Posted on June 13th, 2013 |
Hashtags are soon to be supported on Facebook as well as Twitter, as the social networking site has announced plans to introduce to clickable links wherever the ‘#’ sign is used.
In order to allow members to keep up-to-date with popular topics being talked about on the social networking site, Facebook plan to develop the site so that it supports hashtags, similarly to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Facebook announced their plans yesterday via their website, saying that the changes offer a “larger view of what’s happening” around the website.
Once a hashtag is clicked on, a list of posts will be brought up, letting users see what else has been discussed on the same subject.
“Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations,” Facebook said.
“We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
Posted on May 28th, 2013 |
Figures released today show that over a third of UK (36%) shoppers choose to do the majority of their shopping online, with the average spend per month rising from just £56 to £113 in the past decade.
It was also discovered that one in every ten people admit to buying something online every day, with a quarter of those planning to spend even more online throughout 2013 than they have before.
Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk said, “It is no surprise to see online shopping becoming the favoured method for so many consumers. Broadband has revolutionised the way we browse and buy goods and services and the best deals these days are usually found online.
“While the British high street will always be an integral part of the shopping experience, we expect to see a continued increase in the amount of money spent online during 2013, and continued variation in the devices used for these purchases.”
If you need some tips about how to make sure your website is helping your business reach it’s full potential, read our sister site’s handy guide!
Posted on May 23rd, 2013 |
They’re notoriously expensive, usually full of hidden call costs and poor quality so why would you even bother trying to call internationally?! When you have a loved one or colleague overseas, it’s a necessity to be able to reach them by phone, so what do you do?
Fear not, 0800NumberShop has the answer: cheap, high quality, international phone calls anytime you want, to anywhere in the world.
Because of our infrastructure, we can provide you with a dedicated 0844 number for you to direct to an international location of your choice, which will let you call your friends, family or colleagues for just 4p a minute from a landline.
Through our tier 1 network, Core Telecom, you are guaranteed that your calls will always be executed at the highest quality and 100 per cent reliable.
Calls from mobiles will be subject to your service provider’s rates, so we suggest you seek advice before using your mobile to call!
Contact one of our account managers today to find out how you can make international calls for as little as 4p a minute!
Posted on |
The sustainability and safety of a business and its data is just one of the fundamental things that should be at the forefront of the mind of any small business owner. The workplace is evolving and more and more businesses are finding it beneficial to be ‘online’ 24 hours a day. When you put these elements together, we’re already building up a good argument as to why your business should be using cloud services.
Having all of your business’ data and files stored in a remote place ready to be called to action at any time offers your business improved flexibility, efficiency and profitability all in one fell swoop. Being able to access business files from any location allows your office to be set up in anywhere so that you can cater for your customer needs from anywhere, anytime.
As well as offering improved flexibility, it has been found in a recent survey that from a large number of both UK and US companies, up to 88 per cent said that cloud services actually saved them money, along with 60 per cent saying the cloud has helped to reduce the need to maintain their own IT infrastructure, as they have a separate back-up to rely upon. The majority of those surveyed also said the cloud has helped them expand their business and increase profits.
Cloud services can go further than just storing your files; they can also be used to take what are usually time-consuming jobs to a third-party, effectively outsourcing some of your work but on a virtual platform, saving businesses both time and money.
It may sound risky to allow all of your data to be stored remotely, the software and telephone systems offer many secure ways to keep your files private to your company and inaccessible to third parties, keeping you free to reap the benefits!
Posted on May 21st, 2013 |
Today it was revealed that a man is so fed up with recorded call centre menus that he’s spent the last SEVEN years working out the number sequences you need to press it order to reach the right service or department straight way, without having to listen to each stage of the menu in its entirety.
Over the years, he found that it could take up to ten minutes to reach the person or service he wanted, so it’s understandable that people get frustrated!
This DOES NOT need to be the case…
When used effectively, an IVR (as recorded menus are better known) can be highly beneficial to the company that uses it.
Used in place of a human receptionist, an IVR greets the caller in a professional manner and gives them the option to choose from the menu so that they can dictate who they talk to. It’s a bit of a minefield, making full use of the benefits an IVR can bring whilst ensuring you don’t overstep the mark in to frustrating the caller!
We’ve put together our top 5 tips of how to make sure your IVR is used to its full potential:
1. Keep the menu short (it’s when you have many stages to the menu where the frustrations begin) and ensure that once the caller has selected their destination, they speak to an actual person. Remember the IVR is there to act as a welcome to your business, not to deal with what the caller wants!
2. An IVR can also help your business present a bigger image along with showing the caller that you care. By providing options to choose from, you immediately seem bigger to the caller, yet with the professional greeting, you show the call is valued.
3. Ensure that the menu is clear – nothing will frustrate the caller more if they have to listen to the menu repeatedly because they don’t understand what the options are!
4. Only use an IVR when it’s necessary, for example, at peak business times. If you have someone available to answer the phone then let them! You can pick and choose when you’d like your IVR to kick in, just speak to your provider.
5. Make sure it’s working. Occasionally call the number using the IVR to ensure that no faults have occurred!
Posted on May 17th, 2013 |
You’ve already discovered the beauty of having an 0800 number as your business number, but are you receiving the best service and rates from your current provider?
A Freephone 0800 number are well known as one of the best ways to encourage customers to call you, because they’re free to call from landlines, and soon to be free to call from mobiles as well!
At 0800NumberShop we provide some of the lowest priced packages throughout the UK, with packages starting from as little as £4.99 a month, with hundreds of free minutes included. Our 0800 service is also complemented by a free call management package worth over £200, which will be tailored by your dedicated account manager especially to suit your business needs.
If you port your 0800 number over to 0800NumberShop, you’ll not only take advantage of our low prices and call management package, you’ll also benefit from our independent and reliable call services, ensuring your customers receive the best service at all times!
Call our team today on 0800 002 9200 to find out just how quick and easy it is to port your number to us and begin to benefit from our services straight away!
Posted on April 23rd, 2013 |
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced new plans to make call charges to 0800 numbers clearer for consumers to understand.
Currently, an 0800 number free to call from UK landlines, but dependant on the network they can be charged at anything from 10p – 40p per minute from a mobile. Following consultation which has been ongoing since last year, Ofcom want to make all 0800 numbers free to call from all telephones. This will tackle what they describe as ‘consumer confusion’.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Consumers need to have far more transparency about the price they are going to pay for calls so that they can make more informed choice and so competition can work more effectively.
‘Making 0800 free from mobiles and giving people clarity about what they are paying for will improve transparency, improve competition and enhance trust in these important services.’
Although there is no strict date when the new charges will be implemented, it is clear that in the near future all 0800 numbers will be free to call from all phones, including mobiles.
Posted on July 9th, 2012 |
As we are all aware, the Olympics are just around the corner. Naturally, you will want to encourage the athletes, mention the Olympics and engage in social media discussion surrounding this incredible event. The LOCOG have provided best practice guidance on how non-sponsoring brands should and shouldn’t engage with the Olympics on social media. Follow this essential socialympics marketing tips to make sure your brand is abiding by the rules!
You Can: (if it’s not completely out of content for your brand to make a comment on a sporting event):
- Provide relevant, accurate and factual information;
- Report on the facts of an event (e.g. The Olympics starts tomorrow!)
- State when an event is taking place (e.g. the 100m race starts in 10 minutes)
Moderate pictures, video or audio from events to be posted on your social media sites by applying the special rules applying to participants and attendees as you would any other potentially copyright infringing content.
Update moderation guidelines to cater for the Olympics legislation;
Consider re-tweets in the same way as your own tweets when applying these restrictions;
- Use the Olympic symbols, the words ‘Olympics’, ‘Paralympics’ or any derivation of those words;
- Use the Listed Expressions (2 from List A or one from each list)
- List A : “games”, “two thousand and twelve”, “2012″and “twenty twelve”;
- List B: “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “London”, “medals”, “sponsor” and “summer”.
- Run a marketing campaign to get your brand associated with the Olympics;
- Encourage Olympics themed-responses from your community;
- Run a competition for Olympics tickets;
- Give specific expressions of support (e.g. “Go Team GB in London 2012!”) or excitement/enthusiasm suggesting a connection with the brand (e.g. “everyone here at Brand X so excited about the Olympics!”)
- Mention a specific product or service in connection with the Games (e.g. “London 2012 athletes should drink Brand X for energy”)
- Sponsor London 2012 broadcasts or reports
Image: Olympics (Photo Courtesy of Beth Sutherland on Flickr)
Posted on July 3rd, 2012 |
There can be no doubting what the major news dominating the headlines in the UK over the past seven days has been as computer problems caused a banking crisis.
NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers have been affected, leaving people unable to access their money and unable to transfer funds.
A week since it started and normal service is yet to be resumed, much to the frustration of the people of all ages involved.
The crisis management of the companies involved has understandably been under close scrutiny and can provide plenty of food for thought for business owners who may one day need to react positively and swiftly to an unexpected and damaging scenario.
Here we look at what steps were put in place after the IT meltdown started:
Keeping the customers in the loop
Communication is the key to making sure customers are fully aware of the situation as it changes. One quick and easy way to do this is by posting a statement on a company’s website, like NatWest did. It features an apology and outlines how the RBS Group intend to deal with the situation by doubling call centre staff and extending branch opening hours.
Be proactive in reaching your customers
Posting a statement on the website and issuing it through traditional media channels is just one of getting in touch with disgruntled and worried customers. RBS, for example, sent out an email containing a useful update saying what’s going on and informing customers of the various special measures that have been put in place to compensate impacted customers. RBS sent out an SMS text update, while Facebook and Twitter are two other ways to communicate quickly with customers.
All hands on deck
As already mentioned, the RBS Group, which owns NatWest and Ulster Bank, doubled call centre staff to cope with the extra demand and extended opening times at 1,200 branches during evenings and weekends.
If you’ve been impacted and are in need of some help and guidance then check out this useful BBC article about your rights.
(Pic courtesy of wwarby on Flickr)
Posted on June 29th, 2012 |
Smartphones have led to many changes – some good, some bad.
They’ve changed how we interact with friends and family. They’ve changed how we interact with the world via social media. They’ve changed how we surf the web.
They’ve changed how we shop. They’ve even changed how travel and get from A to B. And one of the most interesting developments is how they’ve changed the way we take pictures to document the trivial and important events that happen each and every day around the world.
Everyone with a smartphone fancies themselves as the next David Bailey. Armed with a powerful camera, users can take snaps and videos and upload them to the net in an instant.
Take the Samsung Galaxy SIII, for instance, it has an eight megapixel camera, which provides stiff competition to many of the digital cameras on the market, as well as the ability to record HD-quality videos.
Slump in digi camera sales
Hardly surprising, then, that digital camera sales have decreased, with a new survey by retail analysts revealing a drop of 29% in the last five years. Sales of camcorders also dipped 21% in the same timeframe.
Experts are warning camera manufacturers to embrace advances in technology to improve connectivity or face further slump in sales.
Samuel Gee, technology analyst at Mintel, told the Daily Mail: “Camera manufacturers must choose to either invest in a web service that complements captured photos or video, or to focus on including new, innovative hardware capabilities and modifications, to retain consumer interest.
“Although smartphone cameras do not typically match the quality of output of dedicated devices, the technology is consistently improving, as the quality of camera image output becomes too high for consumers to reliably distinguish between competitors.
“As newer technology continues to improve the specifications of top-end equipment, measurements like megapixel density or the top level of optical zoom possible will become meaningless to consumers best served by less expensive, middle-of-the-field devices.”
Has a smartphone replaced your digital camera?