Brett Welch | BC

Improving Customer Experience with Notes and Tasks

Did you know that you can record notes and tasks against customer records, orders and cases? It's a neat feature can often come in handy.

In dealings with customers, at times you may want to leave notes or create tasks for yourself. To do this, simply click on the Tasks button. The tasks button is viewable on any tab when viewing a customer record, and you  add a Note or a Task/Call/Meeting by simply clicking on it (Calls and Meetings are simply specialized Tasks).

You can also add reminders for Tasks, Calls and Meetings. Simply check the "Add Reminder?" checkbox and select the date and time to be reminded- An email will be sent to you at the time specified to remind you!

Finally, for a birds eye view of all of your tasks, you can view all tasks and retrieve tasks for a time period under Home->Tasks.

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Brett Welch | BC

Using Cases to Manage Customer Interactions (pt 2)

Last post I went through what a case is and how they are created - now, in part I'll show you how you can publish those cases online. There are many situations where you might want to allow your customers to view their cases online. For example a finance company may want to show customers the progress of their loan application. Whatever your businesss need, you can do this easily in a few steps.

1. Set up a Secure Zone for your customers.
2. Create a new web page and add it to the secure zone.
3. For that web page, click on the Editor tab and open up the Module Manager.
4. Under Secure Zones, you will see the case related modules such as
     a. Case Search, to search for cases by their name or ID number
     b. Customer Case History, to display all of the cases for that customer, or all of the cases related to a particular workflow(such as a loan request workflow for the finance company).

Insert the module you want to use, and you're done. As usual, you can customize the layout and the data for your cases in Administration->Customize. Click on "Customer Cases Templates".

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Brett Welch | BC

Using Cases to Manage Customer Interactions (pt 1)

Let's start with discussing what a Case is.

A Case is a record of a customer’s interaction with your business - simple as that! They can be created both manually and automatically. Cases would be created manually by the sales or customer service representative, when the customer contacts your business directly in person, via the phone or via email.

Cases are created automatically when a web form is submitted on your web site. The custom fields on that web form are also captured in the resulting Case Record. It is generally true that most cases in the system will be created via web form submissions.

It’s important to remember that a case should be created each time a customer interacts with your business - online and off! If you also create cases manually for all interactions with the customer, it will enable you to keep a history of all interactions with the customer! This is a key to creating better customer service and improving your customer's experience.

In part two i'll go over something really powerful - publishing customer case history in a secure zone on your web site! That means your customers can log in and see their case history...

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Brett Welch | BC

Uploading PDF and Word documents

Lately there's been a few questions about Literature - that is, uploading PDF and word documents to sites for customers to download. So here's a quick rundown on literature and how you use it.

What is Literature?
Literature is an extremely powerful tool for instant publishing of downloadable web content. Your online business can very quickly develop a literature library for access by website visitors. When Literature is downloaded by a website visitor, a record is made of the action. This means that you can now accurately track when literature is being viewed, how often and so forth.

Adding Literature
To create literature you must first author a document or file in its native format - such as Microsoft Word or PDF. Once you have the document in the format that you would like to be uploaded, go to Content->Literature

  1. Click Add New Literature.
  2. Enter Literature Details in the Details tab. Note that:
    1. Role responsible (advanced option) will notify the selected role if the item expires
  3. Click Save
  4. Upload Literature in Content tab
  5. Classify the Document if it is required (Classification Tab – see below for details)
  6. Add the Literature to a Secure Zone if it is required. (Secure Zone Tab - see below for details)
  7. Add the Literature to an RSS Channel if it is required. (RSS Channel tab – see below)
  8. Preview the Literature if desired (Preview Tab)

Note: You may decide not to use the Literature feature and upload or FTP your documents directly to your website. If you use this approach then you will need to manually create links to these documents. Also no usage tracking is available for these documents when Literature module is not used.

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Brett Welch | BC

A Time Saving Tip

Did you know you can prepare some content ahead of time? Blog posts, announcements, FAQs, web pages, products, catalogues (pretty much anything actually) can all be prepared before they are needed and scheduled to go out using the "Release Date" field. You can also use the "Expiry Date" to make the content disappear too - for a christmas sale catalogue in your shop, for example.

So when you've got a moment prepare next week's announcments and schedule them to go out when you desire :)

P.S This post was scheduled a few days ago. Why? Because I could :)

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Brett Welch | BC

Hello, 2007

Happy New Year everybody!

2006 was a great year, but 2007 is going to be even better, I'm sure. The support blog has been quiet for the last month or so, as I've been buried under piles of paper writing and editing our brand new training manual! It wasn't just me though - the manual came together through a great deal of work from the support and development team as well.

Over the next few weeks or so I'm going to post snippets of the manual (especially frequently asked stuff) on this blog. It's a way to give you a sneak peek while also highlighting the important bits! Until next time, take care and I hope you have had and continue to have a safe and restful holiday season.

I'm excited about 2007 - it's going to be big and successful year for all of the BC family - I can just feel it!
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Brett Welch | BC

Collecting Anniversary Dates

A while back I wrote about how you can send out "Anniversary" campaigns to remind customers of dates special to them: What if you wanted to capture those details via a webform?
You'll have to do some web form HTML coding, but it's not hard - Here’s how you do it.
  1. Firstly, decide what each anniversary is going to be, and stick to it. Anniversary 1 is wife’s birthday, Anniversary 2 is … and write it down somewhere.
  2. Create a Web Form to register the reminder details. Add a field of type “DateTime” for *each anniversary you want to capture*. Name it after what the anniversary means, according to the scheme you devised above.
  3. Insert the web form on your desired page.
  4. In the HTML code change the text field names (the ones that you are using to collect anniversary dates) to “Anniversary1”, “Anniversary2”, etc up to “Anniversary5”. Make sure it’s consistent with the scheme you devised in step 1.
  5. Test it out - fill in the web form. Log into the system and view your new customer's record. Click on the Anniversaries tab and you'll see that those anniversary dates have been captured against the customer record! Now for every customer that fills in that form we'll see their individual anniversary date.
Then you'd go and create you email campaigns as I laid out in my earlier post... and you're on the way to one-to-one marketing to drive customers back to your business!
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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Personalization Power

One of our partners recently read my last blog post and came back with a neat idea. He was thinking along a slightly different track, but the result was a good one! It all came from his comment that research had shown that your could improve conversion rates (the percentage of browsers that convert to buyers) by

30% if you personalized your content to include the customer's name.

Of course you can do that using our email marketing, but what about on web pages? Imagine going to a web page and seeing the content personalized for you:

    "Brett, your life is at a cross roads. Buy our product now and we'll help you."

Ok, so maybe my copy could do with some work, but you see what I mean - it's about personalizing a web page for a particular customer. So you could feasibly use the "Curly Urly" trick to personalise a page for recipients of your email campaigns! This is how you'd do it.
  • Create the landing page you want your customers to land on. I’m going to call it “lando”.
  • Write your copy for your landing page, but wherever you want their first name to appear, write : {module_url, name}
  • In your email campaign that is going out, insert a link to the "lando" page.
  • Modify that link by hand, so that the "href" part points to www.yoursite.com/lando?name={tag_recipientfirstname}
So now, when you click on the link in the email it will replace the {tag_recipientfirstname} with the recipients first name. That will get passed to the “lando” page which will, in turn, replace with the recipients first name!

Neat-o! 30% Higher conversion rates, here we come...

Of course, you could use CSS stylesheets to make the name stand out more too!

Aside: The research that yeilded the 30% figure was not conducted by us and we do not have access to the source of those figures. However, we do know that personlization of email marketing campaigns is highly effective, so it stands to reason that web pages would have the same effect. If anyone has any other stats or research on the topic, leave us a comment so we can check it out!

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Curly Urly

Time for another hidden feature - one that we’ve used on our new site! This one allows you to pass values along any URL. You can use this for pretty much anything that catches your fancy! Warning – this is a little advanced – HTML and javascript knowledge required!

So, have you ever wanted to grab values out of the URL? E.g.
http://yourdomain.com/home.htm?Value=NewUser

And why would you want to? Well, you can grab these values from your URL and use them in your javascript to do different things. For example - on the BC home page, take a look at the URLs on the left-handside that all point to the Tour page. See how they all slightly differ? When you click on them, we grab the value from the URL, and use it in our javascript to hide/show DIVs which contain different strategies.

So how can you do this? Try { module_url }

Simply pass in the variable name in the query string. In the above example, the variable name is “Value”. So when we use module_url, { module_url,Value } will display : "NewUser"


And so, in your javascript you can start doing some great stuff.

<script language=javascript>

var query = "{ module_url,value }";

if (query == 'NewUser')  {
        // make some div visible
        document.getElementById('somediv').style.display = 'inline';
}
else { 
        // make some other div visible 
        document.getElementById('anotherdiv').style.display = 'inline';
}

</script>


So you can see that now we can make our pages really dynamic, passing in variables to achieve various effects. Imagine a search engine keyword marketing campaign where a different keyword was passed in based on which ad the user had clicked on. We can then customize the landing page to maximize conversion. There’s literally thousands of ways you could use this feature – any ideas?

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Brett Welch | BC

You couldn't possibly do something like this...?

I’ve heard it a few times from partners (and potential customers).

“This might be a stupid question. BC probably can’t do this, but I thought I’d ask anyway... My client wants to...”

In fact, this is not a stupid question. It's one that people should ask more often – because the answer is “yes” more often than you might realise. Let me throw an example out there. Lets say you wanted to put book reviews on your site. Each Book Review would consist of:
  • A photo of the book
  • A review text
  • An author (of the book)
  • An author (of the review)
  • An ISBN
  • A publisher
You might want some more things in there, but that'll do for my little example. What I've just done is define a type. Now i can add items of that type. Once I've added items, you can easily make these items:
  • Searchable - to find a review quickly
  • Into a RSS feed - to keep readers updated with the latest
  • Formatted - to display them in a list format and an easy to read detailed format
This functionality can be used for almost anything - all you need is to define a type that suits your business needs! Job openings, team profiles, holiday packages... whatever type of content type your business might deal with, you can create, add items to and make searchable and syndicate-able in minutes without any programming. So next time you're wondering whether BC can do something you think is a little too custom - think twice. Or better yet - ask us :) You can read more about how to do this yourself here.
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