every superhero you’d be interested in seeing in action. But did you know that superheroes actually have a few things to teach about customer service? Here is what I have learned.

Get the right technology

Even the superheroes that have natural abilities usually have some sort of technology equipped to focus and maintain their power. No matter how strong the superhero is, they are much more effective and confident in their abilities after they’ve gotten the best equipment and technology put on.

This applies to businesses as well. You can have the best and brightest customer service team available and still be struggling if you aren’t providing them with the right technology. Updated computer programs, access to social media, the ability to communicate through text, and even artificial intelligence will make a huge difference in the team’s ability to really get the job done right. Your team will become more efficient with help from the right artificial intelligence consultant to assist in improving your current technology.

Focus on teamwork

So many superhero movies have been about the good guys being unable to beat the bad guys by themselves. Instead, they must work as a team and work with everyone’s strengths and weaknesses separately to win. Once they’ve finally started working together as a team, they find success.

It is this way with your work environment too. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so if a customer service team wants to find success, they need to work with them. If someone is really good at talking to customers or calming people down, put them on phones. If someone else is really great with social media, have them be in charge of monitoring all the sites. Another person might be great at typing but not as good in speech, and they can be responsible for typing emails and responding to customer complaints on review sites. If you tackle it as a team and focus on the strengths of each individual team member, at the end of the day, your company will see great success in customer service. If, on the other hand, you force employees to work on things they aren’t good at or comfortable with and without the help of anyone else in the office, they will not be successful in the endeavor.

The key here is that you must recognize individuals for their efforts and hard work because the truth is, some people in the office just won’t be as good as others, and those who are good deserve to be rewarded. However, making an effort as a team will also help build those who are struggling and lift them up. Just like every superhero has a power they alone can wield, they still have to work as a team to lift others during times of crisis and bring back down to earth the most powerful superheroes.

Working with the rest of the company

Superheros have learned to work not only just for the good of all men as they see fit but also with governments and agencies to get the needed information to be able to stop crime before it happens and keep it from escalating in the future. It is where they go to get most of their information. The combined effort is what makes the superhero so successful.

That is the same with your whole company working in sync together. You can have a superhero-like customer service team doing everything, but it could all crumble beneath them if the rest of the company isn’t working with them to give them the information they need to have success. Working as a team applies to your whole business just as much as it does to the customer service department.

If you can get your business to work like a successful superhero squad, you’ll do great.

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Marketing to Women: Get in the Game

The biggest mistake companies make when marketing to women is thinking women don’t need any special invitation to buy your products. And while that might be true in many instances, a campaign focused on women and specifically inviting them to be a customer is more effective than you might think. This is especially true of products that are more often marketed towards men such as cars, beer, motorcycles, etc. As you prepare your marketing campaign for women, here are some things to take into account.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

If there’s one thing women like, it is clear, concise communication. They need to know what it is you are selling, what they should do with it, and why it is valuable to them. This information needs to be clear in all advertising you push. This is especially true of social media ads where a customer will only see the ad for a few seconds before scrolling past it.

On top of making sure your product advertising is clear, it is essential that they are able to easily reach your company to ask questions, whether that be through social media, texting, emails, or phone. A woman who is able to easily get information about you product or service and your brick and mortar stores through text is going to appreciate it. She will be grateful to have had an easy way to communicate with your business. If it seems complicated or difficult, she will simply move on to another company and work with them instead. An artificial intelligence company can get you set up, so you can answer women’s questions day or night without actually having to staff a 24/7 customer support team.

Empowering women

Selling to a woman isn’t about making your products girly or trying to find ways to get girls to like your stuff. It is about empowering women to make their own choices and showing them that they are special. Pink tools, for example, might be great for some women, but the majority of women prefer to simply get a regular tool set. Advertising only the pink tools to women is a big mistake because there are many who just want good tools in many different colors.

The only time when this rule is not in effect is when it comes to breast cancer awareness. Both men and women respond very well to products that are pink in the name of breast cancer awareness and where part of the proceeds of the product will be donated to the cause.

Focus your advertisements on showing women leading the way while using your products or services, not as a special female product but as a product everyone uses, including powerful and strong women.

Get some women in marketing

You would be surprised how many businesses try to put together marketing campaigns for women without actually having any women helping make the decisions. Having diversity on a marketing team is always a good idea because it gives you many different perspectives and will help you figure out whether the idea is stupid or brilliant pretty quickly. It is the best way to avoid a marketing fiasco.

Do some market research

There are a couple of ways to go about your research. You can start by asking women how they feel about and are responding to the product to give you a better idea of how it can be marketed. The other thing to do is to show your advertisements to a panel of women to find out how they react to it. You’ll find that if one woman is offended about the ad, the other women will become quickly offended as well. It is easy to fix those mistakes or even try an entirely new idea. The more people who can get their eyes on the ad, the better. Just make sure they have their cell phones put away, so you don’t risk getting bad or offensive advertising out there destroying your brand.

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