If you are in the world of business communication, you are forced to rub shoulders with social media advocates, gurus, and evangelists. It is also important to note that social media is no longer an emerging platform, but an established one. Therefore, the statistics gathered on social media and its claimed advantages in business are revealing more about the true effectiveness of the medium as time goes by.
Extreme views often necessitate extreme opposition to balance them out, and despite what many would have us believe, we don’t yet live in a world where a sub 140-character tweet and a hasty posting on Facebook are sufficient to build lasting credibility and reliable revenue. Social media in its current form is just too cramped and informal to serve as the bone and marrow of business communication … or the soul of a brand’s reputation.

 

Whenever a new technology is adopted en masse, it soon presents problems of its own. One needs only to reflect briefly on the evolution of technology over the last century to realize that almost every new invention offered came with its own set of problems. It has led to a spate of mockery in the marketing world; the most memorable of which is the saying, “we sell you the poison and the cure.”

 

It is happening! The sci-fi scenes of a future earth that we have been staring at in movies are finally here. Go out in in the street and observe people and how ‘wired in’ they really are. On the bus next to you, a man is trading stocks halfway around the world using a thing called a tablet. In front of you in the queue, a woman using the hands-free mode on her iPhone is having a heated exchange with her bank’s support department. Nowadays, one can even see elderly men and women downloading ‘cool apps’ onto their smartphones, and getting the latest golfing tips and cookie recipes online. More examples can be given, but a point has already been made: welcome to the no fuss, real-time, always on, high definition world that we all thought was still coming.

 

It is difficult to get a down-and-dirty introduction to what social media is, and how it can be used for business purposes, without having someone trying to convince you that you cannot do it without their expert advice. Consultants who want to sell this next big thing in marketing produce most of the (mis)information out there. The ills and wonders of social media are being hyped to the point where companies become despondent regarding the medium. In the one ear, they are whispered honey-glazed words of how amazing social media is and how it can help their business grow, and in the other ear, they are accosted with the risks and potential disasters that will befall them, lest they fork out for the counsel of some social media expert. This article has none of that conditioning talk. The aim of this article is to dispel some of the hysteria (on both sides of the argument) that accompanies social media discussions.

 

There are times when one has to innovate and break the mold of conformity, and there are times when one has to appreciate Murphy’s old saying ‘If you improve or tinker with something long enough, eventually it will break.’

When it comes to the interface design of help desk software, many help desk software proprietors are sadly adding more credence to Murphy’s saying.

 

Feature of the day

In this feature focus, we will be looking at how FocalScope can help companies better deal with an issue that has plagued the support departments of companies the world over. That is, the issue of high support-staff turnover rates.

 

There is a highly adaptable, inter-industry race of beings that inhabit the vast expanses of market space, and every company that assembles a support group and venture forth into the market encounters them eventually. Though there are various subgroups, they are collectively referred to as the customers. The customers are an advanced, sentient life form that has an insatiable need to assimilate matter and energy to meet their particular needs.

 

It seems a mystery to all in the consumer world: how companies can spend a fortune developing a product or providing a service, build a team of people to manage and run the company, market their products/services extensively to reach customers and build a loyal following. Yet the moment customers have an issue with their products or services; they tear down all that they have built so meticulously by offering sub-par customer support. This self-immolating behaviour of companies has led to numerous consumers exclaiming. “What are these companies thinking; don’t they want us to be repeat customers and recommend them to our friends and family?” It is no urban legend; poor customer support is everywhere these days, and consumers are no longer as disempowered as they used to be. It is for this very reason that the issue of good customer service, and in particular, how the help desk fits into that equation, should be addressed with the urgency and diligence it deserves.

 

The industry seems almost equally divided over which side of the SaaS (Software as a Service) fence to take a stance. Many are touting ‘cloud computing’ to be the next ‘giant leap’ in the computer technology industry, while others purely focus on the negative aspects, and contribute their fair share of scaremongering to the mix. The goal of this article is to reach those who are not tech fundies and to give some much needed clarity on the subject of SaaS and cloud computing in particular. If you find yourself confronted with the concept of the SaaS as an option for your business, then I trust the information presented in this article will help you decide if you are going to board the train, or rather take the cab.

 

Post a request for advice regarding which help desk system to use and you will most likely find a lot of nagging complaints, and outright abhorrence accompanying recommendations. This is down to a simple reality: many companies have tried help desk systems at some time in the past and simply did not enjoy the experience one bit. Many either reverted to what they were using, or simply hopped on to the next system (often repeating this process a few times) before finding a suitable solution.