The Dark Side of Smartphones Today’s Quote: I like to hang out with people who make me forget to look at my phone. Although the smartphone is one of the most amazing devices ever invented, it does have a dark side. Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people out to eat as a family, [...]Continue Reading
Archive for “Leverage Business Technology”
Meet Robin Kuriakose of Direct BS/MD Programs After applying and being accepted into medical school, Robin Kuriakose saw a need to help others go through this difficult process. With this in mind, he started Direct BS/MD Programs, www.directbsmd.com, while going to school and working. He recently shared some of his tips with me on how SEO [...]Continue Reading
Hi gang, Happy early summer to you wherever you are. Here in Charlotte, we celebrate 5 seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Pollen. I am very happy that Pollen season is over because it was a bad one this year. This is no lie – there has been more pollen on my car and back [...]Continue Reading
Do you know what to look for? You just went through a mound of résumés, searched the Internet and have reduced your list of IT candidates down to a reasonable amount. Now, the fun really begins with in-person interviews. And if you are new to hiring technology people, or just want to make sure you [...]Continue Reading
Get what you really need to succeed If I didn’t have spam filters in place, I would be inundated with e-mail messages about the latest technology tools, software and services. It’s bad enough as it is with phone calls and snail mail. How about you? Are you overwhelmed with tech information that will supposedly solve [...]Continue Reading
Stop the Status Quo and Take Action Now! If you are a tech specialist and stuck behind your desk whenever the big, boardroom meetings happen, it may feel like your career is at a standstill and you are not taken seriously. If this sounds familiar, have you done anything to move out of your current [...]Continue Reading
Why do you have to talk to the press? If you want to increase awareness without paying for advertising, your business is probably involved in public relations, or getting noticed by the press. When the right publications talk about your products and services, you can see sales increase dramatically. But for tech people, this can [...]Continue Reading
It’s time to get ready for 2013! The craziness of Cyber Monday is over, and now comes the holiday rush. With everything that’s going on in your organization, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on some important, year-end activities. Here are a few reminders to help your IT team stay on [...]Continue Reading
Today, most businesses are using the Internet to compete on an international basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that technology is now a major part of the sales process, and more important, your customer-service activities. But you cannot provide top-level customer service with technology alone.
People are sick of dealing with call-centers, being on hold for a long time listening to lame music and trying to get their questions answered via online chat centers or from technicians who don’t know what they are talking about. With this in mind…
How well does your technology combine with the human touch?
If you want to provide excellent service to your customers around the clock, it’s essential to get your technology team working with your customer-service people. Here are a few questions to help you accomplish this:
1. Who’s on your team right now?
Start at the beginning. Make sure you have employees who care about your brand and want to learn as much as possible about your customers. Hire positive people who are willing to work with others to reach company goals. And if you already have some negative players on board, it’s time to talk to them about their attitude… or get rid of them fast. It only takes one bad egg to bring down an entire department, or company. (At Rich Dad, all of our new employees take the Kolbe Index so we know where they’ll exceed most in the company.)
2. Who does what?
Be sure your employees understand roles and responsibilities. If possible, write it down and distribute the information. This way, everyone will know who does what, and you’ll avoid unnecessary questions and conflicts about responsibilities.
3. Are you meeting regularly?
If your teams are not getting together on a regular basis, it’s time to schedule monthly meetings. Your tech people and your customer-service teams should feel comfortable working with each other and asking questions. By discussing issues, goals and ideas, you’ll be able to provide better, faster service. And more important, your employees will develop a level of trust and create better working relationships that will help the company culture as a whole.
4. What’s going on?
Once you have your technology and customer-service processes in place, be sure to monitor and analyze activities. What’s working and what isn’t? Get regular reports on results, issues, questions, comments, and more. Then, your teams can discuss this information at their monthly meetings to resolve issues before they become major problems and celebrate the activities that are working well.
5. Are you covered?
Today’s customers will look at your entire company. They will seek information online, via phone and in-person. Are you ready to help them?
Be sure to integrate all of your communications so that your team members provide the best service possible… no matter how customers approach your business.
6. What tools are you using?
Customer-service technology is constantly changing so make sure your team members are aware of the latest trends, software updates, viruses, and more. In addition, confirm that all of your technologies are up-to-date, backed up and in good working order. Customers don’t have a lot of patience, and it would be a shame to lose sales due to a Web page error, a bad e-mail process, privacy issues, or some other, technological glitch that could have been avoided.
Excel at Customer Service.
Providing the best customer-service process possible involves a combination of good technology and the human touch. Once you have the right people on your teams, open the lines of communication, monitor results and make changes as necessary.
By updating your customer-service processes regularly, you’ll improve employee relationships and create a more trusting and creative work-environment. But more important, you’ll be able to exceed at customer service and increase sales.
Robert LeCount is The Rich Dad Company’s Director of Information Technology. Based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” The Rich Dad Company uses innovative technology to offer a new way to think about money and investing. For more information, please write to Robert below or at www.richdad.com.-->
Today, most businesses are using the Internet to compete on an international basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that technology is now a major part of the sales process, and more important, your customer-service activities. But you cannot provide top-level customer service with technology alone. People are sick of dealing [...]Continue Reading
At Rich Dad, we use a combination of innovation and speed to meet the needs of our ever-changing business environment and exceed customer expectations. And I’m sure you are dealing with the same issues at your small business. Things can get out of control fast (especially if you are outsourcing a lot of work) so [...]Continue Reading
3 Tips to Protect Your Important Data
Intellectual Property (IP), or creations of the mind that you use in your business, are a big deal. In fact, the Global Intellectual Property Center reports that, “America’s IP is worth $5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.” This means that as a business owner, protecting your IP is important.
“Intellectual property protection is significant for small businesses who provide services,” states author of “Start Your Own Corporation,” Garrett Sutton, Esq. “As an attorney, I’ve heard many stories from clients about malicious employers who ripped off their clients because they did not have an intellectual property protection.”
With this in mind, what are you doing to protect your IP?
Obviously, it’s essential to work with a legal professional to set up the appropriate protections via copyrights, trademarks and patents. But with information available online to a worldwide audience at any time, it’s essential to be proactive when protecting your information. To increase your IP security, try these three tips:
1. Look for Thieves Regularly.
Just because you have legal paperwork in place, this is not going to stop thieves from searching for ways to obtain and use your IP. This is why it’s important to have specific team-members monitor your data every day online, record and report potential issues and know what to do if there is a breach of information. This way, you’ll be able to stop IP problems from escalating and wasting unnecessary time, money and effort.
2. Sign a Confidentiality Statement.
Although you probably trust most of the people you work with and feel they will keep important information confidential, it’s essential to get this in writing. Work with your attorney to create a non-disclosure agreement and have everyone involved in your organization – employees, advertisers, contractors, etc. – sign it.
This way, if someone exposes private information, you have signed paperwork in place to pursue legal action. Plus, your team members will know this is serious information, and they’ll be aware of the ramifications for divulging business secrets.
3. Involve Everyone in Your Organization.
Protecting your IP involves everyone in your organization. Because of this, schedule regular meetings, send out e-mail notices or monthly newsletters, or hold special events throughout the year to inform your team members about IP and confidentiality issues.
Teach your staff members what they need to look for and what to do if they see a potential breach. By doing so, you’ll have a group of people regularly on the lookout for perpetrators and increase your chances of discovering thieves faster.
With constant advancements in technology, more people have access to information than ever before. If you want to keep your confidential, IP information private, it takes more than putting legal processes and paperwork in place. You also need to be proactive, educate your team members regularly and always be on the lookout for IP thieves.
This way, you’ll have a better chance of stopping potential perpetrators from stealing your confidential data. After all, if you don’t protect your IP, it’s not a matter of “if” it will be stolen; it’s a matter of “when”!
What are you going to do today to start protecting your IP?
For more information, please provide your comments below or reach me at www.richdad.com.-->
3 Tips to Protect Your Important Data Intellectual Property (IP), or creations of the mind that you use in your business, are a big deal. In fact, the Global Intellectual Property Center reports that, “America’s IP is worth $5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.” This means that [...]Continue Reading
Cybercrime is increasing dramatically. In fact, ”The 2012 Security Threat Report” by data security company SOPHOS, indicates that we “need to be ready for attacks on new platforms and devices—all the places we use data for work and our personal lives,” and that “cybercriminals are becoming more professionalized through the availability of commercial crimeware kits… the result is mass generation of new malicious code and exploits, and a significant increase in the volume of malware.”
Securing company data is now a top priority. But if you are relying solely on your tech team to protect your data, you are not as secure as you think you are. Instead, everyone in your organization needs to get involved in keeping information safe and private.
Where do you begin?
Start With E-Mail.
One of the most vulnerable areas in your organization is e-mail. People often communicate private information within e-mails, but this data is usually not secured. To overcome this issue, implement systems on or off-site that help you contain communications-channels to your organization. These include:
- Employing technologies that scan and monitor e-mail communications for potential, intellectual-property breaches;
- Maintaining outside file repositories with logging capabilities for file exchanges; and
- Using encryption, firewalls, spam filtering, and other systems for protection against viruses, spam and phishing attempts.
This way, you have control over internal communications online and a way to keep offending visitors out. However, none of this will work if you don’t talk to your entire organization about the importance of securing data.
While your tech team may be monitoring the security of your organization regularly, other employees are not. Many of them do not know the security risks involved with e-mail attachments, visiting certain Websites, communicating private information online, and more.
Because of this, your tech leaders need to communicate with all employees every month. It’s their job to educate staff members on technology “do’s and don’ts” within the organization and what can happen if they break the rules.
This educational process may involve weekly meetings, monthly newsletters, training sessions, e-mail notices, or even fun events to build relationships between departments. And since technology is constantly changing, you need to look at these organization-wide communications as ongoing.
All employees need to know how to avoid security issues, what to do if they see a potential, security threat and what is going on with security in the organization as a whole.
Security is a Team Effort.
While your tech team may be on the cutting-edge of security, this is just the beginning. Everyone in your organization needs to know the security policies, be aware of threats and act accordingly. By communicating regularly and working together, you can avoid unwanted infiltrations into your system, information leaks and major, security issues.
What are you going to do today to let your employees know about tech security at your company? Please comment below, or write to me at The Rich Dad Company, email@example.com.-->
Cybercrime is increasing dramatically. In fact, ”The 2012 Security Threat Report” by data security company SOPHOS, indicates that we “need to be ready for attacks on new platforms and devices—all the places we use data for work and our personal lives,” and that “cybercriminals are becoming more professionalized through the availability of commercial crimeware kits… [...]Continue Reading
When you’re creating strategies to grow your business, your finance leaders are a big part of the planning process… right? Well, don’t forget your IT members too. While your finance people are busy crunching the numbers, they may not be aware of how technology can help them do their jobs faster and more accurately. Don’t [...]Continue Reading
Without open communications, your business days are numbered Welcome to my new blog. I’m Robert LeCount, the director of information technology at The Rich Dad Company, www.richdad.com. You’ve probably heard of it… it’s the financial education tech company based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling personal finance book of all time, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” I love [...]Continue Reading
Recently, StartupNation was approached by FutureDash, and they had a lot to say about crowdfunding. Here’s what CEO Kevin Strong had to say… Tell us about your business. FutureDash is a technology startup focused on an energy management solution called EnergyBuddy, www.energy-buddy.com. It gives homeowners and small businesses awareness of their energy usage, helping them [...]Continue Reading
Are you getting all you can out of your SEO, search engine optimization efforts, right now? Here is a quick checklist of the things you need to make your search engine optimization activities a success: 1. Provide great content. Offer your customers tips, insights and stories they can actually use. And be sure to use [...]Continue Reading
You’ve seen the bundled services for Internet, phone and television which can often save you a lot of money. Well, today you’ll also see a lot of these “bundled” services for search engine optimization, or SEO. With the tough economy, many businesses are trying to branch out and offer customers unique packages at a discount. [...]Continue Reading
Did you notice that your site rankings went up or down right around April 24th? That’s because Google changed things again with their “penguin update.” They are really cracking down on sites built solely for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. But there is no need to worry. If you follow a few simple rules that [...]Continue Reading
As a small business owner, you are probably inundated with news about the latest, social media trends. There is facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and more. Do you have this feeling that you should get involved with it but just aren’t sure? Well, here are… 3 Ways to Know Whether or Not You Should Get [...]Continue Reading
I feel as though I am always writing about social media and the rapid changes of that thing we affectionately call the ‘Internet’ here at StartUpNation. There must be a reason why I feel as though both you and I should stay up to date with this rapidly changing area. No, it is not to stay [...]Continue Reading