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Why Customers Don't Think Brands Are Doing Their Job Well?

The interface layer, that is the Web, has brought brands closer to their customers not literally but by cancelling out limiting factors like distance and awareness. But, at the same time, it has impartially done so which means competing brands stand side by side before a customer when he or she is making the purchase decision. which leads us to the critical question as to how one brand can gain an edge over the neighbor in attracting the customer?

There is no single point mantra to brand success leading to higher purchases and so higher revenues. But, in today’s era, it is a widely accepted belief that understanding customers and providing them what they need guarantees success. And marketers too believe they know their customers. At least, that’s what an IBM study found. According to the IBM and Econsultancy study, “80% marketers believed that they had a holistic view of individual customers.” Despite this, the study could quote only 27% customers saying the average brand understands them as an individual and so could convince them to buy their products. It’s shockingly large gap that exists between brands’ and customers’ perceptions which clearly tells us that though most businesses think they are doing everything right, they are actually unable to match customers’ expectations.

The Web has turned the world upside down and it has done that for businesses too. Earlier, businesses were not just sellers but leaders and the products they created were admired by people. It is true to a certain extent now but the reversal has come about from customers’ expectations. Today, customers expect brands to create products they want and not what the former think customers need and should have. Not just market research but individualized opinion matters greatly. Brands today need to have conversations with existing and potential customers in a bid to understand them and what they need. Another company has found that it achieved growth rates of 52% by placing customers at the core of operations and having conversations with them.

Brands can begin by understanding what customers are doing on a regular basis and send them contextual information and notifications. Businesses can start by managing their customer identities. On the web, digital identities are the ends of the medium and understanding customers begins with getting a Customer Identity Management platform.

The IBM and Econsultancy study, quoted earlier, found that only 21% customers actually thought communications from the average brands are “usually relevant” while only 35% of them thought communications from their preferred brands are “usually relevant.” IBM thinks that that marketers fail at convincing their customers because they fail at technology integration. The first of the key things brands need to do is to not let their existing customers move away from them. Customer retention is critical to a brand’s success and growth because customers can be the best ambassadors and in fact market for the brand through word of mouth. Companies can do this by managing their customer identities and having conversations with them at regular intervals. The second key is to project themselves as the better brand by improving the customer’s perception and understanding of the brand. Companies need to understand that customers prefer brands which convey their core values and products in the right way and at the right time.
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To centralize customer profile data or not?

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Big data and privacy are often at odds with each other. While businesses are trying every new technique to get maximum data from their customers, on the other hand, customers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with sharing their personal data online. In the Annual Track Survey, 77% users admitted that they are very concerned about sharing their data online and not sure about the security of their privacy.

And why wouldn’t they??

After all customer data is very sensitive in nature and everybody has full right to be sure whether their data will be secure with businesses or not. 

customer profile data

In this article, I am going to cover up the significance of centralizing customer profile data and how it will improve data security at your end. So let’s start with why you need to centralize data!

Why customer profile data centralization?

Data holds great importance for every business. When collected and analyzed efficiently, this data can provide you precious customer insights. But the same data loses its value when collected through multiple channels and stored in silos!! The concept is quite simple, the data at one place, can help you out with great insights, but when separated, becomes useless.

Benefits of customer profile data centralization

1. Higher Security, better integrity!!

Higher Security
Centralizing customer profile data at a single place removes all the redundancies. Centralized data is more accurate as well as you no longer need to worry about the data being replicated incorrectly. Cloud based data centralization adds security to your data as these systems keep taking automatic backup to your data every hour, every day.

2. Removes data silos!! The next benefit of data centralization is the elimination of data silos. The data gathered by your business comes in various forms and transferred through various channels. This precious data when transferred across multiple departments, becomes useless in separated state and starts creating data silos which can be harmful for your business.
Removes data silos

Some of the problems caused includes the lack of getting relevant data at single place, wastage of resources and time to combine multiple identities, and so on! But data centralization ensures you elimination of silos and surety of useful customer profile data.

3. Single Customer View!!

Single Customer View

Do you know businesses are getting more reliable data than ever and 77% digital marketers reported that data collection has increased over past year. Though that’s a great news, but the problem of linking this data in order to create individual customer profile is all the same. But with centralization, this data becomes more secure, silos are kicked out and you can finally have a unified view of your target customers.

Summary :

Customers have become concerned regarding their personal data like never before and the way you ensure the security of their data can play a huge role in their decision of becoming your customer and data centralization can be a great step in this direction!!

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Impress your visitors on the first date with your site

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Do you remember your first date? A first date lets you meet somebody new who you observe and decide whether you guys are a good match for each other. Do you remember how much effort did you put to impress your partner? Well, your website also requires the same amount of attention in order to impress its visitors. When visitors arrive on your site, they judge in the same way you do on your first dates which makes it essential for you to learn how you can make your site look irresistible and ensure long term relationship with your visitors.
 Impress your visitors on the first date with your site

Here is the article that will cover up some essential tips to make both of your online as well as offline dates successful:

1. Be punctual :

C’mon! We all know how much we hate waiting! Being not on time on your first date will ruin all your efforts. Similarly, don’t let your visitors wait when they arrive on your site. A slow loading website will blow off your date. Your website has to be fast, optimize your images before uploading and test out what’s causing your site speed down. But always make sure that you don’t make your visitors wait.

2. Dress Up your best :

No matter how rude that sounds but looks are the first thing you notice when you meet someone for the first time. Pick up your perfect outfit that not only makes you look dashing, wear that perfume you have kept in your almirah and always brush your teeth :P and you are ready to go!

Similarly, talking to your website, you have 8 seconds to convince your visitors to stay and trust me, “how your website looks” plays a major role here. You have the single chance to create that first impression and to make this possible, design your website at its best but again, don’t overdo it by choosing extremely bright colors. Choose color combinations wisely, make sure the site layout makes sense, your fonts should be easy to read, overall design a simple yet attractive website.

3. Offer valuable information :

Now that you are on time, you have made some special efforts regarding your looks, the next step is to have some interesting conversation, right? The conversation you will have now will let you both understand whether you have something common or whether the partner is beauty with brains or just a good looking person without any brains!
Looks will only help you so far, the rest depends on how interesting is their interaction with you. Now that you have designed a good looking website that grabs user's attention, the next step is to provide value to them. Post relevant content, valuable guide as it will convince them to come back to you preventing your first date to become last date.

4. Provide a way to keep in touch :

Your first date is going well, you both like each other, so obviously you would want to meet again, right? To make it possible, you will have to share your contact information right. Either provide your number or take your partner’s number so that you can stay in contact.

In the same way, if you want to meet your visitors again, you will have to provide them a way to contact you again. Customer Registration either by Email registration or social login or both, can help you out with that. But don’t make the process too lengthy or else they will rather leave. You should also add social sharing widgets on your website in order to make it easy to share your web content. Apart from this, also create a contact us page that provides visitors necessary information about you.

5. Test and Optimize :

Every pickup line that you are going to try, you must practice it before in order to stop making a fool out of yourself. Try out multiple pickup lines, multiple outfits in order to decide which one works best. After all you don’t get a second chance to leave that first impression.

In the case of your website, keep testing every element of your website from color to CTA, in order to find out the most compelling one. A/B testing can really help you out there. Keep testing! Keep optimizing until you are ready to go!

Here are some tips that will ensure you a successful date both online as well as offline. If you have some other tips, that I missed, feel free to mention in the comments below.
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The future of customer registration

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In the ideal world, every marketer wants its website visitors to opt registration in order to open up the potential to build a long term relationship with them. Collecting precious customer data is the main part of every marketing plan and customer registration process is an effective way to do that.  However, in the past few years the process of customer registration has completely changed. In this article I am going to guide you through the future of customer registration. But before that, let’s find out what people think about customer registration, both from customer point of view as well as marketer point of view!

From customer point of view, customer registration is :

“I would rather be anonymous user!”
“Even if I register, let me provide them my fake email id and other information. Afterall how can I trust them with my personal data when I hardly know them.”

“Why should I provide them all my information? What’s in it for me? Today they are asking for email, tomorrow they might ask for my address, my phone number or one day they might even ask what is the name of my pet! I mean who has got time for that?”

“Oh registration! So they might make me create another site specific username and password to memorize! Sorry but I think, I’ll pass!!”

Contrary to that, here is what customer registration means for businesses :

“Let us ask them as much information as we can so that we can sell them our products, send email newsletters,  make calls and build a long term relationships with them!”

Though customer registration is beneficial for both the customers as well as businesses, customers perceive it nothing more than a barrier. From captchas, to another set of password to confirmation mails, customer registration has become more often or not, a headache for online users. So here is my guide to what customer registration service used to be like, how it has become a headache for online users and what the future of customer registration holds for us!

Back to the Past :

Traditional registration forms.jpg

Long before, the process of customer registration was non existent. The content used to be freely available to use. But with the concept of monitoring and analyzing traffic coming into picture, businesses started to experience the need to identify their visitors. Customer registration forms helped them with it. But with registration forms, came numerous fields, countless questions and hectic CAPTCHAs. Some of the most common questions asked were :

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email ID
  • Address
  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Designation
  • Company Website
  • and more!

Complicated registration process.jpg

Answering this questions before performing certain action is a war in itself. Apart from that, many websites made the process more lengthy by adding the process of account activation by clicking on confirmation mail.

Due the lack of technology back then, customizing registration forms was not an option. But gradually, marketers started to understand the consequences of forcing a time consuming registration process on users though it didn’t happen overnight but marketers were getting smarter and so were online users!

Customer Registration in the present :

Customer registration has evolved a lot from what it used to be like a couple of years ago. The problem of poor user experience led by lengthy registration process forced businesses to provide audience the choice between traditional registration process, social sign in or even both.

social login with traditional registration.png

With the advent of social media, social login came into existence that let visitors authenticate themselves using their existing social identities. This made the whole process a lot convenient and quick. Registration forms are also very customized now, only the necessary questions are asked and the choice is provided between social login and traditional registration process in order to offer flexibility. This not only boosts user experience on the website but also provides genuine customer data. It would not be wrong, if I say, social media has become an important part of customer registration service.

The future of customer registration :

I am not an astrologer or something like that to predict the future of customer registration though it is sure that the whole registration process is getting more inclined towards user experience. Online users are getting smarter, marketers are getting wiser and the registration process is getting better. With the sensitiveness of customer profile data, the registration process will become more secure, convenient and definitely, more promising!! So keep testing, keep optimizing until you create a highly convenient and promising registration process for your visitors!!

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Injury or Accidents in the workplace

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Accidents in the Workplace are quite common. Everyday we come across news of accidents in workplaces that forces me to think how we can reduce these incidents. Security and safety at workplace is a major concern for both the employees and the employers. Beside keeping emergency police, hospital, ambulance, doctor and fire fighters’ numbers; one must take care of the below mentioned points to handle various kind of workplace injury and keep the workplace safe and secure.
  1. Fire
  2. Electrical
  3. Software and Data
  4. Office premises & colleagues
  5. Parking Area
  6. Machinery  
1.  Fire –
Fire is one of the major element uproot the security and the most common workplace injury. While talking about workplace,  here are some points one must note in order to stay safe with this workplace injury.
  • Become familiar with your facility’s fire and life safety systems.
  • Know which of the following your building has, as well as their location and use: Manual pull alarms | Fire extinguishers | Smoke detectors | Fire alarm monitoring service | Exit doors & stairwells | Voice alarm| Sprinklers | Fire doors „Watch out for Common fire | Missing or broken fire safety equipment |Accumulated trash | Open fire doors| Burned out exit lights| Blocked stairways
  • Do not use water to douse fire caused by electrical fault you may  get the electrical shock.
2. Electrical –
Steps to avoid electrical accidents and hazards in workplace
  • Maintain all electrical installations in good working order
  • Provide enough socket-outlets for equipment in use
  • Do not overload socket-outlets – using adapters can cause fires
  • Know the position of Emergency Off ( Power)  switch to cut off power in an emergency
  • Use the right equipment as per the advice of specialist and certified electrician
  • Some equipment are double insulated. These are often marked with a ‘double-square’ symbol. The supply leads have only two wires – live (brown) and neutral (blue)
  • Using lower voltages can reduce or eliminate the risks of electric shocks and burns.
  • Portable tools are available which can be run from a 110 volts, centre-tapped-to-earth supply, (usually from a transformer) Battery-operated electrically powered tools are safest.
  • Temporary lighting can be run at lower voltages, e.g. 12, 25, 50 or 110 volts.
3. Software and Data
Workplace is  full of responsibilities as you have to deal with loads of information and processes.  The safety of organisation and employees are dependent on confidentiality and trust.
Breaching any of those can be a curse so there are steps to take precautions -  
  • Do not share sensitive information with unknown individuals in chat-rooms or other Internet discussion forums. 
  • Verify that you have an encrypted connection when providing credit card or other financial information online.
  • Use a password that cannot be easily guessed— mix up letters and numbers in a random fashion.
  • Change your password regularly.
  • Backup all systems regularly.
  • Keep backup information in a fire safe or better yet off the premises.
  • Use virus protection software.
  • Use a firewall or gatekeeper between your computer and the Internet.
  • Disconnect computers from the Internet when they are not in use.
  • Regularly download security patches from your software vendors.
  • Don’t send confidential, financial, or personal information on your email system.
  • Use original software
  • Keep your website secured

4. Office Premises & colleagues –
Even inside the office there are various threats, harassment and safety breaches, so one needs to take complete care to tackle the problem and here are those :-
  • Easy-to-use phone systems with emergency buttons |sign-in policies for visitors | panic buttons| safe rooms | security guards| office access controls| good lighting| CCTV|  safety training
  • Hiring time -employment gaps| history| references| and criminal and educational records
  • Potentially violent employees | clear, written policy that spells out procedures in cases of violence and sanctions for violators| Policy against sexual harassments and abuse

5. Parking Area –
  • Choose a well-lighted, well-guarded parking garage. 
  • If the office building has its own garage, work with your facility manager if you do not feel safe.
  • Always lock your car and roll the windows up all the way. 
  • If you notice any strangers hanging around the parking lot, notify security or the police. 
  • When you approach the car, have the key ready. 
  • Check the floor and front and back seats before getting in. 
  • Lock your car as soon an as you get in—before you buckle your seat belt. Write down the license number of any vehicle involved in a possible crime.

6. Machineries
There are high chances  of safety breaches in office or work places if one take proper care of machineries or the forget to take precautions. Keep these points in mind while dealing with machineries.  
  • Observe and practice the safety procedures established for the job.
  • In case of sickness or injury, no matter how slight, report at once to your supervisor or medical team
  • In case of injury resulting in possible fracture to legs, back, or neck, or any accident resulting in an unconscious condition, or a severe head injury, the employee is not to be moved until medical attention has been given by authorized personnel.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry around machinery. It may catch on moving equipment and cause a serious injury even death
  • Never allow distraction to divert attention or concentration at the time of machine operation. It you might cause him or her to be injured. If necessary to get the attention of another person, wait until it can be done safely.
  • Wear protective equipment, such as goggles, safety glasses, masks, gloves, hair nets, etc. appropriate to the task.
  • Safety equipment such as restraints, pull backs, and two-hand devices are designed for your protection. Be sure such equipment is adjusted for you.

  • Workplace injury doesn’t always mean something physical. While some of these injuries are not predictable, but staying alert is the key to stay safe with these accidents in the workplace as well as in the personal life. Safe work environment ensures happy employees which means excellent work output.
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Reduce bounce rate on your site with 4 web design tips

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how to reduce bounce rateLot’s of traffic but very few conversions, does that sound familiar to you? Getting huge traffic on your website is of no value if this traffic doesn’t stick. Everyday online users visit hundreds of new websites but don’t spend time more than few seconds. In short, they land on a website, scan it briefly and decide to leave.

Bounce rate is basically a measurement of the visitors who ditch your website as soon as they arrive without visiting any deeper pages. In general, the lower the bounce rate, the better it is.

In this article I am going to mention four web design tips that will encourage visitors to stick around thereby reducing bounce rates :
1. Choose a simple yet attractive design :

The first thing visitors notice after landing on your website is how it looks? These first few seconds of interaction can either make or break your business. So keep your website design simple but unique.  Make experiments, but it should be able to grab user attention. With 90% visitors believing poor web design as the reason for not trusting the business, you must make sure that the web design must be able to convince user to stay. Too many ads, video on autoplay mode will immediately make users leave. Put all the important information above the fold and make it easy to navigate.

2. Ditch long forms :

Social Login

We all hate filling forms, no matter online or offline. Greeting users with a long registration form as soon as they arrive on your website in order to complete the desired action, will immediately make them leave. 75% users leave the website rather than going through complicated customer registration process thereby causing high bounce rate on your website. Social Login is a great alternative here. Also known as Social Sign On, simplifies the whole process of registration by making it a one click process. It lets your website visitors authenticate themselves using their existing social identities. Social Login boosts conversions by increasing the number of sign ups on your website and at the same time reduces bounce rate.

3. Organize your content :

Only a naive can expect that the visitor will bother to navigate the site in order to find the content that he want. If the content on your site is not well organized and it is taking too much time for the visitor to find the content on your site, trust me they will leave your website right away. In order to make them stick around, organize your content in such a way that the desired content should be just one or two clicks away from the home page.

4. Optimize your website for mobile :

mobile friendly website

As per ComScore, 60% of the time users spend online is via mobile devices. No matter how good and optimized your website is for desktops, if you haven’t optimized it for mobile devices as well, you are missing out a lot. Having a mobile optimized website is need of the hour and if you are not serious about it yet, you can be in a big trouble in near future. With mobile devices taking over desktops for the primary device to access internet, you must ensure that you have opt for responsive design.

If you want to make the most out of your website, you must take steps to boost conversion and for boosting conversion, you need to find out ways to convince users to spend more time on website. Above mentioned four tips will help you out with it. Which other tips do you think I missed, mention in the comments below.
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