Showing posts with label communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label communications. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Forthcoming Alliance with Timely Sites


Dear clients:

I am pleased to announce a forthcoming alliance with Timely Sites. It is scheduled to take place officially on Sept 1, 2014. On that date our combined agency will begin conducting business as Timely Sites.

Our company began offering web design services in 2001. Its success over the past 13 years has stemmed from the referrals of our clients. As a result of those efforts, we have experienced steady growth. We believe that our new larger organization will allow us to provide a wider array of services and top-notch support.

There are several things we want to point out that will not change:

  • You will continue to work directly with me.
  • Our fee structure will not change.
  • The services we have provided you in the past will continue to be offered by the combined firm.

I will continue to operate from my current office. All the contact information will remain the same. If you have any questions about this exciting news and what it will mean for you, please contact me at any time

I am grateful to you not only for allowing me the opportunity to provide you with web design services but for your loyalty and friendship. I am confident that our new affiliation will serve us all well.

Patrick LaJuett
Chief Marketing Officer
Timely Sites

Patrick LaJuett
Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy adviser.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Client Communications - Constantly Evolving


Client communication is critical to my business success. I'm constantly juggling and multitasking. Social media is both a blessing and a bother.



Simpler Times
My Web design business launched in the fall of 2001. Back then, face to face meetings, emails and phone calls were the ways I communicated with customers (sorry, couldn't do the pager on belt thing).

How things have changed
With the explosion of mobile phones and social media, I now have customers contacting me via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Trying to keep up with the various incoming messages from all these sources has become a challenge.

Time to talk
Communication is critical to business success, but it can be a real time vacuum.  As a small business owner, I constantly struggle to juggle the various aspects of running the business. Things like work flow, cash flow, and trying to grow.  I need to be able to respond quickly and concisely to the multitudinous customer inquiries I receive.

Email to the core
My preference has always been email because I like to have a "paper trail".  I also like the ability to respond at any time (even 2 am on a Friday night, I'm ashamed to admit).  I use Outlook and Gmail with synced calendars, this allows me to use the best of both tools.  Priority flags and reminders are my virtual post-it notes.

Google Voice - A nice choice
The "Swiss army knife" of small business communication tools?
  • It's free
  • Local phone number
  • Call forwarding / call screening / conference
  • Voice to email and/or SMS

Help Desk - Scalable and Professional
I have implemented an online help desk (Zendesk) to help manage projects, changes and technical support issues.
  • Web based
  • 24/7
  • Tracking
  • Integrated with email
From my experience, customers seem to resist the "lengthy" ticket creation process (sarcasm).

SMS / Texting
Not new, but it's still very convenient when possible.
  • Quick
  • Mobile
Integration is a problem, although Google contacts and Voice play nicely together.  No way to push events to G calendar (app idea?), I also find that messages can get buried quickly. And land lines are land mines.  Accidentally trying to send a text to a land line and you get the dreaded 25 cent extra charge message.  I've never found the courage to do it.  Damn, I actually have to call the customer back.

Social Media - Lovin' G+, Facebook not so much
Keeping pace with evergreen social network landscape is fun but challenging.
  • Highly interactive
  • Non intrusive (Turn the alerts off - gasp!)
  • Hooks into help desk
Any of these tools can be a barrier for non technical customers.  I also have privacy concerns. Accidentally posting a reply that's set to public versus private.  The equivalent of "reply all" if you will.

My quest for the ultimate solution continues...
No matter what I have in-place, it will never please everyone, myself included.  Clients demand 24/7 accessibility and instant response.  Spam blockers, forgotten passwords, playing phone tag... all barriers to effective streamlined communication.

I look back fondly on the "olden days".  Before smartphones and social media enveloped my every waking minute.  And I had to walk uphill both ways to school. :-)

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