Perry by Perry

5 Customer Service Channels Every Business Should Have

April 15, 2015 in Guest Posts, Product News & Reviews by Perry

As a business owner, it always amazes me the different channels through which people prefer to send me an inquiry.

You’d think everyone would just shoot for the contact page – nine times out of ten it’s in the navigation menu anyways.

And yet everyday I receive a customer inquiry from a channel I wasn’t expecting.

Customer service inquiries are opportunities. Somebody is having difficulty, is confused, or perhaps is just curious.

Regardless, it’s important that I get all of them and that the person doesn’t bounce before asking their question.

Here are the 5 channels we utilize at NinjaOutreach, our blogger outreach software.

Phone Support

Many businesses don’t offer phone support, because they aren’t large enough and don’t have the resources for someone to be sitting by the phone.

Additionally, many customers hate phone support because we associate it with long waiting times, run arounds, and just overall poor experience.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think there is still a place for phone support if it’s done correctly.

As a result, I put my personal cell phone number at the top of our website.

Call Our CEO

And believe it or not, people call, almost every week.

A lot of these people are looking for immediate gratification, or they have some very specific they are asking about.

For example, an agency might call and want some specific insight into a campaign they are running and how our tool can benefit them. It’s not the usual does you tool offer this feature question, and it would be a pain to type out.

Additionally, by saying that it’s the “CEO” they know who they are getting on the other line.

Lastly, for me it’s an opportunity to have a real, person to person interaction with someone and say “Yes, I am a human!

Live Chat Customer Widget

Halfway between phone support and an email is a live chat widget.

On the one hand, they still have to type out their response.

But on the other, they get immediate gratification and get to “speak” with a human on the other end.

It’s a nice balance between the two.

There are dozens of chat widgets that can integrate with your site. We use Zopim because it’s free and simple.

There are two features I like about Zopim.

The first is that it allows me to initiate conversations with people on my website. That’s really cool and there is nothing else I use that can do that.

Not only that but I get a lot of nifty information about them, such as the page they are on, how many time they’ve visited the website, and information about their device:

CRM

If it’s someone I’ve run into before, I might have a name and some notes. It’s a functional CRM in that regard.

The other thing I like is the ability for someone to send me offline messages, because let’s face it; I’m not on 24/7.

24-7

Contact Page

Of course, we have a contact page too – who doesn’t.

But we try to make it not so boring, as well as to collect a bit more information about the customer.

To do this we use the free wordpress plugin contact 7.

Most people just plug this in and forget it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you weren’t aware, you can customize the fields. Here’s what ours looks like:

Form 1

What’s awesome is I can ask about the plan that they are on, how they’re feeling, what department they need, or anything else.

As a result, my team will get messages in their inbox that look like this (I’ve hidden the personal details):

Form Reply

This way we can all see it and the first person who is able to can respond. We can prioritize the inquiries based on the level of stress the customer is dealing with and make sure we provide the best support to our premium clients.

Knowledge Base

If you’re selling any sort of tool that requires the user to do something remotely technical, you should have a Knowledge Base.

This should be the first line of defense for customer support, as a means to help lighten the load.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Ours is simply a page that looks like the following and contains videos:

Knowledge Base

One thing I recommend is to include both video AND text, as some people prefer to read, whereas others are visual learners.

We include our knowledge base in the signature of just about every email that goes out, to make sure people have a place to go for the easy questions.

Twitter

Twitter is so much more than a social media channel on which you can promote your content.

It’s a very powerful tool for business. For example:

We use it as a form of lead generation, where we ask people if they are interested in trying out the software.

We also use it in our follow up series, where we ask signups if they have activated it yet.

And it looks like it is developing into a huge customer service tool as well.

studies have shown that 42% of consumers expect a response within one hour when they contact a brand on social media.

Dang!

Luckily, some companies, like Hubspot, have caught onto this.

They created a spinoff Twitter account @HubSpotSupport.

@HubSpot handles basic questions and inquiries, while @HubSpotSupport handles more specific support requests.

Hubspot Twitter

Conclusion

Customer shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to contact you.

You should be inviting them.

Remember that each person is active on their own channel and has their unique preferences.

Customers, like business owners, need help online – so let’s give it to them, shall we?

What Customer Service Channels Do You Use?

Web Hosting

David Schneider is the cofounder of NinjaOutreach an all in one Prospecting and Outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found @ninjaoutreach and his business blog SelfMadeBusinessman


Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language

October 7, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language

Learning to read, write and speak in Thai, like any new skill takes hours of practice, dedication and a willingness to learn.

I’ve been using smart-phone apps to accelerate my learning of Thai language and make better use of my down time while on the BTS, taking taxi rides across Bangkok or just hanging out by the pool.

I use a Galaxy S3 Android device and downloaded the apps either from Samsung Apps or the Play Store. No doubt you iPhone sheep can get them from the iTunes App Store. Here are my top 7 apps to learn Thai Language in no particular order:

1) Learn Thai Numbers

Learn Thai Numbers AppLearn Thai Numbers is a great app to quickly reference Thai numbers with audio and it’s free!

It has two cool flash card games to help you improve your Thai number skills. These are in three levels with numbers 1-99, 0-999 and 0-9999.

The second flash card is for listening practice. This will help you to tune your ear to the new sounds.

This is a great app for numbers but could be improved if they had a flash card that contained the Thai numericals 0 to 9.

Rating: 9 out of 10

2) Talk Thai (Free)

Talk Thai by BhuioTalk Thai by Bhuio comes in two versions for your smart-phone: full and free.

The free version (the one I use) has 2 categories and contains ads. The full version has 6 categories and no ads.

The two categories in the free version are basic Thai words and phrases and the second is a travel category. Each word or phrase is available to hear in a clear audio recording by a native Thai girl.

The app doesn’t try to overwhelm you with thousands of words or phrases that you will probably never use. Instead they have selected only the phrases you are likely to need.

It’s a great introduction to Thai if you are just starting out or are visiting Thailand for a short holiday.

The full version has additional categories of Emergency, Relations, Numbers, Travel and Fun.

Bhuio also make apps in over 20 other languages and can be found on Facebook here.

Ratings: 8 out of 10

3) Thai Script

Thai Script appThe Thai script app successfully introduces you to the Thai alphabet and numbers.

It breaks down all 44 of the Thai consonants into their respected class: High, Middle and Low and has a Memorizer so you can test yourself against the app. (Note; you only have to learn which consonant are in High and Mid class as all the rest will fall in to the Low class)

All the vowels are presented here but I would have liked to have seen each of them displayed in their long and short forms together.

If you want to really fast track your way to learning the Thai Alphabet and numbers, this is one of the best apps.

Ratings: 9 out of 10

4) Thai Learner

Thai Learner AppThai Learner is a larger app in regards to how much content it has compared to other language apps.

It has over 20 categories that include; Food, Numbers, Drinks, People and Animals. It also covers numbers, verbs and measurements. Each of these category’s are sub-divided into 3 headings to aid your learning: Learn, Glossary and Quiz. Quiz rates your response as a percentage so you can easily see your progress.

This is a great app, all-killer and no filler and another fine introduction to Thai language learning.

Ratings: 9 out of 10

5) Memolicious Thai

Memolicious Thai AppThis was one of the first Thai language apps I downloaded and still use today (I’m so bad at remembering my vowel sounds). You can often see me on the BTS with my earphones on, pointy finger jabbing at my smart-phone screen like a woodpecker on yabba.

The app is broken down into three main categories, Consonants, Vowels and Numbers. Each of these categories are then intelligently sub divided again.

Each card is timed allowing you only a few seconds to answer one of three possible answers and a percentage score keeps your total visible at the top of the screen.

It’s a really good-looking app with superb layout and design that feels very premium although it is free. My only gripe about it is it doesn’t give you an option to turn the background music of or the groaning sound when you get an option wrong. I guess the motivation is to get everything right and learn Thai fast so you don’t have to hear it!

Ratings: 9 out of 10

6) Convo. Master

Thai Conversation MasterThe Thai Conversation Master is a free app I’ve only used a little. As it’s free the only theme available is “Conversation”. This theme is broken down into a further nine sub themes that include; Greetings, Relationships and Topics of Conversations. If you take Topics of Conversations for instance this covers Family, Time, and the Weather to name but a few sub niches.

When you decide on your topic you have the option to listen to the phrase or sentence in Thai or Thai and English and how many times you would like it repeated.

The full paid app has 12 themes that include Transportation, Shopping, Emergency and Business.

It is a good app but I would like to see the inclusion of a phonetic translation in addition to the Thai and English. I don’t like the cartoon aesthetic aspect of it either finding the screen to busy for me. If you don’t mind this you will like this app and learn some great Thai questions and phrases quickly.

Ratings: 7 out of 10

 7) Thai Dictionary

Thai Dictionary AppThis is an English/Thai Thai English dictionary app that allows you to write or voice control your word search. It delivers the results fast and gives you the spelling in the opposite language, examples of how to use the word, common phrases and the definition.

You can save your word in a flash card folder and write a memo.

I’ve never had much call to use this app but it’s cool to have on your smart-phone for emergencies.

It’s a well designed and premium looking app that will help you learn Thai and it is also free.

Ratings: 7 out of 10

8) Lyngo Lite

Lyngo Lite AppLyngo Lite is a new and recent addition to my learn Thai language apps. This voice to voice translator is free but invaluable. You simply choose the two languages you want to work in and write your word, phrase or sentence as you would an SMS message. Within a second or two you’ll get a real speak translation.

This app works for many languages so check out Lyngo Lite on Facebook here.

More Learn Thai Language Apps

Do you use any other apps to learn Thai language? If you do share them in the comments below.
If you know someone who is also learning Thai or any other language and would like this post, don’t forget to share it with them, tweet it out and join me on Facebook. Chok dii!

Ratings: 10 out of 10

Freelance Jobs

The Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language


Travel Insurance

October 2, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

Travel Insurance

Recently a friend of mine broke his arm playing Aussie no-rules football in Pattaya. Fortunately for him, he got travel insurance about a week before.

Travel insuranceHis five minutes on the pitch resulted with him spending the weekend in The Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and leaving with his arm in a sling, a great scar on his shoulder and a good sized bottle of morphine. He’s been having physio on his arm as an outpatient in Bangkok for three weeks and is making good progress back to full health. He can now even pick up a bottle of Beer Lao with his injured arm and take a drink!

It all could have been so different if he didn’t have insurance. The in-patient treatment, surgery, X-rays, professional fees and drugs alone would have ran into several thousand dollars. His accident got the rest of us thinking and taking action to get our own travel insurance in order.

Here is a brief rundown on all things travel insurance in Thailand you should find useful:

ING Insurance (Thailand)

I know a girl (surprise surprise) and she works for ING Insurance (Switzerland) They offer a pretty good health insurance but it’s tied up with a Life Assurance policy. So you end up paying twice as much to get the health benefits. Good but not necessarily needed if you aren’t planning on spending the rest of your life in Thailand. Check it out here. (Convert page to English)

Thai Health

We found these insurance policies on a Teach Thai website and almost went for it. To get enough cover, you would have to be looking at the SP4000 and above otherwise they may not cover all your bills should anything bad happen to you. Still worth looking into as your requirements may not be the same as mine. Check it out here.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

It’s travel insurance with similar fees as the two insurance companies mentioned above but you are insured even if you travel to other countries. (think Visa runs etc.) It covers your passport and baggage etc. and you can even cover things like phones and personal computers for an extra premium.

Another friend of mine got a policy with this company and has contacted them on several occasions. They have always responded pretty damn quick and answered all his questions.

My friend from Oz has had fantastic care and continues to do so. My other friend has also had lots of communication with World Nomads and has received excellent customer service. So with all that being said and seeing it all this first hand, I also recently bought a policy for 1 year with them too. More information about this insurer, click here World Nomads. Also if you go to this page for saving; there is a coupon code, so you can grab that and save 7 or 8% on your premium.

Cheaper Travel Insurance

One other thing… I found that if you take a travel insurance policy over a longer length of time it works out much cheaper. IE. I saved over £100 by taking a 12 months travel insurance policy apposed to 6 months contract.

Undocumented Dangers of Thailand’s Roads

I hope this post helped and at least saved you a little time searching for good travel insurance. The most important thing is to take action and get yourself covered, you can’t be to careful. Stay safe!

Travel Insurance


Learn Thai Alphabet

September 19, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

Learn Thai Alphabet in Minutes

Learn Thai AlphabetLearn Thai alphabet? Why you may be asking do you need to learn the Thai alphabet!

Well, if you are going to be living and working in Thailand or even if you want to make deeper connections when traveling through the Land of Smiles, you will soon notice most things like road signs, shop boards, restaurant receipts and your utility bills are all written in Thai. That shouldn’t come as any surprise after all, you’re in Thailand right!

You can get by without reading Thai but if you start to learn to speak Thai you will progress quicker and easier if you can read Thai too. Besides you’ll have a better quality of life (cheaper too) if you can read what you are buying at the market and how much you’re paying for it.

That’s why I recommend investing in ‘Learn the Thai Alphabet in Minutes’.

Download: Learn Thai Alphabet in Minutes

Get Instant Access to Learn the Thai Alphabet

This is the book I wish I discovered when I first started to learn Thai language. It can be a daunting experience when you first discover there are 44 Thai consonants, 32 vowels, 3 classes and 5 tones to memorize and don’t forget about the numbers! This book helps you to connect all these new symbols with things you already know and so aids for a quicker and more rewarding learning experience.

The book is available as an instant download in the form of a PDF, a digital flip book style and now also in a mobipocket version for your smartphone. It also comes with a full 60 days money-back guarantee. It works on Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and windows mobile.

So don’t delay, join the thousands of other satisfied Thai language students who have downloaded this book since 2005 and download your Thai alphabet now. Within just a few minutes from now you will be learning how to read in Thai.

Sawasdee Learn Thai Alphabet danorbit. via Compfight

Learn Thai Disclaimer:

If you invest in Learning Thai Alphabet in Minutes we may get a affiliate commission. That’s how we pay the bills and maintain the upkeep of this website. However, if you are serious about learning Thai language and getting more from this rich culture, we couldn’t recommend a better place to start.

Learn Thai Alphabet


Get Cool Apps to Pimp Out Your Facebook Page

September 14, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

Get Cool Apps to Pimp Out Your Facebook Page

Have you got a Facebook page? Of course you have, who hasn’t! If you are using Facebook fan pages to promote your business, you can add some cool apps that give you the leading edge over your competitors and allows you and your fans to integrate on another level.

At the time of writing this post I’m in the process of starting a Facebook fan page for this site, you can click here to view it and while you are there give it a ‘Like‘. Great, we’re connected! Now allow me to share with you how I get free apps to pimp out my Facebook pages.

Facebook Page Apps by VTools

VSense for facebook page appsOne of my favorite resources is VSense / VTools (maybe that’s two) make some pretty cool apps for Facebook fan pages. Some are free and some are paid tabs but they are all quality engagement systems you can utilize to grow your fan base and get more ‘Likes’.

Here’s a short video to show you how to ad tabs to your Facebook pages;

You can choose from their QR Code generator, Contact or the FAQ tab and add to your page for free. Paid tabs include the Youtube Video Content, S-CMS and the Picture Contest tab and many more. Discover more about VSense here or visit their Facebook page here to get started.

Contact Me Facebook page apps

Facebook Page Apps by ContactMe

Why not drop a contact form right into your Facebook page! No problem, there is a great Facebook App for that from ContactMe. It allows you to capture your visitors name and emails and and sync them up to your Mailchimp or Constant Contact autoresponder. Your fans can also use the additional tabs to connect with you on Linkedin, Twitter and Skype.

Discover more about ContactMe here.

Facebook Page Apps by Involver

Involver facebook page appsAnd Last but by no mean least is Involver. Their apps integrate robust and powerful audience engagement tools into your social media channels. They have over two dozen applications tailored to Facebook, Twitter and even the iPhone.

The basic Involver Apps are free; such as Twitter, Youtube and Flickr. Users are allowed only 2 basic applications per Facebook account. To use more than two applications and access additional functionality an upgrade to the Professional account is required. Discover more about Involver here. If you mix and match between all three providers mentioned in this post you will have more than enough apps to make good use off.

So what are you waiting for? Start pimping out your Facebook page with these cool apps for greater engagement!

If you liked this post, please leave a message in the comment section below or use our Contact Us page or ContactMe form on Facebook!

Facebook Page Apps


Dropbox – Your Cloud Cover in Thailand

August 22, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

Dropbox

If you are seriously thinking about living and working in amazing Thailand than you will definitely need Dropbox.

You no longer need to carry around extra hard-drives, memory sticks or SD Card, now you can host all your important folders and files in Dropbox.

Dropbox simplifies the way you can create and share you documents and media files and always have your stuff available, wherever you may be. So if you are living your dream lifestyle in Thailand or working from the beach, you know you’ll always have your information saved and instantly retrievable with this cloud storage solution.

 What is Dropbox

dropboxDropbox lets you take all your photographs, documents and even large media files like videos anywhere and share them easily with who ever you choose – friends, colleagues or your whole team. You no longer have to email files to your self to work off more than one computer. Everything you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your synced computers, smartphones and even the Dropbox website.

If you accidentally knock a cup of tea or a beer Chang over your laptop or even if it was stolen, Dropbox has you covered and none of your files will be lost.

Dropbox is also available on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android smartphones. I have it on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and it works like a dream!

Also, for every friend you invite and who consequently joins and installs Dropbox (which is free), they will give you both 500 MB of bonus storage space up to a limit of 8 GB. So if you click the link below we both win!

Discover more about Dropbox here.

If you liked this review, read my review for Jing by Techsmith.

If you found this post useful and are making good use of Dropbox, let me know how you are getting on in the comments below.

*****

Learn Thai… The Word of the Day: Cloud in Thai language is: Meek

Dropbox


Jing Jing Thailand

August 20, 2012 in Product News & Reviews by Perry Stevens

What is Jing?

Jing is a free and easy way to create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen then share them instantly online!

Simply capture an image (screenshot) of what you see on your computer screen and use the built in mark-up tools (arrows, text and boxes) to enhance your image. See the image of IMAlwaysHappy2Help.com’s logo below as a ‘work in progress’.

I want to convey to my designer I want the Kingdom of Thailand flag removing from the header image. So I simply capture the image and then use an arrow pointing to the area that needs his artist attention and then add a text box with some simple instructions. I then save the image and attach it to an email as normal and send.

 

Jing Jing Thailand - Live your dream lifestyle

Alternatively you can capture what you see and do on your monitor (screencast) in a 5 minute or less video recording and share with your audience. You can share the video you have created by embedding the code into a webpage or use a link that will direct your audience to your Sceencast.com video hosting page. Watch my brief example Below!
Unable to display content?. Adobe Flash is required.

Jing Jing

Jing by TechSmthOf all the cool tools and resources I’ve found and share with friends and colleagues, Jing is without a doubt, always the most popular and for good reason. It’s easy to add notated screenshots to all your online conversations, or create a quick tutorial video you can share with your staff, designer, sales team or customers. It gets everyone on the same page fast and is fun to use. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed before.

Discover more about the Jing here

Let me know how you get on with it and how it helps you work online in the comments below.

*****

Learn Thai: Jing in Thai language means: real or true. Jing Jing emphasise’s the truth-fullness of a statement I.E. it’s really true! Or you can use it as question: Really? 

Jing Thailand