A Guide to Responding to Customer Reviews on Google

As of today, Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world and the leading. Customers all go to Google, when in search of information. When someone want to purchase a product or look for any service such as those offered by tow truck Woodbridge they will head to Google and other online platforms to read for customer reviews. As a business owner, you can respond to Google reviews and engage with your customers. Responding to online reviews especially the bad ones can help you learn from your mistakes as a business owner. This learning curve can be very critical to help you improve your overall customer experience and business reputation.

Replying to Customer Reviews

Before you can start, it is a wise idea you set up Google My Business notifications. Doing so will help you get notified anytime a new customer review is posted. You can start by signing to Google My Business by going to business.google.com. From there, click on the three horizontal bars on the top left corner. In case you have multiple locations, click on the one you would like to manage and then click – manage reviews. Click on – view and reply, when you find a review you would like to engage with. Once you have clicked -view and reply, a message box will open to allow you to write your response.

Assess and evaluate the feedback

Many companies fear responding to bad reviews. To make a response, the first thing you should do is to assess and evaluate the feedback internally. You are better off accessing the situation internally instead of immediately responding to a bad review. Customers have a lot of power online and if you react to a negative review without giving it a thorough thought, you can fuel an angry customer. When it comes to responding to a bad review, avoid getting emotional. Have a logical procedure in place before you can reply.

Publicly respond to a review

By this point, we mean you should not hide and privately reach out to a customer. Instead, respond to them on the same platform and channel they used to post the review. Responding publicly to bad reviews shows your customers as well as potential customers that you care and you are very attentive. When you care, it will lead to increase business. Additionally, note that Google reviews are not the only place to respond to reviews and hold conversations with a customer. Once you have replied to them online, you can offer them a chance to move to an internal platform to have the issue solved amicably.

Be Transparent

You need to be transparent about your mistakes. No business is perfect and as your customer base grows, your team is bound to make mistakes. After all, note that customers have conflicting needs that make it quite difficult to satisfy everyone. It is how you respond to these issues that make a difference. The best thing you can do is to be transparent at all times, such that there is nothing you are trying to hide and no situation you are trying to cover up.

Conflict Management Styles for Every Personality Type

In any setting, conflict is frustrating and very uncomfortable. I have been involved in managing different stakeholders in the towing service industry and I know how devastating conflicts can be. We all wish to live in a world that is completely peaceful, with people in compliance and agreement with laws and each other. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is important to avoid conflict in workplaces.

Conflict Management

Conflict management involves the process of handling disputes and disagreements between two or more parties. The goal of the system is to minimize negative factors that encourage conflict and encourage all participants to come to an agreement. Successful conflict management will result in a mutually benefiting outcome that is agreed upon by each party.

When looking forward to resolving conflicts, here are a couple of styles you can use.

Accommodating

An accommodating style aims at forsaking your needs and desires in exchange for those of others. It aims at putting the concerns of others before your own. This style will take place when you either give in or you are persuaded to give in. It can be an effective style for your use especially when you care less about the issue than the others and you want to keep the peace.

Avoiding

An avoiding style completely avoids the conflict. You would neither pursue your beliefs nor those of others involved. You simply try to postpone or completely dodge the conflict whenever it comes up. It can be an effective style to use when conflict seems trivial or when you don’t have time or when you need more time to think about an issue. You can also try avoiding style especially when you have no chance of winning.

Compromising

A compromising style attempts to find a solution that will at least partially please all parties. You work to find a middle ground for all parties involved which will strike a deal between leaving some partially satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time. This style can be appropriate especially when you are trying to reach a solution, and not necessarily minding if the solution is the greatest or not.

Collaborating

A collaborating approach attempts to find a solution that will meet the needs of all parties. Rather than just trying to find a middle ground solution, you aim for a solution that actually satisfies everyone and ends up being a win-win solution. This style is appropriate when multiple perspectives need to be addressed, and there is an important relationship between the parties and the final solution is too important for everyone to be displeased.

Competing

A competitive style takes a firm stance and refuses to see the perspective of other parties. It aims at keeping a push on your viewpoint at others or keep rejecting their ideas until you get your way. It is a style that is appropriate when you have to stand up for your rights or morals or when you need to make a quick decision and force others to get on board. It can be great also when you need to end a long-term conflict.

Google Analytics Tools your Business must be using

Are you wondering how many people visit your site? Does your web page have a high bounce rate? How many new visitors do you have on your website and how many are visiting? Well, all these questions can be well answered with an installation of Google Analytics. Using Google analytics, websites such as Fredericksburg pressure washing are able to get key metrics and data on site usage.

Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool that businesses use to measure their performance.

Google Analytics not only track the number of customers visiting your website but also shows where the traffic is coming from and the time you have most visitors. Google Analytics can help you understand how people are finding and navigating your site. The type of information provided by Google Hangouts will help you distinguish the type of content your visitors are interested in.

Tools in Google Analytics

Goals Flow

The goal flow explains your customers’ behaviors and sections in your visitors are having difficulty accessing your website. The goal flow shows you why your visitors love your web page. You’ll see the strengths and weaknesses in your site navigation, and learn where necessary adjustments are needed to your site and your online marketing plan.

Attribution modeling

Attribution modeling tool allows you track your relationship with your customers. The feature enables you to give credit to all of the digital marketing interactions that affect your conversation and sales. Attribution modeling allows you plot out existing touchpoints with your customers to know where, when, and how potential leads are being reached.

Advanced segmentation

Advanced segmentation involves segmenting your users and customers into useful and functional groups. Segmenting your website users enables you to make analysis on the effectiveness of your SEO campaigns and the familiarity of your URL to your users.

Assisted conversations

The assisted conversations feature helps you source your leads, customer loyalty, and customer conversations. With assisted conversations, you can understand how your customers found you and what inspired them to buy your products.

Google Analytics alerts

Analytics alerts are sent after Google Analytics have detected significant statistical variations and has monitored your website.  Analytics patterns can allow you to know when there are valuable changes in the traffic patterns or other data. Analytics alerts can be customized to send alerts immediately certain shifts occur in your website. You can even decide to be alerted every time there is a click in your URL.

Event tracking

Event tracking tool allows you to measure and keep track of activities that your visitors are doing. These activities may include downloads, mobile ad clicks, video plays, flash elements, and gadgets. The event metric will give you a higher insight into user engagement and help you to know the best call to action quotes.

Google Analytics does a lot of justice in tracking the traffic on your website. It is very essential since it reveals the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Through Google Analytics, you can redefine your marketing plan your increase your sales.

Five Easy Tips To Protect Your Personal Data Online

Everyone on the internet- including you- is constantly at risk of getting their personal data and identity stolen. There’s no hiding from this. In 2019, the number of data breaches has seeming doubled from last year. Some of the major breaches involved prominent companies like Facebook (wpersonal records of over 540 million users were exposed), Capital One, First American Financial Corp, Dow Jones Canva, and many others.

data

If these organizations and companies, with millions of dollars at their disposal, can’t protect their own data, what more can the Average Joe do against these kinds of attacks?

Well, at the enterpise level, there’s no getting away from large scale data breaches. However, there are various small ways with which you can protect yourself to mitigate- or even completely avoid- having your personal data completely stolen and/or tampered with. Here are five of them:

Avoid Using Free Public Wifi

As the popular saying goes “You get what you pay for.” It might be free, but your neighborhood coffee shop’s wifi connection is a major security risk that can allow hackers to easily compromise your system. With the right tools (most of which can be easily downloaded from the Internet) and programming skills, anyone else that are connected to the same network can “eavesdrop” on whatever it is you’re doing online.

data breach

Always use your own secure network to do any kind of transaction (especially banking and financial ones) online. If using public Wifi can’t be avoided, at least use a VPN and Tor browser (a special kind of browser that allows users to browse the internet anonymously).

Close All Unussed Accounts

There’s a huge chance that you have a number of accounts on websites that you rarely use. If there’s a breach involving one of them, there’s a huge chance that attackers will have access to personal data that you’ve attached to that particular account. In turn, these data can then be used to gain access to other accounts that you might have on other sites.

Better shut these unused accounts for good. The less info you have hanging around online on the Internet, the better.

Keep Your Social Media Activity In Check

Hackers can use other ways to steal your personal data. It might not involve hacking at all. They can easily use social engineering on your contacts on social media to get what they’re looking for.

This is why it’s best to limit your social media activity and presence. Check your privacy settings, limit the people who can see your posts, and avoid disclosing information that can compromise your safety (current whereabouts, personal details, daily schedule, etcetera).

Create Strong Passwords

This might be a no-brainer, but is something that is usually not followed by a lot of people. Avoid using passwords that can easily be brute-forced. Use random strings of letters and numbers that are unrelated to your life (not birthdays or important dates) whatsoever. Consider using a password manager to simplify this process.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

For services that offer it, always enable two-factor authentication. This is especially important for important accounts like emails, banking, and financial-related ones. The added layer of security ensures that potential attackers will have a hard time gaining control of these accounts.

This article is sponsored by Orlando Towing & Recovery

How to Choose the Right Co-Founder for your Startup

startupThey say choosing a co-founder is like choosing a marriage partner, you have to due diligence and get everything right. Whether you want to start a cleaning, towing service or tech company, you much choose the right co-founder. Having the right co-founder at your side helps you make a better balance and have a more robust skill set. But we all have limitations, in some areas, we are found lacking. So how do we go about it?

Confront your weaknesses

The ideal co-founder is one person who possesses the skills you lack. This means the first step to choosing a co-founder involves making a brutally honest self-assessment with yourself to evaluate your weaknesses. Maybe you are best at technical side, or you are best at sales. Choose a person who compliments the skills you lack. You may have good managerial skills on a particular sector of business, but heavily lack on another.

Decide on the relationship

You need to decide on the type of personal relationship you want to have with your co-founder. Evaluate if you will be working side by side every day, or you will be meeting every week. Are you having drinks every day or your interaction is limited to having partner lunch once in a month? Either of these interactions is fine provided you can find a common ground to agree.

Define the core values

core-valuesTo choose the right co-founder for your company, you have to set a well-defined set of core values that must be met. These core values determine the priorities, decisions and goals that you are willing to make. Define if you are more of a super competitive or collaborative person. Are you looking forward to achieve life-work balance or you are the type that works 24/7?  Evaluate on the values that make you totally different from the rest.

Think Long term

Building a successful company is a marathon and not a sprint. There are going to be some very tough times that you would not want to see eye to eye with each other on every detail of the company. Evaluate if you share the same principles such that no matter the differences that might come along the way, you still can relate to each other and find a common ground to solve issues. Work on evaluating the personality of each other to determine if you guys can click.

How to Protect Your Business from Data Breach

data breachThe internet has brought people closer than ever before. The advent of social media makes the world a connected place. All is not rosy with the internet. In as much as technology tries to make the world a better place, there are bad guys out there all looking forward to stealing your information and use it maliciously. Suppose you have a business such as http://www.platinumaccesslimos.com/, how do you protect vital customer data?

Protecting your business from internet security breaches is very important for the health of your business. You need to protect every user’s data from falling in the wrong hands. If your clients’ information is stolen, it can bring a lot of inconveniences and mistrusts to your customers. To ensure every client information is protected, here are a few ways you can go an about it;

Education

You need to educate yourself and your employees. Cyber-attacks are becoming more and more complicated. It is very easy to be fooled by emails, attachments and malicious links which all trick you to click them. It only takes one click and you infect your system with malware, virus, and ransomware.  You need to educate your employees to ensure that they are up to date with the methods that can be used in protecting data from breaches.

Know your data sources

You need to know what data you have and where it is stored. Like many companies, they have stored their data at multiple locations and if you don’t know where your data is, you will not be able to protect it. It is only a very small percentage of companies who know where all of their sensitive structured data is located. You can create a spreadsheet that documents where various types of your sensitive data are located.

Data Encryption

You should not transmit data that is not encrypted. Encryption is very important in keeping your valuable information hidden from cybercriminals. Most operating systems come with their inbuilt encryption tools – For Windows, we have BitLocker and for Mac, we have FileVault. These systems are very important when transmitting sensitive information over email as it ensures that it is encrypted.

Outsource payment processing

Nearly all major attacks against credit cards are based on exploiting a single vulnerability in the current payment industry infrastructure. Merchants are not supposed to handle most of the payment processing because most of them lack systems and the knowledge required to protect credit card data. Most of the payment processing should be outsourced to third parties who have the technology and mandate to protect such sensitive data.

Safety Tips and Protection Guidelines for your Credit Cards

credit cardOne of the greatest conveniences we have today is the use of credit cards to help us shop from anywhere. However, that convenience can be very costly if you are not careful. You should not assume that technology employed online is entirely safe to protect your card from funds being withdrawn without your consent. Even the most reputable companies have fallen a victim of targeted cyber-attacks. You need to take vital steps to protect your finances while making shopping online.

Here are important safety tips you need to follow to protect your credit cards.

Do a security check

Encryption is very important in changing the obviously readable characters to render documents in a form that is not easy to read or hack. One key area where encryption can be important is during the transmission of credit card numbers as if gets transmitted from your computer to the merchant’s system. Ensure that the website that collects your credit card details has a secure shell encryption (https). It should also be a member of internet programs such as Verisign, BBBOnline, TRUSTe among others.

Keep your account information private

There are a number of ways malicious people can get access to your credit card number. To stay protected, you need to keep your card private and don’t let anyone see it while you are in public. You should avoid giving your credit card information over the phone unless you are the one who initiated the call and you are making the call to your bank. Never reply to an email that asks for your credit card details or personal information. When making payments online, consider paperless statements.

Keep your information current

Anytime you move, you need to notify your bank. You need to ensure that your statements and other information are in line with your new address and that they do not end up in wrong hands. It is always a good idea to sign up for fraud alert with the use of your cell phone number. You should occasionally check to ensure that credit facilities have your updated number at all times. This ensures you are able to contact them quickly in case anything goes wrong.

Secure your devices and networks

NetworksThere are some basic practices that can be applied to ensure that you secure your digital information. You should ensure that your computer is connected to a firewall. Ensure you use a password that is not very easy to crack. The firewall should be turned on at all times. You should also download and install the latest updates to your operating system. These updates are very important as they have the most up to date security features.

Protect yourself online

Online shopping is on the rise and everyone is trying to shop with vendors who ensure the highest level of convenience. However, when you are shopping online, you should try to shop with an established business that you can easily contact when an issue arises. Look for secure sites that ensure your information is well protected. Do not share any information unless you are sure and convinced on what you are sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Protect your Online Data

encryptionKeeping your financials, passwords and other personal information safe is a top priority for everyone and every business. It is very important for consumers and individuals to play by the rules of data protection policies to ensure their data is safe and secure. There is an abundance of information out there that needs to be protected. If we are not careful, some other important information can be forgotten and get lost in the wind when it comes to getting protected.

Here are simple ways and methods you can apply to ensure that your data is well protected from getting stolen.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is no longer technical. Today, there are modern tools that make it possible for anyone to easily encrypt their data, emails and other information. For Apple users, they can make use of FileVault that encrypts the hard drive of a computer. This software scrambles your data up to a certain level. Should the government needs to get access to this data, you can employ the use of TrueCrypt for full protection.

Data Backup

Backing up your data is one of the most important yet overlooked data protection tips. When you create a backup of your data, you are essentially creating a duplicate such that in case a device is lost or stolen, you will not have to lose your information. You need to create this backup on a different device so that you can easily recover it in case of compromise.

Cloud Backup

The cloud provides a very viable option when it comes to backup. The advantage of cloud backup is that information is not stored on a local device that can easily or physically be tempered with. With cloud backup, data is stored offsite by a provider and this guarantees an adequate disaster recovery.

Anti-malware

The use of anti-malware is a must if you need to protect your data from abuse. Malware is a serious threat to data as it is well known for attaching itself in unsuspecting places that users have the least suspect of. Malicious software is designed to infiltrate and damage your computer without your consent.  Malware range from programs such as worms, viruses, spyware, Trojan horses among others.

Operating systems updates

Many users ignore doing frequent operating system updates due to the length of time such updates take. It is very important to spare some of your time and perform an operating system update. When you fail to install these updates, you subject your computer to a lot of risks. For Windows operating system, such updates normally occur once per month.

Secure wireless networks

You need to secure your wireless networks at your business and at home. You need to secure these wireless networks with the use of strong and complex passwords. Doing so helps in preventing unauthorized individuals who are in close proximity not to hijack your wireless network. Your Wi-Fi network at home or workplace should be secure, hidden and encrypted.  You should also make use of firewalls to block dangerous programs, viruses, and signals from infiltrating your system.

Ways Data Gets Stolen Online

dataProtecting your data is extremely important to prevent it from falling in the wrong hands. There are lots of policies that have been introduced to guide companies and ensure user data is well protected. Companies are now required to announce all instances of customer data breaches, as well as paying fines once such breaches happen.

Data is stolen when a cyber-criminal successfully infiltrates a data source then extracts sensitive data. Data breach happens in many ways as we are going to discuss in this short post. Here are top ways your data is getting stolen online.

Social engineering

Social engineering refers to the process of manipulating an individual to reveal their confidential data. Over the last few years, social engineering techniques have become more sophisticated because the average user becomes savvier. Hackers now have to be smarter in the ways of obtaining data. Hackers may scroll and stalk you on social media account, find your friends and use their wit to exploit any weaknesses that can lead to revealing of data.

Internal Threats

cyberimeInstead of dealing with faceless enemies, many cybersecurity threats are now coming from the current or top ex-employees. These employees can advance an unauthorized access to confidential data. Additionally, they can infect a network with something that is malicious. Internal threats take many forms including shoulder surfing, weak passwords, inserting thumb drives into computers among others.

Baiting

Baiting is a method that is similar to social engineering. This method aims at tricking users using information that is obtained about that person. An example is how a hacker can stalk through one’s social media account, find they are interested in certain games. They then use this information as a source of bait to lure their victims. They can use a message such as – click here to play the latest episode of Prisoners game.

Unsubscribe button

Another way hackers are now tricking users is through the use of the unsubscribe button from emails. By lay, every marketing email must contain unsubscribe button to enable consumers to opt out in case they are not interested in receiving future information about a certain product or service. These emails look to be very harmless. However, hackers are now tricking unsuspecting users by attaching malware in these unsubscribe buttons.

The key to protecting yourself is to stay vigilant and be up to date with the latest protection software that can help detect and protect you from malware. Have a proper anti-spam filter in place to stay safe.