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How to use Social Media to Retain Customers

April 25, 2019


Business owners are continually looking for ways to retain their current customer base. There’s a good reason for their interest. According to Adobe, returning customers typically spend three to seven times as much as a first-time customer.

Make no mistake; gaining new customers is vital to the success of your business. However, many marketers fail to take the time to focus on their customer retention strategy.

Social media is an excellent way to keep your existing customers happy so that they will turn to your business in the future. Few websites offer the analytic data available through social media, making it the perfect tool for building connections with your audience. Here are some of the best ways you can use your business’s social media profiles to retain customers.

Look for Emerging Trends

The great thing about social media is that people are free to talk about virtually anything they want. If you’re interested in retaining customers, it’s helpful to find out what kind of problems they are having – as it relates to your niche – by looking at trends in the community.

For instance, if you’re a WordPress plugin developer and want to find a product gap in the market, checking WordPress plugin chat groups and conversations can prove beneficial.

When you’re able to keep your eye on the trends, you can develop products or services that extend the customers’ experience by offering them something new. It’s hard to retain a solid customer base if you sell one or two products that never change. Social media allows business owners to look at emerging trends, identify gaps based on consumer needs, and develop new products.

Improve Personalized Offers

Social media allows us to give our current customers personalized offers based on their past purchases. Email marketing is far …

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Best Project Management Certifications

April 25, 2019


Project management certifications have claimed a place in every top IT certification list for years. That’s because project managers are important to IT operations of all kinds. Whether you are interested in becoming an IT project manager or just want to add project management to your list of soft skills, these five leading certifications will help you add to or boost those skills and, in turn, increase your value.

If there’s a single set of soft skills that’s been fixed on the IT radar for the past decade or so, to the point where it’s become almost as sought after and every bit as valuable as top-level credentials, it must be project management. Thanks in large part to the immensely popular and widely pursued Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), this area has become an incredibly valuable merit badge for IT professionals of all stripes. That’s because it enhances and expands on the value of just about any other kind of technical credential.

Project management has everything to do with planning, scheduling, budgeting for, and then executing and reporting on projects of all shapes and sizes. In fact, anything and everything that IT does can be understood or handled as a project of some kind. It applies to one-of-a-kind activities that happen only once or very seldom (think hardware or OS upgrades or migrating from older to newer platforms or infrastructures). Ditto for a recurring series of activities that repeat regularly (think security patches, software updates or other regular maintenance tasks). Thus, project management is incredibly important and valuable to IT operations across the board.

According to PMI’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th Edition, IT professionals who hold a PMP report median base annual salaries in the U.S. of almost $116,000. …

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Customers Won't Pay? How to Choose a Collection Agency

April 24, 2019


Collecting debt on delinquent accounts can be difficult, especially if your debtors move without providing a forwarding address. The longer your accounts remain delinquent, the less likely you are to recover the debt. In situations like these, hiring a debt collector to recover funds on your behalf may be your best option. 

Collection agencies, not to be confused with debt buyers, are most commonly paid a percentage of any outstanding funds they recover on your accounts, but they don’t own the debt. When they collect a payment, they hand the money over to you, minus a certain percentage in fees. A standard collection agency will offer services, such as formal demand letters, phone calls and emails; however, top debt collection agencies provide additional services, like skip tracing, litigation and online portal access. 

When comparing collection agencies, it is important to analyze more than just the services offered. An agency’s reputation for how it treats your debtors is equally important, since they are representing your business. There are strict laws surrounding collection efforts. Any reputable agency will follow those laws and treat your debtors with dignity and respect. 

When looking to hire a collection agency for your small business, consider the collection type (commercial collections, consumer, etc.), industries and locations they serve. Not every agency will be a good fit for your business. Below you can learn more about the agencies we selected, the features of each one, whether it services commercial collections (B2B), consumer collections (B2C), or a combination of the two. 

Editor’s Note: Looking for a collection agency for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have one of our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

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Collection Agency Best Picks

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How Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Hidden App Development Costs

April 24, 2019


So you’re a business owner and you badly need an app to be created specifically for your business? Or, you’re someone who has an awesome idea for an app and you’re sure it will work, but you lack the expertise and time to hire and manage an in-house development team?

The truth is, custom mobile application development is often expensive and it takes a lot of time, but if you have the budget, you don’t really need to stress yourself and figure everything out on your own. There are reputable app developers who can help turn your idea into a problem-solving and money-making app that is custom built to fit your requirements, your vision and your budget and it’s just a matter of choosing who you’d trust for your project.

Here are some of the ways you can save yourself from having to cough up money for hidden app development costs:

  1. List down all your requirements and document them

As app builders, we’ve seen a lot of business owners who don’t have the technical capability to understand the process of app development. Sure, they’re done validating their idea, doing competitor audit and creating a strategy for their app, but still, if they cannot clearly communicate exactly how they envisioned the app to be, then the development process may drag on and the cost of building the app may reach the ceiling.

If you want to maximize your budget, make sure that your chosen team has the capability to deliver the app just how you want it to be. There’s no better way to do that than by creating a detailed document that outlines your mobile application requirements. This document should tell your chosen and would-be contractors about your objective for the app, product & technical specifications, design practices to …

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Top 9 Industries For Virtual Reality

April 24, 2019


Virtual reality is likely not what you expect. You probably associate it with gaming, entertainment ads in malls, or movies like Ready Player One. But today virtual reality has been adjusted to serve various industries that seek new innovative ways to achieve success. Although there are many ways and spheres to apply this technology, some fields can benefit highly. 

1. Retail

VR technology is an excellent tool to increase profit and attract customers in retail. People have shown their appreciation of e-commerce service and are eager to go further. 70% of customers admitted they are strongly interested in virtual shopping.

Virtual reality experience provides customers with a completely new level of service from an ability to try on clothes while at home to decorating a room that is not even built yet. Variety of solutions makes it a highly applicable and adjustable tool. Big companies like IKEA, eBay or Topshop have already put VR into practice, each of them in their unique way. While IKEA suggests their customers a tour to a virtual kitchen of their dreams, eBay has built an interactive personalized catalog for easy shopping.

2. Health care

We all hope one day there will be no diseases and the world will be a perfectly healthy place. But until then we should keep developing the health care industry and the latest technology is what can help. Virtual reality is among them.

VR in healthcare can be useful for both patients and doctors. People receive therapy with VR applications to fight fears and phobias. There already exist solutions aimed to educate and share experience: virtual surgeries, emergency training, VR anatomy applications. There was even a live stream of an operation – that’s how far it went.

But this is only the beginning. We have just started discovering the full …

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